Walt Disney World Vacation Part 2: Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasy Land

On my recent trip to WDW we spent 1 and 1/2 days at the Magic Kingdom. I think Disney should invent happy pills. Something all children (and some adults too) are required to take before entering the park. Screaming children have to go to The Tower of Terror. Perhaps they should add nap rooms for over tired children who are on the verge of a tantrum. Hey, I’m allowed to dream right? Isn’t one of their slogans where dreams come true?

The day before I headed to Orlando my mom told me it would be cool and I’d need a light jacket or fleece. So I packed light weight long sleeved shirts, pants and a hoodie. Arrived in Orlando, walked outside and thought – phew, it’s a little steamy! Turns out the highs were around 86 degrees. So needless to say I own a whole new selection of Disney Ts.

February is one of the Florida resident months and so a few of us were able to get discounted rates. Typically, Florida resident months mean smaller crowds, however, not this time. Seems like all of New Orleans came to Disney to escape Mardi Gras.

We decided to head straight to the New Fantasy Land in hopes of avoiding some crowds. That was a smart move. There were 5 kids with us all under age 6. They really liked the new area.

The new part of Fantasyland lies just beyond the remaining part of Fantasyland just behind Cinderella Castle. The new area offers two parts, the Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus. In addition there are two new castles: Beast’s Castle, representing “Beauty and the Beast,” and Prince Eric’s Castle, representing “The Little Mermaid.”

The Enchanted Forest showcases the tales of “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid” and has tons of Disneyesque landscape with waterfalls, greenery, grottoes, bridges and of course, the forests.

An area focused on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is under construction and will open in 2014. You can take a sneak peak into the area but all you really see is a big hole and lots of construction equipment.

The Little Mermaid ride transports guests below the ocean’s surface to see Ariel and her friends, an adventure that recreates scenes from the 1989 animated movie and includes some of its memorable songs. Fast Passes! Next door, Ariel’s Grotto offers guests the chance to meet Ariel in the flesh – and take tons of photos (there were as many grown men as kids taking photos!)

Across a stone gargoyle bridge from Ariel’s home is the Beast’s Castle, the site of Be Our Guest Restaurant. Be Our Guest offers quick-service dining for lunch and table-service dining for dinner. I wrote a review of Be Our Guest previously.

Belle’s Village has a small collection of buildings housing shops, but the focal point is a bronze statue of Gaston. You might even find Gaston in the town square, eager admirers waiting for photos with him. He left just as we arrived.

Gaston’s Tavern, decorated like a hunting lodge, has LeFou’s Brew. The no-sugar-added frozen apple juice has a hint of toasted marshmallow, and is topped with all-natural passion fruit-mango foam. Didn’t sound or look good to me.

Storybook Circus bring the big top to Magic Kingdom and features the “Dumbo” movie characters. Storybook Circus is the new home Dumbo, the Flying Elephant, ride. The kids seemed to love it and it looked like it got a much needed renovation.

Another “Dumbo” are is a Splash ‘N’ Soak Station. The play area is based on the train from the movie, and circus animals in train cars squirt and spray water at guests. The day we visited that area it was pouring so we didn’t even notice the water!

The Barnstormer Featuring the Great Goofini, is a kiddie coaster. The ride is very short and gentle, my 3 years old nephew met the height requirement to ride it! Fast Passes!

Pete’s Silly Sideshow offers a character meet-and-greet with Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck. You can meet the characters, pose for photos and receive autographs inside the air-conditioned bit top. The downside, there are no fast passes for these characters.

All in all, this was a great area for the kids, provided a little downtime for the adults and looks really great! Can’t wait for the rest to open!

Part 3 of my WDW Vacation – the rest of the Magic Kingdom


6 Comments on "Walt Disney World Vacation Part 2: Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasy Land"

  1. Great pictures! What are they doing behind the Castle? That is one huge crane in the picture.

  2. @John, thanks. That crane is building the Seven Dwarfs Roller Coaster!

  3. Singapore Flyer | February 25, 2013 at 7:49 pm |

    Just got back on Friday. The kids had a blast. We stayed at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista on Hotel Plaza. Shhh…the only non-Disney/non-on-site hotel that has character breakfast, shuttle buss and magic hours.

  4. Chris Bastian | February 25, 2013 at 8:17 pm |

    We were there three weeks ago. They said they were using the “less crowded” winter period to do maintenance work.

    FWIW the article didn’t capture the main feature of Belle’s village: Enchanted Tales with Belle, an interactive Meet & Greet experience in which kids (an a few reluctant adults) get dragged into a theatrical production of “Beauty and the Beast” with some very nice “step through the magic mirro” visual effects.

  5. @Chris, that’s because I wrote another entire post about it. I should link it to this post too! Good idea 🙂

  6. @Singapore Flyer – good tip on Hilton – i may have some points to burn 🙂

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