Disney fans have a new reason to visit the Magic Kingdom! The latest addition to Fantasyland will be opening to the general public on December 6th, with I’m sure, great fanfare to welcome Belle, Beast and Gaston, as well as Ariel and all her friends. With a mountain top castle in the background, you weave your way through a Disney maze to enter Belle’s childhood home. As you enter her house you venture through a magical mirror, chat with a talking dresser, then, if you’re really lucky, chosen to take part in an interactive play with Belle herself! My girls got to play the parts of enchanted portraits and loved hamming it up in the production. The people chosen were a riot and the audience participation was a fantastic combination to keep us all entertained with the story of Beauty and the Beast.
From there we made our way over to Gaston’s Tavern, which looks exactly as you would imagine with Disney-styled trophy heads adorning the walls and a mid-game darts scoreboard (with Gaston winning, of course!). Since we had arrived at the park early to take part in a special Passholders Preview, we opted to visit the Tavern for a quick bite to eat. We ordered two MASSIVE cinnamon rolls at $3.99 each and four adults and two very hungry kids couldn’t even finish them! We passed on LaFou’s Brew – an apple, passion fruit, mango juice with a special marshmallow topping. Although it didn’t appeal to us, several people who were trying it actually said it was really tasty.
Next we headed for the new Under the Sea ride, starring Ariel, Flounder, King Trident Ursula and of course, Prince Eric. As you make your way through the line, there are beautiful shells that make up the pathway and an interactive section to keep kids busy while they wait. The ride had all of our favorite songs and we loved singing our way through numerous scenes from the movie. One part has the animatronics done so well, it really looks like Ariel is floating as she dances while Sebastian leads the crowd singing away. There’s another section that we didn’t visit where you can meet Ariel, but we only had the option of two out of three of the adventures.
Be Our Guest, the new restaurant is absolutely stunning. Huge wooden doors open to welcome you into a dining room filled with painted ceilings, murals, statues, and fabulous chandeliers. There are a total of three different rooms to eat in, so I’m sure once the opening weeks are over, this will be a go-to place for us to eat at. Be Our Guest looks features a delicious menu including items like croquet monsieur, French onion soup, meatloaf and braised pork. Lunch will be more casual with diners ordering via touch screens, while dinner will be table service – a first for this style of restaurant for Disney.
Rollercoaster fans will have to wait until 2014 for The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to unveil this ride, but from the looks of the construction going on, it’s going to be awesome! The area is also home to several already-open features including an interactive splash area, playground and two Dumbo rides.
So, yes, there will be lines. Yes, little kids and their grown-ups will love it (not so sure for tween boys – a bit frilly for them). And yes, the food we tried was delicious. All in all, it’s another win for Disney.
* We did not receive monetary compensation or product for this review. Erin attended the Passholder Preview to facilitate this review. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ. All photos taken by Erin Ryan unless otherwise noted.