Changes to Fantasyland Expansion Plans

The fact that bulldozers have already gone to work might lead you to believe that the plans for the Fantasyland update were long since finalized. According to an interview with the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs in the Orlando Sentinel, this is not the case.

While Staggs would not discuss specifics, it appears that someone decided that the new Fantasyland was weighted too heavily towards little girls. This is unsurprising, given the emphasis Disney has put on marketing their Princesses. According to the article:

"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?' " Staggs said.

The article continues:

"Our process is always iterative and always goes through changes as it goes along," said Staggs, who was the Walt Disney Co.'s chief financial officer when he switched places with parks-and-resorts chief Jay Rasulo at the start of this year. Staggs added: "I believe one of my most important jobs is to make sure that I'm enabling and challenging our creative process to create the best possible result."

While Disney is claiming that this change does not reflect a negative outlook on the original plans, it's clear the stakes are very high for the expansion. The Magic Kingdom is the most visited theme park in the world and is already congested as a result. How much of an impact the update has remains to be seen.

Photo Courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik

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