Disneyworld’s Magic Kingdom is seeing a huge expansion going underway in the Magic Kingdom theme park, removing certain elements, updating older parts and adding some fantastic new areas and rides that has only just been completed. Most parts of the new Fantasyland are already open and complete, with two new sections: Fantasyland Forest, which is home to the Beast’s Castle and the world of Beauty and the Beast, and the Storybook Circus.
The overhaul began with closing various elements of the park including Ariel’s Grotto, Mickey’s Toontown Fair, and the original Dumbo and Snow White’s Scary Adventure rides. The Imagineers created a model of how they envisioned the new part of the infamous park to look:
In 2012, Disney opening the new Storybook Circus area, filled with nostalgic elements of the circus featured in Dumbo including Dual Dumbo the Flying Elephants and the Casey Jr Splash ‘n’ Soak Station to keep you cool on those hot Florida days. The original Barnstormer ride has been re-themed and updated to be called The Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini.
(Image: Anna Fox)
The next thing to open was the revised Ariel’s Grotto with the brand new dark ride, Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid. The old area was closed in 2010 which featured the Meet and Greet with Ariel, but the new section features a shipwreck and Prince Eric’s Castle.
The Beauty and the Beast area is the most looked forward to part of the new Fantasyland with its brand new castle perched upon the rocks. There are several new elements in this area including Gaston’s Tavern where you can try cinnamon rolls and LeFou’s Brew made from frozen apple juice and toasted marshmallows; Belle’s cottage where you can participate in the interactive storybook experience of the Enchanted Tales with Belle; and the brand new Be Our Guest restaurant inside the Castle itself with three magically themed rooms offering quick counter service during the day and table service at night.
The latest offering in the new Fantasyland which has only just celebrated its grand opening is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The indoor queue area features several interactive activities while you wait including a gem sorting game and musical spigots. The ride itself is both indoor and outdoor with similarities to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It is aimed at families with architecture drawn straight from the film and stunning scenery. The attraction is the first to feature the tilting vehicle to simulate swaying and tipping in a mine cart.
There is also a new rest area in the new Fantasyland which is a scene set straight from Tangled with Rapunzel’s tower as a feature in the distant background against Disney’s skyline.