Dad is Retiring!

We’ll be closing this site on December 31, 2020.

As of June 2, 2020, we’ll no longer be updating content. But don’t worry - Dad’s friends can still help with all your Disney dreaming, planning, and booking needs!

Thank you for your support of Dad’s Guide to WDW for the past 11 years!

The New Fantasyland

New? Yes, NEWish…Fantasyland received a makeover about 10 years ago. This makeover brought more whimsy and magic along with a few new characters to an already magical land.

 

Yes, some of the best, the most endearing rides Uncle Walt created were located here. From Dumbo to Peter Pan to that ride I won’t mention except to say the song never ends. Can it really get better? Well, frankly, yes it can.

 

Prince Eric's Castle in Fantasyland is home of Be Our Guest

Prince Eric’s Castle is pretty neat at night – photo by Cliff Wang

The New

Two whole new areas are being introduced in the upgrade. (I can see a day with Fantasyland is divided into 3 complete different “lands”.)

Storybook Circus

The entrance to Storybook Circus in Fantasyland

Come see Dumbo and his circus friends – photo by Judd Helms

 

Storybook Circus is the first section of the New Fantasyland. It opened in the spring of 2012.

 

It replaced Mickey’s Toontown Fair.

 

Storybook Circus is the circus (at least in part) from the movie Dumbo. The circus has come to Carolwood Park (Carolwood Railroad is what Uncle Walt named his backyard train set) with its big star Dumbo. The big top is all set up and ready. Ladies and Gentlemen … Boys and Girls …

Dad’s Storybook Circus page

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Dumbo ls pretty amazing at night in Fantasyland

Dumbo all lit up is incredible – photo by Cliff Wang

 

It’s hard to believe but the Imagineers at Disney have taken Dumbo and made it better. Lots better. The all new Dumbo is twice as good as the original.

 

There are now two Dumbo ride vehicles plus a whole new waiting area that includes an interactive playground that kids just love. Even with the doubling, Dumbo still has long lines, but now you can get a FASTPASS.

Dad’s Dumbo page

The Barnstormer starring the Great Goofini

A billboard for the Great Goofini ride in Fantasyland

Goofy flying an airplane… What could possibly go wrong – photo by Laurie Sapp

 

Dumbo is the star of the circus, but Goofy tries really hard.

The old Barnstormer ride has been spiffied up and is now the “B” attraction at the circus. Goofy takes you on a daredevil ride around the park. (Goofy still hasn’t learned how to fly.)

The Barnstormer is a roller coaster for younger children. It’s a great way to introduce kids to the thrill of roller coasters.

Dad’s Barnstormer starring the Great Goofini page

Casey Jr. and Soak Station

Casey's Splash Pad is a great place for little ones to cool off in Fantasyland

Trent loves the water at Casey’s – photo by Brett Svenson

 

Casey is the train that brings the circus to town. When Casey makes an appearance things get a little wet. (Yes, wet.) Casey Jr. is located in the old Donald’s Boat location and makes good use of the old drainage system to keep things tidy. (Disney likes things tidy.)

 

Casey shows up pulling cars with giraffe’s and elephants that like to spit on those around. Oh, yeah, even little Casey gets in the act and “blows his top”. It’s really cool on a hot day.

Dad’s Casey Jr. page

Fantasyland Railroad Station

The Walt Disney World Railroad leaving the Fantasyland Railway Station

The Walt Disney World Railroad is a great way around – photo by Brett Svenson

 

The Fantasyland Railroad Station – railroad station has even been redone to fit right in to the motif of the circus. When you step off the train, you walk right in to the story.

 

You have arrived at Carolwood Park. Get ready for a really big show.

 

You can hop on the train and go right to the front of the park. It’s a really great way to get around. All Aboard …

Dad’s Disney World Railroad page

Storybook Circus is the first part of the upgrade and it’s just great. The new interactive queue at Dumbo is so good it might be hard to get the kiddos to go ride Dumbo.

Enchanted Forest

The second part of the upgraded Fantasyland is called the Enchanted Forest. What an obvious idea having an Enchanted Forest. All the great Disney Movies have enchantment and most of them are set in the forest.

Dad’s Enchanted Forest page

Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid

Urusala is a big part of the Voyage of the Little Mermaid in Fantasyland

I’ve got a bad feeling about this – photo by Brett Svenson

 

Jump in a “calmmobile” and take a ride “under the sea” and see the story of the Little Mermaid complete with the Urusala the Sea Witch, Sebastian, Eric and Ariel and some good music.

 

Of course good wins out in the end.

Dad’s Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid page

Ariel’s Grotto

Ariel from the Little Mermaid on the front of Prince Eric's boat in Fantasyland

You can almost hear her singing – photo by Laurie Sapp

 

Come and meet Ariel the Little Mermaid complete with fins. This is a meet and greet area where each family gets some time to meet and chat with the Little Mermaid herself.

