Disney Celebrates Massive Expansion Anniversary

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The NEW Fantasyland

The Walt Disney World Resort is home to an almost endless list of attractions, rides, stores, shows, and experiences that it may even overwhelm some Guests. And with all the new and upcoming additions, the list will only get longer. But let’s take a look at this day in Disney history with the grand opening of the biggest expansion Disney’s Magic Kingdom has ever seen.

disneyland paris fantasyland
Credit: Inside the Magic Rebekah B.

The Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World is one of those “classic” places for Guests of all ages to live out their fairytale dreams and interact with iconic Disney animated characters like Cinderella, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and many more. But on December 6, 2012, Imagineers at Walt Disney World set out to provide Guests with an all-new update to this quintessential area in Magic Kingdom.

Disney announced the expansion back in 2007, and it was said that the expansion would add 26 acres to the original Fantasyland. This expanded Magic Kingdom’s total space from 107 acres to 133 acres. The expansion, which was simply called New Fantasyland, added rides, shops, and restaurants to Magic Kingdom, making fantasyland feel fresh and new again to Guests.

seven dwarfs mine train
Credit: Disney

First off, taking the spot of what used to be Snow White’s Scary Adventures, a Disney World Dark ride from a simple, a new roller coaster was added to Fantasyland called Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a fast and fun family coaster themed to Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. Since it opened in 2014, it has been a grand slam ever since, constantly racking up one to two hour waits every single day. Though this coaster is a fun ride, we will always remember the classic Snow White’s Scary Adventures dark ride.

enchanted tales with belle
Credit: Disney

Enchanted Tales with Belle gave younger Guests the chance to be put directly into the world of Disney’s classic animated film, Beauty And The Beast. Utilizing amazing costumes, props, and an extremely-cool animatronic, this interactive show is sure to please those obsessed with Belle and the Beast.

Ariels Undersea Adventure
Credit: Disney

There was also a brand new The Little Mermaid-themed section of this New Fantasyland, complete with shorefront rocks, ship wreckage, and the iconic castle from the film. Located in this section of the Park was also Under The Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, an amazing “underwater” dark ride based on the film as well. The ride takes Guests on a clamshell journey through the film’s most important scenes.

Be Our Guest Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Possibly the hottest and most popular addition within this expansion was the new Table and Counter Service restaurant known as Be Our Guest, a fantastic dining experience based on Beauty and the BeastThis highly-themed restaurant is consistently booked, offering Guests a royally-fun dining experience. We recommend trying “The Grey Stuff,” we hear it’s delicious!

red rose taverne grey stuff
Credit: Disney

Taking a look back into the history of the New Fantasyland expansion, it is safe to say it was a huge success for Walt Disney World, and we can only imagine what’s in store for the future.

What do you enjoy most about the revamped Fantasyland? Is there anything you miss from the old version?

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disney World’s water parks, four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

in Walt Disney World

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