1/14/15: Magic Kingdom Hub Construction Update

| January 14, 2015 | 40 Replies

Almost a year ago, in February 2014, Disney announced some major changes coming to the Hub area near Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom.  The expansion will add larger viewing locations to accommodate more guests for fireworks and other entertainment, and also add landscaping and gardens that are reminiscent of the European castles’ grounds.  When everything is all said and done, an extra “ring” of sidewalks and pathways will have been added, which should greatly reduce congestion in the area and allow for more guests to view the fireworks and parades from these prime locations.  Outdoor seating areas for the popular Main Street U.S.A. restaurants Casey’s Corner and The Plaza are also going to double in size.

Both day and night parades will now be viewed from Town Square by the flagpole (maybe this will change when all construction is completed?). Beginning 2/27/15, the Fastpass+ viewing area for fireworks will be in the new Main Street Plaza Gardens, either in front of Casey’s Corner or in front of the Plaza restaurant.

There have been construction walls up near Casey’s Corner and The Plaza for some time, but this week, walls have been added all around the hub, making the area difficult to get around and extremely unphotogenic.

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Notice that big box to the right of the photo below? That’s the Partners Statue, which will be covered for about a month.  There are no plans to change the statue itself, but heavy construction will be happening in the area and the box will protect the statue from damage.

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New technician booths for the hub shows have been added.  These are just temporary. Permanent structures will be added at a later date:

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In addition, the crane is up behind the castle through 2/21/15 to remove the holiday lights, so pathways near the castle have been blocked off.

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The view from the back of the castle:

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The view of construction from the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant:

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The multi-phase expansion is set to be completed in 2015, though an exact date hasn’t yet been announced.



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Category: Disney World

  • Adam W Vanek

    Just another reason to put off our family’s Disney trip until late 2016.

  • Genevieve Pelletier

    Wow I feel super bad for people if this is their once in a life time trip. Yes they still get to enjoy Disney, but a lot of people feel like they need the clear picture of the castle. Plus it takes a little bit away from the illusion that everything just happens by Magic in Disney… magic and construction worker Bob.

  • Brooke

    Do you know when this update is due for completion?

    • http://www.wdwinfo.com/ Leah Zanolla

      The crane is supposed to be down by 2/21, so presumably that will open that pathways back behind the castle. The fireworks viewing in front of Casey’s Corner and the Plaza begins 2/27, so some of that construction in front of the restaurants should be done. I was told the Partners Statue will be covered for about a month. The completion date is a generic “2015,” so not sure if everything will be done by the end of February or not?

      • CarbonRiver

        CRT is supposed to open back up on 3/6. The projects aren’t really related but could see them wanting it all to open back up together and have the castle back to being itself by early March. We’re there 3/1-3/7 so maybe that is just a bit of wishful thinking that it gets cleaned up by then!

      • Sparklybird

        You have seen how bad the construction is now… do you think they will be done with it by April or do you think it will be later in 2015? You never know with Disney!

  • Neal

    We just got home on Sunday. Had no idea this was going to happen. Glad we got out just in time!

  • http://www.squeakretsquirrel.blogspot.com/ SY21

    I hope they will be finished by October!

  • http://ptsnob.com/ Dan Heaton

    Bah. It seems like they’re working on the castle every time we go in January. It’s just part of the off season visits I guess.

    • yankeesusa

      Their not working on the castle, this is the hub area to help with traffic congestion. Ever since they introduced magic bands it has helped them to manage traffic better due to the rfid chips in the bands and this is very much needed. The only thing being done to the castle is the removable of the lights which is done at the same time every year.

      • http://ptsnob.com/ Dan Heaton

        I was referring to the crane being up behind the castle that impacts the view, not the hub construction. I see why that’s happening.

        • Bibble

          Actually, the crane is there every year at the same time. Twice really. Once to put the holiday lights on the castle, and the other to take the holiday lights off of the castle. If you normally go at the same time of year in January, more than likely the crane will be there.

  • allissa

    I’m really upset about this. You can’t tell me they need to give us no clear shots of the castle? This IS our once in a life time trip ( 1/30- 2/7) and im extremely disappointed in disney for not giving us a heads up sooner. You know this wasn’t spur of the moment.

    • disneyanon101

      Disney is always adding something or renovating something. It is up to you to not let it ruin the vacation.

      • Rosey

        We’re headed down around the same time, but for them this is kind of the “offseason” before things really start to pick up in the spring. You just have to enjoy the time there and not let it bug you, definitely just have to look at the glass half-full even when it’s tough to.

    • Andrew

      Disney is always doing updates to their parks. There is a refurbishment schedule on the Disney site and other Disney non official websites. This particular project has been in the works for over a year and was announced a long time ago. Don’t let this ruin your vacation. Disney is a lifetime experience.

    • yankeesusa

      They’ve had this construction for a while and post it on their site as well as sites like these. Sorry about your trip but these things have been under planning for a while and at some point the construction will be even more in depth so that they can get it done sooner.

    • Ghost Man

      I can understand how you feel. We get to go to DW every year. One year we took my daughter’s teenage friend for her very first time. She was really excited about it and seeing a “real” castle. Well, that was the year they decorated the castle like a big birthday cake. The girl was so disappointed and we felt bad for her. She still had a good time, but her pictures will never be what she wanted.

