Walt Disney World has just released this image of the Rose Gallery located inside the ‘Be Our Guest’ restaurant located in the Enchanted Forest section of the New Fantasyland Expansion at the Magic Kingdom.
Featuring a large music box centerpiece nearly 7 feet tall with Belle and the Beast slowly twirling atop, the Rose Gallery is one of three dining rooms at Be Our Guest Restaurant. Adorned with rose accents, paintings and tapestries, the Rose Gallery features French-inspired cuisine for quick-service lunch. Part of New Fantasyland, Be Our Guest Restaurant will grand open December 6, 2012.
Photo by David Roark, courtesy Walt Disney World
‘New Fantasyland’ Preview for D23, Annual Passholders Announced; Limited Edition Merchandise Pre-Order
Disney D23, the official club for fans of The Walt Disney Company, has announced it will be offering its members the opportunity to obtain free tickets to be among the first to preview the Fantasy Forest area of the ‘New Fantasyland’ expansion at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on the weekend of November 3-4, 2012.
On October 8 at 1 pm ET, timed tickets for either day will become available for members to register for themselves and one guest. The timed blocks are 3 1/2 hours each, available at both 8 – 11:30 am and 5:00 – 8:30 pm and will include a choice of either a meet and greet with Ariel in her new Grotto or the opportunity to play and greet with Belle in the new ‘Enchanted Tales with Belle’ attraction. Other areas will be available to explore at members’ leisure, including limited dining opportunities, but ‘Be Our Guest’ will not be serving at this time.
A ‘New Fantasyland Commemorative Collection’ consisting of a small number of merchandise created for the event has also been announced and is now available for pre-order throughout most of October. This merchandise must be ordered online in advance and will not be available for purchase at the event or anywhere else beyond this opportunity.
To see the full collection of available merchandise, click here. For more information for this opportunity for D23 members and to claim tickets when available, see the official event page. Registered Annual Passholders are advised to look for an email announcing the opportunity to register.
In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, the official Disney Parks blog has announced that Walt Disney Imagineering will soon be taking a cue from the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, On Stranger Tides, and adding a new feature to the attraction.
Speculation and rumors have run rampant for months that mermaids were intended to be added to the attraction at the Magic Kingdom and the announcement has now re-fueled it along with an off-again/on-again full day closure for the attraction scheduled for October 9.
The attraction has already shared an incestuous love affair with its namesake film, beginning with the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow and Barbossa and inclusion of Davy Jones and Blackbeard from the later films.
Of course it could also end up simply being the Black Pearl in a ship bottle, but the news has certainly sparked the interest of theme park fans. One thing is for certain: if mermaids there be, they probably won’t be of the same sort that once haunted the waters of the lagoon at Disneyland.
Although it had previously been shared with media at a prior event, Walt Disney World has just officially released this concept art of the interior of the Princess Fairytale Hall which will be in the space once consumed by Snow White’s Scary Adventures.
The new home for visiting royalty in the Magic Kingdom, Princess Fairytale Hall will feature walls of stone and stained glass windows, a spacious gallery adorned with portraits of Disney princesses and elegantly finished rooms where guests can meet Aurora, Cinderella and other princesses. Set to open in 2013, as part of the next phase of the New Fantasyland expansion after the opening on December 6, 2012, Princess Fairytale Hall will be located in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland.
Image courtesy Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
‘Be Our Guest Restaurant’ in Walt Disney World’s New Fantasyland magically drops Magic Kingdom diners into the splendor, elegance and fairytale charm of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, with a setting right out of the hit animated feature film: the magnificent castle of The Beast, where guests dine in three richly appointed rooms that bring to the story to life.
“This is a whole new level of theming for a Disney restaurant,” said Maribeth Bisienere, vice president of Food & Beverage and Merchandise for The Walt Disney Company. “More than ever, we’re using storytelling and creativity as we develop our menus.”
Be Our Guest Restaurant is the next step in the evolution of creating delightful dining experiences for Disney theme park guests, she added.
The storytelling starts with Walt Disney Imagineering, This time it’s all about the mysterious new Magic Kingdom castle that’s home to Beast from Beauty and the Beast, a forbidding castle in the Fantasyland “countryside.” Guests pass through an old gateway to a stone bridge and through wrought-iron gates with six beastly figures along the sides – the first of many that reinforce the story of the Beast’s transformation.
The restaurant’s spacious interior re-creates the look of the film in great detail. Lunch guests enter through the Armor Hallway, where six suits of armor stand along the wall (listen closely for an occasional whisper from the metal figures), and into the Beast’s Parlor to place lunch orders on five guest-activated terminals. For dinner, guests enter directly into the majestic Ballroom.
There are three dining rooms: the stately Ballroom, the forbidden, dramatic West Wing and the delicate Rose Gallery. The Ballroom conveys the elegance of the film with a coffered, 20-foot ceiling with fluffy clouds and cherubs, sparkling chandeliers and a terrazzo floor. At the far end of the room, 18-foot-tall arched windows look out to the French countryside, where special effects create a light snowfall through the starry sky.
