Walt Disney World has confirmed that the Storybook Circus area will be the first part of the Magic Kingdom's expanded Fantasyland to open, in "early 2012".
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the resort revealed the news in Mickey's Monitor, a quarterly publication for Walt Disney World annual passholders. Previous quotes from Disney Imagineers had also pointed to an early 2012 opening window for many of the attractions in Storybook Circus.
The centerpiece of the new area will be two identical versions of Dumbo The Flying Elephant, with Disney doubling-up in order to reduce the infamously long queues for the attraction. However, only one of the two rides will be operational when Storybook Circus makes its debut.
Alongside the Dumbo attractions, Storybook Circus will also feature an updated version of the existing Barnstormer rollercoaster. Renamed as Barnstormer - Hosted by the Great Goofini, it will receive a new theme based on stunt planes.
Storybook Circus will also be home to Casey Jr Roundhouse, a small water play area that will be located next to the Fantasyland Train Station. In this area, children will be able to splash among model animals that will squirt water at them.
The remainder of the Fantasyland expansion is due to open at the Magic Kingdom in phases, and will feature a range of all-new and updated attractions. The headline additions will be the Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid dark ride and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train rollercoaster, while several new restaurants and retail outlets will also be added to the Fantasyland area.
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