Walt Disney World news

Major Disney Theme Park Updates Announced

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Sep 12, 2009 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM

Rumors of a possible Fantasyland update at Walt Disney World have been discussed all over the internet this summer. They are rumors no longer. At the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo announced plans for a Fantasyland expansion - the largest in the company's history.

By 2013, guests will be able to visit their favorite princesses in their own themed attractions. Dance with Cinderella, celebrate Aurora's birthday and put on a performance with Belle in Beast's castle, which will also include a new themed restaurant. To attract boys to the area, the films' villains will also play a role in the update.

Other plans include increasing the size of the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride and creating a circus tent to house the new attraction. Pixie Hollow, a character meet-and-greet area, will be added for guests to interact with Tinker Bell and her friends. The fairies are currently located in Mickey's Toontown Fair along with several other Disney characters.

One of the biggest additions will be a new Little Mermaid ride. Guests will travel through Ariel's underwater world using an Omnimover ride system like the Haunted Mansion. This ride is also planned as part of the update to Disney's California Adventure.

To make room for the expansion, most of Toontown will be removed. The roller coaster, the Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm, will remain but will be rethemed, possibly related to Dumbo's circus. Mickey and Minnie will get new homes near the front of the park.

In news for other parks, "Star Tours" at both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland will get a new 3-D update. New video and dialogue will be added to incorporate the newer Star Wars prequel films.

To see an artist's rendering of the Fantasyland expansion, click here.

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