Monday, March 28, 2011

Fantasyland Expansion Update

Snow White's Mine Train ride has been pushed back until 2014. This was not unexpected as it was late to the planning and will sit on land that is currently occupied, in part, by Dumbo and the main Fantasyland walkway. Recent peaks at the model for the attraction reveal that most of the ride will be outdoors with only a couple of indoor scenes, presumably where the audio-animatronic figures will be. While, the Mine Train ride looks to be a crowd pleaser, it's later opening means Fantasyland will be without a Snow White attraction for an extended period once the current ride goes down for its makeover into a meet & greet location.

Construction in the former Toon Town Fair area is moving ahead at a rapid pace. The expanded Dumbo and re-themed Goofy coaster are expected to be the first two attractions to open in the new Fantasyland. As soon as the new foundation is ready for the twin-spinners, the existing Dumbo will go down for refurbishment and a move to its new location. Meanwhile the new spinner will be installed. The Great Goofini will re-open with its new theme and the loading and unloading sizes of the queue switched to make more room for Dumbo's second ring.

Construction permits and bids were sent out this week to refurbish the two remaining tents from Toon Town Fair. It's a bit ironic that the lands 'temporary buildings' are the only ones that will make it into the new land. The old tents will be replaced with new sturdier materials. I'm still hearing rumors that the larger tent will be converted into stage show, but that seems unlikely if all they're doing is re-skinning the existing frames. We'll probably just get a new store there.

I'm not all that thrilled with the idea of StoryBook Circus as a theme. But I guess we'll wait and see how Disney pulls it off. I'd love for them to bring a version of the StoryBook Canal Boats to Florida (with a long indoor air-conditioned section) or a version of the Little Mermaid section from Tokyo DisneySea but with more of a 'storybook' feel.

Rock work has begun on the outside of the Be Our Guest restaurant and exterior walls are going up in the village area that will house Gaston's Pub. The Little Mermaid attraction is rumored to be ahead of schedule, plus they get the benefits of the California Adventure version of the attraction opening first. Hopefully any pitfalls and wrinkles related to installation will be ironed out before Orlando's version is ready.

Finally, the Prince and Princess bathrooms located next door to Peter Pan will be moved across the walkway to where the old Fantasyland Skyway station now sits. These new larger bathrooms will allow Peter Pan's queue to expand into the old bathroom's space and gain some interactive elements to help pass the inevitable long waits for the stand-by queue. Additionally, the a new pathway will help with the crowds in that area. However, I have no idea what they plan to do with all the strollers that are usually parked in that location.

As always, please send me your tips and rumors to Thanks for tuning in.

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