Fantasyland Opens at Disney World: 'The Little Mermaid,' 'Beauty and the Beast' Join Park

Fantasyland opened for many lovers of Disney World near Orlando, Fla., and it is the biggest expansion in the amusement park since it was built in 1971. The New Fantasyland takes some of the older, traditional Disney characters and combines them with classics of the decade past.

Fantasyland at Disney World is located at the back of the Magic Kingdom where Mickey's Toontown and the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea experience used to be. New Fantasyland is now twice the size of what it once was, allowing Disney fans of all ages to mix the old classics with the new ones.

"It's really about immersing people in a number of stories, characters and music that they love," Tom Staggs, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman, told the Associated Press. The "more enjoyable" spaces lets guests "be a little more relaxed" while enjoying the vast park.

New Fantasyland is split into two parts: the Enchanted Forest, which features Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" and Ariel from "The Little Mermaid," and StoryBook Circus from the "Dumbo" film. More will be added to New Fantasyland, like the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, a rollercoaster, due to be completed in 2014.

For Disney, improvement is an ongoing process running on pure "imagination."

"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," said Staggs. "New Fantasyland is a spectacular addition to the Magic Kingdom that delivers on Walt's promise. We're thrilled to take guests beyond the walls of Cinderella Castle to discover new worlds featuring iconic Disney characters and stories in ways that are more imaginative, more interactive and more immersive than ever before."

Helping to open the New Fantasyland was Ginnifer Goodwin, who played Snow White in TV series "Once Upon A Time," and Jordin Sparks, the "American Idol" winner.