Magic Kingdom Fantasyland concept art

The latest plans for Walt Disney World's expansion of Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom have been revealed in a photograph of a 3D model posted on the web.

The model can be seen over at Disney fansite Stitch Kingdom. It contains a number of changes from the original plans for the two-phase expansion, which is expected to be completed by 2013.

Some of the biggest changes to the previously announced plans include:

  • The complete removal of Hundred Acre Wood, the area themed around Winnie the Pooh's home which was to act as a meet and greet for characters from the Pooh stories. (Update: Further analysis from Stitch Kingdom suggests that the Pooh area remains parts of the plans)
  • The addition of a new ride to Pixie Hollow, the fairy world from Peter Pan. This appears to be a fairy-themed version of Mater's Junkyard Jamboree (due to open at Disney's California Adventure in 2012), with riders sitting in carts that are pulled round the circuit by giant mice.
  • Pixie Hollow has swapped locations with the new duel Dumbo rides, which are now located close to the existing Goofy's Barnstormer coaster (which is likely to be re-themed as part of the expansion).

The expanded Fantasyland will open in two stages, in 2012 and 2013. It will include new areas themed around famous Disney princesses, two new restaurants and - perhaps most significantly - a clone of the Little Mermaid underwater dark ride that is due to open at Disney's California Adventure in 2011.

The plans will see individual areas constructed based around four princesses - Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) and Ariel (from The Little Mermaid). The areas will be themed around each character - for instance, guests might meet Cinderella in her country chateau, and witness the Fairy Godmother transform her rags into a ball gown.

The area's major new ride - The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure - is a "musical adventure" that will take guests on a journey under the sea to meet Ariel and her friends. Few details have been released on the ride system to date.

The two new restaurants coming to Fantasyland are Gascon's Tavern and Beast's Castle. Making way for the expansion will be Mickey's Toontown Fair, although the Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse houses will be relocated.

In addition to the Fantasyland expansion, the Walt Disney World will get an upgraded version of Star Tours in 2011 at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Disney is gearing up to compete with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which opens at Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest confirmed and rumored new attraction opening dates using Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch".


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