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Update: Fantasyland Expansion at Magic Kingdom Park

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Ariel's Grotto
As we’ve shared here on the blog, work is beginning on the expansion of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. And as the transformation begins, there are some updates you should know about.

Beginning April 12, Ariel’s Grotto, Scuttle’s Landing snack location and Pooh’s Playful Spot will be closing. You’ll still be able to find several of your favorite Disney Characters in some other locations and continue to experience other favorite Fantasyland attractions –- in their normal locations. Ariel will continue to be seen in the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade and SpectroMagic Parade at Magic Kingdom Park as well as at the Voyage of The Little Mermaid attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Ariel will have a new grotto greeting location and ride-through attraction called Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid as part of the Fantasyland expansion scheduled for 2013. We’ll post any new updates on the expansion project on the blog.


  • I have to say that I am bummed that in my 5 trips to the MK, I never visited Ariel’s Grotto…was actually planning to this May, but I guess I missed out! Although, I will say that when they take Mickey’s Toontown Fair away, I will be crushed…my 3 y/o son and I love it down there! I just hope its still open in May when we go so we can enjoy it one last time, plus my son is excited because he’s finally big enough to ride “Goofy’s roller-coaster” as he calls it. I just ask that you create another Mickey town sometime in the future…I loved visiting the houses and seeing the characters!!

  • I hope they don’t do away with mickey and minnies house. I love going in there and my husband always takes my picture in front of mickeys bedroom and in front of minnie fireplace. Can’t wait to see the finish project thou the beast castle looks and sounds like it is going to be amazing. Good job Disney keep up the great work. I hate that they have to take away rides from when i was young because I tell my daughter about them but she will never be able to ride or see them for her self. Maybe they should open a 5th park and put all the lost rides of Disney in there I would love that and I’m sure alot of others would too. thanks see you soon.

  • When does Mickey’s Toon Town close, or has it already?

  • A couple of posters mentioned missing 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and If You Had Wings. I miss the passing of those too. It’s nice to know however that Disney is always innovating and isn’t growing stagnent.

  • I’m going to visit WDW for the first time in August. Are there going to be any major closures at that time that I should worry about?

  • Hey here’s a thought if they’re gonna expand Fantasyland — BRING BACK MR. TOAD’S WILD RIDE!!!!!!

  • Will the parts that they get done be opening up or will it all open together in 2013?

  • I hope that statue of Scuttle from the top of Scuttle’s Landing is kept and reused somewhere in the expansion.

  • its about time they make the little mermaid ride. they had all these plans to do one but they never did. oh i cannot wait until its open this is going to be very exciting 🙂

  • I have heard that Ariel will be in Adventureland (Veranda?) starting in May, but with legs. I am going to be at the Princess lunch at Akershus in May so I will let you know if she is there! I do hope so!

  • We just became Disney Vacation Club Members! Can’t wait for our first trip back to WDW to see all the new additions.

  • The grotto was a great place to be with your granddaughter on a hot day, and a great photo location, but now we have new opportunities coming. Funtastic!!!!!

  • Might there be a Wonderland coming? That would be awesome.

  • MOST of the new Fantasyland will open in 2012….the new Pixie Hollow part of it will open in 2013, according to reports. I think that’s the ONLY part of the new refurb that won’t be ready in 2012 (but maybe it will, we’ll just stay tuned).

  • According to news on other sites, Ariel and possibly her Prince Eric will be available for meet’n’greets over at the verandah in Adventureland starting May 9th (?)…this verandah is apparently just past the bridge that you walk over into Adventureland. I’ll miss Ariel’s grotto, too – have never seen it and I’m going to WDW for the first time (at age 39 but with a 4 y.o. daughter). Ariel will be in human form, not mermaid form, at the verandah.

  • Opening in 2013? What happened to the 2012 date Jay Rasulo stated at D23?

  • I am happy to hear that they are updating the MK. I am with the majority of you on here. I miss the 20,000 Leagues ride. It was fun! I can’t wait to go down and see all the new stuff when it’s done!

  • Thomas, Can you tell me if Ariel will be in another location for character meetings? We are going in a couple of weeks and Ariel is my daughter’s fav!

  • That’s really sad. My brother’s family is visiting form Germany next week and we will be in Magic Kingdom on 4/22 and my daughter (who will be 2 end of May) would have loved Pooh’s Playful Spot. I’m kind of sad that she won’t be able to experiance this as this is one of the little things she could enjoy as she’s still too little for some attractions.

  • Its Going to Be Great.. Can’t wait.. Ariel will also become a Regular Attending Princess in Cinderellas Royal Table Restaurant in the Castle, She Stunning In Her formal Green Dress..

  • Our family freeted this news as bittersweet. We visited MK in January and the first thing we visited was Ariel’s Grotto. I’m sure they’re going to make valuable improvements and I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that we were able to see Ariel (two more times) before she left for good. Seeing her at Cinderella’s Royal Table isn’t the same. In the meamtime, I suggest the Voyage of the Little Mermaid at DHS. It is truly awesome!

  • Thanks for letting us know. I appreciate the updates…it’s sad but exciting as well. Although we like to meet Ariel “in her fin”, we always try to catch her “in her feet” at Akershus in Norway. Hopefully, we’ll see her there during our August trip.

  • So…what will happen to Mickey & Minnie’s houses and the fairy experience?

  • SO excited to see the process get going. Is there any indication if Toontown will still be operational at the end of September? My son would like to ride Barnstormer 1 more time (at least) before it’s rethemed.

    Really excited about the new look and we’ll be not-so-patiently waiting for the end result. If it’s anything like the renderings and drawings, it’s going to be AMAZING!

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