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.”
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.
Via an email to Disney Travel Agents regarding the newly made announcements regarding the Enchanted Forest portion of the New Fantasyland Expansion at the Walt Disney World Resort on December 6, 2012 (soft opening November 19), a few pieces of concept art were released. They appear to be new, but it is quite possible they’ve been released previously and we just missed them, but even if they are old news they are beautiful enough to warrant sharing again.
- The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill and houses the Be Our Guest Restaurant (reservations open for November 19 on August 20 at
12 pm7 AM ET), which will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery and mysterious ‘West Wing’ of the castle. With seating for 550, this eatery promises a French bistro flavor, offering ‘great food fast’ service by day and full table service dining in the evening.
- Maurice’s Cottage (decorated with a few of his wacky contraptions!) is situated in Belle’s Village amongst a French countryside setting complete with a wishing well and rustic foot bridge. The inventor’s humble workshop welcomes guests into the first scene of Enchanted Tales with Belle and Lumiere, a lively retelling of the ‘tale as old as time.’
- Nearby in Belle’s Village, guests will find the rousing Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid is a major new attraction that takes guests on a ride with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves – all against a musical backdrop of songs from the classic film.
- Ariel’s Grotto provides a way to meet and greet with The Little Mermaid herself.
After starting the roll out of FASTPASS+ technology at the Magic Kingdom, which not only included the installation of temporary (and subsequent permanent) RFID readers at return lines at select attractions, along with limited tests, as well as pilot programs to enter the theme parks via RFID and — most recently — pay for purchases and unlock hotel rooms using embedded RFID chips in the Key to the World (KTTW) cards at the Contemporary Resort, it appears Walt Disney World (NYSE:DIS) is steadily pushing on to establish its NextGen technology at the Resort, this time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Within the past 24 hours (give or take), Walt Disney World has filed construction commencement notices with the Orange County Comptroller’s office, for virtually all of the theme parks’ attractions and shows. Citing a very generic ‘provide labor, material and/or electrical for construction’ reason, all of the documents list Disney’s own Buena Vista Construction Company as the contractor, as was the case for all recent work performed on Haunted Mansion, to cite an example.
Attractions referenced so far in the paperwork include Star Tours, Great Movie Ride, American Idol Experience, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Disney Junior Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Rock’n'Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, Muppet*Vision 3D, and Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show.
FASTPASS+ is an enhanced version of the FASTPASS attraction reservation system which will allow select guests to schedule opportunities to visit attractions and character meet and greets in advance of their visit to the Walt Disney World Resort. It is part of a larger program, MAGIC+, or ‘My Disney Experience’ which will allow the guest to customize and interact with the theme park environments way beyond what is possible today. Walt Disney World recently released an app titled My Disney Experience for Apple iOS devices which will provide the foundation of the new opportunities, which include allowing guests to integrate their mobile activity with their online accounts to share information and perform new tasks such as creating dining reservations from virtually anywhere. To aid with using the new app, the company has already rolled out free WiFi inside the Magic Kingdom Park and its resorts, with the rest of the theme parks expected to follow suit.
Magic Kingdom guests blink back in amazement at the scene: not one, but two colorful Dumbos spinning through the sky above Storybook Circus.
To the delight of fans of the beloved Dumbo, the Flying Elephant attraction, a second Dumbo flies alongside. The playful pachyderm is joined in Storybook Circus by the Barnstormer Coaster re-themed to the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station water play area and the Fantasyland Train Station — all part of the multiyear, largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history.
There’s more to come as the expansion of the New Fantasyland – nearly doubling in size — continues at Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, so many more attractions are coming on line later this year that Dec. 6, 2012 has been set as the Grand Opening of Fantasyland. Previews begin Nov. 19.
Slated to make their debuts:
Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, a major attraction where guests will travel with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves – all against a musical backdrop of songs from the film. The new attraction combines the enduring appeal of a classic Disney “dark ride” with wonderful technological innovations to offer guests a personal journey into the scenes of the film. Adventurers will feel as if they are descending below the ocean’s surface. Once “under the sea,” guests will find themselves immersed in the story of “The Little Mermaid,” sharing Ariel’s adventure through a magical cast of characters and a captivating musical score that will entice everyone to sing along. The fun continues at “Ariel’s Grotto,” a meet-and-greet with the mermaid heroine herself.
The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill across an old stone bridge from Ariel’s new home. The Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery, and mysterious “West Wing” of the castle. With seating for 550, this magnificent facility will offer “great food fast” service by day and full table service dining in the evening. Nearby in Belle’s Village, guests will find the rousing Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.
