FastPass+ and Mine Train progress dominate today’s Magic Kingdom update. Refurbishments are to be found all over the park, but overall, things look really good at the moment. We have lots of photos for you today.

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Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!!

Before entering the park, here is a look at the DVC construction over at the Polynesian.

Over at the park, the Mickey floral has been replaced, and looks great.

Inside the entrance, more refurbishments continue on Main Street.

Starbucks is now serving carmel flan flavored beverages. Has anyone tried this yet?

You can see here the crane that is on site to remove the lights from Cinderella Castle.

This scene here is now a Nikon photo spot instead of Kodak.

Work continues to add AC and glass panels to Cosmic Ray’s outdoor seating area.

There are a bunch of FP+ kiosks in the park now that legacy FastPass is no longer available.

Walls and tarps are also up to cover old Fastpass signage and distribution booths.

Here is this week’s set of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train photos. Vehicles have been testing, but I waited and couldn’t catch a train testing for you. I’ll catch a shot for you soon.

New trees!

Things are churning right along here, and I’m really curious as to when Disney will announce an opening date for this attraction. Hopefully it isn’t too close to Diagon Alley’s opening at Universal.

Legacy FP has been replaced by FP+ in Fantasyland.

Riverboat was down for refurb this week.

Frontierland FP+.

There are some great new signs outside of the Country Bear Jamboree.

Splash Mountain is still closed for its long refurbishment.

Walls still up near the Tiki Room, but it remains open during this time.

The scrims here in Adventureland now have murals on them.

The seating area near Casey’s and the restaurant itself remain closed.

That does it for this week. What are your thoughts on FP+? Ready for the Mine Train?  Do you think the Mine Train will be able to hold its own against the excitement building for Harry Potter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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    I Like the purple flowers in the floral Mickey. I’m also eager to see if the sidewalk replacement at casey’s will just be a “new for old” replacement, or if they will alter the traffic flow so that guest dining will be closer to the piano player, and cut through traffic will go on a perimeter route further out, this would make the dining patio experience more similar to the one found near the main street pianist at Disneyland, and as a person who loves live entertainment in the parks, this would be the way I would prefer it, but I don’t have my hopes up, it probably is just a replacement for wear and tear of 40+ year old patio, my comment is more of a passing thought that I wanted to share in case any others ever had this same wish.

  • tofubeast

    Thanks for another great update. Much appreciated on MC. Love the new Mickey floral. So happy the old signage is down. The Mine Train looks to have made some great progress since I was there at Halloween. Hoping I get to ride it later this spring.

    I’m always in awe with how you seemingly with ease are able to spot new changes each week (ie signs at CBJ).

  • Mousecat

    I would suspect that at the pace Disney is going, the roller coaster should be ready by 2015.

  • I’ve got to say that I’m finally feeling the vibe for the Dwarf coaster. With the hills fully formed and trees going in, this little space will look lovely. Don’t know if it will be a big draw worthy of the long build cycle, but it certainly suits the land well visually.

    • AaroniusPolonius

      Dusty, I’d be interested to see how they spin the opening of the Dwarf Coaster. It’s plainly obvious that they are timing the opening to steal some thunder from Harry Potter 2.0, so I’m (as a marketing pro) waiting to see how they activate all the wings of the Disney publicity machine. I mean, think back to when they opened Yeti at Animal Kingdom, and got new Travel Channel specials, a Discovery Channel “History of the Yeti” tie-in and so on and so forth.

      Heck, when they have NOTHING new to open, they go full-frontal with the marketing assault, to dramatic attendance success.

      I have to say, I don’t agree with some of the practices at WDW/Disney Parks (My Magic+ being the cart before the rides, so to speak,) but they market the heck out of their properties in such a complete and complex manner, across all platforms and outlets, with such a degree of sophisticated reach, that I almost expect them to position Dwarf as “New New Fantasyland.”

      (One might even posit that they’d use that timed opening to announce Star Wars Land as well, giving Universal a one-two punch of publicity theft.)

  • tooncity

    Simply astonishing, how Universal can start the Harry Potter phase 2 in June and it’s almost done. But Walt Dated World has been working on this Dwarf mini-coaster mole hill for three years and they’re still not done.
    This is a terrible way for a company to treat its customers; vote with your wallets folks. Actually GO to Universal and don’t go to Dated World. When the numbers switch, Disney will build. It would be a theme park arms race.

    • Amy VandenBoogert

      Construction for Diagon Alley started around 2 years ago (they tore down Jaws almost immediately after the ride closed). They only officially announced it last May/June so it seems like it didn’t take long to build when it had already been under construction for the previous year and a half.

    • BradyNBradleysMom

      Despite your bluster, I doubt you will stop going to WDW. The thing is, though it is hard for hardcore theme park fans to accept, 95% of the people in the country are not following construction projects like this. They have vacations planned and go on them…and are surprised when they see something new being built. Most people I know have no idea what’s being built in any of the parks. The Mine Train will be a pleasant surprise the next time they are in MK.

      Disney doesn’t feel it needs to build a giant, attention getting project to draw attendance. I wish they built more things too…but it doesn’t make business sense for them. I don’t like it very much either. But, Universal has never even surpassed DHS or DAK in attendance…and until it does, Disney won’t be building anything huge or really spectacular like Star Wars Land. They are saving Star Wars for some point in the future when they need to expand attendance. I think that only happens when Universal beats DHS in attendance.

      • tooncity

        people are soooo sensitive on this blog. defenders of the faith, will Dated World old and boring. a museum to a total lack of interest by the Disney.

