Walt Disney World has revealed additional dates and details for annual passholders interested in getting a preview of New Fantasyland, the large expansion of the Magic Kingdom theme park that will officially debut on December 6. Following a rather problematic first round of registration in which computer systems buckled under the mass quantities of interested passholders simultaneously trying to sign up, Disney has switched to a “sweepstakes” format for the rest of the upcoming previews.
Passholders can visit this page after signing into a Walt Disney World web site account and select any or all of 36 available 3.5-hour time slots to preview the new area. Then, based on availability and interest, Disney will choose one slot for each registration, until space has run out. The times range from as early as 8 a.m. until as late as 1 a.m. on select dates beginning November 6 and continuing through November 16.
Upon arrival to the park, “winners” will be able to select one of 2 itineraries, either visiting Enchanted Tales with Belle or Ariel’s Grotto. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ride the Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction and surrounding areas.
No mention of the Be Our Guest restaurant is made on the new passholder signup page, but tours will likely be offered. Food service does not officially begin there until mid-November, though it’s not impossible that it could soft open for lunch sooner.
Unlike the previous registration process, in which passholders had to individually verify each annual pass online, the new process only requires that passholders log in to the site and then select how many passholders will be attending, up to 8 per party. Only Walt Disney World annual passholders will be permitted to enter the preview, without additional guests.
Of course, all guests of the Magic Kingdom will have an opportunity to experience New Fantasyland early when the official preview phase begins on November 19, lasting until the grand opening press events on December 5 and 6, 2012.