Top Ten Things You Need to Know About the New Fantasyland
Exciting things are happening at Walt Disney World! The largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history is currently underway in Fantasyland. Storybook Circus and its attractions are already open, the rest of the first phase of the expansion, known as Enchanted Forest, will open to the public for the first time on December 6, 2012. A second castle has been added, this one belonging to Beast. While the final piece of the expansion puzzle will not be added until 2014, there will be plenty to see and do before that. Here is a quick rundown of some of the things you will want to know before you head out to see the expansion. You will discover that there is something for everyone.
10) Less Congestion
Let’s face it, one of the problems that Fantasyland has faced over the years is the fact that it gets crowded easily. Since it is designed to bring out the kid in everyone, no matter what age, most guests will stop by at some point during their visit to the Magic Kingdom. The area easily gets cluttered with strollers and wall to wall people, no matter how busy or slow the day is. With the expansion Fantasyland will almost double in size, making it a lot easier to navigate.
9) Choo Choo!
This is not really a new stop for the Walt Disney World Railroad, it is taking over where the Mickey’s Toontown Fair stop used to be. As part of Storybook Circus it has a new feel to it. The train offers you a chance to sit down and relax for a few minutes and also gives you an easy way to get to Main Street, U.S.A. or Frontierland. Get off at one of the other stations or enjoy the 20 minute ride around the park. It’s a real treat.
8) New Merchandise
One of the nice things about a new ride or a change in one of the parks is the fact that new T-shirts, mugs and other themed items will suddenly be available. New merchandise will be for sale at Bonjour! Village Gifts, located in Belle’s Village. Chances are that many of the items will be themed specifically for the opening so if you don’t get them soon they will be gone.
7) The Great Goofini
When Mickey’s Toontown Fair closed some people feared that the Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm was gone for good. It’s back and better than ever! Given a new theme for Storybook Circus, the Great Goofini is now a stunt pilot, and he’ll bring you along for the ride of a lifetime. The perfect coaster for younger children (they must be at least 35 inches to ride) or people who aren’t quite yet ready for Expedition Everest, it’s fun for all who dare to fly with Goofy.
6) More Princess Greetings
Seeing characters is a big part of a trip to Walt Disney World, they’re not just for kids! The New Fantsasyland will allow everyone to meet Ariel in Ariel’s Grotto. You will also have a chance to visit Beast’s Library where you will enjoy Enchanted Tales With Belle, a special interactive storytelling session featuring Belle and Lumiere. Coming in 2013, Princess Fairytale Hall will open where Snow White’s Scary Adventures used to be. It will be the new place to meet your favorite princesses at the Magic Kingdom.
5) Cool Off and Relax
Another attraction that is already open in the Storybook Circus section is the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station. What’s not to love about it? The kids can play in the water, using some of that extra energy and enjoying a chance to cool off, while you watch and take a much needed relaxation break. Or you could join them, the choice is yours. The details are amazing, Casey Jr. is the circus train. Casey shoots “steam” on the guests and the animals are more than happy to help everyone cool off as well. On a hot day you might spend more time there than you expected to.
4) A New Beverage
Gaston’s Tavern will be a place that you’ll want to stop by for a fast bite to eat. You will be able to grab a bakery item or another snack, a fruit cup or something cold to drink. The signature beverage will be LeFou’s Brew, a non-alcoholic frozen drink featuring apple juice, toasted marshmallow and a foam made of mango and passion fruit. Rumor has it that it will give Butterbeer at that “other” Orlando area park a run for its money.
3) An Underwater Destination
The New Fantasyland will have a great new ride for the entire family. In Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid guests will climb into a ride car that is shaped like a clamshell. They will then be transported to Ariel’s world and enjoy beloved songs from the movie, all enhanced by lights, colors and special effects. It will be a treat for everyone in your party.
2) Double Dumbo
For years riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant has been more of a chore than a thrill. The line grew long quickly and the queue was out in the hot Florida sun. Worst of all, there was no FASTPASS. Disney has taken care of those problems and made Dumbo soar once again. The solution is brilliant, they now have two carousels so that twice as many people can ride in the same amount of time. They have also made it a FASTPASS attraction. The Imagineers didn’t stop there. They took the wait out of the hot sun. Now, instead of standing outside in a long line, you are given a pager in the standby line. You can sit down while you wait indoors and the kids play in the new play area. They are sure to love the circus theme. It is once again a thrill to ride Dumbo.
1) Incredible New Dining Options
Who hasn’t dreamed of dining at Beast Castle? In the New Fantasyland you will have the opportunity to do just that. Be Our Guest Restaurant will have three separate dining areas; the West Wing, the Rose Gallery and the Ballroom. Counter service will be offered during the day and full service dining will be available for dinner, making it easier for everyone to give the place a try. Rumor has it that in the Ballroom “snow” will fall hourly in the windows, making it feel like you’ve really stepped inside the movie. French cuisine will be featured. The lunch menu selections include soups, salads and sandwiches, along with several desserts. Dinner will feature such offerings as Thyme-Scented Pork Rack Chop, Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops and Layered Ratatouille. Decadent desserts are available after dinner as well. Be Our Guest will also serve beer and wine, a first for the Magic Kingdom. Reservations for dinner are already being accepted at by calling 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) or by visiting http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining/. Expectations are high for this new restaurant.