Magic Kingdom Fantasyland expansion changes: The right move for Disney?

In August, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced that changes were being made to the ongoing Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

Speculation is that these changes were made to accommodate for more attractions aimed at boys, rather than just the Princess set. And of course there’s added competition from the new Harry Potter-themed land at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, though Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs denies that the Wizarding World is a factor in the Fantasyland changes.

Staggs went on to say the final Fantasyland product is “not 100 percent done,” but already the rumor mill is churning with thoughts of what is on the chopping block vs. what is being kept for the expansion.

Everything Walt Disney World reports that the most credible rumor is that the Pixie Hollow meet-and-greets seem to be on the chopping block – and this jives with what Staggs told the media in August.

And just recently, the rumor mill churned yet again with thoughts that the Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty-themed interactive meet-and-greets were also getting the axe, with plans instead calling for a Snow White-themed roller coaster.

But it appears that the Little Mermaid-themed dark ride is still a go, with a $15 million permit obtained to build it. And here Progress City USA provides some video proof that along with the Little Mermaid ride, the Beauty and the Beast Be Our Guest table-service restaurant and the enhanced Dumbo ride are also still on the blueprints.

So assuming these rumors are credible, and that Disney is making an effort to appeal beyond the 3- to 8-year old Princess and Fairy set, do you think pulling away from meet-and-greets and moving toward more action rides is the right move? Leave a comment below.

3 responses to “Magic Kingdom Fantasyland expansion changes: The right move for Disney?

  • i have heard that they were putting the castles of the other princesses in the back for meet and greets. i’m not sure if that’s true or not. my friends recently went to the park when only its a small world was still open and that is what they had told her. i think that adding new rides is a good idea but they should also keep a place for meet and greets. little girls and boys go to disney world to meet there favorite character they can’t take that away from the kids.

  • It seems to me they could retain some meet and greet areas without going so overboard with the buildings. The “Beauty and the Beast” castle/restaurant is a great idea, but Pixie Hollow does seem like a waste of valuable space to me. But hey, I’m a 40 year old man, so I guess that would be expected.

    The two dreams I would have for a Fantasyland expansion other than what has already been proposed/planned would include:

    1) The Return of “Mr Toad’s Wild Ride!” This was one of my favorite rides as a kid, even though I had never seen the cartoon or read the book. I’m sure they’ll dig their heels in and never do this, but a guy can hope can’t he?

    2) A “Sleeping Beauty” ride from the point of view of the prince, using the same kind of ride experience employed by the “DarKastle” ride at Busch Gardens in Virginia and the “Spider-Man” ride at Islands of Adventure. The ride would start with the fairies rescuing you from Melificent’s prison and explaining what you had to do. The rest is already written by the film. Imagine being confronted in the middle of a dark ride by a humongous 3-D purple dragon! The cars could gallop like the horse and feint during the battle with the dragon. Also, the forest of thorns could be a mixture of both 3-D and practical effects. This ride would probably be too intense for very little kids, but ummm….it would seriously kick butt!!

Leave a Reply