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New Fantasyland Grand Opening Set For December 6 at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

For more than a year now, we’ve shared updates on the New Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom Park and we’re just as excited as you are to experience these magical new attractions for ourselves.

New Fantasyland Grand Opening Set For December 6 at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

Today we’re thrilled to announce that the grand opening of New Fantasyland will take place on December 6, 2012. Attractions included in this opening are Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariel’s Grotto, Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.

Previews of these attractions will begin November 19.

As previously planned, the New Fantasyland expansion will continue with the opening of Princess Fairytale Hall in 2013 and the debut of a new Disney “mountain” in the form of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in 2014.

The Storybook Circus section of the New Fantasyland expansion, which includes Barnstormer – Starring the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash & Soak Station, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, opened to guests in July.

How soon will you visit? And which New Fantasyland attraction are you most excited to experience?

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and follow @WaltDisneyWorld on Twitter for the latest on the New Fantasyland expansion. While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtag #NewFantasyland.


  • Bummer….We will be there the week prior to Nov 19…. We leave on Nov 17…

  • Dec 5 would have been a great day! Walt’s Birthday

  • Will there be a special announcement and some sort of pomp & circumstance that morning? We’ll be there on vacation, so wondering what the “grand opening” really entails.

  • I will be at MK till the 7th of Dec. I hope we can get a chance to see this, so excited. I am waiting for Be Our Guest Restaurant to take reservations. Do you know when I will be able to make reservations?

    thank you

    • Reservations will open at the end of this month. Our food author, Pam Brandon, will have a date to share with you soon.

  • This is so cool! I can’t wait to be there this Christmas! Thank you so much for the update, Jennifer! Now, all I need to learn is when I can make reservations at Be Our Guest, and the trip will be all set.

    • Sounds like a great holiday trip, Daniel!

  • A first for our family this year…Christmas at WDW! And this is the “Star for our Tree”…Hoping to get our Christmas Eve dinner at Be Our Guest! Can’t think of a more magical, holiday experience! 137 days and counting! 🙂

  • Coming down in January for my birthday! Can’t wait to see what’s been done!

    • Have a great birthday!

  • This post is in reference to Amy from FL on August 7th, 2012 at 6:17 pm post. You should register your pass to your profile on the disneyworld site. By doing this you will have access to the Passholder section of the site where updates abput the Passholder Preview will be posted. If you have done this, please accept my apologies. If you need assistance with adding the pass, you can call Disney’s Internet Helpdesk and they will be happy to help! I am not sure why you are not getting any emails that go out to Passhodlers, but I too was not receiving the Mickey Monitor and I called the Disney Reservation Center and they took some information from me and advised they were submitting a form on my behalf and I should start receiving my Mickey Monitor with the next release and low-and-behold, it came and has continue to do so. I hope that this information helps! 🙂

  • This is fantastic news! I have been reading this blog daily for the past six months for this very announcement. Thank you, Jennifer!

    I understand that the attractions opening are about The Little Mermaid and Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Are these all of the attractions in that area for these two characters, or are there still some that will open later? I don’t know the names of the specific attractions there, but it sounds like this includes all of them.

    I am most looking forward to this part of the expansion. A new castle, a new restaurant, and a new seaside exhibit are the most exciting attractions to me.

    I’m also looking forward to the new Snow White mountain and the Fairytale Princess hall, but this opening will be the most significant one for me. We pushed back our family vacation plans by one year to accommodate this opening!

    Can’t wait!

    • The movies that served as inspiration for this new area were “Snow White,” “Beauty & The Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Dumbo.” The Dumbo-inspired area (Storybook Circus) opened in July.

  • We’ll be there December 21st for the holidays!!! Can’t wait to see all of the wonderful new attractions!

    • It should be a VERY exciting holiday season!

  • Thanks for checking Jenn! Riding Dumbo during the WDW Marathon would make me and so many other runners very happy! Go runDisney!

  • Just visited Magic Kingdom July 17 and was sad to see Mickey’s and Minnie houses were gone. Will they be part of the new Fantasy land?

    • They will not. This area is now Storybook Circus, which is themed after Dumbo’s circus. I promise you, the area is amazing and the attention to detail here is breathtaking.

  • I can’t wait to see the change we arrive on the 5th just in time and hopefully will be able to get a reservation at Be Our Guest while we are there.

    • Best of luck!

  • So happy that the new expansion will be open when my family and I visit from the UK in late November/early December to celebrate my 60th birthday. We were hoping and praying that we would be able to experience it before returning to the UK. So excited!!!

