advertisement

The most fanciful land in the park, Fantasyland features attractions that bring classic Disney characters to life. It is by far the most popular land in the park for young children, who can sail over Merry Ole' London and Never Never Land, ride in a honey pot through the Hundred-Acre Wood, and fly with Dumbo. If your kids are younger than 8, you'll find yourself spending a lot of your time here.

Note: At press time, construction was underway on what is being touted as the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom -- the expansion of Fantasyland. Over the next year or so (with a completion date set for 2013), new rides, attractions, character experiences, and restaurants will be added (rolled out in phases beginning in late 2012). Select Disney princesses will get their own themed villages within the newly created Fantasyland Forest, where guests will soon be able to journey under the sea with Ariel, take a first-of-its-kind train ride through the Seven Dwarfs Mine, and dine at the Beast's Castle. Enhancements to existing rides and attractions are also in the works: Dumbo will practically double in size, and the Barnstormer will return with a bolder, brighter look. During the construction, select rides and attractions within Fantasyland may be affected (some temporarily shut down, others permanently closed). At this writing, Pooh's Playful Spot had been disassembled, the honey tree integrated into the new interactive queue leading up to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (also featuring a slew of new special effects), and Toontown had closed for good (the character meet-and-greets relocated to the recently revamped Town Square Theater near the park entrance). Ariel's Grotto and Snow White's Scary Adventure (soon to be replaced by Princess Fairytale Hall, a royal princess meet-and-greet) are also among the attractions currently affected.

A Swish of the Wand & a Swoosh of the Sword

As you walk around Disney lately, it might be difficult not to notice the ever-increasing number of pint-size princesses (often decked out from head to toe) wandering about the World. These magical makeovers (for kids ages 3 and up) are all the rage thanks to Disney's new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (the original boutique is located in Downtown Disney, the second located in Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom). The boutique, run by Fairy Godmothers in training, is open daily from 9am to 5pm, and reservations are practically a must (tel. 407/939-7895).

Princess package options include the Coach (hair styling, shimmering makeup, and a princess sash for $49.95 plus tax); the Crown (hair styling, shimmering makeup, nails, and a princess sash for $54.95 plus tax); and the Castle (hair styling, shimmering makeup, nails, a princess sash, and an entire princess costume complete with shoes, crown, magic wand, and photos for $189.95-$249.95 plus tax). The Knight package, great for little brothers who have to wait it out with sis, includes hair styling, sword, and shield for $14.95. The Downtown Disney boutique offers, in addition to the princess packages, a Secret Star makeover ($109.95, not available at the Magic Kingdom location) that includes a wig, microphone headset, guitar bag, jeans, and a T-shirt to complete the look.

In addition to pop stars and princesses, pint-size pirates are also popping up around Disney thanks to the opening of the Pirates League in Adventureland. Similar to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, the Pirates League transforms pint-size pirate wannabes into swashbuckling buccaneers complete with all the trimmings. Pirate packages include the First Mate (bandana; facial effects including scars, tattoos, fake teeth, earring, and eye patch; a sword and sheath; a pirate coin necklace; a personalized pirate oath; and a 5*7 photo, all for $29.95 plus tax) and the Empress (bandanna; shimmering makeup including face gems, tattoos, nail polish, earring, and eye patch; sword and sheath; pirate coin necklace; a personalized pirate oath; and a 5*7 photo, for $29.95 plus tax). Costumes, wigs, photo packages, and additional accessories are available for an extra fee. Reservations, which are highly recommended, can be made by calling tel. 407/WDW-CREW (407/939-2739). A $10 cancellation fee will be charged to your credit card (required when making reservations) for no-shows and cancellations less than 24 hours in advance. Kids must be at least 3 years old and accompanied by an adult at all times.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.