Welcome back fellow park hoppers!
Today we will finish up our tour of the Magic Kingdom. We will start by looking at some changes to (old) Fantasyland and work our way around the New Fantasyland section of the park where we will see how the Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, and Storybook Circus additions are doing after almost a year of being opened. Grumpy and Dopey will also take us on a circle tour of the construction of the new Mine Train attraction before concluding on some powerful additions to Tomorrowland.
Everyone have their Times Guides and water bottles? Your tour guide is waiting for you on the best street of all!
Meet me on Main Street!
Scrims are now up around the bathrooms that were next to Peter Pans Flight. Rumors are that an interactive que for the attraction will be put in its place, though no word on what type of enhancements have been revealed yet.
With the My Magic+ initiative taking off in full force it seems as if every attraction is getting a Fastpass+ entrance.
Work continues for the new meet and greet location for the princesses next to Prince Charmings Regal Carousel. Tiana and Rapunzel were once pictured here as well but have since been removed. In a concept drawing of the inside, Cinderella and Rapunzel are seen meeting with guests so I guess we really wont know until it opens in the fall of 2013.
After passing through the new castle walls, the first attraction that we encounter is Enchanted Tales with Belle. Set up in Maurice’s cottage and workspace, the attraction is an advanced form of a character meet and greet with a story style element added. The audio-animatronics are outstanding, the interaction is worthwhile, and there is especially one transformation effect that is incredible and still puzzles many guests on how it is done. I recommend getting a Fastpass early as the attraction fills up fast and normally sustains 50 min + all day.
By far the best part of New Fanstasyland has to be the Be Our Guest restaurant. Open for lunch as a quick service option and then dinner as a table service, the restaurant offers three different rooms to enjoy your meal in. Extremely popular since the day it opened, there was a 45 min wait for lunch when I visited to take these pictures. I will try to get some pictures inside the building for next time, but unless you have a reservation or would like to wait in line, the bridge to the castle is as far as you will get, but I highly recommend the restaurant if you can get a reservation.
Sitting next to the Beast’s castle is Gaston’s Tavern. A three room pub with a feature on a pork shank bone and a frozen beverage called Lefou’s Brew
The seating is not too overly crowded as with only a few items on the menu most guests don’t sit for a long time like they do in other quick service locations.
The Tavern is themed very well and has a few gags and real life props from the movie.
Ariel now makes a bigger splash in the Magic Kingdom with Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid. The attraction is a basic copy of the same one over at California Adventure. I think we got away with way better theming and and some neat enhancements in the que.
Ursula wasn’t thrilled to visit her mermaid enemy, but she wanted to see all the poor unfortunate souls who would ride such an attraction. The facade adds another castle to the parks landscape with Prince Eric’s castle.
The que for the attraction is very long and the attraction is pulling in waits of 30 min+, so it definitely feels like a long wait. Next door to the attraction is the new area for Ariel’s Grotto meet and greet.
Themed much like the attraction nearby with caves and waterfalls, the Grotto has a nice feel to it and Ariel is always very cheerful when you get to meet her.
Storybook Circus was the first addition to the New Fantasyland area that opened in July of 2012. The area features two Dumbo spinners, a re-themed Barnstormer, a water play area, and a new meet and greet to see Goofy, Donald, Minnie, and Daisy in their circus outfits.
The main gift shop in the area is Big Top Souvenirs. Themed to the main event tent at the circus, it is rich with details and circus/Dumbo themed merchandise. Even the pin trading gets in on the act as seen above.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train:
The final piece of the New Fantasyland puzzle is slowly coming together. All the track has been put together and the main work seems to be the rock work on the exterior.
This is probably one of the first attractions that Disney is building that you are able to walk 360 degrees around while it is still in construction. The walls around the mountain are very well themed and have characters from Snow White acting out scenes from the surrounding attractions. Some, like the one above, have slits in them so you can take a peek inside to get a better look at what’s going on.
The back section of the mountain that faces the Little Mermaid attraction is going to be themed to Prince Eric’s village. There has been no word on if it will be shops/food or if it will just be a themed area.
One last look in shows some interesting track maneuvers as well as a lot more rock work to be done.
I don’t know how long this has been there, but at the back of the arcade at the exit to Space Mountain there are two long tables with full length power strips for guests to use. There are only four seats at each table, but as you can see there are many sockets that can be used.
As I stated earlier, there are attractions all over the park getting ready for Fastpass+. Some of these attractions never had the need for it but are getting the treatment anyways due to the Fastpass+ initiative.
Over at the Haunted Mansion, the Fastpass+ side takes you through the original entrance bypassing the extended cemetery line. Stand-by guests must use the cemetery and don’t have the option to bypass anymore.
Well, that will be the end of our tour for this week. I hope you enjoyed your time in the Magic Kingdom. Next time our tour will take us to EPCOT where we will explore new technologies and travel the world in a mile and a half. Please leave your comments below and remember to pick up the tour at the heart of America. Just Meet Me on Main Street!