This Week in Disney History: ‘The New Fantasyland’ Opens at Disneyland Park, 1983

This Saturday marks the 30th anniversary of an important celebration. The year was 1983, the day was May 25, and a new, redesigned Fantasyland was unveiled at Disneyland park. Of course in true Disneyland fashion, there was a grand opening, including the lowering of the drawbridge at Sleeping Beauty Castle. That hadn’t happened since the park opened in 1955! Creative Advisor to Walt Disney Imagineering, Tony Baxter, was one of the Imagineers on the redesign team. Disney Parks Blog spoke with him about that opening day and what other attraction they used as inspiration. Enjoy!


  • I know I have photos and homemovie of the old fantastyland… I need to find them 🙂

  • When people ask me about my writing script I can say I even have it in Bronze at the New Fantasyland at Disneyland. Thank you Tony.

  • I think that New Fantasyland special starring Morey Amsterdam and Heather O’Rourke may still be on YouTube. Fantasyland was still closed, but it featured scenes from the redesigned Snow White’s Scary Adventures. 🙂

  • I have one of the “keys” that they gave to cast members to celebrate the opening of new Fantasyland. They’re probably not that rare, but I think it’s really cool!

  • I remember visiting when it was under construction. We rode the bucket rides overhead so that we could see the progression. It really is such a beautiful addition to the park and I love looking at the little details like all the weathervanes each time I am lucky enough to visit.

  • I still have my “New Fantasyland” t-shirt!

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