Disney World unveils New Fantasyland

Magic Kingdom's largest expansion goes public for 1st time

Published On: Dec 06 2012 10:54:35 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 06 2012 11:26:37 AM EST
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ORLANDO, Fla. -

The New Fantasyland, which marks the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history, debuts Thursday after years of preparation.

Fantasyland has been part of the Magic Kingdom since its opening in 1971. But the new expansion takes visitors outside the gates of the castle and into a new realm.

SLIDESHOW: New Fantasyland debut

"Enchanted Tales with Belle" allows guests to walk through a magic mirror to meet the characters from "Beauty and the Beast." Underneath Beast's castle, the "Be Our Guest" restaurant serves up lunch and dinner inside the iconic ballroom.

The restaurant is a "quick-service" restaurant during the day, where guests walk up to a touchscreen, order their food and get it delivered to their tables in the ballroom. At night, the menu changes to more upscale French-inspired cuisine, with a wait staff brought in to provide a more personal dining experience.

After exploring Belle's village, guests can take a short walk to tropical paradise, home to "The Little Mermaid."

The attractions are designed to keep guests entertained as they're waiting in line, like the furnishings scattered throughout Belle's cottage and some animated crabs that crawl around the rocks as visitors enter "The Little Mermaid."