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Mickey & Minnie Sleeping in front of Diamond Sleeping Beauty Castle (Night)

New Fantasyland Grand Opening Set For December 6 at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on August 7th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Editorial Content Manager

For more than a year now, we’ve shared updates on the New Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom Park and we’re just as excited as you are to experience these magical new attractions for ourselves.

New Fantasyland Grand Opening Set For December 6 at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

Today we’re thrilled to announce that the grand opening of New Fantasyland will take place on December 6, 2012. Attractions included in this opening are Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariel’s Grotto, Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.

Previews of these attractions will begin November 19.

As previously planned, the New Fantasyland expansion will continue with the opening of Princess Fairytale Hall in 2013 and the debut of a new Disney “mountain” in the form of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in 2014.

The Storybook Circus section of the New Fantasyland expansion, which includes Barnstormer – Starring the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash & Soak Station, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, opened to guests in July.

How soon will you visit? And which New Fantasyland attraction are you most excited to experience?

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and follow @WaltDisneyWorld on Twitter for the latest on the New Fantasyland expansion. While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtag #NewFantasyland.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort



Meredith from VA on August 8th, 2012 at 8:56 am

Is the new Pete meet-and-greet part of the December 6 opening/November 19 preview? We will be there during the preview portion, and I can’t tell you how excited we are to see all of it!


Molly on August 8th, 2012 at 9:10 am

It seems we will be able to view the Mickey related characters in Pete’s silly side show, but where will you view the princesses and fairies as the tent where you used to meet them no longer exists?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 8th, 2012 at 11:04 am

Princess Fairytale Hall, a new area for meet and greets, is currently under construction. This will be the dedicated area for princesses.


Holly on August 8th, 2012 at 9:43 am

We will be there the first week of November… Is there any chance the previews could start earlier? I thought the previews for The section that is currently open started a couple of months in advance? I was really hoping to at least get a peak!


Michelle on August 8th, 2012 at 9:45 am

So excited!!!

We were originally planning on a late October-early November trip for our anniversary and just planned on doing a long weekend, but decided to push it back to December when we could fit a whole six days in the parks! My boyfriend’s never been to WDW but he was an annual passholder for Disneyland when he lived in California so I can’t wait to watch him as he finds all the small – and large – differences between the two!

We’ll arrive on Dec 13th! Can’t wait!


Julie on August 8th, 2012 at 9:59 am

This is such great news! I am going to be there December 10th. Any news on whether or not the new fantasyland attractions will be open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that week? Also, will all fast pass systems be up and running after December 6th?


Jessica on August 8th, 2012 at 10:04 am

We are flying out December 6th. We just miss the grand opening. What does preview mean will we still be able to see everything and experience the new attractions?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 8th, 2012 at 11:05 am

A preview period gives guests a chance to experience the new area/attractions prior to the grand opening. During a preview, attractions may have limited operating hours.


Kelly on August 8th, 2012 at 10:05 am

Yeah! We will arrive there Nov. 23. So happy to be there during the Preview. Hopefully we can eat at Be Our Guest! Got Free Disney Dining when we booked. Everything will be decorated for Christmas which is my favorite time at Disney. Who am I kidding anytime at Disney is my Favorite!
Oh, I Can’t Wait 106 Days till the Magic Begins!


Elaine on August 8th, 2012 at 10:12 am

We arrive in Orlando on December 6 so I am really excited! I am so happy that we’ll get to see the Be Our Guest Restaurant and ride the LIttle Mermaid ride – yippeee!!!!!!


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 8th, 2012 at 11:06 am

Have a great trip!


DARLA from AR on August 8th, 2012 at 10:23 am

Have to wait a whole year from then, was hoping the whole Fantasyland would be open by Dec 2013… hoping for a little pixie dust…


Joseph from FL on August 8th, 2012 at 10:30 am

This is really exciting! Really looking forward to Annual Passholder Previews.


Candice from SK on August 8th, 2012 at 11:09 am

We will be there from Nov 1 to the 12th, will there be “soft openings” of this area then?


donald on August 8th, 2012 at 11:21 am

My girlfriend of 5 years is a hopeless romantic that absolutley loves Beauty and the Beast. For every special ocastion we have I get her a new Beauty and the Beast figurine/snowglobe. She has been waiting for almost 2 years for the relsease date. I can’t wait to surprise her for the preview date and the grand opening!

Thank you Jennifer.


Michele on August 8th, 2012 at 11:26 am

Hi Jennifer,
Is there any word on what type of food will be served at Be Our Guest, I was thinking French? Is that right? So excited that Be Our Guest will be open when we are visiting in December. Belle is my all time fav Princess.


