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Video, images: Changes coming to the heart of Disney's Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom Central Plaza rendering

Walt Disney World has revealed that it is to remodel the Central Plaza area of the Magic Kingdom, adding new pathways, gardens, restaurant seating and fireworks viewing areas.

The Central Plaza sits in front of Cinderella Castle, at the end of Main Street, USA. As well as acting as the gateway to the Magic Kingdom's themed lands, it is also a popular place for guests to stop and rest. In addition, it acts as a regular viewing spot for the Wishes fireworks display and the park's parades. The work on the plaza is expected to be completed in 2015, having already begun.

A second ring of pavement will be added to the area, replacing the former Plaza Swan Boats waterway in front of the Crystal Palace. This will create more space for guests to view the fireworks and parades, and will also make it easier for them to exit the area at the end of the shows. Alongside this, additional trees will be added, along with sculpted gardens. Seating outside of the Casey's Corner and The Plaza restaurants will be expanded, nearly doubling in size.

The planned changes can be seen in the images and video below:

Magic Kingdom plaza (1)

Magic Kingdom plaza (2)

The removal of the waterway will mean that the last remnants of the Plaza Swan Boat ride will finally be removed from the Magic Kingdom. When the park opened in 1971, it was desperately short of ride capacity. To address this, Disney installed a Swan Boat ride on the canal in the plaza surrounding Cinderella Castle.

The ride operated seasonally from 1973 to 1983, circling around the hub and carrying guests into Adventureland. The loading dock and canal have remained in place since the ride closed.

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Has Small World reopened???

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