Imagineer Chris Beatty Discusses New Fantasyland Expansion

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Disney Parks Blog hosted the first ever live chat yesterday, for those of you who missed it, people were invited to ask questions to the Imagineer in an online chat and get an immediate response. I’m sure there were many more questions than answers but that’s to be expected…inquiring mines want to know!

Chris Beatty was rather “Disney-esque” in his responses; not giving away too much information but slightly foreshadowing what the new Fantasyland will have to offer.

Main topics of the discussion were the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the Be Our Guest restaurant, Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid and the Great Goofini.

There were affirmations made regarding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, confirming that it will be a family friendly “coaster” and not a major thrill attraction. The ride will feature new technology inspired by the film itself. The ride will be the first to debut the “swinging bucket” feeling in the cart itself. The Mine Train will focus on the Seven Dwarfs but of course Snow White will make an appearance within the attraction.

The Fantasyland expansion will open in phases beginning in fall of 2012 and will offer experiences related to the classic Disney films that everyone loves.

Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid has already opened in Disneyland’s California Adventure park but the Walt Disney World adventure will bring you through the grottos and underneath Prince Eric’s Castle while your waiting for your ride vehicle.

Another major portion of the expansion project is the Be Our Guest restaurant, Beast’s Castle and Belle’s Cottage. Chris mentioned that he was most looking forward to the opening of the Be Our Guest Restaurant. He truly believes that you’ll feel transported into the film once you step inside. When asked if Lumiere will appear like Remy does at Les Chef’s De France, Chris replied, “We’re currently working on a new blog update on Lumiere, so stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog”.

Belle’s Cottage will feature a storybook adventure and you’ll feel as if you stepped inside the story of Beauty and the Beast. Gaston’s Tavern will have a larger than life portrait above one of the fireplaces.

Plenty of water has been added to the new Fantasyland areas. Under the Beast’s Castle and bridge past the Little Mermaid all the way to Dumbo the water features will make the environment feel authentic as only Disney can make it.

Last but not least, our beloved “Barnstormer” will be getting a make-over and transforming into “The Great Goofini”. Ride along with Goofy as he becomes a stunt pilot in the circus and be prepared for some Goofy flying lessons!

Chris mentioned more than once to keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more updates and new secrets to be revealed!

  • Disney Confidential: More Fantasyland Rumors. (
  • Imagineers Use Innovative Technology in Fantasyland Expansion (

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