Yesterday (March 12, 2012) the new Storybook Circus began a soft opening at the Magic Kingdom and Deb Wills was there in the afternoon capturing the magic. In her blog, she mentioned that the area was very crowded with guests trying to get their first look at this new section of the park. Since I don’t like crowds, I set out this morning (March 13) to be at the Magic Kingdom before opening and one of the first people to arrive at Storybook Circus. I wanted to be able to experience this new land crowd-free and capture a few pictures Deb was unable to take.
The entrance to Storybook Circus is still far from complete. Guests walk through a corridor of plywood to reach this new area.
Here is a picture of the new entrance to the Dumbo attraction. The structure is modeled to look like a Circus ticket booth. Fortunately, no tickets are required to ride this attraction.
There are many subtle changes to the Dumbo ride. To begin with, the first of two Dumbo attractions turns clockwise rather than counterclockwise. (This is a change from the previous Dumbo.) I have to assume the second Dumbo attraction will turn counterclockwise to add visual interest.
Timothy, Dumbo’s mouse friend, no longer sits atop the attraction. He has been replaced with four storks carrying baby Dumbos.
Below the storks are the heads of four Mrs. Jumbos.
The center structure of the old Dumbo attraction had a more open design. Guests could see gears and twirling chipmunks and pinwheels. The next two picture are of the old Dumbo attraction.
The center structure of the new Dumbo is “contained” and does not feature these details.
Beneath the center structure, a number of pictures tell the story of Dumbo. Here are just a few of them.
In my opinion, one of the best enhancements to the Dumbo attraction is the addition of a water feature (fountains). I’ve heard for years this wasn’t possible in the old location because the weight of the water would be too much for the untilidors beneath to support. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I’m sure happy the Imagineers included this feature in Storybook Circus.
Here’s a picture of me taking flight with everyone’s favorite pachyderm.
The “Barnstormer Featuring the Great Goofini” is a reworking of “The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm.” The track is identical, just the surrounding area has been rethemed to feature Goofy (Goofini) as a crackpot pilot. Once again, the entrance is marked by a circus-type ticket booth.
The old entrance queue is now used to exit the attraction and a completely new, and much longer, queue has been built for boarding. Along the new queue are several cute vignettes featuring the antics of Goofini.
Portions of the new queue offer some (not a lot) protection from the sun.
As you exit your aircraft, take a moment and check out some of Goofini’s gear, including First (and Second) Aid kits.
Here’s a picture of the Great Goofini’s plane crashing through a billboard.
The new Fantasyland/Storybook Circus train station is beautiful. The restrooms for this area are housed in the roundhouse used for the Casey Jr. Circus Train.
A nod to Walt’s backyard train, the Carolwood Pacific, can be seen at the station on the clock face and above the main entrance.
I love the Casey Jr. weather vane.
A close observer will notice a spur of tracks running through this area (and to the roundhouse – restrooms). You will also notice the tracks come to an abrupt end before reaching the main line.
In Deb Wills’ blog she mentions that the details of Storybook Circus are outstanding and if the rest of the Fantasyland expansion follows suit, we’re all in for a fantastic new area. I couldn’t agree more. Even with only one Dumbo attraction working and the area still surrounded with construction walls, this is a great place. Thank you, Disney Imagineers.
The previous post in this blog was Disney’s Character Warehouse.
The next post in this blog is Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground - Part 1.