In this article, we visit New Fantasyland – The Enchanted Forest at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. We’ll discuss the rides, dining options, characters, and shopping in this area.
The New Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom was probably more years ago than any of us would like to admit. However, what was once brand new has become a familiar extension of the park’s largest land.
With that said, Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, the land’s premier attraction, still often carries the longest wait in the park. Of course, we would likely see a slight shift in wait times if and when Tron ever drops the virtual queue.
Since Fantasyland was an original Magic Kingdom land, the New Fantasyland expansion created two new areas of the park– Storybook Circus and The Enchanted Forest.
Storybook Circus, which we cover in another article, is home to Pete’s Silly Sideshow, Dumbo-the Flying Elephant, The Barnstormer, Casey Jr’s Soak Station, Big Top Souvenirs, and Fantasyland Station, a stop on the Walt Disney World Railroad.
Additionally, an opening day attraction, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, had to close for these areas to be built. That classic dark ride had a reputation for being scary and legitimately terrifying small kids.
This article will focus on the specifics of The Enchanted Forest in New Fantasyland. Most will agree this area of the park is enchanting, even if you had no idea it was called The Enchanted Forest in the first place.
New Fantasyland – The Enchanted Forest
Here is a list of attractions and other items we’ll cover for this land:
New Fantasyland Attractions
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
Dining in New Fantasyland
- Be Our Guest
- Gaston’s Tavern
- Maurice’s Amazing Popping Machine
- Prince Eric’s Village Market
Meet and Greets
- Bonjour Village Gifts
New Fantasyland Attractions
New Fantasyland has a couple of popular attractions in addition to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. However, if you’re scrolling through the My Disney Experience app, these attractions all fall under the Fantasyland location.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a mild roller coaster attraction. It sits at the front of New Fantasyland, across the walkway from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Each of the passenger vehicles on the Mine Train looks like a barrel. This is because they are suspended, allowing them to sway back and forth, adding a surprise element to the ride.
Once you set off in the mine car, you’ll be whisked away over the mountain, through the woods, and…you guessed it–down into the mine. Here you’ll see the Seven Dwarfs hard at work mining for jewels.
From there, you’ll ascend out of the mine and can take in brief glimpses of surrounding Fantasyland, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, and the Beast’s castle in the distance.
Before you know it, you’ll race around the mountain and back to the Seven Dwarfs’ cottage. Here you can peer inside and see Snow White dancing with her friends. But be careful, the old hag is knocking at the front door!
With that said, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is not scary, and it’s a great step-up attraction from a kiddie coaster like Goofy’s Barnstormer. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has a 38″ height requirement and offers Rider Switch.
This attraction also has a Lightning Lane entrance and a regular standby queue. At the time of this update, Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is an a la carte purchase and not part of Disney Genie+.
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid is a slow-moving attraction that sits toward the back of The Enchanted Forest. A ship featuring a wooden carving of Ariel sits outside the attraction’s entrance.
Fun Facts–Prince Eric’s castle sits adjacent to the exterior of Journey of the Little Mermaid’s queue. It is one of only a few castles at Walt Disney World.
Once you reach the inside, the area features an interactive queue where you help the crabs sort out Scuttle’s collection.
As you continue into the caves under Prince Eric’s Castle, you’ll encounter a secret passage that travels under the sea! Here, you’ll board a slow-moving clamshell to experience the ride.
Ariel is featured throughout the ride in various scenes from The Little Mermaid.
You’ll also run into Ursula, Prince Eric, Sebastian, and others.
Overall, we almost always take a spin on this attraction while we’re in the area! For more details about this attraction, we have a complete ride review.
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Enchanted Tales with Belle is a must-do attraction for fans of Belle or Beauty and the Beast. This attraction is a walk-through story of sorts that’s unique to Magic Kingdom.
First, you’ll step inside Belle and Maurice’s cottage. Once inside, you’re magically transported to the Beast’s castle via a magic mirror. Any children that want to participate are welcome and encouraged to take part in the play.
After parts are assigned, you’ll enter the Beast’s library. Shhh! Nobody is supposed to know you’re there!
Lumiere then appears and introduces Belle, who helps tell the story of the day she and the Beast fell in love. A PhotoPass photographer is present and will provide guests with photo cards of the pictures taken during the story.
For more details, we have an entire walk-through with photos and videos of this experience. Note that this attraction often closes earlier than the rest of the park.
Related: Enchanted Tales with Belle
Dining in New Fantasyland
The Enchanted Forest of New Fantasyland offers a few dining spots, including one exceptionally famous table service restaurant, Be Our Guest.
Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest restaurant is the most popular dining reservation at Magic Kingdom. Almost everyone wants to dine in the Beast’s castle.
Over the years, the menu and overall experience at Be Our Guest have changed considerably. Initially, the restaurant offered an a la carte menu comparable to fine dining during dinner service.
For lunch, the restaurant transformed into a counter-service location offering tasty sandwiches and cupcakes. At one time, guests could even have breakfast at Be Our Guest.
Of course, many things have changed at Walt Disney World over the past few years. Unfortunately, Be Our Guest now only offers lunch and dinner service.
