Earlier today, the official Disney Parks blog held an internet chat with Walt Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty who is overseeing the New Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Featured in the chat was the reveal of the ‘forbidden’ West Wing inside the Beast’s castle which is represented in the New Fantasyland Fantasy Forest area as the ‘Be Our Guest’ restaurant.
The chat opened up with this video featuring Imagineers Tim Warzecha, Ted Robledo and Chris Kelly as they toured the restaurant, including the West Wing section, and gave an overview into the design and thought process behind the new dining location.
Inside the West Wing, diners will find both the enchanted rose from Beauty and the Beast as well as the portrait of the Beast hanging over the fireplace. Guests who are able to dine in the room will be able to witness petals magically appearing to fall from the rose — when the last petal falls, a ‘lightning storm’ occurs, causing the windows by the rose to flash colors and the painting of the Beast will transition into the Prince before the guests’ eyes. While Beatty stopped short of explaining the frequency of this magical moment, he noted that the timing was balanced so that each guest dining would be able to experience it, but it wouldn’t occur often enough as to become repetitive, or not special.
Beatty also spoke on the music box centerpiece of Belle and the Beast dancing, located in the Rose Gallery section of the restaurant. The music box serves as a gift to the couple from Belle’s father, Maurice. Inside Maurice’s workshop at Enchanted Tales with Belle, just before guests enter the magic mirror to visit Belle in the castle, they can find the maquette of the statue as well as plans, hidden amongst Maurice’s work (SPOILER: the maquette can actually be found looming in the dark in the top left corner of the wall that contains the magic mirror). Inside the restaurant, the music box will play the same music found throughout the restaurant; as guests move from the ballroom, where the music is played as full orchestration, it will turn into a music box form inside the Rose Gallery.
While it’s set to open on December 6, New Fantasyland is currently undergoing a ‘dress rehearsal’ — or soft opening — on most days. Not all of the new expansion’s features can be found today, however, as Beatty hints there is an object currently missing from beside Gaston’s portrait inside the tavern.
During the chat, the Disney Parks blog also announced it will soon be offering a special Disney Parks blog meetup on November 17, allowing guests to visit Be Our Guest along with the Imagineers. Details have yet to be announced.