Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! This week, we’ll take a look at a few tidbits in Epcot, as well as Halloween time arriving at the Magic Kingdom! Let’s do it!

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In Epcot, there were rumors of soft openings at the Starbucks in Future World. We headed over there to try and get in, but the walls were all still up blocking the way.




It looks all ready to go though for its September 5th opening. I’m excited for it.

Check out how empty the park was. This was around 11am!


In the UK gift shops, Doctor Who and Downton Abbey merchandise has taken over.



Lastly, the International Gateway exit is being refurbished. The exit is temporarily on the left hand side of the turnstiles.


Over to the Magic Kingdom!


Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!!


Fall has arrived at the park, with advertisements for the Halloween party and pumpkins decorating the entrance area.





Town Square and Main Street have also received their fall colors and decorations.



The pavement project at the Emporium is almost done, and the main entrance is now open once again.





The Carrousel is open again after a short refurbishment.


Signage and Fastpass+ has gone up at the Princess Hug Zone, which should be opening quite soon.




There are Fastpass entrances on both sides, which leads me to believe there will be multiple queues here.

Time for some Mine Train construction.









More walls have come down in the back of New Fantasyland as Prince Eric’s village is very close to opening its new healthy snack stand.




Here’s the menu!



Lots of great detail here, just like in the rest of New Fantasyland.



I’m pretty happy Disney has gone this route. I like to enjoy light and healthy food in the parks on certain days, and all the offerings here look solid.



Across the resort, prices for fountain beverages have gone up.




See ya real soon!


That does it for this week’s column. Can you believe that it is Halloween time already? What are your thoughts on the new Starbucks in Epcot and the healthy eatery in Prince Eric’s village? Let us know in the comments!!

The Wakefield Report

The latest news from the parks you love . . .

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  • clewandowski

    I must say this article started my friday on a great note! I love taking a break from work to stop and check out whats new on Micechat daily. I love Dateline Disney World the most, and the halloween “theme” really made my day! Thanks for posting. I also wanted to mention I did set my cell phone background to the picture of the Mickey wreath. Hope you dont mind!


  • Malin

    WDW website has meet and greets for Princess Fairytale Hall listed from Sept the 18th… Sounds like Disney might do the same meet and greets on both sides perhaps like what Disneyland has done for Princess Fantasy Faire. That would increase capacity and wait times.

    I visit WDW in just over three weeks time. Your images continue to show the parks looking in great shape. Starbucks and healthy snacks might not excite everyone but these facilities really add to the overall Guests experience. I’m also getting very excited about WDW’s possible future. The Mine Train sounds like a solid D Ticket family attraction. Plus we’ll soon be seeing the end of Celebrate A Dream Come True in favour of a new Parade from the creative mind of Steve Davison.

  • wdwprince

    Seems like there are rarely workers in the construction photos of Mine Train. Maybe that’s why it’s taking so many years to complete?

    I’m looking forward to healthier eating options in the park.

  • martinjbell1986

    Thanks for the update!

  • cruise

    I can’t get over how terrible the trash cans in New Fantasyland are. Its very clearly a second-rate sticker job.

  • Big D

    Say what you will about how run-down parts of WDW look, but the majority of it looks GREAT, and with the typical hurricane-season clouds you get from June – November, the photos look even more dramatic with the cloudy background.

  • Orlando71

    Great update. Dateline Disney World is my favorite article too. Its nice to see Disney World because from what ive seen micechat is way more interested and covers more on disneyland. Its nice to see disneyland too, but for those who just go to disney world and are loyal to it this article is a treat.

    • DisneyDesi

      I agree with you so much. While I appreciate seeing Disneyland related articles, it would be much better if MiceChat could showcase a little more of WDW instead of 85% Disneyland and 15% WDW. It seems as if they think WDW is inferior to Disneyland but that is certainly not the case. They are both equal and have their pluses and minuses.

      Thank you Cory for your wonderful updates. You really photographed the parks beautifully and demonstrated how beautiful WDW is. I don’t understand how people could be complaining when it looks like you photographed. Keep up the good work. You have a following here Cory.

  • DisneyHokie

    The two different entrances are because there will be two different meet n greets. Cinderella and “friend” in one and Rapunzel and “friend” in the other. The other princesses will rotate through as the “friends.” If you want to meet all 4, you’ll have to wait twice.

