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Robert Niles
Editor

First phase of Magic Kingdom's new Fantasyland soft-opens

Published: March 12, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Several readers have emailed this morning that The Great Goofini and Dumbo have soft opened to the public at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom this morning.

Goofini is the old Goofy's Barnstormer Vekoma family coaster that Disney relocated from the now-closed Mickey's Toontown Fair to the new circus-themed section in the renovated and expanded Fantasyland that's under construction. Dumbo's also been moved to the new circus section, though the Dumbo that opened today is a new spinner. The "old" Dumbo will be joining the mix, too, giving the Magic Kingdom two of those spinners to help reduce that popular ride's notoriously long lines.

I'd love to get some photos and accounts from Theme Park Insider readers in Orlando, so please, send 'em along or post in the comments.

Update: A source in the know reports that the Magic Kingdom did 61,000 guests Monday. Those are mid-summer numbers. Business is looking up in Orlando, it seems.

Replies (14)

Brian Bauer

Published: March 12, 2012 at 11:19 AM

One of the other Disney forums has a lot of pictures posted. It looks like the coaster retained the "Barnstormer" part but has added "with Goofy as the Great Goofini" to the official name.

I wonder if that was a original intention or a change made due to guest feedback.

Robert Niles
Editor

Published: March 12, 2012 at 11:24 AM

I wonder if this is going to be another naming fight between departments a la Toy Story Mania/Toy Story Midway Mania? If so, we'll go with whatever Imagineering says, as we did with TSMM.
Andrew Mooney

Published: March 12, 2012 at 11:53 AM

"Goofini is the old Goofy's Barnstormer Vekoma family coaster that Disney relocated from the now-closed Mickey's Toontown Fair to the new circus-themed section"

I was under the impression that the coaster was just having an overlay to suit the new theme. I guess Disney are really going all out to make this new expansion a wonderful new experience, which makes me even more excited to see the finished product.

Duncan Henny

Published: March 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM

here is a video of the great goofini barnstormer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooTZGBG7ERA
Brian Bauer

Published: March 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM

The new park maps have it listed as "The Barnstormer".
Rob Pastor

Published: March 12, 2012 at 1:14 PM

I saw the photos on another site. Basically just the two rides & the train station with wall barriers all around .Not too pretty yet. I'm hoping they have this section finished when I vacation at Disney in late April early May. The early soft opening may be to garner some publicity vs. Universal's big Spider-Man rehab. Just as Universal has been leaking Potter info everytime Disney makes an announcement. I love these PR battles. Makes everything more interesting.
Alex Gamso

Published: March 12, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Here is a great walk-through from the Orlando Attractions Magazine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCoQCxsbc9o&feature=g-u-u&context=G2ee09b8FUAAAAAAAAAA
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: March 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM

I suspect Disney felt pressure not to respond to Spider-Man, but to do something for parents whose kids wanted to ride Dumbo, regardless of queues and construction walls.

Don't underestimate the power of a parent whose toddler has been scorned. I'm surprised that Disney even closed the "old" Dumbo before this new one was ready. I feel for anyone working Guest Relations on a day when Dumbo is down.

128.186.126.100

Published: March 12, 2012 at 6:29 PM

How interactive is the queue?
Duncan Henny

Published: March 13, 2012 at 3:23 AM

here is a better look at the queue area
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIvYljMKCwM&feature=g-user-u&context=G2a49de7UCGXQYbcTJ33YKwCIxiy3tsreyvrN7DX0cx_j-S4KWTDc
(note this guy does some really nice videos of disney/universal)
Rob Pastor

Published: March 13, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Sounds like it was a last minute hurried decision. Some of the other web sites that were there, are reporting Disney was still putting some of the queues together after the area was opened.
Rob Pastor

Published: March 13, 2012 at 10:19 AM

On those attendance numbers. Business is probably increasing. When I checked Touring Plans crowd calendar for my 2012 April/May Disney portion of the vacation, the crowd levels averaged about two levels above those same days from 2011. So the folks at Touring Plans (Unofficial Disney Guide) are probably seeing a trend. They seem to be pretty close on their estimates. Universal is also keeping their parks open later in May 2012 than May 2011. The economy has picked up and people are probably getting more confident about the economy, which generally translates into more tourism. Also, both Disney & Universal are debuting some nice new & refurbished attractions this year which usually serves to increase the buzz & ultimately tourist traffic. It's always good to see the parks do well. More park profit usually translates into new attractions, which is a win for theme park fans.
66.193.169.130

Published: March 13, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I can tell you why Disney pushed to get this open from first hand experience after being at the MK on Tuesday the 12th.

They needed the capacity.

I have been an AP holder and lived in Orlando for 12 years and I've gone to the park on many ocasions prior to that. I have NEVER seen the park as busy as it was yesterday. True - I would not be caught dead at Disney on New Years' Eve or at any time during week 52. I know it's Spring Break season, but I didn't expect it to be at full tile yet. The line for Haunted Manasion was over 45 minutes and the extened queue was set up down on the water front in the old Mike Fink Keel boats area. The line for It's a Small World began between the Columbia House restrooms and the jelly shop. 120 minutes for Splash Mountain. 45 for Snow White. 75 for Peter Pan. 50 for Pirates...during the 3:00 Parade. Crazy!

It was crazy!

Robert Niles
Editor

Published: March 13, 2012 at 3:50 PM

And Dominick D ticks me off for the last time. Account deleted.

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