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Opening Dates Announced for Beast’s Castle, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train & More

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Many of you have asked us – here on the Disney Parks Blog and on our @WaltDisneyWorld Twitter account – about opening dates for the attractions and restaurants planned for New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. I’m thrilled that we finally have some news to share today!


The next phase of Storybook Circus, which includes the second half of the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction and the Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station, will open in July 2012.


And, it looks like we’ll have plenty to celebrate this holiday season, including the openings of Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston’s Tavern, and Ariel’s Grotto.


Additionally, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will debut in 2014.

Now, who’s planning a visit?

For more New Fantasyland updates, see the posts below:


  • Thank you for the great update! Even though some of the attractions will not open until the holiday season, will the outermost wall be removed before then?

  • Thank you for reply i knew it would be a long shot but…we still coming and cannot wait..

  • To save any more confusion here, holiday season in the UK is usually interpreted as summer, but you actually mean Christmas and possibly thanksgiving? With a trip in August booked, can we assume we won’t see any of of the new Fantasyland ?

  • Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for your time in answering everyone’s questions. We are all so excited about the expansion, and really appreciate your feedback about the process. Just a query about your response to Rayne in comment 14 – with only the storybook area scheduled for completion by October 2012, should we infer that the other expansion areas will aim for opening at the Thanksgiving or Christmas ‘Holidays’ i.e. no longer a ‘Fall 2012’ opening but more Winter 2012? Thanks for your help. Sophie

  • I am SO excited for the expansion! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite movie and I’m so glad it’s finally getting the recognition it deserves! =)

    • It will be amazing for us “B&B” fans, won’t it?

  • Thanks for putting this up jennifer i am hoping holidays means around halloween with maybe some “soft openings” in late sept early october when we will be there. Not seeing it doesnt ruin my trip in the least but i hope to. my almost 3 yo at that point is crazy for princesses. lol. Well keep us posted hope to hear things are way ahead of schedule!!!!!

  • Hi i have my daughter who is a huge dopey fan keep asking me if the diamond mine will be open in feb 2014 when we return to florida? We have just come back from a wonderfull holiday aboard the disney dream ship where she got to take dopey around play sing and dance with himand truely loved every minute and cannot wait till our return hope you can shed some light on dates….thank you Donna and Billijo .

    • Construction is still ongoing, so I really don’t think it’s possible to get a specific day yet for that attraction. Please keep checking back!

  • We will be there July 3-10… how much will be open then?

  • I have plans for a trip in November starting Thanksgiving weekend, with my 3 and 1 1/2 year old grandchildren and their parents. Looking forward to it so much, went last year in May when it was just one little one, and it was the best trip ever. So I am really getting excited for this years trip. It is so much fun at Disney World, especially when you see it through the eyes of your grandchildren. Hope everything will be open by then.

  • Awesome news Jennifer, thanks for keeping us posted. We do not have any plans yet for going back to Disney World, our first and only trip so far was summer 2010, but when we do, I will be super excited to see Beauty & The Beast’s castle.

    • Yes, I’m a huge Beauty & The Beast fan, too. I think people will love this new area.

  • Our trip starts 3 weeks later than usual. So, I am looking forward to all the changes starting Dec.1
    Hopefully all the new areas are open then. Crossing fingers 🙂

    • Holidays at WDW are a blast, aren’t they Iris?

  • we well b there in the middle of june. taking my son and my two year old nephew. we cant wait!!! And cant wait to c the new changes that have been added to fantasyland. the last time we where there was during spring of 2009 for my son’s 3rd birthday.

  • Hey Jennifer, thanks so much for the update!

    This is the info I needed to plan our family trip to WDW. I know that dates slip, so I was postponed our trip from this year to next year just to be safe and I’m glad I did.

    I’m really looking forward to New Fantasyland including the new castle and dining. Now I’m considering either a trip around Christmas 2012 (we have never been to Disney during the holidays) or play it safe and move it out to Star Wars Weekend 2013 (have never been to that either).

