Last week, my family had the ultimate treat – the opportunity to check out the brand New Fantasyland during the New Fantasyland press trip. It was challenging to get there – we visited Walt Disney World over Thanksgiving when I came home sick with bronchitis, then both kids got the stomach bug, but we were finally all healthy enough to fly when it was time to go.
Our adventure started at the Art of Animation, where we checked in to our family suite in the Lion King section. My kids have been begging to stay in this brand-new hotel since we saw it in April, so I was glad to have the opportunity to stay here. We’ll definitely be staying there again – next time in the Cars section, which is definitely my favorite section.
The first night, we attended a New Fantasyland launch party at the Magic Kingdom. My kids were so excited to ride the carousel, Dumbo, and the Barnstormer that I couldn’t get them to visit some of the other parts of the park, but we were able to see the Disney Dragon, who made a one-time appearance at the party.
The next morning, we attended the opening of New Fantasyland, visited the Magic Kingdom for a few hours, and then checked out the incredible “Big Blue Pool” at the Art of Animation Resort. My daughter loved the sounds coming from under the water, courtesy of the underwater sound system. Then we got ready for the Test Track Acceleration party at Epcot. They told us there would be a special musical guest, but I couldn’t believe when they announced it was One Republic. Listening to them singing Good Life while actually at Walt Disney World was completely surreal and was the highlight of the trip for me.
As an aside – while at the party, we were seated a table away from Jo Ann Worley, who is known as the voice of the Wardrobe from Beauty and the Beauty, from Laugh In, and most recently as Nana Banana on the Disney Channel show Jessie. When my daughter and I went up to the bar for some lemonade, Jo Ann asked me where the ice cream was “because I looked like I would know”. While I tried to decide if I should be offended, my daughter was wide-eyed that a celeb was talking to us.
On Friday, we attended a presentation by Disney execs showcasing what is next for Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line, then attended a sneak preview of Splitsville, which is opening to the public December 19th in Downtown Disney. Splitsville features some great food along with bowling and billiards, and will definitely be a popular spot in Downtown Disney! The Splitsville event was the end of the official media trip, but we stayed on an extra two days and had lots of fun visiting the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios before heading home.
Disclosure: My visit to new Fantasyland was covered by Disney as part of the new Fantasyland press event. All opinions are my own.