Archive for the ‘Fantasyland’ Tag

Fantasyland Expansion: Through the Years   Leave a comment

New Fantasyland officially opens on December 6th! That’s tomorrow! It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since Bob Iger got up on stage at the D23 Expo and announced the Expansion. I recall fist hearing about the leaked blueprints and shrugging them off. “Too extreme,” I though. But boy was I wrong!

Let’s take a look back at construction. My first pictures start in  Fall 2009 and run through November 24th, 2012  (do note that some of these events may be a little out of order. That’s just how I had these older images archived).

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Posted December 5, 2012 by Imagineer2017 in Opinions, Parks

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WDW Trip Report: November 24-25   2 comments

A POST TURKEY DAY ADVENTURE TO NEW FANTASYLAND AND TEST TRACK

Say, what’s that Castle up there?

Mysterious stairs to nowhere!

Looks like The Beast is going to let me in!

Very chatty suits of armor.
I loved when whenever one would sneeze and the others would all say ‘bless you’

Sign reminding you not to let your kids order wine. The Beast doesn’t like drunk kiddies.

So ornate! So pretty! So much snow!

Shiny!

So ornate! So eerie! So dark!
(my room of choice for lunch)

So ornate! So….eh. The Rose Gallery is bland. The Music Box is pretty though!

As are the rose mosaic floors

The meal was phenomenal! Well worth that 20 minute wait in line. I ordered the Croque Monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwich). Crispy, warm, cheesy!  Best sandwich I’ve had on property. And that’s exactly what the Magic Kingdom needed: really good quick service food.
And for as long as the lines were, there were still dozens of available tables. Food came quickly; about 2-3 minutes after I had sat down. Speak of which, food brought to the table? Classy. I think this is how all quick services should be.

WATER! I love the water in this land! As well as the height. The castle bridge is very high up! It’s crazy.

No one gets a line like Gaston!
And even though he had a large queue, he decided to move into the shade. Because he can. He’s Gaston.

Mermaid! The Castle looks a thousand times better in the day than it does at night. Deep Blue just does not work on the facade. Not with that rock work.

I cannot stress WATER enough. It’s so great. And helps keep the queue cool!

Mine Train is coming along. Here, you can see the rock work beginning to take shape.

I’m curious to see what that building will be themed to- Mermaid or Snow White?

Walkway into Circus is open. A large temporary gate is in place to allow construction vehicle an entrance into Mine Train.

Over in Circus, a new railroad bumper has been added over the fake rails. Because a fence wasn’t enough to stop a train from falling off the edge.

Epcot:

New food kiosk isn’t as intrusive or large as I thought. But it’s still a poor addition. #CommuniCutter

Test Track isn’t yet open, but everything is in place. Cast Members have been previewing, WDI has been tweaking, and Reedy Creek is set to make their safety check walk through on Monday (Nov. 26). Once the safety checks are complete, and WDI is done, Soft Openings can begin.

Even during the day it sparkles!

Up close. I think that the Blue Blob is supposed to look like a car, a plane, a boat, a hovercraft, etc. Basically, it’s meant to be whatever kind of transportation you want! Just like how you can make your car anything you want.

World of Motion logo on the wait time signage!
Here’s the normal queue…

…and the Single Rider/Fastpass side. Take a look at that typeface; it’s World Bold (old school Epcot font)!

Here’s a little sneak inside the queue! The white and black thing looks like it may be the EVN, a 2-passenger Chevy concept vehicle. Epcyclopedia first suggested that we may wee the ENV make an appearance in the new queue, and it appears he was right!

My impressions: it’s sleek. Super sleek. The new color scheme is wonderful on that building; it’s the exact colors that it needed. The new music sounds cool, but I’d like to hear it in context of the queue. The Blue Blob is huge. Up close, I can start to see it’s resemblance of a car. Oh, and it’s extremely shiny. I was standing behind the tree in World Showcase Promenade and I could still see it shining.  It will blind you. The giant T which I claimed was tacky looks very good. You don’t really see it until you pass the monorail beam, so it’s well hidden. But when you do see it, it blends right in. After having seen the concept art of the queue, it appears that this T-shape is used as an archway all over the queue, so the one outside works right in with that.