  • So when is passholder registration for previews going to open?!

  • We are actually arriving on the morning of Dec 6th so very excited (great luck as that’s been booked for awhile)! We will miss the preview by a week when we’re there briefly in Nov (staying for a day on either side of our Disney Cruise) but so glad it will be open for our Dec trip. Heard that reservations can be made for BOG restaurant starting late Aug…will passholders get advanced notice of the actual date?

  • Thank you for the information Jennifer. My cousin, friends and I will visiting WDW in late September mostly for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. I tend to not go the Magic Kingdom most of my visits,(I’m 47 and have no children–but a kid at heart!!) however, I will go this trip to check out Storybook Circus and look at the progress of the other soon to be opened attractions at New Fantasyland!

    • I’m a kid at heart, too, and love what’s opened so far. 🙂

  • This is very exciting news!!! We will be there over Christmas and cannot wait to see the the New Fantasyland. We are especially excited to dine at Be Our Guest. Does The Journey of The Little Mermaid utilize any of the former 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride? (We were said when that closed down:).
    Thanks for keeping us updated on the newest Disney thrills.

  • So excited for this news. We will be there Nov 14 -23 to celebrate our granddaughter’s 6th, my wife’s 60th and Mickey’s birthday all on the 18th! My wife and I have Annual Passes. Hope that we might be able to bring guests with us or that since it’s Tahnksgiving week they will be sneak previews for others as well. Any idea when details about AP previews will be released?

  • My dream of being at Magic Kingdom was finally coming true in October. My girlfriend and I were hoping so badly that the new Fantasy land would be open for my Birthday. But I’ll have to just keep my chin up and hope that we go on my birthday again in the future! Thanks for the update

    • Fantasyland aside, have you considered attending one of our Halloween parties? That’s a great way to experience Magic Kingdom.

  • thanks for the info we will be there. do you know if they are planing anything speical for that day or are they just going to open them up with no ceremony? If they are not going to do anything speical I am thinking me the girlfriend and the 5 kids may as well skip the park that day as i know it will be packed. Thanks.

    • I don’t have any details on an opening ceremony yet. Stay tuned.

  • So excited to see an official date but very curious to hear who can participate in previews. We are scheduled to arrive nov 21 and are really hoping to enjoy some of this new excitement! Can you share with us who can participate and how to go about it? Thanks so very much ! Have a magical day!

  • I, like many others who have posted, am anxiously wondering what you mean by “Previews of these attractions will begin on November 19”???? Does that mean that it will be a “Soft Opening” kind of situation, where all the rides and attractions will for all intensive purposes be open to the general public from November 19th until the Grand Opening on December 6th? Or does that mean that a few select preview days for only select guests, like Annual Passholders, will begin on November 19th? Can you please elaborate on this?

    I have a separate additional question as well. You said that the “Grand Opening” will be on December 6th. Giving a “Grand Opening” title to the December 6th date makes it seem like there will be some kind of special opening day ceremony of festivities (similar to what Disneyland Resort did for the recent openings of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street). Can you confirm if this is the case and there will in fact be a special grand opening day ceremony/festivities?

    Thank you so much.

    • We’ll share the opening day plan once things are finalized. 🙂

  • Ahh! I started rewatching beauty and the beast looking at the details of bells cottage because of your posts and noticed all the little details the imagineers used in the new fantasyland, so amazing! Id love to know more details on the different themes of the rooms in “be our guest” and if i can request a certain one with my reservation.

    • I have more to come on this in future “All in the Details” posts. Keep checking back on Tuesdays!

  • Thanks for the news Jennifer!

    Could you possibly define “previews” please? We’re coming from Australia and are leaving 2 days before the grand opening! Are the New Fantasyland previews going to be open to non-annual passholder guests during this time??

    Thank you for taking the time to respond.

  • I scheduled our trip December 2-5. UGH! It sounds like there will be many previews?? What are the chances there will be one while we are there? I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars changing our flight if I don’t have to. I can’t go and miss Beast Castle! I would be happy with attending a preview and missing the opening on the 6th.

    • All is not lost: The preview time gives park guests a chance to experience the new attractions prior to the grand opening. During a preview period, attractions may have limited operating hours.

  • 17 questions about the preview and none of them were addressed. I am wondering the same thing they are. How will this work? Who is it open to? Please tell us. This is very exciting news. I’d bet there are are a lot of parents out there who would like to take their kids, who would be just tickled! C’mon, please don’t leave us hanging!

