There are many reasons I love Walt Disney World. Probably one of the biggest reasons is it gives our family an opportunity to escape from the troubles of the real world even if just for a few days. The “Disney Bubble” as we call it refreshes and renews us and gives us much needed down time from reality.
As a travel planner I’m often asked if families with older children should allow time to visit Fantasyland. My answer every single time is – YES! Tucked away in back of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom this particular land embodies the spirit of Disney. While the attractions may be based on children’s fairy tales the stories and characters are beloved by all, regardless of age. We find that good always conquers evil, princesses overcome troubles just like the rest of us, elephants can fly and it really is a small world after all.
My touring plan for the Magic Kingdom always suggests beginning the day in Fantasyland. Park opening will be the least crowded time of the day for this area of the park. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to be at park opening then visit late in the evening. Two of the FastPasses on my recommendation list are in Fantasyland: Peter Pan and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. These particular attractions see some of the longer lines in the park. These lines begin growing quickly at park opening and do not usually let up during the day.
Fantasyland is also home to two of the most popular restaurants at Walt Disney World, Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table. Be Our Guest gives guests the opportunity to dine in one of several themed rooms in Beast’s Castle from Beauty and the Beast. Breakfast and lunch are quick service and dinner is table service. While not technically a character meal Beast does greet guests in a side room during dinner time only. Reservations are a must for dinner and this is the only quick service restaurant (breakfast and lunch) that requires reservations as well. Cinderella’s Royal Table is hosted by Cinderella and her princess friends inside of the castle. This is considered a “signature” dining experience. Reservations for both restaurants can be made 180 days in advance and meals do book up very quickly.
This land is also where you will find Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiue. Here a fairy godmother in training will transform little girls (ages 3 – 12) into princesses and little boys into royal knights. This can be booked 180 days in advance and reservations are highly recommended.
There are over a dozen attractions and shows in Fantasyland. You’ll find everything from flying with Peter Pan, to a run away train through the Seven Dwarfs diamond mine, to a ride in a honey pot along Pooh’s adventures, to spinning tea cups, to drifting in a clam shell through Ariel’s story, to a horse ride on a royal carousel. Several princesses have meet and greets in Fairytale Hall and you might even be chosen to help tell a story along with Belle. All of the attractions you encounter here are timeless, well known fairy tales that are the anchor of what Disney really is all about – happy endings.
Next time you visit Walt Disney World, no matter what your age or stage in life, take time to visit the enchanted land of Fantasyland. Your worries will disappear for a while and you’ll be transported back to a much simpler time and place. Enjoy it – this is what makes Disney magical.
My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a travel planner with Travel with the Magic. Disney is my specialty. I’ve visited Walt Disney World over 25 times and I love sharing my passion with my clients. My planning services are completely free when using me as your travel planner. Contact me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com and follow along on facebook for tips, tricks and fun!