When Walt Disney originally began visioning his new world that became Disneyland, he pictured Fantasyland as a place where adults and children alike could find themselves as part of their favorite Disney movies.
While Disneyland's Fantasyland and Castle courtyard was given a makeover years ago to help bring the park closer to this goal, Disney World's version of Fantasyland remained in its original state, now many years later, it's Disney World's turn.
As all Disney fans are aware by now, back in September at the first ever D23 convention, a major renovation to Fantasyland (and Mickey's Toontown Fair) was announced, including a two phase plan and a lot of speculation.
Recently, however, changes and a third phase of the renovation plan has been leaked. Originally rumors had Mickey's Toontown Fair closing in the very near future, but that seems to have been pushed back while the rest of Fantasyland receives its makeover, preserving an opportunity to meet and greet with the princesses and the fairies.
Additionally, for a while, rumors were swirling that what is now Goofy's Barnstormer would be transformed into a Snow White themed mine car ride gone wild, featuring the seven dwarfs. Nevertheless, it appears that Snow White will get the raw end of the deal in the new Fantasyland reconstruction and that ride will be circus themed and engulfed in the new Dumbo area.
In addition to this change, there's a leak about a whole new phase to the plan. Originally, the plan had two phases. The first--to be completed by 2012--included the new princess areas dedicated to Cinderella, Aurora, Belle, and Ariel. The second phase--set to open a year later--was the new and improved Pixie Hollow area, dedicated to Tinker Bell and all her fairy friends. Now, a third phase has been introduced, expanding away from the current Toontown region and into the classic fantasyland area.
The third phase of the plan has 'it's a small world' moving locations to open up a little plaza in its current spot. The new 'it's a small world' will be nearby and will be modeled more along the lines of its look in Disneyland and other Disney parks around the world, as its outside transforms from the store-front look to an appearance more fitting for such a classic attraction.
In addition to the changes to 'it's a small world,' Alice in Wonderland will reportedly get it's own additions, too, with a new attraction going in near the tea cups. These changes, however, are far in the future and slotted for work following the completion of Pixie Hollow in 2013.
While all of these changes are happening, the Magic Kingdom has more news that will impact the park in a much more timely manner. Al Weiss, President of Worldwide Operations for Disney Parks, made the announcement that the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade (ELP) will be returning to Walt Disney World. The new version of the beloved parade is slated to arrive in June and will replace the longstanding SpectroMagic.
Now, some reports are saying that this parade will only be at Walt Disney World for a limited time, with SpectroMagic returning after the summer, but there are rumors that SpectroMagic will be sold to Disneyland in Hong Kong; only time will tell. The new version of ELP will go along with a few other changes in the park as a whole "Summer Nightastic" promotion.
With the expansion set to begin and several new attractions, along with numerous facelifts set to begin, there are a lot of changes in store for the Magic Kingdom.
This article was reported by Steven Wisner, Orlando Theme Parks Examer on Feb. 11, 2010.