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Fantasyland Expansion Archives

April 29, 2014

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - the Next Level of Audio-Animatronics

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Just days away from the Official Dedication (May 2, 2014) of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the Disney Parks Blog has released a new video of the attraction's Audio-Animatronics.


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February 25, 2014

New Imagineering Video Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

As the grand opening of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom nears (no we don't have an exact date, only spring), Disney Imagineers have released a new "on-board" video and more photographs of the details of the attraction.

Here are some recently released "detailed" photos (©Disney) of the Mine Train attraction:


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May 28, 2013

BE OUR GUEST RESTAURANT HONORED WITH NATIONAL INNOVATION AWARD

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2013 " Just six months after opening its doors, Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom Park earned national recognition for the groundbreaking dining experience being provided to guests in New Fantasyland.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts received an Operator Innovation Award from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) for the technology at the restaurant. An independent panel of expert judges recognized Disney for driving advancement in the foodservice industry.

“The 2013 Operator Innovations Awards winners redefine how the industry views innovation and will serve as the benchmark for other operators to apply the same innovative spirit within their own operations,” said Jeffrey W. Davis, convention chair for NRA Show 2013.

At Be Our Guest Restaurant, state-of-the-art touch-screen terminals allow guests to customize their ordersso chefs can efficiently prepare and serve a meals to their liking. The personalized, streamlined experience enables Be Our Guest restaurant to serve more than 3,000 meals at lunch each day.

Be Our Guest Restaurant at New Fantasyland continues the evolution of Disney's food and beverage offerings with great storytelling and several other elements, including ”flex” dining, transforming from a fast-casual location during lunch to a table-service dining experience each evening.

December 3, 2012

Storybook Circus New Entertainment - The Giggle Gang!

As Walt Disney World readies for the Grand Opening of the New Fantasyland this week, more news has been released.

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In addition to the Royal Majesty Makers; (1) Press Release (2) Photos; a new act for Storybook Circus has been announced, The Giggle Gang!

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The boss clown is Chuckles Buffoon McMonkeyshine III and his protégés are Whinny Horselaugh and Snort. They engage in circus shenanigans, from classic calamities to clown calisthenics.

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Also part of the Giggle Gang is the Silly Saxtet, that parade onto the circus grounds with their own unique twist on circus music standards. Wowzer is the featured clown, a specialty performer who takes center ring and keeps his audience enthralled with amazing feats of thrills, chills and hilarity.

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Inspired by everything from Walt Disney's “Dumbo” to the music of Spike Jones, the Storybook Circus Giggle Gang also has its roots in the classic traditions of The Greatest Show on Earth. Several members of the ensemble are graduates of the famed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.

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“I feel like I'm going back to my roots,” said Show Director Mark Renfrow, himself a member of the Clown College Class of '83. “People are going to be really surprised by the Storybook Circus Giggle Gang. They're just so approachable and fun. They really bring the whole circus area to life.”

Additional Links:
Official Disney Press Release Information

AllEars Comprehensive Coverage

November 19, 2012

The Story of New Fantasyland Interactive Website!

Will Gay, creative director with Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group, unveiled a new interactive website today on the Disney Parks Blog.

Called The Story of New Fantasyland, the new online experience has a custom-scored soundtrack, fly-through animation, and is narrated by actor David Ogden Stiers, who was the voice of Cogsworth in the Disney animated classic, Beauty and the Beast.

You can explore FindingFantasyland.com online now. Watch below for a preview of the site.

November 16, 2012

New Interactive Entertainment Debuts in Fantasyland Expansion

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“With the opening of New Fantasyland, we're excited to introduce several new atmosphere groups that will become part of the storytelling experience you'll find there,” said Creative Director Reed Jones. “They're going to bring the neighborhoods of the land to life in really fun ways.”

The Royal Majesty Makers engage boys and girls in random acts of “royaldom,” endowing them with the skills to become princes and princesses. These royal consultants, official ambassadors of Cinderella's court, inspire and delight visiting villagers with magical moments throughout the land.

Led by retired knight Sir Sterling and royal etiquette expert Lady Llewellyn, the Royal Majesty Makers also include squire extraordinaire Tobias and flirtatious lady-in-waiting Bridget. They may be found in the Castle Courtyard, conducting Knight School, delivering invitations to a royal ball, leading royal dances or even playing a game of “Sir Sterling Says.”

November 13, 2012

Central Florida Kids Get Special Sneak Peek of New Fantasyland

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 10, 2012 " Mickey Mouse and a few of his best pals opened the gates of Magic Kingdom a little early this morning to welcome dozens of Central Florida kids to be among the first to experience New Fantasyland.

During a special sneak peek organized just for them, members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida walked beyond the walls of Cinderella Castle into the Enchanted Forest and found themselves inside the pages of some of their favorite stories. They got to experience the new Enchanted Tales with Belle and Under the Sea " Journey of the Little Mermaid, as well as toast Gaston with a frozen mug of Le Fou's Brew.

“We wanted to share some of the excitement of New Fantasyland with members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida who have something in common with Belle " a love for learning,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of Community Relations for Walt Disney World Resort. “As a company committed to making a difference in the lives of children in Central Florida, what better way to start than by creating new memories with local kids as they enjoy Fantasyland.”

