Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! This week, we’re taking a look at the Magic Kingdom and the two big projects there. Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it’s off to Starbucks we go . . .

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.


Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!



Roy and Minnie status: Still not where they should be.

The patriotic bunting has been placed on Main Street, and it looks great.







Also on Main Street, some of the windows displays for Starbucks are visible. They look great, and fit right in.







I’m very excited for this addition.

Over in Adventureland, refurbs are continuing, with not much excitement around them.





WIth the addition of the new Pirate Adventure game, there are lots of great new details to check out. I’m all for this type of stuff.





Frontierland pretty photo time.





There is also some facade work happening in Frontierland.





I love when the visiting bands get to march through the park.


Walls in Liberty Square.


Safety rails like at Disneyland, or just leftover scaffolding from the refurbishment here?



There were construction noises outside the new Princess Hug Zone, and a ladder even showed up to the party.




Into New Fantasyland!




These people were prepared to wait for Be Our Guest.

Over in what will be Prince Eric’s village, the walls have been moved back to make room for stroller parking, along with some new beach-like decor to fit the Mermaid theme. You can get all the way up to the edge of the Dwarfs Mine Train mountain now.





Work continues on Eric’s village.




Also notice how the walls are down and the walkway to Storybook Circus is permanently open.






Through the walls you can see lots of new coaster track now that it is all in place.






Through the other construction walls.




Into Tomorrowland.



Space Mountain will be closing intermittently in September for an apparent installation of trim brakes.


The exterior is looking a little rough around the edges.



Nothing but class here at the Peoplemover.



Well, that does it for this week’s column! What do you all think of the Starbucks windows? Let us know in the comments!

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]

  • tarihc

    That cone sure looks… Cozy.

  • DisneyNuts

    It must be brutal waiting in line for the Be Our Guest restaurant in the hot sun. (or pouring rain) You would think that Disney could come up with some way to provide shade or cover without losing the effect. How long are people usually standing there waiting?

  • tofubeast

    That is one classy cone!! Almost as classy as all that paint peeling off SM. That pour building needs a touch of pixie dust and Sherman Williams.

    Main Street looks awesome. All the recent exterior work really shines both in person and on camera.

    Prince Eric’s village is really starting to feel almost complete. I am also happy to see the walkway permanently open. It will help with crowd congestion.

    Thanks for the awesome photos—as always!

  • Eric Davis

    Be Our Guest is a good quick service, but it isn’t wait an hour good. The interior theme is good, but I wouldn’t say it is life changing, or even wait half an hour good.

    It just baffles me.

    • a-mad

      If you’re a tourist who doesn’t visit WDW frequently then a visit to Be Our Guest almost becomes Space Mtn, Splash Mtn, Tower of Terror or Everest – you have to do it before you leave. For us, we visited WDW in February, and it had been almost 10 years from our prior visit. We all wanted to experience Be Our Guest, so we were in line at 10:30 for lunch at 11. We ate around 11:15 or so. Was it worth it? Most definitely! The best counter service meal we had during our stay, with the best atmosphere. Truly one of the highlights of an amazing trip… and a terrific addition to New Fantasyland.

      One of the other reasons for it being crowded at lunch I’m sure has to do with the Quick Service Dining Plan – since it qualifies. If you’re on Quick Service… (or even Regular – and couldn’t get a dinner reservation) its worth the wait to experience what has become the crown jewel of quick service dining in the entire resort.

      If you’re a local, or even a frequent visitor, perhaps waiting 30-45 minutes for a quick service meal seems unreasonable… but for the 90% that queue up for this – I’m betting it was time well spent.

      • You are exactly right. Since the only new attraction in New Fantasyland is currently Little Mermaid, Be Our Guest has sort of become a bit of an attraction itself. It is one of the best themed restaurants anywhere and the food is good (not great but very good for a theme park). It is a MUST DO “attraction” at least once. Did I like it? YES. Would I wait half an hour to dine there again? NO.

        I hope that in another couple of years, the lines become more reasonable for lunch, or that they start taking reservations for lunch.

  • jcruise86

    Thanks for another fine update, Cory!

    While I think Roy needs to be better placed, enlarged, and made audio-animatronic, I’m curious about how you feel about honoring the late, great Roy. Please share your most eloquent thoughts and rawest emotions (or just vote) on this poll: http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disney-world-resort/183187-how-much-do-you-love-honor-roy-disney.html

  • JCSkipr79

    Who would athought that MS would have better windows that Buena Vista St.?? They also redid some of the Emporium windows to be more period and they look great. Cant believe WDI has more control over MK windows than DCA.

    I also don’t mind where Roy is now. I think that is the location of one of,if not his last pic at MK.

