A brand new daily welcome show at the Magic Kingdom made its debut this week…
(UPDATED 9/13/19): This is a Pathway Expansion behind Cinderella Castle Construction Update for September 2019 in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Recently we shared with you Disney’s plans to make the walkway going from Fantasyland, behind Cinderella Castle and down to The Hub wider. A boring, but important project to improve guest flow.
Today we’re looking at the process of the sidewalk expansion going from Fantasyland to Liberty Square, which is NOW OPEN to the public! The moats surrounding Cinderella Castle are Now Filled, however, the trees and landscaping are still being worked on. The new walls though are in place and the concrete poured and ready for guests to use the new walkway.
We’re also going to show you the difference in the pathway and how it looked before and now.
In the latest update we can see the moat is filled back up all the way around Cinderella Castle, while work is still being done to the outside of the wall and the landscaping going on around the wall.
Big thanks as usual to @Bioreconstruct who is the best at taking construction photos from around the parks, especially the aerial ones! You can get an inside look at all the projects going on in Disney World. Let’s take a look…
We’re continuing to update this post so scroll all the way down for the latest photos…
(Original Post 3/21/19):
So just to give you an idea of how the moat around Cinderella Castle usually is, here’s a shot of what it normally looks like:
And now here’s the castle:
Here’s another angle of the moat from the front how it’s usually filled with water in front of Cinderella Castle:
And now it’s bone-dry…
One reason for draining the moat is for the construction to be done on the walkway leading from Fantasyland, but another is just a regular cleaning of the moat which must be done periodically.
Just look at how dirty it gets with all that algae and crud that seeps to the bottom. And don’t get me started on the smell either…?
Disney is using a drainage system quite similar to the one they used to drain the water around Tom Sawyer’s Island a few months ago when they replaced the tracks at the bottom for the Liberty Square Riverboat refurbishment. You can see here how the water is being backed up in order to drain the moat:
This was a few days ago before it became completely dry, but again you can see how dirty it gets and why it must be drained from time to time:
It already looks a ton better as most of the hard work is done to the moat:
No getting back to the construction of the walkway going to Fantasyland behind Cinderella Castle. Here we can see stakes have already been placed in the ground on the walkway alongside the moat:
From this angle we can see just how much more the sidewalk is going to be extended once construction begins. It looks like a good couple feet from here. That may not sound like a lot, but it will definitely give more elbow space along the narrow sidewalk:
Here is an aerial shot from Google Maps which shows where the pathway will go from Liberty Square to Fantasyland:
Once this walkway is finished it will be a major upgrade for guest flow through that area of the Magic Kingdom which gets blocked up often.
Since out last look at the pathway behind Cinderella Castle about a month ago, we’ve gone from stakes in the ground to foundations being installed in preparation for the widening. Let’s look at the latest photos:
Here we can see the moat around Cinderella is still drained, though it’s a lot cleaner than last time:
These Cherry Pickers are hidden away from the view of most guests under the bridge going to Tomorrowland. They are used in overnight maintenance for various projects in the area.
Now let’s get over to the other side and see the foundations for the new pathway being installed:
Before this area was mulch and bushes but all that has been cleared out and the construction lines marked with stakes:
You can see the wood forms which will be used in pouring the concrete are going up:
This photo is even newer and they are even farther ahead in the forms installation. It looks like steps are being built down to the level of the moat, most likely for easy access to maintenance:
Work is carrying on quite fast for the new walkway and while the small beginnings of the new wall were seen last week, it’s much clearer now where the wall is going to go out to:
It almost looks like they are building an area which will be enclosed by this new wall. It also looks like steps are going down to it in the above picture.
Here is a better look at the outside wall. Rebar has been placed and concrete will be poured in between:
Here is a better look at the steps:
Up a little bit going towards Fantasyland you can see where the concrete forms have been placed which will widen the walkway. From this view it looks like it will be a good 5-6 feet wider than before, which is more than I was anticipating:
It should be fantastic for guest flow once complete!
It’s amazing how quickly things change in a matter of a week, but already we’re seeing steps being poured and the retention wall going up as part of this project. Let’s check it out…
Last week we saw the forms for the retention wall go up, but now we can see that it’s been poured too:
You can see the cement in between the wooden forms, and it looks pretty fresh too!
