More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

A New Castle Emerges at Magic Kingdom Park

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Hi everyone. Today, we have a thrilling update for those of you who are excited to see the expansion of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park come to life.

A New Castle Emerges at Magic Kingdom Park

Walt Disney Imagineers are currently piecing together the Beast’s castle, which will sit high atop what will become the Be Our Guest Restaurant. The “Beauty and the Beast”-inspired restaurant, which is set to open in late 2012, will offer a lavish dining experience in the castle’s elegant ballroom, gallery and mysterious “west-wing.” The restaurant and castle will eventually be flanked by Gaston’s Tavern, Bonjour! Village Gifts, and the cottage of Maurice (Belle’s father).

Be sure to check the Disney Parks Blog later this week for some exclusive photos of WDI’s progress.

The New Fantasyland Coming to Magic Kingdom Park

The castle construction is a major milestone in the expansion, which will nearly double the size of Fantasyland and include several new attractions, such as Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and enhanced versions of the existing attractions, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Barnstormer.

The expanded Fantasyland is scheduled to open in phases, beginning in late 2012.


  • Looks absolutely fantastic! Really happy to already see some of the great details that will help make this new area into such an immersive experience.

    Very eager to see the photos later this week on WDI’s progress!

    Discussion Kingdom

    • Travis- Thanks for your response. We can’t wait to release additional photos on this project. They should be very interesting – especially for fans of WDI.

  • This is just lovely, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of WDI photos! The addition of a themed dining experience is yet another reason to make a 2012 WDW trip to see the Fantasyland expansion.

  • I am SO excited to see my favorite Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast, and favorite Disney character’s castle, Beast, being featured in the new Fantasyland!! Now if part of this area included a permanent home for Beast to do meet and greets, I’d be in heaven! I can’t wait to see a promotional photo of Beast outside his freshly built castle! =)

  • I am so excited and looking to book our next trip! It is going to be a must see and dine at location! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite! I too will be in line for my Photo with Beast and Belle, Not far off Luimere to light my way! Fantastic Disney Imagineers! Our Dreams are coming true with this addition.

  • Wow, this is amazing! I was missing Toontown, but the new fantasyland may just ease the pain… 🙂

  • Love seeing photos of the progress! Keep posting! 🙂

  • The attention to detail in this new castle is why I love Disney so much. Please keep your focus on quality and the best possible experience, it’s why my family and I pay top dollar to enjoy your parks.

  • You can’t have too many castles. We can’t wait for a peek. Thanks for keeping us in the official loop!

  • Is this an ACTUAL photo of the work that has been done so far? I was at MK last wednesday and it looked NOTHING like this lol.

    Thanks so much for the update!

    • Lianne – Yes, it’s a real photo of the castle. Construction began Thursday and it went up quickly over the next few days.

  • Wow – only my favorite Disney characters, in my favorite Disney park!! And it’ll be done by the time we manage to save up to come again – terrific!

  • Is this for Disney World???? or Disneyland?

  • So, what’s the big hole at the top of the castle? Reminds me a little of Tower of Terror…. is there a scary ride here too?

  • Awesome!

  • I was wondering if there will be a blog about the new restaurants opening in this area? Like will the Be our guest restaurant be a quick service or a sit down like Liberty tree tavern or a character dining? My husband and I enjoy dining in disney and look forward to this.

    • I just checked with my contacts and the current plan is that Be Our Guest Restaurant will offer quick-service options during lunch, and table-service dining at dinner. The best of both worlds.

  • I am excited for this expansion as well but please, please tell me that this will not ruin the sight line of Cinderella’s Castle. No need to mess with a classic. I know that the Imagineers have this in mind and will do the right thing. I just know it (fingers crossed!).

    • No worries. Cinderella Castle is still the prominent castle at the park. This shot was taken very, very close up to showcase the detail. I don’t think you can see Beast’s castle at all unless you are in Fantasyland.

  • Beauty and the Beast is my FAVORITE…it was my very first VHS and now I have it on Bluray….My family and I are coming to DW this August, I hope we will be able to take a trip again to come see it!

  • Can’t wait. Does anyone know what the actual planned phases and how they are opening in 2012 is? We’re planning on a November 2012 visit with our daughter who will be 4 then, so I’d love to know what will be open at that point.

  • I can’t WAIT to see more pics !! Maybe will be lucky enough to get a glimpse of any progress on my WDW trip in September !!

  • So glad the princesses are getting their own special place in WDW! We’re visiting this fall but I guess we’re just going to have to come back to see the new Fantasyland!! 🙂

  • Very exciting, love the planed new additions.
    I have questions: will Gaston’s Tavern be serving adult beverages??? Will this mean an end to the ban on alcohol in the Magic Kingdom? Not sure how I feel about that…

  • I wish I could sprinkle some pixie dust and fly straight away to see it but I guess a plane will just have to do. 🙂

  • That looks great – can’t wait to visit the finished product!

  • Beauty and the Beast is my favorite movie. I’m so excited about the castle and restaurant….it will open just in time for my 55th birthday party I will have at Disneyworld!!!!!!!

