It had been 34 months since I had crossed under the Walt Disney Railroad tunnel and into the Magic Kingdom. Our time was limited and, for the most part, I was in the park for observation. I had not yet seen any of the New Fantasyland updates.
And now I would.
I didn’t expect to get on any of the attractions because it was a Friday and… it was the Magic Kingdom. The spike in attendance (and single park price) due to my generation astounds me. It’s such an interesting sociological study to me. And the marketing to princesses (and, to a lesser extent, pirates) has been brilliant and has led us to this expansion. So, I was here, merely to take in the sights and sites and see what it has turned out to be.
I remember getting an Orlando Sentinel clipping in the early 90’s from my grandmother about the multiple Walt Disney World Coming Attractions: Roger Rabbit themed, Dick Tracy themed, The Little Mermaid themed… One of three of these things have stood the test of time (poor Roger). It was along time coming for Ariel to get her official stamp on the Fantasyland, not just crowbarred in a makeshift corner. Have I mentioned that I don’t like the #FindYourVoice hashtag on the Disney Blu-Ray commercials (#KissTheGirl?)?
I am reserving judgement on the huge Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs area until it has officially opened. The mine shaft ride looks awesome, but couldn’t help noticing how the construction made the the Mr Toad’s The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh & Ariel’s Grotto sides of Fantasyland look cramped.
The benefits of the Storybook Circus area is this:
1) You get more Flying Elephants for the the Dumbo ride
2) You get to use those huge tents that have been there since Mickey’s 60th Birthday (‘Happy Birthday! It’s Mickey’s Birthday! The whole world sings Happy Birthday to you! Hey Mickey!’) for character greetings and merchandise.
3) To a greater extent than Tom Sawyer’s Island, it gives the kids time to play when you just can’t bear to wait in another line.
Since I am such a fan of the Disney film, I couldn’t help wonder what could have been if walking from the Mad Tea Party had made me dizzy enough to enter Wonderland instead of the Storybook Circus.
The ‘Beauty & The Beast’ area was my favorite. This should be no surprise as the movie release was a turning point – away from Disney animation and towards theatrical spectacle. The exterior of Gaston’s Tavern (pictured at the top) is excellent. We got hungry just in time to consider eating in the ‘Be Our Guest’ restaurant… except there was this mob waiting outside.
They were not signing, ‘through the mist, through the wood, through the…’
So, lunch would be at old reliable. And while it no longer has awesome cheeseburgers, it still tastes like nostalgia.
NEXT BLOG : Triple Double Mountain Whammy & other Kingdom notes!