ALSO:

Let’s make one quick stop at the Contemporary, where the giant Mickey Wreath awaits hanging. It’s big!

I’ll do a whole ‘nother report just on the pretty decoration next time around. Until then, see ya!

Posted November 26, 2012 by Imagineer2017 in Attractions, News

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Trip Report and My New Fantasyland Review   Leave a comment

Hey there everyone! I’m back from an exciting 3 day trip to WDW. Not only did I get chance to stay in the CarsLand-lite wing of Art of Animation (which I may discuss next time), I also got chance to experience New Fantasyland during an open dress rehearsal! I’ll start with the news, and then wrap up with my review of the new area.

At Epcot:

Work is underway in the Innoventions Plaza. I’ve heard rumours of them removing the tarps, adding additional seating for Electric Umbrella, and even installing a centralized Fastpass location.

Character Spot has been temporarily relocated to the old Epcot 25th Display area while a new home is constructed for them near the park entrance. The room has been emptied of all it’s displays, but has retained the large opening-day ticket mural for use as a backdrop.

Quick look at Test Track progress. The Disney Parks Blog posted images of what the new signage will look like (In a word, tacky).

Over at Norway, the waterfall was turned off again. Even odder, the sword I mentioned last time has been removed. It lasted a whole three weeks.

At Studios:

Don’t blink! I found this Weeping Angel in Tower of Terror’s queue! Now the ride is even more frightening….

The Jack Sparrow Experience’s paint has spread over to the side of the building near One Man’s Dream.

And now, Magic Kingdom:

New Mermaid effect in Pirates is really cool! Catches you off guard. I still find the pacing weird, and the Mermaids’ Song is wrong for that area of the ride.

“Hi Jack!”

Here’s a look at what’s going on at the old Skyway plot. Rockwork, thatched roofs,  no meet and greet stuff,  some work on Small World (possibly to better tie it into the new area), and Yankee Trader work.

Pete’s Silly Sideshow is open. The calliope still isn’t playing, and Pete is still static. This is a real shame, as that is a real working colliope they pulled from Disneyland Paris.

A new sign bids farewell to all those who experienced Storybook Circus at the Tomorrowland walkway. The Tomorrowland end, on the other hand, is as uninviting and off-limits looking as ever.

Now, moving into New Fantasyland….Here’s this month’s castle wall panorama:

Are we open!? No…Cast Member previews are going on during the day. Here’s a look at Mine Train.

But what about at night? Ah, there’s when we can get in!
I figured there would be previews during the night hours of the park, as they had been opening it to Mickey’s Not So Scary party guests each night. Low and behold, it was opened up after Wishes performed.

Beauty and the Beast Realm:

The wait time for Enchanted Tales hovered around an hour during my time there, so I had to skip it.
The Beast’s castle off in the distance was very strange to me. We saw it go up all those months ago (gee, guess it’s been about a year, hasn’t it?!), and know it’s real size, yet, when you see it from the cottage with it’s windows all glowing gold, it looks huge! The forced perspective works crazy well! Speaking of the castle, Be Our Guest is beautiful! I especially love the mural of Beast and Belle off to the side. I was very impressed with the snow effect- very convincing!. One of my concerns with the restaurant was that the Ballroom looked a little small. Fortunately  the room looks much bigger in person than it does in videos! Gaston’s Tavern looked pretty nice! I didn’t get chance to explore most of it because it was packed. I did get to try out a LeFou’s Brew, though. It was surprisingly tasty. The apple works very well, but the foam topping was kinda nasty. I think this concoction would benfit from a name change. Something with ‘Cider’ in the name.
Bonjour Village Gifts was….small. I walked in, hit the back wall and expected to find another side room. It’s small, but nice. I guess it doesn’t need to be big, seeing as it’s only purpose it to stock Beauty and the Beast themed goods (and house the weird Phil Holmes portrat!).


