Dateline Disney World brings tidbits from all over the World this week, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the photos!

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Welcome to Epcot!

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Outside the park, you can see that many of the turnstiles are behind walls, probably to add more RFID enabled entry.

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The ODV cart that was in front of Electric Umbrella that I never saw open has been taken down and walls are up in its place. Very odd.

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Nothing to see here, move along.

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The flowers are back here, as the Monsters University topiary has moved to the entrance of Hollywood Studios.

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Morocco’s new restaurant space now has a picture scrim.

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Mo’ Rockin’ now plays under this tent over in the grassy area next to the pavilion. I wonder where their permanent location will be once all the construction is done.

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The ducks of Epcot are always fun.

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Over at the Epcot Character Spot, the area is open again. It includes both a standby line and a Fastpass+ line. Also, you can no longer see the characters through the windows like before.

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On my way out of the park, I took a very interesting survey. In it, they asked what attractions at Epcot I thought were in need of an update (to which I answered almost all of them). It also asked how satisfied I was with my character interactions that day, as well as my thoughts on Limited Time Magic. I was very honest as I’m sure many of you would have been as well, but I have to commend Disney for even asking for feedback that honest and that specific.

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Welcome to the Studios!

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The Monsters University Homecoming is going on now at the Sorcerer Hat. It involves a DJ, a live band, merchandise, lots of booze, and games for the kids.

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The live band was pretty good, and Mike and Sully were fun as well. But, the DJ portion was a little odd. I heard a song from pop ‘artist’ Ke$ha that included lyrics about getting rather drunk and taking off lots of articles of clothing. In my eyes, this is simply unacceptable. Disney is supposed to be leader in family oriented entertainment, yet how did something like this slip through the cracks? They closed down Pleasure Island for not being family friendly, and then something like this happening is very odd to me.

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Lone Ranger merch is now available in the parks.

Another rumor that I recently saw on the internet was that Sid’s One of a Kind gift shop will soon be making way for MyMagic+ kiosks. If this is true, I will be very, very upset. Sid’s is a very unique shop that is lots of fun, and is one of the only in the park that doesn’t sell the generic Disney Parks merchandise. Just in case it goes away someday, I snapped a few photos of it for this week’s column.

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I hate to report on bad news here, as I have a ton of love for the parks, but doing something like replacing Sid’s for NextGen stuff would really be sad.

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Welcome to Animal Kingdom!

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The new WIlderness Explorers game/learning adventure is now live in the park. The main booth for it is right at the entrance past the Oasis, and does a good job of grabbing guests.

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The new Adventurer’s Outpost meet and greet for Mickey and Minnie is also open. They have standby and Fastpass+ signs out, but no official signage for what people are going to see.

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I’m pretty sure this restroom used to be a turquoise color, now it is beige.

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Wilderness Explorers logos in Dinoland.

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Long wait for a wild mouse coaster.

Work is still happening at the entrance to the Finding Nemo Musical, with signage now going up for Standby and Fastpass+.

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Yeti info as part of WIlderness Explorers.

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The ice cream truck is back in Anandapur now, and it is in tip-top shape.

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I really love it when Disney goes ahead and takes something away to clean it and make it look new again.

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More Wilderness Explorers.

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Behind the walls in Africa, there is a crane. Possible land clearing for either Avatar or the new Lion King theater?

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In Camp Minnie-Mickey, there are really no signs of Avatar coming still. They are using signage to direct guests to the new Mickey and Minnie meet and greet, and Festival of the Lion King has new signage for Standby and Fastpass+.

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Well, that wraps things up for this week, a whirlwind trip around WDW. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!!

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  • Disneykin Kid

    I’m glad to see the ‘improvement’ survey at Epcot. It’s the first sign of George Kalogridis starting to make a difference.

  • Johnny

    Thanks for the great update, Cory. It would be a huge loss to eliminate Sid’s from the Studios. It is one of the only remaining shops anywhere on property that isn’t selling watered-down, mass-produced, and widely-available Disney merchandise. The Magic Kingdom and original Lake Buena Vista Village Shopping Village were once awash with unique shops such as The Cup’n Saucer, Wonderland of Wax, and the Pottery Chalet. Just more erosion of guest experience for corporate profits.

  • gboiler1

    I also would be sad to see Sid’s One Of A Kind go. I love the truck, architecture and contents of the shop even though I’ve never made a purchase there. The autographs are still too expensive, but fun to look around.

    • Dinodak

      Too bad a vast majority of the autographs are fake. I still hate to see the store go but they need to dump those fakes.

      • yellowrocket

        You can have your opinion about the autographs being fake. But they are not.

        And, not everything in there is autograph based.

        Some things I’ve purchased…
        Prop t-shirt from “Never Been Kissed” starring Drew Barrymore ($20); Prop survival packet from “Deep Impact” ($15); poster of “Big Business” $15); Prop poster of Stab movie from “Scream 2” ($25); various other Disney lobby cards.

  • First, it’s encouraging to see so many construction walls and improvements everywhere.

    However, the only thing worse than the huge Sorcerer’s Hat at the Studios is the big ugly stage in front of it.

    And don’t even think about getting rid of Sid Cahuenga’s to turn it into some MyMagic+ thing. The Studios has enough problems without removing the good stuff!

    Beautiful photos as always Cory!!!

  • CLHimelberger

    It will be so sad to see Sid’s go away. Slowly, thru the years, most of the unique gifts shops have left the WDW Resort, for example the Antique Shop is now the Christmas Shop. It seems as though all of the shops now sell the same merchandise.

  • Timekeeper

    I’m a bit curious as to what was on the survey, but I’m sure you can’t divulge any info for it’s private. Still, I’m sad that Avatar is coming to AK and that rumor of Sid’s going away.

    Timekeeper

  • danyoung

    You might not know this, but the late “Sid Cahuenga” was married to the amazing Pam Brody from the Rose & Crown Pub!

    • yellowrocket

      Isn’t she great!

  • aproo

    The Monsters Homecoming sounds a lot like Mad Tea Party at DCA, which I don’t consider to be family friendly either. I agree it is kind of a shame

  • JiminyCricketFan

    Great pictures, Cory! I also would be very upset if Sid’s place were removed or even modified to include some MyMagic+ stuff. That is one of the few bright spots at HS. I really hope that a master plan is drawn up to fix HS soon. This add a little, fix a little strategy has created a mixed up park with little charm or reason to visit.