The construction on Walt Disney World’s Fantasyland expansion is well underway, and apparently so is the testing for some Disney innovations expected to be seen when the new attractions open in 2013.
This spring, Walt Disney World tested a new way to wait for a ride on the Rock n’ Roller Coaster without lines.
Now a meet and greet with the characters from the new movie “Tangled” appears to be a further experiment in delivering an experience to go with kids’ souvenir photos and autographs.
Instead of just waiting in a line to see Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Walt Disney World has set aside an area called Fairytale Garden for the new characters’ appearances. About 10-15 minutes before the characters are due to come out (the “set time” in Disney parlance), children are welcomed into the Fairytale Garden and given a coloring activity to do while they wait.
(The parents are not so lucky; they are expected to line up to hold a place for their child.)
When Rapunzel and Flynn Rider make their entrance, they come down to the coloring table to dance with the children before starting to take photos and sign autographs.
Music from the movie’s soundtrack plays while they join hands and dance around the table.
Of course, when the dancing is done, the kids go join their parents in – you guessed it – a line.But I suppose the whole thing adds up to more “quality time” with the characters and an opportunity to make a memory (“I danced with Rapunzel!”), rather than just a picture (“I waited in line for 30 minutes to take this picture with Rapunzel!”).
Here’s a video look at the festivities:
The plans for Fantasyland include similar experience-based meet and greets. Park guests will be able to watch Cinderella transform from servant clothing to her ball gown, and boys will be trained to be part of her royal guard. And Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) will be having a birthday, and children will be asked to make birthday cards and help her fairy godmothers prepare for the party.