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WDW: A bevy of construction activity

(Photo by Todd DeFeo)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World, gearing up for its 40th anniversary, is a bevy of construction activity these days, with a new resort and a major expansion to the Magic Kingdom in the works.

Here’s a quick rundown of the major projects under way at the resort:

Fantasyland Expansion

In 2009, Disney officials announced a major overhaul and expansion to Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom.

When complete, the expanded Fantasyland will feature a Little Mermaid-themed attraction, similar to what Disney is building in California, and an expanded Dumbo attraction. The new land, originally slated to include a number of princess-themed attractions, will also include a Seven Dwarves Mine Train.

The new and expanded Fantasyland is expected to finished by 2013. As part of the expansion, Mickey’s Toontown Fair was closed and the Snow White’s Scary Adventure attraction will also be closing.

Art of Animation Resort

The newest Walt Disney World resort, a 2,000-room value resort, is expected to be open by 2012.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will feature 1,120 family suites – to be located in The Lion King, Cars and Finding Nemo wings of the resort – and 864 standard “themed” rooms – to be located in The Little Mermaid wing. The suites will have both a bedroom and a living room.

Hyperion Wharf

Pleasure Island, the former nighttime entertainment attraction for adults, will be transformed into “Hyperion Wharf” – touted as a “nostalgic yet modern take on an early 20th century port city.” The wharf is named for Hyperion, the Greek god of light, and the street where Walt Disney’s first “major” animation studio was located.

The port will feature “stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants” for guests during the day and will change into “an electric wonderland” at night, Disney said.

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