Magic Kingdom February 24, 2014
     
On February 24th, news leaked out of the new Magic Kingdom Hub bypass being built. On that day (ahead of any official announcement), preparation had already started with water being pumped out of the old Swan Boat canals/Castle Moat. 
The new bypass will go from here over to where that small path joins the pathway to Tomorrowland.   There's a big pump behind that fence hard at work draining the waterway.
Another look at the pump enclosure. Last day for this view. The new path will go from here to where those umbrellas are on the pathway. The old Swan Boat Landing will be going away with this remodel.
The path will go from here to the Main Street bridge. That lower seating area will go away as the area gets leveled. The new backstage bypass will go through the green gates over here.
There's some kind of rehab work going on here where the
outer ring of the hub will soon be built.
Still working on the Casey's patio which will be expanded.
     
Magic Kingdom February 28, 2014
 
These little Victorian style structures look like they are going away as part of the reimagined Hub. Just a big puddle of mud left behind once the water was drained. The pump is gone from the patio.
Just a few days after the announcement the waterways had been mostly drained and more prep work is starting all around the Hub.
A little puddle left in front of Tomorrowland Terrace.   The Swan Boat Landing has been walled off in preparation.
The soon to be lost (or relocated) topiary along the waterway. It will be sad to see this go. The old Swan Boat track path
 is still readily visible.
Still some standing water in front of the Castle and over on the Liberty Square side of the Hub.
The water is still going down slowly but surely.
I would guess this side of the waterway is slightly lower than the other side.
Over where it connects to Adventureland there is a LOT of conduit normally hidden below the water.
     
Magic Kingdom March 3, 2014
 
The "slow" season, but still busy. Over in front of Town Hall there has been an ongoing project
working on the pavement, maybe removing the curbs?
Rehab on part of the Cady Shop. After removing the lights, the Castle rehab seem to be dragging on.
I have to wonder if the light
nets do a lot of damage?
Looks like part of the reason for draining the moat was for
vehicle access to the Castle to complete the rehab.
Just mud and trash now. It will be sad to see the Rose Garden going away.
The closed off Swan Boat Landing. View of Tomorrowland without the water.
Interesting to see there were two Swan Boat tracks. The (dry) waterfall. Temporary stairs for workmen to access the High Reach.
Looking down the moat. View the other direction. More High Reaches and once again evidence of two Swan Boat tracks.
View down the waterway alongside the Crystal Palace. The dam holding the water for the Jungle Cruise is just beyond the trees. From Adventureland bridge.
Seven Dwarves Mine is coming along nicely as opening fast approaches. Lots of workers all around the site.
Little mine shaft/mine car near the top of the hill. New bust of King Triton on display around the back of the ride.
Hopefully this fake grass is
getting a finished edge soon, because it looks terrible as it is.
Interesting to see the concrete rockwork is already leaching in spots (the white streaks). I have to wonder if this is some defect to be happening so soon after construction. Tribute to 20,000 Leagues atop
one of the buildings facing
the Little Mermaid ride.
Some missing and faded grass on top of the Little Mermaid facade. The ride is looking good. The bridge is a nice touch.
The rails have been painted white
in some areas for some reason.
The waterfalls here (and throughout the "New Fantasyland") are really
nice additions, along with all the trees, adding a nice feeling of nature.
The safety rails should be
coming down soon.
The workers are installing more grass and flowers all around the hill.
Heritage House has been turned into a FastPass+ service center. The Bazaar is being
rehabbed in Adventureland.
This section just came out of wraps.
The annual rehab of Splash Mountain is still going on. Having Splash closed has made
the always bad traffic in this
 dead end worse than usual.
 
Universal Orlando March 3, 2014
 
Universal has the highest parking prices in Orlando (for now). The new Citywalk Starbucks looks nearly ready to open. They were painting the logo today.
Coldstone is rumored to open
in less than a week!
They've added a video screen outside the golf course. It's the "slow season" but it's
still busy at all the parks.
The candy store, TCBY and Cigars have all been gutted in preparation for the new offerings coming this summer.
They're working on this area next to Starbucks, I would guess in preparation for Cowfish. Antojito's is done, but the Hot Dog Hall of Fame across the way is still a work in progress. Big new expansion to the
front of Margaritaville.
With all the changes on Citywalk, the directions signs have been updated, but expect to see them updated again very soon with all the new places opening in the coming months as things go into high gear for the June opening of Wizarding World in Studios.
     
I wonder if we will see Diagon Alley prints coming to this collection? There are still a few of the limited edition prints from the Harry Potter Celebration available in the gift shop. Bellatrix LaStrange and Snape outfits have been added to the high end costume sales display.
New glass Butterbeer mugs
available in the gift shops.
A peak inside the new Starbucks
at Islands of Adventure.
Jurassic Park River Adventure is down for its annual rehab.
The little floats in the middle
of the lagoon are still there.
Traffic is being diverted across the bridge while work on the Wizarding World entrance is happening. A little peak at the
Hogsmeade Station.
Walled off entrance to Hogsmeade. Here's the view from
 inside Hogsmeade.
The entrance portal
for Hogsmeade Station.
It's Mardi Gras at Universal! Lots of merchandise available. The entrance to the Courtyard.
Minion Mardi Gras shirt! Steampunk style logo for
this year's Mardi Gras event.
Trumpeter statue at the entry.
Mardi Gras is always one of the bets times to visit Universal for the music, food, and festivities!
Busts of the king and queen
of Mardi Gras.
  Courtyard entrance on the
other side of the park.
Second stage in the festival area. Decorations are all along the
parade route and festival area.
Doc was out with the
Delorean this morning.
The Hogwarts Express was
out on the line today.
The London facades are really starting to look complete. The back of Diagon Alley is a
beehive of construction activity.

The sign letters are being
added to the Wyndham's facade.
It appears that the "N" is on
the wrong side of the "D".
They seem to be building a berm behind the facades. Lots of work on the Whyndam facade.
Final details are being
added to Wyndham's.
  The station entrance sign
partly under wraps.
King's Cross sign is missing its "R" Rehab of part of
the Disaster facade.
Rehab of one of the facades
in the Streets of New York.
   
SeaWorld Orlando March 3, 2014
 
Interesting to see SeaWorld only posts the "Preferred Parking" price and not the $15 regular parking. The SeaWorld parking lot is getting resurfaced section by section. Shamu Stadium is still
 closed for rehab.
One of the central planters has been removed from the entrance plaza and it looks like some kind of 50th anniversary display is going up. Bands, Brews & BBQ is almost over and they have a great lineup
despite the initial difficulties.
Shamu Souvenirs is closed as it becomes the 50th Anniversary shop.
Crews were hard at work inside remodeling in preparation for the March 21st official celebration.
Shamu Up Close is available to guests in place of the One Ocean show
and actually gets guests closer to the orcas than they ever got during the shows.
Sculpture and displays at the exit from the Shamu Up Close area.
 
Just a reminder to guests that
they can go to Busch Gardens
for a reduced cost.
The area near the old Clydesdale Stables is a work in progress
as something new is coming. Rumor has it that it will be
an educational exhibit about SeaWorld's Rescue program.
Many of the park's show signs
have been updated with photos.
Manta is back open after a short rehab at the end of February
and then an operational glitch yesterday.