Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort has ten main attractions. Cinderella Castle contains a mosaic depicting the story of Cinderella and features the Cinderella's Royal Table restaurant.
Since receiving a major expansion, it is divided into three sub-areas: The Castle Courtyard that consists of most of the opening day Fantasyland attractions, the Enchanted Forest that lies beyond the borders of the Castle Wall, and the Storybook Circus that lies near the Fantasyland Railroad Station in a locale referred to in-story as Carolwood Park.
- 1 History
- 2 Attractions
- 3 Entertainment
- 4 Restaurants and refreshments
- 5 Shops
- 6 Gallery
- 7 References
When the Magic Kingdom was being designed in the late 1960s, Fantasyland was originally set to feature a different set of dark rides then Disneyland's, based on Mary Poppins, Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. However, Roy O. Disney, hoping to save costs, decided that it wasn't necessary to "redesign the wheel" and it was instead decided to create improved versions of the original Disneyland dark rides. Other unique attractions would be part of this opening day line-up including the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage and the Mickey Mouse Revue. All together, Fantasyland would open with ten attractions in 1971.
In 1980, the Mickey Mouse Revue was shipped to Tokyo Disneyland, leaving the Fantasyland Theater empty until 1987 when the Magic Journeys film was brought in from Epcot. The theater found later use for The Legend of the Lion King in 1994 and Mickey's PhilharMagic in 2003.
The 1990s would see the closure of several classic attractions. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea would close in 1994, leaving the lagoon without an attraction for over ten years. During this time, it would serve as a backdrop for the Ariel's Grotto meet and greet and the queue would be turned into the Fantasyland Character Festival meet and greet. The lagoon was eventually demolished in 2004, with Pooh's Playful Spot being installed on the site of the loading station. The Skyway would close in 1999 after years of safety and maintenance concerns. Most famously, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride would close in 1997 to be replaced by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in 1999 amid a large fan protest known as the "Save Toad" movement.
"New Fantasyland" Expansion
The area went through a large expansion and renovation between 2010 and 2014. This utilized the space of the long-removed 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage attraction and Mickey's Toontown Fair.
Conceptual artwork for the expansion shows several new additions and changes. Included is a new dark ride themed to Disney's 1989 film The Little Mermaid (also located at Disney California Adventure ), and an area themed to Disney's 1991 film Beauty and the Beast featuring the Beast's Castle with a new sit-down restaurant and Belle's cottage. There is also a rest area themed to Disney's 2010 film Tangled, and an interactive queue for Pinocchio's Daring Journey and Peter Pan's Flight.
When the expansion was originally announced on September 12, 2009, meet and greet attractions based on Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty were featured as the centerpieces of the Enchanted Forest area, located inside Cinderella's Château and Aurora's Cottage. Additionally, a Pixie Hollow area would have occupied much of Mickey's Toontown Fair. Other early plans involved expanding on the Alice in Wonderland theming near the Mad Tea Party. These concepts would be cancelled in favor of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the Storybook Circus area, with the revised expansion plan being announced on January 18, 2011.
Mickey's Toontown Fair was closed on February 11, 2011 in order to build the Storybook Circus area of the Fantasyland extension. Some elements of Mickey's Toontown Fair were demolished and others were re-themed to the new area. Storybook Circus is based on elements of the film Dumbo and other characters from the Mickey Mouse universe, and was inspired by the never-built section Dumbo's Circus Land at Disneyland. The Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride was removed from Fantasyland and rebuilt in Storybook Circus, the new version doubling the capacity of the old ride and introducing an interactive queue. The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm was renamed The Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini. Storybook Circus has been completed and became fully open to the public on October 4, 2012. The first stage was completed on March 12, 2012 ("The Barnstormer," the renovated Storybook Circus train station, and the first half of the new Dumbo ride). The second phase of Storybook Circus (the second half of Dumbo, the indoor queue area, and the Casey Jr. Splash 'n' Soak Station) opened in July 2012. The third, last and final phase (Pete's Silly Sideshow and Big Top Souvenirs) saw the completion of Storybook Circus on October 4, 2012.
Snow White's Scary Adventures closed on May 31, 2012. The original ride was removed and Princess Fairytale Hall, a new Disney Princess "meet and greet" area, opened on September 18, 2013, where the attraction previously existed. An area themed to Disney's 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs features the dwarfs' cottage and a new roller coaster ride called the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The coaster features a first-of-its-kind ride system with a train of ride vehicles that swing back and forth, responding to the twists and turns of the track. Although not part of the original plans for the new Fantasyland, this attraction will take the place of several proposed interactive Disney Princess meet and greets; these have been removed from the updated plans for the expansion. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened on May 28, 2014, completing New Fantasyland.
- September 12, 2009: At the D23 Expo, Disney officially announces plans to expand Fantasyland. It will include new rides, shows, meet and greets, restaurants, and store. Concept art is also shown.