  • I really LOVE Halloween, and I don’t mind seeing it hit the stores early, but it sort of bothers me that they’ve got full decorations and orange and black bunting out on Main Street before Labor Day. I’d really like to seem them keep the Red White and Blue up through this weekend. Then they can turn it all over to the pumpkins. 😉

    Great photos as always Cory. Love, love, love your updates!

  • Haven

    What is funny to me is that is is NOT Halloween time already. It is Labor Day weekend. I can’t see getting into the Halloween spirit when it is still in the high 90’s and my trees are all still green. Gotta sell that merchandise though!

  • JiminyCricketFan

    Great photos, Cory! I am really hopeful that Dwarf Mountain opens soon. I cannot see much progress from the photos.

    I love the Halloween decorations, too , but wish they were out after Labor Day, as Dusty said. ;0(

  • CaptainAction

    Folks, aren’t you noticing that nobody is ever working on the Dwarf Coaster but all the stores, restaurants, and snack stands keep opening all the time? Could this be more of the ongoing evidence that WDW is prioritizing taking your money from you over giving guests any new rides?
    New Fantasyland at the very least should have included Alice in Wonderland ride, Pinocchio ride, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Casey Jr Train, Matterhorn, etc. At least replicate the dark rides from Disneyland. That wouldn’t have put too big a strain on the current WDW leadership and their imagineers, would it? New attractions, rides we used to call them, will distribute guests across a new area but instead they are going to try and move us around like sheep with a wristband.
    Could it be that new rides just don’t bring in the $$$ so WDW quits building rides and just builds restaurants, snack stands, and stores now? Been going on for about 10 years now at WDW.
    Prices still increase every year like new rides were opening left and right though, don’t they?
    Or, maybe I’m wrong and there is a curse on the 7 Dwarf Coaster! No new workers will enter the attraction anymore because all the previous ones never returned from the site! Probably dug into the cave of the squid from old 20,000 Leagues and he is eating the workers. This must be it because it can’t take 3 years to build a kiddie coaster for your much appreciated guests… can it?

    • DisneyDesi

      I think the issue that people forget to realize is that the Mine Train is located essentially on an island in the middle of the park. All four sides of the work site are surrounded by pedestrian walkways. I can imagine with no direct access to the construction site through backstage passageways it must be very difficult to work in a functioning park (this is different than DCA/Potter expansions because those projects were built along the perimeter of the park, allowing for access to the site. In addition, I question if they are doing heavy construction during operating hours anyways, as to not add extra noise to the environment. I think saying that food stands and shops are the priority by Disney now is overreacting. A simple 1,000 sf shop is much easier to construct than a mountain and roller coaster.

    • danielz6

      Instead of copying more of disneyland (which they did anyways with mermaid) I would have preferred they showed some creativity and imagination with new rides that haven’t been done yet. Beaty and the beast would make an awesome dark ride, and even dumbo imo deserves a dark ride being disney’s 3rd animated classic. Anyways there’s so many rides they could have made instead of restaurants and meet n greets. Walt would’ve built rides.

      • CaptainAction

        I agree Daniel. I was just saying even a lazy effort of copying themselves would have been better than this near slap in the face they gave their guests.
        I too would have appreciated the creative attractions which Walt and the old boys would have brought to us.

    • Orlando71

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with new Fantasyland. Sure, it would have been nice to have more rides, but once the coaster is complete i think New Fantasyland will really come together. Saying that Disney is greedy and builds more restaurants and shops and no rides is so misleading, Ahem, look right down the road at Universal. New Fantasyland has one measly shop and a fantastic restaurant. WWOHP is filled with shops.now whose more greedy? And if you compare WWOHP and New Fant. Universal only built 1 ride. They just rethemed the other 2. They went the cheap way out. You may argue that disney built 2 and shut the other down, the rest being meet and greets, but that doesn’t bother me. Look around at the superior theming of NF than Universal. Also NF has something else WWOHP doesnt have-space. New fantasyland is expansive compared to puny tight WWOHP.