    I miss the Pirates and Princess themed days! We caught one in previous years and it was amazing!

    Thanks again, Jennifer!

    • I liked Pirates & Princesses, too! That was a GREAT pirate ship float, wasn’t it?

  • Yay! Can’t wait for the Little Mermaid ride!

  • Fantastic news. We’re headed there the last week of November and have been keeping a hopeful eye on the Fantasyland expansion progress. We have so much to look forward to!

  • My daughter and I were last at WDW in 2010. We were lucky to visit Toontown one last time then (she loved Minnie’s house and Barnstormer). Our next trip is scheduled for October of this year (we visit every two years). We are so excited about the new Barmstormer, and look forward to visiting the all-new Fantasyland when we return in 2014!

    • Have a blast, Danielle!

  • Cant wait till its done im going to have to plan a trip soon to WDW!! it would be cool to see Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in one of the parks in califorina just puting it out there maybe something could happen!!! but cant wait =)

  • Two things: One, I’m going in November: PLEASE get us free dining: K; thanks

    The other, any clue on menu yet for BOG?

    • I REALLY hope to have an update on the menu soon. Let me ask again.

  • This is really exciting. We’ll be going there this holiday season, and I am really forward to dining at the new Be Our Guest restaurant.

  • I am going to be there in December… are reservations going to available the normal 180 days out from arrival, for the Be Our Guest Restaurant?

    • It’s on my list to look into this week.

  • These dates are very confusing with the vague “holiday season” being used as the timeframe.

    But the good news is that The Little Mermaid ride has already been open for the past 10 months at Disneyland Resort! If you can’t wait for the WDW version, head to Disney California Adventure now! 😉

  • I could be wrong but it was my understanding that the tents containing the shopping and Pete’s sideshow would not open until 2013.

    • Let me see if there’s an update on the tents…

  • I have holiday clients wanting to know if Be Our Guest’s evening menu (table service) will be buffet-style or a la carte and if it will require 1 TS credit or 2. Are you able to share that info yet? Thanks for keeping us updated!

  • Is there more to Storybook Circus after the July 2012 phase opens? Or is that the final phase? This is such exciting news! We are going just after Thanksgiving, and it sounds like we might be able to get excited for at least some soft opens while we are there!

  • I’m SOOOOO excited! 🙂 I’ve been waiting for this announcement a long time. We have two trips planned: one in October and one in January. I was hoping that the Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid sections would be open by October, but at least we’ll be able to experience the whole circus area on that trip… and we’ll be able to see the rest in January!

    • Wow, sounds like you get to visit often, Allie. Lucky! 🙂

  • Jennifer,

    Just curious if you know what the deal with the coaster is? I remember it was supposed to open next year not 2014. Any idea why it’s been postponed a full year?


    • I do not know.

  • I will be there December 6 through the 15 – sure hope it’s open then. Love to Be Their Guest!

    • 🙂

  • The new Dumbo ride is a gorgeous update on the classic and the Barnstormer is fast moving, though a quick little coaster, and wild! Even if some of you will miss the new Holiday updates, those two new rides are well worth your time! Anddddd, Starbucks is coming to Disney…HELLO! What else do we need? 🙂

    • Rachael – Isn’t the “new” Dumbo completely beautiful??? And I’m happy you’re excited for Starbucks. I LOVE their hot chocolate!!!

  • Looks amazing. I think we can all agree it’s great to finally see New Fantasyland take life. Looking forward to seeing it this winter


    Countdown to D23 Blog

    • Hope you like it, Kyle. From what I’ve seen, it’s going to be AMAZING!

  • We will be down for Star Wars weekends in June. Though we won’t get to do the Be Our Guest and Under the Sea on this trip, we will be swinging in on an excursion on the cruise we are taking in December. We will be there December 17th, hoping and praying they are open then. We would love to make Advance Dining reservations for that day, can’t wait to get an exact date for when we can do that!

  • This is SOOOO exciting! Can I share this info on my blog?

    • Of course!

