Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! This week, we’re taking a look at both EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom, and we have over 100 photos, so let’s get started!!

Welcome to EPCOT!!

Flower and Garden Festival is still going on at the park.

MagicBands have taken over the camera shop underneath SSE.

The wild new colors at Innoventions are apparently not just a test, and they are on more than just the tops of the buildings now.

The World Showcase food truck from Downtown Disney was in the park this week.

Easter has come and gone, but leading up to the holiday, there was an Easter egg hunt throughout World Showcase. Here are all the eggs.

Anna and Elsa are no longer greeting in Norway since they have moved over to Magic Kingdom, but these photos are from one of the last days they were in Epcot. At the time of this photo, there was a three hour wait according to the cast member I asked.

Refurb also outside Maelstrom.

Nikon sticker spot.


Spice Road Table is really busy these days.

Time to head to MK!

This sign at the monorail platform is new.


This is terrible show, and in my opinion, ugly backstage buildings like this should never be this easy to see from a guest perspective.

Some Hub updates.

Inflatable dams allow Disney to continue their work on the hub improvement project.

The rose garden and former Swan Boat landing are now completely removed.

As stated earlier, Anna and Elsa are now in the Princess HugZone at MK and when I visited, the waits were pretty extreme. I don’t understand why anyone would wait that long for a meet and greet, but I suppose everyone has a preference.

More walls have come down at the Mine Train, and even more have come down since these photos were taken. Film crews have been in the park, and they have filmed actors riding the attraction. This means soft openings could happen at any time. That said, here is our weekly round of photos.

Detail shots.

The view from the second floor of Village Haus is dramatically different than it was just a few years ago.

Nice flowers in Liberty Square.

Tarps still up in Adventureland and the Tiki Room.

That’s all I’ve got for this week. If you have any comments, questions, or opinions, leave them below!

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  • billyjobobb

    Thanks for everything, a picture is worth a million words and you don’t disappoint.

  • Terrytiger

    I was in DAK yesterday and noticed some new construction walls along the walkway to Asia behind Tamu Tamu refreshments (on the opposite side of Africa from the new theater construction) and you can see a large cleared construction site behind the restrooms in Africa from the Conservation Station train. Anyone know what is being built there?

    • Disneymike


    • ParkerMonroe

      Typically, the area between Africa and the Conservation Station has been used as a staging area for construction projects. It’s been rumored to eventually be “Austrailia” but I highly doubt they’re working on anything like that right now. My guess is they’re just clearing land to store equipment and material for Avatar and Festival of the Lion King.

  • tofubeast

    Beautiful pics. Thanks for the update as always.

  • ParkerMonroe

    Countdown for when the Mine Ride show effects (like the water fall) get turned off (like Everest) begins….. now.

    • Sifferz

      Everest does really have a pretty good reason to have the yeti turned off, and a pretty good excuse as to why it isn’t fixed to go with it. They basically have to dismantle the infastructure of the entire ride to repair the load bearings that the yeti would need.

      • Kevbot217

        Not to mention the fact that the show elements, like the waterfalls, are in perfect working order and are almost always on.

      • ParkerMonroe

        Right, I understand the Yeti issue. I’m talking about the water effects like both waterfalls (which were off when we were there recently) and the steam effects in the ice caves (which have been off for years). The steam (really just ionized water) in the ice caves apprently messed with the track sensors and kept giving E-Stop warnings which would sut the ride down… so the effect was turned off. Why were the waterfalls off, though? Unless the trough they run through was leaking into the show building…?

      • pumpkinmickey

        The steam effects and waterfalls were working when I was there last week.

      • OprylandUSA

        But, why design it that way when you know that audio animatronics are going to have breakdowns? And, why have steam near electronics when you know electricity and water don’t mix? I don’t blame WDI entirely. Anyone in engineering should know that this would be a subcontractor blame issue (and WDI for signing off on it).

      • CaptainAction

        Imagineer, “Sir, it’s been 10 years since you gave any of us a budget to build an E Ticket Attraction, and that one has a broken Yeti as the centerpiece and you only budgeted us a $20 strobe light.”

        WDW Exec, “And your point is?”

        Imagineers, “We would like to build some new E Ticket attractions, especially at MK because the last one, Splash Mountain, is over 20 years old.”

        WDW Exec, “I’ve told you money is scarce. I do have a great project for you though. We need your team to design some cool eggs to put all over the place.
        Keep each egg under $20 and design no more than 18 of them. Congratulations on landing our newest big project!”

  • 99disney

    Great photos, will be at WDW in 2 weeks hopefully Mine Train will be open.

  • ayalexander

    I get the ‘banzai!’ joke that you were going for, however… its not that funny considering those trees are referred to as bonsai [bone-sigh]. the two words don’t sound much alike and so don’t make for a very funny joke. L-;

    • ayalexander

      unless you’re Mr.Miyagi -i might add.

    • thebear

      Was funny to me 🙂

  • martinjbell1986

    Great update!

  • Skimbob

    Great update. Imhave to wait until January to see all of the new stuff so I really appreciate the updates. I wlll be in DL twice before I see WDW again.

  • blondiemouse72

    Dwarf mound…C Ticket…..magic handcuffs…..39% increase…..E Ticket….immersive….water park like never before….best value resort in Orlando (currently ranked a whopping no209 for Orlando area on trip advisor)….
    Power points coming your way once he gets going on the keyboard

    • a-mad

      Wow Blondie… I just read some reviews of Cabana Bay on tripadvisor. I guess all the nice articles and pretty pictures can’t disguise the truth. Hopefully they get their act together or no one will want to stay there.

