Monday, November 12, 2012

A Fantasyland for sure

I teased a little yesterday when I said I was going to preview the new Fantasyland expansion at Disney.  It definitely was nothing short of amazing.  Maybe because I think everything Disney does is amazing.  Who knows.  But the bottom line is, I loved the time we spent there.

We got to Magic Kingdom right before the park opened but by the time we got off the monorail, we had already missed the big opening number. If you haven't been there when the park opens, you definitely should. The train pulls up to the station, right at Main St, and Mickey, Minnie, and tons of other characters get off to welcome everyone to the Magic Kingdom.  It's a big hit with our kids and something we accidentally stumbled upon.  We try to see it every time we go.  We headed into the park and went straight to the Fantasyland entrance to confirm whether or not we could get our wristbands once we were all in the park.  They said yes so we weren't worried about trying to keep track of time to meet the rest of my family at the entrance of Magic Kingdom.  We hopped on Buzz Lightyear, the People Mover, Tea Cups (cue Mommy getting nauseous), Winnie the Pooh, and Small World, before heading to Adventureland.  Em didn't want to go on Jungle Cruise so I took her to ride the Magic Carpets while the Hubs took Noah on the cruise.  Well we saw Jasmine and Aladdin so Em wanted to meet them. They have been 2 characters that we haven't met yet.  Well this is where I started to get frustrated.  My camera would take pictures, show me that it was saving, yet not be seen when I went to review them.  I don't know what's up with it and when I went to dump the pictures onto the computer tonight, I still can't find them.  So the rest of the day was documented with my cell phone.

We caught up with the rest of my family and we headed to get our wristbands.  We had a scheduled preview time of 1230-4 but they let us in early (as in like 1130).  Instantly I felt like I was transported into fairy tales.  Right now the expansion is limited to the Beast's Castle (Be Our Guest Restaurant), Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariel's Grotto, and Under the Sea with The Little Mermaid.  The first part of the expansion already opened with a new and improved Dumbo ride, Barnstormer roller coaster, and water play area, and a new character meet and greet area.  That's been open for a few months now.  This was phase 2 with the last phase to open later in 2013 (I think).  It's going to be a Snow White roller coaster through the diamond mines and a new royal area to meet the Princesses.  It will be totally awesome once it's all open.  But for the most part, this phase of the expansion was geared towards the princess loving people.
What a grand entrance!!!  Construction is the Snow White roller coaster
We went in and headed towards The Little Mermaid.  The kiddos were really excited to ride this one. Em's a big Ariel fan.  She's one of my favorites too.  The exterior of the ride looks like Prince Eric's castle.  It's pretty cool.  The nice thing about the line is that most of it is in the shade.  It might get hot with a million people there but at least you won't be in the blazing sun.  There's also interactive elements so waiting in line with young kiddos (or impatient adults) will be a little easier.  With this being the preview and only a handful of people in the area at a time, we didn't really get a chance to play with the interactive portions.  Oh well though because we rode it 4 times. It's along the lines of the Finding Nemo ride at Epcot.  You ride in a seashell and journey under the sea into the story of the Little Mermaid.  It was a really great ride.  The "Under the Sea" party was awesome and the way they made it feel like you were going under water was nothing I'd seen before.  All in all, I give this a perfect 10.  The kids loved it as much as I did.
Horrible cell phone pics of the ride
Once we got off the ride the first time, we headed to Ariel's Grotto to meet her.  We have met Ariel before but she was dressed in her human outfit.  In Ariel's Grotto, you go under the sea and meet her as a mermaid! Em was so excited!  I had a great video of her interacting with Ariel (who was by far the best Ariel we have ever seen) but again, my camera is on the fritz and it's lost.  The Disney PhotoPass photographer grabbed a bunch of pics so I'm sure I'll be ordering them and posting them.  We ended up meeting her again later in the day and it was a different Ariel.  The kids didn't notice, which is awesome and the Hubs snagged some pics on my phone.
She was cute but no the best Ariel we've seen
I think it's about time that Disney brought back a ride honoring the Little Mermaid.  I know there used to be a ride years ago and it closed for some reason.  The Disney Imagineers have really captured the fantasy that surrounds the Little Mermaid with this ride.

Next up.....Entering the Beast's Castle!!!



  1. This looks awesome! The Little Mermaid was always my favorite. :) We'll definitely have to take Ellie there!

  2. That entrance really is grand. I don't have kids, but your review of the Ariel ride makes me want to go on it! And I'm excited to visit...I'm not an annual pass holder so i'll just have to wait with the other normal folks. But all of these reviews are helping me get excited!