In November I was the lucky getter of a ticket to the Fantasyland Annual Passholder review. I had tickets for Saturday night, November 10.
The admission started at 5:00 PM, but first you needed to get your wrist band at the Ticket and Transportation Center. I found this to be a complete pain in the butt! I was staying on property so took a bus to the Magic Kingdom and then had to take the Monorail to the T&TC to get a wrist band and then took the boat back to the Magic Kingdom. Of course all of the transportation was running slow adding to the frustration.
But once there everything went smoothly.
My first order of business was to get a reservation for Be Our Guest. While waiting for the bus I heard people talking and saying that had gotten same day reservations for the restaurant so once I saw the line at the entrance to the restaurant I jumped on it and got an 8:15 reservation. I also did the walk through of the quick service ordering area, which was really cool. You walk through a hallway with armor, and the “knights” talk to each other. The room where you order is a room from Beast’s Castle, which is of course the whole theme of the restaurant.
|Hey, she’s kinda cute!|
|The room where you order during lunch|
After my walk through I went to Gastons Tavern and had the La Fou drink, very tasty, but it is sweet, more of a kids drink. The souvenier cups were kinda cheap though. In the front of Gaston’s was Gaston himself. I did get my photo with him while he told me what I pleasure it was for me to get my picture with him. Very nice job! Inside the tavern there were animal heads and anything that Gaston could think of to promote himself, very fun. I did think the seating here was limited though, I’m sure it will be insanely crowded when this area opens for the public.
After Gastons I partook in some Little Mermaid; first I rode the Voyage of the Little Mermaid ride, twice. The queue was well themed but I thought there might be a little more interaciton in it. But its fine for adults with iPhones as long as you get a signal, which I didn’t always have. The ride has the same set up as the Finding Nemo ride in Epcot, including the clam shell ride vehicles. On the ride you go “under the sea” and go through the story of the movie. They use a bit of video, music, and mostly animatronics or as I think of them, moving action figures. It’s a nice ride, particularly for kids. Though I did get a bit sick of it after riding the 4th time. There was no line so I figured I had to take advantage of the opportunity to ride it as much as possible.
Next I waited 20 minutes to get my photo with Ariel, another nice queue but with nothing interactive. Ariel was quite nice and even hugged me.
Finally it was time to wait in line for Enchanted Tales with Belle. This is a very different attraction, it was fun and interactive and I think will have VERY long lines when this section opens to the public. After waiting 30 minutes you get to Belle’s house, which is decorated in the typically well themed style that you would expect from Disney, including lots of Belle’s books. The pre-show has 2 stages. The first stage you are you Maurice’s work room and get an introduction to the experience. From there you go to another room with Wardrobe. Here a Cast Member assigns roles to members of the audience, I would estimate about 1/3 of guests are assigned a role, such as Mrs. Potts, Chip, a guard, or the beast. Mostly they use kids, but some adults were used too. The benefit was that anyone who participated got a picture with Belle after the show (and any little kids who were in the audience.)
The theme of the show was a surpise to Belle of telling a story, incidently the story of Bell and Beast and is narrated by Lumiere. The guest perforformers are prompted by cast members for their parts as Lumiere tells the story and Belle acts fascinated by the whole event. It was actually a lot of fun and well done. It’s also a completely unique experience at the parks.
My last mission in Fantasyland was to eat at Be Our Guest. My waiter was Chris and other then the service being on the slow side for a single person dining alone, it was a great experience. I was seated in the ballroom section of the restaurant, which was themed after the, you guessed it, the ballroom! There is also a West Wing (the one Beast flips out in) and another room that I couldn’t place the themeing of, but looked very nice. One of the waitresses there said that they weren’t going to use that room for dinner, only for lunch. I had the grilled strip steak, which was delicious and the strawberry cream cheese cupcake which was good but had a weird wrapper.
Finally, I want to say that the overall themeing of Fantasyland was very Fantasyland like. I expected the area to be a bit bigger, but when you consider the mine ride and the enchanted forest are not yet completed, and if you add in Storybook Circus the area is actually HUGE. I think it will be a very crowded area when it opens for quite some time and for good reason. If you can get into Be Our Guest, I think you’ll enjoy the experience, but again I think you’ll need to get there early for lunch and you’ll need to call first thing in the morning for a dinner reservation.