When you mention Disney World, just about every little girl’s eyes light up as she dreams of the Magic Kingdom, full of her favorite princesses. Well Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom has been undergoing a major renovation, the first one in 41 years. The renovation is set to be completed in 2014, but this week Disney unveiled some of what has been completed.
The New Fantasyland includes several new rides and restaurants designed to make kids and families alike, feel like royalty. The new rides include an updated Dumbo The Flying Elephant ride and a brand new ride – Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid. This ride is so rich with detail, and the animatronics are so life-like, that you’ll really feel like you have been magically transported into Disney’s Tale of the Little Mermaid.
Afterwards you can take a break Gaston’s Tavern in Belle’s Village, or take the little ones to a formal eat and greet at the Be Our Guest Restaurant. Last but not least, you’ll have to spend a few moments taking in the iconic Cinderella Castle which is now accompanied by Beast’s Castle and Prince Eric’s castle.
This is what Fairy Tale dreams are made of.
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- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid. Guests riding in clamshells travel with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves – all against the musical backdrop of beloved songs from the film. Before the experience, the fun is whimsical and interactive in the queue area under Prince Eric’s Castle. After the attraction and below the seaside cliffs, guests can meet the princess herself in Ariel’s Grotto.
- Enchanted Tales with Belle. In a faroff French village, an enchanted mirror becomes the gateway to a new kind of storytelling experience. Through props, costumes and other interaction, guests step right into the story of “Beauty and the Beast” – meeting Belle and Lumiere and sharing in a lively re-telling of the “tale as old as time.”
- Be Our Guest Restaurant features a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, delicate Rose Gallery and mysterious “West Wing” of the Beast’s Castle. The magnificent space offers “great food fast” lunch service by day and full-service table dining at night. Both experiences — fittingly for the story of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” — feature French-inspired cuisine.
- Gaston’s Tavern welcomes guests to a comfy French lodge done in homage to — Gaston himself. The menu of this casual restaurant includes LeFou’s Brew, named for Gaston’s sidekick and a cooling concoction sure to satisfy any thirst.
- Dumbo, the Flying Elephant - a Fantasyland icon - has doubled in size. Two Dumbos – one going clockwise and other counterclockwise – take guests circling above Storybook Circus in ride vehicles they maneuver themselves. The two Dumbos are connected to an indoor “big top” allowing guests to enjoy circus-themed activities while awaiting their ride time with the lovable pachyderm.
- Aboard The Barnstormer Featuring the Great Goofini, it’s family-style coaster fun as guests dip and soar daredevil-style above the circus grounds. Ride vehicles follow the twisting, turning coaster “flight” of stuntman Goofy.
- Beloved Disney characters as aspiring circus stars are on hand to meet their adoring fans in Pete’s Silly Sideshow. Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Donald Duck are decked out in their big top finest to await their big break – and pose for photos with Magic Kingdom guests in the process.
There’s even more in store as the expansion of New Fantasyland continues:
- Princess Fairytale Hall (2013) will be the new home for Disney princesses to meet their loyal subjects in the Magic Kingdom. To open in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland, the regal space will provide the perfect setting for meeting Cinderella, Aurora, Tiana and the other Disney princesses.
- The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (2014) will take Magic Kingdom guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The family-style coaster will feature a first-of-its-kind ride system with a train of vehicles that swing back and forth.