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 8th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Yes – see this previews blog post:


Michelle from AZ on August 8th, 2012 at 11:50 am

My family and I were planning to take a trip to Disney World as a family Reunion since it’s where my husband and I had our honeymoon, and my grandmother and her husband had theirs’. My grandfather recently passed away, and my grandmother has been in a really bad place, so we surprised her with the trip, completely paid for, this coming December, and are so excited that we get to show her parts of the park that she has never seen before. She’s been a Disney fan since Disney started, many many years ago, and will love seeing Belle’s Castle and Ariel’s Grotto. Thanks for sharing the opening date, Jessica! I was worried that we may miss the new expansions!


Michelle from AZ on August 8th, 2012 at 11:52 am

I apologize, thanks for sharing the information, Jennifer! I was thinking of my sister in law when I made the initial mistake, so sorry!


Tharin on August 8th, 2012 at 11:59 am

When you get the times/dates, would you mind telling us about the previews times…(i am going in october and wont be back for a little while, would love too see it!!!!)


Paul from NY on August 8th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

@Michelle not-from-AZ: see Disney’s previous blog entry for the full menu for both Quick Service lunch and Table Service dinner at Be Our Guest


Jessica on August 8th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Is there any chance that the dates could be updated and the “soft” opening preview time period be moved up a bit or would this date be set in stone at this point? Going to be there October 27th to November 10th and would be beyond delighted with a surprise like earlier preview dates! :)


Ryan from NY on August 8th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Bummer! We will be celebrating our honeymoon down there the end of October, was hoping ride the new little mermaid ride :(


Gloria from PA on August 8th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

We are having a family reunion next August – hooray for us – all the kinks will be worked out by then. Do we know what type of restaurant this will be – sit down? quick service? We have a group of 20 and I know at least half will want to visit


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 8th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Here are some details on the restaurant:


Staci on August 8th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Does Disney do anything special for the Grand Opening? Is it something we don’t want to miss, or would we be just as well off visiting on our originally planned days (Dec. 4 & 10)? We CAN’T WAIT to visit the new Fantasyland and hopefully eat at Be Our Guest!


Tim on August 8th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

You said that Mermaid and Enchanted Tales will offer Fastpass, do you know if they’ll have a new design for the Fastpass, or will it be using the same paper currently used for Dumbo and Town Square Theater?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 8th, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Wow, this is a detailed question. I do not know the answer. If I hear, I’ll share!


stacey on August 8th, 2012 at 1:47 pm

when is the soonest date that we will be able to make a reservation at be our guest? we will be in disneyworld nov 17 thru 24. thanx! stacey from new orleans


Michelle on August 8th, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Any word on whether the LM ride will allow guests in wheelchairs to remain in their chairs during the ride, or will it require a transfer?


Allie on August 8th, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Hooray! I’ve been waiting for this announcement for so long, and I am beyond excited!!!!!

I had hoped that it would open by October, since my family has a short annual trip to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party. But I’m not too sad, because a December opening means that the whole area will be open in plenty of time for our big annual January trip! We always go for 10 days, and we’re planning on spending extra time in the Magic Kingdom so we can experience all of this new stuff!


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 8th, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Sounds like a terrific plan, Allie!


Natalee from ON on August 8th, 2012 at 2:43 pm

We won’t be going until the fall of 2014, so hopefully everything is fully complete by the time we get there. Will be heading down for our little princess’ 5th birthday and currently she is in LOVE with both Mermaid and “Tangled” as she calls herself.


Molly on August 8th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

For the Be Our Guest Restaurant, how much would dinner cost vs. lunch? I know that lunch is quick service but dinner will be sit down. Will dinner be closer to say 25 dollars or 50? I can’t wait to go to the opening!


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 8th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I don’t have any info on pricing yet. Keep checking back!


Karen on August 8th, 2012 at 4:50 pm

We will be there when the preview period starts. I know it’s been answered a bunch but want to make sure you do not have to be a pass holder to experience the previews. I have a 5 year old who loves Ariel and she has overcome huge medical problems since birth. This trip is her celebration. Being able to see the Ariel ride would be icing on the cake for her!



Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 8th, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Annual Passholders will have previews on specific dates (which have not been announced yet). Previews beginning Nov. 19 are open to regular guests.


Lisa from NY on August 8th, 2012 at 7:05 pm

So thrilled to see the dates, we are visiting durning Thanksgiving into the following week. I hope to be able to get a “preview”, but thinking maybe we should move our trip in the winter months to take it all in. But then we would miss Disney in Xmas decor, decisions, decisions….


Michael on August 8th, 2012 at 8:35 pm

any chance there do a preview in Oct around Oct 16 to 26 or the it might open by then but not have the grand opening till Dec 6


teresa from AL on August 8th, 2012 at 10:19 pm

so does this mean I may get to experience some of the new fantasyland on my trip nov 23- dec 2nd?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 9th, 2012 at 8:41 am

That is possible, yes, but please keep in mind that attractions in this area may have limited operating hours.