Mermaid Realm:

Mermaid is absolutely gorgeous. The amount of water and the scale of the rockwork is beautiful! I’m not crazy about the lighting package, or really it at night at all, but the size and scope is huge!
The queue was lots of fun. The interactive element with the crabs was pretty nifty. People didn’t seem to understand it, and would just look at the crabs. Sadly, this causes a massive clog-up. People stopped at each crab station and wait for the crabs to reappear. Once the crab section was passed, there was no wait. Unfortunately  this means that people just walked past the awesome Animatronic Scuttle in the queue without really noticing him.
The ride itself was an unexpected surprise. I had seen videos of the California version dozens of times, so I knew what to expect. But it was nothing like I expected. I think what wowed me the most wasn’t the animatronics or effects or any of that, but the intimatcy of each scene. You seem close enough to reach out and touch the characters at some points! The Ariel animatronics were much smaller than I expected, as well. She seemed short and child-sized. That’s perfect for this ride though. The smallness of the ride’s scenes- and even clamobiles- shows that this is an attraction for kids; it’s scaled to them.
There are still quite a number of kinks to be worked out though. The main issue is lighting. At multiple points in the ride, bare walls and AC ducts are noticeable (notably the Flotsam and Jetsam scene) because there is too much light. The other issue are the animatronics and figures. Flotsam and Jetsam haven’t worked since soft openings began.
Overall, this is one great D-Ticket Darkride.

Ride through with me!

One of the things I got of the new area was size. I felt conflicted. While I understand that this expansion plot is huge, and much of it is still behind a wall, I felt like the space was used well. That made it feel small for some reason. When I walked through the Mermaid queue, I felt like I had hit the back of the park pretty quickly. Yet, I still knew how much space that was. I don’t know how to explain it.

My overall impression of these new areas: Wonderful. The amount of theming I could see (keep in mind there’s minimal lighting at night) was unlike anything else in the Magic Kingdom. The elevations and waterways were so drastically unlike anything else in just about any of the parks. The amount of water and foliage was exactly what the park needed. This expansion will only get ten times better when Mine Train is covered with green. And then even better than that once it opens.

That’s what I’ve got to say on New Fantasyland. Hope you enjoyed! Remember to follow me on Twitter and Facebook!

Posted October 29, 2012 by Imagineer2017 in Attractions, News, Parks

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D23 Expo Round-Up/De-Breifing/Rant   1 comment

I know that I promised a D23 Expo recap entry. But, school prevented me from seriously writing this week. Sorry. So, I’m typing this breif opinion article up on Saturday morning.

Plaza Princess Problems

D23 Expo Annoucemnts:

  • NOTHING.….wait, there was one thing. A new Princesess experience replacing the famous Plaza Gardens at Disneyland.

Right…I don’t have a problem with this, per say. It looks to be somehting very cool. They were lacking an experience like this at Disneyland. BUT, I do not in any way approve of the spot, other than the great backdrop.

The Gardens are famous. Famous. They’ve been there since Walt’s time. Ever heard that Elliot Brother’s at Disneyland? “Let’s dance at Disneyland!” (great song. Love how it’s really a commercial put into song). That is famous. Maybe it’s because I like swing music, but ripping that out just seems like ripping out an important part of the park.

If Ii understand right, there is a whole stage that is currently used for nothing more than Princess MnGs near Small Wold. So why not bulldoze it? They don’t even use the stage. It just seems like that would be the better spot.

A Lacking? Not Fair.

