Impressions of the New Fantasyland

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Impressions of the New Fantasyland

We have several people who have been lucky enough to experience the New Fantasyland over the past couple of weeks. I'd love to get your thoughts into one thread for people to reference. Here's a couple of questions to get you started talking about it! We want to know what you think! biggrin

Which section did you like best? Storybook Circus, Beauty and the Beast, or the Little Mermaid area?

How do they compare to the traditional Fantasyland?

Was anything new really surprising to you? Was there one thing that stood out more than others?

How well does it flow from the traditional Fantasyland? Does it look like it belongs?

Did you try any of the new foods or beverages?

Were there any potential problem spots that you saw? Or things that you didn't like?

finngirl's picture
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I think everyone will be impressed with the new fantasyland. Picking a favourite part is almost impossible - each area is unique, and themed very well. I loved seeing Belle's cottage off in the distance, and the landscaping leading up to it sets the mood perfectly. We didn't actually go inside, but I've heard that it is impressive as well.

If I had to choose, I would say I like the Little Mermaid area the best. It is off on it's own, down the path from BOG and Gaston's Tavern, and really feels like it's own world. The line is entertaining, and for the most part covered for those hot July days. I was slightly disappointed in the Under the Sea ride itself, only because so much of it is static. With the state of animatronics today, I was expecting a little more dynamic experience. (more on the line of Pirates or Haunted Mansion). That said, it was still fun, and I think the younger crowd will really enjoy it. I think grown-ups might do it once or twice, and will be satisfied with that, with no need for repeat rides.

With BOG, Gaston's Tavern, and the gift shop being very close together, I can see that area becoming very congested on busy days. They form a sort of cul de sac, and I foresee a lot of people milling around before finally moving on to Little Mermaid or making their way out across the bridge again. Even for the dress rehearsals, with not that many people, it felt crowded in this area. On the other hand, Storybook Circus felt almost deserted with the line for Dumbo being inside now. It was a pretty hot day, and we didn't see any kids playing in the water sprays. I think the splash area may not be a great idea - either you have to carry extra outfits so you can change the kids out of their soaking ones, or they walk around wet for a while. The store was pretty empty too, even in mid-afternoon. Still, it's a fun area, and the theming in the store was amusing. (cashiers in the monkey car, the fridge areas in the penguin cars, etc.).

The only area open to get food was Gaston's, and we didn't actually order anything. We did see people gnawing on what I believe was a pork shank, and it did smell delicious. Given a choice between that and a turkey leg, I would choose the pork based on what I saw.

The transition from the old to the new Fantasyland is nicely done. Is is part of, but separate from the original, if that makes sense. The walls are still up around the new mine train attraction, so visually that is a barrier. Once you start across the bridge, you feel as if you are entering another land, but one with the high standards we've come to expect from Disney. I think the theming is A+, with attention to the smallest detail, and I can't say I was really disappointed or unhappy with anything.

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Allie's picture
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I agree with a lot of what finngirl said. I loved loved loved new Fantasyland! It blends really well with the old Fantasyland in my opinion but takes it to a whole new level.

Little Mermaid was my favorite section, but that may be because I'm biased because it's my favorite movie. Storytime with Belle was a pretty awesome experience too, but I'm glad we got to experience it during the dress rehearsal when there weren't many people there because I can see the lines for that getting insane. There didn't seem to be a system to move people through quickly and they can only let so many people in at a time since they let every kid that wants to participate have a part.

I agree that the Storybook Circus area was kind of deserted while we were there. Granted it was a slow time, but every other part of the park felt like it had a lot more people in it. No one was in the splash pad any time we walked by.

We tried a Lefou's Brew which you could tell was Disney's answer to the Butterbeer and we actually were not too fond of it. It was REALLY sweet....like hit you in the face sweet.

Lizzy_B's picture
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I haven't gotten to see it yet, but I'm hoping to very soon. Though you might beat me, Kristen! I have complete confidence in the Imagineers. It seems that they have put so much love into this project. And it's fun to see films from Disney's new golden age be brought to life. I know that it's (somewhat) in answer to Potter, but to me, these stories are so much more timeless. I can't wait.

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Allie's picture
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Lizzy_B wrote:
I haven't gotten to see it yet, but I'm hoping to very soon. Though you might beat me, Kristen! I have complete confidence in the Imagineers. It seems that they have put so much love into this project. And it's fun to see films from Disney's new golden age be brought to life. I know that it's (somewhat) in answer to Potter, but to me, these stories are so much more timeless. I can't wait.

Oh for sure, plus after being to both within a day of each other I can assure you (with the exception of the butterbeer vs. Lefou's Brew) Disney just does it way better!

Allie's picture
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I posted pictures and whatnot in my trip report. If you click the link below it's about 16 posts down.

http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/forum/allies-exhausting-crazy-super-fun-october-trip-report?page=2

crazycatperson's picture
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I wandered through Storybook Circus, which looks like a fun area for kids, but there wasn't much that appealed to me. The design and theming is quite well done. We never got to visit the other Fantasyland expansion; it was open to cast members only every time I tried to visit. Next trip, I guess.

Kristen K.'s picture
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I got to see the New Fantasyland during the Halloween Party on my last night.

I was very happy with what I was seeing, even though I only saw it in the dark it was wonderful. It blends in nicely to what was already there and I didn't think that the entrance was at all awkward.

Storybook Circus is charming and the new Dumbo is pretty awesome.

The scale is very realistic and Erik's Castle is so much larger than I had gotten from images of it, it's really pretty. I love how they incorporated so much water into the area, it's beautiful.

