On October 1 this year, Walt Disney World celebrated its 50th anniversary and began an 18-month celebration; and while the four parks take part in the festivities, the 50-year milestone belongs only to some places in the most magical place on earth.
In 1971, Walt Disney World opened with two resorts and a park: the Magic Kingdom. Inspired by the original Disneyland park in Anaheim, California, the Magic Kingdom debuted with its own version of Main Street, USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland and Tomorrowland, along with its own unique land: Liberty Square.
In previous posts, I’ve dealt with Then and Now: 50 Years of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, Adventureland, Liberty Square, Frontierland, and today I continue my virtual walk through the park with a stop at the most famous land of all the parks: Fantasyland!
So what is Fantasyland?
Fantasyland is located just behind Cinderella Castle and is where guests enjoy attractions and scenery inspired by Disney fairy tale movies.
Today, the land consists of three subsections: the castle courtyard (located behind the castle), the enchanted forest (past the walls of the castle border) and the storybook circus (located between Journey of the Castle). mermaid and Tomorrowland).
Although the Magic Kingdom is home to several attractions during the opening day and some of the park’s most iconic attractions, the land itself has undergone quite a few changes since 1971.
Facts about Fantasyland:
Fet núm. 1: While most say Magicland’s Fantasyland opened with 10 attractions, technically it only opened with nine:
- Mickey Mouse magazine
- 20,000 leagues under the sea: submarine voyage
- Mr. Toad’s wild walk
- The Skyway
- The scary adventures of Snow White
- Dumbo the flying elephant
- It’s a small world
- Crazy tea party
- Charming carousel Gift
Although Peter Pan’s flight is considered an opening day attraction, it didn’t actually open until October 3, 1971. So only 4 OG Fantasyland attractions still operate today.
Fet núm. 2: Unlike the original 20,000-league underwater attraction from Disneyland to Tomorrowland, the Magic Kingdom version was in Fantasyland and featured a 1954 film-inspired sub-design.
The attraction finally closed in 1994 leaving its lagoon abandoned, except for a meeting and a greeting from the adjacent Little Mermaid and a fountain from King Triton. It was later filled in and used for the New Fantasyland / Enchanted Forest of Earth that opened in 2012.
Fact # 3: Magic Kingdom’s Skyway consisted of four-person cubes transporting guests on one-way trips between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Guests would board the Skyway to Fantasyland from a Tomorrowland station and the Skyway to Tomorrowland from the Fantasyland chalet station, which today houses the Tangled Baths.
Fact # 4: From October 1, 1971 to 1997, Cinderella’s Royal Table operated under a surprisingly different name: King Stefan’s Banquet Hall. So why was Cinderella’s father’s restaurant in Cinderella’s castle? We are as confused as you.
Fact # 5: Mickey Mouse Revue was an opening day audio-animatronics program where a series of Disney characters performed songs from the Disney songbook. Unfortunately, it was one of the first Fantasyland opening attractions to be replaced when it closed in 1980.
Facts about Fantasyland now:
Fet núm. 1: For those who haven’t been to the Magic Kingdom in a few decades, current Fantasyland is home to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (which replaced Mr. Toad’s wild ride), Princess Fairytale Hall (which replaced the scary adventures of Snow White), and Mickey’s Philharmagic (which replaced Mickey Mouse Revue and its later occupants), and more!
Fet núm. 2: Even though Snow White’s terrifying adventures are no longer in operation, guests can still immerse themselves in the world of Snow White with the train of the seven dwarf mine. It even includes several accessories from the dark OG promenade.
Fact # 3: In the late 1980s, Fantasyland expanded to include Mickey’s Birthdayland along with a new additional train station. The station was maintained and is still there today, although the bonus land has gone through several iterations before being transformed into a Storybook Circus. It is also home to two versions of Dumbo the Flying Elephant from Fantasyland.
Fact # 4: Today, Fantasyland hosts three castles. In addition to Cinderella, the enchanted forest of Fantasyland is the place where guests find the castle of the beast Beauty and the Beast and Be Our Guest Restaurant, as well as Prince Eric Castle, where the Under the Sea: Journey of The Little Mermaid is located.
Fact # 5: Mickey’s Philharmagic, which occupies the space that was once the headquarters of Mickey Mouse Revue, seems to add a new scene inspired by Pixar Coco on November 12, 2021.
Fet núm. 6: Speaking of Mickey Mouse Revue magazine, the audio-animatronics of Three Caballeros (and fifty years of Magic Kingdom history!) Of the show is held live in the EPCOT’s Mexico Pavilion, on the Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Knights.
Did you ever experience Magicland’s Fantasyland in its early days? Is this land one of your favorites?