The central plaza or hub is the heart of Disney's 'castle' parks, originating with Disneyland in 1955. Cozy and often cramped, though, the California classic's center point was later writ large with the premiere of Florida's far larger Magic Kingdom. Planners pushed back the borders of the original's simple circle to create wide swathes of green space, giving the area an open, airy feel that aptly demonstrated the new park's ample landscape. Recently announced changes however will bring a different dimension to the area, adding additional foliage and walkways encircling the plaza whilst reducing the current grassy sweeps.
In the released concept video, a second pathway rings the existing street at the center of the hub. With this and additional paths connecting each ring the available walking space will be dramatically expanded, improving traffic through the area as well as providing guests with more viewing space for parades and fireworks. Some of the space is expected to be reserved for participants in the resort's Fastpass+ program. A more formal garden aesthetic will overtake the landscape, with new trees, topiaries and water features reminiscent of Imagineering's lauded efforts in Disneyland Paris.
The moat surrounding the plaza will be diminished in part by the inclusion of two additional pathways connecting the central space to Main Street, U.S.A. These new routes will allow guests to bypass commonly crowded sections of the walkway, particularly during parade hours. Disney claims that the project, having already gotten underway in places, should be completed by 2015.