Fantasyland is the heart of the Magic Kingdom - a truly enchanting place spread gracefully like a miniature Alpine village beneath the steepled towers of Cinderella Castle.
Most of Fantasyland's construction was completed in the fall of 2012. Expansion will continue into 2014, however, and you'll almost certainly see construction walls or exterior refurbishment until the expansion is complete. The chart below shows which attractions are open now, and the construction schedule for the remaining attractions.
The expanded Fantasyland is divided into three distinct new sections:
Directly behind Cinderella Castle and set upon a snowcapped mountain is Beast's Castle, part of a Beauty and the Beastâ€“themed area. Attractions here include:
The rest of this area holds dining and shopping:
- Be Our Guest Restaurant The headliner restaurant of the new Fantasyland expansion, Be Our Guest serves counter service fast-food for lunch and sit-down meals at night. Although it's new, Be Our Guest serves the best lunch in the Magic Kingdom. Three unique dining rooms, themed from Beauty and the Beast, are available, and the menu includes French cuisine rather than typical American theme park food. The tuna nicoise is particularly good at lunch. Advanced Dining Reservations are suggested. Read the current menus here.
- Gaston's Tavern A counter-service restaurant themed to the manliest of men, Gaston! Guests are greeted outside this restaurant by a large bronze statue of the man himself, and inside the walls are adorned in antlers. The downside is that there's not much indoor seating.
- Bonjour! Village Gifts This is the main gift shop on this side of the New Fantasyland, and is the place to go for Beauty and the Beast-themed merchandise.
The far-right corner of Fantasylandâ€”including the new Dumbo attraction, the Barnstormer kiddie coaster, and the Fantasyland train stationâ€”is an homage to Disney's Dumbo film. These are low-capacity amusement-park rides appropriate for younger children. Attractions here include:
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant The classic spinner ride - relocated, doubled, and with an indoor interactive queue area. FASTPASS available.
- The Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini A re-theme of the existing Barnstormer kiddie roller coaster. The ride is the same, but the theme now fits the Storybook Circus area it resides in.
- Casey Jr. Splash 'n' Soak Station A large-scale area where Casey Jr. and the rest of the circus performers douse guests with tons of water from their circus cars.
- Walt Disney World Railroad - Fantasyland Station A brand-new building and theme in the place of the old Toontown Fair Station. Can be used for travel to Main Street USA and Frontierland.
- Pete's Silly Sideshow A meet and greet experience that takes place inside a circus tent where you can meet Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy in their circus attire. You'll still be able to meet Mickey at his current location in the Town Square Theater on Main Street USA.
Storybook Circus shopping includes Big Top Souvenirs, which may be the second-largest shop in the Magic Kingdom next to the Main Street Emporium.
The middle of the new Fantasyland territory holds the new Fantasyland headliners:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train A mild roller coaster which features ride vehicles that sway side to side with the track's twists and turns. Opens 2014. FASTPASS will be available.
- Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid This high-capacity attraction takes riders through various scenes of the classic animated film with the classic score in the background. Although the ride is a virtual clone of the one found in Disney California Adventure, Florida's version has a bit more detail in the ride, and the queue is much prettier. FASTPASS will be available.
- Ariel's Grotto A Little Mermaid- themed meet and greet area.
Placing these in the middle of the new land should allow good traffic flow either to the left (toward Beastâ€™s Castle) for dining, to the right for attractions geared to smaller children, or back to the original part of Fantasyland for classic attractions such as Peter Panâ€™s Flight and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
The new sections of Fantasyland are divided from the existing, older Fantasyland attractions by a large wall themed similarly to Cinderella Castle. The wallâ€™s main entrance is behind the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel.
A new addition to the existing Fantasyland area is Princess Fairytale Hall, a large meet and greet area, and set at the location of the old Snow White's Scary Adventures ride. Princess Fairytale Hall opens in 2013 and will include many of your favorite Disney princesses.
Finally, hereâ€™s a chart showing the changes to Fantasyland and their anticipated opening dates:
|Opening Date||Attraction||What it Is||Scope and Scale|
|Open now||Dumbo the Flying Elephant||Disney-ified midway ride.||Minor attraction|
|Open now||Casey Junior Splash 'n' Soak Station||A chance for your kids to get soaked to the bone.||Diversion|
|Open now||The Barnstormer||Kiddie roller coaster.||Minor attraction|
|Open now||Walt Disney World Railroad - Fantasyland Station||A scenic railroad ride around the perimeter of the Magic Kingdom, with transportation to Main Street USA and Frontierland.||Minor attraction|
|Open now||Big Top Souvenirs||Circus-themed gift shop.||Gift shop|
|Open now||Pete's Silly Sideshow||Circus themed meet and greet with Disney characters.||Minor attraction|
|Open now||Be Our Guest Restaurant||Restaurant inside the Beast's Castle, includes food with a French style. Counter service by day, table service by night.||Sit-down restaurant|
|Open now||Enchanted Tales with Belle||Next-Generation meet and greet with Belle from Beauty and the Beast.||Minor attraction|
|Open now||Gaston's Tavern||Counter service restaurant themed to Gaston of Beauty and the Beast.||Counter-service restuarant|
|Open now||Bonjour! Village Gifts||Beauty and the Beast-themed gift shop.||Gift shop|
|Open now||Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid||Underwater themed indoor ride.||Major attraction|
|Open now||Ariel's Grotto||Little Mermaid-themed meet-and-greet.||Minor attraction|
|Opening 2013||Princess Fairytale Hall||Large-scale Princess meet-and-greet.||Minor attraction|
|Opening 2014||Seven Dwarfs Mine Train||Mild roller coaster.||Major attraction|
- Ariel's Grotto
- Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- it's a small world
- Mad Tea Party
- Mickey's PhilharMagic
- Pete's Silly Sideshow: Meet Goofy and Donald
- Pete's Silly Sideshow: Meet Minnie and Daisy
- Peter Pan's Flight
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Royal Majesty Makers
- Storybook Circus Giggle Gang
- Storybook Wowzer the Clown
- The Barnstormer
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Walt Disney World Railroad Fantasyland Station
Disney Dish with Jim Hill
"I use antlers in all of my decorating," sings Gaston, Belle's charm-free suitor, In Beauty and the Beast. the Imagineers are taking this Disney heel at his word: covering the walls and ceilings of Gaston's Tavern, his rustic quick-serve restaurant in Fantasyland, is all sorts of faux deer-related trophies. FYI, Gaston's is slated to become the watering hole of all manner of Disney villains. Don't be surprised to find the dastardly likes of Captain Hook, Cruella de Vil, or the Evil Queen from Snow White hanging out and hoisting a glass during a daily event that WDW Entertainment plans on calling "Unhappy Hour."