Disney’s Fantasyland

It’s been a crazy week to say the least. We finally made it back from Miami around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. After being in the car since 12 p.m. eastern, it was nice to finally jump into my bed for what might have been one of the best nights of sleep ever. (And days…there were a few naps taken Wednesday.) But, now to fill you in on all the exciting things that happened.

On Saturday, we headed to Magic Kingdom with the main goal of exploring Disney’s Fantasyland. While Fantasyland has been part of Disney, it has been renovated to include attractions regarding Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. While Disney World is a special place already, it has continued to outdo itself with this latest installment.

Magic Kingdom entrance

Magic Kingdom entrance

We met Ariel and Belle at their respective homes. With her home, Ariel’s Grotto, we were able to see Ariel in mermaid form, with her fin and shell bra, instead of meeting her in her post-becoming a princess dress.

But, meeting Belle was an entirely different experience. We entered Belle’s childhood home and were able to walk around freely until a Disney worker lead us into Maurice’s workspace. From there, we were able to view the magic mirror the Beast had given Belle. Much to our surprise, after saying “take me back to the day Belle and Beast fell in love,” the mirror opened and lead us into Belle’s castle. Once inside, different members of our group were given roles from the movie. These characters got to be part of a special performance with Belle. Although the roles are created for children, adults are included too. (I was Babette!) These two character meets were by far the longest waits we had for the day, but with no fast passes available, it was expected and well worth it.

There is one new ride, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. Here, we rode on a shell and watched as iconic songs and moments from the movie played out in front of us. The ride is similar to the Finding Nemo ride in Epcot, The Seas with Nemo and Friends.

Part of Ariel's Who's Its and What's Its" collection

Part of Ariel’s Who’s Its and What’s Its” collection

There are two new eating areas in Fantasyland, Gaston’s Tavern and the Be Our Guest restaurant. Gaston’s Tavern is decorated as you would expect, with antlers from different game killed by Gaston, and a very large portrait of himself. It also has food you would expect, including stew and brew.

For the ultimate Beauty and the Beast lover, the Be our Guest restaurant is an absolute must. Disney got everything right in this endeavor. There is the Ballroom, which features snow falling from the window; the West Wing, featuring the enchanted rose and shredded decorations from the Beast’s outrage; and the Rose Gallery, with large paintings of different scenes from the movie and a spinning Belle and Beast.

The entrance into Be Our Guest

The entrance into Be Our Guest

At Be Our Guest, anyone can eat during the lunch hours, but dinner is reservation only. While we waited in line to get inside for lunch, we heard a Disney worker say the dinner reservations were currently booked until June. Word has clearly spread how wonderful it truly is.

This newest edition to Fantasyland is not completely finished. They are currently working on another ride that is scheduled to open in 2014. Judging by the images, it will be a more thrilling ride through the mine the seven dwarves work in.

While the new attractions were fun to explore, there is nothing quite like Space Mountain. But, some of my favorite things about Magic Kingdom are the simplest ones. Walking down Main Street, seeing Cinderella’s castle, meeting Minnie Mouse, riding the carousel and smelling the cotton candy…it gives me a goofy grin just thinking about it.

Cinderella's castle

Cinderella’s castle

Saturday was a long day, spending a total of 15 hours in Magic Kingdom, but it was well worth it. It turned out to be just the beginning, as we’ll discuss soon. Just keep that number 15 in mind…

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