  • is there any chance they might open sooner then Dec 6th but have the grand opening for all of it on the dec 6th really sad i wont be able see it in OCT or for long time to come if so

  • I’m so so so disappointed that “holidays 2012” didn’t include Halloween, but I guess that would have been a bit of a long stretch!! And reading through all these comments from people who WILL be able to go is making me feel better! I’m super happy for everyone who gets to check out all the new stuff this year, and I’m super excited for my next WDW trip (hopefully in 2014 when the whole expansion is done!) 🙂

  • Jennifer,
    Do you know how the previews of The New Fantasyland Attractions will work on Nov. 19, that is the last day of our stay there in Walt Disney World? Do we need special tickets, or bracelets, or can we sign up for them for that first day of previews? I will be staying in a Disney World Resort Hotel, too. I would sure love to go and ride, “Under The Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid” and see the rest of The New Fantasyland before I fly back home that evening!

    • You do not need special credentials. The preview period gives park guests a chance to experience the new area prior to the grand opening. During a preview period, attractions may have limited operating hours.

  • Common Guys!!! How about we read before ask the poor lady a million times when we can start making reservations! I’m pretty sure she’ll post it the second she finds out!
    And the preview is for annual passholders.

  • Would have been the icing on the cake for our honeymoon in early Nov, but this just means it will be something new to look forward to for future trips. Can’t wait to hear more about it though!

    • Amy – Be sure to stop by the area anyway. Storybook Circus is open. 🙂

  • I read that the ‘preview’ is for pass-holders only and that the information can be found in the ‘annual pass-holder’ section of the WDW site. Not sure if this is correct tho.

    We’ll be there during the opening and it’s our very first trip to WDW!! We’re so excited!

  • Terrific!! We’ll be arriving on 12/10 to celebrate my daughter’s 21 st birthday and she has always been a HUGE Belle fan!1 Can’t wait to make an ADR for Be Our Guest!!

  • So excited we will be there for November 25th so excited!! My daughter loves belle!!

    • Yay!

  • So exciting!!!! We will be there mid December. Can’t wait to see the new Fantsyland!

  • I’ll be in Disney the week of November 12th, I’ll miss the preview of the rides by | | that much :(. Although I’m disappointed I’ll miss it I’m still super excited to get there again. Is there any updates about the Avatar Land (I happen to be watching it right now)? I haven’t seen anything posted since the announcement.

    • We’re keeping up with our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering on “Avatar” and we’ll share updates when we can.

  • So disappointed 🙁 this is the 1st time we are going for two weeks and we really booked our trip thinking that Disney would open it around Thanksgiving given that is the beginning of the “holiday season”….we leave 5 days before the opening! Although I’m sure it will be tough to get, is there any chance that the “Be our guest” restaurant will be taking reservations for those that are not Passholders? Thanks Jennifer for your great updates!!

  • SO excited. We already had Dec 6th planned as our day at Magic Kingdom. This will make it that much more special. Just hope we can get a reservation at Be Our Guest that day. Fingers crossed!

    • What a lucky guess!

  • Jennifer – once the Enchanted Tales with Belle is open will Belle still meet in Town Square Theater or will another princess take her place there?

  • Thank you! This is so exciting! By the way, your weekly Fantasyland updates are great! Thanks again! 😀

  • Dec. 6th is my hubby’s birthday! Happy Birthday hubby! celebrate my taking me to the new Fantasyland!

  • Yeiiii!!Excellent!!!! at last!! the oh so desired date!!
    What do you mean by preview?
    Thank you a lot Jennifer!!

  • I am excited to finally know when Fantasyland is opening however I am sad because we are missing the AP preview by one day. We will be on our honeymoon from 11-12-12 until 11-18-12. We were hoping to be able to eat at the Be Our Guest Restaurant while on our honeymoon. Oh well.

  • I will be at Disney World around December 13th ill be excited to see it

  • Oh, and do you have any idea if the new rides (specifically the little mermaid) will be open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party???

    • I do not know yet. Stay tuned.

  • What exactly is a preview? Do you get to ride the ride?

    • A preview period gives guests a chance to experience the new area/attractions prior to the grand opening. During a preview time, attractions may have limited operating hours.

  • Be there before New Year’s!!! Maybe multiple times!!

  • That is my Birthday!!!! So glad I that I am a cast member and will be here for the opening! Best Birthday ever!

  • YES!!! My husband and I are going on our “better-late-than-never” super fancy honeymoon to the World December 13th – WINNING!!!! 😀

    Will Journey Under the Sea have FP?

    • Yes, this attraction will have a Fast Pass.

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