The grand opening of the New Fantasyland in Walt Disney World is causing a ton of excitement for Disney nuts like myself. With limited previews beginning on November 19th and the official grand opening on December 6th, I’ve been (im)patiently waiting as the Disney Parks Blog shares new information about this area each week.
A few weeks ago, with a little bit of luck and some fantastic timing, the girls and I had an amazing opportunity to “go behind the wall” to participate in a testing/demo of The Enchanted Tales with Belle experience – opening in a few months as part of the Beauty & the Beast section of New Fantasyland.
Behind the Wall
As a cast member kindly explained to me – it was technically a “work in progress”. So, with tears in my eyes and a pounding heart, I walked “behind the wall”. It was surreal – the pictures I had been gushing over for months were a reality and right in front of me. (Yes, I cried.)
The main focus was Maurice’s cottage, but I could see small portions of the Little Mermaid area and the entrance for the Be Our Guest restaurant. I was also excited to see workers laying the track for the new Snow White Mine Train ride scheduled to open in 2014.
As we made our way toward Belle’s father’s house, I couldn’t help but notice the great attention to detail. From the wishing well, to the horseshoes and corn cobs imprinted in the walkway to the cottage. Maurice, ever the inventor and master of re-using, items were seen throughout the cottage area.
Inside Maurice’s Cottage
With Beast’s castle off in the distance, we made our way into the cottage and found ourselves surrounded by mementos of Belle’s childhood and a stunning portrait of her as a child with her mother. (I cried here too.)
Exploring the cottage, we saw books and even Maurice’s blueprints. Maggie was in awe to be “inside” Belle’s house… and honestly, I was too! My favorite piece in the house were the marks on the wall measuring Belle’s height throughout the years.
After a short time, the cast member lead us into Maurice’s shop where we learned about a magical mirror given to Maurice from the Beast allowing him to check in on his daughter at the castle. And that’s where the real magic began!
For more pictures of my experience, check out my Disney World New Fantasyland Photo Album on the Carrie with Children Facebook page.
Check back tomorrow as a I share the story of how we met Madame Dresser and the real star of the show – Belle!