Hello, and welcome back to Dateline Disney World. We have lots construction updates and pretty Magic Kingdom pictures coming your way today.  Could the Mine Train open later this month? Take a look at the photos and let us know what you think.



Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!!





There was some pavement work happening on Main Street.



Work also continues on Cinderella Castle, and it is looking rather sharp.








The moat is still drained.




The Tomorrowland side is also drained.








Wet paint in Frontierland.





I say this all the time, but it holds even more true with FP+ happening. Getting to the park early is key.



Literally a ghost town in the early morning.





Speaking of that FP+, it is being tweaked a bit to now include the opportunity for more than 3 FP+, as long as you first use the 3 you planned first. That would mean, in my opinion, booking fireworks and late day parade viewings would be a bad idea for maximum touring.  Book your FPs as early in the day as possible so you can hopefully pick up additional Fastpasses in the afternoon and evening.



Splash Mountain still has burlap covering the original FP sign.



I took a spin on Thunder Mountain since the wait at 9:20am was only 5 minutes.









Walls are still up in Adventureland near the Tiki Room and the various gift shops.





FP+ army in Tomorrowland.



Time for our weekly Mine Train coverage as the ride gets closer to its rumored late April soft opening.





















MagicBands are now on sale in the parks for day guests.



Nice flowers out at the castle walls in New Fantasyland.




The large crane is now gone from behind the castle.





These boxes are up for the Hub project as well.



That’s it for this week!


How do you all feel about the current projects in the park? Let us know in the comments below!!


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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]

  • Ravjay12

    Great update Cory! Castle is looking great! Looks like there are going to be some pink shades on the towers as well or was that already there? Mine train looks like its been there the whole time. Love the landscaping around the ride. Looks like a mature forest. Maintenance should be easy since the grass and trees on the mountain are artificial.

  • jcruise86

    Beautiful photos, Cory! THANK YOU! Since the Magic Kingdom is the park every year from when I was 7 through 17, its Cinderella’s castle is the one I love, and not Disneyland’s undersized Sleeping Beauty’s castle–even though I started working at Disneyland when I was 18.

    • LoveStallion

      *ahem* Undersized? UNDERSIZED? Perhaps your castle is oversized, an exercise in excess and gaudiness. Did we think of that, hmmmm?

      • OprylandUSA

        Napoleon complex anyone?

      • michael darling

        There is NOTHING gaudy or excessive about Cinderella Castle. It’s elegant, tall and stately. Just like the film version it ‘loosely’ represents.

      • LoveStallion

        Joking, guys. Joking.

        But in all seriousness, Sleepy Beauty Castle is basically the center of all good in the world.

      • WesternMouse

        Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris is better than both. There really is no comparison.

  • airick75

    Yea – some great pictures in there – especially liked the Big Thunder ones.

    RE: FastPass+ Are you telling me that now I have to plan months in advance to reserve my fastpasses or else when I get there – if I don’t get there at the crack of dawn, I very well might not get any??? Arrrrrgggghhhh – that’s so frustrating! I’m not even a procrastinator, but there’s already enough to do in planning a trip while a person has everything else to do – job, maybe kids, other obligations – that I don’t have time to stress out as well over my vacation in a few months. This just makes everyone stressed out!

    I’ve seen some valid arguments for how and why this is potentially the wave of the future, but quite frankly, I hope not. And I honestly think most people are going to be overwhelmed by all this – I mean, think of all the people who are already confused enough as it is by regular fast pass (don’t tell me you haven’t noticed them – I used to see it all the time). It pains me to think how long it will take though for Disney to accept its losses and let it go – no pun intended.

    • Old Miller

      If you have an Annual Pass, you can log in ahead of time and book your FastPass+. I was at the Magic Kingdom last week and a FastPass+ cast member explained it to me. You can select FastPass+ for up to 7 different days within any 30 day period. Download the MyDisneyExperience app to your smartphone. I used it last week and it worked well.

    • Alltwelve

      “if I don’t get there at the crack of dawn, I very well might not get any??? Arrrrrgggghhhh – that’s so frustrating!”

      Ummmm….. wasn’t that the way the old system worked? Just now you go to one place to get three instead of walking to each place at a time?