        I laughed when this site suggested that Disney would build a Frozen ride in the Norway Museum, scratch Pavilion. When has Disney ever acted quickly on a hot Block Buster Movie, to build a new high-end attraction within just a few years based on that hit movie. Not since Walt Died.

        You just got a Mermaid ride from a Hit movie from 25 years ago. Disney has a huge hot Iron Man/ Avengers Movie Franchise working and NO new attractions in CA, where they can build something. NO new Marvel Store at DTD, where they can build. Yet they go pay for the rights to build some kind of Avatar Land. Why can’t build a Mary Poppins attraction in World Slowcase, based on the Mystic Manner attraction in Hong Kong. mary Poppins is only 50 years old, the timing is just right.

        Now the Apologist come out to defend the Glacial Speed, of an out of touch Company. No wonder Disney feels they can just rip-off their customers with overpriced food, overpriced trinkets, overpriced tickets and crowded parks.

        Wake up and demand more, folks, you deserve I!

      • Malin

        I point you in the direction of the last post on Universal where about 4-5 people were spitting granola bar’s across the room when some of us showed disappointment towards Daigon Alley. This resulted in a ton patronising remarks and counter WDW comments while ignoring the fact you should at some point defend Universal but it’s easy to attack WDW and ignore Universals shortcomings. And yet you then claim Disney fans are so sensitive. People on these blogs really need to see what has been written by them before making dumb remarks like the above…

        The first Harry Potter movie came out in 2001. So the concept for Diagon Alley isn’t exactly fresh out of cinemas. Let me guess you’ll ignore this fact in your follow up reply and instead attack the Mine Coaster for being from a movie made in the 1920’s.

    • AaroniusPolonius

      Henry the 8th? Is that you?

  • martinjbell1986

    Where is CaptainAction when you need him…..

    • Malin

      So he can tell us and I quote: WDW just isn’t a theme park where Walt’s imagination and dreams are respected anymore.

  • Erik Olson

    As an AP guest, I was pleased to be able to choose three attractions per park per day. If you aren’t park-hopping, the three attractions limit is the big drawback of FP+.

    No cast member could tell me when the system would be available through the My Disney Experience interface.

    Epcot has now transitioned over to FP+ (Thursday was the day) and that’s too bad. We got on last chance to use the original kiosks during our visit last week and all commented that the legacy system was pretty elegant. Save for (perhaps) one or two jammed park cards, FP never gave us trouble in the six years we’ve used it for between 5 – 10 guests that are in our party.

    The Dwarfs’ coaster cars must be very quiet, because we didn’t hear them running (or catch a glimpse of them) during our three visits to MK. The area really looks fantastic.

    With respect to posters who are big fans of the Universal parks, which are, admittedly, excellent destinations, I wonder about the admission prices? Two people from our party went to Universal last week and paid nearly double the discounted ticket price for about $165 per person for one day’s admission?! People complain that a basic AP to WDW is expensive, but Universal really takes it. I don’t put $300 – $400 value on getting two people into a park for a day.

    • lnsemsf

      I believe a 1 day parkhopper is $145 at the non discounted rate. A 1 day 1 park is $92. That’s on par with Disney. They of course should never pay that for the park hopper when it’s $20 less if you just order it online. Universal’s deals are by FAR better than Disney in terms of AP if you compare apples to apples. Even the out of state rate for the premier pass which includes front of the line access, free bottled water, free valet parking, and Halloween Horror Nights is only $420 a year. Plus if you buy it on an American Express you get access to a free lounge with water and snacks. Disney’s start at $609 out of state rate for just the 4 parks and parking.

      • Erik Olson

        Good notes, Insemsf! I’m sure our friends weren’t savvy enough to find the deals that are out there for discounted Universal tickets.

      • Erik Olson

        Good notes, Insemsf! I’m sure our friends weren’t savvy enough to find the deals that are out there for discounted Universal tickets.

  • Tannerman

    I enjoy these updates. Thanks for taking the time to write them. Always great to keep up with what’s going on at WDW.

    From a technical perspective, it might be a good idea to pull together some new headers for the different park sections, as the graphics currently being used are wider that the text area itself. For example:

  • Malin

    I’m excited for both the Mine Coaster/Parade and Diagon Alley. Seriously don’t understand the need to compare the both of them. Look at the bigger picture new attractions opening up in time for Summer in Orlando at both Resorts. I do run Universal down a little bit but that’s only for comedy value because I know it will get an immediate response from the Universal fanatics who are trying to do the same with the Disney Fans. Only the Disney Fans couldn’t care less about what Universal is doing… But looking at the bigger picture Orlando is getting two really nice themed offerings next year and it should be SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Lego Land that have more to be concerned over then either Disney or Universal.

  • yoyoflamingo

    Caramel Flan – So good! Got a free one from my Starbucks Rewards.

    Thanks for the update! Heading back in a few weeks.

  • EC82

    Those sandwich boards look horribly cheap. I am amazed that this is a fully conceived, billion-dollar project. Very lovely photos but the park is looking ever less formed, like nothing is completely thought-through.

    • SpectroMan

      That was my thought – I hope those boards are only going to be out a very, very short time because they look horrible.

  • KCmike

    Nice update. Universal just doesn’t do it for me. We went last year and rode HP and thought it was good but the rest of the park is no better than a Six Flags to me. I am excited to see the Dwarves Coaster. Disneyworld needs a winner bad. So far the “New” Fantasyland is not great or even close to being on pace with Carsland.

    • Rastuso

      Do you really expect anyone to take your opinion as honest, if you compare Universal to Six Flags? I mean, really? It’s quite disingenuous, and shows you have never been to either Universal or Six Flags, or are simply making things up, since there is no way to justify such a remark.