Welcome to [B]Dateline Disney World![/B] In this column, we will be showing you the latest from the [B]New Fantasyland[/B] at the [B]Magic Kingdom![/B] This week, we saw the [B]Casey Jr.[/B] water play area open, walls come down at [B]Dumbo[/B], and lots of progression in the rest of the expansion. Lots to cover, so let’s go!


Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!


[center][size=5][b]Construction Kingdom[/b][/size]

There was tons to report on this week at the New Fantasyland. Let’s start with the Castle Wall all the way on the left.



The wall is coming along, with another layer of protective stuff going on. This layer looks like a mesh that will help the plaster join to the frame, which hopefully means we’ll be seeing some final details soon!



We actually have seen a tiny bit of final detail on one pillar.


This turret has yet to go up.


Here’s a couple of shots from the 2nd floor of the Pinnochio Village Haus:




If you look at these next two closely, you can see some similarities.



It’s great to see some details going up that we will see in the finished product!

This shot I couldn’t resist since I was getting the stink eye from the construction worker!


At the Beauty and the Beast area, work continues.


This box will surely leave Beast’s Castle soon.


Roofing was being done on Maurice’s Cottage:


Bonjour! Village Gifts is looking close to completion on the outside.


It seems as though they’ve gone with a new color on the front of Gaston’s Tavern, which makes the building look a little odd. Perhaps they will be changing the whole thing soon to make it cohesive.


I still have no clue what these things are in front of the Be Our Guest entrance, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon!


And more roofing happening near Gaston’s Tavern:


Moving right along to the Little Mermaid dark ride, we have work still going on with the rock work in the front, as well as the addition of more palm trees.



They were also adding some new mesh/rebar over on the far right of the building near Storybook Circus.


Here’s a close up:


Over at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, we can see more supports to the side of the large lift hill structure.



The Winnie the Pooh meet and greet is now finished and seeing guests. It is quite nice, and is a huge upgrade from the makeshift places Disney had for them in the past. I believe when the expansion first started, they had them up against the walls, which was unattractive.



The new location fits right into the story of the ride, with the oversized pages. It also has some nice details around it.




Over in Storybook Circus, the walls have come down in front of the second Dumbo spinner.


It makes the area seem significantly bigger.





They have relocated stroller parking in front of the second spinner, to an area that has beautiful rock details.


They’ve also started using the new Standby wait time sign.


They have also started using the indoor queue, but have only been using the interactive play area for certain days of testing. Here’s what I captured from what I was able to see inside the tent. It’s really just several banners conveniently explaining how the new pager system will work.







Here’s the entrance area to the interactive play area:


Overall, the improvements seem nice. It’s great to have an indoor queue for the summer, and the details are a nice touch. Hopefully soon, I’ll be able to get inside the interactive area to photograph it and share my thoughts.

Also in Storybook Circus, the Casey Jr. Soak ‘n’ Splash water play area opened this week.


This area is, in one word, wet.



There are tons of way to get completely drenched here, and it looks pretty cool as well.




A really neat detail is that all of the circus cars have been numbered to go along with the opening years of the four Walt Disney World theme parks.





A gift cart opened there as well, selling generic Disney beach style merchandise.




The actual Casey Jr. train is something of controversy at this point. Disney has put up a fence around Casey so that kids would not be able to climb on him. It seems to have failed because kids were climbing on him when I was there, and there are reports online of parents helping their kids get on the other side of this fence.




I understand the legal problem that this causes, and the fact that that is the reason why the fence went up. But they probably could have seen this coming and figured out a different replacement, like possibly ways to keep kids from getting inside the doors, it would look better and make more sense. I do not think the fence is going to end up being a permanent solution.

Here are some shots of the area at night, where it looks fantastic!



Last week, I commented on how I didn’t like the white railings on the steps leading into the area. They must have heard my complaint as this week, they are brown and fit in much better!


Overall, the Casey Jr. play area is a great addition to the park. It is well themed, has great Disney characters involved, and will be tons of fun for families. I do think, however, that there need to be some changes to it to help prevent from injury and the occasional naked child. Hopefully Disney sees those issues, and is working to fix them!

But WAIT, that’s not all, I also have a 2nd Dateline Disney World for you today from the new Art of Animation Hotel and Animal kingdom – HERE 



This week, we at Disney Photography Blog are proud to introduce our newest iPad app!

We are excited to announce our newest entry into the iTunes App Store with our [B]Walt Disney World iPad Wallpaper[/B] app.

This new app was created just for the iPad so that we could take advantage of the new retina screen on the latest iPad. It includes 30 wallpapers taken from all around the Walt Disney World Resort, all optimized and ready to be used on your iPad.

Not only are the photos great, but the app looks fantastic and is extremely easy to navigate. We are very proud of our first app (Disney Photo a Day 2012 for the iPhone & iPad), but the look and feel of this new app takes it to an entire new level.

We hope that this is just the first in a series of new iPad wallpaper apps, so please let us know what you think if you decide to purchase it!

For more information and to purchase the Walt Disney World iPad Wallpaper App, please visit the iTunes App Store!

All photos taken by either Adam Hansen, Cory Disbrow or Ryan Pastorino. App developed by Keith Kolmos.

Well, that’s going to wrap things up for this week’s New Fantaysland update. Did you check out our other update yet? It covers lots of other things that are going on at the Walt Disney World Resort and you can check it out HERE!

Do you like the new Casey Jr. Soak ‘n’ Splash? What are your thoughts on the Castle Wall starting to really come along? Let us know in the comments!

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 other website, [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].