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A Fireworks First: Fourth of July Fireworks Over Three Disney Castles

As we shared earlier today, our Fourth of July celebration officially kicks off here at Walt Disney World Resort on Monday, July 1, with nightly performances of “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.”

This year’s celebration will be made even more exciting by being the first Fourth of July that our guests can watch the fireworks burst above three different Disney castles, thanks to the addition of the attractions in New Fantasyland. Check out the photo above of Beast’s Castle, Cinderella Castle and Prince Eric’s Castle. Looks pretty amazing, doesn’t it?
Will you head to a Disney Park this Fourth of July week? If so, tell us in the “Comments” section below.

New Magic in the Making at Walt Disney World Resort

From flying over Never Land to taking a spin in a tea cup, Fantasyland has been home to some of our guests’ favorite experiences at Walt Disney World Resort since opening day. So when Disney set out to reinvent the most popular land at our most popular Disney destination, they knew that it had to be something truly spectacular – and it is true to say that New Fantasyland is exactly that.

Last Friday, Tom Staggs,  chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, toured the construction site as Disney completed the finishing touches for their official opening on December 6, and while the entire expansion is extraordinary, there are a few aspects in particular that should think will be huge hits with guests.

Enchanted Tales with Belle - New Magic in the Making at Walt Disney World Resort

Part of what makes Disney Parks so special is our ability to connect people with the Disney characters and stories they love. With Enchanted Tales with Belle, we’re doing that in a magical new way. Guests will enter Belle’s cottage, step through an enchanted mirror and be transported to the world of “Beauty and the Beast,”where they’ll help Lumiere, Belle and The Wardrobe recreate “the tale as old as time” by becoming part of the story themselves. Our Imagineers have brought these characters to life in ways that are sure to delight guests both young and old.

One of the hallmarks of a great Disney experience is the meticulous attention to detail that goes into the worlds we create, and the queue for Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid is another fantastic example of “the more you look, the more you see.” Before taking a voyage under the sea with Ariel and her friends, guests can explore the caves and grottos in and around Prince Eric’s castle, interacting playfully with Scuttle and a few of his friends along the way. The rockwork that’s been done is spectacular, and the paintings that adorn the vaults beneath the castle help draw visitors to New Fantasyland even further into the story of the beloved animated film.

One of the most gratifying aspects of this expansion is the way that our new attractions, entertainment, merchandise and food offerings all come together to create a singular experience that is a worthy addition to a park as iconic as Magic Kingdom Park. The result is only possible through the hard work and the collaboration from people across Disney Parks and Resorts, and I am extremely proud of what they have accomplished. We can’t wait to take guests beyond the walls of Cinderella Castle to discover the new stories, new adventures and new magic that will help them make shared memories that last a lifetime.

Discover More Excitement in New Fantasyland This December!

Deep in the depths of Magic Kingdom park in Walt Disney World lies a legendary world—New Fantasyland—that’s been long hidden from our view. As story has it, this is a place where mermaids sing, beauties tell tales, beasts roar and elephants fly.

Soon, these legends will become reality—when the wonders of New Fantasyland are revealed. Discover how you can become a part of the adventure!

The New Fantasyland Expansion
New Fantasyland is opening in phases for the largest expansion in the history of Magic Kingdom park, offering more immersive enchantment and interactive experiences!

Upon completion, Fantasyland will nearly double in size—so you can look forward to extensive additions of fun for the entire family. The expansion provides more Disney characters and stories presented in rich detail in 2 new themed areas—Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus.

Enchanted Forest – Opening December 6, 2012!

Beginning in late 2012, you can meet some favorite Disney Characters in Enchanted Forest, where you’ll be immersed in the popular Disney films The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Here, you can venture through lush landscapes, discovering roaring waterfalls and royal castles along the way.

Enchanted Forest attractions and experiences include:

  • Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid: Enter Prince Eric’s castle, board a giant clamshell and rock out on this new musical attraction. During your journey, you’ll behold a world teeming with color and characters as you enjoy high-energy songs and incredible effects that take you inside scenes from the animated Disney film The Little Mermaid.


    Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant: Feast in one of 3 incredible dining rooms in the middle of Beast’s Castle. Savor the classic flavors of France coming soon to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park. Located at the base of the mountain below Beast castle, this themed venue transports diners to the magical world of the popular Disney film Beauty and the Beast. By day, Be Our Guest Restaurant serves up quick-service cuisine, so you can enjoy a short break from your park festivities. By night, it becomes a traditional table-service restaurant where you can reconnect with family and friends over satisfying fare.


    Be Our Guest Restaurant

  • Enchanted Tales with Belle:  Take a trip through the world of the popular Disney film Beauty and the Beast during this captivating storybook adventure in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park! Your journey begins in Maurice’s workshop, where an enchanted mirror becomes your doorway to an unforgettable experience. After stepping through the mirror, you’ll find that you’ve been transported to Beast’s magnificent library, where Belle and Lumière invite you to become part of a lively retelling of the “tale as old as time.”


    Enchanted Tales with Belle

  • Ariel’s Grotto: Take photos and get autographs with everyone’s favorite undersea princess. Now you can visit everyone’s favorite undersea princess at her new home in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park! Ariel’s Grotto is nestled in a picturesque cove along the rocky shoreline of the Under the Sea~Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction. Here, Ariel is excited to meet new friends, sign autographs and pose for photos.

    Ariel's Grotto

Enjoy all this—and so much more—beginning December 6, 2012.

All in the Details: The Theming of Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom Park

Last week we gave you a look inside the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction, which opens December 6 in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. Many of you have asked exactly how this attraction is different from The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction at Disney California Adventure park. Well, feast your eyes on the photos below to get the answer – it’s the attraction’s amazingly detailed exterior.

