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Walt Disney World making progress on new 'Fantasyland'

By Leigh Goessl     May 25, 2012 in Travel
Orlando - In 2009 Walt Disney World unveiled a plan to expand its Fantasyland section. The construction is anticipated to go until 2014, but reports say many attractions will be opening prior to this date.
Digital Journal reported in Nov. 2011 on the progress the project was making.
At this point, the former ToonTown had been demolished and wooden fences, adorned with 'stories' telling of what's to come, blocked off a huge section of the park.
Much progress has happened in the last six months, in March the first piece of the new Storybook Circus area of the park's new Dumbo ride [PHOTOS] was opened, along with a new train station, and a revamped "Barnstormer" coaster debuted.
SI Live reported this week on a recent 'behind the barrier' tour, and a chance to see firsthand what was happening on Fantasyland's progress.
Disney Imagineer Diego Parras gave the presentation and explained why Fantasyland was chosen as the section of the park to be expanded.
“When you think of the heart of Walt Disney World, it’s the Magic Kingdom,” he said. “When you think of the heart of the Magic Kingdom, it’s definitely Fantasyland.” Parras explained the revamp is so massive, Disney opted to open the new attractions in phases to allow guests to experience them as soon as possible.
And, it turns out, soon is right around the corner, as this summer visitors will get to see yet another piece of Fantasyland unveiled.
According to WESH, last month Disney announced opening dates for additional attractions in the new Fantasyland.
Additionally, the classic "Snow White's Scary Adventures" ride will be closed down next week on May 31. The space where this ride was located will be transformed into the future Princess Fairytale Hall where visitors can meet and greet Disney's princesses. This royal location is scheduled to be completed in late 2013.
Some of the new Fantasyland rides are slated to be opened later this year. Another portion of Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride will open this summer as Storyland Circus expands. As the winter season approaches, "Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid," "Enchanted Tales with Belle", "Be Our Guest Restaurant", "Gaston's Tavern" and "Ariel's Grotto" will debut.
The highly anticipated ride "The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train," won't be unveiled until 2014. This new coaster, described as "state of the art," is expected to be one of the prime attractions in the new Fantasyland.
If Disney is good at anything, it's attention to detail, and fans of the park are eagerly awaiting what will be shared next as this massive project moves forward.
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