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Walk Around Walt Disney World - What's New, What's Next: March 19-20

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We were able to spend the weekend at Disney. We stayed on-property and since it was Extra Magic Hours at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Saturday morning, we took advantage of the extra time in the park.

'Let the Memories Begin' banners were up near the main gates:

Banners

Work on the Tower of Terror exterior is still be done:

Tower of Terror

One of the things I love most about Extra Magic Hours is that's it's not overly crowded yet and you can wander a bit. It had been a while since we had been nto the Tower of Terror courtyard and store so it was nice to wander around and see some details that I'd never seen before.

We went over to the Animation Courtyard to look around. I had never seen the sketches of the princesses above the costumes- I love this kind of detail!

Jasmine sketch

I heard a lot of families talking about seeing the new Disney Junior show once the park opened for the day.

Disney Junior

It had been at least five years since my brother had seen the Voyage of the Little Mermaid show so we decided to catch the first show (pun intended). I had seen it a couple of years ago but missed the detail of the trident lighting up!

Unlit trident

Lit trident

One Man's Dream is one of my favorite attractions. I was hoping the back section might be finished but the walls still say 'coming soon.'

One Man's Dream

I'm a Star Wars fan so I knew I had to see what was going on around Star Tours. The area where the speederbike photo-op was/is is currently behind a very large wall:

Speederbike wall

Speederbike wall

Behind the Jedi Training Academy is a character meet-and-greet location:

Meet and greet location

[Star Wars side note: In the lobby of Mama Melrose's, there is a picture of Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker). It's near the bathrooms. Also, in the dining room, there is an Italian version of The Empire Strikes Back movie poster.]

My brother and I rode Rock 'n Roller Coaster and noticed that they have put up these gates at the exit area of the ride:

Gates

I wandered through the watch shop and noticed an animator drawing Jedi Stitch:

Jedi Stitch

Friends from Chicago were in town and we met them at Epcot after lunch. On our way to meet up with them, we noticed this flamingo. It made us smile:

Flamingo

Our friends' son was absolutely enchanted with the train village at the Germany pavilion. I'm so glad he was- the village was hosting its own Flower & Garden Festival and I hadn't noticed it when I was there previously:

Train Village

The Lightning McQueen topiary was out at the World Showcase entrance:

Cars 2

Cars 2

Cars 2

For dinner, we decided to go to the Animal Kingdom Rainforest Cafe. On the way in, we noticed they had two lines:

Rainforest Cafe

The 'extreme supermoon' was visible Saturday night. My mom got a kick out of me leaving the room every 15 minutes to see if it was visible yet.

Supermoon

I went out to the parking lot around 7 AM to see if I could still see the supermoon. I definitely could! It was a great view:

Supermoon morning

Supermoon morning

Magic Kingdom opened at 8 AM Sunday morning so I wandered around to see what was new or had changed.

City Hall is still being worked on:

City Hall

The walls were down around Exposition Hall- the new sign says Town Square Theater. The doors are very ornate. The far right side of the building is open for PhotoPass viewing and camera accessories. Otherwise, the windows are still covered.

Town Square Theater

Town Square Theater

The exterior of Tony's is being worked on:

Tony's exterior

The Confectionery is also being worked on:

Confectionery

There is a wall up on the right side of the castle (if you're facing the back of the castle):

Castle wall

The exterior of Cinderella's Royal Table is still being worked on:

Cinderella's Royal Table

The tops of some of the buildings behind the Fantasyland walls are now visible over the walls:

Fantasyland

Fantasyland

The walls around the construction area had been moved back so there was a lot more room to walk around.

Fantasyland walls

A solid wall has gone up between the Tomorrowland Speedway and ToonTown:

ToonTown wall

The Tomorrowland Speedway was back to four lanes:

Tomorrowland Speedway

Only Minnie remains on the ToonTown sign:

ToonTown sign

I went to the Haunted Mansion to see if the new queue line was being tested. I knew it was a long shot since it was around 9 AM when I got there. It was not being tested but I could see a good bit of it.

Entrance to the new queue:

Queue entrance

This is clearly visible above the shrubs:

Queue line

The walls around the queue line are down and have been replaced with thick green screens:

Queue line

The walls around the Adventureland bridge were down. The new bridge is flat- there is not a hill anymore. The bridge they had set up for guests to use is also still there:

Adventureland bridge

Adventureland bridge

Adventureland bridge

After I had finished my Magic Kingdom 'walk', Mom and I went over to Downtown Disney. The AMC Theater now has automated ticket machines outside the theater.

Automated ticket machines

Walls were up where one of the Pleasure Island clubs used to be. A sign showed the concept art for the store going in its place.

Pleasure Island construction

Concept art

The Lego Store is being worked on. Temporarily, they have a tent set up near Once Upon a Toy.

Lego Store construction

At World of Disney, they have a new section of D-Tech merchandise. It's got mouse pads, laptop bags, iPad and iPhone cases and other assorted 'tech' goodies.

D-Tech

The Winnie the Pooh and friends photo-op has been moved to the Guest Relations area since Pooh Corner has closed.

Pooh photo-op

The temporary Lego Store is in a big yellow tent between Once Upon a Toy and Earl of Sandwich. It was very busy inside... and very yellow because of the tent!

Temporary Lego Store

Tempoary Lego Store

Outside of the tent, they had a little display set up for Flower & Garden at Epcot.

Flower & Garden display

Pooh Corner, unfortunately, has closed.

