Jordin Sparks and Mickey Mouse made history.
The singer and Sparkle actress, along with “Once Upon a Time” star Ginnifer Goodwin, helped Mickey Mouse and a host of other beloved Disney characters celebrate the grand opening of Walt Disney World’s New Fantasyland.
It’s the largest expansion in Disney history, doubling the size of Fantasyland, which is located in the Magic Kingdom theme park.
Fittingly, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs told the massive crowd of park attendees, “Walt Disney once promised that Disneyland, and by extension all of our parks, would never be complete as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
You can now walk through the Enchanted Forest to experience Enchanted Tales with Belle, Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, Gaston’s Tavern, and the Be Our Guest restaurant, where French cuisine is served in ballrooms that recreate the look and feeling of the classic animated movie Beauty and the Beast. Or you can hit Jordin’s fave, Storybook Circus, whose attractions include re-themed rides centered on Dumbo and the Great Goofini.
Did we mention Disney princes are finally getting their due? Cinderella is no longer the only one with a castle: the Beast (Beauty and the Beast) has one now, along with Prince Eric (The Little Mermaid).
The grand opening of New Fantasyland comes a day after the late Walt Disney would’ve celebrated his 111th birthday and is one of many new launches for Disney: Epcot’s Test Track—a park favorite—has been “reimagined” into a futuristic attraction where you design your own car before taking it on a faster, more exciting ride through the test conditions; and a luxury 30-pin Splitsville bowling alley just opened in Downtown Disney.
More New Fantasyland action is planned for 2013 with the opening of Princess Fairytale Hall, where the Disney princesses can interact with their “loyal subjects." And 2014 will see the completion of the Seven Dwarves Mine Train (a musical ride where each mine car will swing back and forth as it hurries down the tracks twists and turns.
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