Fantasyland Expansion previews start Nov 19 at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

August 7, 2012, 3:16 PM · Walt Disney World announced today that previews for the latest phase of its Magic Kingdom Fantasyland expansion will begin on November 19. The official grand opening of the new additions will happen on December 6.

Concept art for Be Our Guest
Concept art, from Disney, of the Be Our Guest restaurant.

This phase of the Fantasyland expansion includes the Under the Sea: Journey of The Little Mermaid ride, Be Our Guest table-service-for-dinner restaurant, the quick-service Gaston’s Tavern, and the Enchanted Tales with Belle meet-and-greet.

We'd heard that previews for these new attractions will open for annual passholders in November. No word yet on when previews will be open to the public. As with most soft openings, there likely won't be a public announcement. Just show up and see if you get in. Also, no word on if Disney will be opening up a paid preview event, as it did for Cars Land at Disney California Adventure.

The final phase in the expansion, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train family roller coaster, will open in 2014.

Replies (28)

August 7, 2012 at 3:29 PM · " word on if Disney will be opening up a paid preview event..."
It's Disney, why wouldn't they find some idiots who are willing to pay money to be the first to see a copy of a mediocer darkride, some restaurants and some shops.
August 7, 2012 at 4:19 PM · This is exciting news. We will be there three days after the Grand Opening. I personally can't wait to see how this turned out.
August 7, 2012 at 4:57 PM · I might attend a preview since I don't know how long I can wait, but I'll be counting the days! If they offer a pay preview, I would go then. And to the number person who said, and I quote:

"It's Disney, why wouldn't they find some idiots who are willing to pay money to be the first to see a copy of a mediocer darkride, some restaurants and some shops."

Isnt that a little harsh? I would want to avoid long lines at the "mediocer darkride" and be able to eat at a fancy restaurant without making a reservation, therefore I wouldn't be an idiot ;)

August 7, 2012 at 6:42 PM · I've been on a waiting list for a DVC rental for the weekend after Thanksgiving for 2 months now.

Call it a hunch, but there isn't a prayer that anyone will cancel now.


August 7, 2012 at 8:51 PM · I will be there the last few days of November/first few days of December. Is it too much to hope for soft openings while I'm there!?
August 7, 2012 at 9:45 PM · I don't think an 8 rating qualifies as mediocre.
August 7, 2012 at 10:07 PM · Don't be concerned with long lines at little mermaid. Its an omnimover It devours lines. I rode little mermaid the week it came out in Anaheim and the wait was only about 45 minutes. It'll rarely be over an hour ...mostly if it stops operating and the line builds up.
August 7, 2012 at 10:33 PM · I am visting at the end of November/beginning if December. Is there a good chance we will catch the soft openings!?
August 8, 2012 at 12:05 AM · Gutted :(

We can only get to Orlando about once every 4 years or so and we'll be there the first two weeks of November. We'll leave on the 14th and you're telling me it will all open on the 19th... That's just too cruel.... :(

August 8, 2012 at 12:17 AM · If the Ariel dark ride is anything like the DCA one, there won't be much in the way of lines. Not because it is - or isn't - mediocer (lol), but because it's a people eater.
August 8, 2012 at 4:24 AM · Omnimovers are people eaters, but I expect MK to have longer lines due to the fact it's a more popular park.
August 8, 2012 at 5:46 AM · Was just there this summer. Is it just me or all this hype for an average ride and a restaurant? And another ride in 2 more years? Seems they closed more than there opening. Send the Universal creators in and it would be double the rides, double the excitement and for half the budget, in half the time.
August 8, 2012 at 6:02 AM · Trust me here kids, Ariel is a mediocre dark ride. Think the 21st century version of Pinocchio's Daring Journey. I can pretty much guarantee the wait will NEVER exceed 30 minutes in the opening year except for maybe the opening week.
August 8, 2012 at 6:43 AM · I think the first response to this article is a highlight of what some people get frustrated with when it comes to criticism. The remark is pretty unqualified and there is nothing constructive about it.

Whether or not the whole expansion is a success or not remains to be seen. And I don't think anybody expects The Little Mermaid to be an E ticket. What in Fantasyland is an E ticket?But that isn't the point.

The point, as it seems to me, is to make the whole of Fantasyland more engaging, immersive, and offer more space and experiences for families. It's already started to pay out on this with the indoor circus play area, adding an extra Dumbo, and the Casey Jr. water play area. And the environment looks to be a huge leap forward from what Fantasyland has offered up until now.

I will say that it makes me scratch my head when I hear that the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train won't be open till 2014. That seems like an awfully long time.

August 8, 2012 at 7:14 AM · It was clarified in the comments of the Disney Blog that November 19th IS the beginning of soft openings for the general public.

