What’s New at Disney World? Fantasyland Complete!

Anna, Elsa, and Olaf from Disney's Frozen are featured in the new Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. ©Jean Janssen

Anna, Elsa, and Olaf from Disney’s Frozen are featured in the new Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.
©Jean Janssen

Natasha loves Walt Disney World and yes she renewed her season pass. Seems there is always something new to see so when Rocky asked what I wanted to do to celebrate Mother’s Day…”I’m going to Disney World” was the reply.

 

The new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride opened this week in Fantasyland, the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World. ©Jean Janssen

The new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride opened this week in Fantasyland, the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World.
©Jean Janssen

So what’s new? The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride opened May 28, completing the renovation and expansion of Fantasyland. We had hoped to catch a soft opening, but only employees were riding on the test runs when we visited earlier this month. You can actually see most of the ride from outside; it literally sits right in the middle of Fantasyland and you can walk 360 degrees around it. The only part you can’t see is the small inside portion of the mine with the dwarfs and jewels. Remember this ride is in Fantasyland, so it is going to be closer to the Barnstormer than Big Thunder Mountain. That said, you can expect big crowds so be prepared to wait in line for the mild ride or use a fastpass.

 

A fire breathing Maleficent is one of the highlights of the new Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom. ©Jean Janssen

A fire-breathing Maleficent is one of the highlights of the new Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom.
©Jean Janssen

The first thing we did (after also getting Rocky an annual pass 🙂 ) was to enjoy the brand new afternoon parade at the Magic Kingdom. The Festival of Fantasy Parade is a must see if you love the characters and worth the wait to see the fabulous fire-breathing Maleficent (dragon). We liked it so much we arranged our four-day visit to include another viewing. Mid-May it was only performed once a day; perhaps it will be more frequent with the start of summer. As always, there are great costumes and dancing-really liked the lost boys. My only problem with Disney parades is that they tend to change so infrequently that they are really not a draw for regular visitors like us.

 

Rocky and I with Barnstormer Goofy in the Carnival Tent in the new Fantasyland, WDW.

Rocky and I with Barnstormer Goofy in the Carnival Tent in the new Fantasyland, WDW.

If you haven’t seen the new Fantasyland extension, home to new twin Dumbo rides, be sure to check it out. In the back corner is a wonderful tent where you can “meet and greet” some of your Disney favorites in wonderful carnival-themed costumes. The line for the girls-Minnie and Daisy-is always longer, but in my opinion the boys-Goofy and Donald-have better costumes/sets and are more fun. Even if you have to wait, you are inside in air conditioning and you can watch the interaction between the characters and the other guests-always fun. Smart parents split up and one goes in each line (you have to choose the line for Minnie/Daisy OR Goofy/Donald) and pass the child off to get pictures on both sides. Yes, you can go without a child. I don’t know if the Casey Junior design of this area will stand the test of time, but it is new and fun now.

Carnival Treats in Fantasyland WDW.  Check out the great designs on the candy apples. ©Jean Janssen

Carnival Treats in Fantasyland WDW. Check out the great designs on the candy apples.
©Jean Janssen

 

Belle complements Rocky on his knightly demeanor at Enchanted Tales with Belle in Fantasyland, the Magic Kingdom, WDW. ©Jean Janssen

Belle compliments Rocky on his knightly demeanor at Enchanted Tales with Belle in Fantasyland, the Magic Kingdom, WDW.
©Jean Janssen

Since we arrived mid afternoon when the crowds are the heaviest, we pre-booked our fastpasses for the mountains-Space and Big Thunder. We waited in line for Splash Mountain since the wait wasn’t too bad. (We hadn’t pre-booked it not knowing how warm it would be.) After dinner at one of our favorite dining spots in the Magic Kingdom, The Liberty Tree Tavern, we used our final fastpass at Enchanted Tales with Belle. I had to talk Rocky into it since it is designed for young children, then he was the first one picked for “the cast”. Relatively new, the attraction includes a tour of Belle’s home and the castle and a chance to participate in storytelling with Belle. I like it. The lines can be long during the day, but in the evening the wait is short and we didn’t even need the fastpass. Rocky (formerly a theater major) was a wonderful marching knight and loved it.

The current Celebrate the Magic show features Elsa from Frozen.  Wanting to meet her "in person" was a little tougher.  I overheard some parents saying the waits were up to 5 hours long. ©Jean Janssen

The current Celebrate the Magic show features Elsa from Frozen. Wanting to meet her “in person” was a little tougher. I overheard some parents saying the waits were up to 5 hours long.
©Jean Janssen

We ended the evening with Wishes, the fireworks show, and Celebrate the Magic, the evening light show on the Castle.  Celebrate the Magic is a relatively new addition to the nighttime entertainment  that uses the castle as a backdrop for projected images set to music.  It is really a highlight of your day at the Magic Kingdom.  The show features slight variations depending on the season and the current show features scenes from Frozen.  It is usually done twice in the evening, just before and again just after the Wishes fireworks show.

Chip, Dale, and Goofy lead in Mickey and Minnie as they arrive by balloon in the Festival of Magic Parade at the Magic Kingdom, WDW. ©Jean Janssen

Chip, Dale, and Goofy lead in Mickey and Minnie as they arrive by balloon in the Festival of Magic Parade at the Magic Kingdom, WDW.
©Jean Janssen

More Disney in my next post and all about those new magic bands.–Natasha

About travelbynatasha

I am a retired attorney who loves to travel. Several years ago I began working on a Century Club membership achieved by traveling to 100 "foreign" countries. Today, at 49 years of age the count is at 82. Many were visited on land based trips. Some were cruise ports. Some were dive sites. Most have been fascinating.
This entry was posted in Disney, domestic travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s