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Update on New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Experiences

The Updated Fantasyland

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.

Under the Sea: Journey of The Little Mermaid

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.

Additions to Dumbo the Flying Elephant

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.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

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.


  • I’m very excited about the changes. I don’t look at it as Snow White’s Scary Adventures going away, but as a fresh new retelling of the story in the Dwarve’s mine ride. What I’m really interested in knowing is what else will be in the Storybook Circus? I can see in the top image the new Dumbo ride and the Goofini coaster on the right. I can also see the WDW Railroad and the waiting/boarding area, but what will be in the other two circus tents on the left side of this land? Shops?, restaurants?, more attractions? I think there a few more surprises to come.

  • I haven’t been on Snow White in years, for fear it would scare my girls, but I was hoping to get there someday soon. I don’t even remember how scary it is. :-\ I’m bummed that the girls might never get on it. I’m hoping maybe it won’t go away till after we get there in November? Sounds like the changes are great and way outweigh the sadness of losing Snow White. (though I wish it could stay, and I’m with the others in missing Mr. Toad – and I was scared as a kid for some reason to go on 20,000 Leagues and missed out! 🙁 )

    Am I reading it right and it sounds like Pixie Hollow is axed?

    I would love a Neverland! The boys need more!

  • I am so excited to hear more about the Fantasyland expansion plans. I cannot wait for Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid as I’ve been waiting and hoping for a Little Mermaid ride since the movie came out in 1989.

    I am curious about the changes made to the expansion plan with the addition of the Snow White area and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Does that mean that the original plans to create Lady Tremaine’s castle for Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty’s cottage in the woods, and Pixie Hollow have completely been scrapped???

  • I’m so glad we just were there and ride sleeping beauty’s ride. Nice to
    Hear Dumbo getting expanded!! We did not get on that one.
    I love all these new changes and look forward to
    Seeing them in 2013 if we get to go there again. I love the circus part too!!!
    Gotta love Disneys creative teams and wonderful experiences all
    Our children have because if them, Disney is
    the supreme family fun place.

  • I am excited about the expansion…WDW has the ability to grow and add many new rides and adventures. However, it does not need to be at the expense of Classic Rides like Mr. Toads Wild Ride, Snow White and Toon Town…there is enough resources to allow change and keep what has made Disney the happiest place on Earth. Children love seeing where Mickey Mouse and the Character live..the love being able to do things in Toon Town and ride rides that you don’t have to be “this tall to ride” (especially toddlers). There is time to make adjustments and add new adventures but keep what has been working all these years for your loyal and dedicated fans. Keep the magic alive…keep Walt’s Dream alive… don’t take away the rides our children love relocate these treasured rides and other features..this is the wish my heart makes!

  • Can’t wait for the Dwarf Mine ride!! Hope Scary Adventures stays open though.

  • Apparently Disney has been slightly altering the original Forest expansion plans, taking to heart concerns that it’s too Fairy/Princess focused, with not enough appeal for boys. (A simple google search on the topic will bring up the articles). One of Disney’s lasting strengths is their ability to constantly re-examine their own product for maximum appeal. In any case — it’s a very exciting expansion and I can’t wait to see the final product in a few years. Only regret is to see a major expansion that MK that does not include an ‘E-ticket’/higher end attraction. (It would be brilliant to see an E-ticket added to EPCOT as well!)

  • Disneyland California still will have all the magic! Just alternate your trips to FL and CA. Our family has been doing this since we began our love for Disney vacations. CA will still have the classic Snow White ride, along with the best Toontown with Mickey & Minnies houses. Don’t forget Mr. Toad, Alice in Wonderland ride, Picnochio ride, Roger Rabbit ride, Storyland boat ride, Casey Jr. Train ride, and Small World on steroids. Not to mention they even still have the Submarines! CA’s Fantasyland will still have three times as many rides even after FL’s expansion. And while FL will get the Mermaid ride, CA will have the exact same ride open this year. Then CA has Carsland opening in 2012 with 3 more rides to add to there long list. As my family has always said, WDW has a lot of land that requires lots of walking and crazy bus rides, but does make for some nice resort feels. DL is not as big when it comes to acres but has so many more rides and so much less stress of long walks and waiting on the buses. We like WDW, but we love the classic Disneyland.

  • Can’t wait!! Will Peter Pan’s flight and It’s A Small World be effected?

  • I have to agree with Linda on this and disagree with Kevin. The only thing they will broaden is a little girls park. The boys were completed ignored on this expansion. Although I’m still happy they are doing something.

  • I LOVE the new plans! They look great! While it will be sad to lose a classic like Snow White, I think the new coaster will be a breath of fresh air for Fantasyland. As for axing Pixie Hollow, I am glad that space will be used for something else.

