Disney’s New Fantasyland

Disney World’s New Fantasyland is Just That

new fantasy land at Disney WorldDisney’s recent expansion involves much more than just acquisitions of major competitors like Marvel Comics, Pixar and Lucas Film. At Disney World amusement park, Fantasyland has just undergone a sweeping expansion to bring even more excitement for visitors of all ages.

A new Enchanted Forest — part Beauty and the Beast, part Little Mermaid — includes five new components, including a new ride called Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid. That ride rushes through Prince Eric’s castle on a clamshell to musical accompaniment. Nearby, Gaston’s Tavern (a manly abode) and the Be Our Guest restaurant offer tavern-style grub. An Enchanted Tales With Belle attraction allow visitors to join in on the retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story with Lumiere and Belle. Finally, in Ariel’s Grotto, fans get photos and autographs of the real Ariel.

A Storybook Circus section of the expansion contains just as many new thrills. Accessible by a new stop on the Walt Disney World Railroad, this section of Fantasyland has two new rides, a way to cool off and the circus-themed Pete’s Silly Sideshow, where Disney characters take part in a real circus. On the Barnstormer, The Great Goofini leads visitors on a stunt plane tour of the Storybook Circus area. On Dumbo the Flying Elephant, an improvement on an early favorite, Dumbo vehicles turn into high-soaring cars with views all over the park. When the Florida weather becomes too hot to ignore, Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station offers drinks adjacent to a bustling and colorful water play area that’s a stone’s throw from the train station.

This isn’t all that Disney has in store for its new Fantasyland area. Later in 2013, the Princess Fairytale Hall is where Disney princesses await their subjects for impromptu interviews and snapshots. After that, the park plans to add a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride sure to leave visitors clamoring for either a rest break or another whirl.

Before guests arrive, they can learn about the mythical origins of Fantasyland and how its entrance has been hidden until recently by forces of magic. According to park legend, a need for more stories being told has long been hampered by evil villains, who stole important symbols needed for the stories to be correctly conveyed: For instance, a feather was taken from Dumbo’s story, a rose from Beauty and the Beast and a trident that once gave Ariel reason to believe. Now that these symbols have been restored, the stories are ready to be told to a new generation of believers.

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