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.