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Fantasyland Upgrade

 

The Fantasyland upgrade at Walt Disney World is in full swing. Mickey's Toontown Fair is gone and the construction fences are up. Storybook Circus and the Enchanted Forest are up and running. They are amazing.

 

Things are happening quickly. This is the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom. It will nearly double the size of Fantasyland.

 

 

History

Fantasyland first opened when Walt Disney World opened in 1971. For 40 years this area of the park didn't change much. Yes, a couple of rides changed (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride) and a couple were added (Mickey's Philharmagic and Winnie the Pooh), but for the most part Fantasyland has been pretty stable.

 

The colors of Fantasyland at dusk

Photo by Samantha Decker

Mickey's Toontown Fair on the other hand was always in flux. First it was Mickey's Birthdayland then Mickey's Starland and finally Mickey's Toontown Fair. It never really felt like it was part of the Magic Kingdom. It didn't link to Cinderella Castle and it really didn't fit with the theme of the park.

 

Mickey's Birthdayland

Small buildings from Mickey's Birthdayland

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik

 

On September 12, 2009, Disney announced the plans for the Fantasyland Upgrade. Mickey's Toontown Fair would be closed and would become part of a whole new Fantasyland.

 

The New Fantasyland

Pizzafari sign in Animal Kingdom

Photo courtesy of Disney

THE PLAN

The first announcement of the expansion of Fantasyland was full of princesses and fairies and all kinds of girlie rides and experiences. Yes, we guys stood up and complained. Where is the guy stuff, where is the manly man stuff. For once Disney listened. The updated plan for Fantasyland includes a new roller coaster based on the Seven Dwarves mine train. Also a more manly dining experience was added with Gaston's Tavern (which won't serve alcohol).

 

In the new plan, there will still be a Princess meet and greet area (but instead of 3 areas they have all been combined into one), there will be new roller coaster, an new Airel attraction, a couple of new eating areas. a new castle and more.

 

Even the restrooms got a facelift

The Restrooms in the new Storybook Circus area

Photo by insidethemagic

THE TIMELINE

Here is the current timeline for the Fantasyland Upgrade as of Summer 2012. Remember, these times are approximate and subject to change without notice.

 

Now Open -

Dad's Storybook Circus page

  • Enchanted Forest -
    • Be our Guest Restaurant
    • Under the Sea: the Voyage of the Little Mermaid
    • Ariel's Grotto
    • The Cinderella Castle Wall
    • Enchanted Tales with Belle
    • Gaston's Tavern

Dad's Enchanted Forest page

  • Late 2013 - the last piece is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

 

 

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

One whole sections gets replaced with the upgrade. What used to be Mickey's Toontown Fair is now where Storybook Circus is now. Gone is Snow White's Scary Adventures and it's replaced by the Princess Fairytale Hall meet and greet area.

 

Sneak Peak at the New Little Mermaid Ride

First Impressions

The statue of Gaston outside Gaston's Tavern
Photo by insidethemagic
The first rides in the Fantasyland Upgrade are huge hits. Of course how can you go wrong when you double the capacity of Dumbo? The new Storybook Circus is Disney at it's finest.

 

The rumors about Be Our Guest and Gaston's Tavern sound just amazing. The new Castles and buildings are taking shape. It's really exciting.

Why wait

You could wait for your next trip to Disney World until all the Fantasyland Upgrade is complete, but why would you? So much is already open that it's time to go.

 

You can always see the new stuff on the next trip. What are you waiting for? Go over to Dad's Destinations to Travel page and get started today.

 

Dad's Bottom Line

Things are really popping at in Fantasyland. Storybook Circus is a home run and the Enchanted Forest is just amazing. The Fantasyland Upgrade just keeps getting better and better.

 

 

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