It’s time for Dateline Disney World and a trip through the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World! This week, we take a long hard look at the projects happening throughout this sprawling park.  Construction in the hub has picked up steam and there is an awful lot happening near Tomorrowland.  Speaking of, there are a few things going on in this futuristic area of the park including the ongoing Astro Orbitor renovation and the removal of Fast Pass machines from Space Mountain.  Next up, we check on the refurbishments in Fantasyland, a quick 5-minute-wait lunch at Be Our Guest, and we drop into the Briar Patch at Splash Mountain for a checkup on how things are at that massive attraction.  There is a lot to see . . .

At 9AM, the Express Monorail was down. CMs were saying it wouldn’t be ready until 9:30. Ouch.

In we go!

Tinkerbell is now meeting at the Town Square Theater.

 

Walls up near where the overflow exit is.

Where theming begins and ends, right in plain sight of guests.

Hub construction has picked up quite a bit on the Tomorrowland side, with some concrete being poured, and something going up in the center of the old waterway.

Guardians of the Galaxy toys now available in the gift shops.
Astro Orbitor and Peoplemover are still down for refurbishment.

The Lunching Pad is open during this project.
Old FP machines now gone from Space Mountain.
Space Mountain in Florida has something in common with Space Mountain in California . . . it needs some paint.

Walls are up at the Seven Dwarfs Mine gift shop.

Peter Pan’s Flight has an exterior refurb going on. The ride is still open and the queue routes guests outdoors to avoid the construction.

How many people do you think know about these charging stations across from the Tangled bathrooms?

 

The MiceChat Walt Disney World Invasion

Before we go on with the update we want to tell you about a big event coming to Walt Disney World this fall.

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Imagine seeing the very best of Orlando – including Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort – with a fantastic group of people while having the time of your life. Join us for one of our most beloved events, the MiceChat WDW invasion, October 22-29, 2014.

Join the MiceChat WDW Invasion and Gumball Rally Info List

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Just look at the crazy itinerary of events we have lined up for this totally awesome trip.

October 23 – Universal Orlando Resort

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The day will begin with a visit to Diagon Alley inside Universal Studios Orlando and a ride on  the new, state-of-the-art attraction, Escape from Gringotts.  Then we will journey on the Hogwarts Express into Islands of Adventure to experience Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Contact Fairy Godmother Travel for discount Universal Studios theme park admission.

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Then, as the sun sets, the brave souls who remain will join us for the 24th annual Halloween Horror Nights.

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This event is truly one of the very best Halloween events in the entire world.  With maniacally clever haunted houses and beautifully designed movie quality sets, it truly is in a class by itself.

Sip and Nibble – October 24

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Friday will be the always fun, often imitated, but never duplicated, Sip and Nibble at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. This is where we meet new and old friends, share food & drink, and try to make it through all the food and wine offerings.

The Walt Disney World Gumball Rally – October 25

One great day, two huge parks, a world of maniacal fun, how many attractions can YOU ride?

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The MiceChat Walt Disney World Gumball Rally returns this fall in the  “Walt Disney World Monorail Rally”!    Teams of 2, 3, or 4, will race to see who can ride the most attractions in the Magic Kingdom and Epcot in one day.

Tickets for this amazing day of madcap fun will be going on sale shortly – Don’t miss out, sign up for more information HERE.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – October 26

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Halloween isn’t just about scares.  At Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party you can become a kid again and spend the night trick or treating with all of your MiceChat pals!

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Relax? or Adventure? – October 27

Anybody who has ever been out of town says, “I need a vacation after that vacation”.  Well, we have planned a day just for that!

La Nouba – October 28

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If you book your MiceChat Orlando Invasion vacation with Fairy Godmother Travel you will get to attend Tuesday’s Cirque du Soleil show for free! This is a $100 savings per person and can only be obtained by booking through Fairy Godmother Travel – Contact Fairy Godmother Travel HERE.

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So what do you think? See any events here you’d like to attend? Book a week with Fairy Godmother Travel and save – Or add your name to the list below and we’ll let you know when and where you can sign up for each of the events. It’s a pretty impressive line up of amazing fun and events. The MiceChat WDW Invasion will be a magical not-to-be-missed week!

