Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! This week, we’ll be visiting both Animal Kingdom, where Avatar Land has finally broken ground and Epcot, where the new Spice Road restaurant has opened. There’s a lot to see, let’s take a look.

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[img]http://datelinedisneyland.smugmug.com/Other/DDW/i-mDLDvRq/0/O/animalkingdom-1.png[/img]

Welcome to Animal Kingdom!!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1112.jpg[/img]

 

At the entrance, the Let the Memories Begin banner has also been removed here, a good sign.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1111.jpg[/img]

 

No more Festival of Lion King on the times guides.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1113.jpg[/img]

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[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1116.jpg[/img]

 

Festival of the Lion King also not on the tip board.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1117.jpg[/img]

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FP+ kiosks are now in the park since AK no longer offers legacy FP.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1120.jpg[/img]

 

I made some FP+ reservations this week as well. It was quite easy to get times for the three major AK attractions.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1108.jpg[/img]

 

I only ended up using one of them, but when I left at 2pm, I was able to get a 2:15 Soarin’ FP, which was pretty amazing.

 

Construction in Dinoland.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1121.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1122.jpg[/img]

 

Legacy FP signs boarded up.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1123.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1124.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1127.jpg[/img]

 

I don’t know when this truck arrived, but I think it’s for a dance party.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1129.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1131.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1132.jpg[/img]

 

Legacy FP gone at Everest, now a FP+ kiosk.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1134.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1135.jpg[/img]

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Walls are now up all around the old Dawa Bar area, making it pretty tough to see construction of the new Lion King theater.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1140.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1141.jpg[/img]

 

Camp Minnie Mickey is also gone now, and I think it will be quite hard to report on Avatar construction, as these walls will make that pretty tough.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1142.jpg[/img]

 

Nothing like spelling issues!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1143.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1144.jpg[/img]

 

No more Festival of the Lion King sign near Pizzafari.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1145.jpg[/img]

 

Refurb at one of the gift shops.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1146.jpg[/img]

 

Time for Epcot!!

[img]http://datelinedisneyland.smugmug.com/Other/DDW/i-vbVkdkc/0/O/epcot-1.png[/img]

 

Welcome to Epcot!!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1147.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1149.jpg[/img]

 

Pretty flowers near SSE.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1150.jpg[/img]

 

Not very crowded in the parks this week.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1151.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1155.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1156.jpg[/img]

 

This new mug in MouseGear is pretty cool.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1157.jpg[/img]

 

The gospel stage from the holidays is now down.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1158.jpg[/img]

 

It is tour group season here at WDW.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1159.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1160.jpg[/img]

 

I tried the Cronut in World Showcase. It was filling and quite delicious.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1166.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1167.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1169.jpg[/img]

 

The other big news story this week is the opening of the Spice Road Table restaurant in Morocco.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1165.jpg[/img]

 

My biggest complaint here is the way it looks from the waterfront. I think the colors clash with the rest of the pavilion.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1170.jpg[/img]

 

From inside the pavilion though, it is pretty nice looking, rather elegant.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1173.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1174.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1175.jpg[/img]

 

Check-in area.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1176.jpg[/img]

 

Bar inside.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1180.jpg[/img]

 

Waterfront indoor seating.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1181.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1182.jpg[/img]

 

The gift shop area sells a lot of the same merchandise as in the rest of the pavilion.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1177.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1178.jpg[/img]

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[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1183.jpg[/img]

 

And the little mini-bar that used to be on the other side has a permanent location here on the corner. It’s much nicer looking than what it used to be.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1185.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1184.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1186.jpg[/img]

 

All in all, an interesting change. I’m not a huge fan of altering too much of the waterfront area of World Showcase, but from inside the pavilion here, it works.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1187.jpg[/img]

 

Some planters closing off this area near France.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1172.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1171.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1190.jpg[/img]

 

Time to head out!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld01152014-_DSC1196.jpg[/img]

 

That does it for this week’s column. How do you feel about the progress at Animal Kingdom? Thoughts on Spice Road Table? Let us know in the comments!!

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