New Fantasyland By the Numbers and Other Fun Facts

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.

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Disney’s Flying Dragon Officially Tied to New Fantasyland

Disney's Flying Dragon PuppetA 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.

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‘Disney Twenty-Three’ Goes Inside ‘Wreck-It Ralph,’ ‘Epic Mickey,’ New Fantasyland and More

Disney 'twenty-three' magazine winter 2013It’s time to get your game on, as the winter issue of Disney twenty-three, the flagship magazine of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, takes readers on a vivid journey through the world of Wreck-It Ralph, the sensational new film from Walt Disney Feature Animation. The hilarious and touching film begs the question, What would happen if a video game bad guy decided he was tired of being bad?

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VIDEO: ‘Be Our Guest’ Restaurant West Wing Preview with Walt Disney Imagineering and Chat Recap

The West Wing at 'Be Our Guest' RestaurantEarlier 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.

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WDW Refurb Update: Mad Tea Party, Blizzard Beach Extension, Other Date Changes

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.

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WDW Refurb Update: Splash Mountain Closure in 2013

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.

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First Look: ‘Be Our Guest’ Stained Glass Art Featuring Belle and Prince

'Be Our Guest' Restaurant Stained Glass (David Roark/Disney)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.

'Be Our Guest' stained glass (David Roark/Disney)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.

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Musicians Wanted by Walt Disney World for Interactive Entertainment Experience

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.

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‘New Fantasyland’ Preview for D23, Annual Passholders Announced; Limited Edition Merchandise Pre-Order

'New Fantasyland Commemorative Collection' Men's Tee ShirtDisney D23, the official club for fans of The Walt Disney Company, has announced it will be offering its members the opportunity to obtain free tickets to be among the first to preview the Fantasy Forest area of the ‘New Fantasyland’ expansion at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on the weekend of November 3-4, 2012.

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Speculation: Mermaids to Join ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ at Walt Disney World

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, the official Disney Parks blog has announced that Walt Disney Imagineering will soon be taking a cue from the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, On Stranger Tides, and adding a new feature to the attraction.

Speculation and rumors have run rampant for months that mermaids were intended to be added to the attraction at the Magic Kingdom and the announcement has now re-fueled it along with an off-again/on-again full day closure for the attraction scheduled for October 9.

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