      So much for…. “As someone who is intimately familiar with the hotel products available at Disney, and in Orlando, the Cabana Bay Beach Resort blows every hotel out of the water when you compare price, value, convenience and amenities”

      I guess the real critics – the general public – think differently. Interesting that Art of Animation, Pop Century and all 3 (old) All-Star hotels not only outrank Cabana Bay, but “blow it out of the water…”

      • billyjobobb

        I stayed at the All Star movie last February, and I would nominate it for the worst hotel I ever stayed at.

      • blondiemouse72

        All Star Movies ranked 134 after 2700 odd reviews ,kind of meh middle of the pack but certainly no disaster.Which kind of proves my point really you want an independent honest take on things don’t listen to ANY of us here …go check out what Joe Public thinks on trip advisor.
        To be fair it’s very early days for Cabana Bay with only 60 or so reviews but my goodness Cap and his boys ars declaring brilliant before he even stays there.Me I think it looks hideous without having stayed there …he thinks it’s brilliant without having stayed there….who’s right? Trip Advisor good tool for seeing what the paying customer thinks

      • OprylandUSA

        Uh… Cabana Bay has been open for what (?) a month? Give it time, you crazy negative bashers! The service will improve. The infrastructure is top notch. Besides. This article isn’t about Universal. Give it rest. Focus on Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival or the Mine Train. Not everything is a competition.

      • a-mad

        LOL! Opryland – your comment couldn’t be more true – the problem is, is that you have individuals on any thread (doesn’t matter if its Universal, WDW, DL, SeaWorld) that use the forum to trash WDW – even if the article has nothing to do with WDW… so while I agree with you, to say that we should truly stay on topic in our comments should go for everyone… not just those that might have something negative to say about the Universal Orlando resort.

        And, yes, Cabana Bay has only been open for a month – but it has nearly 60 reviews on TripAdvisor. (In comparison, Portofino Bay has a little less than twice that many reviews… and its been open since 1999). We’re not talking about 6 total reviews, with 4 being negative… this is a decent sized sample group that has experienced the resort offerings – so I think Blondie bringing up its ranking is completely valid – especially with all the hyperbole that has been spewed for the past year in anticipation of its opening. If the resort wasn’t ready to be opened, and they’re going through “growing pains” then they should have delayed it until it was ready. WDW has rarely, if ever, opened up a resort until it was fully ready and operational, with the highest level of service that has become their hallmark.

      • CaptainAction

        Hey guys, Cabana Bay is ranked 4 out of 5 on Tripadvisor and is on the same page as the WDW’s Moderate Resort, Coronado Springs.
        Only Cabana Bay resort is only half open for less than 1 month. The lazy river and next pool haven’t even opened yet but Coronado has been open like 15 years, is moderate, and on the same page.
        Don’t worry guys, it’ll be fine.
        The problem is that it takes a loonnnggg time for the public to feel they are being taken for granted.
        The last 10 years, and WDW has built 1 E Ticket, Everest, and the centerpiece is a broken Yeti with a $20 strobe light to try and hide the fact.
        I won’t list all the new Universal stuff because it really irritates folks to see how lazy WDW execs look over the last 10.
        Most interesting is that 85% of the new things Universal has planned haven’t opened yet or haven’t been built yet.
        These new Universal, E Ticket, Lands, and Resorts, and monorail connecting all will open in the next 5 years!
        If Universal grew at 39% between 2009-2013, I wonder how fantastic their growth will be over WDW in the next 5 years when they pass AK, or DS, or Epcot, or all 3!?!
        Here we are looking at the Eggs that the WDW Imagineers are making instead of E Ticket attractions.

  • ChrisNJ

    The Mine Dwarfs Mine Train looks like a walk-thru exhibit to me.

  • thebear

    Thanks for all the pictures! Makes me excited for my trip in June. Btw… it looks like Cinderella’s crown is slipping off 😉

  • danyoung

    Excellent pics, especially of Epcot – thanks!

  • danielz6

    “So what is so magical about these wristbands?”
    They make the park experience better because you can save all your fast passes on it.
    “But doesn’t my ticket already do that? Is this a magic ticket?”
    Well they also allow you to use it to open your hotel room instead of your room key.
    “So I need to pay 15 dollars to save myself 5 seconds to reach into my wallet and pull out my room key? How lazy do you think I am?”
    Well you can also store your debit info so you can spend money more easily and without thinking about it!
    “Spend more money. I think these bands are magical only to Disney share holders and execs, not park guests like myself.”

    • PeaJay18

      You don’t have to pay extra for your magic bands if you’re staying on-site, do you?

      • ParkerMonroe

        If you’re staying on-site paying roughly $240/night… you’re paying extra to use the wristbands.

  • Haven

    I am positive that when I was six years old, I had zero interest in waiting in a three hour line to meet a character, and that is BEFORE my mother would refuse to do so either.
    EPCOT flowers look stunning however. One of my favorite places to admire gardens.

    • blondiemouse72

      Remarkable people eat up so much of a day in that line isn’t it ?
      And yet there they are everyday…and As I keep telling the Uni fanboys it really is up to the customer what they choose to use their hard earned cash on and where

  • manifest

    Three hours to meet somebody dressed up like a Disney princess??? That is absolutely flabbergasting to me.