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Brian Bennett

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Fantasyland - Photo Tour

Photos by Brian Bennett (unless otherwise stated)

The Castle Courtyard  |  West (toward Liberty Square)  |  East (toward Tomorrowland)  |  The Characters

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland!  The pictures of this photo tour came from my own visits to WDW, but I've also tossed in some pictures by fellow MousePlaneteers. They will be credited appropriately throughout the tour.

If the Magic Kingdom is the best place in all of Walt Disney World to find the characters (and I certainly think that it is), then Fantasyland is the epicenter of the park's character bounty. There are other great places in the park to find characters, of course, but no where will you see as many than right here in and around the castle's courtyard.

One place for finding a very special character that comes to mind is Ariel's Grotto, located right next to Pinnochio's Village Haus and behind Dumbo. This is a very fun place for the kids to hang out. Besides having lots of big rocks and other things to climb on surrounded by a soft rubber ground cover (just in case one of the little ones take a bit of a fall). The area also has a bunch of spritzing fountains that blow off a bit of the wet stuff every once in a while just to get everyone in that undersea mood.

Ariel's Grotto.
Ariel's Grotto.

After waiting through a queue area, guests can meet up with Ariel for a private meet and greet. Ample time to take photos or get the Princess' autograph is provided.

Princess Ariel meets with one of her fans.
Princess Ariel meets with one of her fans.

At the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea queue area, the Charcter Festival now provides an opportunity to see some of the characters. Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Alice, and other Wonderland characters are the most likely characters to find here, but check your park schedules carefully because such things are always subject to change!

The Character Festival.
The Character Festival.

A classic place to meet with some characters is at Cinderella's Royal Table, during the "Once Upon a Time... Character Breakfast."

Cinderella's Royal Table is on the second floor of the castle.
Cinderella's Royal Table is on the second floor of the castle.

Before you actually get up to the restaurant above, you enter the castle's entrance hall. Frequently characters are available to see right there in the hall.

Jasmine is often in the castle hall before guests go upstairs for breakfast...
Jasmine is often in the castle hall before guests go upstairs for breakfast...

...as can the Fairy Godmother.
...as can the Fairy Godmother.

And if you look closely enough, you'll see some smaller characters around and about, too.

Cinderella's helpful friends Jaq and GusGus can be found in the hall.
Cinderella's helpful friends Jaq and GusGus can be found in the hall.
Cinderella's helpful friends Jaq and GusGus can be found in the hall.

The restaurant itself is actually quite small. The picture below shows, I would say, about half of the available tables with the remainder wrapping off to the left and trailing to the right. The actual characters that will appear at the breakfast may vary, but Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother are almost always there. I've also seen Belle, Jasmine and Snow White, too.

Cinderella's Royal Table.
Cinderella's Royal Table.

Cinderella shows up to greet guests at breakfast.
Cinderella shows up to greet guests at breakfast.

Belle is a frequent breakfast schmoozer, too.
Belle is a frequent breakfast schmoozer, too.

Belle can also be found at the Fairytale Garden, located on the walkway between the castle court and Tomorrowland. Storytimes are scheduled throughout the day, usually at 11:00a.m., 12:00noon, 1:00p.m., 2:00p.m., 3:45p.m., and 4:45p.m. (That odd shift in time is to accommodate the daily afternoon parade.)

During the brief time together, Belle enlists helpers from the audience to portray various roles and then Beast, Mrs. Potts, Lumiere and the others all help Belle to tell her story.

Belle and her friends tell the story of the enchanted castle.
Belle and her friends tell the story of the enchanted castle.
Belle and her friends tell the story of the enchanted castle.

There are other opportunities to find characters in Fantasyland, too. The Sword in the Stone Ceremony, for example, allows you to meet up with Merlin from Sword in the Stone.

Occasionally, though, you'll actually come across an unscheduled visit. Here are some pictures from a recent trip that shows that even the Big Cheese himself likes to enjoy spending time with his guests in the park!

Even the Big Cheese enjoys time in the parks!
Even the Big Cheese enjoys time in the parks!
Even the Big Cheese enjoys time in the parks!

The Castle Courtyard  |  West (toward Liberty Square)  |  East (toward Tomorrowland)  |  The Characters

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