According to an Orlando Sentinel interview, the rumors that Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs and team are redrawing the plans for Disney World’s Fantasyland Expansion are true.
Disney World is coming under heavy scrutiny as neighboring Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure continues to draw record-breaking crowds to the newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which appeals strongly to both boys and girls. With original Fantasyland plans incorporating three distinct princess meet-and-greet attractions and with the two major additions — a restaurant and brand new ride — both princess-related, speculation has been growing that perhaps Disney’s been leaving the little boys out of the equation.
“We took a hard look at it amongst a number of us and said, ‘Can we make the appeal broader? Can we make it even better?’” said Staggs. And while he also mentions that much of the originally projected blueprints for Fantasyland will still go forward, the changes are “improving it on the margin.”
“One of the things that I thought the early design did fantastically was delivered on that princess experience. And that does tend to skew towards girls. … We’ve kept that intact — not exactly, necessarily, the way it was presented, but that appeal is there,” Staggs said. “I think we’ve added some things that aren’t just princess-focused, and that’s a good positive.”
Staggs also mentions in the interview that planners are considering the appeal of “aspirational rides,” which incorporate thrills or tension, and how they can be blended into the plans as well. However, the Fantasyland project should still be completed on time in 2012 and 2013.