It’s been two weeks since our last column, and lots of things have changed at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, with progress on the Mine Train and Tangled Toilets at Magic Kingdom, and the Flower and Garden Festival officially kicking off at Epcot. Over 70 photos in today’s update, so sit back and relax!

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Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!!

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Heading into the park, Town Square feels very bare after the recent Live with Kelly and Michael tapings.

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Also while heading in, you’ll now see newly redesigned, non-Kodak park maps.

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They’re really quite nice, and a big improvement in my opinion over the old maps.

By the time you get into the Hub area, it is apparent that spring has sprung down here in Central Florida, with lots of great flowers planted in the park.

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[center][size=5][b]Construction Kingdom[/b][/size]
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Over at the Tangled Toilets, there was a lot of change from before I went out west for a week. Lots of trees have been planted, and when looking from Columbia Harbor House, it is clear that they are very close to having the walls come down here.

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The scrim near the restrooms connected to it’s a small world is down and the exit area now helps blend the two areas a little nicer.

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It’s really a shame that this is going to be, according to Disney, nothing more than restrooms. Tangled is a very successful franchise for them, and the level of detail here looks outstanding. Seems like it deserves better than restrooms.

Over at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, rock and detail work has really picked up on the back side, with some trees even ‘planted’ on top of the hill.

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It seems like they are pushing hard to get work done, as there were a ton of workers there this week.

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Looking through one of the walls, you can see that there is much work track now in place as well, which is exciting!

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Some more views of the construction.

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[center][size=5][b]This and That[/b][/size]
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Refurbishment continues around the park in both Liberty Square and Adventureland.

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On to Epcot!

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Welcome to Epcot!

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[center][size=5][b]Flower and Garden Festival 2013[/b][/size]
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The Flower and Garden Festival officially started on Wednesday of this week, and it celebrates 20 years.

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Heading past Spaceship Earth, Phineas and Ferb have a display near the main times guide area.

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The Lion King has an area right past the Fountain of Nations.

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Heading on the path to Test Track, the Pixies have been swapped out with Radiator Springs and the Cars topiaries.

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Flower beds line both side of the water in Future World, and while not fully bloomed yet, still looks beautiful.

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The main topiary set at the entrance to World Showcase is there to promote Monsters University. It is large and quite impressive.

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The Pineapple Promenade is one of the food booths and is where you can get your rum infused dole whips!

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Canada is all spruced up for the festival.

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The UK got some changes this year, with Winnie the Pooh and friends now being over by the Fish and Chips area.

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Twinings tea is still behind the gift shops.

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The Peter Pan topiaries are now across from the Rose and Crown, with Hook and Croc in their own flower beds.

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Peter Pan is cleverly positioned on the roof this year!

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UK also has a food booth.

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And in the butterfly house, the Bambi theme is gone, replaced by Tinker Belle and friends. When I went in, the topiaries were there, but there were really no butterflies, which was odd, but something that surely will be fixed soon.

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Well, that just about does it for this week’s column. I’ll be covering Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom’s happenings next week, so make sure to keep an eye out for it! Excited for Flower and Garden? Like the work being done in Magic Kingdom? Hate everything Disney does and enjoy Universal more? Let us know in the comments!

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If you enjoyed the column, especially the photos, and you want to check out more photos and tutorials on Disney photography, please check out my photo site, [URL=”http://www.DisneyPhotographyBlog.com”]Disney Photography Blog[/URL]. And if you like listening more than reading, you can hear us talk about Disney and photography on my podcast, [URL=”http://www.ISO5571.com”]ISO5571[/URL]

  • Trumpet

    Great Update Cory

    You are right that Tangled deserves more than just Restrooms. Sadly, that is all WDW can muster to keep the cash levels high. While they will look nie, they have made too big of an impression on New Fantasyland. They should have used this space for an attraction.

    Seven Dwarfs Mine train looks great, really big and should help people come to WDW. However, it will be no competition compared to Potterland 2.0 in USO, in my opinion.

    Flower and garden festival looks great,and when in full bloom, looks even better, can’t wait for more pictures Cory.

    Thanks Again Cory

    Trumpet

  • pbrsaau

    I believe the Tangled Toilets area is too small for an actual attraction, not to say that bathrooms are a sufficient designation for ‘Tangled’ either. Haunted Mansion’s show building and Small World’s building form that corner to where the area is too small for an attraction, but large enough to have small facilities, i.e. bathrooms, retail, food carts.

  • Gregg Condon

    Flower and Garden was one of our favorite times to visit EPCOT. The parks are looking bright and shiny. Great update!!