Join the MiceChat WDW Invasion and Gumball Rally Info List

* indicates required




The Yankee Trader is now closed, and will reopen as a fully Haunted Mansion themed gift shop. To be honest, I think it makes sense, and all the Smuckers products and Mickey kitchen items can still be found in the Emporium. Hopefully this leads to some high quality Mansion merchandise.

I rode Splash Mountain this week to check and see how the effects were working. To my eye, all were running except for the bouncing Br’er Rabbit (He’s one of the most problimatic animatronics at Walt Disney World).

My favorite scene.

It’s great to see Splash in generally good condition as it often looks shabby by this point in the summer!
Fun shirt in the Splash gift shop.

Courtyard near Pirates of the Caribbean (looks like Florida’s Court of Angels)

Walls still up at the Tiki Room.
Diamond Horseshoe was open on this busy day. Sadly, that isn’t always the case.

I ate lunch at Be Our Guest restaurant this trip, and the wait was only about 5 minutes, shortest I’ve ever waited for it.

I really do enjoy the restaurant for lunch, and the short wait made it even better.

During the castle stage show…
…people just stood on the rim of the Partners statue. Good times.
The Dapper Dan’s are always fun to encounter.

And we’re back where we started.

 

If you’ve got any comments, please leave them below. Thank you so much for reading!!

If you appreciate what we do here and would like to support Dateline Disney World, you can shop at Amazon.com, using my link (please CLICK HEREbefore you do). It won’t cost you any extra, and it’ll help out the column!!

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]

  • danielz6

    The “pirates ye be warned” sign doesnt even make sense. Thats pirate lingo. Why would pirates behead other pirates and then warn themselves not to enter? The classic pirates situation was english and French pirates pillaging spanish ships/towns in the caribbean while their respective governments convieniently turned a blind eye or even with their blessing as privateers. If anything that sign should be in spanish.

    • Cory Gross

      It’s a reference to the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie when Jack Sparrow is sailing into Port Royal and sees three hanging skeletons of pirates with a sign that says “Pirates be ye warned.”

    • jcruise86

      They’s want to use lingo the pirates would understand.

      Thanks for the excellent update. I like the skulls on sticks and the MK’s version of the Court of Angels. The MK’s castle might be my favorite building in the solar system because it’s where I dreamed of going when I was a kid. We went just one day a summer, but it was my favorite day of the year.

    • HollywoodF1

      It’s not “pirate lingo” as such, but can be best described as “non-native remnant colonial Early Modern English.” The word “ye” was simply an old spelling for the word “the”. The letter “y” was a form of the then-recently-done-away-with letter “thorn”, which is pronounced “th”. So “ye” is not pronounced “yee” but rather “thee.” And the use of “be” was also a common imperative construct in the subjunctive mood. It was particularly common in expressions that have the same meaning as today’s “you are hereby…” The colonialness and non-nativeness would have lead to the use of then-recently outmoded speech; the Early Modern English period ended in England soon after 1710, which is not long before the movie is supposed to be set. And as for the use of English wording in a Spanish-speaking area– of course, if you’re trying to communicate with people who speak a particular language, write it in that language.

      • theswillmerchant

        That was…..awesome.

  • DubiousEndeavors

    I miss WDW. Hopefully I get to visit soon!

    Love your pictures of the Riverboat Finale in Splash Mountain. 🙂

  • KENfromOC

    Great report Cory! When we were there the first week of July, Br’er Rabbit in Splash was working. However I noticed it did not cycle to coincide with a log going by, therefore it could be missed entirely.

  • TodAZ1

    “Walls are up at the Seven Dwarfs Mine gift shop.” Already????

    • Amy VandenBoogert

      The gift shop that’s next to the old ride. Not the new ride.

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    From what I’ve seen on the Disney Parks Blog, the new Haunted Mansion merchandise is going to be pretty awesome. Some of it has already shown up at Disneyland. I want the shoes that look like the wallpaper!

  • LoveStallion

    So do we know what the hub construction is all about? Initially, I thought it was just some everyday cleanup, but they are clearly building something.

    Pity, too. It’d be awesome to bring back the swan boats either as they were or in updated form.

  • michael darling

    Whatever happened to the Peter Pan updated and interactive queue? I thought that’s why the restrooms moved in the first place to Tangled…to make room for an update.

    Great interior Splash shots.

  • Country Bear

    Amazing pictures Cory. Thank you very much!