Of all the lands at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Fantasyland has always been immensely popular and the most magical. Most of New Fantasyland opened to the public a few months ago while the rest is scheduled to open next year; and when it is completely finished, it will be the largest expansion in the history of the park!
I recently visited the Magic Kingdom and exploring the New Fantasyland was at the tip top of my list; and to me, it was better than the pictures and the closest thing to actually walking into my favorite films! So after my visits, I have gathered a list of my favorite things about this new addition to the park. Let’s see if mine are some of yours too!
10. Pavement-Surprised? Yes, believe it or not, the pavement in the New Fantasyland is pretty cool in my opinion as it also follows the theme. This is not a new trick, Disney has been doing this for awhile. One of my favorite examples is the pavement around the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Anyway, the pavement around Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid is littered with shells; and at Storybook Circus, there are a variety of different animal footprints, including that of an elephant! Hmmm… Wonder who that elephant might be?
9. Village Square-I don’t think this is an official name for an area, but it’s the best I could come up with for the space in front of Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour Village Gifts. For one, I like both of these places and the detail inside; but secondly, this spot makes me feel like I’m actually in the movie! I almost expect to see Belle curled up on the fountain reading with the sheep running by. It just offers one of those immersive experiences.
8. Casey Jr. Splash n’ Soak Station-This water play area at Storybook Circus is so cute and really helps communicate the animal circus theme. It’s a great place for kids to not only cool off, but to run free after being confined to strollers and long, crowded lines all day.
7. Castle Walls-The entrance to the New Fantasyland are extensions of the Cinderella Castle wall; and while simple, it helps to tie the old Fantasyland to the new and brings the iconic, majestic castle to a whole new area! I think this is a great spot to take pictures; and it’s really pretty lit up at night. Be sure to walk under the archways and to pay attention to the details.
6. New Merchandise-One of my favorite things to do at Disney World is to shop; and I have really enjoyed shopping for all the New Fantasyland themed merchandise! Bonjour Gifts offers a great selection, such as the light-up castle goblets available at Be Our Guest, decorative pillows, tees, and artwork. Also, other stores in Fantasyland offer new stuff too, such as New Fantasyland pins and Little Mermaid gear, including a Dinglehopper Brush!
5. Enchanted Tales with Belle-This attraction is housed in Maurice’s Cottage and lets you walk through the home where Belle grew up, complete with charming details, before entering an amazing magic mirror which transports you into the Beast’s Castle! There you and other guests, particularly the kids, prepare to act out a story for Belle with props, courtesy of an audio-animatronic wardrobe from the film, before entering the Beast’s Library to meet a life-like, audio-animatronic Lumiere and Belle herself! The attraction is an amazing character experience; and the different rooms, characters, and details are incredible! While it’s geared towards guests, I think adults will be delightfully surprised too.
4. Tangled Restroom Area-Right around the corner from the Haunted Mansion is a brand new restroom area, which may not sound interesting; but this area features Rapunzel’s tower, a plaza strung with floating lanterns, a recharging station for phones, and lots of details inside and around the restrooms. Like what? How about wanted posters of Flynn and the guys from the Snuggly Duckling? Or Rapunzel’s paints and guitar? Keep your eyes open for Pascal too.
3. Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid-This dark ride attraction takes you on Ariel’s journey, beginning with a cool descent under the sea, and through major moments from the movie. My personal favorite part of this attraction is actually the queue. Weird, I know, but it’s true! The line begins outside of Prince Eric’s Castle before taking you into a seaside grotto littered with treasures. There’s even a subtle interactive game where you can help Scuttle collect some of treasures, just like Ariel likes to do. The detail and décor of this whole line is pretty awesome and I’m sure it’s going to take many more visits before I see everything to be found here.
2. Be Our Guest Restaurant-This restaurant is incredible in so many ways! I was floored by everything about it, from the walk over the drawbridge, to the whispering and snoring enchanted suits of armor, to snow falling outside the ballroom windows, and the totally creepy West Wing. I visited for lunch, got to see the cool self-ordering systems, and then grabbed a table in the ballroom; and it truly does look just like the ballroom from the movie! The West Wing was my second favorite room, especially the wilting, enchanted rose. The food was pretty tasty too. I would recommend the Potato Leek Soup!
1. Visiting at Night-I visited the New Fantasyland for the first time one morning right after rope drop; but later in my trip, I came for a second look after dark. It was a whole new experience as both the Beast’s Castle and Prince Eric’s Castle are alight at night, as well as the waterfalls and rockwork, and the Tangled restroom area is reminiscent of the nighttime floating lantern scene! I definitely recommend you visit after sunset if you haven’t already; and hopefully the crowd levels will be lower than usual too.
So these are just a few of my favorite things about the New Fantasyland; and the best part is that there’s more to come! The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Princess Fairytale Hall are still in the works, so there’s even more to discover in the months to come.
Are you excited? What do you like the most about New Fantasyland? Let me know!
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