New Fantasyland represents a significant milestone for Walt Disney World Resort. The expansion doubles the size of the most popular land in the most popular theme park in the world. This latest example of Disney storytelling connects guests with beloved Disney characters and stories in new ways that are more imaginative, more interactive and more immersive than ever before.

At Enchanted Tales with Belle, guests pass through a magic mirror, interact with a talking wardrobe and join Lumiere to be part of Belle's story.
Guests enter Prince Eric's Castle to discover Under the Sea " Journey of the Little Mermaid and become part of Ariel's world through games and interactions with mischievous animated characters and adventures.
Beast's castle will feature Be Our Guest Restaurant, a lavish dining experience that includes an elegant ballroom, gallery and mysterious “West Wing” of the castle. The restaurant will seat up to 550 guests and will offer fast casual service during the day and elegant table-service dining at night.

The grand opening of New Fantasyland is scheduled for Dec. 6. Since construction began in 2010, Fantasyland has created 700 construction jobs with an additional 800 operational jobs coming online over the next two years. Jobs range from attraction hosts to management positions.

October 16, 2012

Imagineers Indepth Look at Be Our Guest - New Details

On the DisneyParksBlog live chat 10/15/2012, Creative director Chris Beatty shares new insights into the creation and final design of Be Our Guest Restaurant.

"Of all the videos we've released through the Disney Parks Blog, this is my favorite one. I think it really captures the three Imagineers and their love of building this and giving this to our guests."


The West Wing is meant to feel like any minute you're in there that the Beast could come busting in the door. There's a sense of foreboding to the room - the ambiance is very dark and heavy and it really takes on the personality of the Beast. You get this sense that you're trespassing in some place you should not have been. It's probably the most magical of the three rooms.


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Here you'll find the Enchanted Rose, which sheds its petals in a great illusion that brings it to life. There's a moment when you hear the storm rolling in and we hear the lightning get closer and closer, and when the final petal falls, you get this really great effect when the portrait turns from the prince to the Beast.

Early in design, we wanted to celebrate Belle & Beast's love and the moment they danced in the ballroom in special way. In Maurice's Cottage, the mirror was a gift given to Maurice by Beast so he could visit Belle anytime in the castle. We reversed this idea in the Rose Gallery, where Maurice gave Belle & Beast a music box to celebration of their love for each other. If guests look closely somewhere in Maurice's workshop, they'll see the maquette and drawings he used to build the music box.

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The Disney Parks Blog also announced during this live chat, they will host a Be Our Guest Meet-Up (with an appearance by Walt Disney Imagineers) at the restaurant on the evening of Nov. 17. The event will be open to a select number of Disney Parks Blog readers, and a confirmed RSVP will be required to attend. The opportunity to sign up will take place in November, so keep your eye on the blog for more.

October 9, 2012

Be Our Guest Restaurant Exterior Details

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The faces that guard the Beast's Castle

If you remember in the film “Beauty and The Beast,” Belle was originally a bit cautious when she entered Beast's Castle for the first time … before she was welcomed by Lumiere, Cogsworth and the castle's other enchanted (and enchanting!) staff members.

To create a similar effect here at the park, Imagineers included a host of beasts, minotaurs and other grotesques in the exterior design of the castle that make it truly the home of a conflicted Prince-turned-Beast. Once inside, guests will be welcomed at Be Our Guest Restaurant, which features a glittering ballroom, eerie West Wing dining room and Rose Gallery.

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Be Our Guest Exterior

October 4, 2012

Pete's Silly Sideshow Sneak Peek!

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

At Pete's Silly Sideshow, the custom-designed character greeting location created exclusively for Storybook Circus, you are invited to choose a path to meet either Donald Duck and Goofy or Minnie Mouse and Daisy, each playing their own unique role at the circus.

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Donald is The Astounding Donaldo, the most charming of snake charmers.

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Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Goofy, of course, is The Great Goofini, circus stuntman extraordinaire.

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Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Daisy Duck plays the part of Madame Daisy Fortuna, a mysterious gypsy fortuneteller.

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Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Minnie Mouse is the “Siren of the Seine,” that Parisian poodle trainer Minnie Magnifique.

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Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Detailed props and settings help reinforce each of their stories and fully immerse you in the world of the circus sideshow.tailed props and settings help reinforce each of their stories and fully immerse you in the world of the circus sideshow.

September 14, 2012

Be Our Guest Restaurant - Storytelling Through Dining

At both a media preview and on the DisneyParksBlog, new details were revealed yesterday about the Be Our Guest dining experience. Deb Wills attended the media reveal - look for her blog coming soon.

The big announcement that has Disney fans buzzing is that beer and wines will be served with dinner at Be Our Guest.

It's all about the mysterious new Magic Kingdom Park castle that's home to Beast from “Beauty and the Beast,” with a majestic Ballroom with 20-foot-tall ceilings, elegant chandeliers and a wall of 18-foot-tall windows that overlook the French countryside where a light snow is falling; the Rose Gallery, with a large music box centerpiece that's almost 7 feet tall, with Belle and the Beast slowly twirling atop; and the forbidden, dramatic West Wing, with the warm glow of the Beast's enchanted rose.