Both of those meal periods are now prix fixe menus, requiring guests to pay one expensive price for a choice of an appetizer, entree, and dessert. So while we still think everyone should have the opportunity to dine in the castle at least once, most are not a fan of the dining requirements.
Be Our Guest is made up of three dining rooms with multiple seating areas. They are the Grand Ballroom, the Castle Gallery, and the West Wing.
While Be Our Guest is not classified as character dining, the Beast often makes appearances. However, he is not guaranteed and only walks through the restaurant and waves to guests from a distance.
Of course, if you want to dine with the Disney Princesses, you might consider a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table. This restaurant sits at the base of Cinderella Castle and is also a distinct dining experience.
Related: Be Our Guest Review
Gaston’s Tavern is a fun, quick service restaurant that sits toward the back of New Fantasyland. FYI– pair of restrooms sits immediately behind this area.
Gaston’s is primarily known for two menu items. One is Le Fou’s Brew, a frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow flavor. Additionally, you can pick up a giant cinnamon roll at the tavern.
Often, I see guests sharing the warm cinnamon roll. Word of warning, they are quite sizable and appear to be a decent value for the price.
Here is the menu. You can get Lefou’s Brew served in a souvenir stein or a regular cup. Additionally, you can order a ham and cheese sandwich or the Grey Stuff Cupcake from Be Our Guest.
Fountain beverages, juice, milk, coffee, and tea are also available.
Inside Gaston’s Tavern, you’ll see a large portrait of the villain hanging above the mantle.
A huge chair for someone roughly the size of a barge sits nearby. I probably wouldn’t sit there!
You may remember he uses antlers in all of his decorating. If you’ve never stepped inside Gaston’s Tavern, you really must on your next visit. It has impeccable theming.
Maurice’s Amazing Popping Machine
Maurice’s Amazing Popping Machine is another fun contraption, I mean, snack cart that sits nearby Gaston’s Tavern. This location sells popcorn and a few other treats.
In addition to popcorn, pretzels, ice cream novelties, and various bottled drinks are available.
Prince Eric’s Village Market
Across from Journey of the Little Mermaid, we see Prince Eric’s Village Market. This is a popular location because they sell turkey legs.
In addition to turkey legs, they also have jumbo pretzels (not the Mickey-shaped ones), frozen slushies, fresh fruit cups, and pickles.
Of course, several other dining options are available nearby in Fantasyland, like Pinocchio’s Village Haus, Storybook Treats, and Friar Nooks. We’ll discuss them in a separate article covering original Fantasyland.
For more dining details, you can preview our entire list of Disney Restaurant Reviews.
Character Meet-and-Greets in New Fantasyland
Previously, several characters met in The Enchanted Forest at Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland. However, at the time of this update, only one has returned.
Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
Ariel meets as a mermaid daily at Magic Kingdom at Ariel’s Grotto. This is a permanent location that’s typically available most of the day. However, it usually closes by 8:00 p.m. You’ll want to check the My Disney Experience app for the exact times on the day of your visit.
Additionally, Ariel’s Grotto has a Lightning Lane option with the regular Disney Genie+ upgrade. Since this location often holds long waits, it’s not the worst use of a Lightning Lane if the timing fits into your schedule.
Ariel is a talking character, and she signs autographs. You can ask her about Prince Eric, Sebastian, or her friend Flounder. One time she asked me if I had a dinglehopper to comb my hair!
Related: Meet Ariel at Ariel’s Grotto
Gaston formerly met in The Enchanted Forest on the side of Bonjour Village Gifts. Unfortunately, this character meet has not returned.
However, this location is often used for special character meets during the Halloween and Christmas Parties. We have separate guides for each of those events:
- Meet Characters at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
- Meet Characters at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Bonjour Village Gifts
Across the walkway from Gaston’s Tavern sits Bonjour Village Gifts. This used-to-be charming store now offers an assortment of items with constantly changing merchandise.
Previously, this store was Beauty and the Beast-themed, offering everything from dishes to fine art. Now each display features random selections from popular animated films.
These items were available on our last visit.
A small corner at the front of the store offers a shelf with a few items previously found at this location. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy the themed boutique stores so much more than the larger ones that carry everything. Can you imagine if they put this kind of stuff in the Memento Mori gift shop at Haunted Mansion?
Hopefully, you enjoyed our tour of The Enchanted Forest and New Fantasyland. It’s an area that offers classic rides, a fun character meet, and several unique dining options.
For more information, we have an entire Magic Kingdom by land series. So far, we’ve updated the following:
- Tomorrowland Rides and More in Disney World
- Disney World’s Main Street U.S.A.
- Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland
- Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom
- Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom
- Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland
Or you might enjoy the list of Magic Kingdom rides.
In the meantime, you might enjoy our recent visit to Disney After Hours. We watched the fireworks and completed fifteen attractions during this special extra-ticket event at Magic Kingdom. (But the real fun was at the Hollywood Studios event!)
Lastly, we specialize in providing information on the Walt Disney World Resorts, Characters, and Dining. Some of our favorite resorts nearby the Magic Kingdom include:
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
In the Comments
What are your thoughts on The Enchanted Forest and New Fantasyland? Do you enjoy spending time in this area of the park?