The Walt Disney Co.
(DIS), one of the largest entertainment companies in the world, plans the biggest ever expansion of its Fantasyland at Florida in 2010. The expansion is based on the popularity of the Disney Princess and Fairies franchises that have generated $4 billion in global retail sales. The planned expansion of the two franchises will be carried out in two phases, one to be completed in 2012 and the other in 2013. 

The expansion plan mainly involves inclusion of four Disney characters namely Cindrella, Sleeping Beauty, Belle from ‘Beauty and Beast’ and Ariel from “The Little Mermaid”. Management believes that these characters would be ideal for a place where visitors usually engage in dancing, story telling, or organize a birthday party with costumed characters of favorite cartoons. 

In addition, Walt Disney also plans to set up two new dining places – Gascon’s Tavern and The Beast’s Castle. The company also intends to construct a new underwater ride, based on the “The Little Mermaid”, both in Florida Fantasyland and at the ongoing expansion site of California Adventure. 

Moreover, the company plans for a second phase of expansion at the Fantasyland, which will include a world based on the fairy world of Pixie Hollow from “Peter Pan”. However, details of the expansion were not disclosed. 

Apart from this, Walt Disney as part of the Fantasyland expansion intends to double the size of the popular Dumbo ride. The idea is to add a covered “three-ring circus” waiting area with interactive games and a play area. 

Furthermore, the Toon Town attraction with its popular Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse houses will be dismantled and relocated to another section of Walt Disney World. The company also announced an upgrade to the Star Tours rides at Disneyland in Anaheim and Disney’s Hollywood Studio in Florida which are expected to become operational by 2011. 

Star Tours is a replication of a ride through space aboard spacecraft like those in the original “Star Wars” film. Management also stated that the updated version includes new digital 3D effects and projectors that let ride operators vary “destinations,” and upgrades the Star Speeder cabins. 

Although, the exact amount to be spent on the expansion was not disclosed, Walt Disney announced plans to fund these expansions and upgrades through the Disney theme park’s annual capital expenditures.
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