Disney World will double the size of its Fantasyland, California Adventure will get new attractions, and the Star Tours ride at two parks will be upgraded, the company says.
Disney unveiled plans today for the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, provided updates on its $1-billion expansion of Disney's California Adventure and said it would modernize the popular Star Tours ride at its domestic parks.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo chose the D23 Expo in Anaheim, the first-ever gathering of Disney devotees, to announce the ambitious new project in Orlando, Fla., that will nearly double the size of Fantasyland. He also confirmed speculation that Disney would update the Star Tours attraction based on George Lucas' original "Star Wars" trilogy, adding 3-D effects to the ride at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida.
The projects come as Disney has been working to maintain attendance levels at the parks through aggressive hotel discounts, ticket giveaways and other promotions that have kept customers walking through the turnstiles but also cut into operating income. The parks are a major profit center for the entertainment giant, contributing about a third of the company's revenue.