As Disney World prepares for a massive influx of visitors heading to the resort for Star Wars land and the upcoming 50th Anniversary in 2021, upgrades and expansions can be seen across the resort.
At the Magic Kingdom, where crowds are already massive, a new entrance experience is now in the works.
World Drive, which just opened a brand-new overpass just a few months ago
, will undergo even more updates
in the coming months as a more extensive realignment of the road along with new frontage roads extend the updates from Floridian Way to the Car Care Center.
This updated road system will help ease the increase in traffic that will occur thanks to an 11-acre increase
to the Magic Kingdom parking lot. The wetlands area that separates the current parking lot into two sections will be paved over making the parking lot, already one of the world’s largest, even more massive.
Sadly, the Mickey Mouse shaped retention pond will be replaced with a larger more traditional style retention pond. The Mickey Mouse retention pond is the leftovers from a previous project that was destroyed by the last Magic Kingdom parking lot expansion just four years ago
when the Speedway was flattened to allow for more parking.
Once guests arrive at the TTC from the parking lot, they'll see new tram lanes and walkways. Rumors point to new construction projects like a new commercial bus drop-off zone and possibly even a new Seven Seas Lagoon hotel
, though that's likely not opening until well after the 50th anniversary celebration, in this area near the current TTC. The current updates still look to keep security checkpoints in the same locations as they are currently.
For those arriving at the park via buses or Minnie Vans, Disney's official on-property rideshare Lyft program
, they will encounter security checkpoints closer to the bus shelters. The entire Magic Kingdom entrance plaza will be reworked with the "Disney's Walk Around the World" bricks being removed. Guests who've previously purchased one of the bricks can receive a new commemorative one
for $10 at the Magic Kingdom or Disney Springs.
The mishmash of shelters, railings, and planters that are currently found around the entrance plaza will all be removed. Large swaths of open vistas will replace them with a more streamlined entrance experience. Over near the bus loops, where the new bus security checkpoints can be found, four new passenger vehicle size parking spaces at being installed. It's thought
that these will be used as a load/unload area for Minnie Vans and support vehicles.
For guests leaving the park, the wide pathways, where guests are known to push and shove past one another, are being replaced with more traditional narrower queues. New shade structures will help these longer, but likely faster loading queues be more comfortable.
Disney's Hollywood Studios is currently wrapping up
its own entrance plaza updates
while permits for an update to the Animal Kingdom
entrance plaza were recently published
. Disney also confirmed just two months ago that Epcot will be receiving its own updated entrance plaza
meaning within the next few years. The updated entrance plazas and security checkpoints are all expected to be finished in time for the 50th Anniversary in 2021.
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Concept art via Disney
Epcot's planned redesigned entrance