As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations today in the Magic Kingdom, we had the opportunity to speak with Chris Beatty, creative director for the new Fantasyland expansion construction project currently under way in the Magic Kingdom
A few of the highlights that Beatty discussed:
— While we see the Beast Castle taking shape over the construction walls, it will probably not be the first thing to open in the new Fantasyland. That distinction will probably go to the “circus elements” — the areas surrounding the upgraded “double Dumbo” attraction. That will be followed by the Beast Castle restaurants, Enchanted Tales with Belle and the new Little Mermaid attraction, and then lastly the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
— The restaurant in the Beast Castle will be serving lunch and dinner, with no characters, and will be the signature restaurant for the Magic Kingdom.
— There will be an animatronic Lumiere (the candlestick from Beauty and the Beast), that will be sort of a next-generation Mr. Potato Head (as seen in Toy Story Mania).
— The previously announced Pixie Hollow area is no longer being considered as part of this expansion.
Here’s the complete interview: