Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs Talks About Fantasyland Expansion Changes

A surprise announcement came last week that Disney may be tweaking plans on their ambitious Fantasyland expansion in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Previously, Disney fans were treated to conceptual art work showing an expanded immersive land where Disney Princesses showcased their environments in a rich forest atmosphere & even conceptual art showing some new dining spots emerged. Fanatics all over the ‘Disney-web’ were abuzz about how heavy the concept seemed to rely on Princesses & could potentially have low appeal to boys, if any. Perhaps Disney reconsidered it’s targeted audience & with the recent announcement about possible changes to the expansion, rumors have started to circulate again. Disney is remaining tight-lipped on what the reconsiderations may be exactly but this weekend the Orlando Sentinel ran a story featuring comments by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs that provides some insight & perspective.

“Far more of what was presented is going to be built than is not going to be built. In other words, the changes to this thing are, we think, making it better. But what was shown was great and is great. We’re improving it on the margins, is what we’re doing. Let me clear, the Fantasyland creative process has been a successful process since the beginning. It’s not one that was in trouble and has now been fixed. This is a very strong product. We think we challenge ourselves to make it better; I think the team has done just that.” (-The Orlando Sentinel)

Staggs remained strong throughout the commentary that their original Fantasyland expansion plans weren’t poor, stressing that ideas & concepts are a fluid process and until “rubber meets the road” there is always a chance for improvement & flexibility on the project. So when will anxious Disney fans find out exactly what to expect from the ‘NEW new’ Fantasyland? Staggs makes the impression that some surprises will be held close to the belt until the grand opening ‘rope drop,’ but bits & pieces of the project may be revealed slowly throughout.

“As you would expect, with passing time, we’re getting close to where the rubber meets the road. So it has to be getting closer and closer to final product. But it’s not 100 percent done. We’ll still play with it. We’ll still go through the process of making sure that we’re doing the right things in the right order in the right way….The point at which we unveil is a fluid question. There may be aspects of it that we don’t really want to show until we drop the rope and let people see it live.” (-The Orlando Sentinel)

Photo copyright Disney

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