  • David Hollenbeck

    I hate second guessing things that are already in place, because they’re much less likely to change, but wouldn’t it have been cool to do a Tangled dark ride instead of Mermaid? I don’t have anything against Mermaid and haven’t ridden either one, but wouldn’t it have made New Fantasyland a much bigger *ahem* splash with a completely new ride? I picture it sort of like Peter Pan, so you can look up at the tower, but then move up and see it from Rapunzel’s point of view, make the dam break scene really cool like you’re sliding along the drain (whatever it’s called) along with Flynn, then stuck in the cave where her hair glows, but you burst out, get into town, see the mural, then, in the show stopping scene, you are floating on the water with F&R and the lanterns are flying all around you, then in the final scenes you experience the “head down, arms in, knees apart – knees apart?”, the rescue and resurrection and HEA – it could be spectacular. And I mean, who wouldn’t want to eat at the Snuggly Duckling? Blood in the mustache and everything.

    Nice to see the Cars in a better place and Peter Pan in the UK. I went last year and thought that the Bambi theme for the butterfly tent was completely appropriate, but having the Pixies in there is (especially when they had their own area last year) seems like it was a no-brainer.

    The monsters U. display looks good and I’m tellin’ ya, I’m gonna hammer on it til someone at Disney gets the message, Phineas and Ferbcot is the way to go for future world! I’m not suggesting every ride be themed for P&F, but bring that level of curiosity and invention back to Epcot. Here’s the scene that wraps up how they should frame it in a nice bow – Picture a big welcome sign for Epcot with P&F welcoming you. On the back, seen as you exit, is a silhouette of P&F as they also head for the exit, but instead of Thanks for visiting, See ya real soon, etc. It says simply “Ferb, I know what we’re gonna do tomorrow!”

    Rebuild the Universe of Energy into P&F’s World’s biggest, coolest and most educational roller coaster and you’re on your way to Epcot being a must-see again.

  • WesternMouse

    Dwarf Mountain will not beat HP 2.0.

  • Colorado Mouse Mom

    I don’t post here very often. In fact, I think it’s been a few years but I do read all the updates. I feel I need to post today about this article.
    Seems some are never happy with what WDW does. New bathrooms? Ridiculous you say! Well they are beautiful and well themed. They could have just carved a hole in the wall and stuck bathrooms in there but they created a beautiful area with seating, shade and a great spot for relaxing for a bit.

    The new coaster, I am pretty sure is not intended to be a match for Harry Potter 2.0 but is intended as a new fun family ride with more great detail and theming. Why all the comparisons all the time? Universal caters and markets to a family crowd with older children and young teens and those without children as well. WDW is a family park with family rides, rides that include young children. Not to mention those same parents with young children will open their pocket books to purchase all the new merchandise that will be and has been released following the New Fanstasylands opening. My kids are older so I am not a parent with young children. If you don’t like what WDW does then why read these updates or even go to the parks? Disneyland is not perfect either, after visiting for three days last week, it has it’s issues too.
    Unless you work for WDW, you don’t know what they have planned for the future. I for one love WDW and everything it has to offer and would love to live closer in order to visit more often. I find myself bored with DL and DCA after about 2 1/2 days.

    • peanutj

      Beautifully stated, Mouse Mom. I have no problem with critical statements when they are warrented, but it seems like we have too many whiners here who are never happy. I usually don’t even read the comments because I can’t stand all the negativity, but I’m glad I read yours today.

      • gKaR

        2nd that 🙂

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    The Tangled bathrooms opened today.

  • David Hollenbeck

    Hope my comment didn’t come across as negative, it was just an imagineer wannabe flight of fantasy. I think the frustration comes from seeing HP done so well at USO and Carsland being done so well at DCA that when you get New Fantasyland and all of the promise it could hold and the most recent material they drew from was a film over 20 years old now…I think some feel slighted when there are more recent stories like Tangled that could have been featured. I’m excited to see it when it’s finished (only Dumbo and Goofini were open when I went last time. I’m hoping that the 7DMT is NF’s Radiator Springs Racers, it will be interesting to see!

    Ok, that said, a Facebook comment about the Tangled area being open made me laugh, they called it “The Princess and the Pee.”

    Amy, you (or your husband, whichever the case is) have my sympathy for growing up with that name if you live in America. It’s a fine name, I’m not making fun of it, but I can only imagine how much crap you had to put up with in school.

    Dave

    • Kurtoon

      “The Princess and the Pee.”
      now that’s funny right there

  • billyjobobb

    quite frankly I wish they had opened New Fantasyland all together. With that giant construction site right there in the middle it was pretty disappointing.

    And having access to California I was kinda bored seeing Mermaid redone. The restaurant looked mice (what we saw of it) but there were no reservations, and the lines for lunch were ridiculous.

    I do wish we had gone a little later for flower and garden. Alot had already been done when we visited but we did miss all the topiaries.

    I guess there’s always next year?

  • DobbysCloset

    As a person with a bladder I can think of no finer purpose for a beautifully themed space than a bathroom.