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Assorted Cured Meats and Sausages

A team of Disney chefs, including longtime Disney Chef Roland Muller, a native of Alsace, France, has spent more than three years developing the French-inspired menu, creating both a quick-service menu for lunch and a more elegant table-service menu for dinner.


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Mussels Provencal

“Our role is to finish the story,” says Walt Disney World Executive Chef Lenny DeGeorge. And while the quick-service lunch is more of a French bistro, dinner is a more elegant affair with dishes themed to the film: a whole roasted hen, a pork rack chop, pan-seared salmon with leek fondue and saffron potatoes.


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Grilled Steak with Pommes Frites

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Ratatouille

Gourmet cupcakes and mousse-filled cream puffs are finished tableside.

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Gourmet Cupcakes
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Mousse Filled Cream Puffs

“As part of the overall theming, we wanted to offer wine that enhances the guest experience and complements the French-inspired cuisine,” says Stuart McGuire, Beverage Director, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “The wines focus primarily on France's famous wine-growing regions, including Champagne, Alsace, Loire, Rhone, Burgundy and Bordeaux.

“We'll also offer the leading French beer, Kronenbourg 1664,” says McGuire. “And, staying in the general region, we'll also offer Belgian beers.”

Servers complete the picture, dressed in a style inspired by European fashions from the 1400s to the 1600s: a royal purple embroidered doublet, or vest, over a shirt with knickers that reach just below the knee. For evening service, a jabot or ruffle, buttoned at the throat, is added.

“From the moment they cross the bridge into the castle, it's all about immersing our guests in the dining experience,” says Bisienere. “Every detail is part of the story.”

September 4, 2012

Gaston's Tavern - Fantasyland Expansion

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A New Brew for Gaston's Tavern!

New details have emerged from Disney regarding Gaston's Tavern! The quick service restaurant has a new brew called LeFou's Brew. It is no-sugar added frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with all-natural passion fruit-mango foam, served in souvenir steins and goblets.

If you've been out to Cars Land in Disney California Adventure, it may taste familiar to you. The brew made its debut out there at the Cozy Cone.

Gaston's will be a comfy lodge in the French countryside and provide a respite from the hot sun (or rain).

One of the items that will be served all day are warm, gooey cinnamon rolls.


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Stay up to date on all the Fantasyland Expansion News!

August 31, 2012

Enchanted Tales with Belle - Fantasyland Expansion

Disney Imagineers Imagineers Chris Beatty, Chris Kelly and Ted Robledo are back with even more details about the new Enchanted Tales with Belle experience. Last week we shared the first part of the story with you via the Imagineers video.

Now we have stepped through the portal and are greeted by Madame Wardrobe and Lumiere. This video will show you part of the actual experience. If you want to be totally surprised, don't watch the video.

Five years in the making, Enchanted Tales with Belle takes us all to the next generation of character experiences!

Stay up to date on all the Fantasyland Expansion News!

August 29, 2012

Ariel's Grotto Meet and Greet in Fantasyland Expansion

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Ariel's Meet and Greet Prince Erik's Castle

A new character greeting location, Ariel's Grotto, will be opening later this year in the Fantasyland Expansion. You'll find Ariel within the base of the seaside cliffs upon which Prince Eric's Castle sits, but is separate from the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction.

Stay Up-To-Date with all the lastest Fantasyland Expansion News!

August 23, 2012

Fantasyland Expansion Update

Disney recently released several "signature" images of the Fantasyland expansion and a new sneak peek video of Maurice's Cottage.

The first image offers a view of New Fantasyland in detail from the very top turret of Cinderella's Castle. The landscape stretches from Maurice's Cottage on the left, all the way to the colorful Storybook Circus on the right.

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Belle is enjoying a book right outside Maurice's Cottage, with Beast's Castle high up on the mountains in the background.

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And finally, Ariel gazes at Prince Eric's Castle while the tide rushes in.

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Now Imagineers Chris Beatty, Chris Kelly and Ted Robledo show you a glimpse inside Belle's Cottage and her magic mirror!

The grand opening of New Fantasyland will take place on December 6, 2012. Attractions included in this opening are Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariels Grotto, Gaston Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts. Previews of these attractions will begin November 19.

The New Fantasyland expansion will continue with the opening of Princess Fairytale Hall in 2013 and the debut of a new Disney mountain in the form of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in 2014.

August 21, 2012

Be Our Guest Restaurant Reservations Update 8/22/12

UPDATE: August 21st; 8am: Walt Disney World Reports:

Disney Dining is still experiencing heavy call volume today. Expect longer than average wait times. Except for Be Our Guest, which opens online booking 8/22, you can make ressies online to save time.

If you made a reservation on Monday, August 20 for Be Our Guest, Disney is staying as long as you have a reservation number, it is a valid reservation. If you dd not leave a credit card on August 20th, your reservation will NOT be cancelled

If you tried to call and cancel a different dining reservation yesterday so you wouldn't be charged the no show fee, you will not be charged. This applies to dining reservations through 8/22.

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UPDATE: 8/21 afternoon: We're being told by readers that at this point, reservations made for Be Our Guest via the automated system that do not have a credit card guarantee will not be cancelled

IMPORTANT: If you booked a Be Our Guest Reservation today via the automated system and did not provide a credit card, your reservation may be in danger of cancellation.

