Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! Thank you for the super positive reaction to last week’s article. This week, we return to the Magic Kingdom, where we’ll take a look at some changes, news, construction, and pretty photos. Speaking of those, we have over 80 of them for you this week, so let’s get started!

If you’d like to support the column and shop on Amazon.com at the same time, just click HERE and a percentage of anything you buy will support us, at no extra cost to you! It’s a great way to help yourself and keep this column going at the same time.

[img]http://datelinedisneyland.smugmug.com/Other/DDW/i-tgSgFTp/0/O/magickingdom-5.png[/img]
Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!

I got to the park nice and early this week since they’ve been opening at 8AM to cover the spring break crowds. This means beautiful warm light bathing the park, creating great photos.

Also early in the morning, the stage isn’t fully set up for the Castle show, so you can get this photo with a telephoto lens.

Sleepy Hollow Refreshments is still under refurbishment.
The Dapper Dans doing their morning rounds.

More early morning shots.

Refurbs are still going on in Adventureland. I’m really curious as to what they are doing behind the walls in the second photo. It’s been a long time for walls to be up in just a seating area.

Notice anything different here?
These guys have been installed for the new Jack Sparrow interactive game.

It was a little weird to see them there, right next to the Tiki Gods. But I don’t think they look all that bad. They definitely fit in much better than the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom set pieces.

Pirates in the beautiful morning light.

We’ve been wondering what this building might be for a while now. It used to be the old Crow’s Nest gift shop.
Now I’m starting to think it will be your home base for the Jack Sparrow game, with the signs currently covered up until the game is ready to launch.

Splash Mountain is entertaining guests after its excellent refurbishment.
Splash Mountain is entertaining guests after its excellent refurbishment.

 

Big Thunder Mountain is looking good.
Big Thunder Mountain is looking good.
It's nice to see the geyser working, and the great details looking fresh.
It’s nice to see the geyser working, and the great details looking fresh.

On the bridge over to Frontierland, I saw this, which is a little discouraging.
On the bridge over to Frontierland, I saw this, which is a little discouraging.

Do we really need stroller parking on this bridge? I feel like there has to be a better way.

Anyone remember when Br’er Rabbit used to be on top of this sign? I’d love to see him return.

Over at Big Al’s, there is no sign of Big Al or any other Country Bear merchandise, which is a big missed opportunity, especially with a growing fan community that loves the Bears.

Liberty Square is still scrim-town.
I’m also still waiting for the big rocking chairs to return to Yankee Trader.
The stream to Tangled toilets.

Disney set up a makeshift extension to the seating area at Pinnochio Village Haus for the spring break crowds.

Temporary terrace.
I’ve not seen or heard anything new about the princess meet and greet that is replacing Snow White lately.
Lots of roller coaster track and rock work happening through the walls at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Thankfully, no one was in line for Be Our Guest lunch at 8:45 am.

Disney is now selling a souvenir popcorn bucket featuring Dumbo. It is pretty neat!

Back side of the Mine Train is really coming along now. Some of the rock work is getting new color and the buildings in the back keep getting more window and roof work.

Imagineers were using iPads to review the plans while walking the scaffolding.

Notice the new colors.
This window looks new to me.

I love these guys that lead to Be Our Guest.

The shrubbery is growing in nicely at the new Castle walls.

Hey Californians, we had Fantasy Faire first. It might just be a post-attraction gift shop, but we still had it first!

There was a LOT of steel added to the front of the Mine Train since my last update.

At the entrance to Storybook Circus, this has bothered me for a while now:

Why welcome us to the entrance instead of the land itself? Weird.
Why welcome us to the entrance instead of the land itself? Weird.
The trees and foliage are growing into Storybook nicely.

At the little cart near the Casey Jr. area, they sell lots of great Magic Kingdom and Storybook centric merchandise. This week, this happened as well.

I know Phineas and Ferb are popular, but it just doesn't fit in the Circus in my opinion.
I know Phineas and Ferb are popular, but it just doesn’t fit in the Circus in my opinion.

Looking through the walls at the Mine Train one more time.

After all these years, the Speedway is still popular. But can’t you just imagine some sort of improvement or re-theme of this attraction?

Over in Tomorrowland, they had the “we’re going to be really busy this week” ODV carts out.

They were also doing dance parties basically all day long, much to my discontent.

On the Peoplemover, the Progress City display was dark with no audio. Hopefully they are just touching it up and making it look pretty.

This week, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor celebrated 6 years being in the park. I actually like this attraction more than many in the community, as I feel it features some solid performers and cool technology, but I do still miss Robin Williams and the Timekeeper.

Heading back down Main Street on the way out, Hall of Champions is still partially under a scrim.

And the Bakery is still closed for Starbucks-ification.

I love how you can still play checkers outside on Main Street. Even amongst all the hustle and bustle.

And lastly, Disney’s Limited Time Magic for this week was these strawberry ear hats.

They are marketing it as though you can only get them at Epcot as part of Flower and Garden, but they were in the Chapeau on Main Street as well. I’m waiting for a Limited Time Magic event that really wows me. What about you?

Well, that wraps things up for this week’s column. How do you feel about the current state of the Magic Kingdom? Enjoy seeing all the refurbishments and construction? Let us know in the comments below!!

If you’d like to support Dateline Disney World and you shop regularly at Amazon.com, please CLICK HERE before you do. It won’t cost you any extra, and it’ll help out the column!!

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]