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Imagineer Chris Beatty Discusses Fantasyland Expansion During Live Webchat

9 November 2011 No Comment

Artist's Rendering of Be Our Guest Restaurant. Photo copyright Disney.

Questions were posted either via the comments section on Disney Parks Blog, or via the live web chat.  They ran the gamut, from very specific questions about upcoming attractions, to what inspires Beatty as an Imagineer.

One of the first questions is one on the lips of Disney fans everywhere, who are poised to make travel arrangements:  when will the attractions begin to open?  Beatty stated that the plan was still to open the attractions in a phased approach, beginning in the fall of 2012.  It appears that Disney is still not prepared to share an opening date with the public.

Other interesting information included more details around some of the attractions.  For instance, we now know that the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is most like to be a ride fit for the whole (or at least most) of the family, rather than a thrill ride that is unsuitable for children.  Also, as previously hinted at from the artists’ renderings, water will play a major role in the new area, as will the Fantasyland Forest, where, according to Beatty, guests will be able to “com[e] upon the magical stories that are hidden in the forest.” 

When asked if he would share just one secret about the project, Beatty teased with this nugget:  “Okay, I’ll give you one. In a couple of days, we’ll release a picture on the Disney Parks Blog of a little something we received on-site to see if you can guess what it is.”  Earlier in the conversation, he also said that more news would be forthcoming about Lumiere soon, hinting that the candlestick character will most certainly be featured prominently in the Be Our Guest restaurant, a huge eatery that will be housed within Beast’s Castle.

Perhaps more than anything, the webchat provided a glimpse into Beatty’s excitement about the new attractions.  When asked by Eden what inspired the Disney Imagineer, his answer was heartwarming:  ”I’m really inspired by the reaction of our guests,” replied Beatty.  “There’s nothing better than standing at the end of an attraction and seeing their faces when they come off.”

We’ve asked before, but we’d really love to know:  what part of the Fantasyland expansion are you most excited about?  Share a comment below.

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