You may remember that I was recently invited on a Disney Cruise aboard the Disney Wonder. One of the things that really made this trip stand out were the little Disney touches that were...
New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World: Enchanted Attractions for the Whole Family
In 2012, the Walt Disney Company unveiled its newest creation: the expansion of the popular Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom theme park. The new Fantasyland, in fact, represents the largest expansion that the Magic Kingdom has ever undergone. This section of the park is home to a brand-new ride, and a host of exhibitions.
Let's look at that exciting new ride first. “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid” takes riders of all ages on a slow-moving journey past a series of animated tableaux. The robotic figures here recreate the story of Ariel, the mermaid who dreamed of becoming human and marrying a prince. What makes this attraction especially exciting are the special effects, which aim to convince park guests that they are in an underwater kingdom.
Surrounding the Little Mermaid ride is the Enchanted Forest, a three-dimensional rendering of settings from favorite animated films. A village from “Beauty and the Beast” provides unique shopping and dining experiences, including “Be Our Guest Restaurant.” At this restaurant, guests may interact with Lumière, the candlestick from the movie, and eat amidst the splendor of the Beast's ballroom, where he and Belle shared a memorable slow dance and first fell in love.
Another fantastic area of the new Fantasyland is called Storybook Circus. Now, even if you have never before been to the Walt Disney World Resort , you are likely familiar with the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride. On this ride, guests soar above the park, traveling in circles aboard an elephant. This is, after all, one of the attractions that have been ubiquitous in Disney's advertising over the years.
In Storybook Circus, this ride is twice as large as it was before, so as to cut down on wait times. And while gusts wait in line for Dumbo, they are taken through a giant circus tent, where they can experience all the romance and adventure of the big top. Better yet, they can enjoy air conditioning! Across from Dumbo is a kiddie roller coaster, a ride with a Goofy theme. (This roller coaster is simply a refurbishment of an already-existing coaster.)
A day at a Disney park just isn't complete without quality time spent with the characters. As such, the new Fantasyland offers plenty of spots where you can meet princesses and other favorites, hug them, pose for a picture or video with them, and of course ask them to sign autographs. Many children look back on their Disney vacations and remember the moment they met Mickey Mouse or Cinderella as a major highlight.
Fantasyland is not yet finished. Expect a new Snow White-themed mini-roller coaster to open in 2014, starring those loyal and lovable diamond miners the Seven Dwarfs, each of them a great character in his own right. On this ride, guests will experience an adventure aboard an out-of-control mine train, and whiz past scenes from the movie.
Happily for everyone who loves these parks, the Walt Disney World Resort will probably never stop expanding, and no doubt there is a lot more fantasy and a lot more magic still waiting to be imagined and uncovered.