Magic Kingdom Update – March 2019

Magic Kingdom next up for our March 2019 Walt Disney World construction updates & photo reports. In this post, we’ll look at the drained moat around Cinderella Castle, Tomorrowland Speedway, Tron Lightcycle Power Run, new merchandise, and more.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks at Magic Kingdom, with spring break bringing a massive influx of crowds. We should start to see a temporary reprieve from the worst of that in the next few weeks, but Easter will once again bring a surge. Of course, that’s all relative, as the “feels like” conditions of Magic Kingdom even on a less-crowded 2019 day are significantly worse than a few years ago.

In case you missed it, our recent 2019 Walt Disney World Crowd Predictions: When to Go & When to Avoid offers monthly rankings and three ‘best weeks’ to visit in light of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge grand opening. Early April and pretty much the entirety of May should look pretty good…

For this update, we did something we haven’t done in a while: morning Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom. Not just regular morning EMH, but one starting at 7 a.m., which is currently before sunrise. This happens a few times a year, primarily around Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, and spring break.

It’s one of my absolute favorite times in Magic Kingdom, an experience I fell in love with several years ago while staying at Bay Lake Tower for New Year’s and basically just walking over to the park every morning for the early morning and late night hours, and sleeping in between.

During this early morning edition of Extra Magic Hours, I spent two full hours doing nothing but taking photos…almost none of which are presented here. Look for them later this week or early next.

(C’mon, I got up at the crack of dawn, can you really blame me for separating the “photos taken with effort” from a bunch of construction pics?!)

Fast-forwarding a couple hours, here’s a look at the drained moat around Cinderella Castle.

This is being down to widen the pathway between Sleepy Hollow and Fantasyland, which is often a chokepoint for crowds.

The cynic in me wonders if it will yield any positive results. There’s only so wide this can get without looking out of place.

If there’s one thing Walt Disney World guests have a knack for, it’s taking up as much space as physically possible in walkways. Give people a narrow path and they generally walk single-file or two-wide. Given them a large path and suddenly groups are twenty-seven wide with interlocking hands while moving at a glacial pace, oblivious to the possibility that not everyone is a snail and might want to pass them. (Sorry, some pent-up aggression in that one.)

Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station has reopened following its refurbishment, and is looking fresh and nice. This had gotten pretty bad, and it’s good to see it restored to a like-new condition.

Next up, some photos of the work going on in Tomorrowland for the Tron coaster:

It’s difficult to tell when you’re viewing static photos of the Tron Lightcycle Power Run construction, but work is really moving quickly on this project. Each time I ride the PeopleMover, I’m surprised by the visible progress.

We commented last month that it sure seems possible this attraction could be ready ahead of its target opening of “in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary,” which is October 2021. Obviously, a lot could change between now and then.

Outside the park, work continues on whatever is going on here.

In our “WDW News & Rumors: FastPass+ Loophole, $12,000 VIP Tour, and Dinosaurs?!” post, we speculated that Walt Disney World might be taking advantage of the extended railroad closure and its new surplus of dinosaurs to install Primeval World here. Permits seem to contradict that, but I’m still holding out a sliver of hope.

Back inside Magic Kingdom, work is moving rapidly on Tomorrowland Speedway. No reason to believe this won’t reopen by Summer 2019. Just a question of whether it’s early summer or not.

Finally, some merchandise photos:

All of these items are available in…Tomorrowland.

You might notice the Orange Bird shirt on the lower right from our Disney’s Character Warehouse March 2019 Update. It’s not uncommon for items still available in the parks to also make their way to the outlets and be sold for a deep discount.

Sarah debating getting the Aristocats fanny pack (until looking at the price).

I gave her some guff about this, as she was very critical of my idea to get a fanny pack for my mirrorless camera. Granted, the one I wanted to buy was actually a small fly fishing bag, and it certainly didn’t look “cool” but you never know when something hideous might become the hip new style.

I think Disney’s lines of food merchandise have been a bit of a mixed bag.

The text on a lot of them is obnoxious, but it’s cool to see Disney venture away from generic shirts into niche topics. I’d probably never purchase a food shirt myself, but like that the merchandise team is trying new things.

Points for the clever packaging on this pizza shirt.

(Ignore the fact that this unnecessary packaging is brought to you by the same company with green initiatives to eliminate straws and whatnot.)

I should probably bite my tongue on this one, as whenever I see ‘memes’ like this posted on social media, they get a ton of likes.

I’ll simply say, “I’m not a fan” and move on…

These designs remind me of the 90s, which is probably the point.

Character stuff isn’t really my jam, but there are neat, I suppose.

In general, I probably need to come to terms with styles from the 1990s being hip again.

When I look back at photos of myself as a kid wearing a Starter pullover or oversized Champion sweatshirt, “stylish” is not the first word that comes to mind. And yet, here we are.

All things considered, it was a great morning in Magic Kingdom. We had low crowds and cool weather to start the day, before a huge influx of crowds–at which time we headed over to Aunt Polly’s for a delicious and serene meal. We’ll have more on the ‘leisurely’ side of the visit soon…

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!


What do you think about springtime in Magic Kingdom? Like the flowers and ‘classic formula’ of the park, sans seasonal decor? Thoughts or insights about current construction projects in Magic Kingdom? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

31 Responses to “Magic Kingdom Update – March 2019”
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