My semi-annual pilgrimage to Walt Disney World Resort proved to once again be a delight in all things magical. This time I left the kids at home and brought my girlfriend for a much needed reconnect with our inner kid in the land of make believe. What awaited us was the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World – the New Fantasyland.
We walked into a fairytale…with story telling at its best. Whether young or old, there was something for everyone. My girlfriend and I are in our middle adolescence (over 45) and we loved it just as much as our younger brethren.
Allow me to take you through what the New Fantasyland has to offer.
New Fantasyland’s opened on December 6 to much fanfare at Cinderella’s castle. Fireworks lit the sky with actress Ginnifer Goodwin as the MC and Tom Staggs, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman. Singer Jodan Sparks, Mickey Mouse and friends performed on stage welcoming us all to the grand opening. What a morning!
Kids of all ages can join the Circus at Fantasyland. Waiting in line for your favourite ride like Dumbo, the Flying Elephant? No worries, grab a circus ticket pager that holds your place in line which frees you and the kids to go under the Big Top, where kids of all ages are part of the show with fun-filled games and interactive wonders. Standing in line was never so much fun.
Everyone’s favourite guy in Belle’s Village is Gaston. He even donated a fountain to himself as you enter Gaston’s Tavern. Inside you can choose from cinnamon rolls, croissants, fresh fruit and Le Fou’s Brew. Don’t forget to visit Belle’s village as well.
Enjoy ‘A Tale as Old as Time’ and portray a character from the animated classic Beauty and The Beast. Join Belle and Lumiere in a storytelling adventure at Enchanted Tales with Belle.
The Barnstormer ride was excellent, just our speed. We rode it three times!
As you exit The Barnstormer, don’t miss Pete’s Silly Sideshow! Here’s where you can experience a Meet N’ Greet with some of your favorite characters as you’ve never seen them before!
Be Our Guest and dine in one of three enchanted rooms inside the Beast’s Castle where they serve French inspired cuisine for quick-service lunch and table-service dinner.
Fly with Dumbo high above brand new circus grounds, twice the size of the existing attraction with the new interactive three-ring circus tent.
Journey under the sea with Ariel in her very own attraction. We did this ride twice.
Where to stay:
We stayed at the new Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World Resort, their newest and most colourful hotel. Guests at the resort are immersed in the artistry and enchantment of Walt Disney and Disney•Pixar classics through imaginative design and themed rooms, including Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid.
The 864 room and 120 suite resort spans 87 acres and features both wet and dry playgrounds, and a fun-filled animation-themed arcade. The suites can sleep up to 6 guests with two bathrooms and a kitchenette – with microwave and a mini fridge. The attention to detail, like all things Disney, is superb.
At the Finding Nemo Big Blue Pool, the largest water playground on the Disney resort property, you can make waves with Mr. Ray and pose and play with a host of similarly massive soft sculpture characters. At the Schoolyard Sprayground nearby, smaller kids can splash safely along with Nemo and friends, and play at the adjacent Righteous Reef dry playground.
At The Landscape of Flavors Food Court, everyone can find something they love to eat. With five stations from Tandoori Shrimp to Create Your Own Pasta, you won’t have trouble when it comes to dinnertime. Pooped from a day at the park? Room service is delicious and readily available.
To find out more or book your stay visit Disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/art-of-animation-resort.
For more about the New Fantasyland visit disneyworld.disney.go.com/new-fantasyland/