Exploring the New Fantasyland

After the weather people lied to us on Saturday and promised a complete rain-out (it didn’t rain until Saturday night), we decided to ignore their warnings for Sunday and head to Magic Kingdom for a bit. By the way, that’s called foreshadowing, my friends.

We strolled through the front gates of Magic Kingdom at 9:15 a.m., just missing our goal of being there for rope drop. But it didn’t even matter. I don’t want to say that Magic Kingdom was empty, per se, but there was plenty of room to breathe on Main Street USA. We even paused to watch the Main Street dancers, at E’s insistence.

Magic Kingdom: Main Street USA

Magic Kingdom

After watching one song, we made a quick beeline for Fantasyland. If you don’t go early, you have no chance. We snagged some Peter Pan Fastpasses, even though standby was only 15 minutes, and headed over to Snow White’s Scary Adventures. The ride is closing for good next month, to be replaced by a new version in the New Fantasyland (and yeah, the capital N is a thing. Get used to it), so I wanted to get at least one more ride on it. I’ve never been able to get E. to do it since she’s always been scared of the movie itself. But since she had just watched it on Saturday and I’d explained to her that it was about to close forever, she was game to give it a try.

I’d forgotten just how scary the ride is. I seriously can’t believe that this has been the only Snow White ride for all these years. Yes, the movie is scary but there are also some very sweet parts with Snow White singing into the well (even if it is an example of how girls should NOT think) and her singing with the Dwarfs.

Needless to say, E. won’t miss the ride when it’s gone. I might just a little bit, though. But then again, I’m old and nostalgic like that.

Magic Kingdom: Snow White's Scary Adventures

Magic Kingdom: Snow White's Scary Adventures

After saying good-bye to something old, we headed over to say hello to something new. Well, newish … the relocated and much improved Dumbo!

Magic Kingdom: Dumbo

And there was only a 10-minute wait! So, there wasn’t a lot of time to check out the greatly improved queue area. It’s definitely an upgrade. For starters, it’s all shaded with fans overhead. The old line was ALWAYS a sweltering mess. Look how roomy this is!

Magic Kingdom: Dumbo

I haven’t looked at the plans, but I think in the not-so-distant future, at least some of the waiting area will be inside the new big top tent. It sits between this ride and the still under construction second Dumbo.

Magic Kingdom: Dumbo

Magic Kingdom: Dumbo

Before we got on, I asked E. if she was excited to ride the new Dumbo. She looked at it and declared, “Yeah, but it looks just like the old one.” Don’t tell the Imagineers that 4-year-olds are apparently a tough crowd.

Despite her blase attitude, she loved it.

Magic Kingdom: Dumbo

Magic Kingdom: Dumbo

And I loved the flying elephant’s eye view of the New Fantasyland progress.

Magic Kingdom: Dumbo

I know it’s kind of hard to make out, but the castle you see on the right will be part of the new Ariel ride and if you look way back at the castle on the mountain just to the left of the tree in the foreground, that’s going to be Belle’s castle and restaurant. I hate to admit how excited I am to explore the new area, even though I’m not a huge princesses fan!

After Dumbo — which I forgot to mention, only had a 10-minute wait (the off-season rules!) — we went right next door to the new and improved Barnstormer roller coaster, starring the Great Goofini.

Magic Kingdom: The Barnstormer

Magic Kingdom: The Barnstormer

And that sign in the top photo was a lie. There was no 10-minute wait; we walked right onto the ride (again, offseason, I love you).

This has always been one of my favorites. It was the first “thrill ride” E. could go on (the height requirement is 35 inches) but it’s surprisingly fast and fun for a “kiddie” ride.

Magic Kingdom: The Barnstormer

Magic Kingdom: The Barnstormer

I mean, c’mon. How happy is that child?

After the Barnstormer, we walked over to check out the new Train Depot area (again, much improved) and I told E to keep her eyes on the ground. There are some new surprises down there.

Fantasyland: Hidden Mickeys

I spy some Hidden Mickeys, disguised as elephant tracks.


And peanuts. Lots and lots of peanuts embedded in the concrete! It’s actually very cool. All throughout the New Fantasyland area (at least the section that’s been unveiled so far), there are elephant, tiger, camel, horse and more tracks in the pavement. They all lead from the train station and toward the rides. I love that attention to detail!

Since we were having a great time trying some new things (and here you’d thought we’d already done all that there is to do at Magic Kingdom), we decided it was finally time for E. to experience that classic rite of MK passage — the Teacups. And this made the idea even more attractive:

Magic Kingdom: Mad Tea Party

I took a pass. There’s just no need for me to feel that sick, despite the historical nature of the moment. Besides, someone had to take pictures. Because if there’s no photos, it didn’t really happen, right? And I would have hated to miss this shot.

Magic Kingdom: Mad Tea Party

DadJovi reported that she was giving him all sorts of strange looks during the ride as she tried to figure out why they kept spinning (and spinning and spinning), but she also loved it.