Next, I’d really like to address that people complained that “Walt Disney World got the shaft again!” How on earth can you claim that?! If I recall correctly, Walt Disney World was the center of attention last Expo. Both of the big announcements (Star Tours II, FLE) were for it. Yet, none of the Disneylanders had an qualms.

So this year, when WDW gets no news, why should all of the WDWers complain? If anything, the foreign parks, especially Paris, should be complaining.

People need to stop and think: Disney is spending how much money on how much expansion? And how much expansion is going on at WDW right now? Fantasyland, and Downtown Disney work, new hotels, and whatever minor things we’ve gotten. That’s quite a bit. And how much does that cost? Quite a sum. So just because Epcot gets nothing does not mean we’re forgotten. It means they may not have the money yet.

Now, do Epcot and DAK need somehting? Absolutely positively. Especially DAK. But right now, DAK’s attendance is fine. Disney is going to focus on it’s flagship park, the Magic Kingdom. That is where most families go. That is where people go. It’s a Mecca to all the world. So for them to be doing an expansion in that park is a no-brainer. It’s the biggest park.

Now why does it have to be princesses, a very gender/age/target audience centric, theme? Because Disney isn’t catering to the fans. They are catering to their biggest source of revenue. Go into Magic Kingdom, and you will see that Fantasyland is the most crowded, popular land. Full of little children who want to see princesses. Give the people what they want.

So yup. That’s my input. Don’t forget to subscribe. Or, follow me on twitter at Twitter.com/Imagineer2017. As well, make sure to listen to the D-History Podcast. This week’s show is really good, a topic I know plenty of people enjoy. The Disney Channel and it’s history.

Well. Time flies. Bye bye.

Eye on Shanghai!   4 comments

First Look Gives us Chance to Get Familiar  with Disney’s Newest, Most Aspiring Park

Last night, the Disney Parks Blog released an article announcing the Ground Breaking for Shanghai Disneyland. This article included some amazing conceptual art pieces that have caused quite a buzz.

As posted by Tom Staggs on the Disney Parks Blog:

I’m writing to you from Shanghai where Bob Iger and I are just about to take the stage for a very special ceremony. In just a few minutes we will officially break ground on the Shanghai Disney Resort.

This is truly a defining moment in our company’s history. We will now begin construction on this exciting new site and cause our creative concepts to leap from the drawing boards and become a wonderful new resort where friends and families can visit and play and create memories that they’ll never forget.

With Shanghai Disney Resort, we have the chance to introduce the Disney Parks experience to an entirely new group of guests. Scheduled to open in about five years, our new resort in Shanghai will include things that you know and love about a Disney theme park such as Disney characters, attractions and storytelling… but it will also feature all-new experiences and stories that were inspired by and created for the people of China. The best way to describe this new resort is authentically Disney, yet distinctly Chinese.

Shanghai Disneyland will be the name of the theme park itself, but the property will also have two themed hotels, a venue for retail, dining and entertainment, a wonderful sparkling lagoon and some outdoor recreation areas.

We look forward to sharing more details with you right here on the Disney Parks Blog. Until then, I would like to thank everyone from both Disney and the Shanghai Shendi Group who have worked so tirelessly to make the dream of building a Disney resort in Shanghai a reality.

As well, here’s the groundbreaking ceremony:

 

Wow!  How exciting! Lets stop and take a look at some very significant things these pieces show us (but bear in mind, this is only concept art. Nothing is promised. Things have already changed since we last saw artwork):

  • Adventureland and Tomorrowland have swapped sides.

Yea, that isn’t major earth-stopping, but it’s still significant, as all other Disneyland parks have Adventureland to the left of the Castle

  • You can only make out 3 lands

That has to do with  ‘hiding it from the press’. But, there’s also the fact that (as I’m hearing those with ears on the company say) only 4 lands are being built. Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, and a new land just for Shanghai. This new land is supposedly a ‘Mythical’ land, possibly including Expedition Everest.

  • Notice that Main Street is not included.