Pooh Corner

Goofy's Candy Company has started letting guests their own treat.

Create your own treat

That's all for this update. Have a MAGICAL day!! :)

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The previous post in this blog was Tables in Wonderland: Black Tie, Blue Jeans.

The next post in this blog is Magic Kingdom: What's New, What's Next 3/27/11.

Comments (19)

Heather:

Great blog! I can not believe all of the work that is being done throughout the parks! I knew about the fantasyland construction but I guess I am surprised that they are still working on a lot of the buildings in Magic Kingdom. I know they are fast approaching a busy time of year and we will be there next week for our baby's first visit...I hope some of the work is completed!

ASHLEY:
It's exciting seeing all the changes come to life at the parks and Downtown Disney. I was a little surprised to see the walls were still up around the Confectionery. Enjoy your upcoming visit to WDW!! :)

Emma, Surrey England:

fun to read this .. thanks for sharing! :)

Thanks for the update Ashley! It's just like being there... well, almost. :) I'm looking forward to seeing more posts from you.

ASHLEY:
Thanks, Barrie! I love your blogs. :)

Steve Smith:

It seems like there is a lot of sprucing up work going on, in addition to the Fantasy Land expansion construction. Is this routine for this time of year or are doing extra to get ready for the upcoming 40th anniversary? Anyway, thanks for the updates. All information is appreciated.

ASHLEY:
Routine maintenance, like painting, is usually done around this time of year in throughout Magic Kingdom. Not much is being said about the 40th anniversary aside from the D23 event in May and the merchandise that is popping up in the shops.

Deb:

Hey Ashley,

I've asked several cast members specifically about that "coming soon" in One Man's Dream -- according to them it's not meant to indicate that there is more to come with the exhibit, just that Walt's legacy continues, and what's next is always "coming soon."

ASHLEY:
That's absolutely perfect for One Man's Dream. Thanks!

Sarah:

So, I'm guessing this means the speederbike photo-op is off limits? We are visiting the parks the first week of April...our kids are huge Star Wars fans.

ASHLEY:
The speederbike photo-op is currently off limits- it is behind the wall. The Jedi Training Academy, however, is still being done if your kids have any interest in that.

Mike Venere:

Thanks for the blog, as someone who can only get down there once a year, reading this is exactly what once drew me to this site, the regular updates.

Keep them up.....I think this is great what you are doing!!

Karen:

Thanks for the updates! I love to hear and see what's going on while I can't be there. Some exciting things and bittersweet changes going on this year. I can't wait to see what's finished when we're there in September. I have to say one thing I really liked to see is the bridge to Adventureland is now flat! That was a difficult climb!

Ashley Turner:

Hi Ashley!

Thanks for a great update but I had no idea Poohs Corner was closing or I would have made one more stop through in February. Do we know why it was closed and what's going there? I must not have been reading my AllEars weeklies thoroughly:(

ASHLEY:
Hi, Ashley! Little Miss Matched will move from the West Side to this space. I'm very sad to see Pooh Corner go as well!

cathy m.:

Hi Ashley,
Thank you for the update. I was at DW in Dec. and they were doing some work but they have really been busy since then!
Hoping to see more of your blogs!

Jared holt:

Thanks for the info I was a disney college program participant this last summer and its great to see all the photos from the work being done,that I was able to see almost daily pover the summer the work goes on and the magic still lives thanks

Rachel:

Thanks for the updates Ashley. I'm curious since you were there for EMH at DHS, was there still a mad rush for Toy Story Mania at rope drop, or is that a bit tamer since only resort guests can get in at that hour?

ASHLEY:
Usually, there is a bit of a rush to Toy Story but it is calmer than regular rope drop at 9 AM.

Jen:

Kind of bummed about the new Adventureland bridge. I know it seems so trivial, but it's my favorite land at MK and I always liked that bit of hill to walk over - it really made you feel like you were going somewhere else.

Thanks for all the updates!

DEBBIE FONTANA:

Was there in October for MNSSHP and was amazed at the work that was being done. Then I was back in February and was even more amazed at the work that had been accomplished. Sad to say though, that I will not be back again until Christmas. I am sure by then that you will be able to see what the tops of the buildings are going to look like when completed. Allot of things were covered up in February, hate not being able to see the fronts, but everything does at one time or another need to be refurbished.

bill:

Very excited to see the new star tours! Thanks for sharing!

Elizabeth Goodman:

Thanks for the blog- keep em coming! It's fun to see what they're working on between trips!

Tammy Campbell:

Do you have any idea when the work on main street and the castle are scheduled to be completed? We were there last June and there were quite a few tarps/walls up and were hoping they would be down when we go in June. :)

ASHLEY:
Disney has not said when the work on the castle and Main Street will be completed.

aurora:

Are they re-modeling Down Town Disney or is that just a rumor I had heard?

ASHLEY:
They are remodeling to an extent. They're redoing Pleasure Island to be Hyperion Wharf- they'll add shops and restaurants there. They've moved some of the other stores around and added a few new ones.

jay:

Hi, Ashely!

Do they still run the broadway style show called The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Disney's Hollywood Studios [MGM]. I heard that they had closed it down and replaced it with another show. Is that true?

ASHLEY:
Hi! The Hunchback of Notre Dame show is no longer performed. The theater where it was is used for special events such as like Star Wars Weekends and ESPN: The Weekend.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 21, 2011 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Tables in Wonderland: Black Tie, Blue Jeans.

The next post in this blog is Magic Kingdom: What's New, What's Next 3/27/11.

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