Exploring the New Fantasyland

by MomJovi on April 23, 2012

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.

Fantasyland

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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