New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World
The Grand Opening Festivities for New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World

What: New Fantasyland
Where: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World
When: Phase I is complete but more is slated for 2013 and 2014
Cost: Included in Park Admission
Photos: Visit our New Fantasyland Virtual Tour or visit Field Trips w/Sue on Facebook
Video: For video of New Fantasyland, visit Field Trips w/Sue on Youtube

Last week I was invited by Walt Disney World to experience the grand opening of New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, take the redesigned Test Track at EPCOT Center for a ride, get a preview of the new Splitsville Luxury Bowling Lanes at Downtown Disney (opening in December) and learn about all the other amazing things in the works throughout the Disney Empire. Here’s a quick overview of the fun at Fantasyland. Stay tuned this week as we showcase the main attractions including the re-imagined Test Track at Epcot.

Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Beast’s Castle has three different dining rooms. Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World

When I was a kid, I always wanted to be the characters in the story. Not imagine I was there, but actually BE there, where I could see, touch, smell and hear everything in the story all around me. THIS is the beauty of the New Fantasyland. They’ve taken some of Disney’s most beloved stories and immersed you into the experience.

Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Beast’s Castle
I could spend an hour in Beast’s Castle just looking at all the details. My niece said she always wanted to try the Grey Stuff. Apparently, she isn’t the only one. The Grey Stuff wasn’t on the menu until fans got so excited at the prospect of tasting it. As we walked through the Amory Room, we thought, wouldn’t it be neat if the armor followed you like in the movie – well it does!

Enchanted Tales with Belle
In the old days, you’d wait in line to say hello to a princess and have your picture taken. At Enchanted Tales with Belle, become the dishes and help Belle tell the story.

New Fantasyland
Each portraying a character from the Disney animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” Magic Kingdom guests join Belle and Lumiere in a fun-filled storytelling adventure at Enchanted Tales with Belle. (Kent Phillips, photographer)
A wave takes you Under the Sea in the Journey of the Little Mermaid. While waiting in line, see if you can find the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – which used to be at this spot. Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
This ride  takes you through the movie, although we felt it rushed a little from kissing the girl to marriage. I like how a wave washes over you to take the clam ‘under the sea’. The ride is enjoyable, but I had the most fun walking through the standby line trying to find the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which used to occupy this spot.  While waiting, we also directing crabs on what treasure to keep and what to take back. Stay tuned for a post on Journey of the Little Mermaid to learn more about the experience and where to find probably the best hidden Mickey of all time.

StoryBook Circus
Dumbo is a perennial favorite ride and now there are two! Exciting yes, but not nearly as exciting as the queue line. Small children won’t be crying in line anymore, they’re going to cry when you tell them it’s time to get out of line. There is still some waiting, but parents are given a pager, similar to a restaurant, to tell them when it’s time to ride. Kids can play in the Dumbo themed, air-conditioned playground while they wait.

Outside Dumbo is the Great Goofini family roller coaster, which is a re-themed Barnstormer. My kids have always like this roller coaster, so I’m glad Disney kept it. You can still find all your favorite Disney characters in this section of the park, but they now have a circus theme. Make sure to bring a bathing suit or change of clothes to the Storybook Circus area. There is a circus themed splash pad to cool kids off and get them soaked.

There are now two Dumbo rides, however it’s going to be hard to get kids out of the Storybook Circus tent playground to answer the pager telling you it is your turn on the ride.
Be sure to find Gaston when you visit Fantasyland. He’s the best new character and his Tavern is worth a peek, or even lunch. The LeFou’s Brew is a frozen concoction of apple juice and a hint of toasted marshmallow.

Gaston’s Tavern
Gaston is by far the best new addition to the Disney character list. He is good looking, pompous and funny as all get out. Make a visit to Gaston’s Tavern and admire his manly decorating with lots of antlers. Try a LeFou’s brew while you are there. It’s very similar to Butterbeer at Harry Potter World. La Fou’s brew has a super sweet foam topping with a frozen apple juice with a hint of marshmallow concoction below. The frozen part was very tasty, but the foam on top was a bit sweet for me.

Up Next At the Magic Kingdom
The Fantasyland expansion isn’t done yet. Coming soon…

  • Princess Fairytale Hall will be the home of the Disney princesses. Meet Cinderella, Aurora, Tiana and other Disney princesses in a castle setting. This opens in 2013.
  • The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opens in 2014. I’m very excited about this family roller coaster. Apparently each car swings as it goes around the curves, just like a mine train would.
I was invited to Walt Disney World as a guest for the grand opening of Fantasyland and other media events. 

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