  • I’m going to make the next year another annual pass year. Can’t wait to check out the new attractions in the coming year.

  • Yay! Looks like we’ll be able to experience almost all of the new attractions when we come in Feb. 2013!!! We can’t wait!!!

    • Sounds like a great plan, Jacki!

  • Anything starting in the Spring? It mentioned Spring, but it seems as though everything will be Summer or later?

    • Part of Storybook Circus (1/2 of Dumbo and Barnstormer Starring the Great Goofini) have already opened.

  • What, specifically, is the holiday season? When does the holiday season start? Did they give a specific date for the opening of the restaurant? Looking to make ressies! So excited and thanks for the very quick posting on this! 🙂

  • Well, I would love to plan a visit but unfortunately need something more concrete than “this holiday season”. Our main goal is to experience the new Fantasyland, so we are planning our next trip around that. Maybe we will get more specific dates by the end of summer.

  • Wow, this is terrifically disappointing. We rolled the dice and planned a trip for October, hoping the majority of the Fantasyland Forest might be open under the “fall 2012” completion estimate originally given. We can only visit once every few years and were last at WDW seven years ago, so I’m thinking now it might be worth it to put our trip off for another year, when there will be more to see than we saw in 2005, instead of less. I’m positive the expansion is going to be amazing, which is why I don’t want to squander my chance to see it.

    • Rayne- I’m sorry you’re disappointed! Of course your vacation plans are entirely up to you, but keep in mind that part of Storybook Circus has already opened, and the entire Storybook area is set to be open by your scheduled visit.

  • Does the Storybook Circus phase two include the two big circus tents? And what will they be home to?

    • I’m pretty sure that area is counted in the July opening of Storybook Circus. Let me see if I can find out more on this.

  • Does the holiday season include Thanksgiving? We have a trip planned for November and I am wondering if Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston’s Tavern, and Ariel’s Grotto will be opened during that time. Thanks.

  • Jennifer,
    I know people have asked time and time again, and I’m sure you would have posted it if you had an exact date, but any idea as to when the Be Our Guest restaurant will be opening? My fiancé and I are traveling to Disney World for our honeymoon in mid/late October and I’m DYING to know if it will be open then. You guys sure are good at keeping us waiting in suspense!

    • Thanks, Jennifer. I love sharing info with all of you, and OF COURSE I’d share exact dates per attraction (if I had that specific info). Please keep checking back.

  • When will the two tents in Storybook Circus open? I don’t think it’s even been officially mentioned what is going in them.

  • When you say holiday season- which holiday? Going 2nd week in November and this would make us all very happy to see!!

  • Anything for a more specific date on the castle (and more importantly, Be Our Guest) ? We’re coming down at the end of October and hoping to have a meal there.

  • Any specific date for the other openings (Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston’s Tavern, and Ariel’s Grotto)?

    I’d love to surprise my Disney obsessed sister with a trip once most of the expansion is opened.

    • Angela, as soon as we have exact dates per attraction, we’ll be happy to announce it.

  • So, when you say we will have a lot to celebrate this holiday season, do you mean before the holiday season like the week after Thanksgiving?

    • Amy – as soon as we have an exact opening date, we’ll be thrilled to share it. We know a lot of guests are looking forward to this. We are, too!

  • We’ll be there in August, so looks like we’ll get to enjoy some of the new attractions – awesome!!

  • Exciting stuff….but wow, 2 years for the mine coaster. We still have a ways to go, huh?

  • We’re planning a trip to Disney World at the middle of October – any chance any of the Ariel attractions will be open then? You mention “holiday season” so I’m hoping something may open earlier than expected!!

  • That’s great! I’ll be visiting in Novemeber 2012! So glad I’ll be able to see a part of the new Fantasyland. Do we know when ADR’s will be available for ‘Be Our Guest’ Restaurant?

  • Terrific news, thanks for sharing. While I would love to be able to visit Disney World more frequently, knowing this helps those of us from farther away better plan to see what’s new in the parks! 🙂

    • Thanks, Shawn!

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