Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom unveiled its new Fantasyland, the largest expansion in the park’s history, last month, revamping favorite attractions and adding new rides and dining options to the theme park.
The expansion, which has doubled the size of Fantasyland and was built on the former site of the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea experience, keeps with the company’s tradition and founder Walt Disney’s promise to keep the parks up-to-date.
"Walt Disney once promised that Disneyland, and by extension all of our parks, would never be complete as long as there is imagination left in the world," said Walt Disney Parks & Resorts chairman Tom Staggs. "New Fantasyland is a spectacular addition to the Magic Kingdom that delivers on Walt’s promise."
The new Fantasyland includes two new restaurants based on the animated movie Beauty and the Beast, Be Our Guest Restaurant and Gaston’s Tavern.
At Be Our Guest Restaurant, Beauty and the Beast fans seeking a quick bite can step inside the Beast’s castle and dine on French fare in one of three rooms: the castle’s West Wing, which is home to the enchanted rose, Belle’s book-filled library, or the two-story Gothic arched ballroom adorned with murals inspired by France’s Loire Valley.
The 550-seat restaurant serves quick lunches that are ordered from tableside touchscreen terminals and served on fine china. Lunch options include a tuna Niçoise salad, a béchamel-smothered croquet-monsieur sandwich, grilled steak sandwiches, turkey baguettes, quiche, and eight-hour braised pork. The children’s menu includes Mickey meatloaf, pulled pork sandwiches, and whole-grain macaroni. Guests seeking a fancier feast can opt for the more formal dinner menu, which includes a charcuterie plate, mussels steamed in white wine, rotisserie rock hen, thyme-scented pork rack chop, shrimp and scallops in puff pastry with lobster sauce, and oven-baked ratatouille.
While the name Gaston’s Tavern may indicate that this is a place to chug beer, the reality is this quick-service snack spot does not serve alcohol. Instead, fountain drinks, juices, and the like are on tap. The signature drink here is LeFou’s Brew, a concoction of frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow and topped with passion fruit-mango foam served in a souvenir goblet ($9.99). The snack offerings include roasted pork shank, hummus and chips, sliced apples with caramel sauce, and warm cinnamon rolls.
In addition to new restaurants, there are also new attractions like the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station, a water play area based on Casey, the circus locomotive in Disney’s animated movie Dumbo, who sprays guests with "steam" and is accompanied by monkeys, elephants, and camels that spray water. Other attractions include Enchanted Tales with Belle, an interactive storytelling with Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, where riders board clamshells and watch animatronic scenes from The Little Mermaid.
Rides that have been revamped include the Barnstormer rollercoaster and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which now features two sets of rotating elephants that move in opposite directions. Guests can still control the flight with a handle inside their flying elephant.
Two new attractions have yet to open, a ride called Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Princess Fairytale Hall, where guests can meet all of their favorite Disney princesses at once.
Lauren Mack is the Special Projects Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.