With Fantasyland over doubled in size, from 10 to 21 acres, the newest expansion brings so many new details for us to discover. Has it really been over a year since it first opened? If you don’t already know, it contains 4 “sections” from different Disney films. Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Dumbo, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opens sometime this spring.) Approaching the entrance to New Fantasyland, the first thing you’ll probably notice is the looming Beast’s Castle from Beauty and the Beast. While in actuality it is much smaller than it look, the castle does contain 115 windows. In Enchanted Tales with Belle, the personal library of Belle has over 12,000 books! As a bibliophile myself, I’d love to own that big of a library. 🙂
On the bridge leading up to the castle, there are six stone figures. They may look ominous from a distance, but are actually friendly up close. Imagineers named all the figures Frank in order to identify them in the design process.
Inside the castle is the Be Our Guest Restaurant. The centerpiece of the room is a breathtaking chandelier from the classic ballroom scene in the film. The 12 foot tall, 11 foot wide masterpiece consist of over 84 candles and 100 crystals.
One of my absolute favorite things about New Fantasyland is how Disney honored the 1971-1994 attraction 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Before dismantling it, bottles of water from the 20,000 Leagues lagoon were collected and carefully stored by Imagineers. In October 2012, after 18 years, the bottles were opened for the first time, and poured into Ariel’s Grotto (watch the video of the ceremony in the homework!) “[It will] forever uniting our past and our future.” -Imagineer Chris Kelly. Within the attraction Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, there are 183 characters. 128 of them are featured in the rooms where the sea creatures play the classic song Under the Sea.
What’s your favorite part about the New Fantasyland expansion? I’m definitely looking forward to the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train! While I will always miss Snow White’s Scary Adventures, I think it will be a great new addition to the park. Can’t wait until it finally opens!