The Magic Kingdom is always changing, and Fantasy Land is in the midst of a major transformation that will double its size and promises to please even the most discriminating Disneyphiles. The second phase was just completed, and I want to share a few highlights from our visit last week so you can see “what’s new” as well as what’s old and still wonderful. I’m going to “take you on a tour,” and since we’ve gone some 50+ times now, we’ve almost gotten it down to an art!We buy our tickets the night before, pack lots of snacks, and make sure we’re at the gate a few minutes before the festivities and countdown to open the park.Once the gates open, we usually head straight to Fantasy Land and catch a ride on Dumbo…which is such a favorite that they’ve recently upgraded their ride, and now there are Double Dumbos! Can you believe it? Also, they now have a spot for a photo op so everybody can come home with a perfect picture!Fantasy Land now has “Belle’s Castle” and an enchanted forest with new rides. Most of Toon Town has disappeared, and they’ve created an atmosphere that’sreminiscent of medieval Europe and the Middle East. We were just ready to hop on Peter Pan when Iris fell asleep, so we opted to down a pint of “LeFou’s Brew” while waiting. It’s a tangy, (nonalcoholic) sequel to Universal’s “Butter Beer.” The new “Under the Sea” adventure is full of dazzling colors, sights, and sounds!I can’t say that Disney rides are conducive to napping, but they are certainly entertaining for even the youngest of toddlers! And, of course, it’s not just the rides at Disney that delight and charm, it’s the endless array of flowers belowand flowering trees above,magnificent landscaping and unique architecture,no end of friendly people and colorful characters to meet…beautifully manicured gardens,fascinating birds,and good things to eat! Speaking of yummy food, Fantasy Land has two new restaurants: Be My Guest (long wait in line) and Gaston’s Tavern. We ate at the latter and had some of their mighty pork shanks and whooping cinnamon buns that were completely worthy of someone with a Gastonian appetite!
Well, my time is gone, and I’m not half done, so I’ll finish tomorrow. But, I wanted to mention how impressed I am with the huge effort that’s gone into this transformation! Some 300 imagineers have been planning for five years. Over 1,000 cast members have been involved, along with 1,300 construction workers and a budget exceeding 600 million…all to keep people interested, excited to return, and enjoying themselves. I wonder, how much creativity, energy, and money am I willing to invest in building the Kingdom of God? What can I do to get people interested, excited, and full of joy about seeking God? What He offers us so far exceeds the fleeting pleasures of even the most magical kingdom on earth!
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).