  • I am SO excited about the expansion!!!! If the enhancements to the Winnie the Pooh queue are any indication of how this is going to be, it’s awesome!!! Two suggestions: Add Peter Pan to the list of attractions to get an updated queue line. That is probably the worst line in all of WDW, and something that could be great for little boys… re-theme the Tomorrowland Speedway to CARS. My son would LOVE that!

  • Oh I am heartbroken! No more Snow White’s Scary Adventures??? It’s a classic. The loss of Mr Toad and the magical 20000 Leagues Under the Sea (I so believed it was REAL when I rode it as a child) were bad enough!

    I love the new ideas, but not at the expense of Uncle Walt’s classics!

    When is it shutting down? I’d like to get one last ride in with my daughter before it’s gone. Sniff! Sob! So very sad!

  • Well I worked at the parks for many years and one complaint that always bothered me was “My child was so scared of the Snow White ride” it is too scarry for the younger kids. It will infact be removed and not moved. Also just a warning, don’t get to involved in the little details in this art work it is just a rendering. These always change. Usualy for the better

  • I will definitely miss what I’ve come to know and love from the current Fantasy Land and Toon Town, but these new additions will become new favorites. Just hope that our kids will be able to experience the current version so we can share memories.

  • No one has commented on it, so I will- the new Under The Sea ride: is this the same ride that was mocked up in 3D Animation as a special feature on the 2006 Platinum DVD release? If so, how cool it is that “The Ride That Almost Was” has become “The Ride That Now IS!”

    Now that Ariel and her friends have a ride at the Magic Kingdom, maybe they can move the Snow White ride to the Ariel show building at Hollywood Studios. Certainly, a ride based on Walt’s landmark animated feature would be just at home in a park totally devoted to Hollywood then and now, and its proximity to “One Man’s Dream” would be a logical choice.

  • AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!! This is SO exciting! Can’t wait to bring the grandchildren to all the new places! Thanks WDW for making more magic!

  • The Mine Coaster sounds great if it is on the same thrill level as Big Thunder Mountain. Is that what is meant by a “family coaster”? And please, do NOT get rid of the Snow White’s Scary Adventure. Keep the classic rides. There is room for both attractions.

  • I just hope in all the rush to “update” the park with all the new characters and movies etc that they don’t forget the movies and characters that got them to where they are in the first place. If I were a disney exec I would want to not only create new movies and characters for the current generation, but make sure this generation is familiar with ALL the disney movies and characters from the begining until today. That can only be achieved by constantly keeping those old classic characters and movies as well as the new ones out in the public view in the parks and on the movie or tv screens.

  • no more quicked ween.So sad

  • I LOVE THE NEW PLANS! I know Snow White is going, but It was too scary for most young kids anyways plus most likely alot of the pieces of the ride will be in the ride. It is not like they are making a Tangled ride, It will be just telling a classic story in a more modren way. I think Tink will also help familes with little ones discover EPOCT and she will be a better fit there. Great Job WDI 🙂

  • So, we get 2 new rides and lose 1 old ride
    One expanded old ride and rethemed old ride
    1 big meet and greet and 1 interactive meet and greet while several are lost with Toon Town
    1 new restaurant and probably several new shops

    While change is great, it seems like they could have done so much more with all the space. In all they are expanding Fantasyland by only 1 ride. I hope they leave some area for expansion for later.

  • Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom is my very favorite land of my very favorite park. I am 100% in favor of these plans. I think you have created the perfect balance of your classic films. Even though I love nostalgia and tradition (I do miss Toad, Journey Into Imagination, 20k Leagues, Horizons…) I am not going to mourn the loss of Snow White’s Scary Adventure. I have never been a big fan of the ride, and felt that Snow White deserved better. I think Walt’s first princess will be better represented with the Mine Train.

    Finally, to the amazing anonymous artist(s?) who created these concept paintings (and the previous ones!) – your work is so beautiful. I hope one day it appears as a print or a book on the art of Fantasyland. Thank you.

    Today I am proud to be DVC/D23/a lifelong Disney fan.

  • Please don’t take out Snow White’s Scary Adventure. I agree with other posters, you have tons of land, don’t take away anymore original attractions that we love. It is my favorite ride in Fantasyland. This is making me just want to do Disneyland anymore and scrap Disneyworld altogether. Making Fantasyland bigger is good, but taking out old attractions is such a shame.

  • I am so disappointed that Snow White’s Scary Adventures is closing. You’re building all this new space and closing this ride for a meet and greet. Oh, and Snow White isn’t even going to be here at the meet and greet. I don’t understand why she gets put aside. I’m thrilled that Belle is getting an area, but this is just ridiculous and extremely sad. She is the original Disney princess – why is it not okay for her to have a ride and the dwarfs to have a ride? Not happy! 🙁

  • I am VERY pleased that the extensive meet and greets were replaced with a mine train attraction instead!! This is much better and much more exciting than the first plans.


