« Newest Princess Cruises ship hits construction milestone | Main | Florida road trips: cattle, cars and seafood »

Biggest phase of Fantasyland expansion to open Dec. 6.

Several of the largest elements in the Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom will have their grand opening Dec. 6, Disney World has announced, although they'll have a soft opening Nov. 19 -- meaning that if you're in the park, you'll probably be able to ride Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, and visit the other new attractions before their official debut.

This phase of the Fantasyland expansion includes:

*The Little Mermaid, a dark but non-scary ride through scenes from the film, with a meet-and-greet with the starring mermaid at Ariel's Grotto.

* Belle’s cottage and Enchanted Tales with Belle. Here, Disney's classic meet-and-greet with the princesses and other characters is enhanced to include interactive storytelling with Belle and Lumiere.

* The Be Our Guest Restaurant in the castle of the Beast (with table service at night), Gaston’s Tavern (despite the name, it won't serve alcohol) and Bonjour! Village Gifts.

The remaining elements of the expansion are Princess Fairytale Hall, an elaborate setting for meet-and-greets with Disney princesses, which is scheduled for completion in 2013, and The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a roller coaster, which will open in 2014.

(Disney rendering of Belle's cottage)