What started off as rumors and some “leaked” plans a couple of months ago was officially acknowledged by the Disney Company at the D23 Expo. The Fantasyland area of Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is in for a major overhaul.
With much disappointment expressed by plenty of Disney fans, the area known as Toontown will be gone in favor of an expansion of the Fantasyland area that will enhance current attractions as well as bring new ones to the park. The Mickey and Minnie meet and greets that currently are held in the Toontown area will probably be relocated more towards the front of the park, but most other staples of the toddler friendly area will be removed or modified.
While the disappearance of Toontown has some grumbling, most appear excited about what changes are in store for the area.
One such change will be the re-tasking of Goofy’s Barnstormer, probably to a circus theme, to further enhance the expansion and relocation that is planned for Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride. Both rides will be part of a new ‘circus grounds’ area that will feature additional space to handle the crowds that are always waiting to fly the pachyderms. In fact, a big-top tent appears on the plans which should help shade the area.
Another major change in the works is a new ride based on The Little Mermaid. Evidently it will include a people-mover type system that will carry guests through an under-water world similar to the movie. Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim is slated for a similar ride.
Princesses are the real winners in this conversion as Disney plans to create new meet and greet areas for them that will be themed appropriately for each heroine. Restaurants and new shopping are also integral to the new princess concept.
According to the company, the first phase of the Fantasyland expansion, including the Mermaid ride and the princess areas, is scheduled to open in 2012. The area to be known as Pixie Hollow will follow in 2013.