New Fantasyland is a beautiful addition to the Magic Kingdom that will be adored for years and years to come. Even now without the opening of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and a somewhat lackluckster roster of attractions for a new and expensive expansion, it is far beyond anything that exists in what is the Fantasyland of yesteryear. Still one thought of wonder continues to run through my mind. For several reasons New Fantasyland will never be Cars Land, the main of which is that Radiator Springs Racers is a standout attraction that truly communicates nearly the best of everything Disney theme park attractions can and should always deliver. But beyond that, again the list of comparison that could be drawn would be for a lengthy discussion better served at another time, the one question that I continue to wonder about is how different the reaction would have been to New Fantasyland had the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction opened alongside its New Fantasyland brethren. Part of the draw of Cars Land was exactly that you had so much to explore that it almost felt overwhelming and the Disney details you could find could be part of a lifetime of discovery. But in New Fantasyland the staggered opening has meant that not only could you not really feel truly immersed with construction walls lining the area and blocking the designed vistas but it meant that with only two attractions available, only one of which is a ride there really wasn’t an escape to be had at the level that Cars Land provided to Disney California Adventure since day one. The implications for the decisions that led New Fantasyland to be built in this manner will probably never be known but that it has had some deleterious effect in the short run on the perception of the expansion from many in the Disney fan community is unquestionable. Which leads us to an obvious next step in our thought experiment.
What if Cars Land had opened without Radiator Springs Racers? How would those other offerings of Cars Land compare to those of New Fantasyland sans Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? Could it be argued that the difference isn’t as great as one might think at first glance? Needless to say, I’ve pondered these very questions before but rather than give you my thoughts at this point, I’d like to hear yours. Would your perception of New Fantasyland have faired any better had Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened alongside a grander unveiling of the entire New Fantasyland area? Do you think Cars Land even without Radiator Springs Racers trounces New Fantasyland or do you find it is much more debatable than some might think? No matter which side you land on, make sure to lend your thoughts below.