I was lucky enough to be invited to the media event for New Fantasyland at the Walt Disney World resort last week. The excitement began with the official announcement. I received a book, reminiscent of the Golden Books, which told a story of New Fantasyland.
When I arrived, I checked in for the event and received a gift bag. Inside were bowling socks from Splitsville, pins for New Fantasyland, a car shade for Test Track.
The first event was a preview of Splitsville. I have to be honest, when i heard Downtown Disney was getting a bowling alley, I was unimpressed. Who would go there? When I walked in I thought it was a glitzy alley, with 9 or 10 lanes all lined up at the back of the room with a sushi bar in the middle and a “pro shop” on the other side. Our event was upstairs though. As soon as I reached second floor, this all changed. There were a couple of bars, pool tables, an open kitchen area and lots of seating areas. A DJ was playing dance music. Behind one bar was a door to the patio area with its own bar. This whole floor was a party, fun atmosphere. And I almost forgot! There were bowling alleys! Unlike the first floor, they were divided into groups. There were four groups of 4-6 lanes each.
When we left, we got copies of the menu. This is going to be popular when it opens on December 19, 2012.
Our next stop was New Fantasyland. We came in to the Magic Kingdom in Tomorrowland and walked over to New Fantasyland. There were street entertainers throughout the area along with food and beverage stations. We had a chance to try LeFeu’s Brew and other treats. The Beast was in Be Our Guest, Gaston was outside of the pub and Daisy, Minnie, Donald and Goofy were at Pete’s Silly Sideshow tent.
After getting a bite to eat, I heard what sounded like a blow torch or flame thrower. I looked up towards Beast’s Castle but nothing looked out of the ordinary, but the sound wasn’t going away. All of a sudden from the edge of New Fantasyland appeared a dragon in the sky! He flew overhead and made a couple circles around us, then was gone.
Throughout the evening we ran into celebrities like Jodi Benson, Jo Anne Worley, Andy Garcia, and Tony Dovolani & Chelsie Hightower from Dancing with the Stars.
Later we were invited to go out in front of the castle. We found a place and waited for Celebrate the Magic to begin. For those that have seen the Magic, the Memories and You, it is similar with out the pictures and videos of guests. After this, Holiday Wishes began. As we left the park, it was snowing on Main Street. As we reached the exit, cast members were giving out New Fantasyland Mickey ears!
Here is a video I took of Celebrate the Magic. More videos of this can be found on our YouTube site.
We did not attend the ribbon cutting, but instead were brought in for the grand opening celebration. I arrived before too many others and was able to get pretty close to the rope with only one shorter person in front of me. It was certainly a royal celebration with One Upon A Time’s Ginnifer Goodwin emceeing the event and a musical tribute from Jordin Sparks. All of the princes and princesses were in attendance. Even the confetti was royal, shaped in large crowns and slippers.
In the evening, we were invited to an event at Test Track. Of course, before going in, I had to check out the fountains, dancing to holiday music.
Everything was decorated with neon blue. GM cars lined the way in. Blue Martinis in glowing glasses were very popular, with many attendees leaving with a couple empties.
After a short presentation by Meg Crofton and Alan Batey, they used “my Link” to “start Test Track”. And soon the cars were zooming past.
Minnie and Mickey were out posing for photos. We had a chance to ride Test Track, including designing our car. I will warn you, if you want the ability to fully design your vehicle, don’t do the FastPass or Single Rider line. You only get two selections in these lines – what’s most important – capability, efficiency, responsiveness or power and then you are given a choice of approximately 8 different vehicles. The track is the same as before, but decor, signage and the tests are different. After each test, you see which rider’s vehicle performed the best.
To end the party, One Republic performed for us, ending their set with Good Life. The party ended in time for us to view Illuminations and head back to the resort for the night.
This was a very fast moving trip, but oh so much fun! Disney definitely knows how to throw a party!