Disney World Vacation News: The New Fantasyland

A hot topic in Disney World vacation news is the largest expansion project in Magic Kingdom history, the new Fantasyland which will open in phases beginning in 2012 at Walt Disney World Resort, featuring attractions and experiences in an area that will nearly double the size of the original Fantasyland.  Among the novelties, guests will be able to fly high with The Great Goofini or with Dumbo the Flying Elephant, “immerse” themselves in Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid and experience the Beast’s Castle. Completion of The New Fantasyland is scheduled for 2014 with most new experiences open by 2013.

But what’s new in 2012?

Disney World VacationDumbo will be reversing decades of flying in counter-clockwise circles. Call it “unwinding,” if you will. And in a new location within Magic Kingdom.

Guests will board Dumbo the Flying Elephant from the lovable critter’s left side — like mounting a horse … and unlike the way guests hop aboard for a whirl at Disney parks on three continents. It is scheduled to begin happening in early 2012 when select experiences in the Storybook Circus neighborhood of New Fantasyland debut just northeast of Mad Tea Party.

The existing Dumbo attraction near Prince Charming Regal Carrousel will close, be refurbished and be moved to a location in Storybook Circus next to the new Dumbo attraction. The result when completed: double Dumbos, one going this-a-way, one going that-a-way … a real circus act, if you will.

There also will be a “big top” that serves as a queue area for the popular attraction. It will feature a variety of interactive experiences currently being developed.

Two other Storybook Circus elements planned for opening early in the year are The Barnstormer and Fantasyland Station. Guests who enjoyed The Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm will be happy to know the junior coaster thrills of that attraction are back with a thematic change: Goofy has sold the farm and is now a circus stunt pilot and magician, The Great Goofini. The completely re-imagined train station will serve as the gateway to Storybook Circus and all Fantasyland points beyond.

Cruella de Vil, meet the apprentice sorcerers!

And you, too, Scar. And, for that matter, a legion of other Disney villains!

When Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom premieres in early 2012, Merlin the magician will recruit guests as apprentice sorcerers to undertake missions to subdue the “baddies” in what Disney Imagineering calls an “immersive role-playing adventure.”

Armed with what appear to be nothing more potent than cards, guests engage with villains at special locations throughout the park. But the fact is: The cards have magic powers players can use in their quest to defeat the villains.

How excited are you to visit the new Fantasyland?

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