Rumors about Fantasyland Expansion
Last September we reported on the news coming out of the D23 Expo about the giant Fantasyland Expansion happening at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. We followed up with another article showing an artists’ rendering of the new Fantasyland and another one with specific details.
Then in January we posted a photo of a scale model that Walt Disney Imagineering built – along with our own helpful labels – showing what the new Fantasyland might look like.
Recent statements made by big-wigs in the company have confirmed that they’re re-thinking Phase 2 of the Fantasyland project. Phase 1 consists of Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid – which are both well under construction. Phase 2 was supposed to include the relocation of Dumbo and the construction of the Cinderella and Aurora meet-n-greets, with Pixie Hollow to follow last.
Apparently, guest response has overwhelmingly convinced senior management that people want more rides and gender-neutral attractions, and not necessarily a bunch of princess meets. Disney listened, and almost completely scrapped Phase 2 – with the exception of the Dumbo move/enlargement.
While Disney has not yet made any additional statements regarding the new plans for Fantasyland Expansion Phase 2, Mouse Unlimited has a “source with sources”. Our source’s sources hold a variety of positions within the Walt Disney Company, and none of them really want to risk their job by spilling the beans to fan boys, but the source we’re citing has pieced together bits of information he/she has gathered from a variety of individuals into a cohesive theory.
We don’t usually report rumors on here, but some of this dirt is just too exciting. While not one bit of it is 100% confirmed, it’s fun to think about.
Here are some bullet points, followed by the same photo of the scale model as before, but with our updated labels applied for clarity:
- The area previously slated for Dumbox2 and the re-themed Barnstormer will stay as designed, with a circus theme.
- The train station will likely be re-skinned with a matching circus theme (perhaps something akin to Casey Jr), with a possible new Casey Jr themed snack stand and large gift shop.
- The current Toon Town will be bulldozed (which was always the plan) and possibly replaced with better “tents” to house future meet-n-greets (perhaps Mickey and Minnie will get to move back to this area after they greet guest up front in the Expo Hall for a while). The pixies will be displaced once Toon Town is gone, but they may go hang out with the mice up at the Expo Hall until they’re given a new home again.
- Since the old Toon Town will become the new “circus” area, Pixie Hollow is essentially off the drawing boards. Sorry Pixie fans – there just aren’t enough of you to carry that idea through.
- Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid will proceed as planned, and are – as we said above – well under construction as we write this.
- The most exciting change, to us, is the strong possibility of a new Snow White attraction going where the Cinderella and Aurora meet-n-greet cottages were to go. Theories include some sort of Mine Train ride, whether it be a mini-coaster, a dark ride, or a combination of the two. It’s a concept that a Senior Imagineer came up with a while back and it’s just been sitting on the back burner, simmering. Several sources have confirmed that this rumor is very likely to come true. The format is still very much unknown.
- Thoughts are that the old Fantasyland Skyway Station, which has been a stroller parking lot for years, will be retrofitted to house princess and fairy meet-n-greets. A few bloggers think it will be torn down to help widen the pathway between Liberty Square and Fantasyland, but we think the meet-n-greet concept is far more likely.
- The one sad note is that once the new Snow White ride opens, Snow White’s Scary Adventures – a classic Magic Kingdom dark ride – will close. However, that just means they have a large building in which to build yet another attraction.