New Fantasyland Expansion Details

A recent D23 event shed more light onto the ongoing Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The creative director of the expansion, Chris Beatty of Disney Imagineering, was on hand to divulge some details.

First off, there will be a new wall to separate Cinderella's Castle from Fantasyland. The wall, which will be situated where the current Dumbo ride is, will look "old" and "like it's always been there" according to Beatty.

Next, guests can expect to become immersed in the storyline of the new Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid ride. "Part of Your World" and " Poor Unfortunate Souls" will be heard during the ride. Also, look for the landscaping around the ride to be "greener" than the traditional Fantasyland.

There was also some news on the new restaurant, Be Our Guest. The restaurant will be able to seat 550 guests: 300 in the main ballroom and the rest between the beast's art gallery and west wing. It also will be snowing year-round.

In regards to Enchanted Tales with Belle, Beatty had this to say: "We want to give you a 40-minute immersive experience." It is an example of how Disney is rethinking character meet and greets.

As far as Dumbo goes, in addition to being doubled, the ride will get a color overhaul that will be reminiscent of the 1940's and reflective of the beloved movie.

With the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, guests will be accompanying the famous seven to work in the mines and also will see a cameo appearance by Snow White. Imagineers have gotten a sneak peek and a taste of the ride's cars which will flop from side to side. Word is they tried out the motion in Anaheim; Beatty calls the vehicle "extremely comfortable."

Though there is no set date for the Fantasyland expansion to be totally complete, guests can look for parts of the new and improved Fantasyland starting sometime in 2012.


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