Photo Gallery: New Fantasyland Previews at Magic Kingdom

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The long-anticipated New Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom officially opens to the public on December 6th, but select guests have been given the opportunity to experience the new attractions through "soft openings" held over the past few weeks.

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All the elements of New Fantasyland should be open for business next Thursday, with the exception of the Princess Meet & Greet that replaces the classic Snow White ride next year, and the Seven Dwarves roller coaster scheduled for 2014. Even with those elements missing, this is the largest expansion of WDW's original park in the resort's 41 year history.

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I had the opportunity to experience the new additions on a couple occasions over the last month, and documented my visits in the following photo gallery. You can read my take on the changes in my recent Live Active Cultures commentary. In short, a huge amount of artistry has been devoted to shops, eateries, and walk-though photo-ops that appeal mainly to pre-teen girls, without any blockbuster thrills aimed at a broader audience.

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But regardless of my concerns, New Fantasyland's visual splendor is unsurpassed, as you can see from the below images. Enjoy this gallery, and let me know if find the Ariel figurehead in front of the Little Mermaid ride as dead-eyed disturbing as I do.

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