Last month, I was lucky enough to get to go to Walt Disney World as a guest of the park, to get a sneak preview of the New Fantasyland — the largest expansion of the park in 40 years. I’ve already shown you what Enchanted Tales with Belle was like. Now, here’s a look at more of the fabulous new part of the fabulous Magic Kingdom, Starting with the Be Our Guest Restaurant.
Be our Guest is inside the Beasts Castle. Gargoyles line the route — not too scary – but a nice touch. The entrance is the mosaic from the storybook opening of the movie. The “ballroom” where dinner is served is the first table service restaurant — and the first with alcohol (wine and beer) in the park. It really does look like you are in the ballroom. It’s even snowing outside the window! And the Disney Imagineers I was with, pointed out that the music — a full orchestra in the main dining room, and a music box version in the side room, where Belle and the Beast rotate atop a giant music box, are musically in sync — so the audio transition from room to room is seamless.
They think of everything!
The slashed picture of The Beast/Prince has a surprise move, and the rose is in the glass, losing it’s petal.
Again. They think of everything!
And in case you were wondering — I tried the Grey Stuff. And it really was delicious!
Now here’s a quick look at Ariel’s Grotto and the Under The Sea Ride. Not only is the ride beautifully executed, but afterwards, you can go through the Grotto and have your picture taken with Ariel as a mermaid. A first. Usually, you only get to see her as a Princess. I’m sure little girls everywhere will be beyond thrilled!
Bottom line? The New FantasyLand is just that — a fantasy. With no detail overlooked. I must admit, I’m not a Disney crazy type. I went once as a child, once with my own children, and then on this trip. But this view of Disney – the insight from the Imagineers, and from Thomas O. Scaggs, chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts (who took the time to have a drink with us at Gaston’s pub.) — well it all added up to make me about as close to being a Disney-fanatic — and not just a fan – as I’m ever likely to get.