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Walt Disney World to expand Magic Kingdom and Disney Cruise line; announces 'Summer Nightastic!'

11 February 2010 by Pittsburgh Disney Travel Examiner

At a media event held on Wednesday, Feb. 10, Disney executives announced new details on several additions and expansions to Walt Disney World Resort. One major change is the three-year planned makeover of Fantasyland, the largest expansion in the Magic Kingdom theme park’s history.

The Fantasyland expansion will double the size of the Dumbo attraction, to be called Dumbo’s Flying Circus, and will feature a three-ring circus tent and carnival rides. The Fantasyland expansion will also include a separate “villages” for each Disney princess, an indoor Little Mermaid attraction, and more interactive experiences. Guests will be able to dine with princesses, train to be a knight, or meet fairies at Pixie Hollow.

Magic Kingdom will also be home to a special summer promotion, as an updated Main Street Electrical Parade returns to park in June.

“After the sun goes down, our Walt Disney World parks will light up the night with ‘Summer Nightastic!’, ” announced Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort.

Tinker Bell will lead the parade from a magical balloon, and there will be new floats dedicated to Snow White and Pinocchio. Also part of the summer celebration will be a special fireworks display.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will celebrate “Summer Nightastic!” with new lighting and sound effects. The thrill ride will also feature a new drop sequence.

Disney Cruise Line (DCL), part of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, previously announced route expansion, adding cruises to northern Europe and Alaska. Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, is receiving its own makeover. DCL is also adding two new ships. Disney Dream is scheduled to set sail in 2011, followed by Disney Wonder in 2012. Disney Dream will feature the AquaDuck, an onboard watercoaster that funnels guests above the deck of the ship through clear flume tubes.

Disney’s Wide World of Sport is being rebranded as the ESPN Wide World of Sports, reflecting the partnership between the complex and ESPN. Among its many events is the upcoming ESPN The Weekend sports-fan weekend.

Disney had previously announced some of these plans, allowing Wednesday’s media event to provide additional details and updates. Fantasyland’s expansion was announced at the Disney D23 Expo in Sept. 2009. Details about the new ships to the Disney Cruise Line also were revealed


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