It’s been one of the most anticipated expansions in the history of The Walt Disney World Resort, but it’s getting closer to being complete. Walt Disney World has officially announced the grand opening dates for a select part of the New Fantasyland. These are the biggest parts of the expansion, and will feature not only an all new ride, but also an all new interactive restaurant.
The expansion is expected to double the size of Fantasyland, and will let guests finally see all the hard work on Dec. 6th. Previews will start on November 19th, but I’m sure we can expect a soft opening much sooner than that. Here’s what is slated to officially open.
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, 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. The new attraction combines the enduring appeal of a classic Disney “dark ride” with wonderful technological innovations to offer guests a personal journey into the scenes of the film. Adventurers will feel as if they are descending below the ocean’s surface. Once “under the sea,” guests will find themselves immersed in the story of “The Little Mermaid,” sharing Ariel’s adventure through a magical cast of characters and a captivating musical score that will entice everyone to sing along. The fun continues at “Ariel’s Grotto,” a meet-and-greet with the mermaid heroine herself.
- The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill 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 will be 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.”
“Fantasyland is a place where a very special kind of memory is made: where children just old enough to understand the moment come in contact with princesses and heroes and meet their most beloved friends,” said Meg Crofton, president, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France.
No word yet if the previews will include dates for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party which will kick off select nights in November, but it’s a pretty good bet that the area should be in soft opening before then.
Next year the expansion continues with Princess Fairytale Hall which let’s guests meet their favorite princesses. In 2014 guests will be able to take a ride with Snow White in the Mine Train Coaster.
Reservations for Be Our Guest, the Beauty and the Beast restaurant begin very soon. Don’t expect to be able to just walk in and get a spot, as you’ll most likely face extremely long wait periods.