We first reported that Walt Disney World was seeking circus acts for its Storybook Circus portion of the New Fantasyland Expansion a few months ago. At the time, it was noted that solo clown acts were not being sought out, which many misconstrued as meaning clowns were not going to be an element in the Magic Kingdom’s expansion, which officially opens this Thursday, December 6.
Disney Parks and ABC Television have provided us with several images from taping that took place this past weekend and last month at both Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and the Disneyland Resort for its 29th annual Christmas Day Parade. Full details on the parade including performances, floats and air times can be found in our previous report from earlier today.
Photos in our gallery below feature appearances and performances by hosts Mario Lopez, Nick Cannon and Maria Menounos, Lady Antebellum, TobyMac, Ross Lynch, Backstreet Boys and the cast of Broadway’s ‘Newsies,’ plus many Disney character favorites including Jake from ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ and Sofia the First.
With just under a week before the official grand opening of the New Fantasyland expansion the Magic Kingdom, the Walt Disney World Resort has shared some interesting facts and statistics about the expansion as well as Fantasyland at Disneyland theme parks around the globe.
- Doubles the size of Fantasyland. Originally 10 acres; today’s Fantasyland with expansion: 21 acres.
- Largest expansion in the 41-year history of the Magic Kingdom.
- Between Walt Disney Imagineers and their partners, it took more than 140 disciplines to bring New Fantasyland to life.
- Future additions to New Fantasyland include Princess Fairytale Hall (2013) and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (2014).
A new post on the official Disney Parks blog teases what appears to be the Flying Dragon puppet/vehicle that was spotted during testing earlier this year at Minter Field Airport in Shafter, California. Using blurry video footage, the video appears to spotlight the vehicle and in fact the post does tease that it involves a dragon of some sort, noting some of which even breathe fire, which the Disney flying vehicle reportedly does.
Earlier today, the official Disney Parks blog held an internet chat with Walt Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty who is overseeing the New Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Featured in the chat was the reveal of the ‘forbidden’ West Wing inside the Beast’s castle which is represented in the New Fantasyland Fantasy Forest area as the ‘Be Our Guest’ restaurant.
The chat opened up with this video featuring Imagineers Tim Warzecha, Ted Robledo and Chris Kelly as they toured the restaurant, including the West Wing section, and gave an overview into the design and thought process behind the new dining location.
We received a new update from Walt Disney World regarding upcoming refurbishments and have new additions as well as several date revisions. While we recommend verifying all of the changes by visiting our ReSearch page, here are some of the highlights:
- Mad Tea Party at Magic Kingdom is scheduled to close on January 7, 2013 and re-open on February 19.
- Splash Mountain dates revised to close on January 2 and re-open on March 20, 2013.
- The Boneyard at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will have another 2-day closure, closing October 24, 2012 and re-opening on October 26.
It should come as no surprise, but now the official Walt Disney World Resort website has been updated to advise that Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland will be closing for its nearly-annual slow season refurbishment beginning on
February 3, 2013 January 4, 2013 and re-opening on March 21.
In other news, while the official site still shows a tentative re-opening date for Test Track at Epcot, the Disney Parks blog has reported that it will re-open on December 6, 2012, the same day that New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom will have its grand opening.
Walt Disney World has released these images of some of the art featured in the ‘Be Our Guest Restaurant’ which will soon open in the Fantasy Forest section of the New Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom. The restaurant features intricate works of art designed to convey the elegance of the Beast’s Castle in Beauty and the Beast, such as that seen here in close-up as well as an overall view.
Located in Magic Kingdom, the stylish restaurant will serve French-inspired cuisine for quick-service lunch and table-service dinner, becoming the first and as of yet only dining location to serve alcohol in the park. Part of New Fantasyland, Be Our Guest Restaurant will grand open Dec. 6, 2012 at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Casting notices have gone up seeking saxophone, clarinet and percussionists with ‘energetic and outgoing personalities’ for a new entertainment experience at the Magic Kingdom. There is no indication where the performances will be held, but the theme park has recently put out casting calls for circus acts and other improv groups believed to be used as part of the New Fantasyland Expansion at the Magic Kingdom.
Walt Disney World has just released this image of the Rose Gallery located inside the ‘Be Our Guest’ restaurant located in the Enchanted Forest section of the New Fantasyland Expansion at the Magic Kingdom.
Featuring a large music box centerpiece nearly 7 feet tall with Belle and the Beast slowly twirling atop, the Rose Gallery is one of three dining rooms at Be Our Guest Restaurant. Adorned with rose accents, paintings and tapestries, the Rose Gallery features French-inspired cuisine for quick-service lunch. Part of New Fantasyland, Be Our Guest Restaurant will grand open December 6, 2012.