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Princess Fairytale Hall Opens in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

The new character greeting location for Cinderella and Rapunzel (as well as their princess friends) officially opened its doors earlier this morning at the Magic Kingdom!  According to the hall’s storyline, Princess Fairytale Hall is a gift from the King to Cinderella, and acts as a place where she and other princesses can greet subjects.

Princess Fairytale Hall Opens in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Located in the New Fantasyland, guests can choose to meet either Cinderella and a visiting princess, or Rapunzel and a visiting princess.

Princess Fairytale Hall Opens in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Princess Fairytale Hall Opens in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

The new hall is filled will small touches and details that pay honor to all the Disney princesses.

Princess Fairytale Hall Opens in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Princess Fairytale Hall Opens in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Princess Fairytale Hall Opens in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Cinderella has even graciously allowed Walt Disney World to display one prized slipper for guests to enjoy.

Princess Fairytale Hall Opens in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

The New Fairytale Hall is open daily at the Magic Kingdom.  The easiest way to tell which princesses will appear at the hall on the day of your vacation is to check the My Disney Experience app or pick up a Times Guide on the way into the park.

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Sneak Peek Inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Princess Fairytale Hall at New Fantasyland With Disney Imagineers

Walt Disney Imagineering just shared a new video with us that offers up a look inside the two attractions in New Fantasyland that are still yet to debut: Princess Fairytale Hall and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Princess Fairytale Hall, which will open later this year, will be the ultimate destination in which to greet Disney royalty. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a family coaster that is set to open in 2014

Princess Fairytale Hall, which will open later this year, will be the ultimate destination in which to greet Disney royalty. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a family coaster that is set to open in 2014, will take Magic Kingdom Park guests on a musical journey through the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The attraction will offer an innovative ride system with a train of vehicles that respond to every twist and turn, plus appearances by animated figures from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” and music from this classic Disney film.

Walt Disney Imagineering just shared a new video with us that offers up a look inside the two attractions in New Fantasyland that are still yet to debut: Princess Fairytale Hall and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

In this video, Imagineers Jason Grandt, Pam Rawlins, and Dave Minichiello take you behind the scenes for an update.

Which of these attractions are you most excited to see for yourself? Let us know in the “Comments” section below.

All in the Details: My What a Guy, Gaston! Exploring Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

The preview period for New Fantasyland is now underway, which means more guests than ever are already experiencing fantastic new Magic Kingdom Park attractions that bring stories such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Dumbo” to life.

Exploring Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

One of these locations is Gaston’s Tavern in Belle’s Village, where Gaston has made a few appearances so far, no doubt enjoying all of this excitement and attention.

A centerpiece of the village, which appears right in front of Gaston’s Tavern, is a fountain of Gaston and his sidekick, LeFou. According to the storyline of this area, the statue was a gift to the village from Gaston himself.

in front of Gaston’s Tavern, is a fountain of Gaston and his sidekick, LeFou

When you visit, don’t miss the inscription on the dedication plaque, which suits Gaston perfectly. Here, you find out that this “gift” is actually titled “A Tribute to Gaston” and bears the following inscription: “An extremely generous gift to the humble people of my village, from me, Gaston.”

 

 

 

All in the Details: The Romance of the Rose Gallery in Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland

Last week, we offered a look inside The West Wing dining room at Be Our Guest Restaurant, which is coming soon to New Fantasyland. This week, let’s head the other direction and take a glimpse into another dining room – The Rose Gallery.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

According to our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering, this dining room (one of three total) is a formal gallery that that is complete with artwork that celebrates Belle, Beast and their extended enchanted family, including Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Chip and Maurice.

The centerpiece of the room is a lovely seven-foot-tall music box  of Belle and Beast

The centerpiece of the room is a lovely seven-foot-tall music box (including the base) of Belle and Beast that swirls about and plays actual music box music. According to our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering, the storyline behind this magical music box is that it was carved by Maurice, Belle’s father, to celebrate the couple’s love. Guests who visit Maurice’s Cottage for the Enchanted Tales With Belle attraction can even see the maquette and drawings he used to build this music box.

When visiting The Rose Gallery dining room, be sure to check out the amazing rose chandelier, which sits just above the music box, and be on the lookout for tiny rose details, like the roses carved into the room’s banquette.

Discover More Excitement in New Fantasyland This December!

Deep in the depths of Magic Kingdom park in Walt Disney World lies a legendary world—New Fantasyland—that’s been long hidden from our view. As story has it, this is a place where mermaids sing, beauties tell tales, beasts roar and elephants fly.

Soon, these legends will become reality—when the wonders of New Fantasyland are revealed. Discover how you can become a part of the adventure!

The New Fantasyland Expansion
New Fantasyland is opening in phases for the largest expansion in the history of Magic Kingdom park, offering more immersive enchantment and interactive experiences!

Upon completion, Fantasyland will nearly double in size—so you can look forward to extensive additions of fun for the entire family. The expansion provides more Disney characters and stories presented in rich detail in 2 new themed areas—Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus.