    • Big D

      It just means that sales are better on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom then they are on Buena Vista Street at DCA. Which makes sense, since WDW is more of a tourist destination (who are more likely to purchase souvineers), and DCA is more of a local AP park. Just let the stores on Main Street have two bad quarters in a row, and WDI loses all control of those windows in the name of increasing sales.

  • nbowa579

    I hope they open Eric’s village soon!

  • The seats are being replaced on the PeopleMover. But couldn’t they have come up with a better way of letting the ride operators know which vehicles not to place guests on? Can’t trains just be removed from the tracks for servicing?

    Space Mountain is very much in disrepair. There’s even a chunk of concrete missing from one of the buttresses as you exit the PeopleMover tunnel through the attraction. Bad show at the very least.

    I’m sure that the Starbucks will be just fine on Main Street. But boy oh boy is it going to be crowded!

    Thanks for the great photos Cory.

  • EasyRover

    Is it just me or does anyone else dislike how the show building for Haunted Mansion is clearly visible when exiting the mansion? You can see it in the above photo. It just looks like this creepy, old mansion has a warehouse attached to it. Could they stick a tree there or something?

    • Rongo

      I’m more concerned that the Mansion itself ISN’T visible, from anywhere in the queue… but that ridiculous Tangled tower IS.

  • David Hollenbeck

    Is the Starbucks open now or have they just removed the construction scrims, etc? It looked nice, though. I was never really all that concerned about it coming in, mainly because i don’t drink coffee much, but also because Starbucks has such an extensive art and design department and cares so much about fitting in with it’s surroundings, they weren’t going to go in there and wreck the ambiance.

    All the hand-wringing over Starbucks coming in made me think of another issue I haven’t heard anything about. Do things get rowdy in New Fantasyland after the first round of dinner guests pour out of Be Our Guest? Anyone ralphing on Mermaid or Dumbo because they over-indulged? Any reports of guests stumbling into Pete’s sideshow, putting an arm around Goofy and saying “I love you, man! You my dawg!”?

    Nice shots of the Adventureland details!


    • Amy VandenBoogert

      The Starbucks is not open yet. I was there last week and the windows were all blacked out yet, so they must have removed the curtains blacking out some of the windows just this past week. I think Starbucks opens later this summer if I remember correctly, but I forget the exact date.

  • RandySavage

    Awesome photos as always. You have a way of making the parks shine.

    Unfortunately, what’s being done in Frontierland (and other areas of the park) is they are making the roof railings taller under these OSHA fears/regs. While it might seem an innocuous change, it really mucks with the art of Forced Perspective, as features like windows, beams, tiles and railings need to collectively shrink as they get higher to maintain the visual illusion, and when there is a break in the shrinkage, it signals the brain like a sour flat note in an otherwise pitch-perfect orchestra.

    A great example is new Fantasy Faire in Disneyland. It is a beautifully-rendered area, but see if you notice anything “off” in this pic:

    Had Fantasy Faire been built before all this OSHA nonsense came to a head, that roof railing in the middle would have been about 1 ft high or non-existent. It’s an unfortunate and frustrating mandate and will be expensive to address while maintaining forced perspective (the alternative being just throwing up bigger railings).

    Thanks again for the great photo update.

  • KENfromOC

    I’m perplexed how they keep advertising the New Fantasyland in TV ads, yet there is still a lot of work to be done, and the main attraction is months form opening. That would be like touting Cars Land well before Radiator Springs Racers was ready…..

    • toonaspie

      Same here. It’s kinda silly but Disney thinks it sells completed or no.

      I think eventually it will have to get to a point where you will have to reserve lunch reservations at Be Our Guest. Hopefully not in the DDP style since that would mean waiting a thousand years but maybe more of a fastpass style or something. (LOL what am I saying?!)

  • Disneymike

    There really is a town called Hicksville?

    • Amy VandenBoogert

      HA! I thought the same thing!

  • shevys

    What is going on with the Country Bear Jamboree sign? It looks terrible. It’s sad to see the disrepair going on in the Magic Kingdom.

    • David Hollenbeck

      Just a refurbishment scrim, relax. I actually think it’s awesome that they care enough to make a scrim that detailed. It’s not the real thing, of course, but better than nothing. I noticed this on a trip in ’07 when the barbershop area on Main Street was being refurbed. It had a full height scrim, which is normal, but we were there a few weeks before Halloween, and I noticed that at the very top, on the scrim, was a barbershop-themed Jack-o-lantern. So. Someone is paying attention to the details!

  • SoCalFan

    The Starbucks window looks amazing! Great attention to period detail. I cannot wait to see what’s in store inside. It’ll definitely up the excitement for all us on the West Coast.

  • QPerth

    The Starbucks windows so far look absolutely terrific. As expected. And I think the interior will also be beautifully done. And crowded.
    Wonderful update Cory, gorgeous pictures as always! Thankyou!