Disney's Fantasyland readies for expansion

Renovated theme park area set to open in 2013


ANAHEIM, Calif. --

Walt Disney World officials unveiled plans for a makeover on Saturday at Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland -- the largest expansion in the history of the park.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo gave details of the plans at Disney's first D23 Expo in Anaheim.

"Storytelling is the DNA of Disney dreams, and we're always exploring new ways to tell new stories in new places," Rasulo said.

With the new expansion, guests will be able to visit the Disney princesses in their own fairytale lands. There are also plans to build a castle like the one featured in "Beauty and the Beast."

Rasulo announced that Disney will be taking classic areas of Fantasyland and revamping them along with the expansion.

The Dumbo ride will be redone with a new circus grounds that will be twice the size of the existing attraction. There will also be an interactive three-ring circus tent.

They'll also be opening a "Little Mermaid" underwater attraction in the same area where the "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" ride closed in 1994. The "Little Mermaid" attraction will also be opening at Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim.

Tinker Bell and her fairy friends -- new characters that have become wildly popular and lucrative for Disney -- will also be featured in the expansion with "Pixie Hollow." It will be an area where guests can meet and take pictures with the fairies.

Disney also announced that it will be creating a new 3-D version of the "Star Tours" attraction, now at Disney's Hollywood Studios and the Disneyland Resort. The attraction is set to open in 2011.

The new Fantasyland is set to open in 2013.