Monday, January 25, 2010

Fantasyland Gets Extreme Makeover!

At the most recent D23 convention, Disney revealed that they are going to be expanding and updating our beloved Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom! These major changes are scheduled to be opening in 2012 and 2013, so please excuse their pixie dust if you have made plans to visit these parks before or around those times!

So, what can we expect to see? Well first, it should be noted that in order for them to expand Fantasyland, they will have to take over Mickey’s Toontown Fair. As much as I enjoy strolling through this area of the park, I think it’s a fair sacrifice for the changes they are going to be making.

Little Mermaid Area and Ride: FINALLY! As my favorite Disney princess, I am so excited to finally get a Little Mermaid ride. The area is going to be remodeled to look exactly like Prince Eric’s castle that sits on the water. From what I understand, this will be where the new Ariel meet and greet will take place. The ride is going to be modeled similarly to the ride coming to Disneyland and will take you through Ariel’s world aboard clam-mobiles (much like the ones at The Seas with Nemo and Friends).

Beauty and the Beast Area: Another castle will be erected so that Belle and her Prince finally have a home at Disney. The Beast’s castle is going to be acting as a new sit-down restaurant called Be Our Guest! Since Magic Kingdom is seriously lacking in sit-down dining, I’m very excited to try this new place out! Step outside the castle, and it will take you to Belle’s village where you will also be able to get some quick service food at Gaston’s Tavern.

Cinderella Attraction: The details on this are not quite clear to me, but it seems like it will be more of an interactive attraction for the kiddies, similar to Belle’s Story Time. The kids will get to meet the Fairy God Mother and help Cinderella prepare for the ball. Apparently, boys are not left out either and can train to be her royal knights.

Sleeping Beauty Attraction: I’m not sure if Aurora is getting a castle or not, but my guess is that it is unlikely since she already has one at Disneyland in Anaheim; however, you will be able to visit her cottage and help the fairies prepare for her Sweet 16 - more interactive stuff for the kids and another opportunity to meet Princess Aurora!

Pixie Hollow Re-vamp: If you have seen pictures of Pixie Hollow at Disneyland, you will know that Disney World really missed the boat on this one, but I guess we can forgive them since they apparently plan to fix it up. The area will be more elaborate, with giant plants and a huge tree where I assume guests will enter so they can "shrink" to fairy size to meet Tink and her friends!

Dumbo Re-vamp: Now, no one panic! This ride is not changing. You will still be able to fly high in the sky inside your favorite elephant. What Disney intends to do is create a second Dumbo ride to increase the amount of riders! We all know that it's one of the least efficient loading rides in the park. Both Dumbos will be moved under a giant circus tent, complete with interactive games to help make the wait a little more enjoyable for you and your little ones.

Phew! OK, now that I have said a mouthful, I will leave you to soak it all in and process. If you want to see more photos or get any other information I have missed, check out the link below, or visit various Disney forums to check out the discussions surrounding the expansion.

Orlando Attractions Magazine: D23 Expo, Fantasyland Expansion Confirmed

Monday, January 18, 2010

Use your cell phone to get park info

Disney has found a way to use text messaging to your advantage while you're visiting the parks.  Now you can send a text request to find out what the wait time is at a particular attraction, or to find out where your child's favorite character is appearing.  There are a limited number of requests per day, and you have to register your phone for the service, but what a great idea. Way to go Disney!

Click here for more info

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About The Divas

Welcome to the Disney Divas blog! The Divas are a mother (Cindy) and daughter (Taryn) team who love Disney and sharing everything they know about it.

Cindy visited Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida the first summer it was open in 1972 (it opened October 1, 1971). She visited nearly every year during her childhood, and when she got married, she couldn't wait to introduce her new husband to the wonderful world of Disney. She got her wish in 1984 when she took him for his first visit, and he was hooked! Cindy and Mark took their two children, Taryn and Ryan, on many, many trips to WDW over the next 20 years, but they found time for "Mom and Dad only" trips, as well, including a 2008 trip to Euro Disney in Paris!

Taryn's first trip to WDW was in October 1988 when she was just 2 years old. In the next 20 years, she visited Disney over a dozen times, including 2 trips to Tokyo Disney when she visited Japan as an exchange student. In November 2009, Taryn married Andy, who had never been to a Disney park. Like her mother, she couldn't wait to introduce her new husband to Disney. They honeymooned at WDW, and Taryn plans to continue the tradition of family Disney trips!

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