Provided by Walt Disney Imagineering, these photos show exactly how guests will become immersed in the tale of “The Little Mermaid” the instant they arrive at the attraction. Its marquee was just installed and features Ariel on the bow of a shipwrecked boat. From here, guests walk through a detailed queue that takes them over a shoreline that has scattered pieces of the ship and into the rocky cliffs below Prince Eric’s castle, with the sound of rushing water all around.

All in the Details: The First Photos from Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom Park

Today we’re thrilled to share the very first photos from inside the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction, which will open at Magic Kingdom Park this December.

Housed in the grottos below Prince Eric’s Castle, this New Fantasyland attraction invites guests to follow Ariel on her remarkable journey as she meets Prince Eric, falls in love, and makes a deal with Ursula, the evil Sea Witch.

All in the Details: The First Photos from Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom Park

These photos, supplied by Walt Disney Imagineering, are some of my favorite that we’ve shared in our “All in the Details” series so far. I love this shot, which is obviously inspired by the “Kiss the Girl” scene from the film.

some of Sebastian’s friendssome of Sebastian’s friends

And check out some of Sebastian’s friends above – sure looks like they’re having fun “Under the Sea.”

Many of you have asked about the differences between this attraction and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction at Disney California Adventure park. For that answer, you can’t miss our previous posts and photos of the attraction’s impressive exterior, which includes Prince Eric’s Castle, and its queue, which leads through shipwrecks and rocky cliffs below.

All in the Details: Head Under the Sea to Visit Ariel’s Grotto at Magic Kingdom Park

Many fans of “The Little Mermaid” have been asking for a mermaid-related update over the past few weeks, so today we’re happy to share the first look inside Ariel’s Grotto, a new character greeting location coming to New Fantasyland.

Ariel’s Grotto at Magic Kingdom Park

As you can see, Ariel will greet guests in mermaid form, seated on a giant seashell throne. The grotto will be located within the base of the seaside cliffs upon which Prince Eric’s Castle sits, but is separate from the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction.

This character greeting will debut with the rest of New Fantasyland for a preview period beginning November 19, and then a grand opening on December 6.

What do you think? Will you visit Ariel when New Fantasyland opens?

 

New Signature Images Released of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

We sure have a treat today for those of you who just can’t get enough of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. New signature images have just been released that I think sure put the “fantasy” into New Fantasyland.

view of New Fantasyland in detail from the very top turret of Cinderella’s Castle

This first signature image shows a view of New Fantasyland in detail from the very top turret of Cinderella’s Castle. The landscape stretches from Maurice’s Cottage on the left, all the way to the colorful Storybook Circus on the right.

 Belle enjoying a book right outside Maurice’s Cottage

Another photo depicts Belle enjoying a book right outside Maurice’s Cottage, with Beast’s Castle high up on the mountains in the background.

Ariel gazes at Prince Eric’s Castle while the tide rushes in

Here, Ariel gazes at Prince Eric’s Castle while the tide rushes in. Can’t you just hear her singing “Part of Your World?”

Which pic do you like best?

Just a reminder – these two areas of New Fantasyland will open in a preview phase for all Magic Kingdom Park guests November 19, with a grand opening December 6.

New Fantasyland Update: What’s New, What’s Next in the Magic Kingdom

New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom® Park at the Walt Disney World® Resort will take enchanting experiences one step further with circus big tops, an undersea grotto and more magic than ever before! Two incredible themed areas – Storybook Circus and Enchanted Forest – will nearly double the land’s original size. Here’s a summary of what you will find in these new areas.

New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom® Park at the Walt Disney World® Resort

Storybook Circus – Now Open!
Step right up to Storybook Circus, a throwback to the golden era of classic three-ring attractions. Here you can:

  • Soar through the air on Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which is now twice the fun thanks to the addition of a second pachyderm squadron.
    • At the Big Top at Dumbo the Flying Elephant you can enjoy themed (and air-conditioned) play experiences – from the Human Cannonball to a Tower of Flames – and will receive a circus ticket pager upon entering that goes off when it’s your turn to board the attraction!
  • Enjoy the classic Barnstormer attraction, which has a bright new look, featuring Goofy as The Great Goofini. It’s a twisting, turning roller coaster “flight” high above the circus fun.
  • Cool off at Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station, a circus-themed water play area. Water squirts from playful monkeys, elephants, camels and from Casey Jr. when he lets off billows of cooling “steam.”

Enchanted Forest – Previews Start Nov. 19, 2012. Grand Opening on Dec. 6, 2012.
Open in time for the holiday season, Enchanted Forest will offer you a magically interactive realm that brings to life Belle’s beautiful French countryside and allow you to be part of Ariel and Prince Eric’s world. Enchanted Forest will be home to two new castles (Prince Eric’s from “The Little Mermaid” and the Beast’s from “Beauty and the Beast”), a quaint village, waterfalls and plenty of pixie dust! Highlights planned include:

  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid is a major new attraction that takes you on a ride with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves – all against a musical backdrop of songs from the classic film.

Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid

  • The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill and houses the Be Our Guest Restaurant (reservations open in late August), which will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery and mysterious “West Wing” of the castle. With seating for 550, this eatery promises a French bistro flavor, offering “great food fast” service by day and full table service dining in the evening.
  • Maurice’s Cottage (decorated with a few of his wacky contraptions!) is situated in Belle’s Village amongst a French countryside setting complete with a wishing well and rustic foot bridge. The inventor’s humble workshop welcomes you into the first scene of Enchanted Tales with Belle, a lively retelling of the “tale as old as time.”
  • Nearby in Belle’s Village, you will find the rousing Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.

Enchanted Tales with Belle in Belle's Village

Additional elements of New Fantasyland will open in 2013 and 2014. You can always find the most up-to-date information here on our blog.

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