Our friends at the DISNEY FOOD BLOG Report:

.... those who booked reservations for Be Our Guest Restaurant through the automated booking service this morning (i.e. you did NOT speak to an actual human being), these reservations have not been held with a credit card guarantee and may be cancelled today due to a glitch in the system. You will need to call back on the dining line today and modify your reservation, adding a credit card number guarantee.

If you do this, continue to confirm your reservations today and tomorrow as a precaution.

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Be Our Guest Restaurant


Reservations for the brand new Be Our Guest Restaurant began at 7am August 20 at 407-WDW-DINE.

There will be three themed dining rooms: the mysterious West Wing with the “enchanted rose”; the Rose Gallery with twirling, larger-than-life figures of Belle and Beast; and the elegant Ballroom with domed ceiling, twinkling chandeliers and glimpses of softly falling snow outside.

Chef Deardorff has been at the helm in Disney kitchens for 25 years, most recently as part of the opening of the restaurants at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai'i. Now he's back to open Be Our Guest, inspired by “Beauty and the Beast,” with three dining rooms and seats for over 500 guests.

“Lunch is quick service, but not traditional counter service,” says Deardorff. Guest-activated terminals make ordering a snap (there also will be traditional cashiers for cash orders and special dietary requests). You order, take a seat and lunch is delivered to your table " on china, not paper.

Dinner is table service, with diverse starters such as a charcuterie plate with cured meats and sausages, mussels steamed in white wine, French onion or potato leek soup, and a salad with champagne vinaigrette. We're intrigued by the salad trio with three mini tastes of roasted beet, raisins and orange; green beans, tomatoes and roasted shallots; and watermelon, radish and mint.


For more on the menu click HERE!


Two of these minotaur sculptures will welcome guests at the front entrance of the restaurant. Their design was inspired by animated footage from the “Beauty and The Beast” film, specifically the scene in which Belle enters the castle for the first time.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

You can make reservations up to 180 days out " the very first seating will be for dinner on November 19 by calling 407-WDW-DINE (3463), or visiting any Guest Relations theme park location or Guest Services desk at a resort. Online reservations will be available August 22 by visiting www.disneyworld.com/dine.

Menus: http://allears.net/menu/menus.htm#mk

August 14, 2012

Gaston in Belle's Village - Fantasyland Expansion

Earlier this month, Gaston's statue arrived in Belle's Village at the Fantasyland Expansion.

The first image is the artist rendering, the second is the actual statue. Notice the differences between the two.

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Disney Imagineers Ted Robledo and Chris Kelly share the back story of Gaston's Statue and also discuss the creative process that brought Gaston to "life"!


August 13, 2012

Preview, Grand Opening Dates Set as Expansion Continues for the New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. " Magic Kingdom guests blink back in amazement at the scene: not one, but two colorful Dumbos spinning through the sky above Storybook Circus.

To the delight of fans of the beloved Dumbo, the Flying Elephant attraction, a second Dumbo flies alongside. The playful pachyderm is joined in Storybook Circus by the Barnstormer Coaster re-themed to the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N' Soak Station water play area and the Fantasyland Train Station " all part of the multiyear, largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history.

There's more to come as the expansion of the New Fantasyland -- nearly doubling in size -- continues at Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, so many more attractions are coming on line later this year that Dec. 6, 2012 has been set as the Grand Opening of Fantasyland. Previews begin Nov. 19.

Slated to make their debuts:

-- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, a major attraction where guests will travel with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves " all against a musical backdrop of songs from the film. The new attraction combines the enduring appeal of a classic Disney “dark ride” with wonderful technological innovations to offer guests a personal journey into the scenes of the film. Adventurers will feel as if they are descending below the ocean's surface. Once “under the sea,” guests will find themselves immersed in the story of “The Little Mermaid,” sharing Ariel's adventure through a magical cast of characters and a captivating musical score that will entice everyone to sing along. The fun continues at "Ariel's Grotto," a meet-and-greet with the mermaid heroine herself.

-- The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill across an old stone bridge from Ariel's new home. The Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery, and mysterious “West Wing” of the castle. With seating for 550, this magnificent facility will offer “great food fast” service by day and full table service dining in the evening. Nearby in Belle's Village, guests will find the rousing Gaston's Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.

-- Just outside the village is Belle's cottage and Enchanted Tales with Belle. The adventure begins in Maurice's workshop, where a magical mirror is the doorway to a captivating new kind of storytelling experience: guests will be transported to the Beast's library to meet Belle and Lumiere, and share in a lively, interactive re-telling of the “tale as old as time.”

“Fantasyland is a place where a very special kind of memory is made: where children just old enough to understand the moment come in contact with princesses and heroes and meet their most beloved friends,” said Meg Crofton, president, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France.

“We are excited about sharing our treasured stories in new ways and giving guests the opportunity to interact with their favorite characters like never before.”

Beyond 2012, there's more in store for Fantasyland guests:

-- Located in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland, Princess Fairytale Hall will be the new home for visiting royalty in the Magic Kingdom. The castle-like entrance will feature walls of stone and stained glass windows, opening up into a large gallery " an airy space with a high ceiling, where portraits of the Disney princesses adorn the walls. When it's time for their audience with a princess, guests will proceed to elegantly finished rooms to meet Aurora, Cinderella and other Disney princesses, such as Tiana and Rapunzel (2013).