Sandra on August 8th, 2012 at 10:26 pm

OK- I’m confused. The preview starts on 11/19, but with regard to reservations the statement says… “We’ll begin accepting reservations for Be Our Guest in late August for guests who wish to dine after Nov. 19.” Does this mean that there will be no reservation options on the 19th?


Jill on August 8th, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Could we please get some more information on the Be Our Guest restaurant? Will it be reservation only? When will we be able to make reservations? Thanks!!


Theresa on August 8th, 2012 at 10:38 pm

We will be there Nov 15- 25 so there is hope we can snag a reservation and catch a preview time. Fingers crossed.


Nicole on August 8th, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Hi Jennifer, Thanks for the update! We were planning on visiting the Magic Kingdom for the first time on Dec 6th. Do you have any idea what a ‘grand opening’ means? I’m worried it’s going to be super busy on that day. I am VERY excited to be able to have the chance to see everything, but I don’t want our first visit to be spent in giant crowds…. Any input on what a grand opening means would help our planning :) Thx!


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 9th, 2012 at 8:43 am

I don’t know what is planned for the grand opening day yet.


Isela on August 9th, 2012 at 1:37 am

Our very 1st visit with our 6 year old daughter will be Dec2-Dec7!! We are super excited and may just have to add one more day to our visit!! :)


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 9th, 2012 at 8:42 am

Congrats – that’s an excellent time of year to visit. I hope you all have a wonderful time.


michele on August 9th, 2012 at 7:48 am

I just looked at the pictures here and i cant wait for December 8th when i get to WDW. But i beg you please tell me when ADR’s will start, and when they do will it be by ohone only or can we make them online.


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 9th, 2012 at 8:42 am

Our food author, Pam Brandon, will release this info as soon as she gets it. Keep checking back.


donald on August 9th, 2012 at 9:35 am

I called the DW hotline last night to try and get more information on the “soft opening” on November 19th. Is the preview day only the 19th or will it last longer?


Kimberly from PA on August 9th, 2012 at 10:00 am

We’ll be arriving on November 23rd. You’ve mentioned that reservations can be made for the “Be our Guest” restaurant in late May. Can I make that reservation on-line or will I have to call the reservation line? I know that I can make reservations for all the other locations, But I wasn’t sure about this one.


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 9th, 2012 at 11:13 am

Reservations for this location aren’t open yet (they’ll open later this month).


Meredith on August 9th, 2012 at 10:51 am

Is it likely that any of the new attractions might stay open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 9th, 2012 at 11:10 am

I’m looking into this. Some of the party dates occur before the preview period.


Jake on August 9th, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Is a preview the same as a Soft Opening? My Family is going about a week before and we are hoping either way we will have a magical time!


Carol from MI on August 9th, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Can’t wait to find out which day I can attend a Passholder Preview because it’s holding up my purchase of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets! We want to do these events on different days. I did buy my Halloween tickets for October 31! And of course we need to buy a Belle dress for the Be Our Guest dinner if we can get a reservation!


Gabriela on August 9th, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I can’t wait to be there!!!!! I wonder if you have any information about the opening of Test Track?


Skip from FL on August 9th, 2012 at 9:58 pm

The annual passholders previewing dates have yet to be announced. Will the Disney Parks Blog readers date be announced at the same time?


Erica on August 9th, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I’m so excited!!! I’m going down in 8 days and it’s my third time here but my friend’s first time. I love Disney World and as a matter of fact I intend to celebrate my 30th birthday in four years down in Disney World.


Julie on August 10th, 2012 at 10:43 am

While I am so excited that we will be there for the Grand Opening, does this mean that the Magic Kingdom will be super-crowded? We planned our trip for this time of year to avoid the crowds!


Isabela on August 10th, 2012 at 11:18 am

We’re going to be there! We’re bringing my mother and father, who hasn’t been to WDW since my brother and I were kids… and now I have twins girls and we ‘re going to celebration them 4Th’s birthday in Magic kingdom !!!!


Cassandra on August 10th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Planned our trip for June 2013 yesterday. We go every year. I’m so excited. I want to do everything especially the “Be Our Guest” meal and Little Mermaid. I’m also looking forward to see Ariel again in her mermaid outfit. We see her at the meals in her pretty gown but we miss her as a mermaid. Oh, can we just make it June 2013 already. Wahoo! :-)


Jessica on August 10th, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Well, my trip is scheduled to end on December 5th, but hubby hasn’t really paid attention to any of the vacation info. so I might just squeeze in an extra day of Disney without telling. :) I want to be a part of the magic of opening day!


alyssa on August 10th, 2012 at 8:47 pm

nov. 2nd weekend will the regular fantasyland be open?


Jennifer Fickley-Baker on August 13th, 2012 at 9:12 am