News and Views around the Magic Kingdom this week

News and Views around the Magic Kingdom this week:

The first thing you are likely to notice as you are approaching the Magic Kingdom is Cinderella Castle, and a large crane that is behind the castle. It takes a great deal of work and time to get all the holiday lights onto the castle and Disney has begun that work. Inside the park you will be able to see where they have already hung some lights. You may also note the construction going on at the bus stops near the front of the park. New stops and structures are being added. There is a lot of construction going on all over the property right now. Ground has already been broken to start the new Disney Vacation Club Villas coming to Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

Coming to the front of the park you are greeted with fall decorations: pumpkins, leaves, jack-o-lanterns, and banners. Getting through the entry gates is faster as all the paper tickets are no longer being used, and the last of the entry gates are being changed over. Don’t forget to pick up a map and times guide under the train station because you never know what surprises Disney may have for you today! The Limited Time Magic events pop up often. Walking out into Town Square is full of delightful images. Candy corn colored banners hang from the turn-of-the-century buildings. Pumpkins everywhere! In the center are Scare Crows made with jack-o-lantern heads are dressed to resemble some of the cast member’s costumes. It is whimsical and done as only Disney can. Take your time to really look around at all the special touches.

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While in Town Square make sure you head over to the Firehouse and check out the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom interactive card game. The cast members in the Firehouse will teach you how the game works. It is free of charge and you just submit your pass to the cast member who will scan it and give you a “key” card (don’t lose that!) and a deck of cards. You only get one “key” card so you don’t want to lose it. Each day you come to the Magic Kingdom you can get a new set of cards. NOTE: There is a change to receiving your deck of new cards for each day; if you have not played for awhile they will ask you to go to the last portal you played first, play it, then return to the Firehouse, or the stand behind the Christmas Shop in Liberty Square to get your new cards. It was a measure that was necessary because many people were abusing it to just collect cards but never played the game. The game is being enjoyed by a variety of ages. You can also purchase special cards at certain places throughout the park but mostly the materials are in the movie house on Main Street. The merchandise includes pins and t-shirts that can actually help you in the game. If you attend one of the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party nights you can get a special edition set of cards.

There is special Halloween merchandise in the shops on Main Street. Special editions of ears, hats, t-shirts, bags, clothing, plush, home decorating items, so take a peek inside some of those doors you are walking by.

Fantasyland is continuing to expand and watching the Seven Dwarves’ Mine Train progress is very exciting. The “mountain” rises far above the fencing around it. Disney has allowed some places in the fence to peek through as well. The train cars were put in for testing this week. That was a big milestone. You can actually walk all the way around it now as more walk ways have been opened up. Next to the coming ride is a new food stand called Prince Eric’s Village Market, although I did not see the sign up yet. This is the place to find healthy snacks and drinks. You can purchase whole and cut fruit, veggies and dip, hummus and chips, and a variety of shaved ice flavors. It is across the walk way from Ariel’s Grotto. Walking through the new Fantasyland area I see one thing that has not changed: the line of guests waiting to get into the Be Our Guest Restaurant which is open as a quick-service eatery during lunch hours. The evening dinner requires an extremely-hard-to-get reservation. They also have different menus. The lunch is delicious and it is a special experience in such a great Disney themed restaurant.

Walls have gone up around the outside eating area at the very popular Pinocchio House restaurant for refurbishing. You can still eat inside here. Around the corner near the back of Cinderella Castle is the just newly opened Princess Fairy Tale Hall. You can even get fast passes to see your favorite princess! You will find the princesses here that don’t have a “home” somewhere else. Ariel can still be found in her grotto, and Belle can still be found at the Story Time with Belle attraction, both in Fantasyland. Merida has a special area near the front of the Castle in Fairytale Garden, and Tiana has a garden area in Liberty Square.

It is time for some food. Sleepy Hollow is my favorite stop. Waffle sandwiches here are really filling and tasty. Due to the fact that they cook everything in the kitchen right there where you can watch them make your food it is a special place in the Magic Kingdom. The doors are always open to let breezes in as it gets quite heated in there. For the Halloween season they have decorated a wooden kitchen island with Jack-o-Lantern, tiny pumpkins, baskets of apples, leaves, gourds, and kitchen items. There is one pumpkin with “Ichabod” carved out and a complimentary pumpkin with a carving of the headless horseman figure. I have to grab a freshly made caramel apple on my way out and enjoy seeing the costumed people coming in for the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party tonight.

There is a lot going on in the Magic Kingdom during this season. That makes it a great destination for those who enjoy fall and Disney theming. Disney is always working to enhance the guests’ experiences at Walt Disney World and you can see it in the new construction, new attractions, and new resorts.

About Cassie

Cassie L. I am a lifelong Disney fan. I attended Walt Disney World in 1971, and was there during the opening week of EPCOT, and have visited the Disney Parks for than 30 times. I have had the privilege of visiting Disneyland as a child, and then again with my children. My family recently moved from the northeastern United States to the Walt Disney World area. I now have cast members in my family and enjoy hearing the magical stories at the end of a shift. I love visiting all of the parks and getting to try more Disney food and being able to share it with you to help you plan your own magical day at Disney.