Hi guys! Long time, no see.
So we went to Orlando for the Food and Wine Festival (awesome as always) and then went to Magic Kingdom on Sunday. Low and behold, a "dress rehearsal" in progress since Friday for parts of the Fantasyland Expansion. My impressions:
- The general theming/decorating attractiveness of the area exceeded my expectations. Everything looked lovely, and seemed to organically blend with the rest of Fantasyland. This is done with a little entrance area that has the same make-up as Cinderella's castle, a good idea, really. It makes it look like the expansion has always been there and wasn't just tacked on.
- Gaston's Tavern was delightful, complete with "antlers in all of his decorating" and Gaston himself greeting guests outside. I really felt immersed in the film, nicely done! The cinnamon rolls are delish, by the way! I noticed they were selling some kind of concoction clearly intended to compete with Butterbeer. Didn't try it, didn't feel like spending the ten bucks (was broke from food and wine festival)
- We got to see the "Be Our Guest" dining room, and let me just say, Holy Cow, it was AMAZING! I really can't adequately describe it. It looked EXACTLY like the ballroom from the film, brought to life. It is STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL. I was ready to get married there, forget eating in my shorts and t-shirt with a bunch of other sweaty guests. This room is worthy of royalty!
- The Little Mermaid ride is, as far as I can remember, exactly like the one in California, once you board your "clam" (that is to say, it ain't that impressive). But the queue, castle and surrounding area are light-years better than DCA; much as the surrounding area and queue of Tower of Terror is better in Orlando than DCA. Very pretty, very immersive, very true to the film. Again, nicely done! We got to do the ride twice; the first without incident. The second time, it broke down and we had to be escorted out. Hey, that's why they have soft openings, right?
- The Beasts Castle is (as, I believe, King Eric said quite some time ago) completely ridiculous looking. If they intended it to look large and far away, they failed here terribly. It looks like a child's toy perched on top of a bunch of rock. Unless they are somehow not done, and will be adding more elements to force the perspective more? I hope so, it really looks plain silly right now.
- We did not experience the princess meet-n-greet; there was quite a wait, and no one in my party was interested.
- The Dwarf Coaster doesn't look half way done, so I guess a long wait for that one. Too bad, because it will be quite some time before one can see the whole effect of the expansion, because the coaster is "front and center" and kind of blocks everything else.
Anyway, so glad we picked this weekend to go to Food and Wine Festival, and I can't wait for it ALL to be finished! I really do think it's going to be amazing!