After the ride, someone special was waiting to help her regain her balance.

E and the White Rabbit

To help her settle her stomach, E. ate a muffin the size of her head while DadJovi ran ahead to grab Fastpasses for Splash Mountain.

We then hit Peter Pan, the Haunted Mansion and yes, Splash Mountain. Right before we got on the ride, the skies opened up and it started raining. E. was more than happy to bust out her poncho.

E in a poncho

I was pretty jealous of that poncho once we got on the ride. We ended up in the front row and DadJovi and I got DRENCHED from head to toe. The silver lining? Since I was already wet, I didn’t mind the rain after the ride.

Before heading out, we had one more stop — E’s current obsession, the Jungle Cruise. I blame the Disney commercials trying to attract Florida residents that are on every 10 minutes. For whatever reason, this ride is currently second only to Peter Pan in terms of her must-dos at MK.

Thankfully, DadJovi had run ahead and gotten us Fastpasses while she and I slowly made our way to Splash Mountain. But even here, the standby wait was only 15 minutes I think. I’m telling you, everything came up Team Jovi that day (well, other than my hair, clearly).

Magic Kingdom: Jungle Cruise

And the sun even started to shine again by the time we hit the elephants.

Magic Kingdom: Jungle Cruise

One of the things about Jungle Cruise is that the skipper can make or break the ride. They all have the same script, but some people really know how to make it sing. And Skipper Josh was one of those people.

Magic Kingdom: Jungle Cruise

He had added many very funny lines that I’d never heard before (“Now I’m going to turn down the Nile. It was too loud.” OK, maybe you had to be there, but it was gold, people. Gold, I tell you).

Shockingly, E. didn’t even protest when we told her it was time to go.

To recap: that was 3 hours, 8 rides, 1 character greeting, 1 rainstorm, and 0 tantrums. I’d call that a pretty successful morning at the Happiest Place on Earth.

What’s your favorite ride, attraction or show at Magic Kingdom? What are you most excited about in the New Fantasyland?

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  1. says

    Wait – E had never gone on the Tea Cups??? I think that’s one of the first rides both kids went on! I guess it helps that we always start in Tomorrowland and then goes towards Fantasyland.

    Maybe once all of this wedding madness is over we will FINALLY buy season passes and join you at the new Fantasyland. Livie has not gone on the Barnstormer yet (and she’s well above 35 inches) – this needs to happen! LOVE E’s face on it :)

    • says

      Well, it’s more our fault that she hadn’t been on it. We both get sick on rides like that and we kept telling her she wasn’t tall enough (I’m such a bad parent who lies about things like that). But since she’s now tall enough for everything except Space Mountain, we figured it was time to stop lying and offer her the chance to go on it.

      DadJovi drew the short straw. He actually wasn’t too sick after it, so I’ve volunteered him for all future rides!

      YES, get some passes and then we can all go together!! We’re getting close to our summer blackout period, but come August, we’ll be back to go a lot again. In May, we’ll be at Hollywood Studios almost every weekend for Star Wars weekends. B. would LOVE them — tons of character greetings with all the Star Wars characters and parades on the weekends!

      Yes, Livie will love it. E’s other favorite ride at MK is Thunder Mountain but it’s currently closed for renovations, so Barnstormer was going to have to do! I think she survived the disappointment! :)

  2. says

    That Snow White ride really IS scary. I’ve been on it with neices and nephews ranging in age from 4-7 and ALL of them were terrified…and then wouldn’t even brave Peter Pan because they didn’t want to be in the dark again!

    And I’m happy to heat they kept the Barn Stormer!

    • says

      Seriously, how has that ride remained unchanged for so long?!? I’m so glad I never pushed E. to go on it before doing other dark rides. Peter Pan is hands down her favorite ride, probably because it’s also her favorite movie. But there’s nothing scary about it. It’s sweet and perfect for kids.

      I’m actually surprised by how much E. LOVES the Haunted Mansion. This past Halloween, she really got into the holiday so we tried it then and she loved it. Her favorite part is when the ghost hitchhikes on the ride!

      And the Barn Stormer is still just as fun, even if it is painfully short. I swear, it feels like that ride is over in 30 seconds. Glad we didn’t have to wait! It’d been closed for so long that I forgot how short it is!

  3. Chris says

    I have a major soft spot for Peter Pan and my family (my parents have loved Disney since before I was born, my grandpop worked there and we spent every childhood vacation there. my parents still go 2x a yr and we join them sometimes) always hits Pirates and Haunted Mansion. I like just about everything – incl Hall of Pres and Tiki Room (I’m a bird biologist). But my favorite might have to be, oddly, the people mover or I think it is WED walkway now? No matter, my family calls everything what it used to be! People Mover, we sing the old Carousel song, we still call it the Kraft pavilion though it has prob had a few sponsors since then, Coke Corner even though it’s Casey’s or something like that now. We like to rock it old school :)

  4. Lindsey says

    I’m 25 & I still won’t go on Snow White because I remember being terrified of it when I was a child.

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