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Enjoy an afternoon at New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom

For nearly a year, visitors to Walt Disney's original Florida project, the Magic Kingdom, have been able to enjoy a glimpse into the world of New Fantasyland. Representing the largest expansion in the 41-year history of Magic Kingdom, the spectacular new space features attractions, dining, shopping, character interactions, recreation and more laid out fairy tale-style amid waterfalls, grottoes, arched bridges, forests and circus big tops.

A glimpse of Disney's New Fantasyland-slide0
AJ Sinclair

“Here is the world of imagination, hopes and dreams. In this timeless land of enchantment, the age of chivalry, magic and make believe are reborn and fairy tales come true. Fantasyland is dedicated to the young at heart – to those who believe that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true,” stated park founder Walt Disney.

Comprised of the Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus areas, the new area was brought to life by Walt Disney Imagineers, putting guests in the middle of Disney classics and new favorites, and making memories to last a lifetime.

On a recent visit to the park, this Local Getaways Examiner was amazed by the technical detail and fully immersive environment created inside the walls of the new land. One of the newest rides in the area allows visitors to hop aboard a clamshell to venture deep into the undersea world of Ariel, and be entertained by a myriad of sea creatures even before the ride begins.

When the hungries hit, guests are able to choose everything from on-the-go eats washed down with LeFou’s Brew — a signature drink, at the quick-service Gaston’s Tavern — to elegant ballroom dining at Be Our Guest restaurant, nestled under the stars in Beast’s Castle. Of course, a visit to the New Fantasyland isn't complete without a stop at the Friar's Nook, where the most amazing macaroni and cheese in the Kingdom can be found.

Soon, the hard work of Disney's team of dwarfs will be brought to life as The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a family coaster rising in the heart of New Fantasyland, opens to the public. The current opening is slated for early May, but stay tuned for updates as they become available.

The new expansion also tripled the amount of castles in the Magic Kingdom. Across the skyline of the most popular theme park in the world, the iconic Cinderella Castle is now joined by the distant ramparts of Beast’s Castle while stately Prince Eric’s Castle looms above the grottoed entrance to Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid.

Of course, any trip to the Walt Disney World Resort isn't complete without a little pin trading. Disney Pin Trading is an exciting, interactive experience that allows guests to trade pins and share stories with Disney cast members and other enthusiasts. Many Disney cast members wear special lanyards decorated with colorful pins illustrating everything from beloved Disney characters to Disney theme park attractions. To trade pins, a guest can seek out a fellow pin collector or a cast member wearing a pin-trading lanyard and present a tradable pin in a one-for-one exchange. Each day, thousands of guests trade Disney pins with cast members and other collectors around the world.

A large selection of "core" pins typically priced between $6.50 and $8.50 is available at more than 80 Walt Disney World merchandise locations in the four theme parks, the Downtown Disney area and Disney resort hotels, including dozens of official pin trading stations where guests gather to display their collections and exchange pins.

Thousands of new Disney pins are released annually at Disney resorts around the world, including limited edition pins commemorating special occasions, holidays and Disney milestones, but the primary joy in the pastime is the experience of finding something new and exciting that helps you to remember your experience at the park.

For those of you who haven't been to the Magic Kingdom is a few years because you think you've seen it all, now is the time to plan another trip. With new and exciting things still on the horizon, it really is a world of wonder once again!

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