Largest expansion of Walt Disney World in 41 years opens on Thursday near Orlando

Tamara Lush, The Associated Press

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Walt Disney World is showcasing the grand opening of the largest expansion in the park's 41-year history.

The theme park near Orlando officially opens its new Fantasyland Thursday morning.

The project includes new and reimagined attractions inspired by classic Disney stories and characters like Dumbo, "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Little Mermaid."

Also opening is Beast's Castle, which sports a restaurant using touch screen kiosks.

A ride called Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is still under construction and will open in 2014.

Fantasyland is part of the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. The expansion also preserved many longstanding favourite attractions like Cinderella Castle and the ride based on "It's a Small World."