Saturday, September 12, 2009

Imagineering Press Conference at D23 CONFIRMS Star Tours 2 and Fantasyland Expansion

This news is breaking at the minute.

At the D23 Expo in Anaheim today, Disney Imagineers confirmed two huge Disney World rumors.

1. A new reimagined Star Tours attraction will open at Hollywood Studios (and Disneyland) in 2011. The film will be in 3D and will include (but not be limited to) the pod racing scene from The Phantom Menace, as long rumored.

2. And I'll begin eating my hat on this one. The Fantasyland expansion, reported here earlier this summer, has been at least somewhat confirmed. Mickey's Toontown Fair will close to make way for princess and fairy themed areas. The concept art looks amazing (see the below Orlando Attractions Magazine link) as they plan to fully theme the areas to look like the settings from the movies. Though it should be noted that there was an audible groan from the audience when it was mentioned that the expansion was to include "more of your favorite princesses."

Confirmed for the expansion:
  • Little Mermaid attraction!! Can't believe they're actually doing it.
  • Beauty and the Beast restaurant and Gaston's Tavern.
  • Dumbo expansion including the rumored "dual" attraction and the elimination of the queue (!!) and in its place a circus themed play area. It seems to be something along the lines of a really big pre-show area where maybe everyone gets something like a Fastpass to ride with.
  • Sleeping Beauty meet and greet, themed as a birthday party.
  • Cinderella and stepsisters meet and greet including some type of "knight training" for the boys.
4. Toontown will be demolished. Mickey's and Minnie's houses will be removed and Mickey displaced. There has been no announcement on the future of meeting Mickey (I'm feeling some reworking around Main Street) nor the future of Goofy's Barnstormer. The train station will become a Fantasyland stop.

5. Casey Jr. might come to Magic Kingdom in some way. This is neither confirmed nor denied but the Imagineers said they have considered it.

Orlando Attractions magazine has great video up of the Fantasyland announcement.

We'll be updating this page as the news comes in. Follow us on Twitter for breaking news retweets from our followers at the expo.

Special thanks to Deb Wills from All Ears Net, Stitch Kingdom, and Orlando Attractions Magazine for their minute by minute tweets of the imagineering press conference. We couldn't have done this update without you guys. You're the best!

Updated: 9/12, 5:05pm

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