The other day, I was so excited to see some of the new elements in the Storybook Circus area of the New Fantasyland expansion in the Magic Kingdom. I had not looked at any pictures, so I had no preconceived notions and hadn’t really done any research about the Big Top Souvenirs, Pete’s Silly Sideshow and the new open seating and food areas. Like the other sections of New Fantasyland that have been revealed so far, my expectations have been far exceeded.
I only had a short time to explore, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything I saw. First, we explored the gift shop/snack location that is Big Top Souvenirs. This space is amazingly detailed and the Imagineers really did a great job bringing you into the whole circus theme. As you enter, you are greeted by Cast Members in circus costumes, welcoming you to play fun games like bean bag toss to knock over cans and juggling scarves. Awesome new merchandise themed around Storybook Circus as a whole and more specifically Dumbo, as well as general parks merchandise, are featured at the front of the shop.
The carpet is beautiful going from grass, to wooden planks, to the canvas of the circus tent. Circling the walls inside you find train cars from Casey Jr. themed after different animals like Tigers, Bears, Giraffes, Hippos, Hyenas, and even Penguins (where you can find the chilled bottle drinks). Above you, high up in the big top, you see rope ladders and trapezes. Not a detail was spared in the creation of this new shopping and snacking spot.
Food offerings are similar to what you can find on Main Street in the Bakery and Confectionery and focus on baked goods like cookies, cupcakes and caramel apples. You can also find specialty items like Caramel Corn Cupcakes, Caramel Corn and other circus themed treats. One of my favorite frozen drinks, glaciers, are available in blue raspberry, strawberry and lemonade. Many of these items can be used as snack credits if you are participating in the Disney Dining Plan. In additional to these fresh baked items and drinks, you can find your typical offerings of Minnie’s Bake Shop prepackaged goods and Goofy’s Candy Company sweets.
Fulfilling yet another meet and greet area, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, plays host to the opportunity to meet Daisy, Minnie, Donald and Goofy in their alter egos as circus performers. There are some great nods in this area to classic characters like Pete and to films like Melody Time. It is a different setup here with a large tent open with four queues coming out of the middle and the meet and greet areas in the four quadrants of the circular tent.
Adjacent to the two tents is another tent that is open on one side and acts as a mini guest relations location. Cast Members are on hand to answer guest questions, Fastpass machines for Dumbo and Barnstormer are now located here, and there is lots of seating with fans blowing down on the benches and seats to keep guests cool. This area was so neat with a great map of Storybook Circus, water fountains, height measurements for the rides in Storybook Circus, and while we were there it seemed really quiet. I can imagine sneaking away to relax in this tent on an evening to take respite from the crowds in other areas of the park.
Just between these three areas are some food carts with snacks like popcorn, churros, hot dogs, chips and drinks. Lots of tables and chairs circle this section of Storybook Circus, offering plenty of places to rest and relax while grabbing a quick bite between attractions. I love the brightly colors of the tables, and they even remind me of the Pixar ball.
All in all, I am so excited for the rest of New Fantasyland after seeing Storybook Circus. The attention to detail is beautiful and really plays into the circus theme very well. I look forward to what is in store with the rest of the work that is being done in this new section of the park. Have you seen the Storybook Circus’ newest additions yet? What are you most looking forward to seeing in person?