Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! This week, we’re covering the Magic Kingdom. Over 50 photos, so let’s 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!


Before we even get to the park, here’s a quick look at the Villas at the Grand Floridian, which should be opening very soon.




Back at the park, the entrance renovation continues.



The paving project at the Confectionary is all done.




Country Bear Jamboree got a new sign.




Even when busy, this path is always a nice place to get away.


See, it’s been busy.



Peter Pan still down for refurb.


Still long lines where the Princesses hug.



Weekly Mine Train time! More and more mesh is disappearing and turning into rock, which is nice. And you can see the beginnings of some buildings in the front.






If you look closely, you can see a full moon here.










Lots of progress!




WDW Railroad down for refurb.


Awesome Storybook Circus merchandise is still available, and still awesome.




Wish I could say the same about Gaston merchandise.



One more Mine Train shot from a different perspective.


Village Haus’ outdoor area is still closed.


This part of the lawn is reserved now for Fastpass+ fireworks viewing. I heard a story once from a former Disney photographer about how Dick Nunis never wanted to let a soul stand on that grass. Hmm.


The parade viewing also uglifies the Hub area. For those reserving the FP+, it is a great spot to see the parade, but it also makes the area look unattractive for 2 hours before it starts.






This was in the Emporium!




Until next time…


That wraps it up for this week. We’ll be off next week, so check back two weeks from now for more WDW news and photos. Let us know your thoughts 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]

  • CaptainAction

    Dwarf Coaster is looking more like a mound than mountain.

    • BradyNBradleysMom

      I wasn’t aware this was supposed to be a mountain. Can you give me a source on that? I’d love to see where it was declared this would be a mountain, because that is news to me.

    • Instidude

      Was at WDW in August, and the mountain is much bigger than you think. It really provides a focal point for all of the Fantasyland expansion, and is very organic in the way it grows out of the area.

      Also, agree with the Gaston merchandise, but really liked LaFou’s Brew – yum.

    • Country Bear

      I’m trying to keep an open mind about this attraction until it opens. That said, because it is a roller coaster, I’m very concerned about the length of the ride given that the track (that we can see) is so minimal and the footprint of the ride seems to be smaller based on the pictures I’ve seen. Perhaps there are thousands of feet of track inside the structure which we don’t see. I guess we’ll have a chance to find out in the spring. Here’s hoping it isn’t a 60 second journey.

  • Malin

    How much of the wait time for the Princess Fantasy Faire is thanks to Fast Pass +?

  • LoveStallion

    That last photo of the mine coaster is interesting. Why does it look like the top of it sort of plateaus out to the right like a mesa? I’m curious to see how that winds up being formed. From the angle of the picture, it looks like they needed show building space and failed to adjust the exterior dimensions to blend.

    I’m sure it’s just that one photo, but that’s the first time I’ve seen it from that angle, and it did look a tad peculiar.

  • Jim1013

    A mountain the size of the big three would be completely out of place, ruining the scale of the rest of the attractions. This is a kids coaster and its a perfect fit.

    • tofubeast

      True. It fits perfectly to scale when you are seeing it in person.

  • mikedoyleblogger

    Jim1013, of course it wouldn’t. It would be just fine. Travel to DL and consider the Matterhorn, which is indeed part of the DL mountain range and also part of Fantasyland.

    • danielz6

      Ya but DL doesn’t have uber miniature buildings like Beasts castle or tangled tower. The Matterhorns scale is set to go with the castle and the village facades which are considerably larger than the new fantasyland miniature stuff.

      • CaptainAction

        Uber small dollhouses is right. Those children’s toys are the worst use of forced perspective Disney has ever used.

        Nobody has enough imagination to pretend those are castle’s or homes.

        WDW changed forced perspective into forced ignoring. The “WDW can do no wrong folks” just have to pretend the dollouses aren’t even there because they really look so ridiculous.

        I’ve seen better forced perspective at Six Flags. Not trying to knock Six Flags, it’s just that WDW as the king of theme parks really has decided to take a back seat, good enough attitude in it’s efforts the last 10 years, and it shows.

      • The Lost Boy

        Disney has used forced perspective with great success, others use forced vapidity with little or no success.

