ParkSpotting at Magic Kingdom – May 1, 2010: My first trip to Constructionland

in Disney, Magic Kingdom, ParkSpotting, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Last week we launched a new post series called ParkSpotting in which we’ll be featuring interesting and unique people, placing, or happenings that we spot while in theme parks.

Now it’s time for our second ParkSpotting adventure. This time, I took a trip to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on Saturday, May 1, 2010…

Cast member welcomes guests to the Magic Kingdom with bubbles
Greeting guests underneath the Magic Kingdom Train Station was this friendly cast member, offering her own variation of pixie dust: bubbles!
Cast member restocking park maps
Out of the hundreds of times I have visited Disney theme parks, I have never spotted a cast member actually refilling the park maps... until now.
Pinocchio signs autographs while a cast member fans hot guests
Not only was it fun to see Pinocchio signing autographs for young visitors, but it was possibly more amusing to watch this blue-shirted cast member politely fanning hot guests waiting in line.
A crowd gathers as balloons emerge from backstage
This cast member appeared from backstage holding more balloons than I thought she could handle. But she did well as guests swarmed here within seconds of her entrance.
Casey's Corner cast member waves hello
This friendly Casey's Corner cast member was pulling double-duty, waving to guests with an oversized Mickey Mouse hand for entertainment as well as to let those passing by know that the restaurant behind him was indeed open, despite its surrounding construction walls.

Carefully disguised Casey's Corner refurbishment
And here's a look at Casey's Corner, currently being refurbished. The elaborate photographic coverings Disney uses to hide scaffolding and other "ugly" construction/refurbishment sights never cease to amaze me. It's attention to detail at its finest.
Carefully disguised Main Street Ice Cream Parlor construction
Even these walls surrounding the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor are printed coverings, including the brick and area surrounding the window. Convincing, eh? Disney should sell these wraps as wallpaper to allow you to turn your house into a theme park!
Ragtime piano player getting cozy with construction walls
But not all construction walls are pleasant. This talented ragtime piano player has had its space encroached upon by a nearby temporary wall.
Dapper Dans dance on Main Street
Even an abundance of construction and refurbishments can't keep the Dapper Dans down.
Uptown Jewelers now sells handbags and shirts rather than pins
Upon entering Uptown Jewelers halfway up Main Street, I was surprised to find that handbags and other apparel had replaced trading pins for sale.
Trading pins have relocated outside along Main Street
The trading pins have since been moved to this outdoor location on the right-hand side of Main Street. This area provides almost no shade and creates a rather uncomfortable shopping environment on a hot day.
Bridge to Adventureland, freshly refurbished
While construction walls can be unsightly, the end justifies the means as is shown by this beautifully refurbished bridge to Adventureland.
This puts the
To the right of the bridge, this view really puts the "park" in "theme park."
Vibrant flowers near Main Street
Nearby, I couldn't help but notice these vibrant flowers. I wish Disney's florists would decorate my yard.
Vibrant flowers bloom near Cinderella Castle
These colorful flowers make a perfect foreground for a photo of Cinderella Castle.
Cinderella Castle in the sky
Here's a contrasting photo to the one above, placing green plants in the foreground instead of colorful flowers. The castle looks great either way.
The tree has moved next to the Winnie the Pooh entrance
Finally moving past the beauty of Main Street, I wanted to see what was happening in Constructionland... I mean, Fantasyland. The massive expansion of this area will be going on for the next couple of years, but even these early stages are interesting to witness. Regulars to the park will notice here that the large tree formerly located in Pooh's Playful Spot has been moved next to the entrance of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I think it fits in quite nicely.
The tree has moved next to the Winnie the Pooh entrance
Here's the same tree and ride entrance from another angle. Notice Piglet waving to guests from the tree.
Fantasyland expansion construction panorama
The opposite side of the Fantasyland street has been completely covered by construction walls, beginning at Ariel's Grotto and continuing all the way to the entrance to Mickey's Toontown Fair. To give you a sense of the scale, I assembled two panoramic photos. This one was taken with the Pooh ride exit to my back. Be sure to click this image to enlarge it.
Fantasyland expansion construction panorama
Here's the second ultra-wide panoramic image shot with the Winnie the Pooh attraction to my left and the Mad Tea Party to my right. Again, click to enlarge and take it all in.
Construction has taken over half of Fantasyland
This shot is here to give you the feeling of what it's like to walk through Fantasyland at the moment. Construction walls on the left, attractions/shops/restaurants on the right.
Ariel's Grotto hidden behind construction walls
Ariel's Grotto is closed and walled off.
Scuttle's Landing hidden behind construction walls
Scuttle's Landing is also hidden behind walls, waiting to be removed.
Elaborate coverings hide scaffolding at Peter Pan's Flight
Meanwhile over at Peter Pan's Flight, here's another great example of an amazingly-detailed Disney covering, disguising the work going on behind it. The life-sized print of the attraction's entrance blends in extremely well with its surroundings.
Massive crowd gathers in Frontierland
Saturday was a hot, crowded day at Magic Kingdom. It was a Grad Nite weekend and many teenagers were in the park all day. This crowded area of Frontierland seemed to be one large group (possibly an entire school).
Stitch's Great Escape - 5 minute wait, as usual
Yet, despite the medium-to-heavy crowds, Stitch's Great Escape remained at a 5 minute wait, as usual. I seem to remember almost always having to wait in line to enter the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter before Stitch took over. Just sayin'.
Master Gracey's fresh grave at The Haunted Mansion
Because of the crowds and heat, the only ride I hopped on this day was The Haunted Mansion. I noticed that Master Gracey's grave was looking extra fresh, complete with a new rose on top of the tombstone.

We’ll have more ParkSpotting fun coming from Disneyland in California later this week. Until then, comment if you enjoyed these photos!

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