Enchanted Forest – Opening December 6, 2012!

Beginning in late 2012, you can meet some favorite Disney Characters in Enchanted Forest, where you’ll be immersed in the popular Disney films The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Here, you can venture through lush landscapes, discovering roaring waterfalls and royal castles along the way.

Enchanted Forest attractions and experiences include:

  • Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid: Enter Prince Eric’s castle, board a giant clamshell and rock out on this new musical attraction. During your journey, you’ll behold a world teeming with color and characters as you enjoy high-energy songs and incredible effects that take you inside scenes from the animated Disney film The Little Mermaid.


    Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant: Feast in one of 3 incredible dining rooms in the middle of Beast’s Castle. Savor the classic flavors of France coming soon to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park. Located at the base of the mountain below Beast castle, this themed venue transports diners to the magical world of the popular Disney film Beauty and the Beast. By day, Be Our Guest Restaurant serves up quick-service cuisine, so you can enjoy a short break from your park festivities. By night, it becomes a traditional table-service restaurant where you can reconnect with family and friends over satisfying fare.


    Be Our Guest Restaurant

  • Enchanted Tales with Belle:  Take a trip through the world of the popular Disney film Beauty and the Beast during this captivating storybook adventure in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park! Your journey begins in Maurice’s workshop, where an enchanted mirror becomes your doorway to an unforgettable experience. After stepping through the mirror, you’ll find that you’ve been transported to Beast’s magnificent library, where Belle and Lumière invite you to become part of a lively retelling of the “tale as old as time.”


    Enchanted Tales with Belle

  • Ariel’s Grotto: Take photos and get autographs with everyone’s favorite undersea princess. Now you can visit everyone’s favorite undersea princess at her new home in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park! Ariel’s Grotto is nestled in a picturesque cove along the rocky shoreline of the Under the Sea~Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction. Here, Ariel is excited to meet new friends, sign autographs and pose for photos.

    Ariel's Grotto

Enjoy all this—and so much more—beginning December 6, 2012.

First Look at New Fantasyland Pins Coming to Walt Disney World Resort

First Look at New Fantasyland Pins Coming to Walt Disney World Resort

With the opening of New Fantasyland only a few months away, I’m beginning a series of articles to reveal merchandise we’ve created for this exciting area. I figured I’d start with Disney pins, which have been a part of major openings since the introduction of Disney Pin Trading in 1999. For New Fantasyland, the pin team created a variety of pins to collect, including open and limited edition pins, boxed sets, multi-pin sets, and some pins designed especially for Annual Passholders. Today, I’m highlighting just a handful of favorites.

New Fantasyland will officially open on December 6 at Magic Kingdom Park. On that day, we will release several limited edition pins that commemorate the grand openings of different experiences. The image above also shows the awesome opening day “I Was There” pin, featuring Belle.

 collect all the pins in a particular mystery set

People have often asked me which pins they should collect. I recommend pins that have a special meaning to the collector. I also suggest mystery sets, as they are a collection with an ending. Once you collect all the pins in a particular mystery set, you can focus on a different collection.

We are releasing a few different mystery sets for New Fantasyland. One set is a limited release and will feature pins inspired by the “Beauty and the Beast” experiences. Another is a limited release “reveal / conceal” set with 10 known pins featuring images from New Fantasyland. This set will also have 10 mystery pins. Each box contains one pin you can see, while the other pin is a mystery. Also look for a similar “reveal/conceal” set for The Barnstormer.

 pins created for Storybook Circus

I like some of the pins created for Storybook Circus. The Dumbo-themed set contains one of my favorite images from the film – storks flying over Florida. Five of the eight Dumbo pins in this set will be sold individually, but the boxed set contains the complete collection. I was also happy to see Humphrey the Bear included in the five-pin character set (more Humphrey merchandise, please!).

 super jumbo pin that will measure approximately six inches by five inches

Finally, to celebrate one of the largest expansions in Magic Kingdom Park’s history, we will have a super jumbo pin that will measure approximately six inches by five inches. Now that’s a pin!

 

A Sip of ‘LeFou’s Brew’ from Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

We think this signature beverage will be a big hit at Gaston’s Tavern when New Fantasyland opens later this year – LeFou’s Brew, named after Gaston’s sidekick in “Beauty and the Beast.” It’s no-sugar added frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with all-natural passion fruit-mango foam. We bet the souvenir steins and goblets are going to go fast. (And, yes, if it sounds familiar, guests at Cars Land at the Disneyland Resort may have tasted the frozen concoction at the Cozy Cone.)

‘LeFou’s Brew’ from Gaston’s Tavern

The quick-service restaurant, created to look like a comfy lodge in the French countryside, will be a great place to escape from the Florida sun. Outside is a statue of Gaston hoisting two kegs of his favorite brew; inside he’s center stage in a big portrait over the fireplace.

The signature sweet at Gaston’s, by the way, is warm, gooey cinnamon rolls, served all day.