      Perhaps you can get some good castle pictures from Fantasyland. I’ve taken some great pictures of the castle while riding the People Mover in Tomorrowland. Regardless, I’m sure your trip will be memorable.

    • Midaroco

      I’m with Allissa. This is, after all, her once in a lifetime trip. So what if sites like this talk about this construction!? Disney does not point its customers toward this site for updates. Nor do they specifically state that there is major construction occurring in the magic kingdom that will obstruct the view of the castle, thereby ruining the “magic”. They do, however, make note of any and all construction for the resorts. It is a bit of a bait and switch when you are so excited to see THE castle, only to have the vision ruined by cranes and walls. Especially when it’s the only time you may be able to see it in person.

    • Bibble

      You mean, Disney didn’t personally notify you that they would be doing this?
      The unfortunate reality is that for any person’s particular trip, they will be missing out on something.

      • Midaroco

        Don’t be drab, Bibble. They DO notify guests of work on the resorts. They ought to notify the guests of high impact work such as this, especially when they have saved for years to make the once in a lifetime trip and will be surprised by the immense mess upon arrival. It just leaves a bad taste in the guests mouth. Especially from the company who has built their reputation on providing the ultimate experience.

    • mello

      Alissa, don’t worry. It’s true that the view isn’t ideal, but it is still possible to get a good view and good pictures of the castle. What one of the other posters said about the photopass photographers on Main Street is true – they can get good shots, and actually the view of the castle from Main Street is still just fine. We were just there tonight, and we were quite disappointed to see the walls around the middle of the hub, and the box around the Walt & Mickey statue, but the good news is – the walls in the center are low, so they don’t obstruct much,you can walk around the other side of the walls and get right up near the castle to get great photos of it still, and it isn’t terribly crowded at this time of year, and we were able to get great spots for the fireworks. The crane is up and down; they seem to take it down in the evening before fireworks, so you should get a chance to see it without the crane too. Also, try viewing and photographing the castle from the bridge to Liberty Square, just to the left of the castle – the views from there are very nice.

      • Kerri

        Any other tips for best viewing of fireworks now that the hub is under construction? Is a fast pass worth it now?

  • techtony

    There will always be construction – otherwise Disney would have the same attractions from 1978 and be a deserted plot of land. These things happen, just be happy that the parks aren’t in the same shape as Downtown Disney area….. people would be at the gates with pitchforks by now.

    • Lincar47

      I agree and would usually say the same thing but it has really gotten intrusive and overpwers even the most positive of my Dosney Magic spirit!! They need to finish this fast, but instead even more is covered up and less space is available

    • yankeesusa

      That is true but this is unusual construction. Rumor is that the city made them do some changes because of congestion and laws pertaining to crowd level and fire safety.

  • Dr. Disney

    Do you know if they will be moving or changing the bridge going into Liberty Square? That bridge has extreme sentimental value to my family. Thanks!

    • http://www.wdwinfo.com/ Leah Zanolla

      I haven’t heard of any changes to the bridges. In the artist rendering video released by Disney, all that was focused on was the Hub, so it would seem like there aren’t changes planned.

  • Tammy Chapman

    Great we are going jan 24-30. How difficult is it to get around? Any tips from anyone befor we go?

    • yankeesusa

      yea, take your time and add 15 to 20 minutes extra just in case your going to MK. It can get crowded around the construction areas. The good news is that crowd level is usually low in january.

  • Lill

    Is the crane in any way affecting the fireworks? Is Tinkerbell still “flying” down from the castle? We have reservation for Tomorrowland terrace dessert party on Friday Feb 20th and it would be such a shame without Tinkerbell.. :( Luckily it’s dark and all the ugly construction work in front of the terrace is not showing.

    • http://www.wdwinfo.com/ Leah Zanolla

      My husband watched the fireworks last night and said Tinker Bell flew just like normal.

  • yankeesusa

    geesh, i’m glad I decided not to renew my passes this year. In 2 years or less it will be worth it to come back. Nothing new for a while. Let’s just hope prices aren’t 3 times as much for florida resident annual passes.

  • MrNico

    Well it wasn’t this bad in November. I hope it gets cleaned up a lot by early March when we are back for EF&GF. Working in construction though, I know exactly how hard it is to manage a job like this in a cramped area with limited access. Try working on an Air Force flight line sometime…

  • Ang

    This makes me feel better about needing to go at the most crowded time of the year (holidays). There are lots of people, but a lot less construction.

  • P Just

    Don’t let the construction bother you too much. Let the Disney photographer take your picture from midway down Main Street. They will be very adept at getting a great picture where the construction is not apparent or minimal. From that point they’re shooting up to get the castle behind you.

    Believe me the new circle will be VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. Moving through that area on any RED days, especially just after the fireworks, is almost impossible.

    • Kerri

      This is very helpful as I’ve been trying to find a location for a family photo. We have an early morning reservation at Crystal Palace so maybe the empty main street photo is still an option!

  • aangelkataang

    HOLY MUFFINS. I’m glad I went back in December.I hope it’s all done by April or March tho!

  • KFS

    I hope the Partner’s statue is back uncovered by Spring Break season. My son is already upset that he isn’t getting to see the Sorcerer’s hat, we had to adjust park plans to see It’s a Small World, hopefully one of our two days at MK will allow us to see Walt and Mickey!!

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