Disneyland Princesses Get Their Own, New Land

disneyland

Disneyland Park in California will debut Fantasy Faire in March, a new interactive experience that gives guests a more personal experience with all the Disney princesses, all in one place. A natural expansion of Disneyland’s Fantasyland, the addition has Disney princess fans excited for the March 12, opening, now less than a month away. Like sister-park Disney World in Florida, a big emphasis is on getting park guests involved in the story, rather than sitting by passively, listening (or not) to a story being told.

Located next to Disneyland’s existing Fantasyland and Sleeping Beauty Castle, new half-acre Fantasy Faire will be an enchanting, immersive environment with fairy-tale buildings placed around a main square. Individual elements of Fantasy Faire have guests informally cast in roles, making for a more memorable experience. It’s a dream come true for princess fans that will now find all the Disney princesses in one place.

%Gallery-178418%Royal Hall is the main attraction where three princesses will be on hand to meet, greet and pose for photos by Disney photographers; guests can also take their own pictures. Separated into three different rooms, groups of guests are small allowing for more interaction.

The Royale Theatre is an outdoor audience participation venue doing six, 15- to 20-minute shows a day. The premise is a live action vaudeville-like show where Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones along with Rapunzel and Belle tell the stories of “Tangled” and “Beauty and the Beast” in a fun way with music and dance. Guest have a role here too, sneering at villains and cheering the good guys. After the show, stars of the show mingle with the crowd too.

Fairy Tale Treasures will be selling princess dresses and other merchandise.

Maurice’s Treats a food cart resembling the gypsy wagon owned by Belle’s father, which sells bread twists (cheese, chocolate, strawberry and almond cream) and the Boysen Apple Freeze, a slushy drink that looks suspiciously like the grog-like beverage we tried at Disney World in new Fantasyland.

Look for plenty of Disney’s signature attention to detail too.

Fantasy Faire takes the space formerly used for the Carnation Plaza Gardens. Not to let that venue be forgotten, a special crest is being put above one of the ornate doorways in the Fantasy Faire area with the initials C, P and G for Carnation Plaza Gardens and a carnation flower carved underneath.

Here’s more on Fantasy Faire in a video update:



[Photo Credit- Disney Parks]

Fire-Breathing Flying Dragon Appears Over Disney World [VIDEO]

A Fire-breathing dragon in Florida? To celebrate the opening of new Fantasyland, Disney World’s largest expansion in 41 years, a flying dragon appeared above Cinderella’s Castle in Florida last night, as the new area’s guardian against evil.




As the story goes, there was a curse cast upon Fantasyland long ago, which was lifted, doubling the area in size. Actually a variation of an ultralight vehicle, the dragon is a manned aircraft powered by an engine and assisted by a parachute overhead.

Not a regularly scheduled part of the park experience, future opportunities to view the dragon are unclear.

“Indeed your eyes didn’t deceive you. Our dragon made a brief appearance as part of celebrating the grand opening of New Fantasyland. You never know where or when a dragon might appear again!” Disney spokesman Rick Sylvain told Inside The Magic.

[Video- YouTube]

Disney World Immersive Expansion Opens This Week

Disney WorldFlorida’s Walt Disney World is about to open a new, re-imagined Fantasyland. The iconic park had been in operation for years to the thrill of vacationers of all ages and needed a facelift. More than a fresh coat of paint and upgraded technology, Disney is adding a popular immersive element to the experience.

“The Magic Kingdom is the iconic place at Walt Disney World and Fantasyland is the favorite land,” said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts in the U.S. and France in a Fox News report. “It’s the heart of the Magic Kingdom and we’re absolutely doubling the size of it, so I think that’s major in our guests’ minds.”


New Fantasyland has had some attractions up and running for weeks during a soft opening where cast members test their operation. Along the way, those experiencing new features and attractions have been engaged and drawn into each correlating story, every step of the way.

Enchanted Tales With Belle
A new attraction, Enchanted Tales with Belle, is an interactive experience (as opposed to a “ride”) that begins with an enchanted mirror transporting guests from Belle’s house to Beast’s library where Belle and Lumière invite guests to become part of a lively retelling of the “tale as old as time.”

Unique here is that groups are small and many are invited to participate in the experience that brings guests up close and personal with live action characters from “Beauty and the Beast.” This is not a passive, sit-around-and-watch attraction.Disney WorldUnder the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid
Also new is the musical attraction Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid where guests enter Prince Eric’s castle, board a giant clamshell and enjoy high-energy songs and effects that take them inside scenes from the animated Disney film “The Little Mermaid.”

