More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap Sept. 4, 2011

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Aulani Opens its Doors to the First Guests

How about that! A double rainbow appeared over Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa this week just after we opened the doors to welcome our first guests. Disney Parks & Resort Chairman Tom Staggs helped celebrate the occasion and you can see more images from the day in our original post. Be sure and check the Disney Parks Blog as we prepare for its official Grand Opening celebration in September.

New Fantasyland will include an area dedicated to Beauty and The Beast, including Maurice’s Cottage (left) and Beast’s Castle (middle). Once inside Maurice’s Cottage, guests can engage in a playful storytime with Belle and Lumiere. Gaston’s Pub will be another highlight of this new area. The interior of Gaston's Pub will be themed after the one featured in the film – a hunting lodge full of antlers. And of course, a portrait of Gaston will highlight the pub.
The Journey of The Little Mermaid will feature a statue of Ariel at the entrance. Inside the attraction, Ursula the sea witch bubbles up some trouble. Princess Fantasy Faire will be the place to meet and greet your favorite Disney royalty. The Seven Dwarf Mine Train will whisk guests along a twisting track through a diamond mine. Storybook Circus will be the new home to Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which will double in size and feature an interactive queue.

And while we’re talking amazing sights, did you see this week’s renderings of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park? We first spotted them while walking through the Carousel of Projects during the D23 Expo and Walt Disney Imagineering was kind enough to share a gallery of them for blog readers. Now, here’s a look at some other stories we worked on this week:

Two Princesses Meet at Magic Kingdom Park – Walt Disney World Resort photographer Gene Duncan captures a special moment, as one lucky little girl meets one of her favorite Disney princesses – Rapunzel.

Adventures by Disney Launches New Destinations – Adventures by Disney is adding some “extra spice” to current destinations and two new – often requested – additions are coming to the 2012 Adventures by Disney lineup: Greece and France.

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Parade Performer – In the latest video of the “Every Role a Starring Role” series, you’ll meet Kelly Jean, one of more than 90 live performers who bring Mickey’s Soundsational Parade to life inside Disneyland park.

First Look: Inside Golden Oak Homes at Walt Disney World Resort – The first resort homes of the Golden Oak community are completed and we’re offering readers a look behind the residents’ front doors.

Vintage Walt Disney World: The Tencennial Celebration – As Walt Disney World Resort prepares for its 40th Anniversary, Disney Archivist Nate Rasmussen shares a look back at past anniversary celebrations.

Miss America Contestants Visit Walt Disney World Resort – Watch as all 53 Miss America contestants continue a Walt Disney World Resort tradition of walking down Main Street, U.S.A., and making some magical memories.


  • @ Robin – i am sure it is Rootbeer in the mugs to make it feel like a tavern :> there is no alcohol at MK and from what little i have about the addition of this spot to relax there will be none added with the new attractions.

    i love all the renderings and hope i am able to make it back in 2013 to enjoy the new sites!!

  • I’m a huge Disney fan and annual pass holder but i’m a little concerned about the 4th picture of the new fantasy at MK. Are the kids enjoying a turkey leg and beer? I’m assuming not because it’s Disney but it sure doesn’t look right.
    I still love Disney though!

  • Most excited for the Little Mermaid ride.

  • nice double rainbow

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