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Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando underwent major renovations this year, with Disney staff working on the largest expansion in the theme park’s history. The grand opening of the expansion, called New Fantasyland, is today.
According to The Huffington Post, park-goers were treated to previews throughout the year and there was a special sneak-peak opening Wednesday night. It was certainly a special way to celebrate what would have been Walt Disney’s 111th birthday.
After walking through the iconic Cinderella's castle visitors are taken to attractions inspired by two of Disney’s recent classics, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. There’s Gaston's Tavern, Bonjour! Village Gifts and the Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction, which was brought over from Disneyland.
There is also an Enchanted Forest with Beast's Castle. The Be Our Guest restaurant is also opening and is the first to offer alcohol in the park.
ABC News reports that the new attractions focus on boys, with Gaston from Beauty and the Beast playing a key role.
“It's the first time Gaston has had a constant presence,” Phil Holmes, vice president of the Magic Kingdom, told ABC. “In this environment, he's like a rock star. The kids line up to see him the way they do with the princesses.”
The Beast and The Little Mermaid’s Prince Eric will also be there alongside the princesses.
Holmes also pointed out Enchanted Tales with Belle, an interactive attraction. “It's a new way to immerse the guests,” he said. “It's being in the middle of everything, versus watching.”
For those hoping for a new roller coaster, Disney will open The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in 2014.