This has to do with the Chinese agreements and customs. So instead:

  • Fantasyland is in front of the Castle

Since Main Street can’t be done, Fantasyland moves in! Instead of the shops, it appears that there are darkrides leading guests into the hub. Dumbo and the carousel reside in the hub in the pieces. This makes me wonder how a NextGen queue will be installed, but I suppose they have it figured out.

I’m a bit upset that Frontierland wasn’t included. In older pieces of concept art, there was a Thunder Mesa-looking complex. Too bad that’s not there anymore, I’m hearing the entire land was cut. Same kind of story for Main Street. There were rumblings of every kind of theme imaginable, from Nature to 30’s Hollywood. I was excited for something like that.

The castle, though just another Cinderella Castle, is very unique. It seems to have a boxier shape to it, looks much more imposing, and has many different touches and is adorned with decorations nether of the existing ones have.

Now, as to what I’ve heard people saying will be included in the park:

  • TRON attraction replacing Space Mountain.
  • New spin on some old classic darkrides such as PPF and PDJ
  • Snow White Mine Train Coaster
  • Expedition: Everest clone (older rumor)
  • New ‘Mythical’ land, possibly to hold Everest
  • Pirates-themed mini-land to hold a new POTC
  • KUKU-Arm POTC (outrageously stupid older rumor)
  • Another unique take on Haunted Mansion (which is necessary anyway because of Chinese culture)

Overall, this is looking to be beautiful. And when is the park scheduled to open? 2017 😉

Posted April 8, 2011 by Imagineer2017 in News, Parks

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Toontown Fairwell   1 comment

Today, ToonTown Fair closes. Opening as Mickey’s Birthdayland on June 18, 1988,  and later re-named Starland in 1990, this small, planned-as-temporary land is being closed to make room for New Fantasyland.

The land contained Mickey and Minnie Mouses’ houses, Donald’s Boat, ‘County Bounty’ shop, Princess and Fariy MnGs, a playground, and the Barnstormer.

Today, I bring you my little ‘Fairwell’ to this small, often neglected by fans, land. As well, I will be there this weekend, so a report containing pictures of what’s going on will be published.

Any-who, let’s start:

I had never been in Minnie’s house, so this was cool.
Cool models of the houses.
The houses are full of these plasticy-looking toon props.
Now over to the big cheese’s house.
Great bedroom decor!
While guests could walk around in the rooms of Minnie’s house, Mickeys are blocked off
Wallpapering? Bit outdated.
County Bounty was probably one of the coolest stores in the Magic Kingdom
Barnstormer, soon to be ‘The Great Goofini’ . What will become of the WoM Chickens!?
This was a real barn when Birthdayland opened. Now it houses WoM chickens. Who knows what happens in the future?!
Sadly, this is the end.

Toontown Fair. It is it’s time to go, but it will never been forgotten.

As for the future, based on the New Fantasyland concept art:

  • Minnie’s House will become the far end of the Mine Train Coaster.
  • County Bounty’s tent will more than likely become a 3 Little Pigs circus themed shop
  • Toonpark Playground area may become a Casey Jr. water play area.
  • Donald’s Boat may become part of Dumbo’s queue

As well, Goofini may open by December.

As of yesterday (Feb 10), posters announcing Circusland was posted everywhere. They show pictures of “The Great Goofini” in a cannon, “Pete’s Silly Sideshow”, and “Big Top Souvenirs, featuring the 3 Pigonlinis”. What Pete’s Sideshow is remains a mystery for now.  But, with all the characters we see, it would appear that Circusland will be a new kind of Toontown. A Toontown Circus, if you will. While I don’t like it,  it’s a clever theme nevertheless.

Well, hope you enjoyed. As you can see, I’ve added a new banner to my photos. Like it?  Don’t forget to subscribe, comment, rate, and share! See Ya Real Soon!

Posted February 10, 2011 by Imagineer2017 in News, Parks

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