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Opening Dates for Fantasyland Expansion Announced!

Finally, after nearly two years of speculation, Disney has formally announced the opening of the Fantasyland Expansion. Here’s what we know so far:

  • The Casey Jr. area and the second Dumbo will open in July. This is a little later than projected but a nice surprise for summer guests.
  • The Little Mermaid, Gaston’s Tavern, Beauty and the Beast Restaurant, and Ariel’s Grotto will open sometime during the holiday season.
  • The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will open sometime in 2014.

So what does “holiday” mean?  Bet on early November or early December for the best chances of a “soft” opening. You won’t see the expansion open Thanksgiving or Christmas week due to crowd levels. I also wonder how big of a deal it will be to decorate this area for the holidays since Disney goes over the top every year with decorations.  On the other hand, it’s quite possible Disney will want to it open by the time the parade tapes, which is the first weekend of December. I still think this is a very “iffy” time of year to open such a huge attraction and that everything will have to go exactly right for it to open for the holidays.

Keep in mind the Dumbo opening was moved three times and that it only represents a small fraction of the entire expansion. If I liked to bet, I’d put my money on an early January opening despite this announcement. This is one time I’d like to be wrong, though.

So, are you planning a trip for the opening of the Fantasyland Expansion?

For more information, check out the official announcement on  the Disney Parks Blog.

5 Comments

  1. Sheesh, wish they could just pin a specific date for the FLE. We are headed down 12/1-12/8. Let’s just say I will be one very disappointed guest if it is not opened. Ugh. Thanks for the update!

  2. It sounds like WDW said they were announcing “dates” and then proceeded to announce “nebulous, vague and lengthy seasons of time,” with the exception of July 2012, which although 31 days long, is a beacon of specificity compared with the rest of the announcement. I’m afraid WDW’s refusal to release actual “opening dates” will provide no help whatsoever to anyone planning a visit in the next six months, except to discourage those going before July, and cause a lot of others to postpone their vacations until 2013 or 2014. Oh WDW, you always get me excited for a big announcement, only to announce… nothing new. Yet I fall for it every time! ; )

  3. Anonymous, I think your comments are spot on. I am fairly certain that if it doesn’t open by early November we won’t see it until January.

  4. Abilsky1, I wish I had some magic to work!

  5. Kimberly, if it’s not open by then, it won’t be for another month, if that’s any solace. I can’t see them opening too close to xmas week.

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