In 2010, Disney set out on a major expansion at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The expansion was (and is) called New Fantasyland. This land has now been completed and has been functioning wholly for about eight months.
In this post, I’m going to review each attraction (quickly) in New Fantasyland and then add in a few thoughts about the area as a whole.
Be Our Guest Restaurant
I’ve already reviewed Be Our Guest Restaurant (you can find it here) but I think it’s amazing. There is so much detail inside and outside of the restaurant. The food is good and the looks of it really add to the beauty of New Fantasyland.
Gaston’s is located right next to Be Our Guest. This is a little quick service option in this side of the park, which is needed. They serve Lefou’s Brew (an apple-flavored frozen drink), turkey legs, and cinnamon rolls here. The food that I’ve had here is good but the detail inside is what takes the cake. The imagineers have taken you right out of Magic Kingdom and into the tavern from Beauty and the Beast. There are antlers as chandeliers and many nods to Gaston himself. This is a really fun little place to take a break and grab a bite to eat. If there’s one thing to pick at, it’s that the menu selection isn’t very large but that doesn’t bother me. Otherwise, this place is great.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
This attraction is in both Disney’s California Adventure and, now, Magic Kingdom. The ousted of Voyage of the Little Mermaid is absolutely amazing. Most of the queue is outside but there is so much to look at. The building is themed after Prince Eric’s castle and the guests walk around the outside of it in the line. There are waterfalls and some beautiful plants along the way. Once inside, this attraction falls well short for me. I think the ride is lazy. Voyage of the Little Mermaid takes the guest on a retelling of the story of Little Mermaid, hitting the highlights. They couldn’t have come up with a better way to tell the story then to simply just show you some of the favorite scenes from the movie? Plus, I think the ride doesn’t look that great as you can see the roof of the building in places.
Storybook Circus is home to a few different attractions. The classic Dumbo ride has been placed into this section of the park and has doubled in size. The queue is different too. The guests are given a buzzer, for lack of a better word, and the children can go play on an indoor playground until it’s the families turn to get on the ride. There is also a little kid’s roller coaster called The Barnstormer (or The Great Goofini). These are both pretty classic attractions and their move has made the lines for each decrease in time. There is also a water play area. The area that all of these attractions are in is themed after a traveling circus. I’ve heard several different opinions on this, including some from writers on this blog. I’m a little indifferent on how all of this looks. I love all the color in the area. I also love the whimsical feel that Storybook Circus has, because it matches what a Fantasyland should be, in my opinion. But, it’s easy to question how this matches the rest of New Fantasyland and if circuses will transcend time to be a recognizable thing for years to come. If they are, which I have my doubts about, then this area has an attraction that’s also transcended time to go with it in Dumbo.
Enchanted Tales With Belle
I have never been to this attraction but I’ve heard good things. This is an attraction that is more for kids. Guests listen as Belle tells the a story with a little help from her friends. Then they have a chance to have a meet-and-greet with Belle afterward.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was the last attraction to open in New Fantasyland. It is right in the center of the land. Guests take a ride on a train that goes in and out of a mountain. I’m not going to spoil much more than that. The ride is fun and family-friendly. The outside looks beautiful, although I wish there was a way for it to be lit up at night. Maybe in time. The mountain looks great otherwise. The show scenes in the attraction look great. The biggest complaint here is that the ride is really short. It only lasts 2-3 minutes. That’s a fair complaint and does make the attraction a tiny bit disappointing as it was billed as the big E-Ticket attraction of this new land. But, what is there in the ride will make this roller coaster a classic over time.
There are a few other attractions here. A few meet-and-greets as well as shops to go into. With five attractions (at least) and two restaurants, this area really has added a lot.
I love the looks of the area. It’s beautiful. There is running water, usually waterfalls or streams, all over the place and there is something refreshing about that. The rock-work on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Be Our Guest Restaurant is second to none. Each attraction compliments the looks of the one next to, although you could argue that Storybook Circus doesn’t. New Fantasyland has the looks to make guests just want to linger there.
Unfortunately, I don’t thing the actual attractions meet the standard of the looks on the outside. Voyage of the Little Mermaid is the biggest offender in that area.
All in all, I believe New Fantasyland is a success but a moderate one. The feel of it is fantastic and, again, whimsical. The restaurants are fantastic. But the actual attraction content is merely just pretty good.
Have you been to this land? Let us know your thoughts on it or any of these attractions in the comments.