- February 11, 2011: Mickey's Toontown Fair closes for the expansion.
- March 12, 2012: The Barnstormer, Fantasyland train station, and the first half of the new Dumbo the Flying Elephant open.
- May 31, 2012: Snow White's Scary Adventures closes to make room for the Princess Fairytale Hall.
- July 2012: Second half of the Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Storybook Circus queue, and Casey Jr Soak N Splash Station open.
- October 4, 2012: Pete's Silly Sideshow and Big Top Souvenirs open.
- December 6, 2012: Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid and Enchanted Tales with Belle open.
- March 8, 2013: Tangled themed rest area open.
- September 17, 2013: Princess Fairytale Hall opens.
- May 28, 2014: Seven Dwarf's Mine Train opens completing the Fantasyland Expansion.
- November 22, 2014: Peter Pan's Flight interactive queue opens.
- Ariel's Grotto (1995-2010, 2012-)
- Mad Tea Party (1971-)
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (2014-)
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1999-)
- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid (2012-)
- Enchanted Tales with Belle (2012-2020) (Reopening in 2022)
- Casey Jr. Splash 'n' Soak Station (2012-)
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant (1971-2012, 2012-)
- Pete's Silly Sideshow (2012-)
- The Barnstormer (1996-2011, 2012-)
- Walt Disney World Railroad (1971-)
- Cinderella Castle (1971-)
- Fairytale Garden
- It's a Small World (1971-)
- Mickey's PhilharMagic (2003-)
- Peter Pan's Flight (1971-)
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel (1971-)
- Princess Fairytale Hall
- Sword in the Stone
- Mickey Mouse Revue (1971–80)
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage (1971–94)
- Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (1971–98)
- Skyway to Tomorrowland (1971–99)
- Snow White's Adventures (1971–94)
- Snow White's Scary Adventures (1994–2012)
- Magic Journeys (1987–93)
- Storytime with Belle (1999–2010)
- Pooh's Playful Spot (2005–10)
- Tangled "Play and Greet" (2010–12)
- Merida "Meet and Greet" at Fairytale Garden
- Main Street Philharmonic at Storybook Circus
- Let the Magic Begin
- The Legend of the Lion King (1994–2002)
- Dream Along with Mickey (November 2006 - April 2, 2016)
- Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire (2016-2020)
Restaurants and refreshments
- Be Our Guest Restaurant
- Cheshire Café
- Cinderella's Royal Table
- Friar's Nook
- Gaston's Tavern
- Pinocchio Village Haus Restaurant
- Prince Eric’s Village Market
- Storybook Treats
- Hook's Tavern
- Enchanted Grove (1983-2011, replaced with Cheshire Cafe)
- Round Table (current site of Storybook Treats, 1971-1994)
- Mrs. Potts' Cupboard (1994-2010)
- Lancer's Inn (current site of Friar's Nook, 1971-1986)
- Gurgi's Munchings and Crunchings (1986-1993)
- Lumiere's Kitchen (1993-2006)
- The Village Frye Shoppe (2006-2009)
- Big Top Souvenirs
- Bonjour! Village Gifts
- Casey Jr. Railroad Mercantile
- Castle Couture
- Fantasy Faire
- Hundred Acre Goods
- Seven Dwarfs' Mine
- Sir Mickey's
- The Aristocats (1971-1996)
- The King's Gallery (1972-2006)
- Merlin's Magic Shop (1972-1986)
- Mickey's Christmas Carol (1986-1996)
- Castle Camera Shop
- Nemo's Niche
- "New Fantasy Land Soft Opening". All Ears.Net (12 October 2012).
- "Disney World’s Fantasyland expansion". WOFL FOX 35 (18 January 2011). Retrieved on 18 January 2011.
- Walt Disney World opens “Tangled” themed rest area, further expanding Fantasyland with device charging area and bathrooms Retrieved March 8, 2013
- Peter Pan’s Flight debuts new themed queue taking Walt Disney World guests through the Darlings’ house Retrieved July 8, 2015
- Smith, Thomas (10 December 2010). "New Fantasyland Expansion Update". Retrieved on 10 December 2010.
- Princess Fairytale Hall to make royal debut on Sept 18 as Walt Disney World completes new home for Cinderella, Rapunzel Inside the Magic, Retrieved September 7, 2013
- "New Fantasyland evolution: Walt Disney World modifies concepts, artwork while Magic Kingdom expansion takes shape". Retrieved on 2 March 2016.
- "New Fantasyland Celebrates One Year Anniversary at the Magic Kingdom". Retrieved on 2 March 2016.
- Smith, Thomas (2 May 2014). "Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Opens May 28 at Walt Disney World Resort". The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved on 2 May 2014.
- Smith, Thomas (30 July 2010). "New Character Experience, ‘it’s a small world’ Update at Magic Kingdom Park". 20 January 2011.