AN ENTERTAINING RESPITE: If you've ever had an early-morning start at the Magic Kingdom -- yep, the one where you're outside the gate at 7:53, well-coffee'd and up-and-at-'em and wearing an outfit that matches the rest of the outfits in your party -- then you know the early-afternoon plunge. Do we even need to describe it? You've gotten in eight rides, an ice cream cone, a Dole whip, a pickle, and a walk around Tom Sawyer Island. By 1 or 2 o'clock you've entered the Land o' the Theme Park Tired, a place we've all visited before. So, where's your go-to spot? The place that is peaceful and shady and provides the tots some entertainment and you with a little sit-back-and-enjoy-the-show time? If you said the Fantasyland Theatre, then we're not surprise. A lot of people would pick that particular venue: It's been around for nearly three decades and has been charming tots and needing-a-rest parents ever since. It recently closed, though, for renovations, leaving families in the general Toontown/...it's a small world area with one less major choice for a live show. But no longer: Fantasyland Theatre reopened on Memorial Day weekend with Mickey and the Magical Map.
ICONIC CHARACTERS: While there are several charms floating about the tot-pleaser of a show, one of the big pluses is you'll see characters you don't often see out and about in the park, like King Louie. The map's compass points the most famous mouse in the world on a journey where he meets King Louie and other friends in lands like Dream Village and Friendship Woods. It's an outdoor show, but well shaded, and it got a tech upgrade, to boot, during its recent reno. That's what we, and likely all fans of the classic parts of the parks, like best: When the stuff that's been around for decades stays but with an up-to-date brush-up. And we like having a cooler spot to retreat to for a little whimsy and early-afternoon sitting-down, too.