-- The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will take guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The coaster will feature a first-of-its-kind ride system with a train of vehicles that swing back and forth, responding to every twist and turn of the track. The journey will be accompanied by music from the classic Disney film and animated figures of Snow White and the Dwarfs (2014).

August 7, 2012

Pete's Silly Sideshow Coming to Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


The one section of Storybook Circus that hasn't opened yet is the area that houses 3 huge big-top tents. We know one will be merchandise, one will probably be food and the other will house Character Meet and Greets.

The Disney Parks Blog has announced details for Pete's Silly Sideshow!

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

This new character greeting area has two entrances: One line leads to Minnie Magnifique (Minnie Mouse as a circus star) and Daisy Fortuna (Daisy Duck as a fortuneteller), while the other line leads to The Great Goofini (Goofy as a daredevil stunt pilot) and The Amazing Donaldo (Donald Duck as a snake charmer).

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


Once inside the tent, guests have two options: Join a line that leads to Minnie Magnifique (Minnie Mouse as a circus star) and Madame Daisy Fortuna (Daisy Duck as a fortuneteller), or head to see The Great Goofini (Goofy as a daredevil stunt pilot) and The Astounding Donaldo (Donald Duck as a snake charmer).

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion

Pete's Silly Sideshow Fantasyland Expansion


In case you were wondering, Mickey Mouse will continue to greet guests in his current location at Town Square Theater on Main Street, U.S.A. And as usual, all entertainment is subject to change.

July 31, 2012

Maurice's Cottage in Fantasyland

Each week more details and photographs are released by Disney Parks Blog for the new Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World

Here is a look at Maurice's Cottage and some of the detail going into the exterior.

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

This home has a tinkerer's touch both inside and out. The roof sports mismatched chimneys and a creative weather vane.

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

On the ground level, the house is highlighted with heart shutters. Support beams line the house, which Imagineers intricately hand-carved and stained to look just like wood. Also, notice in this shot how the metal that affixes the beams to the house was designed to look aged and weathered.

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

A wishing well and wooden fence, which has been repaired by the handy Maurice using extra wood found around the house, outline the property.


Maurice and Belle's Cottage in Fantasyland

Here is more information about Maurice's Cottage

Tinkering with the interior light fixures


Storytime with Belle and Lumiere

A Peek behind the walls

July 17, 2012

Media Gets Update on Fantasyland Expansion

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., " July 12, 2012 " More than a dozen television stations and print publications got a peak behind-the-construction wall at Fantasyland. The largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history will create approximately 1500 jobs and nearly double the size of Fantasyland.

Since construction began in 2010, up to 700 construction jobs have been created, with an additional 800 operational jobs coming online over the next two years.

“By nearly doubling the size of Fantasyland, we will be able to accommodate more guests, and grow our business," said Jim MacPhee, senior vice president of Walt Disney World Parks. “Just as importantly, this expansion will add more attractions and experiences, giving guests even more reasons to return."

This multiyear expansion has been opening in phases. Recently, guests were able to enjoy Storybook Circus, which includes two carousels of Dumbo the Flying Elephant along with a new interactive indoor queue, a re-themed Barnstormer starring the Great Goofini, and Casey Jr. Splash ‘N' Soak Station. By the holidays, several more experiences will be introduced, including Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston's Tavern and Ariel's Grotto.

In 2013, Princess Fairytale Hall is expected to open and in 2014, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will complete the multiyear project.

July 10, 2012

Prince Eric's Castle in Fantasyland Expansion

Today we get a great look at Prince Eric's Castle which shapes the exterior of Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction.

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Walt Disney Imagineering uses "forced perspective" to "trick" the eye into believing the towers are much taller than you think.

Here is the earlier artist rendering of Prince Eric's Castle.

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Previous looks at Prince Eric's Castle and Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid:

Building a Grotto Under the Sea

Exterior Details


July 3, 2012

Beautiful Mosaics in the Be Our Guest Restaurant

Each week more details are revealed for unopened areas of the Fantasyland Expansion. This week, more photos of the inside the Be Our Guest Restaurant have been released:

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One of the floor mosaics in the entrance is the Beast's enchanted rose trimmed in gold.

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The mosaics on the walls tell the love story of Belle and the Beast.

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This is the doorway to the restaurant. Notice the detail in the columns!

The Be Our Guest restaurant will begin taking reservations sometime in August and will open in time for the holidays.

June 27, 2012

Be Our Guest Restaurant - Menu and Reservation News

Here's the latest information on the Magic Kingdom's newest dining experience, Be Our Guest restaurant, opening in time for the holidays 2012.

Braised pork for lunch and a grilled strip steak for dinner " Chef Michael Deardorff had a hard time choosing, but says those are two of his favorites from the new menu for Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.

Guests can start making reservations in late August with the restaurant to be open for the holidays.

Chef Deardorff has been at the helm in Disney kitchens for 25 years, most recently as part of the opening of the restaurants at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai'i. Now he's back to open Be Our Guest, inspired by “Beauty and the Beast,” with three dining rooms and seats for over 500 guests.

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“Lunch is quick service, but not traditional counter service,” says Deardorff. Guest-activated terminals make ordering a snap (there also will be traditional cashiers for cash orders and special dietary requests). You order, take a seat and lunch is delivered to your table " on china, not paper.

