Welcome back to Dateline Disney World. This week, the most action happened at the Magic Kingdom, so we’re back there this time around. Let’s get started!

Outside the park, you can see the construction of the DVC bungalows at the Polynesian.

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!!

Nice new flowers in Town Square.

Walls up near the Plaza restaurant.

Cranes have been up at Cinderella Castle to repaint it. There is a layer of silver primer, and some nice and new blue turrets.

The moat is also drained everywhere as the hub expansion project gets underway.

It’s been busy in the park lately with spring break approaching.

This nice photo op of the Tangled tower is now blocked by an ODV cart.

Work continues outside the Village Haus.

More walls have come down at the Mine Train, and it keeps feeling like we’re getting closer.

Beautiful day.

On the other side, there are a ton of trees, which should create a rather nice atmosphere.

Here is what the Tomorrowland side of the Hub project currently looks like.

The hub is being expanded to accommodate Fastpass+ seating for parades and fireworks.

It is very ugly in the center of the park right now, but hopefully that will all pay off when the remodel is complete. I’m hoping for the best.

In other news, the Tomorrowland Terrace was open this week due to crowds. You know the parks are busy when this location opens.

But even at the busiest time, this corner of Main Street is empty!

Disney has been pushing Frozen Blu-Rays really hard in the parks, as they had CMs outside shops holding copies and signs even at food locations, like the Confectionary here.

Something tells me that Frozen doesn’t need the help!

To wrap things up, here are some pretty Main Street shots.

Well, that does it for this week. How do you all feel about the Mine Train and Hub projects? Let us know in the comments!!

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  • Tielo

    The pushing of the Frozen (even at food stands!) blu-ray is just wrong. The movie is great and I’m sure it’s going to sell a lot but when you buy $100 to get into a theme park you are a fan of Disney and know the movie exists and you don’t need a reminder every 50 meters. This shows Disney now is only about the money, nothing else, and it’s sad.

    • FerretAfros

      A lot of stores are sold out at the moment, so it is somewhat of a hot commodity right now. However, I wonder how many guests know this, since they’ve probably been away from the “real world” while all this has been going on

    • BradyNBradleysMom

      Tielo — I want to remind you of something. Do you know that the big castle at Disneyland was designed to be “Snow White’s Castle”, but Walt Disney had a new movie coming out that he wanted to give publicity to because he wanted to sell more merchandise and tickets to the movie. So he had the castle’s name changed to “Sleeping Beauty Castle”. And then Walt proceeded to use the park to promote every movie and TV show he had in the works right up to the day that he died.

      The danger in saying things like “this shows Disney is now only about the money” is that you need to look at the past and see that marketing products has gone hand in hand with the parks from the very beginning. If you don’t like it, then don’t buy a Frozen DVD. it’s as simple as that.

      Personally, I think the company is just so thrilled to have such an unexpected big hit. It’s been so long since a Disney movie was a monster success like this. When the last time that a Disney movie made people go wild? Was it Lion King? Mermaid was huge. Beauty & the Beast had music people adored. Aladdin did well…but Lion King was a phenomenon. Frozen is the first phenomenon they’ve really had since 1993/1994.

      I remember being in WDW in the summer of 1993 and you could not walk five steps without seeing something Lion King for sale. So, this is not a new concept, this aggressively pushing products for the most popular movie they have.

      • DisneySam

        Excellent point. Well said. I’m guessing there are some folks who believe Disney should just be a non-profit organization. The other point to make is that not only was Disneyland a way to promote upcoming Disney features but the original TV show was used primarily to promote Disneyland itself. Walt Disney was probably one of the first to use this cross-promotion technique and the Disney company continues to do it to this day.

      • Aviator621

        Agree with everythign you said, although Disney actually has had two Billion+ hits in the past two years: Avengers and Iron Man 3. We have to remember that Marvel is now as much a part of Disney as Pixar.

      • Herbie53Tx

        Well said!

      • BuckyRister

        Not adjusted for 20 years of ticket price inflation, naturally.

    • Malin

      You need to get real for a second here. Disney is no different to any other corparate company out there. Do you seriously believe Universal wouldn’t attempt the same thing? Because I see a lot of ugly posters up across the Resort advertising the newest TV Show or Movie. In fact the last Horror Nights event was one giant plug for the Walking Dead. Difference is Disney actually have a hit movie to promote which will soon be the highest grossing animated movie of all time. Why wouldn’t it take the opportunity to use it’s Parks to help push the DVD and Blu-ray more.

  • thebear

    Thanks for the great pics! I was so disappointed when the subs were removed, just to be replaced with a Winnie the Pooh playground. The work they’ve done in Fantasyland and the area around it looks great and is such a big improvement.

  • Malin

    Another fantastic update Cory. The scale and upkeep at the Magic Kingdom has been fantastic over the last couple of years. Good decision to re paint the Castle while the hub area starts it’s transformation.

