Over 400 Photos of New Fantasyland Soft Opening from Earlier Today!

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WDWNT Reporter Adam Roth was on the scene for a soft opening of New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom earlier today, so get ready for an exhaustive look at Gaston’s Tavern, Bonjour Village Gifts, Ariel’s Grotto, Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, and Scuttle’s Scavenger Hunt in photos:

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We begin with a popcorn cart! We know this is what you waited for…

A nearby seating area

One permanent looking wall on the Mine Train side

Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid


The details are stunning

We know…

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Cool sign

A full color Ariel on the front of a shipwreck

The backside of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Ariel’s Grotto had a 20 minute wait

Not working yet

Cool sign

Attraction exit for the ride

More Mine Train

The village off in the distance

Bridge to the Be Our Guest Restaurant

This is the Magic Kingdom?

It’s so purty…

The entrance to Be Our Guest Restuarant

This is detail at the Tokyo DisneySea level

Looks like this will be the check-in desk for the restaurant

Mine Train track

Enchanted Tales with Belle got signage

Lumiere Lamp!

The wait time sign is a bird house that looks like their house!

We’ve already seen this…

The backside of Castle Wall

FastPass isn’t running yet, but eventually will be distributed at Mickey’s Philharmagic along with Under the Se: Journey of the Little Mermaid

Another look at Mine Train

Big open path for guests to enter the land today

Stroller parking has to be done outside of the new area for now

We’ll be back in a few…

Work continues on Princess Fairytale Hall

Still there

Little Mermaid merchandise is now available at Sir Mickey’s



Back to New Fantasyland

Over the bridge again

Amazing tile mosiac

A look across the bridge

Menu is out

Gaston greeting guests

I love this photo…

Let’s eat!

Pork shanks and LeFou’s Brew are the specialty

A look at the menu

Looks better than a turkey leg…

cinnamon bun!

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You can wimp out and get your brew in a generic cup…


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The interior looks just like the film


Antlers is all of his decorating!

This guy looks down in the dumps…

Antler chandelier

There are antlers made of stained glass…

LeFou is losing

Gaston’s hat

Inside Bonjour Village Gifts

Exclusive merchandise

Gargoyle candle holders and picture frames

There is a tribute to long-tim Magic Kingdom Vice-President Phil Holmes

Lots of hidden references we’ll get to…

Back to Mermaid

I hate to say this, but it reminds me of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea…


Speaking of 20,000 Leagues… THE NAUTILUS!

A second hidden Nautilus submarine in the Magic Kingdom, the other is in the tree at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

We love themed pavement

This queue is incredible

This is the interactive queue element

We’ll keep our eyes peeled

I have a feeling we’ll be looking in these windows for something

A Scuttle animatronic in the queue for Scuttle’s Scavenger Hunt

Cool detail

The loading area

Stingrays on the moving walkway

If you want to see the full ride, we have a video available

The ride includes the recent changes to the DCA version, including Ariel’s new hair

Other than a few minor changes, the ride portion is the same

King Triton has a very different beard in this version…

We’ll be back


Back to Ariel’s Grotto


The water is a little murky right now

Water features everywhere!

Storybook Circus looms in the distance

The backside of Mine Train

This might be the most beautiful queue ever made

Even with Mine Train not finished, the setting is visually stunning

Scuttle’s footprints in the pavement

We can’t stop looking at it! Apparently the song “Whale of a Tale” is in the area music loop as well…

Event the water fountains are themed…

So, here is the interactive queue element

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Through projection technology, you can point out items that shouldn’t be there

The little crabs will pick up and take away the stuff if you point to it

Some old legends about the sea are written on the roof of this rotunda

The mural looks fantastic

No hidden Mr. Limpet figure in Florida… :(

The audio-animatronic Flotsam and Jetsam weren’t working yet


I can’t get over his beard…

Back to Ariel’s Grotto

I love that Gaston gave the statue to the town… of himself…

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Even though it wasn’t open, cast members were happy to show off the Be Our Guest menu

A themed tarp under the bridge until work is done on Mine Train



This is amazing…

This is my favorite sign ever…

A beautiful restroom building

What a water fountain

The village is intricately detailed

We’ll be looking at this for a while…

So, the hidden details in the Phil Holmes portrait, there is a Magic Lamp, peanuts, and an apple. We assume these are nods to Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, and Dumbo/Storybook Circus

He has a ring to celebrate his 40 years with the Magic Kingdom, and we assume the portrait celebrates him signing off on the New Fantasyland project

There’s a map in the book that includes Mickey’s Toontown (No Fair) and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Belle’s Village is right behind the Mermaid queue

Scuttle talks to guests while interactive crabs remove items



Bonjour Village Gifts

The cast member costumes look great

Plenty of Beauty and the Beast merchandise available

Be Our Guest restaurant plates and cups

There is Phil

Gaston’s Tavern shirt!

Another one

Eco-friendly printing

A French book on display

Looks like it is Beauty and the Beast


We end as we started… WITH POPCORN!

Coverage won’t end for New Fantasyland here, we will continue to cover the preview period up until the grand opening of New Fantasyland on December 6th! We still have yet to see the Be Our Guest Restaurant, so stay tuned!

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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