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Fantasyland expansion concept art

Walt Disney World has released a new photo showing off construction progress on the Beast's castle, a key element of the expansion to the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland area.

The castle will form part of an area dedicated to Beauty and the Beast, which will include a small-scale recreation of the village seen in the movie. Overlooking this will be the Beast's castle, which will host a 550-seat restaurant in its elegant ballroom, gallery and "West Wing". The Be Our Guest dining location will offer fast food during the day, before switching to a full table service in the evening. It is due to open in late 2012.

Beast's castle construction image

The Magic Kingdom is set to be home to a second major castle.Image © Disney

Also located in the Beauty and the Beast area will be a restaurant dubbed Gaston's Tavern, a retail outlet called Bonjour! Village Gifts and Belle's father's cottage. In the cottage, guests will be able to interact with the movie's heroine, as the classic story is re-told.

In January, Disney revealed updated plans for the expansion of Fantasyland, including the addition of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train rollercoaster. The revised plans focus less on Disney princesses and seem designed to broaden the appeal of the expansion, which had been criticized by some analysts as being too girl-centric. The first new attractions are set to open by late 2012, with majority of the expanded area due to be in full operation by 2013.

You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter.

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