Once upon a time, a huge DRAGON flew over Guests’ heads at Magic Kingdom. Yes, we’re serious.

Credit: YouTube/OrlandoExaminer

Disney is no stranger to dragons. And apparently, dragons are also no strangers to Disney. They can be found in several of Disney’s animated features, such as Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, and Pete’s Dragon.

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We just never expected to see one fly over our heads at Walt Disney World. But that’s exactly what happened as part of the celebration of the opening of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom in December 2012.

Credit: YouTube/OrlandoExaminer

The expansion of the land that some Disney fanatics describe as the most “Disney” part of Magic Kingdom is based on all things fantasy: beautiful princesses, handsome princes, evil villains, extravagant castles, brave heroes, and love’s first kiss. Romanticism, medieval architecture, meticulously crafted stone archways and a new castle on the mountain in the distance were just the beginning.

Ariel’s Grotto is beautiful. Credit: Becky Burkett

The New Fantasyland expansion also included a grotto for Ariel on the beach where the Nautilus once trudged through the murky waters of the Pacific, as well as a tiny cottage where Belle lives with her Papa the inventor.

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Enchanted Tales with Belle puts Guests right into the story. Credit: Becky Burkett

The expansion brought Guests a brand-new dining experience inside Beast Castle, a surprise party for Belle, and even gave us a look inside the tavern where Gaston is praised by his brainwashed minions.

Try the cinnamon roll at Gaston’s Tavern. Credit: Becky Burkett

In celebration of the opening of the beautiful new expansion at Magic Kingdom, the creative minds at Disney World thought it fitting and appropriate to release a huge animatronic dragon above the new area of Fantasyland. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at this video from that day:

Yes, once upon a time, Disney released a giant audio-animatronic dragon into the night sky to celebrate the opening of the newest part of Magic Kingdom. How? Well, Disney magic, of course!

Were you there to see the dragon in 2012? We’d love to hear what you thought about the experience in the comments!


About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!