Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thoughts on New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom

On my last trip to Walt Disney World, I finally got to experience the next phase of New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom.  I have previously visited the Storybook Circus section and so was excited to see what this next portion had in store for park guests.  While I of course, didn't get to expreience EVERYTHING...I certainly did get a good taste of the new area as a whole and wanted to share with those of you who are still planning on taking your summer trips to Walt Disney World. 

General Musings:  

First off, for those of us who are is SO strange to have this new area!  Like, I'm so used to there being a wall closing me off from here...this feels bizarre.  It will certainly take some getting used to, with the new layout of the land.  (And I'm sure when The Snow White Mine Train attraction opens, it will throw me off even more.)  

Second...keep in mind, this new area is BUSY.  Especially during the afternoon.  People, of course, want to check out the new area first thing, so once they get to the park, they head here, OR it is the mid-point on either side now for touring, so by the time the afternoon hits, they are at the mid-point of their circle around the Magic Kingdom.  Just something to be aware of.  If you don't care when you check out the area, I would probably suggest checking it out later in the evening.

Enchanted Tales With Belle

Boy is this one a time sucker!  I don't mean that in a bad way, I just will be waiting in a VERY long line to experience this one.  The line moves slow too...because of the nature of the show, only a few people are let in at a time.  I'd say anywhere from 35 to 50 or so people are let in at one time.  Another slight problem, the queue, which is beautiful, is almost all outside.  Not so much fun with the Florida heat.  I think Brian got a touch of heat exhaustion while we waited here.

Once you get inside, there are some really neat elements.  The first is the Enchanted Mirror, which really does just look like a mirror, until magic sets in.  The other aspect that is amazing is the AudioAnamatronic figures they use (although, at this point, it's hard to tell if these new versions are AudioAnamatronics because they are more projection in nature...but REALLY cool none the less.)  You really think they could be real!

Now, I'm going to be honest.  I enjoyed my experience here.  I think it was because Brian got to be a part of the show as one of the knights.  If he didn't get picked for that, I don't know if I would have gotten the same kick out of the show.  That was really a highlight for me.  I'm not sure it has the same appeal if one of your members of your party isn't involved in some way.  I know they have a lot of parts and probably try to get different people from different families involved, but I'm sure that some families just don't get to take part in the story retelling.  I don't know if they would get the same enjoyment.  It also kind of stinks that only the family member who is involved in the show gets a photo taken with Belle at the end.  I would suggest that they include the family in the photo or maybe don't take them.  (Although, I'm sure that those photos are a large moneymaker for Photopass, so, I don't see them not taking the pic...I just felt a bit left out.  I wasn't in the show and didn't get a picture with Belle...a double whammy.) 

Overall, it's a cute show and I enjoyed it, I just don't know that I would need to do it every time, especially not having small children yet. (Please don't think I am down on shows that feature kids...I so am not...I caught Jedi Training Academy for the first time over at Disney's Hollywood Studios and I absolutely loved it!  I just feel that there is something...missing...)

Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid

I got to see this attraction in DCA last year, but I do really like the ride.  I think it is a great and fun new version of a dark ride with better sets and good effects. I really liked the effect of going under the water...but don't get stuck there...the air blows out super cold!

My favorite scene has to be the Under The Sea portion.  It is just so fun and lively!  Lots of great colors and great AudioAnamatronics.  Plus, there's that song!

I also really enjoyed the queue here.  This one is SO much better than it's DCA counterpart.  It really takes you to Prince Eric's castle (which is gorgeous!).  There is so much detailing here.  And I love the waterfall, which is so nice to see water in Fantasyland again!  The crab game for the queue looks fun, but I didn't get to take part in it because the line was actually moving pretty well when we were there.

Overall, this is a stellar attraction and it's great to have a new version of a dark ride in Fantasyland.

Gaston's Tavern

Ok, I didn't eat here, but I did peek my head in...and yep...the place looks like it was made for Gaston.  Lots of woods and animal pieces.  I didn't get to try it, because it was SO hot when I stopped by, but the pork shank does look delicious.  Hard to want to eat it when it's a bazillion degrees outside.  But I will try it at some point.

Here you can also get the cinnamon roll that everyone searches for or you can try LeFou's Brew, which, from what I hear, tastes like a frozen apple cider.  Interesting....

Two things I did not partake in were Be Our Guest Restaurant, though I expect to remedy that in July (and cannot wait to do so...) and the meet and greet with Ariel.  I'm just not a big meet and greet girl, so I see no need to meet her just yet.

Overall, this new section of New Fantasyland is incredible.  It is simply amazingly themed, that you almost forget you are in the Magic Kingdom.  (Until you see the very large crowds!)  While some of it's pieces may be a little lacking, the hope is that when it fully opens up in 2014, that it will all tie in together nicely.   I was going to also discuss Storybook Circus, but I'll save my thoughts on that topic for next time. 


V @ No Privacy At All Around This Place! said...

Rikki - I did Ariel in DCA a couple times and have always been disappointed with all the flash photography being taken (despite the rules and warnings) - more so than any other ride I've been on except Spaceship Earth. It ruined some of the effects. Is the flash photography as bad in WDW's version?

Unknown said...

Hmmm...I didn't notice a lot of flash photo on it at WDW. I went on it twice, so hopefully that wasn't a fluke...though I didn't notice it when I went on it in DCA either. But at that point, I was just excited to see it, since it would still be 6 months before seeing it in WDW.