Hello, and welcome to [B]Dateline Disney World![/B] This week, we have a HUGE [B]New Fantasyland[/B] update along with some other news items from both the [B]Magic Kingdom[/B] and [B]Disney’s Hollywood Studios[/B].

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Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!!

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I’ve been asked by a few folks to post wait times, and I have completely forgotten to do them over the past few weeks, but I finally remembered. Better late than never! These were from around 10:30 AM.

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[center][size=5][b]Construction Kingdom[/b][/size]
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Starting our New Fantasyland progress for the week, we’ll look at the Tangled/new restroom area all the way to the left near the Haunted Mansion. The most obvious thing we saw this week was the fact that the Yankee Trader gift shop has been covered in a scrim.

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Workers were also working off of these odd netlike things, which I thought were pretty cool.

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There has been some more vertical movement in the construction, which is always promising.

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And lastly, I went to the second floor of the Columbia Harbor House for these photos, in which you can see some of the work done at the ground level, including the frame of a doorway.

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Moving on to the Castle Wall. Disney has really gone into high gear with progress on this, as they should as they announced this week that New Fantasyland will have its Grand Opening on December 6th, with previews for regular guests starting November 19th, and Cast and Passholder previews most likely starting even before then. They have their work cut out for them over the next 2 1/2 months!

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Some details.

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More wide shots. I took a lot this week because I think the detail work really looks great.

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Now heading over to the right side walls.

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They’ve substantially caught up to the other side.

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It’s wild to think that these were just pieces of steel a few weeks back.

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4 spires in one shot!

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It is really exciting to see such progress. I for one, was not very excited about the wall, but after seeing it grow and seeing the detail work put into it, I have to give it a thumbs up. It looks really grand, and should serve as a wonderful gateway to the new land.

Heading over to Beauty and the Beast, we have Maurice’s Cottage, which looks to be all finished up.

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Gaston’s Tavern has had its statue added, but we can’t get over the walls to show you that. But you can notice lots of new lighting in this shot.

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Bonjour! Village Gifts with lots of dirt from next door at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

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And the area in between Gaston’s and Bonjour!

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At the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, work continues to enclose the first hill.

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These things have popped up on the left side of the project. Don’t know what they are, if you do, let us know in the comments!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld808-IMG_1058.jpg[/img]

For those of you who like artsy construction shots!

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At the Little Mermaid, not much has changed on this side of the exterior.

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Maybe some more palms.

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More work was being done on the gate that will allow crews in and out overnight.

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And over on the left side of the show building, grass was added to the rock work. It looks quite nice!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld808-IMG_1048.jpg[/img]

Work being done on top of the building as well.

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Heading to Storybook Circus, the turquoise tent which will house Big Top Gifts had two openings in the front of it.

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The area by Casey Jr. that was under refurbishment last week was done this week, and it seems to be just a quick fix on the pavement.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld808-IMG_1083.jpg[/img]

No real visible change over at the third tent.

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And lastly, I rode the Barnstormer this week to give you all a bird’s eye view of the project as it stands right now.

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Lots of trees!

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I think it is going to be amazing how much more depth the Magic Kingdom will have once this is complete.

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[center][size=5][b]This and That[/b][/size]
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Flags were flying at half mast this week across the resort due to the Wisconsin tragedy.

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Two times this week I was at the park, and both times the Liberty Belle was closed.

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Hopefully they iron out the kinks, as this is a favorite attraction for many fans.

With the NextGen stuff coming in within probably the next few months, I’ve seen a lot more of these guys make their way into the park.

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Refurb work has been going on over at the Tomorrowland bridge for quite some time now.

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Welcome to the Studios!!

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[center][size=5][b]This and That[/b][/size]
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Walls and a canopy have gone up over by American Idol and the busts of famous celebrities near Echo Lake.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld808-P8080005.jpg[/img]

Since it is the same color as the American Idol Experience, chances are it has something to do with that.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld808-P8080006.jpg[/img]

The building that will house the new Jack Sparrow experience next to One Man’s Dream received a new color.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld808-P8080007.jpg[/img]

Let’s just hope the new show isn’t as bad as the Narnia stuff was!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld808-P8080008.jpg[/img]

Has anyone ever seen this old car out near Oscar’s at the front of the park?

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld808-P8080017.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i45.tinypic.com/35mmag5.jpg[/img]

;

Over at the Grand Floridian, work continues on the DVC wing there.

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They’re also doing some work on an existing building adjacent to their beach pool.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld808-P8080022.jpg[/img]

In other news, a friend of Disney Photography Blog, Stephen Christ has started a KickStarter project for Epcot’s upcoming 30th Anniversary. He has made these amazing prints and postcards, and needs your help to be able to make them for everyone to enjoy.

Please check out his KickStarter page to see how you can help and get your hands on some of this amazing work! We are also doing a contest at the Disney Photography Blog where you can win a set of his work and some other cool prizes!

Well, that’s going to wrap things up for Dateline Disney World this week. Are you excited with all the progress at the Magic Kingdom? Do you think that the new Jack Sparrow experience at DHS is doomed from the start given its location? Let us know in the comments!

If you’d like to support Dateline Disney World and you shop regularly at Amazon.com, please CLICK HERE before 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]

  • Bongo

    Half masted flags, eh? Think anyone can shed some light on it? I would say it’s coincidence that it happens on the day I received some personal news, but this is not about me! It’s about flags!

  • Bronco21

    I know Disneyland has had their flags at half mast for the Colorado shootings, it also might be for the shootings in Wisconsin. That would be my guess, but I don’t know for sure.

  • mratigan

    You would thnk the track of the mine train would come in then the walls

  • WDW1971

    Since when has the soundstage next to One Man’s Dream been painted blue?

  • shoewee

    From http://www.gettysburgflag.com/FlyFlagHalfMast.php:

    Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Oak Creek, Wisconsin

    A PROCLAMATION

    As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on August 5, 2012, in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, August 10, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

    BARACK OBAMA

    • Thank you! We’ve updated the article.

  • PiratesofECU

    I noticed on the wait times board some of the rides have a “FP” logo for Fast Pass and some have “Disney’s Fast Pass”.

    Why the difference?

  • Mickey777

    I too have never seen that car nears Oscars…

  • Malin

    Awesome update. Visiting Orlando next year so very interested in the progress being made at Walt Disney World. New Fantasyland is really looking great right now. And thanks so much for including the wait times. It appears like at Disneyland that these Parks can handle big Summer crowds with ease. I just hope this Next Gen doesn’t mess it up. I recently visited Diseyland Paris during a public holiday and the wait times and crowds were insane. A park lacking ride capacity for sure.

  • wdwprince

    Nice update Cory.
    I’ve never understood the old fashioned wait times board at the front of the park. Does anyone here use them? How accurate are they? With times constantly changing, do they have someone running out there throughout the day to change them or is someone stationed next to them with an earpiece ready to swap out times?

    They seem like a blaring anachronism. Or maybe that’s the point. Wait times from the turn of the century.

    • ChrisFL

      Yes, I use them, Yes they are staffed with people who DO update the times, and usually they’re standing right near it.

  • Disneytwins

    I’m not sure if you already know but the riverboat is under a scheduled refurbishment.

  • wamtx1

    “Workers were also working off of these odd netlike things” — sure looks like rebar to me… for forming new ‘rock’. The “mesh” will form the backbone for new concrete soon.

    • ParkerMonroe

      Correct. Those “odd netlike things” make up the steel mesh imagineers use to form the rock-like surfaces.