Thursday, August 9, 2012

New Fantasyland Update: Grand Opening Date!

Ever since the announcement came out, more than a year ago, that Fantasyland would be getting a major expansion the #1 question on every Walt Disney World visitor's mind has been, "When will we be able to experience the New Fantasyland for ourselves?"  Well the fine folks at Magic Kingdom have finally answered that burning question for us.

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, Ariel’s Grotto, Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.

Advanced previewing of the New Fantasyland attractions will start a couple weeks earlier, on November 19th.  This soft opening period will be available to all guests of the Magic Kingdom, just in time for the busy Thanksgiving week.

Advanced Dining Reservations for Be Our Guest will begin in the next couple weeks.

The Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature three dining areas from Beauty and the Beast, the ballroom, gallery, and mysterious West Wing of the castle, featuring seating for 550.  Belle’s Village will be the home to Gaston’s Tavern, Bonjour! Village Gifts, and Enchanted Tales with Belle, an interactive meet-and-greet with Belle and Lumiere set inside Maurice’s workshop.

Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid is officially described as "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." In addition to the dark ride that also opened at the Disney California Adventure theme park, the experience will include Ariel’s Grotto, a meet-and-greet with the mermaid heroine herself.

The remainder of New Fantasyland's expansion will continue with the opening of Princess Fairytale Hall, the new home for Disney Princess meet-and-greets, in 2013 and the debut of a new Disney mountain, taking guests on a musical ride into the mines of Snow White and the Dwarfs, in the form of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in 2014.

The Storybook Circus section of the New Fantasyland expansion, which includes Barnstormer – Starring the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash & Soak Station, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, opened to guests in July.  No official date has been set for Pete’s Silly Sideshow, but an educated guess would put it on the December 6th grand opening with the other sections of New Fantasyland.

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