new fantasyland

Storybook Circus – Dumbo The Flying Elephant, More Details

Dumbo The Flying Elephant - Storybook Circus
A little tilt-shift fun. It’s really beautiful at night.

I’ve already posted my general overview of the soft-opened Storybook Circus area of New Fantasyland, but Disney is in the details and Storybook Circus has a lot of them. To capture more of that magic, I want to loop back and go into more depth with each attraction starting with Dumbo The Flying Elephant. So here’s another photo update of the newly re-imagineered classic.

Dumbo The Flying Elephant - Storybook Circus
The area isn’t even finished, but it already looks beautiful at night.

I also took a couple of videos:

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Storybook Circus Soft Opening Update

Storybook Circus - New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
A new poster lays out current and future attractions, stores, and dining coming to Storybook Circus. I love that Humphrey the Bear is there. I wonder if he’s replaced The Three Little Pigs who were featured on previous posters.

Took a few days of vacation last week, but returned just in time for the Magic Kingdom to do a soft opening of the first small portion of the New Fantasyland expansion on Tuesday. Storybook Circus opened half of the relocated Dumbo – The Flying Elephant. The Barnstormer returned with its new Great Goofini theme, and the Fantasyland Train Station returned with new restrooms and a tribute to Walt’s past.

This portion of Storybook Circus was not supposed to open until March 24th or so. But hotel occupancy forecasts that revised the Spring Break crowd expectations upwards forced Disney to race ahead and open the attractions 12 days early. I must say that every cast member was up to the task and very helpful. Details are obviously still being worked out in a few places, but signs of fore-thought were abundant too. All in all a great effort and result from Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom.

There are so many great details, I took a ton of photos and still didn’t capture but a fraction. You may have already seen a few in my post made live from the park yesterday. I’m not sure how many parts this post will have, but I know it will be more than one. So let’s get to it.

Here is a sort of overview of what I saw today, we’ll come back in and fill in the gaps in future posts.

Storybook Circus - New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
The first sign guests got that today would be different, was a new guidemap with an old image of Dumbo on the cover.

Storybook Circus - New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Inside, the map reflects the soft opened area of the New Fantasyland expansion. They even show only one side of Dumbo being open. However, #35 has a caveat.

Read More »Storybook Circus Soft Opening Update

Storybook Circus Soft Opening Photos

With spring break crowds already in town, the Magic Kingdom put the rush on to open at least part of Storybook Circus to help alleviate the crush. Here are some of the first photos to hit the net. More later!

Magic Kingdom Update – Rolling Through The Park (Part 1)

Have a long photo update from Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World this week. At least two parts, possibly three. So let’s get right to it.

Click to Embiggen. Cinderella Castle is looking particularly lovely after the holiday lights have been removed and some touch up done. But what really has my attention is in the lower right corner.

Click to Embiggen. The serpent is in extra fine form. Love how the blue flowers make that water effect. Trivia Question: At what resort in Orlando can you find another Disney serpent?

Read More »Magic Kingdom Update – Rolling Through The Park (Part 1)

Magic Kingdom Photo Update – Making Progress to New Fantasyland Opening (Part 2)

In part one of this week’s update we visited The Main Street Firehouse which has its firefighter badges back, Storybook Circus which is moving steadily toward a spring opening, and then the construction across from Peter Pan where new restrooms will go. We’ll pick up right there, remember the photos have larger versions if you click on them…

This brown wall is where a second access to Fantasyland will be located. I’m a bit unclear how traffic patterns are going to work in this area with the haunted mansion queue often taking up this whole space in the summer. But I’m sure they’ve thought of that… right?

That foliage clearing has made the pet cemetery decidedly less spooky.

Read More »Magic Kingdom Photo Update – Making Progress to New Fantasyland Opening (Part 2)

Magic Kingdom Photo Update – making progress to New Fantasyland opening (Part 1)

Have a long update from our visit to the Magic Kingdom this weekend. So long it’s going to take at least two posts (Update: here’s part two)  to get it all in. Nearly every pic has a larger version if you click on it to help you see the detail since some of the photos are taken from a distance due to construction walls and what not.

There are still many tarps and bridges under construction around the park. I didn’t take new photos of Main Street or Adventureland, but there is still work under way in both locations.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom was option for play testing again today. They continue to refine the check-in process. Remember to bring your Sorcerer’s Key along with your deck. You an ask for five cards for every member with a valid admission, but they default to just give you five cards per party. While it’s still only on the ‘easy’ level, if you have a 4-10 year old this is a lot of fun. For older kids (adults too) it’s a great collectible. Addicting, really.

The good news is that the Firefighter patches have been returned to the FireHouse.

Read More »Magic Kingdom Photo Update – making progress to New Fantasyland opening (Part 1)

Magic Kingdom Weekend Update – Part II

Yesterday we saw a few of the changes coming to the Magic Kingdom in part one of the update. Today we dive deep into Fantasyland and the expansion we’re all waiting to explore. Dumbo’s courtyard home is almost a memory now. The construction walls now… Read More »Magic Kingdom Weekend Update – Part II

Magic Kingdom Weekend Update – Part I

Had a great time in the Magic Kingdom today (once I got into the MK at least). There are plenty of noteworthy changes at the park: the new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom was open for guests in testing mode, construction was going full bore, and a few surprises were in order. This is a long update with 28 pictures. So I broke it up into two parts. But it might become three or more, who knows. Stay tuned.

Alright then. On with the show.

We arrived at the TTC only to find the Express and Resort monorail lines down. Everyone was being directed to the ferry boats. Without knowing how long the monorails would be down for, we decided to take the ferry.

A giant crane hanging over Cinderella Castle is not really what you want to see when you’re arriving at the Magic Kingdom.

However, when you’re arriving via ferry boat, this is an even worse sight — a ferry still in the dock. We didn’t have to wait as long this week as we did last week (about 6 minutes of waiting this time, about 12 minutes last week). But even more frustrating was the fact that both monorail lines came back to life while we were stuck in the middle of the lake and started delivering guests from TTC to the main entrance ahead of us.

With both a monorail and a ferry arriving at the same time bag check lines were long. I chose a shorter queue, but ended up waiting even longer than most as the Security Guard actually found something prohibited in a bag a few people in front of me. A small glass bottle of alcohol (serious, sneak it in in your pockets or a plastic container if you have to people. You’re not frisked, just your bags) and a mid-sized kitchen knife. There was also a little bit of a language barrier. Everything was handled professionally, but with only limited bag check lines open, it was just upping my frustration level to stuck in a line that was not be moving.

I know we hit the trifecta of bad luck, but I have to think that a guest’s arrival at the park is an area of the show still in need of much work. Starting off with a frown on your face is a bummer, you know.

Finally, we saw this sign and I mentally prepared myself for immersion in the magic.

Let’s get into the magic below the jump:

Read More »Magic Kingdom Weekend Update – Part I