Storybook Circus was the first area of the expanded Fantasyland area to open a few attractions at the Magic Kingdom. The backstory for the area is that a small circus has come to the small midwest town of Carolwood Park. Over the last few weeks, many of the final details have been added, but the land wasn’t completely open yet.
It’s still not completely open, but yesterday they opened Big Top Souvenirs and the new Fastpass distribution tent for the land. All that remains now is a little landscaping and Pete’s Silly Sideshow, the character meet and greet for the land.
When Imagineering originally wanted to redo the Toontown Fair area, the numbers folk at the park asked that they keep the large tent store since it’s one of the best performing stores per square foot in the park. So the imagineers compromised, give us the budget to really make the tent themed to a circus and we’ll redo our plans for the area to keep the tents.
The same attention to detail in the rest of Storybook Circus is carried through to the newly opened areas. The yellow tent has some kid sized tables to rest at and a great mural. Also, be sure to look up and see the use of lamps inside. Other than Fastpass Machines there’s not a lot going on here. But it’s my understanding more could be coming.
The Big Top Souvenirs store looks glorious with a lot of filigree and circus elements spread around for effect. If you notice, many of the shelves are themed to animal cars.
As for food offerings, they’ve added a candy and dessert kitchen in the middle of the store. They make candy apples, caramel corn, and other treats fresh all day. There was also a selection of Storybook Circus specific merchandise including t-shirts, mugs, kids clothes, and more.
You’ll also notice the cast members have new costumes specific to the store. They also had a fun scrip to follow with guests being welcomed like they were actually visiting a circus. That’s a nice touch and I hope it sticks around past the opening day crew.
A few nitpicks. There are no soda dispensers in the land. Everything is sold by the bottle. This may not mean much, but it does mean you have to walk to Tomorrowland or Fantasyland to get a cup of soda or ice water. All the food is desert or snack oriented and much of it is sugary. The interior of the Yellow tent is very very lightly themed. It’s a bit too much for just a fastpass distribution, but not really themed enough to make sense in the overall story.
Those are minor things overall. I can’t wait for the meet and greet to open and see what sets they’ve created. There’s also a fun musical organ that looks like it will fill up the area with fun circus sound. When the whole land is open Disney will finally have achieved a circus themed area that actually works.