• Disney's Fantasyland debuts a whole new world of attractions


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - With typical Disney flair, the grand opening of the new Fantasyland dazzled thousands of people waiting to get a look at the massive project that doubled the size of the most popular part of the Magic Kingdom.

    "It definitely looks like the movie, some of the rides do. It's really cool," said park guest Cindy Landry.

    And that's just what Disney was going for -- adding realistic detail that brings guests into popular animated movies.

    "We wanted to make this the most immersive thing we've ever done, so by doing the details just right, we make sure the immersion is just right," said Chris Beatty with Walt Disney Imagineering.

    The massive expansion includes nearly a dozen new attractions and rides.

    The new attraction is double the size of the old Fantasyland and adds the iconic castle from "Beauty and the Beast" to join Cinderella's castle.

    Guests can also see Belle's cottage and her father's workshop.

    Hungry guests can dine in the "Be our Guest" restaurant.

    One ride is a journey under the sea with the Little Mermaid. It was a hit with visitor Erin Noegel's children.

    "They keep talking about it, that they rode it twice Monday, and they are ready to go ride it again now," said Noegel.

    Getting guests, especially children, involved was also part of the goal.

    Fantasyland has effectively done away with some lines. Parents pick up an electronic ticket for the Dumbo ride, and their children can play inside a circus tent to wait for their ticket to alert them that it's their turn to ride.

    Disney's latest attractions were built to compete with their counterparts: SeaWorld's Antarctica and Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

    "They are going to tell their friends to come, and it's definitely going to bring new visitors, as well as our fans that already come," said Imagineer Eric Jacobson.

    The new $425 million addition is expected to bring Central Florida nearly 800 jobs and countless tourists.


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