The West Wing dining room is darker and more mysterious, with the glass bell jar containing the enchanted rose slowly dropping petals as time runs out for the beast. Over the fireplace, a portrait of the young prince in human form is slashed by the claws of the beast. As lightning flashes, the image in the portrait transforms, changing from prince to Beast.
The Rose Gallery dining room features a large music box centerpiece nearly 7 feet tall with Belle and the Beast slowly twirling atop. Along the walls are paintings and tapestries that celebrate the characters from the story, with four of the tapestries inspired by background art from the film. Throughout the room, carved roses are featured, including intricate tile mosaics on the floor.
Music is an important element throughout the restaurant, with musical themes from the film adding to the ambience. In the Ballroom, a 50-piece orchestra recorded the music from the film. In the adjacent Rose Gallery, special music box arrangements were recorded of the same pieces heard in the Ballroom, in perfect synchrony, so that guests moving from room to room will hear the same tune transformed from one style to another. In the West Wing, a somber, melancholy arrangement creates yet another mood.
The restaurant seats 546 for lunch and 340 for dinner. (In the evenings the Rose Gallery is closed to guests and used as a staging area for table-service dining.)
About four years ago, the Disney Food & Beverage team started creating a menu to match the theatrics. A team of Disney chefs, including longtime Disney Chef Roland Muller, a native of Alsace, France, developed the French-inspired dishes, creating both a quick-service menu for lunch and more elegant table-service menu for dinner.
“Our role is to finish the story,” said Walt Disney World Executive Chef Lenny DeGeorge. He describes lunch as more of a French bistro, with dishes such as a classic Croque Monsieur (ham, Gruyere cheese and béchamel), braised pork coq au vin style, vegetable quiche and a tuna Niçoise salad.
Guests order at touch-screen devices and head for tables where high-tech touches ensure that food quickly is delivered to each table.
“We wanted dishes that are recognizable, but also movie-themed,” said DeGeorge. “Everything is fresh, made to order, and for lunch we are hoping for the bustling kind of energy like the movie scene in the dining room.”
Dinner is a more elegant affair with starters such as mussels Provençal, French onion soup and charcuterie (cured meats with cornichons, pickled onions and toasted whole-grain bread). Entrées pay homage to a castle feast in the 1400s with whole roasted hen, thyme-scented pork rack chop, and pan-seared salmon with leek fondue and saffron potatoes. Gourmet cupcakes – strawberry cream cheese, triple chocolate and lemon meringue — and mousse-filled cream puffs are finished tableside.
And just for dinner, select wines and beers will be offered that complement the French-inspired cuisine.
“As part of the overall theming, we wanted to offer wine that enhances the guest experience and complement the French-inspired cuisine,” says Stuart McGuire, beverage director, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. ”The wines focus primarily on France’s famous wine growing regions including Champagne, Alsace, Loire, Rhone, Burgundy and Bordeaux.
“We’ll also offer the leading French beer, Kronenbourg 1664,” says McGuire. “And, staying in the general region, we’ll also offer Belgian beers.”
L’amour Vrais, French for “true love,” is a souvenir, castle-themed goblet with one of two signature non-alcoholic drinks: an all-natural fruit juice punch and wild berry extract sweetened with organic cane juice and topped with lemon-lime foam, or an all-natural pure squeezed lemonade sweetened with organic cane juice and topped with wildberry foam.
Just for Kids
For lunch, the kids’ menu includes a grilled carved turkey sandwich, braised pork with sautéed green beans and potato-vegetable mash, turkey meatloaf (shaped like Mickey Mouse) and seared mahi mahi. Dinner is grilled steak, fish or chicken breast with fresh vegetables.
“We’re even making the ketchup from scratch using carrots,” said DeGeorge. “And the meatloaf also has vegetables, so kids are getting their vegetables and don’t even realize it.”
‘Every Detail Part of Story’
Servers complete the picture, dressed in a style inspired by European fashions from the 1400s to the 1600s: a royal purple embroidered doublet, or vest, over a shirt with knickers that reach just below the knee. For evening service, a jabot or ruffle, buttoned at the throat, is added.
“From the moment they cross the bridge into the castle, it’s all about immersing our guests in the dining experience,” says Bisienere. “Every detail is part of the story.”
A new entertainment opportunity has been announced for the Magic Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort. Under the title of ‘variety acts,’ the position is specifically looking for ‘fun and engaging circus-style variety acts, preferably those with levels and height, as well as audience participation.’ In addition, ‘these acts must be self contained, allow for quick set-up and strike, not use any permanent rigging, and be suitable for outdoor venues. They must also be suitable for family audiences.’ Solo clown acts are explicitly not being considered at this time.
Although the entry doesn’t explicitly say where the acts will perform, presumably the acts will be part of the ‘streetmosphere’ at the Storybook Circus section of the New Fantasyland expansion, which is currently open and operating, though the official New Fantasyland launch date will be December 6, 2012. Auditions are by appointment only and must be requested via phone at 407-397-3285.
