Walt Disney World has been steadily working away at the expansion of Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom, the largest project in its history. Anticipation is building as we get closer and closer to the grand opening Dec. 6, in no small part thanks to the amazing job Disney has done at giving us glimpses along the way of the works in progress.
The Frog Family is as excited about New Fantasyland as you are (especially Mommy Frog). We know many of you are hoping to experience Fantasyland on your next visit and some of you are making plans expressly for this purpose, so we wanted to offer a few recommendations.
What's inside Enchanted Forest:
- Be Our Guest: Nestled inside of Beast's castle, this French-inspired restaurant features three magnificent dining rooms. Lunch is quick service and dinner is by reservation. The Frog Family strongly recommends making reservations the full 180 days in advance if you would like to have dinner here. Be sure to ask for the "gray stuff," which isn't listed on the menu! The restaurant is historic in that it will be the only place in the Magic Kingdom where guests can purchase alcohol (at dinner only). Here are the full lunch and dinner menus.
- Enchanted Tales with Belle: Be part of the story in this interactive journey through Belle’s world, and meet the beauty herself. Here is our review of it from Liliane Opsomer, co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. This attraction, along with Under the Sea and Ariel's Grotto, are expected to have long wait waits. If you or your little princess desires to meet Belle or Ariel, we suggest you do this first thing since lines do get long for these attractions.
- Ariel's Grotto: A meet-and-greet for Disney's beloved mermaid.
- Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid: Inside Prince Eric's castle, guests can board this musical attraction starring none other than Ariel and her prince!
- Gaston's Tavern: A quick-service restaurant whose signature drink is Lefou's Brew, a no-sugar added frozen apple juice concoction.
- Bonjour! Village Gifts: Inside this shop, you'll find a variety of "Beauty and the Beast"-themed merchandise.
What's inside Storybook Circus:
- The Barnstormer: A great “first coaster” for the most daring of little ones. The Great Goofini takes riders on a stunt airplane ride with plenty of twists and turns. Riders must be 35 inches tall.
- Dumbo The Flying Elephant: There are actually now two Dumbo rides, a smart move by Disney for one of the most popular (and congested) rides in Magic Kingdom. An interactive queue allows little ones to play inside the Big Top tents instead of waiting in line, and FASTPASS is available for Dumbo outside of Mickey's PhilharMagic.
- Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station: This circus-themed splash pad offers the little ones a chance to blow off some steam and cool off on the hot Florida days.
- Fantasyland Station: The Walt Disney World railroad now makes a stop here.
- Big Top Souvenirs: A fantastically themed merchandise shop that will also feature treats, including cotton candy, caramel apples and ice cold “Goofy’s Glaciers” beverages. Names can be embroidered on hats here as well.
- Pete’s Silly Sideshow: A character meet-and-greet featuring The Astounding Donaldo, The Great Goofini, Madame Daisy Fortuna or Minnie Magnifique. Donaldo and Goofini are one queue, and Daisy and Minnie are in another. As is typical for most of the characters, the lines for the ladies tend to run a little longer, so plan accordingly.
Coming to Fantasyland beyond 2012:
- Princess Fairytale Hall: A dedicated meet-and-greet for the Disney princesses.
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: Construction is under way for the "Snow White"-themed coaster.
- Dragons? There are rumors "flying" about a dragon soaring through the land. Yes, it seems possible since Disney has set up a tumblr blog giving more clues about the mysterious winged creature.
Have you experienced New Fantasyland? What did you love the most?