Just outside the village is Belle’s cottage and Enchanted Tales with Belle. The adventure begins in Maurice’s workshop, where a magical mirror is the doorway to a captivating new kind of storytelling experience: guests will be transported to the Beast’s library to meet Belle and Lumiere, and share in a lively, interactive re-telling of the “tale as old as time.”
“Fantasyland is a place where a very special kind of memory is made: where children just old enough to understand the moment come in contact with princesses and heroes and meet their most beloved friends,” said Meg Crofton, president, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France.
“We are excited about sharing our treasured stories in new ways and giving guests the opportunity to interact with their favorite characters like never before.”
Beyond 2012, there’s more in store for Fantasyland guests:
Located in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland, Princess Fairytale Hall will be the new home for visiting royalty in the Magic Kingdom. The castle-like entrance will feature walls of stone and stained glass windows, opening up into a large gallery – an airy space with a high ceiling, where portraits of the Disney princesses adorn the walls. When it’s time for their audience with a princess, guests will proceed to elegantly finished rooms to meet Aurora, Cinderella and other Disney princesses, such as Tiana and Rapunzel (2013).
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will take guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The coaster will feature a first-of-its-kind ride system with a train of vehicles that swing back and forth, responding to every twist and turn of the track. The journey will be accompanied by music from the classic Disney film and animated figures of Snow White and the Dwarfs (2014).
Just how well does the moat that surrounds Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom protect the castle and (New) Fantasyland from ne’er do wells? Just how to defeat the most magical place on Earth’s defenses and make scores of Disney cast members and characters alike succumb to your almighty being is at the heart of this question recently proposed on Quora.com in the Military Strategy category.
Proposed tactics range from a Dumbo-ized take on the Trojan Horse ploy to an all out assault, shamelessly including “it’s a small world” in its collateral damage. While we commend the operation known as ‘Bibbidi Bobbidi Boom!’ simply for its creative name, we’re not sure on whether facing the wrath of a certain Marvel super hero team is worth the effort (‘If we can’t save Cinderella Castle, we will avenge it.’) The most agreeable method, however, seems to be the most direct route and that’s simply making dining reservations (albeit a lot of dining reservations) for Cinderella’s Royal Table. The plus side: quality princess time, the negative: the plotter thinks Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is still around the corner.
source: Anonymous via BuzzFeed
In honor of Secret of the Wings, which debuts on 3D Blu-ray on October 23, Disney Parks has officially confirmed it will be introducing Tinker Bell’s new wintery friend, Periwinkle, as a meet & greet character at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme parks. No specific date has been given other than her appearances will begin in October.
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.
Below is a previously released clip from the film:
Variety recently reported on a project tentatively titled Magic Kingdom which it says has been in development since prior to the arrival of Rich Ross to Walt Disney Studios. Reportedly a pitch and script has already been written by ‘Battlestar Galactica’ reboot architect Ronald Moore, had taken place initially at Disneyland and is currently under development at Strike Entertainment. According to Variety, Disney is looking for a writer of its own to bring the park to life in a Night at the Museum-esque offering.
There appears to be no speculation at this time whether it will be animated, live-action or a combination of the two, but anything other than animated would make it very risky to bring Mickey Mouse, et al to life on the silver screen which is perhaps why the project appears to be sitting on the back burner for now. Disney’s Jungle Cruise, based on the theme park attraction, has been in the works for years with very little sign of life so it could be some time, if ever, that Magic Kingdom makes it into theaters.
Even before the show set sail back in November, Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee was causing waves of excitement at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. With the show advertised to end on January 3, many were disappointed but then turned optimistic when the official site began listing the show as continuing beyond the expected final date.
While we are sad to report that the show is in fact ending today (and is explicitly listed as being performed only today on the Magic Kingdom’s Times Guide for this week), we thought we’d offer some hope of our own for those who missed the opportunity to see the moving spectacle.
Although au revoir is French for goodbye, its [roughly] literal translation is ‘until we see each other again’ and we have been privy to some information indicating that the show may in fact be returning, at least temporarily, most likely for the summer season. We can confirm that the Resort is actively auditioning for the roles for the show including Dr. Facilier who traditionally has only appeared for the show itself as opposed to meet and greets.
Some have asked us about how the existing meet & greets with Tiana and Naveen will be affected by the show ending and we are pleased to say that for the most part, they will not be affected at all. Tiana and Naveen will continue to meet with guests in Liberty Square (behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe) for the time being.