ORLANDO (CBS4) - As construction crews continue to work their magic behind the screened off areas of the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland, we're learning a bit more about what we can expect when the first phase of the 'new and improved' Fantasyland is unveiled in 2012.
On Tuesday, Walt Disney World officials revealed a few new details. When the makeover was originally announced in 2009, it was fairly princess-heavy and included a Pixie Hollow character greeting area and large themed areas for Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Then came Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Disney realized that they needed a little broader appeal in the project.
In the new and improved plans, the expansive 'hollow' is gone and all the princesses, including Cinderella, Tiana and Rapunzel will have their own 'meet & greet' areas in "Princess Fairytale Hall" which will replace the Snow White's Scary Adventures dark ride. Fans of venerable princess take heart, Snow White and her seven best buds will be featured in a new area complete with a "Seven Dwarfs Mine Train" indoor family roller coaster.
Disney officials said the mine train will feature a first of its kind system that will allow the ride vehicles to swing back and forth on every twist and turn as guests are whisked on a 'rollicking, musical ride into the mine'. The journey will be accompanied by music from the classic Disney film and animated figures of Snow White and the Dwarfs.
The "Beauty and Beast" themed Be Our Guest restaurant from the original plans made the cut. The Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery, and mysterious "West Wing" of the castle. With seating for 550, this magnificent facility will offer "great food fast" service by day and full table service dining in the evening. Nearby in Belle's Village, guests will find the rousing Gaston's Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts. At Enchanted Tales with Belle guests begin in Maurice's workshop and are then transported via a magical mirror to the Beast's library where they will meet Belle and Lumiere for some storytelling.
Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid will be new major a dark ride which features Ariel, Sebastian and Flounder and all their oceanic friends in musical adventure.
Finally the Toontown Fair is being replaced with the all new Storybook Circus. This area will feature side by side flying Dumbo rides and Goofy's Barnstormer family coaster which is being re-themed around the 'famous' stunt pilot The Great Goofini. What circus would be complete without a big top? Disney is planning a giant Big Top packed with "family games and interactive wonders".
The new Fantasyland will be twice the size of the original land when the project is finished.
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