As many of you know, we’re in the midst of the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history, which will nearly double the size of Fantasyland. And we’re thrilled about the expansion because it’ll allow us to tell our treasured stories in new ways and give you the opportunity to interact with some of our beloved characters like never before. Today, we’d like to give you a first glimpse of the progress we’re making in bringing these stories to life and a look at some of the art we will be sharing with the media later tonight.
First, work is already well underway on many of the experiences we’ve already told you about, so let’s start with Under the Sea: Journey of The Little Mermaid. In this attraction, Ariel and all her friends will entertain you in a ride-through adventure featuring favorite songs from the popular animated feature.
Not too far from Ariel’s new home, construction is underway on Beast’s castle which will stand majestically upon a hill. You will cross over a stone bridge as you arrive at Be Our Guest Restaurant. Set in the halls of the Beast’s Castle, this location will seat up to 550 guests and offer “great food fast” service by day and full table service dining in the evening. Just outside the restaurant, you will also be able to explore Belle’s Village, which includes Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.
Nearby at Belle’s cottage, a magical mirror is the doorway to a captivating new kind of experience, where Belle, Lumiere and guests participate in a lively re-telling of the “tale as old as time.” In Enchanted Tales with Belle, the adventure begins at Maurice’s cottage, where you’ll step through an enchanted mirror that magically transports you to Beast’s library for an interactive storytelling session with Belle.
Just across the way is the brand new Storybook Circus, where we’re doubling the fun by adding another carousel to Dumbo the Flying Elephant. While you wait to board this Fantasyland favorite, you’ll have a chance to join the circus and step inside the Big Top for fun-filled interactive experiences for kids of all ages. Alongside Dumbo the Flying Elephant, the existing Barnstormer is getting a new look as well, featuring Goofy as The Great Goofini. This exciting attraction will take you on a twisting, turning, daredevil, roller coaster “flight” high above the circus fun.
As with any project of this scale, we’ve also continued to look for additional ways to surprise and delight our guests and I think you’ll be pleased. One opportunity we’re especially excited about is the chance to tell Snow White’s story in a fresh new way. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will take you on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The coaster will feature a first-of-its kind ride system with a train of ride vehicles that swing back and forth as they whisk along the track. The journey will be accompanied by music from the classic Disney film and animated figures of Snow White and the Dwarfs.
Our other Disney princesses will also be getting a new home (actually, they prefer to call it a castle) in the all new Princess Fairytale Hall. Aurora, Cinderella and other Disney princesses, such as Tiana and Rapunzel, will greet you in an elegant royal court at the location where Snow White’s Scary Adventures is today. This new experience will be in place of some of the earlier plans we shared regarding opportunities to interact with your favorite princesses.
And Tinker Bell and her fairy friends will be joining the cast at Epcot where they will have special roles bringing the flora and fauna to life during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
The New Fantasyland will be constructed in phases with most new experiences open by 2013. We look forward to sharing more with you as our work progresses.
Since there are so many changes in Toontown, will Mickey & Minnie’s houses still be there? What about Donald’s Boat, Goofy’s rollercoaster, Tea Cups, The judges tent? Also, since they are adding to the dumbo ride, will it be closing too?
These Fantasyland Expansion plans look great!! Will they include a play area for kids like Donald’s Boat and Winnie the Pooh Play area, with water spouts?? Will any of these new attrations be completed for September 4-11, 2011?? Have a magical day!
I viewed a video on the Pooh queue. I noticed that the top of the attraction still has the castle wall theme. Will this be changed since the attraction is outside of the castle walls?
Will Mrs. Potts Cupboard be moved or renamed?
what is going to happen to Mickey and Minnie’s houses. I hope they will be kept .. even though we have no small children we enjoy walking thru.. please move them to another part of the park.
We are planning our trip for May 2011, will any part of the new Fantasyland park be open?
I LOVE the idea of new princesses houses. I have been to Disney only one time and was disappointed that Cinderlla’s Castle was not something one could actually play in or stay in. I think the whole idea of Disney is to have an imagination. I can only think of my childhood and to this day still think their should be a playland where one can be a princess or prince. Even a water area where one can be a Little Mermaid etc….My ideas are grand, grand, grand!!!!
I am excited about all the plans here. I think it will be amazing, and free up some walking space, to have this new area and multiple ways in and out. I do wish that there would be a section for boys, as my son is, and has been, in love with Lightening McQueen for the past 3 years. All he has right now is the Mater & McQueen meet & greet at DHS. They don’t even put them in the parade anymore – which he’s never seen because we just started going last year.
I am curious about the Pixie Hollow/Fairies being moved to Epcot for the Garden show. Is this ONLY going to be for that time period? I waited in line for over an hour two times last week to see the faries. It seems that is currently one of the biggest draws for Disney and I would be suprised to see them shorten it to one specific time period. I don’t mind going to Epcot, just wouldn’t want to have to pick my vacation time around when the fairies will be around.
Anyway, I am a DVC member and can not wait to see all the additions! My children love every minute they are there.
Any chance that February 11 date will get pushed back until after President’s week??
We just made our reservations for this June and were so excited to finally find a reservation at Bay Lake. My three little ones are the perfect age to spend most of the time at MK. But, I am wondering what attractions in Fantasyland will be open in June. My 4 year old did nothing but ride the barnstormer last trip but is too small for the bigger rides and my daughter loved seeing the fairies meet and greet. Can you give us any idea what to expect when we go in June?
Are the previous plans for Pixie Hollow gone? Will they only be seen at EPCOT? I was so excited for this area in particular :(. Is there an estimated date for any of these openings as my trip is in May 2012?