Dad’s Ariel’s Grotto page

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Belle looks radiant in Tales with Belle in Fantasyland

Belle looks awesome – photo by Cliff Wang

 

Take a walk through Belle’s house (Maurice’s Cottage) and into a magical world where guests are chosen to play parts in the story of Beauty and the Beast.

 

Be the Beast, Mrs. Potts and play along with the story. It’s loads of fun for everyone.

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Be Our Guest

A sign for Be Our Guest in Fantasyland

Just looking at the signs can give you chills – photo by Judd Helms

 

Forboding is the word that comes to mine when you look at the Beast’s Castle. Then you come to the entrance to Be Our Guest, it’s even scarier. But when you walk in you see the most beautiful restaurant in Walt Disney World.

 

Be Our Guest is fashioned after the Beast’s Castle in the movie. You’ll be astonished how beautiful and detailed it is.

 

Be Our Guest is a Quick Service restaurant at lunch and a Full Service restaurant at dinner.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Gaston’s Tavern

The courtyard outside of Gaston's Tavern with the fountain in Fantasyland

Isn’t that fountain awesome – photo by Cliff Wang

 

Do you remember Gaston’s Tavern from the movie “Beauty and the Beast“? The place where he sang, “no one eats like Gaston”? Now you can come get a shank and a brew and sit by the fireplace and imagine being as good looking as “the man” himself.

Gaston’s Tavern

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

The mine scene from Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland

Working hard… – photo by Mike Billick

 

Heigh Ho! a short ride through the mine and sing along as the dwarfs find a treasure. Heigh Ho!!!!

Dad’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train page

The “Old” Attractions

The “old” Fantasyland attractions are something special. Most are based on some of the classic movies Uncle Walt released in the early days. Several of these were designed by Uncle Walt himself.

The Mad Tea Party

The Mad Tea Party (Teacups) in Fantasyland are beautiful

Take a ride on the teacups (not for Dad) – photo by Judd Helms

 

Join Alice and her friends in a grand Tea Party.

 

It’s called the “Mad” Tea Party because you have to be truly mad to enjoy this ride.

 

(Special Note: Dad hates this ride.)

 

Hop in a giant tea cup and go spinning around. Now that’s just mad. But it is a very imaginative ride. Uncle Walt took a simple midway ride and turned it in to one of the most enduring and thrilling rides ever imagined.

Dad’s Mad Tea Party page

It’s a Small World

The Hula Girls in its a small world in Fantasyland

Can’t you just hear that song? – photo by Cliff Wang

 

Fantasyland has been home to the most annoying ride in the world. Yes, I said annoying. That song keeps running through your head. Even now, you hear it, don’t you …

 

It’s a world of laughter a world of tears …

 

(Yes, Dad’s mean sometimes.)

 

Like it or hate it, you have to try it at least once.

Dad’s It’s a Small World page

Peter Pan’s Flight

Peter Pan fighting Captain Hook in Peter Pan's Flight in Fantasyland

Will Peter win? – photo by Mike Billick

 

“You can fly, you can fly, you can fly.”

 

Yes, you can fly right over London and off to Neverland. Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the busiest rides in Fantasyland. In fact, it has some of the longest lines in all of the Magic Kingdom.

Dad’s Peter Pan’s Flight page

Winnie the Pooh

Tigger is on top of Winnie the Pooh

The most wonderful thing about Tiggers – photo by Cliff Wang

 

Take a ride through the Hundred Acre Woods in a honey pot. I’m not kidding. Ride a honey pot.

 

See Winnie, Kanga, Roo, Piglet, Owl, Rabbit and Gopher as you wind through the story from Christopher Robin’s perspective.

 

The colors are incredible.

Dad’s Winnie the Pooh page

Mickey’s Philharmagic

Mickey's Philharmagic in Fantasyland at night

Donald conducts the orchestra, what could possible go wrong? – photo by Cliff Wang

 

Mickey takes a break from leading the orchestra and Donald takes over. What comes next is mayhem and great scenes from some wonderful Disney movies. Fly with Aladdin and Jasmine, roar with Simba, fly with Peter and Tink off to Neverland.

 

After some hair raising experiences Mickey comes back in and saves the day. You gotta see this.

Dad’s Mickey’s Philharmagic page

Tangled Restroom

The Tangled area in Fantasyland

You can almost see Rapunzel in the tower – photo by Cliff Wang

 

Rapunzel let down your long hair. With the popularity of the movie Tangled, Disney needed something to represent its newest Princess. The Tangled Tower has been in the work for a couple of years and now that area is opening. What’s going to be under the Tangled Tower? For now just restrooms. MMmmm? Not really sure what’s up with that.

 

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

The New Fantasyland is outstanding. The new and upgraded attractions are just pretty neat. The “old” attractions are still classic and timeless. Now if the rest of the Magic Kingdom could get a face lift like this one …

dDad's Magic Kingdom page

magic kingdom

 

Crowds in the Magic Kingdom

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disney world restaurants

dining

 

the clock on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom

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