Welcome to Big Castle Travel’s Saturday Stroll series! This weekly series takes you through each land in each park in Walt Disney World. Last week we visited what many consider the original Fantasyland area. This week we will start our journey through the newer portion of Fantasyland: the Enchanted Forest.
We have organized this in two ways. First, we have organized it into sections similar to how Disney organizes it in the My Disney Experience app: Attractions, Restaurants (Dining), Entertainment, and Shopping. Second, we listed them in order of appearance as if you took a counterclockwise path around the land, starting from the the parapets behind Cinderella Castle, next to Friar’s Nook. Since the official area of Fantasyland is quite large, so we have broken it up into three subsections:
Let’s get started on our Saturday stroll through the Enchanted Forest section of Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland in Walt Disney World!
Attractions at Disney World include both rides and experiences. We have listed the permanent and daily attractions, but be on the lookout for seasonal attractions and special events while you are in Magic Kingdom!
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
The first attraction we come to in the Enchanted Forest is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. This dark ride takes you on a whimsical journey through the Hundred Acre Wood.
I will admit that I originally thought the dream sequence with Heffalumps and Woozles would be too scary for our then-2 year old. Maybe I was projecting something from my own childhood. But once we tried it 8 months later it quickly became one of our favorite rides.
Mad Tea Party
Speaking of favorite rides, the Mad Tea Party was the first ride our family ever rode together at Disney World. For a long time it was affectionately known as the “tupcakes” ride as our 2-year old was confusing teacups and cupcakes.
This classic spinning teacup attraction is based on the original 1955 version in Disneyland. By the time you are done spinning round and round you might feel ready to meet the Alice and the Mad Hatter in Wonderland!
Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid
There are a lot of amazing rides in the Enchanted Forest thanks to its refurbishment in 2012. Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid is yet another favorite at Big Castle Travel. And just in case you were wondering, there is no water on this ride you will NOT get wet.
The only nit to pick is the quality of the animatronics. They fit both the original movie’s animation and the overall theme of the ride. However, they seem out of place compared to the incredible animatronics nearby at Enchanted Tales with Belle.
Enchanted Tales with Belle
The first thing to keep in mind about Enchanted Tales with Belle is that this is a cross between an experience and a stage show. Your journey will start out in Maurice’s cottage. After some incredibly impressive magic mirror action, you will be transported to the Beast’s castle for a surprise party for Belle.
Madame Garderobe and Lumière provide a magically entertaining history of Beauty and the Beast. Then they help everyone take part in reliving the story with Belle herself!
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
As one of the most recent rides in all of the parks, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is also one of the more innovative roller coasters. Riders sit in rustic mining cars as the train speeds deep into the glittering mine shaft. Like real mining cars, the roller coaster will swing riders back and forth as you navigate dips and hairpin turns.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is consistently one of the most popular rides in all of Magic Kingdom. We generally recommend using a FastPass+ reservation here.
Say it with me, “Disney World food is more than just pizza and hamburgers.” Magic Kingdom’s Enchanted Forest area has four permanent dining options in addition to various stands and roaming vendors.
We love Cheshire Café in the Enchanted Forest for their quick snacks and drinks. This booth is across from Mad Tea Party and around the corner from the meet and greet with Princess Merida. When we only eat two meals in Magic Kingdom we will usually stop here for a Cheshire Cat Tail and a Joffrey’s Coffee Cold Brew Coffee.
Who knew LeFou had his own delicious brew? Frozen apple juice, a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with a passionfruit-mango foam. You will find that delicious concoction at Gaston’s Tavern on the top end of the Enchanted Forest.
The tavern is a shop with seats, and not just a booth like the Cheshire Café. It is a solid choice for both light fare snacks as well as a cheaper options for heavier foods like the Smoked Turkey and Gouda Sandwich.
Be Our Guest Restaurant
Dining in the Beast’s castle is a special experience. The grandeur and opulence of Be Our Guest Restaurant is a beautiful recreation of the original movie.
Breakfast is a decent value, lunch is the best option of all, and dinner is a rip-off if you are on the Disney Dining Plan. The main redeeming quality of dinner is the chance to meet the Beast himself! Be sure to visit all three of the dining rooms to enjoy the incredible details. And try the grey stuff. It’s delicious!
Prince Eric's Village Market
Prince Eric’s Village Market is similar to Cheshire Cat, but themed to the nearby Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid and Prince Erik’s castle. This is one place in Magic Kingdom to get the sought-after Turkey Leg. The rest of the offerings are a mix of common park snacks like pretzels and special seasonal or trend items like the Mermaid Donut.
Entertainment at Walt Disney World encompasses most shows, parades, and character interactions. We are listing the entertainment offerings that are available daily in the Enchanted Forest section of Fantasyland, but be sure to check a local times guide and ask Cast Members for any special entertainment options while you are in Magic Kingdom.
Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
Located right next to the exit of Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid, this permanent meet and greet location is a great way to meet the princess of the sea. The Meet Ariel at Her Grotto experience is also the only place to meet Ariel in her mermaid form, complete with tail fin!
Other Character Meetings
The Enchanted Forest has three other semi-permanent character meet and greets. These are hosted at various times throughout the day, and are usually subject to more changes than Ariel’s permanent location.
One thing to remember about Walt Disney World is that each shopping experience is unique in some way. DO NOT make the mistake of thinking that each shop has the same merchandise and clothing or you might miss out on your new favorite item!
Here are the permanent shops in Magic Kingdom’s Enchanted Forest area of Fantasyland.
Hundred Acre Goods
Bonjour! Village Gifts
Belle’s rustic village in the Enchanted Forest area of Fantasyland is complimented by the Bonjour! Village Gifts shop. This quaint location is the perfect stop for souvenirs celebrating Belle and her beautiful life.