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D23 Expo: 20 pieces of concept art for the major Fantasyland expansion now confirmed for Walt Disney World

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Fantasyland

The long-rumored Fantasyland expansion / addition has been confirmed at the D23 Expo during the Disney Parks & Resorts presentation. Imagineers did not want to comment specifically on the leaked blueprint but it appears that, more or less, all of what was rumored is coming true.

The Fantasyland expansion will begin construction in early 2010 and all except Pixie Hollow will complete in 2012 with Pixie Hollow to follow in 2013.

Included in the new additions are The Little Mermaid dark ride Ariel’s Adventure, a Beauty and the Beast restaurant, elaborate princess meet and greets, and a double Dumbo that will have an interactive covered area rather than a queue for those waiting to ride.

Mickey’s Toontown Fair will be completely replaced as part of the Fantasyland addition, replaced by the new Dumbo ride/area and Pixie Hollow. The meet-and-greets for Mickey Mouse and his friends will be moved elsewhere in the park, though Imagineers declined to comment on the plans just yet.

The current west side of Fantasyland that includes Peter Pan’s Flight and It’s a Small World among other rides will remain the same as it is now and will not be receiving a makeover.

Imagineers say that while there are a lot of new princess elements being added to Fantasyland, they will be incredibly interactive and immersive and should appeal to boys as well as girls.

The new area of Fantasyland will be filled with trees and appear much more lush and shady than the current area.

The new construction will not affect the existing Fantasyland and there will be no major closures. Pooh’s Playful Spot may be disappearing as part of the project. The Little Mermaid ride will be taking the spot formerly occupied by the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction.

Here is the concept art for the Fantasyland addition that was displayed to the packed audience…

Princess meet-and-greets will be elaborately themed and will serve as much more than just acting as a place to take a picture. Interactive elements and small shows will entertain guests:

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

Beauty and the Beast’s castle will serve as a meet-and-greet, interactive walkthrough exhibit, and turn into a full-service nighttime restaurant. Scenes to be included will be similar to those found in the Animation area of Disney’s California Adventure, with the Beast’s library and wilting rose among others, but will be enhanced:

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

The interior ride portion of Ariel’s Adventure will be nearly identical to the attraction being built at Disney’s California Adventure. However, the exterior will be themed very differently to fit in with the Fantasyland environment rather than DCA’s Boardwalk area:

Fantsyland addition to Walt Disney World

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

The Dumbo area of the Fantasyland addition will be huge, encompassing much of the existing Toontown. It will include two Dumbo carousels and a circus-themed interactive waiting area to ride. There will no longer be a long, hot queue:

Fantsyland addition to Walt Disney World

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

Pixie Hollow, coming in 2013, will allow guests to greet the Disney Fairies in their own elaborate environment:

Fantasyland addition to Walt Disney World

A full video of today’s Disney Parks and Resorts reveal of the Fantasyland addition will be available soon so keep checking back.

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12 comments

dmandavids237 September 13, 2009 - 4:17 pm

wow looks like it is going to be a heck of a overhaul. Very nice concept art though.

Reply
Nick September 13, 2009 - 8:03 pm

Very interesting.Great concept art. Hopefully it turns out that detailed.

Reply
Hilton, located in the Walt Disney World® Resort September 14, 2009 - 8:59 am

Can’t wait to see the final product! Love the concept art pics – thanks for posting!

Reply
Cynthia September 14, 2009 - 3:56 pm

Thanks so much for posting I am planning to go to Disney World in summer 2012 for my 21st birthday do you think it will be complete by then (not including pixie hollow)?

Reply
gary kaplow September 15, 2009 - 8:53 am

how come on the dumbo concept art the wheel on the right has twice as many dumbo arms as the other one. it really does appear that the 2 spinners are different. i know this is concept art, but a detail like this i am sure disney would not have messed up like that. does anyone know if the 2nd dumbo spinner will be from the existing aladdin spinner in adventureland, which would explain the difference. honestly this seems like a cheap way to do it and overall would be a “disney detail” that would be a mistake.

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Timothy Mouse September 15, 2009 - 9:49 pm

I wouldn’t read too much into the Dumbo concept art. Looks to me like the spinner on the right is in a load/unload position while the spinner on the left is in motion … much more difficult to illustrate all of the Dumbos flying at different positions in the air.

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Ricky September 16, 2009 - 12:35 am

Cynthia – They didn’t announce any specific months.

Gary – I agree with Timothy in that the concept art shouldn’t be read into too much. It could be trying to depict one spinning.

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gary kaplow September 16, 2009 - 11:58 am

well maybe it could be that they left wheel is for people with disabilities too, and they are placing extra space to accommodate larger elephants (ie aladdin) that wheelchairs could be put right on with no transfer! that would be an amazing addition.

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Steve November 27, 2009 - 8:36 pm

Really nice concepts but much ado about nothing. One big new ride in the area is not enough. A beauty and Beast attraction is in order to go along with the Little Mermaid attraction. And what will happen in the older Fantasyland area. The existing Pooh attraction exterior, with tacky plywood books needs an upgrade. Let’s hope the existing Fantasyland will end p more like the Disneyland California version.

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amilcar padilla December 18, 2010 - 8:17 pm

This is awsomw I like to see this attractions complete, for stay with my kids and taking pictures for remenber this moment, is great this expansion of FANTASYLAND; CONGRATULATIONS

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FLMom March 21, 2011 - 1:03 pm

For those that don’t live near WDW, check out Florida Sentinal’s article.

Fantasyland Expansion includes:
ToonTown Fair Train station will now be for Fantasyland
There will be TWO dumbo rides that are, if I remember correctly, just like the current one (for which there is always well over an hour wait).
In addition to Gaston’s Tavern, Belle’s Cottage, Ariel’s Adventure (ride), the Beasts Castle, there will be a Seven Dwarfs roller coaster (family style), and Goofy’s Barnstormer will get an upgrade, and a new name, the Great Goofini.
The expansion will more that likely open in stages throughout 2012. I bet reservations for the Beast’s Castle will go very quickly!

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Robert September 2, 2011 - 9:04 am

Gastons Pub looks exactly like The Three Broomsticks at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal. To quote Shrek, “Hmmm, looks like someone is trying to compensate for something”!

Reply

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