      • Instidude

        I just came back, and no, you don’t have to set FP+ first thing in the morning. They continue to release throughout the day all the rides, so there does not seem to be the problem of fastpasses running out like they had with the old system.

        With my first experience with the new system (and I’ve been to WDW over 20 times now), the whole thing is quite impressive.

  • fnord

    As Shrek would say, someone’s compensating for something!

  • Erik Olson

    The park looks fantastic – can’t wait to see how the hub looks when it’s finished up.

  • Skimbob

    The castle looks awesome. The mine train is amazing. Thanks for the updates since I won’t see WDW until January. Sleeping Beauty Castle was made to fit with the sizing of Main Street and the area they had to work with. Cinderella’s Castle is bigger to fit in with a larger Main Street and hub area. I like both castles but to me DL’s castle is better because I like being able to walk up the draw bridge and through to a much better layout of the the Fantasyland rides. Overall from a show standpoint it is is better and now with the new Fantasy Fair the whole area fits very well together.

  • thebear

    I grew up in SoCal, going to DLand and seeing the castle there. When I went to MK in 96 for my honeymoon I remember being blown away by Cinderella’s Castle. As we took the boat from the TTC and then entered the park, my wife and I couldn’t take our eyes off of it. I don’t think a castle that size would work at DLand but if I had to pick one I’d go with the Florida version for sure. Thanks for the pictures!

  • FarFromHome

    Question, Cory.
    When walking through the parks, is there an increasing amount of people wearing the MagicBands now, as opposed to when it first came out?

    • WookieCookie

      When I went to Walt Disney World three weeks ago, everywhere I looked people had them, especially families. Those without them were definitely the minority (which included me).

  • Kurtoon

    “MagicBands are now on sale in the parks for day guests.”
    I am confused…Do I have to purchase a magic band in order to get a fast pass ?

    • Amy VandenBoogert

      No. Fast Past+ works with the plastic RFID tickets as well. You have a choice of using the Magic Band or the plastic ticket.

  • ayalexander

    When are you guys going to start doing weekly photo articles about Avatarland? Back when Anaheim’s Carsland was in space clearing mode, *in the parks* and *Dateline Disneyland* was all over that for 3 years. I wanna see those Avatarland construction walls and demolition machines doing their work.

    • BlAcKoUt510

      I’m sure it will be a bit harder to cover Avatarland due to more people being able to cover construction in California & due to the fact that I believe most of the construction in Avatarland is out of site unfortunately.

      I want to see photos too though whenever someone gets a hold of some.

      • ayalexander

        That’s true, I suppose most of MiceChat people are closer to Anaheim. Well, I hope they can find a way to get to Avatarland columns. Wouldn’t it be cool if Avatarland were brought to Disney California Adventure? Tear out Bug’s land, put in the main entrance to Avatarland, and have the floating mountains installed next to Carsland. Of course to remove the clashing sight lines, Disney would have to create a double-sided mountain range “extension” that would be installed behind Luigi’s and be part of Cadillac range, while the other side would be Avater rock-work that hides the sight of the floating mountains, from Carsland guests. What a dream…

    • CaptainAction

      12 years of Avatarland construction photos coming your way. Remember, you asked for it.

      • imagineer97

        Neither A Bug’s Land nor Avatarland makes thematic sense in California Adventure. It really doesn’t. Even pro-Avatarland apologists can’t deny that Avatar would not fit in DCA at all.

  • danielz6

    Is disneyland the only magic kingdom with customized color and texture concrete in it’s themed lands? That’s something that really disappointed me when I visited Tokyo disneyland. That generic, plain concrete looks like what is found in every Iron park in the world. It’s a detail that I think every disney park should have.

  • Haven

    As someone who only gets out to WDW every 6 or so years from the west coast, and NOT a annual pass holder, I can only speak from my last experience with Fastpass in Florida, which was, every park we visited over 4 days ran out of fast passes by 11AM. I don’t recall getting a single one for anything we tried to board. Doesn’t seem to help the casual visitor IMO. Now, the express pass at Universal we paid extra for was worth every penny and gave us wait times well under 15 minutes (all smiles on that purchase).

  • fnord

    But Disneyland’s is the original and very magical castle that started it all and appeared every sunday night on walt disney’s show with fireworks and Tink for many many years. Without it, there would be no Disney castles.