Similar to Haunted Mansion in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the ride transports guests on clamshell-style vehicles using the Omnimover ride system introduced by Disney Imagineers in the 1960s. The ride takes guests through a series of scenes, first taking them to the bottom of the ocean, bringing us up to speed on Ariel’s journey from her father’s undersea kingdom then on to meeting Prince Eric.

Disney WorldBe Our Guest Restaurant
Cinderella’s Castle has some competition now with the opening of Beast’s Castle. In the middle of Beast’s Castle are three dining rooms that make up the new Be Our Guest Restaurant.

A West Wing features an enchanted rose, the Rose Gallery has twirling, larger-than-life figures of Belle and Beast and the Ballroom features an elegant domed ceiling, twinkling chandeliers and views of softly falling snow.

Inspired by Disney’s animated feature “Dumbo,” the Storybook Circus park within a park features a country fair feel with colorful big-top tents and attractions.

The Barnstormer takes the Great Goofini on a stunt plane ride high above Storybook Circus. As the story goes, Goofy has goofed his way into the role of a circus stunt pilot, The Great Goofini. In the tradition of classic air shows, The Great Goofini takes you away on a spiraling stunt plane adventure. Your twisting, turning, daredevil, roller coaster “flight” takes you high above the grounds of Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland.

A new Dumbo The Flying Elephant ride is twice the size of the old one and features a circus-themed play area offering recreation and relaxation for guests as they wait for their turn – with two rotating squadrons of airborne pachyderms! Inspired by the title character from the 1941 Disney animated motion picture, this popular attraction lets you fly with Dumbo.

Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station is a circus-themed water play area where guests can enjoy cooling refreshment and squirt each other. Interactive water features include Casey Jr., who lets off billows of cooling “steam” along with monkeys, elephants and camels that spray water.

disney worldPete’s Silly Sideshow is the place for guests to meet Disney circus stars who are excited to show off their special talents. Located inside one of the big-top tents, guests can meet Minnie Magnifique (Minnie Mouse as a circus performer), Madame Daisy Fortuna (Daisy Duck as a fortuneteller), The Great Goofini (Goofy as a daredevil stunt pilot) and The Astounding Donaldo (Donald Duck as a snake charmer).

Opening this week, that’s not the end of Fantasyland expansion. Doubling the size of the park, two other major attractions are underway, due to open in 2013 and 2014.

In the center of Fantasyland, Princess Fairytale Hall, opening in 2013, will feature walls of stone and stained glass windows opening into a large gallery where portraits of the Disney princesses cover the walls. Guests will move to elegantly finished rooms, meeting Disney princesses Aurora, Cinderella, Tiana and Rapunzel.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, opening in 2014, will take guests on a musical coaster ride into a mine via a first-of-its-kind ride system with a train of vehicles that swing back and forth, based on the classic Disney film and animated figures of “Snow White and the Dwarfs.”

See more in this preview video:




[Photo Credit- Disney Parks and Resorts]


Mickey’s Toontown Fair to close at Disney World

When you travel to visit Mickey this spring, you won’t find him in his house. Walt Disney World has announced that the Mickey’s Toontown Fair area of the park will close after Feb. 11, 2011.

mickey toontown fair to close at Walt Disney WorldThe area features the side-by-side houses of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Goofy’s Barnstormer – a kiddie coaster, Donald’s Boat – a playground for toddlers, and a large character greeting area where guests can meet Mickey and Minnie, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends, and several Disney princesses.

Mickey’s Toontown Fair is being closed as part of Disney’s grand plans for the largest Walt Disney World expansion ever. Princess castles, restaurants, and a new ride based on The Little Mermaid are being added to Fantasyland.

The construction is set to be completed in 2013.

Mickey’s Toontown Fair opened as a new “land” at Walt Disney World in 1988, when it was called Mickey’s Birthdayland in celebration of the Mouse’s 60th birthday.

Many Disney enthusiasts dislike the cartoon theming of the area and say that it doesn’t fit in with the rest of Walt Disney World. But the land in the northeast corner of the Magic Kingdom has proven popular with families.

The Disney Parks Blog says that Disney World guests will still be able to meet their favorite characters after Toontown Fair closes. Mickey, Minnie and the Disney Princesses will greet guests in a building in the Magic Kingdom’s Town Square. Tinker Bell will move to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and her fairy friends will flutter over to Epcot.

Walt Disney World reduces time spent waiting in line with Tangled Meet and Greet

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.