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2 builders hired for Disney World's Fantasyland expansion

25 February 2010 by By Jason Garcia, Orlando Sentinel

Walt Disney World has picked a pair of construction firms to lead an overhaul of the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland section, the biggest-yet expansion of Disney's oldest and busiest theme park.

Disney has hired Barton Malow Co. of Southfield, Mich., and Birmingham, Ala.-based Hoar Construction LLC as general contractors on the Fantasyland project. They will oversee the work alongside Disney's own Buena Vista Construction Co.

Disney expects to break ground on the project this spring. Plans call for a major new ride based on The Little Mermaid, an expanded Dumbo ride, and elaborate sub-areas devoted to some of Disney's most popular princesses, along with new restaurants and shops.

With Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter scheduled to open in a matter of weeks following more than two years of construction, Disney's Fantasyland overhaul would take over as the largest construction project in local theme parks.

Disney says it expects to open the expanded Fantasyland in stages, beginning in 2012 with the Mermaid ride and the princess attractions. A second phase, anchored by a Pixie Hollow area featuring Tinker Bell and other Disney fairies, will open in 2013. Disney has dubbed the new area of Fantasyland "Fantasy Forest."

Both companies selected to be general contractors have Orlando offices and have done extensive work in the area.

Barton Malow's local projects range from Lockhart Middle School to baggage carousels at Orlando International Airport. Hoar's local projects include Thornton Park Central, the condo-and-retail project in downtown Orlando, and SoDo, a larger condo-retail project south of downtown.


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