Walt Disney World changing plans for Fantasyland expansion

The construction walls have been up for months, but Walt Disney World says its plans for expanding Fantasyland are being redrawn in an attempt to broaden its appeal.

When the Fantasyland expansion plans were introduced last year, the first thing most Disney fans noticed was that the new area of the theme park was aimed squarely at one demographic: young girls. There was a Little Mermaid theme park ride, castles for Belle and Aurora, and three interactive princess meet-and-greet areas.

Sure, the marketing of the Disney Princesses has been one of the company’s biggest wins ever, but where was the boy stuff?

Apparently, it’s a question that Tom Staggs, the new chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts, was asking, too. He is the dad of three young sons, after all.

Orlando Sentinel writer Jason Garcia
interviewed Staggs this week and confirmed the rumors that the Fantasyland plans are being redrawn. Staggs indicated that the new plans may involve more thrills, as planners are reviewing the mix of “aspirational rides” with thrills or tension and rides that are for everyone.

Staggs said that the changes to Fantasyland shouldn’t delay the 2012 and 2013 opening dates of the new attractions. Testing and research on new guest experiences that are to be incorporated in the new attractions, such as Disney’s new queue-less wait system, have also been going on at Walt Disney World for several months.