Though still a few months from opening, today Disneyland offered us a peek behind the construction walls at the new Fantasy Faire, a Fantasyland expansion just outside Sleeping Beauty Castle. Set to open March 12, the area is still very much a work in progress, but Imagineers were on hand to show off some of the many unique design touches added to this future home for elaborate Disney princess meet-and-greets.
When Fantasy Faire opens in mid-March, guests will have a chance to meet with Disney princesses including Cinderella, Aurora, and Belle, as well as take part in storytelling shows, all beginning in an elaborately-themed courtyard.
Creative Director Michel Den Dulk and Show Director Chris Utley led a tour of the area for select media this morning. We sent Paul Barrie from WindowToTheMagic.com to be our eyes behind the walls.
Video: Preview tour of Fantasy Faire with Imagineer Michel Den Dulk
UPDATE (2/4/13): We offer a closer look at Fantasy Faire in Show 409 including interviews with Imagineers and chefs:
Here’s a closer look at how the area looked today, still very much under construction:
This is the future home of a Rapunzel-themed maypole:
Extending the castle walls and Fantasyland borders, Fantasy Faire replaces the much-beloved Carnation Plaza Gardens, former home to regular swing dancing, dating all the way back to Walt Disney’s own days enjoying the park. The former dancing floor is being transformed into the Royal Theater:
Though the new area still contains a stage for performances, the decision on when swing will return has yet to be decided, dedicating all of Fantasy Faire’s time to princesses - for now. In the meantime, swing dancing can be enjoyed at Downtown Disney on select nights, even if that’s not really where fans want it to be.
Designers have paid tribute to the past within Fantasy Faire via a “CPG” crest, as shown off in the recently-updated Blue Sky Cellar preview center at Disney California Adventure:
Here’s its future location:
When finished, the area will resemble the scale model and artwork currently on display at the Blue Sky Cellar:
Moving through the courtyard, Guests will then enter the Royal Hall where regal decor will enrich the environment set for waiting for a few moments with a princess.
Along the way, a variety of magical moments from Disney films will entertain, including an animated version of Geppetto’s cat Figaro from “Pinocchio” perched on a window sill, an interactive Clopin’s Music box from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and Rapunzel’s hair twinkling down her tower out front.
In addition to meet-and-greets, two shows will be part of the Fantasy Faire experience, telling the tales of Rapunzel and Belle, hosted by vaudeville storytellers Mr. Smyth and Mr. Jones, joined by the princesses themselves.
The Fairytale Treasures shop within Fantasy Faire will be home to Princess merchandise while Maurice’s Treats will serve bread twists - cheddar cheese garlic and strawberry almond cream flavors - along with a signature beverage: Boysen Apple Freeze.
Similar to Red’s Apple Freeze in Cars Land and LeFou’s Brew in New Fantasyland, this drink will feature Boysenberry flavors to go with its name, a play on “poison apple.” The drink will be served in themed mugs, also borrowed from New Fantasyland.
Not all Disney princesses will meet inside Fantasy Faire. Tiana fits in better in New Orleans Square, for example. Those looking to meet the princesses that do appear in Royal Hall will do so in waiting in a traditional standby line, with no Fastpass option available.
Until Fantasy Faire opens, the Disney Princesses will continue to meet guests around the “it’s a small world” area. But come March 12, Disneyland visitors will have a chance to be immersed in this highly themed new area.
(Construction tour photos by Paul Barrie. Blue Sky Cellar photos by Jeremiah Daws.)
More photos from the Fantasy Faire preview construction tour:
Fantasy Faire artwork from the Blue Sky Cellar: