Details continue to emerge about the current Fantasyland expansion taking place at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
During the Destination D event held last weekend by official Disney fan club D23 to mark Walt Disney World’s 40th anniversary, Chris Beatty shared details about all of the new coming attractions. Beatty, who is Imagineering’s creative director for the project, provided lots of new details about the highly anticipated overhaul to Magic Kingdom’s most popular area. Guests can look forward to the following exciting changes:
Cinderella Castle will feature a new wall that will divide the park’s centerpiece from the rest of Fantasyland. Imagineers will employ methods to “age” the wall, which will run through the area currently occupied by Dumbo. “It will look like it’s always been there,” shared Beatty.
Passengers will truly become part of Ariel’s world as they embark on the new dark ride “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid.” Expect scenes featuring Ursula’s lair and Ariel’s grotto, with appropriate songs to set the tone. Landscaping will play a big part in evoking the images of the film as well.
The restaurant that will be housed in Beast’s Castle, known as “Be Our Guest,” will have capacity for 550 guests, as we’ve previously shared. Beatty expanded on this information, stating that diners will be seated in 3 distinct sections, consisting of the main room, Beast’s art gallery, as well as the castle’s West Wing. While the West Wing will have a “foreboding feeling,” the main room will actually be the ballroom. But perhaps the most interesting feature of Be Our Guest is that it will actually SNOW year around. We can’t wait to see how they pull this one off!
Gaston’s Tavern, adjacent to Beast’s castle, will reflect the tastes, as well as the possessions, of its namesake. As the song says, they’ll use antlers in all of their decorating. Guests can also see a statue of Gaston, graciously donated by the hunter himself, as well as his special chair and other possessions.
The area featuring Beauty and the Beast will also include what Beatty has predicted will be the “sleeper attraction of the expansion,” “Enchanted Tales with Belle.” The character experience will last approximately 40 minutes, and will be interactive.
The new iteration of the popular Dumbo ride, which will feature two carousels, is getting a facelift with new colors. Gone will be the current ride’s pastels, in favor of a richer palette in keeping with original 1940s film. The central feature of the new attraction will have panels that will tell the story of the beloved little elephant.
The Barnstormer, formerly Toontown’s kiddie coaster, gets a facelift and a new station. While we have been referring to the new ride as The Great Goofini, renderings that Beatty shared had the title as “Barnstormer Starring Goofy as the Great Goofini,” so we’ll await final confirmation of what the attraction will be called.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is set to be part roller coaster and part dark ride. While Snow White will make a cameo, the action takes place as guests head to work in the diamond mines with Doc, Grumpy, and Company. Testing is underway on the attraction’s unique cars, which will rock side to side.
As reports indicated, Imagineers did in fact adjust plans for the Fantasyland expansion to include more masculine overtones in an effort to make the new offerings more appealing to both girls and boys. While we still have no opening dates for the new attractions, some of the new elements for Fantasyland will begin opening as early as 2012.