Sorry, one last point I forgot to make. Everybody think back to their last Magic Kingdom visit and remember the busiest wait-time you saw for Snow White’s Scary Adventures. Fifteen minutes? Ten? None?
(And if you last visited over the Christmas holiday, please ignore my post. I understand the parks were inundated that week. I was in Disneyland, and it was utter gridlock.)
This comment thread showcases the best and worst qualities of Disney fans. As a group, we embrace Walt Disney’s vision and appreciate the Imagineers’ commitment to enhancing and improving the theme parks we already love.
Unfortunately, our sense of nostalgia often clouds our judgement. Though we campaign for change, we refuse to accept it if it compromises our childhood memories.
I love the mine car announcement. The wonderful film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” deserves better representation in the theme parks than Snow White’s Scary Adventure, a middling dark ride that aged quite poorly, especially compared to its Fantasyland counterpart Peter Pan’s Flight. You may call it a “classic” — whatever that means. I suggest that instead of relying on your recollections of a once-advanced ride, consider the next generation of guests who lack the associations you cherish. They will create new memories based on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which sounds like a fantastic addition to the Magic Kingdom.
The plans for new Fantasyland come wrought with blemishes and reasons to complain. The addition of more “meet-and-greet” space deserves our wrath. But new, exciting, innovative attractions deserve our praise. At least in this tiny, insignificant corner of the Web, I continue to applaud.
Where will we be able to find Tinkerbell in between the Toon Town closing and the Flower and Garden festival? We will be at WDW Feb. 13-18th.
A repeated question but ” What about the plans for Dixie Hollow?” With a granddaughter the princess theme is wonderful but I raised two boys and have a 5 year old godson. We need something for the boys. Thankfully they do have the Pirates Adventure but I was so looking forward to Pixie Hollow as well. Hoping for more Peter Pan to go with the Pirates
When will we know what’s happening to Mickey and Minnie’s houses? Like so many other fans, I desperately hope they are relocated to the Studios! Please don’t get rid of them!!
At 11 years old, my child still enjoys the interactivity of Minnie & Micky’s houses. Pretty soon, everyone will probablt forget about the poor mouse, just like Oswald:( Cant they just relocate the houses?
Hi! Where will my daughter be able to meet her all time favourite princess, ARIEL, when we visit in November 2011?
In this new fantasy land will Aurora have her cottage there as well? I would love it if she was shown in there too. it all looks amazing i can not wait for it to be done but i will be just the happiest person alive if Aurora is in there too!
Somebody should start a petition to Save ToonTown in the Magic Kingdom…I mean Disneyland has a whole section of the park why not Florida.
The changes from the previous plan are a plus– I hope they keep plussing over the next 2 years before it is done. It has been 21 years and counting since last E ticket in Magic Kingdom– we need something at that level also.
Let me just say that I am SO glad Disney decided to re-think the princess-and-fairy-polooza that made up so much of the orginal expansion design. My two young sons are not interested in the princesses or the fairies at all so, as wonderful as the orginal expansion looked, there was only going to be a small portion that my sons would enjoy. But I bet they’ll love the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!
Can’t wait for the expansion to open!
Do you know what month in 2013 that the construction will be done? Are all the additions going to open at the same time or at different times? Were coming in Dec 2011 but I guess we’ll have to come back in 2013.
Will Small World stay open?
When will all the different attractions be closing such as Dumbo the Flying Elephant and other attractions. Also, when will each of these new attractions be opening? Will any be in 2011?
Will much of Magic Kingdom be closed during this time? Im going in April and would hate to miss on some favorites- dumbo, small world, snow white, etc.
Im excited to make another trip down after all this is completed though since Little Mermaid is also a favorite!!
Oh and I must say, also that even as a kid I was totally bored with Mickey’s Toon Toon whatever. Total waste of space, glad to see it go!
And the Princess meet and greet is much needed. Especially in the Florida heat, humidity and rain! Can you imagine wearing a ballgown in that? Yikes.
I was under the impression there was going to be a cottage in the glen from Sleeping Beauty…???
I am so totally psyched about all these changes. I’ve been telling everyone who will listen every little detail since I read this the other day. LOL!
I just want to take a moment to say that I’m really quite proud of Disney for finally making some much needed expansions and doing so in a way that is respectful to the stuff currently there.
I have been thinking for the past 10 years that I just don’t understand why the Disney Parks in Florida have not expanded much even with all the vast amounts of empty land surrounding them. This was especially true with the Magic Kingdom. I don’t even need a map when I go because it hasn’t changed pretty much at all in my 27 years of living. Not to mention there are a ton of very popular Disney movies that have no ride/area/etc. dedicated to them. This is a step in the right direction for sure!
And while I’m sad that we’re losing Snow White’s Scary Adventures, which I’ve loved since I was bitty) but my excitement at the new and extremely cute sounding Snow White ride overshadows my sadness and sentimentality completely!!! Same with Dumbo, which has become a staple for young and old, needing a serious update and good for them for taking the opportunity to add to the experience! Not to mention the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast rides/areas. Being a child of the 80’s and 90’s I _yearned_ for these things. LOL
Thank you thank you thank you, Disney! For constantly striving to keep us all so enthralled and entertained!!! <3
P.S. Next step, Alice in Wonderland ride; through the rabbit hole. Pleeeeeeeeeeease? 😀 Sugar on top? 😀
Using the current Snow White ride area for a meet and greet is a waste of prime MK space. Here’s an idea for the imagineers, from a guy who was there in 1971, on day 2 of the park: use the current Snow White pavilion for a new, revamped and high tech Mister Toad’s Wild Ride! You’ll make everyone happy and place an original ride back where it belongs.