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Have a long update from our visit to the Magic Kingdom this weekend. So long it’s going to take at least two posts (Update: here’s part two)  to get it all in. Nearly every pic has a larger version if you click on it to help you see the detail since some of the photos are taken from a distance due to construction walls and what not.

There are still many tarps and bridges under construction around the park. I didn’t take new photos of Main Street or Adventureland, but there is still work under way in both locations.


Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom was option for play testing again today. They continue to refine the check-in process. Remember to bring your Sorcerer’s Key along with your deck. You an ask for five cards for every member with a valid admission, but they default to just give you five cards per party. While it’s still only on the ‘easy’ level, if you have a 4-10 year old this is a lot of fun. For older kids (adults too) it’s a great collectible. Addicting, really.


The good news is that the Firefighter patches have been returned to the FireHouse.


Click to view larger size.

Disney has announced some slight updates to the schedule for the phased rollout of the new Fantasyland. The Storybook Circus area will still be the first to start opening up, but it too will open in phases. I also had the opportunity to interview the Imagineer Art Director for the Fantasyland Expansion about how the vision for the Fairytale Forest and StoryBook Circus areas are being realized.

First here is Disney’s recent release on Storybook Circus which will now start opening in phases beginning in early 2012.

Is Dumbo spinning in the wrong direction?

Actually, Dumbo is just reversing decades of flying in counter-clockwise circles. Call it “unwinding,” if you will. And in a new location within Magic Kingdom.

Guests will board Dumbo the Flying Elephant from the lovable critter’s left side — like mounting a horse … and unlike the way guests hop aboard for a whirl at Disney parks on three continents. It is scheduled to begin happening in early 2012 when select experiences in the Storybook Circus neighborhood of New Fantasyland debut just northeast of Mad Tea Party.

Also early 2012, the existing Dumbo attraction near Prince Charming Regal Carrousel will close, be refurbished and be moved to a location in Storybook Circus next to the new Dumbo attraction. The result when completed later in 2012: double Dumbos, one going this-a-way, one going that-a-way … a real circus act, if you will.

There also will be a “big top” that serves as a queue area for the popular attraction. It will feature a variety of interactive experiences currently being developed.

Two other Storybook Circus elements planned for opening early in the year are The Barnstormer and Fantasyland Station. Guests who enjoyed The Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm will be happy to know the junior coaster thrills of that attraction are back with a thematic change: Goofy has sold the farm and is now a circus stunt pilot and magician, The Great Goofini. The completely re-imagined train station will serve as the gateway to Storybook Circus and all Fantasyland points beyond.

Below the jump is The Disney Blog’s interview with Imagineer Chris Beatty:

Since moving here in 2005, I can’t remember a busier time for construction at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. I’m always happy to see tarps up around a building because it means that building is getting some much needed TLC. But buildings have two sides and it seems the insides of certain attractions are being allowed to fall into disrepair. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s part one of a two part pictorial romp through the Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney this weekend.

The tarps are down around the Main Street Confectionery. It features a new red, white, and blue scheme, which works well in Town Square. The roofing appears to be more detailed as well.

There is some art deco/nouveau work on its neighbor facade that’s evocative of the seaside pier. I like it, but the bright colors really stand out considering its pale green neighbor.

I always keep my eyes open for new t-shirts and such. I really liked this new one from Space Mountain.

And this one from Splash Mountain caught my eye as well (although it may not be exactly new). There was a time not too long ago when Disney was ending all the attraction specific merchandise. But it’s back and better than ever.

Lots more below the jump: