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.
I am SO excited about the expansion of Fantasyland! Just wondering, why was Cinderella & Aurora’s home – and – and Pixie Hollow eliminated? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the idea of the new Snow White coaster – I guess I just want it all there haha:) All in all – I anticipate this to be both gorgeous and entertaining…
I’m so excited about the Fantasyland Expansion. I wish it were opening much sooner than it will be but I understand that quality takes time. I had a thought about the Faries, though. Is Epcot really the best place for them? How about the Animal Kingdom. The Faries are all about nature and, of course, Animal Kingdom is all about nature. And, quite frankly, there’s not a whole lot to do there anyway. Just a thought.
This is one of my favorite rides, I cannot believe that you are closing a unique and all time favorite. I still miss Mr. Toad’s wild ride and I thought you all learned your lesson when there were tons of people protesting the closing of that ride. There is so much room at Disney World that there should be a seperate area for all the vintage rides. This is a ride that I was hoping I could take my grandchildren to! I really think this is a horrible decision. Good thing I have it on video, at least I can remeber it.
Does Toontown close ON the 11th or the 12th. If it is open on the 11th it makes a big difference.
How nice!!! I’ve been visiting MK last week and I saw the construction! I just can’t wait to visit the new Fantasyland!
I am really excited about this Fantasyland Expansion. I love the changes, can’t wait to experience Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid and The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Coaster. Great job Disney, keep moving forward.
Magical! It sounds absolutely wonderful and I can hardly wait to see it all come to life. We’ll be sure to plan a trip soon after it opens.
i am so sad to hear that you are taking away SWSA for a meet and greet. i’m sure there is room somewhere else to put them. that cannot be the only place. if you must change it (because heaven forbid we have two rides inspired by the ORIGINAL Disney princess), you could at least replace it with another dark ride. you could bring back Mr. Toad, which would make MANY people happy. or, you could come up with something new and fresh that hasn’t yet been done. if you must take away an original attraction, replace it with something better. a meet and greet location is not something better.
also, Snow White isn’t mentioned in the grouping for the hall. will she greet at the cottage by the new coaster? it would be wonderful if she’d greet at a special location with a few dwarves. you could rotate out which dwarves are greeting.
Hm, this post really put me in a sour mood. Although I am ecstatic that Imagineers are broadening the appeal, I am deeply saddened to hear about the removal of Snow White’s Scary Adventures. I may only feel this way because it was the first Disney Park attraction I have ever ridden. I am curious/excited to see what is in store for the “Fresh, New” attraction but worry that it won’t attempt to tell the story of “Snow White” like the original. These days, in this culture, very few children even grow up seeing the classic Disney animated features (sad, isn’t it), and without the classic Disney dark rides, may never be exposed to them. But, I will keep an open mind, only the Imagineers know what is in store and we will just have trust them. Remember Toad, yeah, it didn’t go so well did it.
Snow White GONE?!!!! They should also add Toontown (not Toontown Fair) to the side so we could still have that. looks great! Any construction videos/pics?
While I love the new ideas and attractions, I am still getting over losing Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. It makes me sad that my daughter (19 months) won’t remember the same Fantasyland that I grew up with; however, I know Disney won’t let us down with the changes. Any word on if there will be opportunities to purchase “souveniers” from rides and attractions that are being demolished?
Thomas, I was wondering if the plans for sleeping beauty’s 16th birthday party, pixie hollow, and other portions of the fantasyland expansion originally announced have been cut to make room for various other projects like the new snow white ride. I think the expansion sounds incredible and am excited to see it when it opens.
Love WDW. Love the new plans. We have reservations in February and I can’t wait for our (2012 AND) 2013 visit. I, too, hope they don’t do away with Mickey and Minnie’s houses. We consider Minnie and Mickey the hosts…
I hope individuals in wheelchairs are kept in mind when these new rides and attractions are being designed. We love Toy Story Mania – great job with accessibility there! It would also be nice if the carousel were wheelchair accessible.
I’m looking forward to seeing Main Street real soon!!!…
I just don’t get why does a classic dark ride have to go so we can gt an area to meet the princess. Why not just get rid of the tomorowland speedway instead?
@Tom – I am confused. I just called Disney and the representative said Barnstormer will not be closed when Toon Town Fair closes on Feb. 11th. Also, will other rides (besides Snow White’s scary Adventure) have closures during construction? Lastly, will Mickey and Minnie’s houses have a home in Fantasyland, or are they gone forever?
Most importantly, 🙂 my family is coming in August – when will I know which rides are open/closed during that time?
As a lot of folks are saying, I’m all for the expansion, but not at the cost of one of my all time favorite rides. Sigh. This simple little attraction is one I grew up with and continue to enjoy several times on each of my visits to the park.
this looks AMAZING I am so happy Disney is incorporating the classics into fantasy land. I literaly cannot wait espeically since Belle is my favorite princess. Will it be character dinning at Be our Guest resteraunt?
I love it all! I think change can be good. Plus Snow White’s Scary Adventures will still be in Disneyland 🙂
How exciting! Just got back from WDW yesterday and am really glad that I went on Snow White’s Scary Adventures one last time. Can’t wait to make plans to visit again in 2013! Thanks for the updates, please keep them coming.
What about Mickey’s & Minnie’s houses????? I don’t have kids and only venture into TuneTown for the houses. They were the best part. Love all the puns in them. Sad to SW go but am looking forward to the new rides. This definitely a step in the right direction for broader appeal to everyone.
I think that the Rd. 2 of the Fantasyland redesign covers a broader group, which is great. I would have liked to see them keep some area of Pixie Hollow/Fairy meet and great, even if ii was smaller than the original design. Disney is trying to create another franchise out of the fairies and needs to only look at the line at the current “meet and greet” to see that overall they have had success in doing so.
Wooooooow…. wich you would put that much ‘Disney magic’ in the Paris park. The Toy Story playland in Studios is fun, but i would love to see somthin’ like this (or a big E-ticket ride) in Disneyland 🙁
My family is planing a trip September 27 – 24
Both our Daughters with there family.
all together my husbands, and I
both our daughters there husbands
3 year old 2 1/2 year old and 8 month baby.
I noticed that part of the Magic kingdom was a lot of places that our small children would enjoy.
Will the new place in open by then or can you give me some suggestions for their age. – cindy
How much of Fantasy land is closed? I am going to Disney in Sept and will be sad if I can’t ride Peter Pan, It’s a small World and Snow White. I know they are changing the snow white attraction but I was also curious if it would still be open to ride at that point?
I urge Disney to reconsider the closure of Snow White’s Scary Adventures. It’s important to remember what has made and continues to make Disney great. Disney did not become what it is by being an amusement park full of roller coasters, but rather classic rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, and the Fantasyland dark rides. Disney can not be all things to all people, and as such should focus on it’s target audience, the guests with a deep love for what sets Disney apart from all other parks. Don’t try and become like the other parks, but embrace the uniqueness that is Disney. I do think the Fantasyland expansion will be a good thing, but remember it’s an expansion, not a replacement project. Snow White’s Scary Adventures is one of my family’s favorites, removing it will be like removing a bit of the Disney magic.
So will ‘Gaston’s Tavern’ be serving alcohol? (Against Walt’s wishes for the Magic Kingdom to remain alcohol free). If not, perhaps the name should simply be Gaston’s, so no unsuspecting adult walks in expecting a pint and leaves upset.
I hope there are no plans to bring alcohol into the Magic Kingdom.
..now, if they could update the final segment of WDW Carousel of Progress so it has some bearing on reality… 😉
Marci – “re-theme the Tomorrowland Speedway to CARS” – brilliant idea!
Snow White’s Scary Adventures is overdue a replacement; and wow – what a replacement. I for one am more than happy with this improvement. I always found Snow White’s Scary Adventures to be too scary for little ones and a bit too ‘blah’ for everyone else.
Looking forward to our next trip 4 months today and now also our trip in 2 years time when I’ll be turning 40 in WDW! 8:o)
I am loving the new plans, but having seen some concept art of the circus tents I have one concern:
Does this mean the tents of Mickey’s ToonTown Fair are staying as is? I know it’s an extremely easy way to save money, but those tents are really old (1988 I believe?). Mickey Mouse would make an awesome ringleader–especially in a spruced up new home back there!
THANK YOU for continuing to modify and address issues that were released in the original Fantasyland expansion. This new plan looks a lot more appealing and well-rounded to a college-aged male like myself, and the new coaster should work wonders for MK’s ride offerings and crowd capacity. It takes a lot of initiative and daring to make changes to a design even once the construction vehicles have started rolling, but you guys showed it. My applause to WDI and Tom Staggs. 😀
I don’t know if this question will be answered or not.
But I notice the Tea Cups still with there redesigned look in the concept art. The redesign is similar to Disneyland Paris’s Tea Cups.
Are the Magic Kingdom’s Tea Cups still going to be improved? Because didn’t they just finish putting a new roof on it, albeit the same old looking roof.
Oh no! I think its a really bad decision to close Snow Whites Scary Adventures! Its one of the gentle classic rides, which are all slowly disappearing! And the fact that its being “replaced” with a rollercoaster just makes it worse in my opinion – there are already lots of rollercoasters in the Magic Kingdom – leave something for rollercoaster haters please!!!! Very disappointed 🙁 I felt like this about Mickey and Minnies houses too, im really not feeling this expansion 🙁
I hope to be able to ride it again in August.
Despite how much I like Snow White’s Scary Adventures, I’m grateful that the story is getting updated and told in a fresh way!
Just curious, I noted that Aurora’s cottage seems to have been replaced by Snow White’s?
Well regardless – I’m so excited!! 😀
Is Snow White going to move or disappear? This all is very exciting news, and I always look forward to all the new events and experiences I have to look forward to in the park. I just hope I haven’t gone on that ride for the last time. : )
I love Disneyland!!!!!!
So Mickey’s been given the boot (so very wrong!) and boys are being overlooked almost entirely. Great expansion for families with toddler girls and adult princess lovers (??) but that’s about it. My boys will not be interested in any of this. They are always asking to go to Universal now (even the 4 yo). This will not excite them in the least. Why so girly?? Ah, well…I guess our “decade at Disney” is coming to an end.
I was very excited to hear of the new changes to the Fantasyland Expansion! My 6-year-old son was much more excited to see the Diamond Mine ride than Cinderella’s house. I also think it was a great idea to change the “play and greet” with the Princesses. We were at the MK on Sunday and waited two hours for a few moments with Rapunzel and Flynn at their area. I think the continuous line idea (with rooms that you are sectioned off into) that they use currently is the better way. (At least we kept moving.) It also looks like they have left those Toontown tent buildings standing in the new concept art. I’m hoping this means Mickey will still have his own area! Thank you, Disney, for always giving us something to dream about!!
Well, they to replace the slow load , low capacity attractions. And it looks like some Imagineer finally got the message that the Fantasy land redo was to heavy on the fairy factor leaving boys and the little boys in us “out in the cold”. The coaster is a start. Hopefully some day there will be something for the rest of us. Did I hear Villains ? Volcanos?
Any idea how much will be completed in 2012? We have been planning our trip for Oct 2012 because I read that the majority was supposed to be completed by fall 2012.
very, very sad….. Another classic ride will be destroyed to make room for more princesses just like 20,000 leagues…….. I still miss that so much…
Another dumbo ride? That’s 3 of the same type of ride in MK, and 4 total for WDW. What about something like another tea cup if you have to double up on a ride? And while the princess stuff is great for girls, I’m still left asking… what about the boys?
Very excited about the update. Definitely long overdue. Is this construction part of the reason for the wall up at the Haunted House? It seemed a little run down on my recent trip. Hope all is ok there. Always been a favorite. Although I still miss Mr. Toads Wild Ride! Looking forward to the new rides…
“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 Flower and Garden Festival. ”
So will they only be there during the Flower and Garden Festival and at no other time? You didn’t answer the previously asked question on this, you just restated what was posted – which isn’t clear if that will be the ONLY time they are seen or if they will just have extra duties during that time.
Are Mickey and Minnie’s houses really going away? Or just relocated? Please tell. They are my kids’ favorite attractions in Toon Town.
Removing Snow White is a really bad decision because it’s an original, opening day attraction. While the new princess meet and greet will be nice, it’s not a ride, which is what the Magic Kingdom needs more of. Very disappointed and think this plan should be revised and Scary Adventures kept. It’s enough of a different experience from the new Mine Coaster that both can coexist.
Sounds exciting! Your estimation dates for completion say “late 2012”, but are we talking, October…November? Any idea at this point, or is it too early to tell? I am totally excited just thinking about what it would look like!
As far as the new coaster goes will it be meant towards little kids like the goofy one or more like a thunder mountain coaster?
This all looks awesome!!!! I cannot wait! 😀 We were thinking about going to WDW in November of 2012 because we wanted to wait for the new Fantasyland to open. But now it’s being said most of it will be done by 2013, which is totally understandable there is SO much being done! But is there a sure date or time span when it will be completely finished? Is it possible you will finish before the time expected (2013)?
So–what do the little ones do between now and 2013? Stay away?
My question is at DLR there is any plans for The Skyway to Tomorrowland satation because that building is just been sitting there for 40 years not being used by the guest (I see the lights on at night. It is light by a pair of pair tube florestant lights and the original exit path light leading from the attraction)(I unsure if it used by Disney as a power station).