When we visited the Magic Kingdom back in April a lot of this area was still behind scaffolding and very much under construction. Storybook Circus for example had already relocated the Dumbo ride and repurposed Goofy’s Barnstormer, but were still working on opening large parts of the Circus, while the Enchanted Forest attractions were still well under constructed. Luckily the week before our arrival the third and final phase was completed with the opening of Pete’s Silly Sideshow and the Big Top Souvenirs shop on October 4th, and the following week when several of the new attractions like the Journey of the Little Mermaid ride and the reopening of Ariel’s Grotto, along with the area themed to Disney’s 1991 film Beauty and the Beast featuring new dining experiences at the Beast’s Castle and Gaston’s tavern, or the Enchanted Tales with Belle were opened for a dress rehearsal, giving us the chance to be some of the first to poke around the New Fantasyland.
And while this dress rehearsal means no guarantee that you’ll get access to all of the attractions in the expansion – like us almost missing the chance to go on the Mermaid ride while it was temporarily closed for repairs – there are a lot of fun unexpected events occurring like Gaston’s visit to his tavern to congratulate himself for letting the guest eat at his fine establishment, that make any hiccups with the opening well worth it. Further additions however are expected with a new Disney Princess “meet and greet” Princess Fairytale Hall slated for 2013, and a new roller coaster called the Seven Dwarfts Mine Train slated for 2014.