  • Irving

    Awesome pictures Cory!, and as every friday a great report on the happenings at WDW. It is very unfortunate Disney is allowing a lawn to be a fireworks viewing area. I personally don’t think that is a good idea.

  • martinjbell1986

    Great update!

  • toonaspie

    Someone should contact Dick Nunis through his Twitter (https://twitter.com/DickNunis) and ask him how he feels about that lawn being used for fireworks seating now.

    • Nczerks23

      It won’t be a lawn very much longer

  • Country Bear

    Thanks for the great update Cory. I always look forward to seeing your reports.

    I am pleased to see how impressive the DVC addition at the Grand Floridian looks. Do we know how many rooms this will include? Is the wait time for the princess meet and greet always 95 minutes? That sounds pretty discouraging.

    I am also pleased to see that they will be offering Fastpass+ features for the parade and fireworks (location aside). These events can consume hours of your day sitting to hold a good spot so this might be a reasonable opportunity to avoid that for some people. I recall that part of a deluxe travel package we had on a previous trip allowed us a reserved viewing area for the fireworks in the hub (I believe it was the old swan boats loading station). The concept was awesome but unfortunately the view of the castle and most of the fireworks was completely obstructed by the tall tree’s. It was a complete waste of a fireworks viewing. Hopefully this set-up will not be similar to our disappointing experience.

    Thanks again Cory!

  • Orlando71

    Although its nice to have nobody on the lawn, i am very well pleased to see Disney doing this, because getting a good view of the fireworks is hard, and all the good places snatched up quickly. The mine train looks great, and will be interesting to compare HP 2.0 and New Fantasyland finished. New Fantasyland will undoubtably have better scenery, but lets see if the mine train and gringrotts are the same quality of a ride. Plus gringotts and Mine train probably aren’t aimed at the same demographic, so that will be hard to compare. As long as gringotts isn’t a bunch of screens, ill be happy.

    • CaptainAction

      There is no way to compare New Fantasyland to WWOHP. WWOHP is better themed than anything at WDW. Only Carsland at Disneyland is close.

      Compare Hogwartz forced perspective to Beast’s Castle? Rapunzel’s House?

      New Fantasyland was WDW’s response to WWOHP and is an embarrassment.

      Little Mermaid is a flop guests can walk on anytime while Pan and Winnie are still 45 minute waits.

      The new Diagon Alley is just another stomp on New Fantasyland.

      • The AntiHero

        The Fantasyland expansion was never meant to be a direct response to WWoHP you nitwit

      • AaroniusPolonius

        To be fair, walk around the back of the Harry Potter ride. You’re in a long, outdoor queue looking at the back of a big, square building. I get that they ran out of cash and that the ride itself is amazing, but c’mon dude. Universal ain’t Theme Park Jesus either.

  • The Lost Boy

    Same regurgitated trite, different day.

  • Orlando71

    I’d rather have terrible forced perspective that looks cool than have a giant steel coaster and hagrid’s hut in the middle of hogsmeade, Must of missed that in the movie. I swear, i though Hogwarts was a bit closer to Hogsmeade. Jokin! Jokin! Both lands have their flaws, and to which one is better, it comes down to if you like princesses, or harry potter. I personally like Harry Potter (the books anyway) better, so i would enjoy wwohp better, but i know plenty of people(adults included) who hate harry potter(blashpemous), but they do. Personally, i think they should tear down that ugly steel in hogsmeade and build harry potter dark rides. Then disney will really be in trouble.

    • AaroniusPolonius

      Disney is between 4-9 million guests per year from “trouble.”

  • MickeysImagination

    What details are known about the WDWRR refurb? This past Summer, there was some discussion on the Burnsland boards about some bridges being worked on. More specifically bridges #13 and #16. We did not figure what bridges these were.


    • toy-nutz

      Just got back and was told they are replacing all the WDWRR track. It is all original and it is all getting replaced.

  • Not My Real Name

    If you want to see how big the Dwarfs coaastere will be, look at an aerial view of the construction site on Google. You can zero in onto the site from http://www.rcdb.com and have it search for Magic Kingdom. Then you’ll see a list of coasters. Click on the one you want and then click on Google maps. Skip Bing Maps because they’re hopelessly out of date. The Dwarfs site is smaller than that of BTMRR; take that as you will.