Fantasyland Expansion Model: A Closer Look

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A few days ago, a picture of a Walt Disney Imagineering model for the upcoming Fantasyland Expansion at the Magic Kingdom was leaked on to the Internet. We have obtained the picture and have a number of new details to share about the parks’ largest expansion ever. To view any of the images below in a larger format, simply click on the images to see them on the WDWNT SmugMug:

An overview of the entire model (you’ve probably seen this already): Since we saw the blueprints back in September 2009, some things have changed. The new “Dumbo the Flying Elephant” ride is going to be to the south of the Barnstormer now, leaving Pixie Hollow (in its newly updated form) to the north and next-door to the Little Mermaid attraction.

Beauty and the Beast Realm: Everything according to plan here. You can see the buildings for the meet-and greet and the connected buildings for “Be Our Guest” restaurant and Gaston’s Tavern behind the model facades.

The Little Mermaid Realm: The Little Mermaid dark-ride isn’t all this land has to boast. An Ariel meet-and-greet, the largest store of the Fantasyland Expansion, and (if the budget holds-up) a living character version of Sebastian the crab could be in the queue of the genuine Magic Kingdom E-Ticket.

Pixie Hollow: As we stated before, the model has a very different Pixie Hollow area from the original blueprints. Not only has the area moved, but the attractions in the area have been changed greatly. The building that will house the Pixie meet-and-greets is much bigger than the originally proposed Home Tree and is now attached to the show building for The Little Mermaid dark-ride. The huge building for the meet-and-greets isn’t a mistake, it’s because these meet-and-greets are supposed to be unlike anything ever seen before. The current plan is to use new living character technology to project the fairies into their natural habitat and have them interact with guests. We saw a short preview of this new technology in a Walt Disney Imagineering video released last year.

Also new for Pixie Hollow is a ride featuring “Cheese” the mouse, replacing the concept of a Pixie play area. This character from the Tinker Bell film series will take guests for a spin around part of Pixie Hollow after guests board from a queue made of oversized items (remember, you will be the size of one of the fairies when visiting Pixie Hollow). The ride will only be different in theme from the upcoming “Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree” at Disney’s California Adventure. Tinker Bell may even appear inside the giant lantern at the south end of the attraction as guests in vehicles spin from turntable to turntable.

Note that the new WDW Railroad station is rather plain, either because it borders both the Dumbo Circus area and Pixie Hollow, or simply because it has not been decided what the station should look like. The WDW Railroad will be closing for 3-4 months in 2010 to accommodate construction.

Dumbo’s Circus: The “Dueling Dumbos” have moved south to border the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. Meanwhile, the new theme for Goofy’s Barnstormer is undecided. Rumors indicate that it may be a more modern version of the Casey Jr. Circus Train attraction, running on the same track as the current coaster.

Pooh and Princesses: This area remains very true to the original blueprints. The facade and shop of the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction will be updated this year to reflect a “Hundred Acre Woods” theme and most of what is Pooh’s Playful Spot today is set to become a Winnie the Pooh character meet-and-greet. The Mad Tea Party will probably not see any changes until after the entire expansion is completed in 2013. The Cinderella meet-and-greet and princess/royal guard training as well as the Aurora meet-and-greet/birthday party are still very much what they were originally announced to be.

For those wondering about the placement of the Castle Walls that will separate the medieval fair from the fantasy forest, this picture should give you a good idea. The thatched roof you see on what is currently Mrs. Potts’ Cupboard is currently being put in place, so the first piece (although very minor) of the expansion is already being completed.

We hope you enjoyed this in-depth look at the Fantasyland Expansion model. Stay tuned to WDW News Today in the coming weeks as we introduce a new feature to the site that will allow you to easily follow the development of the Fantasyland Expansion.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]