Back to the menu. “It's all about simple, fresh ingredients,” says Deardorff. “Just like your favorite quick-service restaurants across Magic Kingdom Park, you'll be able to enjoy sandwiches and salads at Be Our Guest Restaurant for lunch, but all with a twist that transports you to the French setting of ‘Beauty and the Beast.'”

There's a little French bistro flavor with tuna Niçoise salad and a Croque Monsieur sandwich with carved ham, Gruyere cheese, béchamel and pommes frites (a fancy term for French fries). Or go for the carved turkey on a warm baguette with Dijon mayonnaise, or the grilled steak sandwich with garlic butter spread, both with pommes frites. Heartier fare includes braised pork that's cooked for eight hours, and for vegetarians, there's a loaded vegetable quiche or quinoa, shallot and chive salad.

Dinner is table service, with diverse starters such as a charcuterie plate with cured meats and sausages, mussels steamed in white wine, French onion or potato leek soup, and a salad with champagne vinaigrette. We're intrigued by the salad trio with three mini tastes of roasted beet, raisins and orange; green beans, tomatoes and roasted shallots; and watermelon, radish and mint.

Entrées include a thyme-scented pork rack chop with au gratin pasta, rotisserie rock hen with roasted fingerling potatoes, pan-seared salmon in leek fondue, grilled strip steak with pommes frites, sautéed shrimp and scallops with veggies in puff pastry with creamy lobster sauce, and an oven-baked ratatouille.

Oh, and dessert " we vote for the cupcakes, strawberry cream cheese or triple chocolate. If cupcakes aren't your favorite sweet ending, there's a chocolate cream puff and a passion fruit cream puff.

For kids 9 and under, the lunch entrées include a carved turkey sandwich, roasted pulled pork, Mickey meatloaf, seared mahi mahi, or whole-grain macaroni topped with marinara and mozzarella. For dinner, it's grilled steak, grilled fish of the day, whole-grain macaroni or grilled chicken breast.

“We think guests will be pleasantly surprised with the menu and the value,” says Deardorff.

Previously shared videos of Be Our Guest Restaurant"


From the Disney Parks Blog

June 26, 2012

Double Dumbo Now in Flight Testing

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. " Magic Kingdom guests will blink back in amazement at the scene: not one, but two colorful Dumbos spinning through the sky above Storybook Circus as the expansion of the New Fantasyland continues.

To the delight of fans of the beloved Dumbo, the Flying Elephant attraction, a second Dumbo is in its soft-testing phase, with limited hours, taking its place alongside a Dumbo that opened in March. It's part of the multiyear, largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history.

Not only are two Dumbos, side by side, unprecedented for a Disney park anywhere in the world, they even fly in opposite directions: one clockwise, the other counterclockwise. A real circus act, if you will. Official opening is set for July.

The iconic attraction was inspired by “Dumbo,” the 1941 animated Disney feature film about a baby circus elephant born with huge ears. Dumbo and his mother suffer the taunts of other elephants and circus guests. But humiliation turns to triumph when Dumbo is surprised to discover, with the help of his faithful mouse friend, Timothy, that he can use the oversized ears to fly.

And “fly” is the sensation guests get aboard the Dumbo-shaped vehicles of Dumbo, the Flying Elephant. Young and old alike delight in controlling the up-and-down movement of their vehicles with the simple maneuver of a lever.

Both Dumbos feature shiny new red and gold colors (inspired by '50s- and '60s-era tin toys), beautiful newly-created signature illustrations from Disney animators and a new water feature circling the base of both attractions " a first for Dumbo.

The two Dumbos are connected to a new “big top” area (open limited hours in this soft-testing phase) allowing guests to immerse themselves in circus lore in a series of fun, interactive experiences before their spin with their favorite circus elephant.

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Guests receive a circus ticket pager that virtually holds their place and notifies them when it's their turn to board either Dumbo. In the meantime, fun-filled games and experiences are theirs to enjoy " in air-conditioned comfort. Guests electing the FASTPASS option bypass the tent en route to their flight with Dumbo.

Along with the two Dumbos, Storybook Circus now boasts the family-friendly Barnstormer coaster re-themed to The Great Goofini, the new Casey Jr. Splash ‘N' Soak Station water play area and the Fantasyland Train Station, a stop on the Walt Disney World Railroad.

June 19, 2012

Building a Grotto Under the Sea in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom

Disney's imagineers are continuing to provide up close looks at the details to be found in the new Fantasyland Expansion.

Here's a sneak peak at the queue for Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction.

Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid

The queue starts out by winding guests through the remains of an old shipwreck. The wood is faded from the sun, balustrades are missing, and the wreckage is dotted with starfish and algae.

Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid

Further along, guests will find themselves enveloped by the towering rocks on which the ship perished, with the path leading into caves under Prince Eric's seaside castle.

Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid


Examining the surrounding rocks up close, it looks like the wooden ship wasn't the only watercraft to meet its end in this area.

Opening in time for the holidays 2012!

June 12, 2012

Tinkering in Maurice's Cottage at New Fantasyland

The latest round of detailed photos of the Fantasyland expansion are from Maurice's Cottage (opening in time for the holidays).

