Most parts of the “new” Fantasyland have opened with a little more to come.
Here’s the current status and info about each part of the new Fantasyland.
One of the first parts of the Fantasyland overhaul included closing elements of Fantasyland.
- In 2010, Storytime with Belle and Ariel’s Grotto and Pooh’s Playground closed.
- In 2011, Mickey’s Toontown Fair closed.
- In 2012, the original Dumbo closed (read below for info on the new Dumbo) and Snow White’s Scary Adventure closed (for a long but super touching story, read about the boy who was the last to ride this ride here).
The New Fantasyland Layout
New Fantasyland has two sections – Fantasyland Forest (the Beauty and the Beast themed area) and Storybook Circus.
Storybook Circus was completed first with Fantasyland Forest opening elements in late 2012.
Here’s how it will be laid out when it’s all finished…
(click picture to see a larger version)
And a quick video of a detailed scale model of the new Fantasyland created by the Imagineers…
(Side note: you can see this model in person at One Man’s Dream at Hollywood Studios)
Opened March 2012
The Storybook Circus section had elements gradually open in 2012.
The old Dumbo was replaced with Dual Dumbo the Flying Elephants.
The old Dumbo was often the first attraction to appear on Magic Kingdom touring plans because it had a line that built up fast. Many things on the new Dumbo have changed so this should no longer be true.
The new Dumbo has:
- 2 Dumbos instead of 1
- FASTPASS available (you can get a FP near Pete’s Silly Sideshow)
- an indoor interactive waiting queue that could be an attraction itself so avoiding waiting may not be as much of a goal as it used to be (side note: if you use a FP, you’ll bypass the indoor queue. Since it looks like fun, this may or may not be a good thing.)
I never thought I’d say that Dumbo is beautiful but… it is, right? Especially at night.
Casey Jr Splash ‘n’ Soak Station is another new addition. This area is an outdoor play area with water so be prepared to get wet. Very wet.
Of course, Disney has placed a kiosk nearby with towels and things that people might need when they find themselves unexpectedly soaked from head to toe.
The Winnie the Pooh Meet and Greet (located next to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh) is open now too.
You can now meet Pooh at all 4 parks. Are these characters still a thing?
Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini used to be called The Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm. The old version was closed in February 2011 to be re-themed for the Storybook Circus section. This ride is now open.
The Fantasyland Train Station has been re-themed and reopened.
Opened July 2012
The Indoor Interactive Dumbo Queue (indoor, under the circus tent, air conditioned!) is a new element of the Dumbo ride. Here’s a video of how that looks. Note the pager system they use for those waiting in line.
Opened late 2012
Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid is now open.
The old Ariel’s Grotto closed in April 2010 but reopened late 2012.
Here’s the new queue entering the revised Ariel’s Grotto…
Enchanted Tales with Belle is a fancy meet and greet with Belle. I love seeing a smart princess get so much attention.
Disney released this video showing us a peek inside Enchanted Tales with Belle.
The Be Our Guest Restaurant is inside the Beast’s Castle and has 3 dining rooms which seat 550 people. The 3 dining rooms are the Library/Gallery, West Wing and the 2 story ballroom.
A pic of Beast’s Castle while it was still under construction…
An artist’s concept for one of the dining rooms…
A video of the work being done to the Be Our Guest restaurant, from the Imagineers…
The restaurant is Quick Service for lunch and Table Service for dinner. At lunch, guests order on screens and then the food is brought out to your table.
The menu sounds fantastic for both lunch and dinner.
From the Disney Parks blog…
“It’s all about simple, fresh ingredients,” says Deardorff. “Just like your favorite quick-service restaurants across Magic Kingdom Park, you’ll be able to enjoy sandwiches and salads at Be Our Guest Restaurant for lunch, but all with a twist that transports you to the French setting of ‘Beauty and the Beast.’”
There’s a little French bistro flavor with tuna Niçoise salad and a Croque Monsieur sandwich with carved ham, Gruyere cheese, béchamel and pommes frites (a fancy term for French fries). Or go for the carved turkey on a warm baguette with Dijon mayonnaise, or the grilled steak sandwich with garlic butter spread, both with pommes frites. Heartier fare includes braised pork that’s cooked for eight hours, and for vegetarians, there’s a loaded vegetable quiche or quinoa, shallot and chive salad.
Dinner is table service, with diverse starters such as a charcuterie plate with cured meats and sausages, mussels steamed in white wine, French onion or potato leek soup, and a salad with champagne vinaigrette. We’re intrigued by the salad trio with three mini tastes of roasted beet, raisins and orange; green beans, tomatoes and roasted shallots; and watermelon, radish and mint.
Entrées include a thyme-scented pork rack chop with au gratin pasta, rotisserie rock hen with roasted fingerling potatoes, pan-seared salmon in leek fondue, grilled strip steak with pommes frites, sautéed shrimp and scallops with veggies in puff pastry with creamy lobster sauce, and an oven-baked ratatouille.
Oh, and dessert – we vote for the cupcakes, strawberry cream cheese or triple chocolate. If cupcakes aren’t your favorite sweet ending, there’s a chocolate cream puff and a passion fruit cream puff.
For kids 9 and under, the lunch entrées include a carved turkey sandwich, roasted pulled pork, Mickey meatloaf, seared mahi mahi, or whole-grain macaroni topped with marinara and mozzarella. For dinner, it’s grilled steak, grilled fish of the day, whole-grain macaroni or grilled chicken breast.
Gaston’s Tavern is a Quick Service dining location near Beast’s Castle. Be sure to try the LeFou’s Brew drink and get a cinnamon roll (with cinnamon rolls no longer being available at Main Street Bakery, this is where you’ll want to get them now).
Bonjour Gifts, as you may have guessed, is a shop in the Beauty and the Beast section.
Opening late 2013
Princess Fairytale Hall will be a meet and greet location for… princesses!
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train isn’t set to open until 2014 but you can go on a virtual ride of it now.
How the changes affect you
With a big change like this, many things we’ve always thought about Magic Kingdom will change.
- Magic Kingdom touring plans have changed quite a bit and no longer have Dumbo first (instead, head to Enchanted Tales with Belle).
- Be Our Guest has become one of the most difficult Advanced Dining Reservations to get (make these ADRs online 180 days in advance). The restaurant is Quick Service for lunch and you need to line up at 10:30 or around 1 to avoid the longest lines.
- Those interested in the new character meet and greets need to plan ahead to avoid very, very long lines. As I mentioned, people interested in Enchanted Tales with Belle should head there as soon as the park opens.
What’s are you excited about in the new Fantasyland? Talk about it in the comments.
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