  • Can’t wait to see more photos & updates! 🙂

  • Wow! Wish it was done already…we just returned from WDW. Oh well, another reason to go again! 🙂

  • I’m very excited to see the finished outcome so far it looks amazing. I had a question I had heard rumors about a pixie hollow being the plans as well. My daughter will go crazy if that is true.

  • Awesome!

  • Amazing what WDI can do in just a few days!Very magical! Does anyone know how tall this castle will be?

  • All the more reason that my family will have to come back next year to see it!! We will be there in 26 days!!! Where will we be able to see this castle when we visit next month or is it in “hiding”?

  • Hi! i planned a trip to Disney in September 2011
    These means that Dumbo’s flying elephants, and Snowhite’s, etc. will be close?

  • Is there by any chance a schedule of what will be closed in Toon Town/Fantasyland as construction continues? We are coming down in late September and my youngest is looking forward to riding the Barnstormer w/ her Daddy, as she is too small for any other roller coasters.

  • What? Really? My absolute FAVORITE Disney film is getting a showcase setting? I’m so thrilled I can’t stand myself. Belle and the Beast finally get some real love from Disney…now if we can just get some B&tB merchandise for grown-ups. Please? With sugar on top? I’ll be there with bells on as soon as I can manage it. 😀

  • I cannot even begin to explain my excitement about this expansion. I know magic kingdom backwards and forwards, so having a NEW experience when I come out there will be awesome!! I love that there will be a new castle. Sounds like we will be able to explore a bit inside that castle too. (something Cinderella’s castle has always been lacking.) Great job Disney! Can’t wait to see the new and improved park!

  • I am so excited about this! this is our favorite disney movie! and to have it come to life is just going to be fantastic! I cannot wait to take my daughter there! Do we have to wait until 2012!? 😛

  • Walt would be very proud of this wonderful addition to the Magic Kingdom, it builds on his vision and dreams. It is fantastic that investment is being made in the parks, the emphasis has been on Hotels/Resorts for too long. I have always thought it a shame that Boardwalk was never expanded to include some wooden coasters as orginally planned? WDW could do with some thrill ride attractions themed like the California Park at Disneyland to excite the guests in their late teens early twenties.

  • It looks great. Upon some review of the picture, it certainly looks like a lot of not-so-hideen mickeys on the rooftops. I am hopeful for some real progress come February of next year, when we go Dreamin’

  • I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am for Beast’s castle. I ‘ve been going to disneyworld ever since I was five years old and always dreamed of Disney creating this amazing fairy tale castle. The Little Mermaid Castle looks beautiful as well. It’s gonna be a better than a dream come true!

  • Oh my God! I am at Disney about once a month, and definatly been peeking beyond the huge walls to see whats going on! I’ve loved watching it grow everytime I’m there! I am also wondering about whats going to be in Gastons Tavern, since theres no alcohol in MK (which would be awesome if there was at least ONE place to unwind).

  • I love this! I can’t wait to see progress on the Little Mermaid castle as well! It’s all just too exciting, hehehe. 🙂

  • We are gonna be there in just under a month. so bummed it won’t be finished, but I suppose I can’t expect even the imagineers to complete something like this in just a month. lol

    any chance we’ll be able to see it from the park as construction continues?

    • Yes. If you plan on standing in line for Dumbo the Flying Elephant, chances are you’ll have a great view. Bring your zoom lens though, as this castle looks a lot larger than it really is.

  • That looks awesome, im so excited for when it opens! Magic Kingdom really needed something new at the park to respark the magic and wonder. Im glad that they are making Fantasy land , It will be a great addition to the park!

  • I love Beauty and the Beast…glad they are getting their due at WDW

  • Can Not Wait!!! We are looking forward to seeing it and also waiting for the new value resort to open. so excitied!

  • Jennifer, keep us posted. We travel to WDW every other year and 2012 is the next time we will be there. My family and I are getting together this Easter to start the PLAN. Should we wait until later in the year like Oct-Dec 2012. Thanks!

    • Henry- As of now, the only timing we know of is that the area will “open in phases beginning in late 2012.” There’s no word yet on what’s opening first. Regardless of when you visit, there will be tons to do and see. The Halloween party and Food & Wine Festival take place in October, and the Christmas parties usually run from November to December. And you’ll have the new Star Tours to visit over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

  • I have only been to Disneyworld twice in my life, and cannot wait to go back. Seeing these new updates makes me excited for my next trip. I want to go NOW!!!

  • How awesome!!! I love all these movies! I can’t wait to go and experience it with my kids. 😀

  • Can’t wait for this to open! We love the Beauty and the Beast live show at Hollywood Studios, so this will be a wonderful new addition to Magic Kingdom! Planning to return in 2012….counting the days!

  • Wow, that’s so exciting to see how much progress is being made on the Beast’s Castle.

    I have a question though, Jennifer. Is work also being done on the outside facade of the castle for the new Little Mermaid ride??? I’ll be in WDW in May and wanted to know if I would be able to see just as much progress being done on the Little Mermaid attraction as what’s being done on the Beast’s Castle. Thanks.

  • Wow this was fixed up fast! I was there on Saturday and I saw the castle, but it wasn’t painted yet. Now it looks even better! Great Job 🙂

  • I cannot wait!!! I was hoping to see some new things at the MK soon!

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