The New Fantasyland is Turning my Touring Plan Upside Down

Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

The iconic Cinderella Castle, photographed aboard the WDW ferryboat. Photo by Mouze Kateerz

My family’s loose, go-to, touring schedule is getting a shake-up this year with the opening of the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland.

The Basics. Three (sometimes four) adults, and two small kids. We have six days at Walt Disney World and spend two at Magic Kingdom, and one each at the other parks. Throw in a Downtown Disney or a rest day in the middle of the trip and we have a tried and true formula that works for our family. Since our children are six and under, we never spend a full day at the parks but take a break in the afternoon before heading back for a great meal and perhaps some relaxed touring in the evening.

The Problem. Given our relaxed touring plan, it’s tough to experience all our favorites every trip and we sometimes feel rushed trying to squeeze everything in. Unfortunately, Epcot usually gets the least attention and it’s my husband’s and my favorite park.

Our problem is now exacerbated by the addition of the New Fantasyland attractions that will be opening throughout the next couple of years. We’ll need to try the new Dueling Dumbos, the reimagined Barnstormer with the Great Goofini, Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Coaster, Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, and also try the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom – all in the name of research, of course!
So, do I have to cut out even more family favorite attractions, extend the length of time we tour each day, or skip one of the other theme parks to see and do everything the Fantasyland expansion offers? None of the above options are very appealing.

Our Solution: We’re going to extend our week-long trip to ten days this year and see how thing work out. Although all the New Fantasyland attractions won’t be open this fall, it’ll give us more time to explore the Storybook Circus and Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom while re-visiting old favorites like Carousel of Progress that we don’t get experience to every year.

Airfare is expensive so extending our trip is more economical than making two separate trips. We are also fortunate to be Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members and Annual Passholders so adding additional days has a smaller financial impact. However, I cannot help but wonder how other families will adjust their vacation plans with the addition of the new attractions in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland. I’d love to read your thoughts!

Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers and a columnist for WDW Fan Zone. When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe. You can follow her on Twitter @DisneyExplorer or become a fan of Beyond the Attractions on Facebook.

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