Mere weeks after the 16th anniversary of the "Kingdom Hearts" series, we finally have a release date for the third installment. Fans have eagerly awaited the next chapter in Sora, Donald, and Goofy's tale since the release of "Kingdom Hearts II" in March of 2006. Twelve years is an agonizingly long time to wait [VIDEO], but footage from the most recent trailer indicates it'll be well worth it.

Target has listed 'Kingdom Hearts III' for preorder on its website

The site lists November 1 as the preorder release date and December 31 as the street date, when the game will be available to purchase in-store.The product description also hints that familiar faces return to complicate new challenges.

Remember Xehanort? He's back, and in order to defeat him our heroes must embark on a quest to find the "seven guardians of light." While Sora, Donald, and Goofy are out fighting the good fight, King Mickey and Riku are on the hunt for preceding wielders of the keyblade.

At least three new worlds have been added to the universe

Based off of gameplay footage that aired during this year's D23 Expo, we can expect characters from "Toy Story," "Tangled," and "Monsters, Inc." to join forces with Sora to beat the darkness. In the first two chapters, players have the choice to switch out Donald or Goofy to allow an eligible Disney character to join the party. These characters have special abilities for players to take advantage of in battle. Hopefully, this gameplay option makes a return in the third part of the saga.

Organization XIII still appears to be lingering, as revealed during a scene of the D23 trailer in which Marluxia makes an appearance.

What has not yet been confirmed is the list of "Final Fantasy [VIDEO]" characters that will be featured in the game. Part of what makes "Kingdom Hearts" unique is the crossover aspect, and how well it is pulled off. Like the Disney characters, the characters from "Final Fantasy" serve, for the most part, as allies. Leon and Yuffie helped Sora defend Traverse Town in the first game as well as Hollow Bastion in the second.

Despite the fact that no news has come forth regarding which "Final Fantasy" characters will make the cut, or if any will make the cut at all, one can only hope that tradition has not been abandoned. Even if the "Final Fantasy" crew are no-shows, Xbox users will have a chance to play "Kingdom Hearts" for the first time, as the primary series has only ever been available for PlayStation consoles.