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Walt Disney Imagineering is famous for their project documentation. The archives are full of great concept art, construction photos, and documentation from most of the major builds over the last 50+ years. But my favorite of these has to be the time-lapse video.

This short time-lapse video shows the construction of most of New Fantasyland, including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Definitely worth expanding it to full-screen to view:

Interesting how construction on the coaster itself didn’t actually start until about half-way through the video.

Below the jump, I have an interview with Bruce Vaughn, executive vice president at Walt Disney Imagineering, and Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, as they talk about how Seven Dwarfs Mine Train fits into New Fantasyland and how excited the Imagineers are to finally have it open to the public on May 28th.

Opening Ceremony

It took major star power and two ceremonies to officially open the newest area of the Magic Kingdom. Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus were dedicated in a special ribbon cutting ceremony and then a larger celebration was held on the stage at Cinderella Castle. The star of “Once Upon a Time” kicked off the “happily ever after” at the grand opening. Ginnifer Goodwin, who plays Snow White on the hit ABC-TV drama, joined pop star Jordin Sparks and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs in ceremonies filled with favorite Disney characters, daytime fireworks and timeless melodies from classic Disney films.

“Walt Disney once promised that Disneyland, and by extension all of our parks, would never be complete as long as there is imagination left in the world,” Staggs said. “New Fantasyland is a spectacular addition to the Magic Kingdom that delivers on Walt’s promise. We’re thrilled to take guests beyond the walls of Cinderella Castle to discover new worlds featuring iconic Disney characters and stories in ways that are more imaginative, more interactive and more immersive than ever before.”

Earlier in the morning there was a smaller ceremony where the New Fantasyland section was dedicated by Tom Staggs with Sparks and Goodwin doing the official honors of cutting the ribbon.

Tom Staggs

Last night, the media was invited to get acquainted with New Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom at a special party. When Tom Staggs moved from Disney CFO to Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts he played an important role in moving the expansion away from a princess and pixie dominated attraction mix and into the more balanced mix of attractions it will become when the Mine Train opens in 2014. So it was great to have him give an introduction to the expansion, even if reading off the teleprompter isn’t quite second nature to him yet.

The presentation featured a few clips of Imagineers sharing their excitement for the land and a special new computer simulation of what riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster would be like.

Here is the presentation given to the media in its entirety. If you just want to see the new version of the virtual Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride, I’ve highlighted that in it’s own video below the jump

That was it. The media will get a larger presentation on what’s new and what’s next on Friday morning. So stay tuned.