Someone also e-mailed Disney and got a response saying AP previews were still not set but would be before 11/19.

Also, WDWMagic is reporting that Storybook Circus will also be fully open.

August 8, 2012 at 7:58 AM · "Omnimovers are people eaters, but I expect MK to have longer lines due to the fact it's a more popular park."

Not sure that that is true at the moment. Nevertheless, from what I hear - and I don't get there that often, even though I'm an AP holder - there is rarely ANY line for TLM. Partly because people are doing other things *Cars Land*, partly because it is a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater, and yes, partly because there's not a whole lot of new ground broken on this ride. Or new water, I guess.

Point being, after the initial wave (sorry) of people for a new attraction, I don't expect any lines for this one. I was at DCA just last month, in the middle of summer, and walked right on to this A/C attraction which def isn't that old.

August 8, 2012 at 10:27 AM · I'm looking forward to riding the ride, but like others said, I'm not expecting an E Ticket. The Mine Train will be the big E Ticket, so patience my friends, TLM is to stall us per say ;)
August 8, 2012 at 11:00 AM · I don't understand why they're getting rid of snow white for the mine ride? I think Walt would've said "Lets have both!". Heck there's 2 rides based on alice, and two rides based on Dumbo at Disneyland! Snow white is more deserving of two rides than any animated film being the very first! Its a shame I never got to ride it as it seems to be better than the Disneyland version. Well I guess ill just have to wait for my Tokyo visit to see this ride...hope they have an English version just wouldn't be the same for me in Japanese haha.
August 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM · The new Fantasyland is anti-climatic. There's only one new ride and a bunch of new EXPENSIVE restaurants. I miss the classic dark rides. There are few left.
August 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Little Mermaid line at DCA goes fast. Hopeed on in about 10 minutes. I don't think it's a mediocre ride, it actually fits alongside the other "Fantasyland style" dark rides. While the tech is more advanced, it seems like they weren't TRYING to break the mode with this. So I wasn't expecting anything too revolutionary here, I'm just glad that the Disney Renaissance peeps are getting actual attractions!
August 8, 2012 at 10:50 PM · Mine Train ride is not an E ticket. More like a c+ or D. Very dissapointed Fantasyland Expansion.
August 8, 2012 at 10:58 PM · Ive heard many times in recent weeks that snow white was too scary. Well then they should get rid of haunted mansion and space mountain I know some kids that are scared of those rides too. Better yet get rid of any ride with conflict in the story that way no one can be scared or offended. Fear is one of the most thrilling sensations someone can experience and there is something powerful about introducing fear to children so that they can learn to overcome it. And colflict is essential to a story.Man i rememebr always being scared on snow white, pinocchio, mr toad, but i would never support losing those great rides. Being scared and going through scary things is part of life and very important for kids to know that. Seriously what a pathetic argument for closing an attraction.
Walt certainly wasn't opposed to "scary" being in his stories. The donkey scene in Pinocchio and the spindle scene in sleeping beauty are two of the scariest things I've ever seen in a cartoon. Oh and what do you know those are two of the most classic and acclaimed animated features ever made.
Now if you just tell me the rides closing cause the new snow white area is moving to the dwarves cottage so the ride must be closed because snow white has her own area of new fantasy land. Now that's a valid point and less hard to swallow.
August 8, 2012 at 11:34 PM · The little mermaid ride is good. if they would have included the giant Ursula scene and a scene with human Ursula it would've been a great ride...maybe even the best of the classic dark rides! Although in DCA they didn't have the space for more Orlando however they have plenty of space and should've added those scenes, continuing the tradition of improving Disneyland rides.
August 9, 2012 at 12:35 AM · The thing I have against TLM is it seems to be weak in the storyline department, somewhat like Pinocchio. The songs are nice, the animatronics fairly advanced, but...
August 9, 2012 at 11:55 AM · The Mine Train is in fact an E Ticket. An all new ride system and a massive coaster track makes it an E Ticket.
August 10, 2012 at 12:43 AM · I wish Disney Would tell us WHEN in 2014 The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will open..... so we know when to plan trips for. I don't like the idea of planning a trip there in May and then finding out it opens in July!
August 10, 2012 at 6:42 AM · Dom: Massive coaster track? Your definition of massive must be minimal. True, the ride appears very themed. But there really isn't much to it. It's a stretch as an E ticket. The attraction was a last minute substitute for the originally scheduled meet & greet so I doubt much innovation went into it's design. It's basically a kids coaster with theme. The coaster car testing was done driving a mock up around a parking lot in a pick up truck bed. That's a little short on innovation.
August 10, 2012 at 7:04 AM · I'm so very happy!!!! My family and i are coming to Orlando 24th November,from the UK. So we will get to see the new area. So pleased,i had my fingers crossed it would open when we came. YIPPPPEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

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