Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Fantasyland Dress Rehearsal

Sorry it's been a while since my last post - life got in the way!  We're closing on the house this Friday and then we're off on our Food & Wine Anniversary Trip!  It'll be quite a busy weekend.

On October 13, my Mom and I decided to head up to the Magic Kingdom.  We were already planning on it, but then we found out that there was a good chance they would be doing New Fantasyland Previews!

We were pretty excited.  We were going to try to get spots in the Annual Pass Preview weekends in November, but with us moving, it wasn't the best timing.  Now we didn't have to!

After meeting a little after 9am, we headed directly back to the new area, walked past the pretty new castle walls...

And saw this fantastic sight waiting for us:

It's official!
There were a lot of cast members out and about, welcoming guests into the new Land.

Our first stop was Storytime with Belle.  I had heard some things about it, almost all was positive.  So we hopped in line.

Storytime with Belle
Luckily the line wasn't too long.  I can see on busy days that this would really back up.  The line takes you through Belle's cottage, where you can see a painting/picture of her with her mother reading at a young age.  They also have Belle's growth chart...next to an oddly placed outlet.  They need to work a bit on timing, but that's what a dress rehearsal is for!  It's really well done as a whole.  Without giving too much away, you join Belle in the Beast's castle and the children can help Belle act out the story of Belle and Beast meeting and falling in love.  There's a brief photo op for the children who participate, but don't expect Belle to chit chat with you.  I'm glad we did it because it's cute and well done, but this is definitely aimed at children.

Next we checked out Be Our Guest restaurant.  They weren't serving, but had the restaurant open for looking around.  We were only able to get up to the door as they weren't letting anyone in at that time, but we came back later and they were...so I'll include all pictures here.

Be Our Guest
Ball Room
The restaurant is absolutely stunning.  I'm looking forward to trying it out.  We don't have a reservation for dinner once it opens, but we'll definitely be stopping for lunch!

Next on our tour is Gaston's Tavern.  Gaston was out greeting guests.  It was a pretty fantastically themed area.

Gaston's fountain and Tavern

Plaque on fountain
The tavern has a specialty drink that is supposed to be identical to Red's Apple Freeze that you can get in DCA out in California.  We didn't try anything though.  And of course there are antlers used for decorating.

Our next stop on our New Fantasyland tour was the Little Mermaid ride.

Little Mermaid
The ride itself was identical to it's counter part at DCA, which was a little disappointing.  But it's still cute.  The queue area is so much better than DCA though.  I mean, it's gorgeous and really sets the mood of the ride.  There's also a meet and greet area for Ariel, but we skipped that.

The only thing I noticed that bothered me was that there is a line of sight issue where you could see Space Mountain from inside the New Fantasyland. I'll reserve judgement until they complete the whole area, but it is something that I hope they wind up fixing.

Finally, we hit up Storybook Circus.  The last time I visited I thought the area was much smaller than what I expected from them.  ...Turns out that was because they weren't done!

Storybook Circus
Now that it's all open, I absolutely love it.  It's so well themed and I think they really nailed it.

So my overall opinion?  Huge thumbs up.

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