Having been to Disney World a few times over the last few years with my family, the news that Fantasyland was expanding was really exciting. Magic Kingdom in Orlando is loved by so many people and holds so many wonderful memories not just for my family, but for millions of families from all over the world. We were fortunate enough to have received tickets to explore, review and see all the changes and additions made. How could Disney make Magic Kingdom even better? Would they be able to mesh Disney tradition with new modern experiences? The answer is a resounding YES!
The Disney expansion includes two new themed areas, The Enchanted Forest starring Belle and Ariel, and Storybook Circus. You’ll encounter two new castles while in The Enchanted Forest ares, one being Prince Eric’s. While there you can ride in a clam shell while taking in an abridged version of The Little Mermaid. It’s a ride full of great music, memories and a fabulously over the top Ursula, The Sea Witch. Make sure to get a fast pass for this one as the line can get long. While you wait for your fastpass time, grab a seat and a snack at Gaston’s Tavern. The croissants are tres delicieux (while in France….) and the seats outside have umbrellas to shade you from Orlando’s hot sun. You may just get a chance to meet Gaston himself. He is hands down the most convincing Disney cast member we have ever met…flexed muscles and all. Very entertaining.
While in the Enchanted Forest you’ll also have a chance to interact with Belle from Beauty And The Beast, at Enchanted Tales With Belle in her French country cottage. It’s a wonderful way to combined a meet and greet with an interactive experience. Your wee one gets to see Belle and be part of the experience. If you can, try and have lunch at the Be Our Guest quick service restaurant (it’s a sit down, full service restaurant at night). We tried to go…but the line up started well before lunchtime. It’s on our list for next time as we love the French restaurants at Epcot and the reviews have been quite glowing. C’est la vie.
Storybook Circus is just as you would imagine it. Bright, fun and full of nostalgia, but with a carefree Big Top feel. It’s here you’ll find Dumbo…all shined up and offering a new experience. We loved the way they made you feel like the line up to ride Dumbo was gone. You receive a pager and get to play in an indoor playground. When the pager goes off you can go onto Dumbo with a much shorter wait time…you’re still waiting, but your children can have fun playing and you can have a well deserved rest. Another must do in Storybook Circus is the Barnstormer. It’s billed as a junior roller coaster starring Goofy…but it elicited great yells and squeals from this momma. So much yelling that the poor little boy who had the misfortune to sit in front of me was crying by the end…not from the ride but from me..the screaming crazy lady. Its a ride that your 4 year old will enjoy and that you will hold on for dear life…but that’s an opinion from a roller coaster novice and an admitted scaredy cat. ( I’m working my way up to Thunder Mountain)
We spent hours in the New Fantasyland, taking in all the characters, new sights, and rides. It’s very interactive and definitely lives up to all the hype. We think it would make Walt very proud. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2014 when the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster opens. I promise not to scream too loud next time…