Just down a bit and from the opposite angle we can see the concrete steps where the forms were last week have now been poured and the steps are in place:
I’m not sure just exactly why they needed the stairs but they will most likely be used for maintenance, giving easier access to the moat:
Down even further we see more forms which outline the future width of the pathway:
It looks like a solid 4-5 feet are being added which is great news! Keep checking back for more updates as the month goes on…
(NEW PHOTOS 6/9/19):
A whole month has gone by and we can really see the pathway next to Cinderella Castle taking shape, let’s look…
Going towards Liberty Square from the Magic Kingdom Hub we can see the side of the pathway widening and the moat which is still drained:
What a difference from our last look at the sidewalk, it’s drastically wider than it was before and it looks like it’s almost being doubled in size!
Here you can see the concrete walls in place now with the wood forms mostly gone and only the concrete left:
It looks like they have some lights setup down below so they can work through the night. Now that the concrete wall is up on the edge, we’ll see how they deal with the remaining brick wall behind it. I don’t know if they are tearing it down or just filling in between the two walls and destroying the top part.
It will be interesting to see in the next few weeks:
Also as you can tell the moat surrounding Cinderella Castle is still drained, and some people have been wondering when that will be filled up again. My guess is they can’t until the wall is totally done because they are using the moat for access to move construction materials and equipment.
(NEW PHOTOS 6/24/19):
A couple more weeks have gone by and lots of work done on the pathway next to Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. In the last weeks we’ve seen more of the walls go up to where the edge of the new walkway will go and here is the latest look:
Here we get a shot from the Cinderella Castle side looking out over the still dry moat surrounding the castle and the wall which is almost finished:
There is still scaffolding up along the big wall close to the bridge, and wood forms still in place from the freshly poured concrete:
It however does give us a definitive look at just how wide the new pathway is going to be when finished and there are a few feet in width being added. Lots of equipment is out and it looks like most of the work is being done at night when the guests are gone:
(NEW PHOTOS 7/2/19):
Only just over a week has gone by since our last look at the new sidewalk expansion being down to the pathway near Cinderella Castle from Fantasyland to Liberty Square. However we can now see where the final walls lay and the brick/stonework that’s soon to be installed on them. Let’s take a look:
Here we get a nice look at the wall up next to the moat:
As you can see the wood forms have been taken off the outside of the walls which means that’s hardened up nicely and ready for the next step:
I don’t know if it will be brick or stone, but the outside of the wall is going to be laid with one of the two, similar to the wall it borders going up to Cinderella Castle.
Wire lath is being installed which is prep for the coming face of the wall:
So now that the outside wall is in place and ready for final touches, we should start seeing the old wall behind that destroyed soon and the gap filled in. Once that happens the pavement can be done and the sidewalk reopened.
(NEW PHOTOS 7/14/19):
Less than a couple weeks ago we saw the new outside walls installed on the sidewalk expansion from Fantasyland to Liberty Square. Now this week we are taking a look at the brick and stonework that is already starting to be installed on the wall, as well as the old wall knocked down.
Looking over at the newly expanded sidewalk, the first thing you notice is the concrete sidewalk has been torn up and the whole thing has been covered over with dirt:
A closer look also reveals that the old outside wall (which was in the middle of the new outside wall and the far wall by the bushes) has been destroyed and the gap that was left is now being filled in.
This is a good step because it means that once that space is filled in, they can repave the entire new sidewalk.
Now let’s look at the facade of the wall:
Scaffolding is still up and the stone facade is being installed on the wall.
The whole wall is not going to be exactly the same and a bit further down the wall you see a section that is being covered over by brick:
(NEW PHOTOS 8/4/19):
Last time we checked out the construction for the wider pathway near Cinderella Castle, the walls were just going up and brick starting to be laid on them. Now as we look at it just a few weeks later it’s incredible to see how far they’ve come:
Scaffolding is still up on the outside of the wall but all the brick has been lain on the top half of the wall now. Look at that beautiful red color.
