Disney World’s Fantasyland: 10 Can’t Miss Moments Coming Soon

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to get a sneak-peak into the amazing world that will soon be the result of Disney World’s largest renovation and expansion ever: Fantasyland.

This portion of the park is actually doubling in size.

I stood with one of the ‘Imagineers’ (engineers creating the expansion) as he explained the theory of ‘eyes up, jaw down’ – the experience is supposed to leave us wide-eyed with our mouths dropped open in awe. And I can assure you, based on everything I saw – that it will.

Though I wasn’t allowed to bring my small people behind the blue fence, I had a wonderful time mapping out for them where everything will be.  Fantasyland has been opening in stages and will continue to do so.

This is what you can’t miss:

Storybook Circus – This is Open Now (but getting better all the time)

1) The centerpiece of this portion of Fantasyland is a trusty favorite Dumbo.  You will feel as though you are part of the movie, from the flying elephants to the ‘fake’ peanuts embedded in the concrete (no, parents – you don’t have to worry if your child is allergic – they aren’t real!) The big difference with Dumbo?  Now there are TWO Dumbo rides adjacent to each other, so the wait (a traditionally long one) is half the time, and families spend a portion of their time in the Big Top Tent playing circus-themed games. (This is a Fast-Pass Ride)

2) The Barnstormer – a new roller coaster designed for small people. With Goofy behind the wheel as a ‘stunt pilot’, the kiddos have a heck of a time on this ride.  The wait is moderate and the ride isn’t too long, but my sweet ones, loved it. (height is 35 inches or taller)

3) Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station:  Now, this is JUST the thing you need on a hot day.  Not far from the Barnstormer, this water play area, like the rest of StoryBook, has a circus theme to it.  An ideal spot for you and the small people to cool off before heading to the next ride.

4) Fantasyland Station – who doesn’t live riding the train all the way around Disney World.  This was a tradition for my family as I was growing up.  This is the newest station stop for the Walt Disney World Railroad.

The Enchanted Forest – Opening December 6th, 2012

I know it may seem to be a few months away, but I am positively giddy about this. There is so much here that I explained to my kiddos in great detail…likely with the same enthusiasm that the Imagineers imparted to me. This area is dedicated to both The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. The idea?  That you feel as though you are a part of their worlds.

5) Be Our Guest Restaurant: There are three different dining rooms in the middle of Beast’s Castle… you will be able to eat in any of them – and the experience should feel as though you have stepped from real life, right into the movie.  The walls, the furnishings, the plates and silverware – it has all been duplicated.

6) Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid – A musical attraction that will take you inside Prince Eric’s Castle.  You will be sitting in a giant clam shell as you experience the music.

7) Enchanted Tales with Belle – This will allow the ‘tales as old as time’ to come alive. It will be hosted by both Belle and Lumiere.

8) Ariel’s Grotto – For the mermaid lover in your family – this is wil be the place to go.  This will be where Ariel will sign autographs and take pictures.

Scheduled for 2013 Openings

9) Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – just the thought of this makes my daughter’s eyes light up.  She LOVES roller coasters, and it seems to me that this one will be ideal. Partially in the dark, this will follow the lines of the classic Snow White.

10) Princess FairyTale Hall – This will be princess heaven for any little girl who can’t get enough of the pink, the frilly, the tiaras and such. This will be a ‘royal court’ where the princesses might actually meet their princes.

And for more fun – if you have the Verizon Disney Mobile Magic app, your family will be able to move seamlessly from the current portions of the part into the newest with all of the latest tips and tricks (including noting the times when the characters and princesses will be available for meet-and-greets, as well as the fast-pass times for rides like Dumbo..

A big thanks to Verizon for sponsoring this campaign. Data rates may apply for app download/use. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Read more from Danielle on Strollerderby and her personal sites ExtraordinaryMommy and DanielleSmithMedia.

You can also follow her on Twitter.

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