Be Our Guest is stunning, and I can't wait to be able to experience it as a dinner. I was only able to get a peek into the Ballroom and I really want to see the other two dining areas as well as taste the food!

Enchanted tales with Belle ins *SO* much fun!! Even if you're not a kids you MUST go at least once to give it a try. I got to play the wardrobe in our group.

Overall I'm most excited to see this once everything is open (including the mine train) and take it all in as a whole. I want to see it all without the construction walls in the way.

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I loved the storybook circus area! We rode Dumbo while the fireworks for the Halloween party was going off. It was awesome!!! I also loved the circus tent looking store where they sell merchandise and treats. We tried the Dumbo carmel corn. It was good but I think someone else mentioned that it was better at the german caramel store and I have to agree. The water play area was amazing. I can't wait for my grandson to be born and old enough to play there!!! We also got our picture taken with the great goofini and donald duck. There was virtually no lineup for them but quite a long one for daisy and minnie.

DisneyDee27's picture
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Which section did you like best? Storybook Circus, Beauty and the Beast, or the Little Mermaid area?
I loved the BatB section. It felt like you we're in the movie and the castle, dining areas, and store were awesome.

Having been on the LM ride in DCA I wasn't overly impressed but only because the ride wasn't new to me. I love the castle and walk through. We did this at night at a MNSSHP event so swing it during the day time might be more impressive.

How do they compare to the traditional Fantasyland?
Most of my Disney trips are without kids so I tend to sneak into the Winnie the Pooh ride and then leave Fantasyland to those with young kids. The new areas were quite fun and may bring me back into the fold. We didn't ride Dumbo but did walk around the circus area. I thought it was very nice and would appeal to families. There were lots of kids playing in the water area and they seemed to be having a blast.

Was anything new really surprising to you? Was there one thing that stood out more than others?
The best part (that was open) was Maurice's cottage. How cool is that mirror! We had just eaten a large dinner so I didn't get a pork shank...it's on my list for Dec. I also loved the sneak peek of the ballroom and look forward to meals there.

How well does it flow from the traditional Fantasyland? Does it look like it belongs?
They did a great job with the faux castle walls. It makes it feel like a new kingdom. Once the Mine ride is open it won't feel stuffy.

Did you try any of the new foods or beverages?
My traveling companions tried the frozen apple juice and liked it. I was too full from dinner.

Were there any potential problem spots that you saw? Or things that you didn't like?
As mentioned above. I could see LeFou's and the store/fountain area getting crowded. At least until the mine ride opens. The circus area feels closed in to me but that could also be because of the construction walls. Eventually when everything is opened up it should flow nicely. Fantasyland will be on my must do's for a good while. More the BatB section than the others and once the Mine ride is open if its a thriller like the other mountains. I'll be there regularly.
Dee

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I cannot wait to see the new Fantasyland and eat at BOG.

mcky626's picture
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I had the chance this weekend to go to the AP preview. I have followed the posts and blogs since the beginning so I knew what to expect, but my husband and the other couple we were with had not seen any of it. We were all pleasantly surprised by everything. With the mine train walls up, it takes away some from the beauty of it, but once you are in the line at Belle you just enjoy the landscape and theming. It really didn't bother any of us to wait. The mirror is my favorite part. I was bouncing in my shoes waiting to see peoples reaction to it. I loved, loved, loved the show. Belle was beautiful and the whole thing flowed nicely.

We were not able to view all of BOG. I was so hoping to see the west wing, but you could only see the main dining area from behind the ropes. It was a shame we couldn't stay because they were going to start serving lunch at 10:30. (We were scheduled to be at F&W at 11:00)

I also agree about the area around Gaston's. I have a feeling it is going to become very crowded there. We didn't try any of the food or drink yet. Hopefully, when we go back in February we can get an ADR for BOG.

I loved the queue around Ariel. What we found, though, was that the cute little crabs cause the lines to slow to the point that once you get past them you realize that there isn't a line the rest of the way. We were waiting for a while outside, but then it moved very quickly once we were passed the crabs. I have never been on the one in Disneyland, but it felt like the ride moved too fast to be able to see everything. And the clamshell moves back and forth so much that pictures are next to impossible. All in all, it was a great ride. And somehow we missed the store for Ariel. It must have been in the corner somewhere because the ride doesn't dump out into it.

We did not make it to Storybook Circus. We have walked through it previously and it looks great.

Overall, we really enjoyed it. Since we do not have any children we probably won't spend a lot of time there, but it is definitely worth a walk-through every time just to enjoy the landscape.

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Vettelover's picture
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Thanks for the report mcky626, glad your group enjoyed it.

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Nancy D's picture
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I am so in love with all of these fantastic reports!! Y'all are making me so superexcited for my next trip...yay!!

Thank you guys SO much for taking so much time to write up those fantastic and detailed reports and getting the rest of us all jazzed up!! Smile

disneybride96's picture
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We only got to see Storybook Circus last month, but it was very nice....the nieces loved it!
Only problem with the Dumbo ride was that I didn't know where my family was in line or which circle they would come out on. (I was trying to take pictures)

I hope that the new area will help with the traffic flow in Fantasy Land. I just gets so crowded around "Small World". I have't done a lot of research. What are they building to the left of Small World?

I have ADRs for BOG for my birthday in January. Can't wait! Thanks for all the reports!

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disneybride96 wrote:
I hope that the new area will help with the traffic flow in Fantasy Land. I just gets so crowded around "Small World". I have't done a lot of research. What are they building to the left of Small World?

I was wondering the same thing. I've been trying my best to keep up with the New Fantasyland news but for the life of me couldn't figure out what was going there.

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