The Magic Kingdom’s Plaza / Hub area is getting some upgraded viewing areas and extra walking paths. Here’s a look at the status of construction through August 2014.
The project is expected to be completed in phases with the new fireworks viewing areas to the left and right of main street opening first then they’ll add additional pathways around the hub and more landscaping. The eventual goal will add a very garden like feel to the Plaza.
Related to this improvement is a project to upgrade the frequently used backstage alley on the Tomorrowland sideo of Main Street. They’ve been doing some tests backstage where cameras aren’t allowed, but you can start to see some of the changes form on stage now too. I hope they enclose it into a beautiful arcade, but I’ll be happy with some decent theming and an alternate route.
Photos from around the hub and the backstage arcade below the jump:
Since it’s been awhile since the Plaza redo was announced, I thought I’d start the video off with a look at the concept art Disney released. Unlike other videos of the project, this time there’s more than just some dirt that’s been pushed around. The Adventureland side of the hub has actual construction with what looks like a concrete footing having been laid for what will eventually support the parade and fireworks viewing garden.
Also interesting to note that there is now an earthen dam holding the water back on the Tomorrowland side instead of the giant black rubber inflatable dam that never really succeeded in holding back the water. This version is a little better at it’s job.
As we have postedbefore, the Central Plaza, or hub, at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World is undergoing an update. The finished version will have more of a park like setting, with ample walking space to navigate around parades and shows, more outdoor dining seating, plus special viewing areas for fireworks and more.
Since our previous update Disney has added sand and earth to provide a way for construction vehicles to get to and from each side of the moat. At few more of the structures have been removed. Most of the progress has been made on the Crystal Palace side of the hub with extra dirt brought in to level the ground. There has also been some work on the paths around the entrance to Adventureland.
I do find it interesting that they’ve essentially given up trying to keep water out of the area on the Tomorrowland side. It may account for how slowly the project is progressing. But given all the rain in Central Florida, I’m not surprised.
More photos below the jump for those who can’t watch the brief video:
I had a few free moments this afternoon and my son and I decided to visit the Magic Kingdom to sneak in a few rides and see Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with all the walls finally removed. More on that later this weekend. As we were headed out of Tomorrowland toward the hub, just about 3pm, we saw a small puff of smoke and then fire quickly growing around a generator / water pump near the edge of the Magic Kingdom Plaza Improvement project construction zone (read my recent update of that construction).
In a few moments, it had burnt through most of the fencing directly adjacent to it and looked to be threatening the fern bushes between it and Tomorrowland Terrace. Guests were dining just a few feet away in the restaurant, but quickly took notice of the flames, some moving away, some coming over for a closer look.
I felt that on the Tomorrowland Bridge, I was a safe distance away. I took out my camera and my mobile phone to get some video. It’s hard to film both at the same time and upload to Instagram, so I handed the camera off to a poorly trained monkey nearby. The first part of the video is the footage I could save from his unfocused attempts at documenting the incident.
From when we arrived to when the fire was extinguished took almost exactly 5 minutes.
As it turns out, there was one worker in the construction zone. After standing a few paces away and thinking about the best course of action, he left the scene, traveled under the bridge to the other side of main street, then returned with a bucket full of water. Which did almost nothing to put out the flames. Luckily there was a closer source of water, so he took a few steps down the bank and refilled the bucket then dumped it on the flames again, still with little impact on the fire itself. But I think he did prevent it from spreading any further.Read More »Construction Fire at Magic Kingdom Plaza Improvement Project
Since our previous update, Disney has let water back into the moat all around the hub. On Main Street you can see that both the information booth and the retail booth are now closed. They’ve also closed the second popcorn vending location and moved them toward the periphery of the hub. Finally a Mickey and Minnie cutout has been added to the wall over by Crystal Palace.
The central plaza, or hub, at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World is undergoing an update. The finished version will have more of a park like setting, with ample walking space to navigate around parades and shows, more outdoor dining seating, plus special viewing areas for fireworks and more.
As announced in February, the Central Plaza, or Hub, at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World is undergoing a major update. The finished version will have more of a park like setting, with ample walking space to navigate around parades and shows, more outdoor dining seating, plus special viewing areas for fireworks and more.
I took a walkabout of the hub area earlier this week and captured a little video to show the progress. Right now they’re concentrating on the section of the hub that is closest to Main Street, where the additional fireworks viewing areas will be. However, lots of little projects are underway around the hub. The video ends with a look at the Rose Garden as it blooms for one last season in its current form.
Can’t watch the video? I have selected photos below the jump in a gallery:
The Central Plaza / Hub area of the Magic Kingdom is scheduled to receive a major improvement to the walk-ability and flow from a guest perspective. We covered that story previously. But here’s a basic recap: a second ring of walkways will be added to the hub, new gardens will replace part of the moat and can be used as fireworks viewing party locations, the food vending and castle show out buildings will get makeovers, and lastly (but not least) Casey’s Corner and the Ice Cream Parlor will get expanded seating areas.
Now we’re back with the first of many updates tracking the progress of this major upgrade. Disney plans to take their time and make changes in small chunks so as not to disturb too much of the park’s central plaza at once, but some stuff just can’t be avoided. We’ll try and highlight how that might affect future visits as we go along.
As a starting point, here’s a short video with a look at how the hub looks as construction gets under way: