The much anticipated first phase of the Fantasyland Expansion began soft openings today in the Magic Kingdom. Phase I consists of the brand new Dumbo, the rethemed Goofy's Barnstormer into the Great Goofini, and the reopening of the Fantasyland Train Station!
Soft openings mean the attractions have not officially opened and may be open or closed depending on imagineers and Disney. This is the period to make sure everything is working correctly and the Cast Member's training is fine tuned. The area may be open during park hours, or only during portions of the day; one attraction may be open and the other closed.
There has been so much interest and hype about the Fantasyland Expansion, not to mention we've been hearing about it for 2 years, that I wondered what my reaction would be.
Despite how crowded the area was, including waits of over 1 hour for both Dumbo and Goofy I was able to walk around and look at the themeing. It is amazing! The attention to detail is everything I expect from Imagineers and it did not disappoint.
.... from the trash cans, to the Cast Member Costumes, to the peanuts and animal prints in the pavement to the nod to Carolwood at the Train Station - it was all great.
Here are just a few of the photos I captured today. Many more to come in the future.
THE GREAT GOOFINI
FANTASYLAND TRAIN STATION
Go take a look for yourself and let me know what you think. If Phase I is any indication of the rest of the expansion, families will love it!!! Keep in mind this is a small area that is can be very congested.
Coming later in the season will be the interactive queue for Dumbo, the 2 tents, one a merchandise area and one a themed character meet and greet. There is also the Be Our Guest Restaurant, Belle's Village and Gaston's Tavern, Prince Erik's Castle which will house the Little Mermaid ride (identical inside to Disney California Adventure) and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Be sure to also check out Jack Spence's blog on the new area!
For more on the Fantasyland Expansion check out the official Disney Press Releases!
The previous post in this blog was Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival Opens.
The next post in this blog is Magic Kingdom Maps reflect New Fantasyland.