15 Wonderful Things to Try at New Fantasyland
When Walt Disney first envisioned a theme park, one aspect stood out. He wanted to tell stories that would draw park guests into a world of make-believe, one where Disney movies felt real. And one themed land exemplified this goal. It’s a place that you’ll find at Disney resorts around the world, but let’s focus on the Orlando version today. Here are 15 things you must do during a visit to New Fantasyland.
Ask Gaston about His Favorite Subject
Disney revamped New Fantasyland in 2012. After the renovations, Beauty and the Beast became an integral part of the updated themed land. While you’ll receive your choice of several character meetings here, potentially the most entertaining one involves the movie’s villain.
Gaston holds court at Gaston’s Tavern, where he will happily regale you with stories of his greatness. It sounds horrible but is truly spectacular.
Be the Beast’s Guest
While every restaurant at Magic Kingdom comes with its fair share of supporters, the people’s choice is undeniably Be Our Guest. It’s one of the toughest Advanced Dining Reservations to book at Walt Disney World, but the meal is worth the effort.
You will dine within the comfy confines of Beast’s Castle, where you’ll eat courses one by one until you shout, “Enough! I’m done!” This place definitely lives up to the hype. And yes, the Grey Stuff is delicious.
Board a Carousel Older Than the Park
Are you familiar with Prince Charming Regal Carousel? Whether you’ve ridden it or not, you’ve undoubtedly walked past it at some point during a Magic Kingdom visit. This carousel has stood the test of time in a rare and profound way.
It’s more than 100 years old, initially constructed in 1917. Park officials restored it in time for Magic Kingdom’s opening in 1971 and have dutifully maintained it ever since then. You’re partaking in Disney history when you ride this one.
Enter a Magic Mirror
For people who really love Beauty and the Beast, one attraction towers above the rest. During Enchanted Tales with Belle, guests enter a magic mirror and step into the movie’s realm. There, you will recreate memorable sequences from the film.
Some scenes call for adult actors while others are for children. So, the entire family can play along here. It’s one of the best places to make Magic Kingdom memories.
Fly a Child-Sized Plane
Are you unsure whether your child is ready for the grown-up roller coasters? Disney has thought of everything! They’ve constructed a junior coaster for kids. Called The Barnstormer, it’s short enough that it solves a secondary problem, too.
If your kid hates it, the ride will be over in just a minute! If they love it, the lines are usually short, allowing you to ride repeatedly.
Interact with Your Favorite Disney Princesses
Once you’re done with The Barnstormer, visit the place where many children want to live. Princess Fairytale Hall rotates Disney Princess character meetings. Currently, you can meet Rapunzel, Tiana, Cinderella, and (for the first time ever) Elena.
However, the list changes frequently. Use My Disney Experience while you’re in the park to verify which Princess is holding court during your visit.
Look at Puppets for 15 Minutes
The cynic and smart-aleck in me always wants to crack wise about It’s A Small World. The Disney historian in me feels lost in admiration whenever I see the attraction, which is why I rarely walk by it without reading. The culmination of Disney’s triumph at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, this little boat ride features hundreds of puppets and an unforgettable tune.
Simply stated, It’s a Small World stands on the Mount Rushmore of Disney attractions. Whether you love the song or wish evil upon the Sherman Brothers for writing it, you dishonor Walt Disney’s memory when you skip It’s a Small World.
Meet the Great Goofini
Wanna see a dog do a magic trick? Mickey Mouse’s friend, Goofy, dabbles in sorcery. Guests who visit Pete’s Silly Sideshow in New Fantasyland can watch Donald Duck moonlight as a fortune teller.
Meanwhile, Goofy either dresses like a magician or a pilot, depending on his mood. You’ll find both outfits adorable and desperately want a photograph with the Great Goofini, even when he looks like Amelia Earhart.
Pretend to Fly
Imagineers construct all Disney attractions with the intent of complete immersion. You should believe that you’re doing whatever your senses tell you is happening. To me, the most immersive effect is either Soarin’ or Avatar Flight of Passage, both of which are relatively new rides.
An attraction from Disneyland’s opening day in 1955 held the title for decades, though. When you board the ride cart for Peter Pan’s Flight, you will genuinely suspend belief for a moment. For that brief instance, you can fly! And it’s breathtaking! I wish the lines were shorter, but I still try to ride Peter Pan’s Flight at least once per park visit.
Re-Live Disney’s Greatest Animated Movie Moments
I’m a sucker for the Second Golden Age of Disney animation, the one that started with The Little Mermaid. So many of the movies from this era are brilliant, and Disney knows this. Imagineers combined the jaw-dropping sequences from several of the animated classics into one presentation, Mickey’s PhilHarmagic.
It’s one of my most treasured attractions at Walt Disney World. I feel incomplete when I don’t get to do it during a vacation, which sadly happened to me last time. Be smarter than me, friends!
Ride a Mine Train
Everyone prefers one attraction over all the rest at Magic Kingdom. I actually have two. One is Splash Mountain, while the other has become the centerpiece of New Fantasyland.
Of course, I’m speaking of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a combination dark ride and roller coaster that’s pure joy. Imagineers designed special ride carts for the attraction, and their swaying delivers an unprecedented ride experience. I just love it.
Soak ‘n’ Splash on a Hot Day
During my last Disney summer vacation, the temperature reached 104 degrees on five straight days. I felt like human pudding. New Fantasyland thoughtfully provided one of the few joys I found in the blaring heat.
I made a quick jaunt through the Casey Jr. Soak ‘N’ Splash Station, just to get wet. While this place is 100 percent designed for kids, I certainly wasn’t the only adult to take this opportunity. Remember this place on humid days. It’s your salvation.
Take a Journey with Ariel
Look, every ride at New Fantasyland will entertain you. Disney’s done a remarkable job in strengthening the depth of attractions in this themed land. Personally, I feel that one of them is extremely underrated. Under the Sea ~ Voyage of the Little Mermaid re-tells Ariel’s story beautifully.
It also features some extraordinarily entertaining but subtle Imagineering tricks. Out of all Magic Kingdom dark rides, I believe that only one is better for children.
Twirl until You’re Nauseous
Do you ever travel with frenemies? Or someone you’d like to prank? If so, I have the perfect ride for you! Mad Tea Party allows you to take a spin with some friends, and you control the motion.
So, if you want to spin someone sick, you can totally do that! Of course, this information comes with a downside. Parents should never ride Mad Tea Party with their children. It’s a waking nightmare.
PS: Whatever you do, avoid Mad Tea Party right after you’ve eaten. Cast members will thank you for it.
Visit Hundred-Acre Wood
The only dark ride that I believe surpasses Under the Sea, at least for children, is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. On this journey, you hop into a Hunnypot and explore the adorable world of Pooh and Friends. It’s such a charming attraction that even includes a few intense, memorable moments for kids to experience.
As you can see, New Fantasyland comes with so many entertainments that you could spend much of your park day here!
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