  • Skimbob

    Frozen has been a huge success for Disney. Tangled was well received as well. I am excited to see the new Incredibles and Cars movies. Disney has it down when it comes to great movies.

    I am curious to see what the hub is going to look like. I won’t be there again until marathon weekend in January so hopefully it will be all done. I am excited to see the mine train almost finished. I will probably know the whole ride long before I get to see it but it will still be great to see it in person.

  • martinjbell1986

    Frozen sold 3.2 million BluRay and DVD’s the first day it was released. Thats probably allmost all profit too.

    • BuckyRister

      The first day sales include months of pre-orders, so the first day is always the largest.

  • Klutch

    Frozen is a juggernaut. It’s available on DVD, you can download it on iTunes, and my local theater complex is still running it three times a day! A friend of mine recently took his daughters to a “Sing-Along” version at a local theater. There were subtitles for the song lyrics with the proverbial bouncing ball on top. And he said it was packed.

    Disney Stores have been sold out of Frozen merchandise since Christmas. My friend’s daughter wanted a Frozen dress for her birthday. Her mom had to buy it on eBay for a very high price.

    One thing is for sure, Frozen is great for my Disney stock!

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    Is it me or do the new DVC bungalows at the Poly look like old school Pizza Hut restaurants?

  • Haven

    I look forward to the more accessible central plaza expansion and although it will look like hell for most of 2014, it is a necessary evil to get the additional pathways. Would love to see the site plan of that to see what is truly being planned.
    As for “Frozen” I just have to say one last time…BOOOOO Disney for neglecting your faithful 3D fans and leaving us in the cold on this release at this time. Never saw it in theaters, BECAUSE I ALWAYS buy the 3D version of Disney films when they come out. So sad, no Frozen for me. Maybe someday later on if they choose to release it (October? who really knows?) if not, oh well.

  • imagineer97

    I think that the hub expansion will make that area of the park TOO spacious. Doesn’t anyone else think that part of the charm of the Magic Kingdom is how hard it is to see other parts of the park? Or that the expansion will be a bit too reminiscent of a basketball court? I think it should have stayed the same. I am also mourning the loss of the Swan Boat dock. Is the garden gone too?

  • billyjobobb

    So many people go to the park and decide that they want to see the 3 o’clock parade so at 2:50 they head to the hub. Then they get upset that there was no good spot to see the parade? And then they do the same exact thing for the fireworks….

    Please don’t make it look like grandstands.

  • EC82

    It’s a shame more guests don’t complain that they are paying full price (and an INCREASED full price!) for far less than a full experience. I would be sorely disappointed if I spent thousands of dollars on my Disney World vacation and found the Magic Kingdom looking like this — and Disney certainly makes no effort to reveal this fact to guests.

    The hub concept is a crying shame. We live in a time when everyone demands special treatment and feels entitled, and this just adds to the “spoiled brat” syndrome pervasive in our world. For nearly 50 years, gathering wherever you could find a spot (or arriving on Main Street early) was just fine. Now, everyone feels s/he should be a VIP and get a special place, and Disney’s new MyMagic+ program has done nothing to dispel that, so we are going to get a hub that looks like a big soccer pitch just so more people can be happy about their “special” spot to view the fireworks?

    Yeah, I’m ranting. Sorry. But I’ve gone from being one of the biggest misty-eyed idealists of the Disney theme parks to being one of the biggest pessimists in the last few years as I’ve seen them get ravenous about chasing money and acquiescing to the lowest common denominator.

    • imagineer97

      Believe me, you’re not the only one who has gone from idealist to pessimist…

    • tofubeast

      “I would be sorely disappointed if I spent thousands of dollars on my Disney World vacation and found the Magic Kingdom looking like this — and Disney certainly makes no effort to reveal this fact to guests.”

      From the Disney Blog:

      That looks like a great deal of effort to me. They also have been posting all along about Mine Train progress etc.

      Cory: Thanks for another great update. Mine Train looks amazing with more walls down. Can’t wait to ride it in May! Thanks again a million times over for this weekly update on MiceChat. Much appreciated.

  • QPerth

    What a terrific update Cory, bringing us all the changes and construction at Magic Kingdom, thank you!

    I think the 7DMT coaster has been dressed up very well. The trees on it and around it are really looking good, and once everything settles and starts growing I am sure it will be a beautiful place.

    Thanks also for the shots of Main Street, almost looks as beautiful as the stunning Main Street USA of Disneyland Paris. Loved seeing these shots, thanks again! -Q

  • rwaterhouse

    Amazing how they can build and finish off new DVC locations so quickly once construction begins and yet it takes years for a new attraction to open.

  • Austin

    I hope the cranes and the construction is done by June…

  • ChrisNJ

    If given a vote on it – I’d rather the money spent on the hub alterations be spent on an attraction or attraction enhancement.

    If the hub at MK ends up looking like the hub at Tokyo DL there will be a lot of complaining. Sure there is space for watching a parade but it is a boring expanse.

    GREAT photos on the article.