So the Disney fan community is abuzz with the leaked plans of a Fantasyland expansion for the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort that seem to be popping up in discussions all over the social sites today.
The plan above, lists a large reworking of the entire back side of Fantasyland. The expansion takes over the bed for the retired 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction as well as a large portion Mickey’s Toontown Fair. Replacing it with a new Pixie Hollow and a themed Dumbo area in that space, yet leaving in tact the great Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm attraction.
As you can see from the map above, there is a lot of room for the Imagineers to take such a significant plan and recapture a large portion of unused space in the park and expand Fantasyland. The large grassy area in the middle and top is the bed of the former 20k ride and could easily accommodate these plans.
It is only after we overlay the plans onto the satellite imagery that we discover how fitting these plans truly are. Replacing and relocating a few attractions provides an enormous addition to an area of the park that has begun to feel a little cramped.
This expansion would seemingly provide a new table-service restaurant as well as numerous new attractions, spaces for character greetings and expanded merchandise locations. It would also provide a bit more breathing room for a Fantasyland at a time when the popularity in the characters residing there has skyrocketed.
Opening up the area would also offer fresh new attractions to a park that has not seen any true updates in quite some time. The long-rumored roller-coaster that was to sit in 20k’s place seems to be absent from these plans, but that type of thrill ride would seem a bit out of place to its neighboring attractions. Any new thrill ride would be better located in one of the other lands that better connote that experience.
This also comes at a time when some analysts are bullish on Disney’s stock due to its television properties, but not so optimistic for its theme parks. A major expansion in Florida would mirror the developments currently in place for the Disneyland Resort. Providing new attractions at their US-based theme parks might help improve the bottom line and prop up analysts expectations for the company moving forward.
Development like this would certainly be a boon to our local economy from every level as well as offer a great deal of excitement for all of us Disney enthusiasts around the world. This could (read:probably) is all pie in the sky discussion leaked by some astute Disney fan somewhere, rather than an actual Disney plan. However, if this is the genuine thinking that the Imagineers are putting forth internally (they are an amazing creative team) this would be a truly exciting development in the life of the Walt Disney World Resort and the Magic Kingdom.
Hopefully more verified and corroborated information will be forthcoming from the Walt Disney Co. during their Fiscal 3rd Quarter Webcast that will take place later this month; Thursday, July 30 at 4:00 pm. Ultimately, only time will tell so until then, have fun speculating – I know I will.
[EDIT 2009-09-12 Actual Plans Have Been Released During D23 EXPO – Read More in This Post]