Today is a day that will go down in history, a day to be celebrated by the children within us all. Today, friends, is the grand opening of Disney World’s newest park addition, Fantasyland.
“So what?” you say snarkily. “Big deal.”
“Big deal?!” I reply in disbelief.
“Yeah. Who cares?” you ask.
“Do you even know what’s in Fantasyland? What incredible new things Disney has been up to while you’ve dawdled around your mundane little life?”
“Exactly. Friends don’t let friends bash Disney and because I’m a true friend, I’m going to englighten you about the brand new, ever-so-appealing Fantasyland,” I say, realizing I’m talking to a hollow computer screen.
With the addition of Belle’s village and castle, Storybook Circus, Ariel’s Castle, and the Be Our Guest Restaurant, Fantasyland goes in the books as Disney’s largest expansion project in it’s 41-year history (fun fact courtesy of the Seattle Times.) To top it off, Fantasyland won’t be complete in entirety until 2013 with the addition of the Dwarve’s Mine Snow-White-themed roller coaster.
Want to take a closer look at Fantasyland? Good, me too.
A Provincial Life
Lovers of Belle rejoice at the opportunity to glimpse inside her provincial world. The village includes Gaston’s lodge, the castle, and Belle’s quaint cottage-home. Guests can peek inside Maurice’s workshop and for a moment, taste Belle’s provincial life.
A Castle of Not-So Beastly Proportions
The construction for the Beast’s castle started back in June (according to the Disney Facebook page) and employs a clever optical illusion. When entering the castle, visitors must walk inside a tunnel that runs underneath a hill. On top of the hill, and on the horizon, sits the castle at a whopping 4 feet tall. However, when visitors walk up to the base of the hill, the castle seems full-scale. Inside, the castle resembles the movie almost to a T, featuring the Beast’s bedroom, the West Wing, and the legendary ballroom.
Prince Eric’s Castle
Prince Eric’s castle is now the character home of Ariel, where she sits on her aquatic throne signing autographs for loyal fans. The halls of the castle are lined with animated sea-dwellers to provide an interactive experience for guests while they wait to meet the Princess.
Storybrook Circus is where all your favorite characters might be milling around, such as Goofy or Dumbo. Designed like a carnival, the entire area encompasses several games and rides, such as the iconic flying Dumbo. Storybrook Circus embodies the classic, more 1950’s side of Disney: Dumbo and characters from the Disney Comic series, such as Goofy and Pete.