Walt Disney World 2014
Today we expand our look back into New Fantasyland. Our 50 Days to 50 Years “best hits” couldn’t be complete without it! Though Walt Disney World has now dropped the “New” designation, Walt Disney World 2014 takes us back to the biggest expansion of Magic Kingdom since 1971.
New Fantasyland opened in small patches. Gone were Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Ariel’s Grotto, and Mickey’s Toontown Fair. At the end of 2012 we were introduced to the Enchanted Forest. This land within a land featured new attractions, rides, and FOOD. Once fully-opened in 2014, this area brought fairytales to life.
This sizable Magic Kingdom expansion (growing from 10 acres to 21 acres) captivated both imaginations and dreams. Much focus was placed on its headliners, and with good reason. Beast’s Castle (with Be Our Guest Restaurant as its star) was a storied beginner. Maurice’s Cottage (home to the adorable and interactive Enchanted Tales with Belle) is akin to stepping inside Beauty and the Beast. Dumbo welcomed not one but TWO Flying Elephants. Disneyland fans recognized Under the Sea~ Journey of the Little Mermaid. But to fully appreciate the Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus, to truly become part of the story, you must stop, look, and savor your surroundings.
In the past, I have shared my Top 5 Hidden MUST-DOS at New Fantasyland. The most notable (and sometimes elusive!) inclusions are listed below.
New Fantasyland Attractions
Enchanted Tales with Belle is only the beginning of the story.
Grab your favorite book. Visit Gaston’s Tavern and sip on a Lefou’s Brew. (Disneyland Cars Land-goers will recognize this as Red’s Apple Freeze from the Cozy Cone Motel.) Sit in the middle of this “quiet little village.” Take some time to drink in your surroundings.
Don’t miss the chance to sit a spell. (And be sure to listen!)
Of course, while there you must ogle at Gaston’s muscles.
Royal Majesty Makers
Unfortunately, this band of merry makers gave their final performance in October, 2019. If you remember, these “atmosphere performers” were the official welcoming ambassadors to Cinderella Court. Lady Llewelyn, Sir Sterling, squire Tobias and lady-in-waiting Bridget taught kids young and old the necessary royal etiquette. GREAT magical fun!! (My own royal wave was perfected here…)
Explore Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station
Years ago, I remember how much my own sons loved splashing ang letting off steam at Donald’s Boat. So this carnival-like area gives today’s kiddies a newer place to get wet.
Grab a hot dog and churro and let your family cool off in the circus-themed water play area.
Dumbo’s Interactive Queue and Big Top Tent
Again, Disney pulls you into one of their classic films. Here you can allow your child to “star” in this Big Top show. In this beautifully air-conditioned tent in Storybook Circus, immersive storytelling is absolute. Dumbo and Timothy Q soar overhead and the burning building from Dumbo‘s dramatic ending plays in the backdrop.
Where else can your child become a “Human Cannonball??”
New Fantasyland Rides
Under the Sea~ Journey of the Little Mermaid QUEUE
Perhaps the final CANNOT MISS experience is the queue of Under the Sea~ Journey of the Little Mermaid. Unlike its California cousin, the journey is the attraction! Travel under the sea and explore all of Ariel’s treasures during Scuttle’s Scavenger Hunt. Be sure to bypass that Lightning Lane here!
And once a year, on Mickey Mouse’s birthday (November 18th), an incredible one-of-a-kind Hidden Mickey makes its appearance. If you are lucky enough to visit that day, ask a cast Member for directions!
Though the queue is chock-full of interactive activities (jewel sorting and musical tunes), it is the very end of our adventure that is the most intriguing. Hidden details fill your return.
Don’t forget to look for Snow White and friends at the very end of your minecart ride. Here you will spy the remnants of several animatronics from Snow White’s Scary Adventures. (Except here they are not scary at all- just nostalgic!)
New Fantasyland Restaurants and Eateries
Be Our Guest Restaurant
If you were with us yesterday, we told the story of the opening of this legend in 2013. Be sure to explore every inch of Beast Castle. Disney storytelling meets cuisine in the most enchanting of ways.
All the magic you need is found in the Warm Cinnamon Roll and The Grey Stuff Cupcake.
We’re really ticking down the days and years now! Tomorrow takes us back to 2015. More highlights are in store!