Disney Parks has released this video from Walt Disney Imagineering which takes a look at how Imagineers are employing current and newly-developed technology to help realize the fruition of New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.
In essence, it’s a slightly more dumbed down version of what was presented last year at the NASA Summit by WDI Florida Vice-President and General Manager Jack Blitch, giving an overview of the Building Information Modeling (BIM) and pre-visualization (pre-viz) processes and how it even averted a real-world problem at the construction at the attraction for The Little Mermaid which could have cost the company considerably more money had it not been spotted beforehand.
What is new in terms of information, however, is the use of tablet PCs while on-site with which Imagineers can interact with each other during the construction phase, offering visual and audio feedback including participating in WebEx meetings.
Phase I of New Fantasyland is expected to open fall 2012.
Although for the most part, there’s nothing new that’s currently mentioned there, the official Walt Disney World site has now added a New Fantasyland Expansion page which details some of the additions being added to the Magic Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort.
One element that does appear to be new, however, or at least not easily found with a Google search, is the Casey Jr. Roundhouse which will be located adjacent to the
Toontown Fantasyland train station and will feature a ‘circus-themed immersive’ water play area. Little ones will ‘splish and splash as Casey Jr. billows off cool steam and water squirts from playful monkeys, elephants and camels.’
We’re just splishing thinking about it.
Another minor attraction that made the list is Scuttle’s Scavenger Hunt which will be an interactive game outside the Ariel’s Grotto meet & greet. Scuttle will be on hand to assist guests in finding ‘seagull’s treasures from the Human World, like a dinglehopper or a bulbous snarfblatt.’
Lastly of note is the mention of the Princess Fairytale Hall which will eventually replace Snow White’s Scary Adventures. With Ariel and Belle having their own unique meet and greet experiences, the new page mentions only Aurora, Cinderella and Tiana as appearing here. Based on existing and recent meet and greets, on the surface, this appears to be salt on the wound for Snow White.
UPDATE #1 – 06/01/11 – It appears Walt Disney World has removed the page for the time being. For your convenience, we are now offering it here in PDF form: New Fantasyland Expansion Page
New Magic Kingdom Fantasyland Expansion Plans Announced; Snow White Closure Confirmed; Hi-Res Concept Art
The largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history is underway, a project that will nearly double the size of Fantasyland and deliver a new home for Ariel, new ways to interact with favorite Disney princesses, an exciting new family coaster, a double dose of Dumbo and more.
Scheduled to open in phases beginning in late 2012, the new Fantasyland will immerse guests in Disney stories as never before. Among the highlights planned:
Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, a major, all-new attraction during which 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 classic film.
- The castle of the Beast, standing majestically upon a hill just 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 are 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.”
But that’s just the beginning of what guests will discover when the multi-phase project is completed. Here’s more of what’s in store:
- The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will take guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The coaster will feature a first-of-its kind ride system with a train of ride vehicles that swing back and forth, responding to every twist and turn of the track. The journey will be accompanied by music from the classic Disney film and animated figures of Snow White and the Dwarfs.
- In Princess Fairytale Hall, Aurora, Cinderella and other Disney princesses, such as Tiana and Rapunzel, will greet guests in their new home, an elegant royal court on the site where Snow White’s Scary Adventures stands today.
- The sound of the calliope will lead guests to the brand new Storybook Circus and not one but two circling carousels of airborne pachyderms on Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Before taking to the skies on this Fantasyland favorite, guests can experience an array of fun-filled family games and interactive wonders for kids of all ages inside the Big Top.
- Next door in Storybook Circus, the classic Barnstormer gets a bright new look as well, featuring Goofy as The Great Goofini. It’s a twisting, turning roller coaster “flight” high above the circus fun.
Click on any image to expand it to a larger size. While the image is enlarged, click on the resize arrows to get an even larger view.
If you’re wondering why this new snack cart at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World looks more like it was crafted by ‘crazy old Maurice’ rather than Walt Disney Imagineers, it’s because it will eventually find its home just beyond that blue wall, inside Gaston’s Village as part of the park’s Fantasyland Expansion project.
The Walt Disney World Resort recently announced that its Toontown Country Fair will be closed permanently as of February 12, 2011 to continue work on the expansion which involves the relocation and doubling of the Dumbo attraction into that area. The only remaining attractions will be the train station and Goofy’s Barnstormer, re-themed to the area.
The Walt Disney World Resort has advised its cast members today that Mickey’s Toontown Fair will see its last date of operation on February 11, 2011. Beginning February 12, 2011, that area of the Magic Kingdom will be unavailable to guests as the park continues its work on the Fantasyland Expansion (FLE) project.
With respect to the attractions in Toontown Fair that will be removed as a result of this change:
- Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and the Disney Princess will eventually relocate to a new meet & greet area inside Exposition Hall. Should the meet & greet not be ready in time, the characters will remain available to meet & greet inside the park at locations to be determined later.
- Tinker Bell will temporarily be relocated to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The remaining fairies (Silvermist, Rosetta, Fawn, Terence and Vidia) will return to Epcot for meet & greets in the spring, presumably with the 2011 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
- The Walt Disney World Railroad will be unaffected for the most part, however the Toontown station will be closed.
Thank you to a Stitch Kingdom reader for the tip. This information has been confirmed by the Walt Disney World Resort.
The official Walt Disney World website has updated its operational calendar to include a closure for The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom from October 25 through November 14.
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