    It’s too bad that you have to take out Snow White’s Scary Adventures though just to make room for a meet and greet.

  • The new Ariel home sounds lovely. But I have to admit I will miss Snow White’s Scary Adventure. And please you must not take a way Mickey and Minnie’s homes. Everyone big and small love walking into those houses. I mean after all everyone loves Mickey & Minnie those two make Disney World! Please keep the houses!

  • I think that Disney should leave the classic Snow White alone & just add the new Seven Dwarfs roller coaster along side!! Simply expanding on the Snow White experience will allow parents to share th classics from their childhood memories with their children as well as enjoying the new ride ment more for our kids generation!
    To me Disney is truely magical… I love being able to go & see the happiness & wonder on other peoples faces! I love being transported back to feeling the absolute ‘Awe’ that I felt as a child! Disney does that… & I love it! However over the past few years I’ve become more & more disenchanted with the way Disney has been adding more of a “movie” feel to the classics or just doing away with them altogether! It’s truely sad…

  • I agree with Linda and Edward, and I disagree with Kevin. I do think that the girl-focus is slightly muted from what I understood of previous plans, but I still see nothing inventive or new there to attract boys of any age.

  • I am extremely upset about losing Snow White’s Scary Adeventures. This was my family’s, but expecially my daughter’s favorite ride, and we are really going to miss it. I wish it wasn’t going to be taken out for a meet and greet that they already have all across every park. My daughter wanted to be an Imagineer at Disney but this is really disheartening to her.

  • I’m extremely happy to see the updated artwork. The Dwarf Mine Train attraction sounds absolutely amazing. Innovative ride system with the combination of dark ride show scenes all with on board audio? Consider me excited! The Storybook Circus area doesn’t look bad, but I hope it evolves into maybe a couple more smaller attractions. 🙂 All in all, it looks amazing! These plans are much more enjoyable compared to the previous.

    Discussion Kingdom

  • Great update on the Fantasyland Expansion, Thomas. I’m especially excited to explore Maurice’s cottage and Gaston’s Tavern. The new Snow White coaster sounds like a fun family-friendly ride as well. While many people think of Fantasyland as being “kids-only” the addition of the coaster keeps in the spirit of rides and attractions for the whole family.

    Also, I cannot tell you how happy I am that the fairies are not taking over Fantasyland! Great idea to tie them into Flower and Garden, although the character invasion of Epcot is something I approach with mild skepticism.

  • I seriously agree with April. I just LOVE all of the artist renderings/concept drawings that we’ve seen for the new Fantasyland expansion. Are there any plans in the works to be able to purchase replica prints of these artist renderings, or perhaps an art book that includes all of these artist renderings???

    I have a book that I adore called “The Art of Walt Disney World” that includes artist renderings and concept art from all 4 WDW parks. I really think they should do something similar with the concept art for the Magic Kingdom Fantasyland expansion.

  • I am very excited about the expansion, can’t wait for it to do be here, but I have been hoping for a long time that they would not close Snow White’s Scary Adventures like it has long been rumored! I was never scared of the ride as a child and my children have never been scared either we love it. I also think it would be a great idea to balance out this expansion to make an area where you battle Maleficent, in dragon form, with Prince Phillip and yes, make the Tomorrowland Speedway themed to CARS which I am shocked has never been done yet. I don’t mind that Pixie Hollow has been axed as that seemed like a rush to add it in where it’s took over 20 years to get a Little Mermaid ride, Neverland would be awesome but I highly doubt that. I am a little sad the Cinderella realm is not coming though…I really wish they would cut back on the circus area and make it Wonderland that would make this expansion perfect. Wonderland is good for boys and girls too.

  • I agree that it is sad to see Snow White’s Scary Adventure go along with Mr. Toad, but they are still alive and well at Disneyland in California, and will be nice to have something new and different and still have the ability to see the original in California.
    I think it is good to make Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom a bit different from each other, and not be a mirror image. Gives us all a purpose to go to both location (not to mention all the other Disney parks around the world).

  • So glad I’m a DVC member so I can experience all of this and watch the transformation as well!!!!

  • This is really exciting news as I felt MGK needed some new things added to the park. I love that you will have a snowwhite mine ride and feel that you will incorporate alot of the movie within that ride somehow! Great to see yet another wonderful place for character meals w/ Bella and friends as well as making Little Mermaid more visable and expanding Dumbo w. a cirus!

