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Narrowing Down the Date for the Fantasyland Expansion Opening.

Impatient?  Who, us?

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m fairly obsessed with trying to determine when the Fantasyland expansion (FLE) is going to open and I’ll often drag Bob and George into these discussions where we could easily opine for hours on when we think it will happen.  Today we decided to narrow it down to two dates when we think it will open.  To sweeten the deal, we’re each throwing in $10. The one of us with the dates closest to actual opening wins the pot.  I know, $30! It’s like we’re crazy!

So grab your prognosticator cap and think like Tom Staggs.

When Would You Open the Fantasyland Expansion?

My first choice is Monday, November 4th and my second is Wednesday, November 14th.  If it doesn’t open either of those dates, it won’t open until January.

The way I figured both of these dates its this: 

  • It can’t be on a special party day, so it won’t open on the day of a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The 12th makes more sense from the perspective of giving Disney more time, but it doesn’t work because of the party. 
  • Nothing can happen until after November 2, which is the last night of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party. Why? Because they’d have to open a newly opened land with Halloween decorations and then decorate it all over again for Christmas. That’s just crazy.
  • It can’t happen on a race day/night, so that means it won’t happen November 9th. In fact, I think that entire weekend is out for an opening.
  • A surprise opening in October doesn’t work because you’ll have to compete with Food and Wine and all those special events plus slightly higher crowds.
  • November 4th is one of the least crowded days of the year and you don’t have a Christmas party until November 9th.
  • Again, November 12th makes sense, but it’s a party night. November 13th is not good-too superstitious. That leaves the 14th.


My first choice is November 12th. Disney doesn’t need a huge amount of time for a soft opening, but they do need some -mostly for figuring out the flow of the crowds at Beast’s Castle for lunch and dinner.. This will allow them time to work out any kinks, and still be able to have it decorated for Christmas in time for the taping of the Christmas parade. Even though November 12 is also a Christmas party night, they could still do a soft opening and when word gets out, if the expansion is going to be open for the party, chances are a lot more tickets will sell for that night.
If Disney misses the November pre-holiday window, then I don’t think we’ll see it open until January 7th, 2013. This gives them time for the last of the holiday guests to clear out, and still time to open before the marathon weekend and Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday which brings in slightly heavier numbers.


I don’t think that the Fantasyland Expansion is going to open until January 2013.

If it does open in 2012, I bet it will be in time for the Christmas Parade. At least the taping day. Granted, they can just throw a few celebrities in the rides with some cast members and they have ready-made video to show on Christmas Day. It makes a lot of sense to me to do a HUGE promotion of the expansion during the  parade show. That is the perfect venue to get people really excited about traveling during 2013 and booking vacations.

Chris has told me that I have to pick two dates. I am going to stand behind my claim that we won’t see the area open until January 2013.

  • Monday, January 7, 2013
  • Wednesday, January 23, 2013
My biggest issue with opening Fantasyland before Christmas is that Disney loves to decorate everything. Will they have the chance to decorate a brand new land that isn’t open? Also, this will be the first time that the world sees the Expansion. If it is all gussied up for the Christmas season, then you are not going to get a full sense of the area and the fabric of the new Fantasyland. Imagine if Storybook Circus had partially opened with Christmas decorations strung everywhere. People would have been put off by the simple fact that they would want to experience Storybook Circus without the addition of the Christmas decorations.
My real reason for the January dates is that I had a lunch meeting with Tom Staggs and he told me that construction was delayed slightly and even though the Little Mermaid was ready, it would be too difficult to create a pathway through the construction to get people safely on the ride. Plus, he likes making Disney bloggers endlessly debate the opening dates.

With all of the media and press for Carsland, wouldn’t it make sense for them to do a big, splashy opening since it is an almost complete overhaul of Fantasyland? If you watch the Disney news sites, you can’t help but smirk at all of the blogging media that was invited to the opening of the Art of Animation resort.

Disney will pull out all of the stops for this opening, so it will be sometime in January!

But wait, there’s more:

Today I noticed that Disney still hasn’t set an opening day for Casey Jr. It’s supposed to open in July and you’d think by now, they’d have a definite date. After all, it’s only a few weeks off.  This tells me the opening is still up in the air. And if they can’t decide on when a small section of the attraction is going to open, this doesn’t bode well for something as large (and as AWESOME) as the entire expansion.  So don’t expect a definite date for the FLE anytime soon.

Truthfully, we’ve been hearing gloomy news from our sources in Burbank, who are telling us that “holiday 2012” does  not mean before Christmas, but the people we know in Orlando are saying it’s going to happen before then unless things don’t go as planned. Well, when in life do things go as planned?  So really, who knows?

All I know is that when it does happen, I’m going to be there. How about you? Are you planning a trip?


  1. Since I’ll be there for the week of Christmas and I am really obsessed to see the expansion I’m going to vote and hope for a soft opening in November at least!!!

  2. Sheilla, I think if it’s going to open before xmas, it will be November. Not sure they’ll do a soft opening since they didn’t in Carsland, but who knows. I hope we get enough notice that I can be down there. Can’t wait!

    Thanks for your comment.

  3. I have to disagree! đŸ˜‰

    I think they will do a full-on media opening like Carsland.

    They need as much press as they can and they need to put as many heads in beds as possible!

    Maybe I should have picked MLK Weekend.

  4. I vote for November 14th, since I will be there!

  5. Oh I am hoping it will be open by our trip Dec. 9. Season passes expire then and I’m not sure we will renew since the kids price went up so much.

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