Changes in Disney World Fantasyland Expansion

If there were ever a testament to the current climate of social media and customer feedback, it’s this one. Disney should be thanking their lucky stars for the feedback they got on the Disney World Fantasyland expansion after they premiered the plans at the D23 Expo last year.

The rallying cry? “Too many damn princesses!” And I heartily agreed.

Originally, the expansion was going to include a bunch of new meet and greet areas with the princesses each in their own little area. I was sure at that point that Disney had forgotten that their fan base was something besides girls between the ages of 4 and 8.

But fortunately, thanks to a bunch of loudmouth fans and people like the ones who made this genius video, Disney reconsidered the plans and is putting all the princesses in some shared living space to get all the meeting and greeting done at once.  And for giving dirty old men fuel for some whacked out princess sorority pillow fight fantasy.

This princess dorm will be located where Snow White’s Scary Adventures is now.  I’ve not been on the WDW world version, but I’ve heard it’s not quite a nice as Anaheim.

So, what do we get? Well, Mickey’s Toon Town Fair is closed up and will be replaced by the Storybook Circus. Which sound suspiciously generic to me. All we really know so far about it is that Goofy’s Barmstormer will be re-themed around a character called The Great Goofini. But basically the same ride I assume. This is also where the new double Dumbo ride will be as well as a bunch of play areas.  So we’re looking at a bit of a kiddie land on this one.  Which is fine.  It keeps the little ones away from the thing I want to see and ride. 😉  You can see some of the preview posters for this area here.

The Little Mermaid ride is well underway.  And I expect it will be similar to the one going up in Anaheim.  A good call since one coast always complains when the other coast gets a cool new ride first.  Like siblings on Christmas morning.

Since the Snow White ride is on the way out, they’re replacing it with a roller coaster type ride on a Dwarves’ mine car theme.  Sweet.  Something adults can get into and still keeping the ‘ol girl and her little men in the park.  Good plan.

And thank Walt.. The pixies have been booted from the park.  Tinkerbell and her nameless, faceless friends are fine, but two straight to DVD movies should not get you prime park space.  The pixies will be over in Epcot (weird, yes) where they will take some role in the Epcot Flower Festival.

The Beauty and the Beast area will still be as planned.  The Beast’s castle as well as a walk through-ish thing of the village and you can eat at Gaston’s tavern which will be doing double duty as a daytime fast food and nighttime sit down restaurant.  Sorry, no flagons of ale, all you role players.

I’m actually kind of looking forward to this part.  The village scenes in BatB, I think, are some of the most intimate and realized of any of the films except maybe Pinnochio.

The one thing I don’t see is an attraction that will really compete with the Harry Potter ride at Universal.  I haven’t been on it, but apparently is as top notch as top notch can be.  Disney will need to get this Fantasyland stuff out of the way and ride that wave of promo while they work on something really blockbuster.

A bonus for me though?  Not one mention of any attractions using screens and projections as it’s main technology.  They got away with motion simulators and projection type attractions for quite awhile, but I think we all really like to THINGS while we’re riding.

Best of all, they got all this crap figured out before they even think about touching Fantasyland in Anaheim.  We’re probably at least 10 years out from that.  But thanks to customer feedback via the internet, it should be much better… And less girly.  Yay!

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