    I think its a great idea to move some characters over to Epcot. Epcot really needs to bring the characters back into the theme park to make it enchanting for the younger kids to enjoy more. I would love to see the characters in the countries dressed to fit that country.

    Good luck on the construction.

  • WHAT THEY ARE TAKING AWAY SNOW WHITE!!! That is one of my favorite rides at MK! Does this mean that their are other classic rides in jeopardy of being eliminated? I was so excited about the expansion until I head about this! Taking out such an amazing original ride like Snow White is just sad. Can’t they just relocate?

  • This is so cool! Is there any way to watch the press event?!

  • As a HUGE Beauty and the Beast fan, I’m absolutely thrilled by the additions you’re making! I’ve never been to DWorld, but one of my biggest disappointments at DLand here in CA is always the lack of things related to my favorite movie. I’ll be booking my flight the second the new Fantasyland opens!

  • Wow, I am absolutely thrilled about these changes. Snow White is one of my favorite movies, but in my opinion it’s the weakest dark ride in the Magic Kingdom. If something had to go, I’m glad it’s that one. Great decisions all around – can’t wait!

  • I just wondering are they going to have Mickey and Minnie Mouse house still in the new section. My daughter has to go there everytime we visit MK so I am hoping they are planning on keeping them. Everything sounds wonderful though can’t wait to see all the new things there.

  • When will further details be released about Fantasyland closures leading up to 2013? We were planning a visit in Jan 2012 but are concerned that major Fantasyland attractions will be closed during our visit, due to the renovation. Please provide a more detailed construction timeline as soon as possible. Thank you!

  • I am glad the Disney Company is looking to the future. I respectfully do not agree with the direction it is taking.

    I love that the company is moving forward and offering new areas of attractions. I voice my concerns in the same breath. Walt Disney World has offered a different sort of amusement park atmosphere for me since 1971. I am not an amusement park fan. I do not like most rides at most amusement parks. I do not enjoy being thrown around and battered for a thrill. WDW offered me rides that moved me through a story, sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a scare, sometimes both. I know there are the thrill seekers and that is the niche the company is apparently targeting. I agree they should have attractions in the parks too, but not at the expense of the rides I enjoy.

    I mourn each time an immersive story ride is replaced with a roller coaster, Meet and Greet area, gift shop or restaurant Soon the novel attractions of the genius’ of the Imagineers will fade into oblivion, replaced by cheap meet and greet areas and the same rides every other amusement park relies on. Disney may retain the title of leader of the industry, but it will be no better than any Six Flags.

    I am glad I did not tie myself into a Disney timeshare. I fear that Walt Disney World will cease to appeal to me in the too near future, unfortunately. Please remember all the demographics of the parks when you plan new areas and refurbish the old.

  • So sad to see the classics eliminated.I can’t understand why Disney can’t just add on instead of destroy. So many wonderful memories have always been so easy and fun to relive at Fantasyland but now that will change.I never would have thoug…ht a Disney announcement could make me so sad.It wouldn’t be that hard to blend the new with the old and keep everybody smiling. I wonder what else will be eliminated or completely revamped in the future.You could obviously build a more technologically advanced Haunted Mansion.Please go back to the drawing board.

  • I can comprehend the decision to close Snow White’s Scary Adventures. A mine train coaster is an easy pick for a new ride, there is no point having two Snow White attractions, and recycling the Scary Adventures animatronics reduces cost.

    I can also comprehend the logic behind replacing it with nothing. Meet n’ Greets are cheaper. But the expansion is becoming Meet n’ Greet Land… The mine train adds a new ride in a plan that previously had only Little Mermaid, but it’s at the cost of another, with a net gain of zero.

    I’m sure you guys could have done better, and I hope that, in the future, the Meet n’ Greet is the first to go in making room for an actual ride.

  • The expansion of Fantasyland sounds very exciting but is it true Mickey and Minnie’s Houses are going ? I would be so sad if that happened.

  • I will be visiting with my family February 15th. I was planning on visiting the Princesses and fairies with my 3 1/2 year old daughter for the first time. Now that Toon Town will be closed, where can I find the Princesses and fairies? We will be there in 3 weeks! She will be so disappointed if we don’t get to see them, especially Tinkerbell!

  • This all looks so exciting! I’ve been following the progress on the expansion for MONTHS! But what was the reason for choosing to get rid of Snow White’s Scary Adventures???
    It’s such a classic at the park and meet and greets could easily have been set up outside the princess’ respective “castles”…
    At least we know the original ride in Disneyland isn’t going to be leaving us…no room for expansion there! I just hope this doesn’t mean other rides like Peter Pan or It’s A Small World will eventually go too.

  • What will happen to Mickey and Minnie’s country houses?

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