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Ariel's Grotto concept art

Walt Disney World has released concept artwork for the Ariel's Grotto meet-and-greet attraction, which will form part of the Magic Kingdom's expanded New Fantasyland.

The grotto will be housed in the rocks that will prop up Prince Eric's Castle, which will host the Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid dark ride. It will enable guests to meet Ariel, the lead character in The Little Mermaid, who will be perched on a seashell-themed throne.

Ariel's Grotto will officially debut to the public on December 6, 2012, along with a host of other new attractions in the New Fantasyland area. Previews aimed at Cast Members, Disney Vacation Club members and Annual Passholders will commence on November 19.

Ariel's Grotto concept art

Image © Disney

Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid will be almost identical to The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure at Disney California Adventure. Using an Omnimover ride system similar to that employed by the Haunted Mansion, it will take guests through a series of scenes that retell the story of the animated movie.

Although Disney is billing the December 6 date as the grand opening of the expanded "New Fantasyland", it won't be fully completed until the debut of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster in 2014.

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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