Picture it: Walt Disney World®, October 2012 (for those of you old enough, you’ll recognize my Sophia Petrillo-ism here. Remember how on “The Golden Girls,” she would always say something like “Picture it: Sicily, 1943″? Anyway, I digress…) You’ve just spent the last two weeks on the most amazing Walt Disney World® trip of your life, your honeymoon, and you think, nothing can get better than this. While there, you see construction fencing and hear construction vehicles vehemently working on the New Fantasyland® expansion. Soon, you start to hear rumors of a soft opening. As the days go on, you hear that it’s opening while you’re there. Could it possibly be? Could we really be that lucky?
And soon, we realized, no, we weren’t. Oh, the New Fantasyland® opened… on the day we were LEAVING!! We can’t tell you how many times we said, “If only we had booked an extra day. One day, that’s all we needed.” So, as we’re leaving the hotel, boarding Disney’s Magical Express to take us back to the airport where we were returning to a place that is no where near magical, we kept kicking ourselves. At that very moment we were standing in the TSA security line, taking off our shoes, someone was having a grand old time experiencing this new land. If only we knew. If only it wouldn’t cost us hundreds of dollars to change our flight. If only our room wasn’t being prepared for the next family just starting their trip. Ugh! Talk about frustration.
Well, now, as we are in the final countdown for our next Walt Disney World® vacation, we can proudly say that we will be visiting New Fantasyland®, eating at Be Our Guest Restaurant, riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and making the most out of this land that has tortured us for the last two years. AND, we’re staying an extra day, this time to make sure we sneak in a day at Epcot®’s International Food and Wine Festival Presented by Chase®.
(Photo from the authors’ personal collection.)
Have any of you ever had something like this happen to you at Walt Disney World®? Maybe your favorite ride is shut down during your trip because of a refurbishment? Maybe you, like us, missed the opening of Fantasyland®. Were you there right before the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened? If you have experienced the New Fantasyland®, what was the best part and what should we do first?
“New Yorkas” Felicia and Sean are avid Disney fans. Their first vacation as a couple was in Walt Disney World®. They were engaged there, and also honeymooned there. After a combined 30 trips to the World, they are self-professed Disney travel agents and enjoy helping family and friends plan magical Disney vacations.