Fantasyland Construction Update


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:

Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

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12 Replies to “Fantasyland Construction Update”

  1. At first I was bummed that the new restaurant will be a Signature requiring 2 TS credits. Then I thought that maybe a Signature with no characters might be a good thing.

  2. i am more disappointed than i can say about the demise of pixie hollow. it was my promise to take my granddaughter to wdw just to see it. oh well–tinkerbell’s treasures closed so we can no longer find her flitting around or ring the bell to see her. a little of the magic dies for me every time i come. i find this so sad! i am actually here in wdw as i type this and ioften feel like i am part of a herd of cattle being twisted and turned everywhere i go. maybe i have finally outgrown wdw. i have lost all desire to return with this interview.

  3. Hi Deb…. I can’t make out what Chris says when he answers the question of when will we see the first phase open.
    He starts by saying “…well actually, it already has with the opening of….” But I can’t make out the rest of what he says.

    Do you know what it was he said?

    DebK replies: I believe Chris says that the redesign of the Winnie the Pooh queue was actually the first part of the Magic Kingdom expansion.

  4. Hi Deb! Thanks a bunch for this interview. I am so excited just like everyone else about this expansion and I just eat up all the new stuff I can find. The construction photos over the walls and all the concept art of what is to come. My family and I will be down there in late June or early July 2012. We were last there Nov. 2010 for the Christmas decorations which was fantastic. Every trip is a treasure of new experiences and life long memories. Such a magical place. Keep the info coming and I’m jealous that you have such an awesome website. What a cool job.

  5. What happened to Pixie Hollow?

    Deb Koma replies: Chris offered no explanation, just said that it was something they weren’t exploring at this time.

  6. Hi Deb,

    Great interview! You always know the right thing to ask to get the info.

    I’ve been hearing all year long that the Storybook Circus would be the first phase to open, but Chris made it sound like it would be the 2nd.

    That would be just fine with me…I’m more looking forward to Ariel’s Underwater Adventure. I am, however, disappointed that the Dwarfs Mine Train will be last to open.

    P.S. We’re hoping we’ll be able to meet up with you guys on 12-8 before we leave for home the next day. We’re going to be visiting Fort Wilderness on either the 6th or 7th. It would’ve been nice if we could’ve met there on the same night to see the lights. ~ Johnny.

  7. Do you know if the Beast Castle will be open by June 2012? Would love to have dinner or lunch there.

    Deb Koma replies: We’re hearing conflicting reports about when things will open next year. Some say early 2012, others say late 2012. I guess we’ll just have to wait until it gets a little bit closer to get a more definite date.

  8. A castle dining feature with no characters? I’m so excited! That’s awesome! One I can attend!

    We’re planning for December 2012 as well, Jan. I imagine a lot of people are.

  9. Hi Deb

    Sounds like they are making alot of progress with the construction.My girls and I are planning our next trip for Christmas 2012,Does it sound like the whole expansion will be finished by then? We love your allears blogs!

  10. Thanks so much for sharing this interview! Our next family trip isn’t supposed to be until 2013 but I don’t know if I can wait that long to see the changes!

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