So today I had the chance to attend the first soft opening of Storybook Circus at Magic Kingdom. Storybook Circus is the first section of New Fantasyland to achieve partial completion, with the first half of Dumbo (the newer of the two spinners), the Barnstormer and the Fantasyland Train Station all opening to the public today. The area is set to undergo partial soft openings in the coming weeks, with the area remaining open to guest access even at times when the attractions are not always open; though the area may be closed off at times due to nearby construction.
When it comes to Storybook Circus (as it stands so far), the Imagineers made sure this wasn't just a rehash of Mickey's Toontown Fair. The area is filled with vibrant colors in one area, but with toned down, realistic (almost gritty) schemes in others. All in all, the area feels far more "real" than the temporary form of the previous Toontown. Detail can be found in every nook, cranny, section of pavement, posters, signs and other miscellany.
While only a portion is open, I think this does give us a great idea of what to expect from the rest of Storybook Circus and New Fantasyland. As somewhat of a skeptic to the idea of reusing much of the former area I am happy to say that my concerns were put to rest with this area's debut. I look forward to seeing what comes next when the Storybook Circus tents, the interactive queue for Dumbo and the rest of New Fantasyland opens over the next year and a half.
Due to construction on the Grand Floridian DVC, the monorail is experiencing closures throughout the day.
Oh, the Spring Break crowds are here.
This new poster can be found on the construction wall at the entrance to the Storybook Circus.
It seems Humphrey the Bear will be brought back to guest view when Storybook Circus fully debuts. I'm thinking he'll host one of the food venues in one of the circus tents.
And the other stars...
Guess what guys? It's open!
Extra queue space was prepared to the handle the expected crowds for The Barnstormer.
One half of Dumbo's spinners is open, but the interactive queue is closed.
Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station is currently under construction and will debut a little later this year.
The Barnstormer has received a fresh look with a new paint scheme, new train colors and a more visible layout.
The space next to the Barnstormer is far more open now, offering a great vantage point for guest photos and observation.
The Barnstormer is no longer about Goofy as a crop duster, but as a stunt pilot in the circus.
The Barnstormer has received an incredibly themed queue that far surpasses its previous form.
Previous views had suggested that the back tent had been completed wrapped with its new skin, but the new vantage point has proven this false.
More work to be done here.
Goofy's aerial antics can be seen in the surrounding area thanks to thematic elements like this.
Not just cut out of the target, Goofy's outline has been fringed and singed into the canvas.
I spy Imagineering helmets!
Goofy's stunt rocket didn't fare so well during its last run.
The former exit of The Barnstormer has been converted (and expanded) to become the entrance for the attraction.
Casey Jr. weathervane!
The Barnstormer's entrance sign features clothing in the wind.
It looks pretty great!
Carolwood references! Awesome!
Anyone know what this hidden tribute is for?
It's a reference to Wise Acre Farms where Goofy used to crop dust in the Barnstormer!
Another one of Goofy's many props. The fuse actually has fiber optic lighting to make it look like it is lit and flickering.
The area surrounding The Barnstormer features some awesome Goofy artwork.
The new entrance for the Barnstormer features three entrance paths, one used for standard queueing, the second for Fastpass and the third is currently unused. Could this be for the future XPass implementation? Barnstormer is rumored to be an attraction included in the service.
A look at the queue side of the rocket...
The Barnstormer's station building was largely rebuilt and rethemed to match the new tone of the attraction. It just feels more real!
Much like in the Town Square Theater, posters near the attraction tease aspects of the queue.
The Wheel of Peril serves as a visual divider at the merge point between the fast pass and standard queues, making it easier for the general guest to not stare at the Fastpass guests as they move ahead of them.
Train tracks leading from the eventual Casey Jr. roundhouse end just before the real tracks of the Walt Disney World Railroad.
The redesigned queue offers some nice views of the attraction.
The new restrooms are a part of the Fantasyland Train Station complex. I'll say no more, lest I be made fun of on this topic. That means you Robb.
I spy a Soarin' reference!
While it isn't the ride from Disneyland, it will be nice to have Casey Jr. at Walt Disney World in some form.
Luggage from across the globe has been brought to the Fantasyland Train Station.
Storybook Circus' pavement features footprints from the various circus animals that roam its borders.
It's still wider than the construction paths at DCA!
A roads lead to Rome... Or the Casey Jr. Roundhouse.
The Barnstormers ticket booth.
While Fastpass is not currently available for The Barnstormer, it will be down the line. This clock will show return times when the system is brought online.
It won't take long for me to get used to this view!
Yep. This is a trash can photo. But a nice one at that.
Here's Dumbo's ticket booth.
Peanuts have been placed in the pavement to enhance the circus atmosphere by Dumbo.
Storks invade Florida in this Dumbo art panel at the lower section of the ride's base.
This is the first Dumbo to fly in a clockwise motion... Plus this is the first Floridian Dumbo to feature water in the ride.
In case you were wondering...
Seriously loving the Carolwood affection!
Some energy efficient LED light bulbs have been installed on the side of the Fantasyland Train Station as a test.
The embedded rail tracks run along much of The Barnstormer's outer area near the actual Walt Disney World Railway.
I find this detail to be pretty awesome!
Queue cameras are well themed to blend in.
You saw it here first! Survey markings for Florida's version of Journey to the Center of the Earth can be found on the back side of Storybook Circus on the way to Tomorrowland!
I can't wait to see the Floridian Lava Monster!
Time for some more Dumbo details...
This sign was brought over from the old Dumbo location in Fantasyland.
The Dumbo tents feature popcorn lighting that will surely help make the area look even better at night.
It looks pretty nice doesn't it?
Inside of the standard queue tent.
I have a feeling this will become a must-photo moment forevermore.
I'm not sure how the interactive queue will meld with the standard queue, but I look forward to seeing the tent open up once it is ready.
Unlike the ride's previous location, the new standard queue allows cast members to distribute two groups of guests into two holding areas for the ride. One holding area for each full group of riders, meaning that they load one area onto the ride, and then the other.
This Dumbo design is far more ornate than the previous one.
Yay for water!
More popcorn lighting!
It's the first magical feather spotted in the wild!
One fish, two fish, Up, Up, Up?
Pink elephants on parade!
DOV! Dumbo Point of View!
Work continues on the reassembly of the older Dumbo spinner.
A near miss moment with the Barnstormer.
Looking out towards New Fantasyland...
A little more clear.
Rockwork facing Storybook Circus is still being added.
Foundations for the Snow White Mine Train Coaster continue to rise.
A food cart from Main Street was moved over here to help serve the Spring Break crowds in passing.
Today was the first day to have a Dumbo themed guide map...
It was also the first to recognize Storybook Circus on the map.
Thanks for reading!
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
Storybook Circus looks stunning! It is amazing what Disney can do. I think what sets them apart from other theme parks is the attention to detail. What other theme park would go so far into themeing as to put peanuts in the pavement? Awesome report, thanks!!
In true TPR fashion that might have been the longest and most detailed kiddie coaster trip report ever, nice job Adam. The section really looks great though, I never was a huge fan of Toon Town Fair, but this looks to be great replacement.
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