Tuesday, January 18, 2011
WDW revealed today that the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history is underway, a project that will nearly double the size of Fantasyland and deliver a new home for Ariel, new ways to interact with favorite Disney princesses, an exciting new family coaster, a double dose of Dumbo and more. Honestly, the new concept looks better than the first one announced at D23 with more fun rides and is certainly the counter attack of Disney to the huge success of Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter. New WDI artworks were also released and you will find all of them below!
Scheduled to open in phases beginning in late 2012, the new Fantasyland will immerse guests in Disney stories as never before. Among the highlights planned:
Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, a major, all-new attraction during which 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 classic film.
The castle of the Beast, standing majestically upon a hill just 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 are 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.”
But that’s just the beginning of what guests will discover when the multi-phase project is completed. Here’s more of what’s in store:
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 ride 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.
Here is a detail of the big Fantasyland artwork at the top of this article (which i will put online in high-res early next week) showing the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride - and the Little Mermaid attraction in the background. It's interesting to note that the train goes in and out of the "mine" several times with big parts of the ride outside. In fact it reminds me the Grizzly Trail coaster currently build at HKDL (which have also a "mine" story) and i won't be surprised if WDI did a "Snow White" adaptation of the HKDL concept.....which is itself an adaptation of the Expedition Everest track, more or less. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride could very well be a solid "D" ticket attraction.
In Princess Fairytale Hall, Aurora, Cinderella and other Disney princesses, such as Tiana and Rapunzel, will greet guests in their new home, an elegant royal court on the site where Snow White’s Scary Adventures stands today.
The sound of the calliope will lead guests to the brand new Storybook Circus and not one but two circling carousels of airborne pachyderms on Dumbo the Flying Elephant.
Before taking to the skies on this Fantasyland favorite, guests can experience an array of fun-filled family games and interactive wonders for kids of all ages inside the Big Top.
Next door in Storybook Circus, the classic Barnstormer gets a bright new look as well, featuring Goofy as The Great Goofini. It’s a twisting, turning roller coaster “flight” high above the circus fun.
All of this looks not bad at all, isn't it? I like particularly the new Dwarfs Mine Coaster, they can do something really good on that concept...we'll see!
Artwork and press release: copyright Disney