Thursday's grand opening happened twice: once for media and bloggers in front of Gaston's Tavern and then again on the steps of Cinderella Castle, with cheering park visitors. Staggs was joined by actress Ginnifer Goodwin, singer Jordin Sparks and, of course, Mickey Mouse. Sparks sang a medley of songs from Disney movies.
Two of New Fantasyland's highlights have yet to open. A ride called Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is still under construction, as is Princess Fairytale Hall â¿¿ where guests can go to meet all of their favorite Disney princesses at once. Disney officials said the princess experience will open next year and the ride is expected to open in 2014.
For Disney traditionalists, never fear: Many of the park's longstanding beloved attractions like Cinderella Castle, and rides based on "It's a Small World" and "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" remain open.
Be Our Guest Restaurant is new, and offers a different Disney concept. Folks who eat lunch will be served at the counter, while dinner guests will be served tableside. It will also serve wine and beer with dinner, which is the first time alcohol is being sold at the Magic Kingdom. The meals at Be Our Guest are French-themed.Some old favorites have been improved. An additional Dumbo ride was added â¿¿ one Dumbo carousel goes clockwise, the other counter-clockwise â¿¿ two castles were built and the Barnstormer rollercoaster was remodeled. Other areas were spruced up and redecorated. "I think they did the themes so well, the transitions from one area to another," said Weitlich, who is 31. He and Martinez, who is 29, come to the park at least twice a month. On Thursday, they bought T-shirts that said "A Brand New Happily Ever After," posed for photos and drank LeFou's Brew, a sweet drink based on apple juice and toasted marshmallows. The pair said they were going to get to know New Fantasyland just like the rest of the park.