Maurice's Cottage is the room that welcomes guests to the Enchanted Tales With Belle meet-and-greet experience. You can explore the tinkerer's humble cottage and workshop.


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June 6, 2012

Dumbo's New Interactive Queue

Disney has slowly been revealing the new elements of Storybook Circus, part of the Fantasyland Expansion.

One of the most talked about areas is the indoor interactive queue area that allows kids and families to wait out of the sun and also be self-entertained. This area is scheduled to open in July.

Show Producer at Walt Disney Imagineering Anne Kelly takes us through the new queue area:


June 5, 2012

Sneak Peak at Prince Eric's Castle -Fantasyland Expansion

Prince Eric's Castle will house what will certainly be a very popular addition to the Fantasyland Expansion, Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid. While the ride itself is almost identical to the version in Disney California Adventure, the exterior theming is completely different.

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Fantasyland Expansion Continues - What's Next for Dumbo

As Fantasyland gears up for the next phase to open, the Disney Parks blog has shared some sneak peak photos for Storybook Circus.

While a new Dumbo and re-themed Goofy's Barnstormer has already opened, the next phase will include the 2nd Dumbo and the brand new interactive queue area!

According to Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager, "This innovative queue area will completely redefine what it means for guests to prepare for a Disney attraction. Here's how it will work: Guests arrive at Dumbo's big top and receive a circus ticket pager that virtually holds their place and notifies them when it's their turn to board the attraction. Kids (and kids of all ages) can then become part of the show inside the tent by enjoying circus-themed play experiences, while Dumbo flies high above."

Families no longer have to wait in outdoor lines in the hot sun! With 2 Dumbos and the new queue area, the Must Do Dumbo charge will hopefully turn into a more pleasant experience for all.

Dumbo Queue

Dumbo Queue


May 28, 2012

Enchanted Tales with Belle - Fantasyland Magic Kingdom

The Disney parks blog continues to offer sneak peeks into the Fantasyland expansion.

These images are from the Enchanted Tales with Belle area:

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The Library will serve as the setting for a special meet-and-greet with Belle and her candlestick pal, Lumiere.

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Opening for the holidays 2012.

May 18, 2012

New Fantasyland Model On Display at One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The model for the New Fantasyland expansion, which was last on display for media during the Summer to Remember press event and for Disney fans at the 2011 D23 Expo, is currently being placed into the One Man's Dream exhibit at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

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May 4, 2012

Imagineers Share More Details - Be Our Guest Restaurant in Fantasyland Expansion

Imagineers Chris Kelly and Tim Warzecha discuss the three chandeliers they recently installed. The largest measures more than 12-feet-tall by 11 ½-feet wide, features 84 candles and more than 100 large crystals.

By the way, the ballroom is just one of the wings the Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature. We can't give all the info away yet, but another wing of the restaurant will be themed after the darkened West Wing of Beast's Castle.

Opening in time for the holidays 2012.

April 27, 2012

New Fantasyland Openings Announced!

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Meg Crofton, President of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations for U.S. and France, announced general opening timeframes today, April 27, for several attractions in the Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland project.

-- The second half of the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction will open in July 2012, along with the Casey Jr. Splash ‘n' Soak Station.

-- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston's Tavern, and Ariel's Grotto will open in time for the holidays. Disney has even released a sneak peek at the interior of the new restaurant here:



-- The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will debut in 2014.

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April 21, 2012

Minotaurs coming to Fantasyland Expansion

This minotaur, a mythological figure that is a combination man and bull, was recently installed at the Be Our Guest Restaurant, part of the Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom Park.

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Two of these sculptures will welcome guests at the front entrance of the restaurant. Their design was inspired by animated footage from the “Beauty and The Beast” film, specifically the scene in which Belle enters the castle for the first time.

Reported by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Disney Parks Blog

April 12, 2012

Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland - Time Lapse Video

For reference, the area on the left will be Enchanted Tales With Belle, Beast Castle (which will contain the Be Our Guest Restaurant), and Gaston's Tavern. The buildings and rockwork on the right side will house the Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction.

March 8, 2012

First Look: Walt Disney Imagineers Offer a Taste of the Be Our Guest Restaurant

“Be our guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test!” Or so the song goes. Who doesn't love this playful scene from “Beauty and The Beast,” in which the enchanted staff welcomes Belle to the castle in grand style?

And speaking of “style,” Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) has been busy recreating the castle's very detailed beauty in the form of the Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.

In this video, provided by WDI, Senior Concept Designer Ted Robledo presents our very first sneak peek inside this highly anticipated restaurant. Imagineers recently put the finishing touches on one of its major elements: a massive mural that will serve as the restaurant's backdrop. Here, Ted shows how WDI combined digital technology with traditional artistry to create a sweeping landscape that gives guests the feeling that they really are walking into a part of the film.

From the Disney Parks Blog

March 2, 2012

Weaving Costumes into the Storytelling Fabric of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Some of the first areas of our New Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom Park will be opening by late March, featuring a re-imagined version of The Barnstormer and a relocated Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction. When they debut, cast members working in these areas will be wearing new costumes inspired by the “Big Top” setting of Storybook Circus.

The Creative Entertainment Costuming team worked with Walt Disney Imagineering to develop these designs to bring the environment of Storybook Circus to life. The bold colors evoke the spirit of the ringmaster or sideshow barker, while the tails and detailing provide a period look of the 1930s.