      • CaptainAction

        Every point you made was wrong save one.
        WDW does have more land.
        That’s why Universal is buying more land.
        So, you like the Beast Castle 24 inch dollhouse on top of the rock?
        You like the Rapunzel 18 inch dollhouse on top of the stick?
        You defend taking 3 years and counting to build a kiddie coaster with no end in sight?
        Walt and the old boys would have fired all those responsible and torn down these embarrassments before a guest could have seen them.
        And you defend it?
        I asked you three questions there. Answer them.

    • Orlando71

      Captain Action
      yes, i do like beast’s castle. It’s perfectly fine. I don’t expect them to build a real size castle. The Tangled Toilets replaced the unused sky way station. Everything Disney builds doesnt’t have to be a ride. They built the bathrooms to extend the peter pan que for the guests. I don’t mind them taking their time for the coaster for these reasons. First of all, it was announced later, otherwise it would be done by now. Second, taking their time and adding detail makes a better ride. Third, it in the middle of the park. Now i enjoy rides as the next person, and as soon as nf is done im sure disney will be building Avatar and Star Wars Land. Now if Disney had realized how successful WWOHP and CARS LAND would be, they would have built more rides. But they had already planned and started construction on nf. I think to them it was more of a cleanup than a major expansion. if not, well than they learned their lesson and will strike back at SeaWorld and Universal like Walt would have. Also, how do you argue the point that you think disney built more shops. I am very interested. and am enjoyin this debate. Regardless, in the future both Disney and Universal are goin to make some pretty darn good lands.

      • danielz6

        “if Disney had realized how successful WWOHP and CARS LAND would be, they would have built more rides”

        Did they really need to learn this lesson? I think the New Orleans square expansion of 1966 anf Tomorrowland in 1959 tought the WDC these lessons long ago, or the Fantasyland of 1983. New fantasyland is simply subpar imo, and a mishmash of themes. I don’t hate it, but I feel it definitely doesn’t live up to Walt’s and disneyland standards

      • CaptainAction

        Well, we just don’t see eye to eye on Beast’s Castle and Rapunzel’s home. I can only relate them to Storybook Land Canal homes but those are all together in a miniature land explained as being turned mini by some Tinkerbell magic.
        Beast’s and Rapunzel’s are sitting right in the middle of an area with life size guests walking around almost next to them.
        I don’t think Walt his men would have cared so little.
        I also don’t have a problem with stores and rstaurants as long as your building rides also. The reason they started the Dwarf Coaster late was because of the backlash from guests about not including rides. Trading Little Mermaid for Snow White is not a plus one in the ride count. The 2 new sit down restaurants, and snack stands, and merchandise outlets were all in the plans but no new rides. Don’t think Walt would ever have taken the guests for granted like this.
        I do expect Disney to build castles and rides. They used to. They certainly charge prices and increase them like we are getting new rides and castles.
        Universal is building new rides and castles. If WDW ever gets off their rumps, you guys defending current WDW practices of the last 10 years can thank Universal and the former WDW guests who left, and challenged Disney to wake up. Because without us, these fat, dumb, and happy WDW leaders will just keep building new toilets, restaurants, stores, and revenue photo stops.

    • Orlando71

      i agree with you. I thank Universal for starting the theme park wars. Sadly, i think until now the execs at burbank never once set foot in disney world, so they would know they slowly needed to add more rides, which they did until toy story mania. I think they cared for disneyland more and building in hong kong. However i do thank bob iger woke them up (and a little competiton from Universal) spurred them start building. I think Disney World doesn’t Necessarily need more rides, particularly magic kingdom- most of them are classics. However,i do want more rides particularly hollywood studios and animal kingdom which we know are coming.

  • QPerth

    Thanks for a wonderful MK/Epcot update Cory! The clouds over MK make for some amazing scenery.
    I wish the Epcot Starbucks (nice ring to it actually!) had the old EPCOT font as its signage. I really think they should bring that back, and unify all countless fonts in use there on the signage I see in pictures.
    Thanks again, can’t wait for your next post,Mohave a great week! -Q.

  • Tielo

    The back of the dwarf coaster was going to look very nice (why the hell do they call is Prince Eric’s village?) but now they slammed a huge tent like food stand in there. It really lacks detail and killed the atmosphere. And do we need another food place, how much food can people eat? New Fantasyland already has 1 huge restaurants, another food place and many food stands (when you include double Dumbo mini land).
    All in all New Fantasyland is looking like a very nice miss mash with a lot of places to eat and hug and some lacklustre rides.