Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! This week, we’re taking a look at the Magic Kingdom, as it seems to continually be the park with the most news. 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.

[img]http://datelinedisneyland.smugmug.com/Other/DDW/i-tgSgFTp/0/O/magickingdom-5.png[/img]

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160001.jpg[/img]

 

The Christmas tree is now installed in Town Square.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160002.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160004.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160005.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160003.jpg[/img]

 

Main Street Philharmonic is playing lots of holiday tunes now.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160006.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160007.jpg[/img]

 

Over near the Crystal Palace, a tree was cut down and paved over. Not sure how I feel about this, as I love trees in the park, but this is a typical bottleneck area, and having that space may help. Sometimes it feels like the Magic Kingdom crowds are outgrowing the park.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160008.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160009.jpg[/img]

 

Love the super long 4PM Dole Whip line.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160010.jpg[/img]

 

Ugly non-themed scrims are ugly.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160012.jpg[/img]

 

Getting busy for the holiday season.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160013.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160014.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160015.jpg[/img]

 

So many people!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160016.jpg[/img]

 

The Br’er statue has made its return.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160017.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160018.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160019.jpg[/img]

 

Almost time to avoid the parks for a few days with waits like these.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160020.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160022.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160023.jpg[/img]

 

2014 merchandise is now showing up in the shops.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160024.jpg[/img]

 

Can you tell that small world is open again?

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160025.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160026.jpg[/img]

 

Interesting that after the Peter Pan’s Flight refurbishment that the Fastpass signs are not Fastpass+ branded.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160027.jpg[/img]

 

FP+ kiosk now at Philharmagic.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160028.jpg[/img]

 

The new planter near Village Haus had some trees planted. Totally awesome.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160029.jpg[/img]

This week, my other website, Disney Photography Blog released its 2014 Disney Photo a Day app for iOS devices. The concept is simple – a new Disney photo for every single day of the year. It is currently on sale for just 99 cents and can be purchased over at iTunes!

Lots of trees have also been planted over at the Mine Train.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160030.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160031.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160032.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160033.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160034.jpg[/img]

 

There is a new railing along the track.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160035.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160036.jpg[/img]

 

Beautiful afternoon light on Mermaid.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160037.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160038.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160039.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160040.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160041.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160042.jpg[/img]

 

It’s really starting to feel like the Mine Train is coming along. Hopefully it’ll open with some time in between itself and Diagon Alley over at Universal.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160043.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160044.jpg[/img]

 

Walls up near Stitch.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160045.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160046.jpg[/img]

 

That’s it!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorl12162013-PC160048.jpg[/img]

 

That wraps things up for this week! Any thoughts on the news? Let us know in the comments!

If you’d like to support Dateline Disney World and you shop regularly at Amazon.com, please CLICK HEREbefore 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]

  • clewandowski

    Another good post. Really wish we could get more updates on the four Florida parks. Disneyland seems to get much more time. I want more Disney World!!!! Thanks!!

    • ZRocker

      Agreed! I was thinking the same thing this week. As much as I love to hear about Disneyland (and hope to visit ASAP) Walt Disney World will always be my home park!

    • junebug1233

      I think this same thing every week. The coverage that this site provides is so great, I want more of it for WDW!

    • Folks, we’d LOVE to give you more WDW coverage. Contact me about a weekly column if you are a great writer/photographer. It will only take about 7 to 10 hours a week of your time. [email protected]

    • GDub80

      It’s because nothing ever changes that is news worthy at the Florida parks… they are old and stale.

      • Tielo

        Yep, next week you can watch at the same pictures and the most exiting thing that happened is the planting and cutting of trees.
        It’s really frustrating WDW isn’t quicker in developing it’s other parks. As correctly stated in the article the MK is overrun while other WDW parks don’t get that kind of traffic and there is a very very good reason for that, people don’t care for them.

        That all can change like Disney has shown us in California but then they really should start poring some serious money and original ideas into those parks instead of building time share lodging and cruise ships.

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    You are definitely right about the Magic Kingdom feeling crowded. During a moderately busy week in October I found that Magic Kingdom was the only park that felt hard to navigate due to the crowds.

  • ParkerMonroe

    What’s up with the walls around Stitch? Chili-dog refurbishment… or are they finally gutting that space and replacing it with something worthwhile?

    • TOONager

      They are putting in a FP+ kiosk…

  • a-mad

    Its interesting we often here about drops in attendance at WDW due to better product from the competition, dissatisfaction with current conditions, services, attractions, etc. and yet updates like this show that attendance seems to be doing extremely well.

    We timed our recent trip (early February) to try and take advantage of “light” crowds… and yet every park (especially MK…. but not just MK) had very healthy attendance for an off-peak period. The competition? Everything was a walk-on (including a major attraction about a boy wizard).

    Does this mean WDW should rest on their laurels? Hell no… they should be adding outstanding product on a regular basis… and right now Universal is doing much better in that area. I just don’t think that the increase in Universal attendance/spending is resulting in a corresponding decrease at WDW… and hey that’s good, right? – don’t we all want both of them to succeed? At least I do. (I know some that don’t….)

    • Sifferz

      I do want both to ultimately succeed, but I can say that I would love to see Universal nip at the heels of WDW parks attendance, if not surpass DAK/DHS at some point in annual attendance, as I think that could give the Disney execs a wake-up call that they need to kick it in to gear and get back to actually building interesting things, as MyMagic+ has been the most frustrating project in recent times for the parks.

  • bryanintowson

    “Sometimes it feels like the Magic Kingdom crowds are outgrowing the park.”

    Spot on. If you aren’t there at rope drop – forget it. It’s actually miserable.

  • Malin

    The one thing I do give credit to at WDW is the constant minor improvements being made to improve the Guests experience like removing that tree. It has now cleared some much needed space to help with crowd congestion. And WDW has from the above pictures added a lot of new foilage to Fantasyland.

    I agree with the comments from a-mad and Sifferz. Looking at last years unofficial attendance numbers both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios were by a small number slightly ahead of Universal Studios Japan. Next year the Park in Japan opens Harry Potter and this could really have an impact on rankings. Regarding the US Universal Parks in Orlando I’m not quite convinced. I don’t consider IOA to be a strong Park although I respect thousands will disagree with me on this subject. But my concern is that instead of growing attendance it might just move crowds around the Resort. Although I think the real purpose of Diagon Alley isn’t so much to grow attendance as it is to keep people at Universal for an extra day. And with that in mind I think Universal is one to a winner. New Fantasyland is great but it won’t keep me at the Magic Kingdom any longer then I would usually stay here. Avatar might be the answer but its a few years away from opening. In between this time Disney Springs might have the potential to keep me on site longer depending on whats coming. Right now Downtown Disney for me is visiting the Earl of Sandwich and Disney Store.

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    When I was at the Magic Kingdom last Friday, it was crazy and it wasn’t even noon. I stayed for maybe an hour, tops before heading to Epcot for the rest of the day. That park was busy too, but it’s so big it eats the crowds pretty good and it doesn’t *feel* as busy as it actually is.