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Disney World rethinks Fantasyland makeover plans for 2012

January 18, 2011|By Brady MacDonald | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
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Walt Disney World has gone back to the drawing board for its ambitious Fantasyland expansion plan after weathering the arrival of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Back in September 2009, Disney Imagineering rushed out plans for a girl-centric makeover of Fantasyland in a hasty effort to counterprogram the Boy Wizard's imminent takeover of Orlando, Fla.

Photo gallery: View concept art of the 2012 Fantasyland expansion at Disney World

Scheduled to open at the Magic Kingdom in Florida in 2012, the new-new Fantasyland  plan adds one ride, re-themes another and significantly scales back the princess-focused elements of the original outline.

Among the new additions:

* The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster, which takes riders through the story of "Snow White," will feature ride vehicles that swing back and forth.

* The Goofy-themed Barnstormer kiddie coaster gets a makeover as The Great Goofini, combining circus sideshow elements with a flying school storyline.

* The Princess Fairytale Hall will serve as a meet-and-greet area for Cinderella, Aurora, Tiana and Rapunzel, taking over the Snow White's Scary Adventure dark-ride location. The new centralized hall replaces individual meet-and-greet areas envisioned for many of the princesses.

Several key elements remain from the 2009 plan, including the centerpiece Voyage of the Little Mermaid dark ride, the dueling Dumbo flying elephants ride, the "Beauty and the Beast" themed Be Our Guest restaurant, Gaston's Tavern and Belle's Cottage.

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