Sara and her husband arrived in Orlando at just the right time! Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland had just had their “soft opening” just a few days prior, so we were able to check out the new part of the park without all of the press and paparazzi.
My day started at the Grand Floridian where I snapped a few pictures of their amazing lobby decorated for the holidays.
That gingerbread house is life-size! You can purchase your own gingerbread shingle from the shop inside of the house.
We had spent the day before in Animal Kingdom in our “regular Minnie ears”, but we decided this trip to the parks was reason for some fancy Minnie ears!
My most favorite holiday decorations adorn Main Street, USA.
Since Alice is Sara’s most favorite Disney character, we checked with Town Hall to see when she’d be out for pictures and then made a bee-line right to her when we found out she was already in Fantasyland by the Mad Tea Party. We had quite the discussion about being very late for a very important date.
After a little “off with your head” joke, the three of us headed over to the New Fantasyland, an area I hadn’t even seen yet! Our first stop was for lunch at the Be Our Guest restaurant in Beast’s Castle.
We arrived at 10:50am, and there was already a 20-minute wait. I can’t imagine how long the wait would have been later on in the day. We quickly made our meal decisions and waited in line along with some creepy lookin’ dudes.
They did such an amazing job with the theming here!
After a short while, it was finally our turn to enter the castle.
We were greeted by sneezy, sleepy, and snoring knights in shining armor. If you listen closely, they’re talking to each other, but the queue line was so loud, I couldn’t hear what they were saying.
They ushered us to the ordering area where you can either have a cast member help you or self check-out. In my opinion, if you’re not familiar with computers, use the cast member assistance line. I was hungry and behind some families who couldn’t figure out how to use the touch screen.
There were many options, but I chose the French onion soup and the Croque Monsieur, a grilled sandwich of carved ham, Gruyere cheese, and béchamel with pommes frites.
There are three dining rooms. The enchanted West Wing is dimly lit and features the famous famous under the glass.
The Rose Gallery features life-size, twirling figurines of Belle and her Beast.
The ballroom is absolutely stunning and will take your breath away. You will feel like you stepped right into the movie.
The huge windows display a larger than life mural of a French landscape, making you feel like you are very far away from civilization. You might also catch a snowflake or two breezing by the windows.
The atmosphere and logistics of the restaurant seem to work (besides a few kinks I’ve heard the servers talking about), but honestly, I wasn’t all that thrilled with the food. The onion soup was nothing to write home about, and the sandwich was a glorified grilled cheese with ham. Nothing special, that’s for sure. I mean, I’ll go back, but I’m not going in thinking it’s going to be some spectacular meal. They do bring your food to your table instead of having to truck your tray around the restaurant while trying to miss misbehaved children who are trying to trip you. Unfortunately, the system doesn’t always work. If you sit down in one dining room and decide to sit somewhere else, they’ll bring your food to the original table.
I do, however, like the drink stations. There aren’t many quick service restaurants on Disney property that allow refills, and this one does. Score!
After our lunch, we meandered over to Gaston’s Tavern and a little merchandise shop. We decided $10 was a little much for the non-alcoholic LeFou’s Brew, a no sugar added frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with all-natural passion fruit-mango foam. But I imagine I’ll purchase it at some point.
Situated right next to Gaston’s little part of town is Eric’s castle (from The Little Mermaid).
The expected wait time for the attraction was 60 minutes, but luckily, we got through the line in 20 minutes. The queue was designed around a nice water feature, and most of the line sits in some caverns leading to the start of the ride, which should be a nice break from the summer heat when that time of year rolls around.
I was hoping there would be a little merchandise shop filled with whozits and whatsits, thingamabobs, and other little dinglehoppers, but no luck. I hear they are selling a few Little Mermaid things in Sir Mickey’s near Cinderella Castle.
My day with Sara and her husband ended around 2pm as I had to quickly head to work for the evening.
Until next time, kiddos!