If you’ve been to Magic Kingdom lately, you may have noticed some changes in Fantasyland. Even if you haven’t seen the latest changes, it is no secret that Disney has been doing quite a bit of construction work there. They have been working on the biggest expansion ever for Magic Kingdom Park, an addition which will double the size of the original Fantasyland. This new Fantasyland will open in phases and will include attractions based on Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid.
Storybook Circus was the first phase to open. Dumbo is already flying high with double the amount of flying elephants. Disney has also thought ahead to the uncomfortable wait that befalls many Guests every time they go to ride Dumbo. Once Guests enter the Big Top, they are given pagers that will signal families when their time to ride is about to begin. While they wait, kids can enjoy the huge playground inside the tent, and parents can enjoy the air conditioning and shade from the sun. FastPasses are now available as well, making the must-do ride easier to access and less of a hassle.
Storybook Circus also includes a new water play area with the Casey Jr. train that recently opened. Animals squirt water randomly, which provides a fun way to beat the heat. Goofy has also taken aviation lessons in his ride, the Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini. However, Storybook Circus is not quite complete. Walls are still up separating the rest of the area of what will soon be Pete’s Silly Sideshow and Big Top Souvenirs. Pete’s Silly Sideshow will become a huge meet and greet area for classic characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy. The characters will also wear attire to match the circus theme. Big Top Souvenirs will be a shop for this area, but these last attractions are set to open later.
Even though there are walls separating Guests from the construction, castles are already visible over the top of the walls, giving glimpses of more attractions to come. One is Prince Eric’s Castle, which is the facade to Under the Sea—Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction. This dark ride will use the same system found in The Seas with Nemo and Friends at Epcot, retelling the story of Ariel’s journey to the world above. A similar attraction has already opened at Disney’s California Adventure. Right next to the ride, a meet and greet area will be available where Ariel’s Grotto used to be, but with a more rustic and natural cavern look than before.
Another section of the expansion will be dedicated to the film Beauty and the Beast. This section will feature the new Be Our Guest Restaurant inside Beast’s Castle. The restaurant itself will have three dining areas, including the Ballroom, the West Wing, and the Gallery from the film. It will also be the first of its kind to offer a more luxurious self-service lunch, while providing a full-service, fine dining experience for dinner. Maurice’s cottage will be home to Enchanted Tales with Belle, a very unique character meet and greet with Belle and Lumiere, inviting those who come to help retell Belle’s story in front of her. Another section will be Gaston’s Tavern, a quick service alternative to Beast’s Castle. A huge statue of Gaston will be the entrance to the restaurant along with plenty of antlers for decoration. Merchants have also set up shop at Bonjour Village Gifts.
The last phase will replace the Snow White’s Scary Adventures with The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster located in front of the Under the Sea attraction. This ride will board Guests on a mine train and taking them through the mines. The unique part of this coaster will be the rocking motion the vehicles will give while riding because they are able to rock freely back and forth. The area that used to be Snow White’s Scary Adventures will become Princess Fairy Tale Hall, a permanent meet and greet home for all the princesses.
Surrounding the new Fantasyland will be castle walls separating Cinderella’s Castle courtyard from the more rustic, forest-themed Fantasyland. The best part is Disney has announced that it plans to open up the new Fantasyland in phases for the holidays. Fifteen new costume designs have been made just for this expansion alone. It has also been reported that the new area will open up over 800 new jobs for Disney, not including the 700 temporary construction jobs.
Walt Disney had once said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” The same holds true for Magic Kingdom, as imagination has sparked a new land for everyone to enjoy. This new area will better take Guests further into their favorite films, a wonderful addition to Magic Kingdom.
Snow White’s seven dwarfs spent their days mining for jewels and minerals in a nearby cavern. Take some time today to explore the many different ways we use minerals in our daily lives. The MineralInformation Institute is a wonderful resource. Check out this toothpaste information, and do the suggested activities.
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