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The Fantasyland Expansion at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

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(See this for an update on the material below, which is now out of date!)

Walt Disney World is expanding Fantasyland in two phases, scheduled for opening in 2012 and 2013.

Most notably in the first phase, a new major attraction, themed around The Little Mermaid, is expected to open in 2012. 

The highlight of the 2013 expansion will be Pixie Hollow, an opportunity to have fun with Tinker Bell and her friends.

These will be major enhancements to the Magic Kingdom–the largest additions for more than 20 years.  They will be particularly attractive to girls fascinated by Disney’s princesses, fairies, Ariel, or all of these!

Families of such daughters planning a visit, and not sure if this will be their only visit to Disney World, might wish to delay their trip until these attractions open, if they think their kids will continue this fascination. 

That said, opening dates are estimates, and Disney World will be a wonderful visit even without these new items.  Rather than delay, some families might be better off thinking about two shorter trips–one focused on the current Walt Disney World, and Harry Potter, and a second later trip to enjoy the Fantasyland additions.


Disney World Fantasyland ExpansionThink of the expansion as having five major components.  Two have been noted above–the new Little Mermaid ride, and Pixie Hollow.  The other three are

  • Belle’s Castle, including a new restaurant–Be Our Guest restaurant, which will be counter service at lunch but table service at dinner
  • New opportunities to meet the other princesses–e.g. Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella–in a new, more playful setting
  • A relocation and expansion of Dumbo.  Two Dumbos are planned, in a new circus-themed area that will also include elements of Disney’s NextGen project (See this for more on on NextGen at Walt Disney World.)

All but Pixie Hollow are currently aimed at a 2012 opening.

These new experiences will be built in spaces north and west of the current Fantasyland, including where Toontown Fair is currently located.


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