As we’ve been documenting here on The Disney Blog, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is in the middle of some major changes. Most are focused in and around Fantasyland, but change is coming to other sections as well.
The Storybook Circus area is scheduled to be the first to open. The two ‘temporary’ tents are still there, but are schedule to get a new skins at some point. The structure that will be the tent over the queue for the Dumbo Duo is going up quick and there is some cement work around the footings that might be work on the foundation for the new Dumbo spinners too. The building that will house the loading and unloading for the Great Goofini has been stripped to its studs and bare roof. It will be completely re-themed and a new entrance and exit queue added. The track itself will probably need some refurbishment and a new paint job as well.
Also progressing nicely is the area known as Belle’s village. You’ll see the Beast Castle that will soar over the top of the Be Our Guest Restaurant. They’ll be quick service during the day and sit down service at night. At least, that’s the initial idea. Some of the technology you’re familiar with at Animator’s Palette and Turtle Talk with Crush will make up the show elements for the restaurant. Watch out for xPass, a new form of Fastpass that will also work for dining reservations.
Outside will be Belle’s Cottage, where a new form of Meet & Greet will come into being (look at the Rapunel M&G to see the trend). And around the corner you’ll find Gaston’s Tavern (decorated to his exacting tastes) and Belle’s Village. Rock work is proceeding at a quick pace, which is fun to see as it peeks out over the construction wall.
The Little Mermaid attraction that just opened in California Adventure is also coming to the Magic Kingdom. You’ll have to wait until sometime in 2013 to ride it here, however. There will also be a special meet and greet location for Ariel (with feet, is my understanding) to press the flesh.
There’s a small construction area in the middle of Fantasyland, but it’s not the start of the Seven Dwarfs coaster. Instead it looks like has to do with some plumbing issues and the utilidors that run right underneath Fantasyland.
A larger area of construction actually does have to do with plumbing. The old Skyway station is nearly dismantled to the point where earth movers can be brought in. In its place will be new landscaping and two buildings that will house new bathrooms for that part of the park. There are no bathrooms in Liberty Square, so the Peter Pan bathrooms get a lot of extra traffic. This expansion is much needed and will allow the Peter Pan queue to join the world of Next-Gen Interactive queues. Very exciting.
LaughingPlace.com, as usual, has an excellent photo and video roundup of the changes at the Magic Kingdom. Go there and tell them I said hi.