This past weekend the new Enchanted Forest area of the New Fantasyland opened for dress rehearsals and I was lucky enough to be able to tour the area. Please join me in a tour.
Enchanted Tales With Belle
You enter the attraction through a queue that winds through the garden of Maurice’s Cottage. This brings you into the living room where you see a fireplace, stacks of books, a painting of a young Belle with her mother and many other well-themed pieces. This leads to Maurice’s Workshop. Here a CM talks about Maurice and gives the story behind each of the pieces on display. This room also holds the Magic Mirror given to Maurice by the Prince so that he can visit Belle whenever he wants. The video below doesn’t do this amazing (and very magical) piece of art justice. As the CM leads us in asking the mirror to take us to the day that Belle and the Beast fell in love, the mirror comes to life. It sparkles and glows while scenes of the countryside flash by inside; all while growing and growing. Finally the mirror opens into a doorway into the Beast’s Castle and we are invited inside.
We are then brought into the Wardrobe’s room where everyone is offered a role to play in the story of how Belle met the Beast. Children get offered the main roles, but adults can ask for a role as well. As a note, only those who take a role in the story will get their picture taken with Belle. This may change as we were told that much of what we saw may change before it opens.
Lumiere then calls us into the Beast’s Library where we will all surprise Belle and then help her re-enact the story of the day she met the Beast. The children and adults taking roles help re-enact the story and then march around the library. Once this is done, all of those who will meet Belle are introduced to her, photos are taken and each gets a special bookmark.
We are led out of the library and into a foyer filled with wall hangings telling the story. Here we were given a special Photopass card containing all the pictures taken during our visit.
This was a wonderful experience and will be well worth visiting every time you visit the new Fantasyland when it opens in December. This was magical for the children and the adults and went far beyond any expectation we have ever had with any character meet.
Be Our Guest Restaurant
We were able to tour the entrance hall and to look into the Ballroom and the Counter Service (CS) self-service ordering area. This area is extremely well-themed. Armor lines the wall of the CS ordering area and the hallway itself is amazing with stained glass, artwork, tapestries, statuary and a true feel of being in the Castle. The ballroom is amazing! The chandelier is there, high above and you can picture Belle and Beast dancing the night away. I can’t wait to see more of this amazing restaurant during the tours in November.
Gaston’s Tavern and Courtyard
You’re greeted by Gaston himself meeting guests as you enter this area. A beautiful fountain featuring Gaston and LeFou sits center with Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts surrounding. Gaston’s Tavern features the amazing LeFou’s Brew; an excellent combination of No-Sugar Added frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow and topped with a Mango-Passion fruit foam. This was very delicious and the frozen concoction was very welcome on a hot day. Snacks and soda are also served here including the new (and I’m sure soon to be famous) roasted pork shank. This is as big as the turkey leg and everyone who ordered one raved. You can also get a huge cinnamon bun frosted in a maple glaze. Another place where you can certainly see the characters sitting here and enjoying their time with Gaston.
Bonjour! Village Gifts
This is a gift shop unlike most others. A mixture of the usual items but along with artwork, figurines, glassware, dinnerware and more; all themed to Beauty and the Beast. And the shop is amazingly themed as you can see.
In this area you’ll also find the restroom area for the ‘Enchanted Forest’ area of the expansion. And you wouldn’t know it was a restroom area at glance. You wander into an area of village ‘homes’ and a quiet restful and shaded area.
Ariel and Eric’s Castle
As you cross the bridge into this area you change from a village in France to a seashore castle. This area has the newest ride attraction, Under the Sea – The Journey of the Little Mermaid along with Ariel’s Grotto, the new area to meet Ariel.
Journey of the Little Mermaid
This is an amazing ride. As you enter the attraction, you wander through an interactive queue that provides fun and distraction. Once inside, you sit in a clamshell reminiscent of the shells on The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot. You ride through the entire story of The Little Mermaid with a wonderful show combining animatronics, CGI graphics and film.
The new indoor area to meet Ariel. No more waiting in the heat and this offers yet another immersive experience that even makes the wait enjoyable.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my ‘tour’ and I hope you all get a chance soon to visit the Enchanted Forest and the New Fantasyland. Share