Walt Disney World also recently announced it was seeking talent with physical comedy and improv skills for two new, ‘highly interactive, comedic and unique atmospheric experiences’ that ‘will bring fun and fantasy to each Guest’ for the Magic Kingdom.
Yesterday marked the opening of the application process for the 2013 Walt Disney World Moms Panel available at disneymomspanelsearch2013.com. As with last year’s application process, there were questions regarding specific knowledge on Disney Parks (as well as Disney trivia in general).
One of the questions has seemingly sparked up a bit of a debate between hopefuls — and perhaps with good reason:
QUESTION: WHAT INGREDIENT MAKES THE DOLE WHIP SO SPECIAL?
(A) Whipped Cream (B) Pineapple (C) Soft Serve Ice Cream (D) Strawberries
Immediately we can eliminate both A and D simply because anyone who’s everlooked at a Dole whip, let alone ate one, can see those two options don’t exist. So that just leaves one of two remaining possibilities. Is it the pineapple that makes it special? or is it that it’s soft serve ice cream?
But before we answer, let’s just all agree on this: neither one of those really tends to make a product special. So we’ll just loosen up our definition of special just this once.
So the pineapple or the soft serve ice cream? The pineapple answer comes into question (and very reasonably so) because despite Disneyland only offering a pineapple version, Walt Disney World offers a choice of pineapple, vanilla or orange, and even a swirled combination. It’s also par for the course that if you do ask for a Dole whip at Aloha Isle at Magic Kingdom, you will be asked to choose your flavor. So apparently — at Walt Disney World at least — pineapple does not define a Dole whip. So it can only be the other choice: soft serve ice cream.
Except — what’s so special about soft serve ice cream, really? And we probably shouldn’t ignore the fact that… well… a Dole whip isn’t ice cream at all. The company that sells the Dole whip mix, Precision Foods, defines the product as ‘a lactose free dry mix that is reconstituted with tap water and frozen down in a soft serve machine.’ So soft serve? Yes. Ice cream? No.
So despite the process of elimination pointing very meekly at pineapple as the probable answer, the truth is, the answer is whatever the person who made up the question wants it to be and that is one answer we may never find out.
Walt Disney World has updated its official Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween event page to include a link to the official guide map / times guide for 2012. There really are no surprises this year, save for the ‘Not So Scary Street Jam!’ pre-parade on Main Street, USA which is mercifully left off of the map.
What is interesting however is the sponsors being listed which indicates a change of the candy offerings at the party’s various trick or treat stations. Listed are: Chiquita (sorry, Dole), whose potential offerings include Super Crunchy Fruit Chips; Kellogg’s, who offers ‘Jake and the Neverland Pirates’ and ‘Avengers’ branded fruit snacks; Werther’s Original, which offers a host of caramel-based products as evidenced in their Karamell-Küche shop located in the Germany pavilion in Epcot; and Peeps, whose parent company, Just Born, offers up Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales, Peanut Chews and Teenee Beanee jelly beans, in addition to the marshmallow treats.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween parties begin at the Magic Kingdom on September 11 and run many nights through November 2. While park admission is not required per se, the event does require a separately purchased ticket. For more information, visit the official MNSSH event page.
Ever since its refurbishment was announced back in May, speculations have run rampant about changes being made to ‘Country Bear Jamboree,’ located in Frontierland of the Magic Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World. Initial rumors had the show being cut in length and have since grown to include cutting out peripheral characters out completely to the return of the holiday overlay and more. The only certain element regarding the rumors was that for every rumor proposed, there was at least another that contradicted it and proposed something else.
While it’s not 100% confirmation, paperwork filed today at the Orange County Comptroller’s office by Walt Disney Imagineering show intentions of modifying both the lighting and the show control, which is a strong indication that there will in fact be modifications to the show, although how exactly will remain to be seen when the attraction re-opens on October 17, 2012.
Prior to these filings, the only related paperwork has been in regards to general refurbishment and construction as well as electrical work supplied by Ermco of Florida.
First Look: Tinker Bell and Periwinkle Characters from Disney Parks; New ‘Secret of the Wings’ Clips
The official Disney Parks blog today shared this first image of Tinker Bell and Periwinkle /aka/ Peri /aka/ Tink’s sister as they will appear at both Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland in mid-September (September 17 in Orlando according to this site, to be precise).
Peri will be joining Tink in Pixie Hollow in honor of their upcoming 3D Blu-ray release, Secret of the Wings, available to own on October 23, 2012. For Tinker Bell and the other warm season fairies, the Winter Woods remains a mysterious and forbidden place. Secret of the Wings takes audiences on an amazing journey of discovery with Tink, into this forbidden world where she discovers a magical secret that changes her life forever.
Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios New Zealand, we also have a couple of new clips to share. In the first clip, titled ‘Sisters,’ Tink and Peri learn that they are ‘two fairies born of the same laugh’ in a way that only Pixie Hollow could announce the news:
The next clip, titled ‘Exactly Alike,’ overlaps a bit with a previously released clip and introduces Gliss and Spike as Peri shows her newly-discovered sibling around the Winter Woods: