Disney Vacation News: New Fantasyland at Disney World

The grand opening of major sections of the “new” Fantasyland at Disney World is set for Thursday, December 6th. The expansion sits upon the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea lagoon behind where Dumbo the Flying Elephant once sat (the iconic ride was moved for this expansion). The new additions to the park have add more than twice the space to Fantasyland making this the largest expansion in the Magic Kingdom’s history! And just wait until you see what Disney has done with all that space.

The new space is divided into two distinct areas. The first is Storybook Circus with its big top theme. The Circus is located where Mickey’s Toon Town once sat and brings with it a new shopping area, a cool down splash zone for the kids, a redesign of Goofy’s Barn stormer and the new home of Dumbo the flying elephant.

The second area has been dubbed ‘the Enchanted Forest’ and is the home of many of Disney’s iconic Princesses. Belle and the rest of the cast from “Beauty and The Beast” has the largest representation with a new attraction based out of her father’s cottage, a new Restaurant in the Beast’s castle and even the rest of the village. Rumor has it that Gaston may make an appearance or two as well. Ariel is also well represented in the new area with the building of Prince Eric’s castle. And while it won’t be opening just yet, the remainder of the Enchanted Forest is set aside for Snow White’s Dwarfs in a brand new Disney roller coaster.
 

Here’s a Rundown of What Fantasyland will Feature once everything is up and running.

Old Friends in New Fantasyland:

It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Disney’s Philharmagic, Cinderella’s Carousel, The Mad Tea Party and the Many Adventures of Whinnie the Pooh are all staying in their traditional locations. The only updates you will find to any of these rides may be a change or two to the queues.

New Fantasyland, New Adventures:

Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid

Travel to the coastal caves under Prince Eric’s castle to take a trip Under The Sea. This traditional dark ride takes voyagers under the sea in a Clam Mobile (the same kind you find in Epcot’s the Seas with Nemo and Friends) as Scuttle tells the tail (or is it tale) of Ariel’s journey to True Love. The ride will feature some of the most advance audioanimatronics in any Disney ride as well as some familiar faces from the beloved film. But watch out for Ursula!

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Just as you enter the Enchanted forest you will see a familiar cottage off to your left. It’s the home of Enchanted Tales with Belle where guests are transported across time and space via a magic mirror to a surprise party for Belle. Guests participation is key in this experience as little princes and princesses are given roles to play in a small pageant for Belle. Afterwards the participants get to take a picture with Belle (decked out in her finest golden gown of course). Other characters include Lumiere the candelabra and Madame La Grande Bouche (or Madame Wardrobe).

Be Our Guest

As you pass by Belle’s Cottage you can see the Beast’s castle on a hill. As you approach you will find the grand entryway guarded by the gargoyles and an imposing iron gate. But don’t worry, you’ve been invited in. Be Our Guest is a restaurant built straight from the film. It has three dining areas, the first is the grand ball room all lit up for the occasion. The second is the imposing West Wing, if you stay long enough you may get a surprise or two. And make sure you look out for the enchanted rose. The final dining area is the Grand Rose Gallery built especially for the restaurant. This is the only restaurant in the Magic Kingdom that will serve alcohol, but only with the table service Dinner shift. Lunch, on the other hand, is a quick service meal. No alcohol, but no reservations required.

Belle’s Village

Just past Be Our Guest you will find Belle’s home village. This little town offers some fantastic shopping with the Bonjour Village Gift Shop. This shop offers up merchandise exclusive to the Beauty and the Beast theme. And right next door you will find Gaston’s Tavern where Lafou’s Brew will be served daily. In front of the tavern is a fountain with a stature of Gaston. The plaque reads: “Tribute to Gaston. An extravagantly generous gift to the humble people of my village. From me, Gaston.”

Big Top Souveniers and Pete’s Silly Sideshow

Located where Mickey’s Toon Town Faire used to sit, this big top holds a concession stand filled with candy apples, cookies, popcorn and more. Surrounding the goodies is a shopping extraveganza and a whole lot of Circus themed decor. The tent is also home to Pete’s Silly Sideshow, a whole new meet and greet area where you can meet (and be Photographed with) the Great Goofini, the Astounding Donaldo (as in duck-o), Madame Daisy Fortuna and Minnie Magnifique.

Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station

What Disney Circus would be complete without Casey Jr, the little train that could and did carry Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo in the 1941 film. This area is a whole new play place that’s perfect for hot Orlando days. Be sure to pack extra clothes or a swimsuit for your kids though! They will get wet.

New Fantasyland: Old Friends, New Ideas

These next few attractions aren’t new, they’re just new and improved, or in some cases just moved.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant 

Storybook Circus just wouldn’t be Storybook Circus without the 8th wonder of the universe, Dumbo the Flying Elephant…or should we say Dumbos? Not only has the air born elephant been relocated from its old spot behind Cinderella’s Castle, its also been doubled! That’s right, no longer is there one Dumbo ride, there is now two beautifully placed over water and dressed up like never before. There is even a circus themed playground inside the queue line where kids and parents can wait in the air conditioned, shaded, play spot instead of in the traditional line. Each family is given a buzzer that tells them when their turn on the ride has come. So not only is Dumbo new and improved, but the experience has just become a little bit happier.

Barnstormer

This mild coaster now features Goofy as a stuntman known as “The Great Goofini”. The coaster is the same, but the themeing has been completely overhauled to replace the farm with the sideshow circus theme.

Ariel’s Grotto

If you take the time to explore the rest of the sea caves under Prince Eric’s castle you may just come accross the Little Mermaid herself!

Train Station

The train station has been redesigned and remodled to not only fit the classic Circus theme, but it now houses restrooms as well.

Upcoming Attractions for New Fantasyland

Princess Fairytale Hall

Snow White’s Scary Adventure is no longer a ride in Walt Disney World (one of three notable losses the New Fantasyland Project has replaced). Where the ride once stood will be the Princess Fairytale Hall, a meet and greet area for Cinderella and her princess pals. It will be opening sometime in 2013.

The Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train

This roller coaster will be the final piece of New Fantasyland project. It’s said to be somewhere between the Barnstormer and Big Thunder Mountain in intensity with ride vehicles that swing freely as the train rides the rails. The expected opening date is sometime in 2014.

 
Removed to make room for New Fantasyland

The only thing constant in life is change and in Disney change oftentimes means saying goodbye to attractions of the past. Snow White’s Scary Adventures, one of the original rides in the Magic Kingdom, is no more. But don’t fear, she’s still being scared daily over in California. Another casualty for this project was Mickey’s Toontown Fair, which was ‘temporarily’ installed to celebrate Mickey’s 60th birthday in 1988 when it opened as Mickey’s Birthdayland. 23 years is quite the birthday bash! Don’t worry though, you can still meet Mickey Mouse in the Magic Kingdom. He’s now located on Main Street and is there all day! Pooh’s Playful Spoot is also gone, although the tree can now be found in the play area of the ride’s queue line.
 

New Fantasyland  

 

 

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