In this video, you'll see how the partnership between Walt Disney Imagineering and Creative Entertainment has produced an entire collection of unique costumes to be worn by cast members in each area of New Fantasyland, creating a rich sense of place and community.

From the Disney Parks Blog

November 7, 2011

Disney Parks Blog Live Chat: Walt Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty to Talk New Fantasyland Nov. 9

(excerpted from The Disney Parks Blog)

The Disney Parks Blog will partner with Walt Disney Imagineering to bring you a live chat with Walt Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 1:30 p.m. EST.

Chris is one of many Imagineers who have been tasked with taking favorite Disney films, such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid,” and transforming them into immersive experiences that will thrill guests when New Fantasyland debuts late next year.

AllEars.Net had the opportunity to meet Chris and chat with him about the Fantasyland Expansion last month at the 40th Anniversary celebration in the Magic Kingdom. You can see the video HERE.

October 3, 2011

New Video of Fantasyland Expansion at Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney Imagineering just shared this time-lapse video that shows the amazing progress that's been made so far on the expansion. More importantly, this clip gives you an idea at exactly how large the expansion will be. I know I've said it before, but it's the biggest expansion in Magic Kingdom Park history!

Just for your reference, the left side of the construction represents the future area of Be Our Guest Restaurant, Maurice's Cottage, and Gaston's Tavern. The large building on the right side will house The Little Mermaid. (Storybook Circus, which is not included in the frame, will begin at the far right of this attraction).

The attractions and other guest offerings in New Fantasyland will open in phases beginning in late 2012.

Information and video from the Disney Parks Blog.

September 1, 2011

Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland Expansion - Artist Renderings

Here are more artist renderings of the new Fantasyland coming to the Magic Kingdom. (From the Disney Parks Blog)


Maurice's Cottage

The new Fantasyland will include an area dedicated to Beauty and the Beast, including Maurice's Cottage (left) and the Beast's Castle (middle).

Maurice's Cottage

Once inside Maurice's Cottage, guests can engage in a playful storytime with Belle and Lumiere.


Gaston's Pub

Gaston's Pub will be another highlight of this new area.

Gaston's Pub Interior

The interior will be themed after the one featured in the film - a hunting lodge full of antlers.

Journey of Little Mermaid

The Journey of The Little Mermaid will feature a statue of Ariel at the entrance.

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Inside the attraction, Ursula the sea witch bubbles up some trouble.

Princess Fantasy Faire

Princess Fantasy Faire will be the place to meet and greet your favorite Disney royalty.

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The Seven Dwarf Mine Train will whisk guests along a twisting track through a diamond mine.

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Storybook Circus will be the new home to Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which will double in size and feature an interactive queue.

June 14, 2011

Storybook Circus at Magic Kingdom - A Closer Look!

from the Disney Parks Blog


With all the updates we've done on the “royal” side of the Fantasyland expansion " Beast's Castle, Maurice's Cottage and Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid " the plans for Storybook Circus seemed to be a bit more mysterious. Until now.

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Storybook Circus will be based on our animated film, “Dumbo.” Here, Casey Jr., the famous locomotive from the movie, has rolled into town and brought the grand Storybook Circus with him. The area will be filled with colorful circus tents and nods to the famous film. For example, guests " especially little ones " are welcome to cool down with Casey Jr., who can be found near the train station, getting splashed by playful circus animals.

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Just past Casey Jr., guests will encounter big-top circus tents that lead to a “double” version of Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Also, in the tradition of classic air shows, Barnstormer will take on a new look and theme, becoming a spiraling stunt plane built by The Great Goofini.

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June 6, 2011

Enchanted Tales with Belle - A Peak Behind the New Fantasyland Walls

Information and Photos from the Disney Parks Blog by Jennifer Fickley-Baker


“Beauty and the Beast” was released in theaters in 1991, and to say that I was obsessed with this movie is putting it mildly. I was 12 years old when it debuted and I must've seen the film at least 10 times that summer. In my mind, nothing was better than spending an afternoon wrapped up in this tale of “far-off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise!” I remember sitting in the theater, dreaming of visiting Belle's quiet French village, exploring the halls of the Beast's mysterious castle and whirling across the golden ballroom in a gown of the same color.

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Soon fans of all ages will have the opportunity to do just that and take a trip through the world of “Beauty and the Beast” at the Enchanted Tales with Belle storybook adventure, which is currently under construction as part of the Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom Park.

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Walt Disney Imagineering is currently building Maurice's workshop, which will serve as scene one of the experience. The workshop, which is modeled after a French cottage, will be surrounded by a wishing well, footbridges and lush landscaping. Once inside, guests will step through a magic mirror and find themselves inside Beast's expansive library, which he created as a gift for Belle in the film. This room will serve as the setting for a memorable character interaction experience with Belle " which will require a little help from Lumiere, the enchanted candlestick.

Another “Beauty and the Beast” experience planned for this area is the Be Our Guest Restaurant, which will allow up to 550 guests to dine in the ballroom, gallery and “West Wing” area of Beast's castle.

These and other Fantasyland enhancements will open in phases starting in late 2012.


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About Fantasyland Expansion

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in the Fantasyland Expansion category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Festival of Fantasy Parade is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.