For anyone who loves Disney, is looking for a reason to go, or has a trip planned in the near future, the new features that are part of the new Fantasyland expansion aren’t ones to be missed. New Fantasyland is the largest expansion in Disney Park history and encompasses the Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus. New attractions, restaurants, and features bring to life favorite stories such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast and immerse guests in an interactive experience where details delight the senses.
Fans of the Little Mermaid will delight in the new Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid ride. Traveling in clamshells, guests follow Arial from mermaid to human as she lives above and below the waves while enjoying favorite songs from the movie. Here’s a preview of the ride featuring clips to not spoil all the fun of visiting it yourself!
Located adjacent to Under the Sea, guests can have autograph books ready to meet Arial in her self titled grotto— Arial’s Grotto.
Standing high on top of a rock sits the Beast’s Castle. This prominent feature of the new Fantasyland is the home to the new Be Our Guest Restaurant that looks like the West Wing of the castle. Upon entering, the most striking features are the rich details.
Walk through a grand doorway underneath the mosaic from the beginning of the story and enter an incredible space. To the right is a wall of suits of armor featuring touch screen kiosks on which to order your meal. Upon ordering, guests receive a rose before finding table in the grand rooms of the West Wing. Whether choosing to sit by the windows at the far end of the hall or in the room featuring a dancing Beast and Belle, a server will find you and bring your meal thanks to the location sensing rose you received upon placing your order.
This new dining experience is called “great food fast” lunch service and for dinner, the restaurant features full table service. The menu features delectable French cuisine and a tip- ask for the gray stuff. Inspired by Lumiere singing, “Try the gray stuff, it’s delicious” in Be Our Guest, this hidden specialty is an unexpected treat when you know to order it.
Visiting Enchanted Tales with Belle continues the Beauty and the Beast experience in Maurice’s cottage. After waiting in the queue, guests enter the door to Maurice’s charming home to find stacks of books, a cozy stone fireplace, and a table with checkers left mid-game. Entering into the second room brings guests to an enchanted mirror that serves as the gateway to an interactive storytelling experience. Guests help tell the story of when Belle and the Beast fell in love using props and costumes and a real life Belle and animated Lumiere for a re-telling of the “tale as old as time.”
One thing I love about Enchanted Tales with Belle, besides it being a new interactive storytelling sequence, is that kids get to act out the story using props. Children can volunteer for roles as Mrs. Potts, Chip, Maurice, the Beast, silverware, the barking footstool, and more. There seems to be enough parts for all aspiring actors and actresses!
- Gaston’s Tavern— Did Gaston really use antlers in all of his decorating? He sure did! Grab a quick bite amid the antleres in this casual French restaurant featuring the frosty LeFou’s Brew that’s a must try, especially on a hot day. It’s slushy apple juice with a marshmallow creme on top. Our samples were served in tasting cups but park guests can order their LeFou’s Brew in a souvenir mug or in a cup. I’ve heard the cups are a better value and provide more of LeFou’s Brew.
- Dumbo, the Flying Elephant — The same beloved ride featuring the flying elephant but twice as big and with an air conditioned waiting area that is like an indoor big top where guests enjoy circus-themed activities waiting to ride.
- The Barnstormer Featuring the Great Goofini— Our family loved riding this ride in April when attending Disney Social Media Moms because it’s a family-style coaster that twist and turn along with the flight of Goofy.
- Pete’s Silly Sideshow— Meed favorite Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Goofy and Donald Duck who are decked out in their big top finest for photos and autographs.
I was invited to attend the new Fantasyland preview at Walt Disney World as a member of the media by Disney and Chevrolet. Travel and lodging were provided but all opinions are my own.