updated 9/14/2009 12:24:11 PM ET 2009-09-14T16:24:11

Disney executives are planning the largest expansion in the history of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in central Florida.

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The development will nearly double the size of Fantasyland and include a new, lavish ride based on the Little Mermaid. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo made the announcement Saturday.

Analysts predict it will re-ignite travel to Orlando, which has lagged in the global recession.

Disney also plans to update Star Tours, the Star Wars-themed ride in Disney's Hollywood Studios. It will debut in 2011. The Fantasyland overhaul will be complete by 2013. Disney declined to say how much it will spend on the projects.

Disney's parks contribute about a third of the giant entertainment company's revenue.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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