Not only is the top done but most of the bottom portion of the wall is done too, which is done in a grey color instead.
From the brick it transitions over to stone once you get towards the Liberty Square end of the walkway. That too is just about finished being put up:
That’s pretty much it for this week, but every day gets us closer and closer to the end of the project!
No word yet on when exactly the walkway is going to be reopened, but seeing as they’re almost ready to fill in the gap and pave a new sidewalk, means that we don’t anticipate the pathway to be closed for a super long time. Maybe another month at most imo, but don’t quote me on that! 😉 We’ll keep you posted as soon as we know more.
(NEW PHOTOS 8/28/19):
To our delight we found the newly-widened pathway NOW OPEN on our most recent visit to the Magic Kingdom. We’re excited to take a walk on it so let’s see how it looks!
The first thing you notice when walking close is the moat still empty and the construction equipment parked there.
As you can see the walls holding up the pathway are pretty much finished and there are two different styles of walls: brick and stone. The reason for this is thematic because the area where the brick wall is is still Liberty Square and during the colonial times they would have used bricks to build such walls.
Going towards the castle though is closer to medieval times and they would have used big stone blocks. It’s the thematic touches like this that I really appreciate when visiting the parks!
I don’t know why, but that door is being painted BLUE!!
Further up the wall some painting is being done to the wall:
Obviously there is still a lot of landscaping to be done too with new grass and more trees needing to be planted:
Look at the trees:
Until all the work on the walls and the landscaping is done, the most needs to stay drained on this side of the castle:
That equipment is used to carry materials back and forth making it much easier on the workers:
You can see the point where the moat is being held back still. Pretty cool stuff:
It’s also being held from the castle side:
Here is a better view of the freshly laid brick wall. I love the color, very bright and just pops:
Here it is from up on the pathway itself:
Now let’s head over to the stone side:
These stones are also freshly laid, and the color on them is also bright:
Some nice metal decoration on the top of the wall too:
Ok, enough looking at it from a far, let’s take a walk on the pathway:
It’s so much wider than before, and you especially feel it at the beginning of the walkway.
It’s funny, walking up the pathway, it just looks right. I mean it’s hard to imagine that it was so much smaller than this before, because this width just feels natural:
It’s a lot more spacious than before and you can easily get 3 strollers wide, if not 4:
We’re happy the walkway is back open once again. The whole project isn’t over yet so we’ll keep you posted on how the rest of the wall and land scaling are coming in the following weeks. Stay tuned…
(NEW PHOTOS 9/13/19):
We’re back in Disney’s Magic Kingdom to take another look at the newly widened sidewalk, when we noticed something strange:
The moat has been filled back up where it had been empty for months:
Looking towards the Adventureland side of the moat you can see the dam that once was holding back all the water is still in the moat, however all the water has been filled back into the area to the right were it had been
The ducks aren’t phased and have made their new home on top of the plastic:
A look to the right of that and it’s all filled up. Al you have to do is scroll up to our previous update on this story and the right side was bone-dry!
Let’s peak around the corner and see Cinderella Castle:
Here is the famous newly widened walkway which is now filled with guests:
I have to say the level of the water looks weird against those doors. I mean is it supposed to look like water is rushing in there??
Wow, Cinderella Castle looks sooooo much better with a full moat of water next to it:
The whole moat is filled, all the way back to the previous side where the dam is
But you can see the plastic sheets from the where the water was being held back before:
Finally things are starting to look back to normal here and we don’t have to stare at the ugly cement bottom anymore!
It looks like since the moats have been filled and all of the heavy equipment is out of there, most of the landscaping has been finished and is now ready to go.
Things are almost wrapped up on this project, but we’ll fill you in on the remaining updates as they happen.
Be sure to check out our Construction Updates page for Disney World for more updates on all the projects going on around property as we continue to bring you the latest!
Other Disney World Construction Updates:
- Disney Skyliner Construction Update (July 2019)
- TRON Roller Coaster Update (August 2019) – Coaster Footings Installed
- Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Update (May 2019)
I want to know what you think about the walkway behind Cinderella Castle construction…
- Do you think this is a good investment?
- What other places in the Magic Kingdom need better guest flow?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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