Walt Disney World opened the first new section of its massive Fantasyland expansion with little fanfare, probably because it’s not much to look at … yet. An existing roller coaster was re-themed, a new Dumbo ride added, and a new train station opened. Guests must pass a stark wall of unexciting plywood to reach the newly opened section, however, making the new rides less than magical.
On the upside, other new attractions rise above the wall, giving tourists hope for better things ahead. The sheer size of the plywood wall also holds promise – it goes on and on. The Fantasyland upgrade is not as much an expansion as the construction of a whole new land – a Fantasyland, Part 2. With the first section now open, visitors can, for the first time, appreciate the scale of the construction – and wish they’d booked a trip later to enjoy it.
- Train station. The old metal version shielded guests from the rain, but it had no personality. The new all-brick version looks like an actual train station.
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant. When completed, the old Dumbo ride will operate beside the new Dumbo ride, doubling guest capacity. For now, the old Dumbo ride in the heart of Fantasyland is gone and not yet relocated. The current ride looks shiny and fresh, though, as it awaits the arrival of its older brother.
- The Barnstomer. Featuring “Goofy as the Great Goofini,” this older coaster for kids takes on a new theme.
- Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station. Opening soon, this area gives kids the chance to play in water – essentially a swimming pool play area without an actual pool.