New Signature Images Released of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

We sure have a treat today for those of you who just can’t get enough of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. New signature images have just been released that I think sure put the “fantasy” into New Fantasyland.

view of New Fantasyland in detail from the very top turret of Cinderella’s Castle

This first signature image shows a view of New Fantasyland in detail from the very top turret of Cinderella’s Castle. The landscape stretches from Maurice’s Cottage on the left, all the way to the colorful Storybook Circus on the right.

 Belle enjoying a book right outside Maurice’s Cottage

Another photo depicts Belle enjoying a book right outside Maurice’s Cottage, with Beast’s Castle high up on the mountains in the background.

Ariel gazes at Prince Eric’s Castle while the tide rushes in

Here, Ariel gazes at Prince Eric’s Castle while the tide rushes in. Can’t you just hear her singing “Part of Your World?”

Which pic do you like best?

Just a reminder – these two areas of New Fantasyland will open in a preview phase for all Magic Kingdom Park guests November 19, with a grand opening December 6.

New Fantasyland Update: What’s New, What’s Next in the Magic Kingdom

New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom® Park at the Walt Disney World® Resort will take enchanting experiences one step further with circus big tops, an undersea grotto and more magic than ever before! Two incredible themed areas – Storybook Circus and Enchanted Forest – will nearly double the land’s original size. Here’s a summary of what you will find in these new areas.

New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom® Park at the Walt Disney World® Resort

Storybook Circus – Now Open!
Step right up to Storybook Circus, a throwback to the golden era of classic three-ring attractions. Here you can:

  • Soar through the air on Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which is now twice the fun thanks to the addition of a second pachyderm squadron.
    • At the Big Top at Dumbo the Flying Elephant you can enjoy themed (and air-conditioned) play experiences – from the Human Cannonball to a Tower of Flames – and will receive a circus ticket pager upon entering that goes off when it’s your turn to board the attraction!
  • Enjoy the classic Barnstormer attraction, which has a bright new look, featuring Goofy as The Great Goofini. It’s a twisting, turning roller coaster “flight” high above the circus fun.
  • Cool off at Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station, a circus-themed water play area. Water squirts from playful monkeys, elephants, camels and from Casey Jr. when he lets off billows of cooling “steam.”

Enchanted Forest – Previews Start Nov. 19, 2012. Grand Opening on Dec. 6, 2012.
Open in time for the holiday season, Enchanted Forest will offer you a magically interactive realm that brings to life Belle’s beautiful French countryside and allow you to be part of Ariel and Prince Eric’s world. Enchanted Forest will be home to two new castles (Prince Eric’s from “The Little Mermaid” and the Beast’s from “Beauty and the Beast”), a quaint village, waterfalls and plenty of pixie dust! Highlights planned include:

  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid is a major new attraction that takes you 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.

Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid

  • The castle of the Beast stands majestically upon a hill and houses the Be Our Guest Restaurant (reservations open in late August), 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 you into the first scene of Enchanted Tales with Belle, a lively retelling of the “tale as old as time.”
  • Nearby in Belle’s Village, you will find the rousing Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.

Enchanted Tales with Belle in Belle's Village

Additional elements of New Fantasyland will open in 2013 and 2014. You can always find the most up-to-date information here on our blog.

Reservations for Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park Open on August 20

UPDATE: Time change! Reservations will now open at 7 a.m. Eastern on Monday, Aug. 20 (not noon as previously reported)

Ready, set, make your reservations beginning August 20 at Be Our Guest Restaurant in the New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World. You can make reservations up to 180 days out – the very first seating will be for dinner on November 19. Be sure to contact your Kingdom Magic Personal Travel Planner to let them know you would like to eat here.

Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland

On the Disney Dining Plan, Be Our Guest is one quick-service entitlement for lunch, and one table-service restaurant entitlement for dinner.

Lunch is quick and casual, with guest-activated terminals that make ordering a snap (there also will be traditional cashiers for cash orders and special dietary requests). You order, take a seat and lunch is delivered to your table – on china, not paper. Dinner is table service.

Cuisine is French-inspired to match the hit animated film’s theme, with three themed dining rooms: the mysterious West Wing with the “enchanted rose”; the Rose Gallery with twirling, larger-than-life figures of Belle and Beast; and the elegant Ballroom with domed ceiling, twinkling chandeliers and glimpses of softly falling snow outside.

Initial sneak peeks (and tastes) are amazing! We’ll share more details and photos of the restaurant and food soon.

VIDEO: Imagineers Add Character to Belle’s Village in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

This week, we’ve got a video twist thanks to our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering, who recently installed the centerpiece of Belle’s Village – an elaborate bronze statue of Gaston and his sidekick, Lefou.

As Imagineers Ted Robledo and Chris Kelly explain here, the statue’s design of Gaston and Lefou juggling leaky barrels and mugs was inspired by both Gaston’s boisterous temperament and the fountain Belle visits early in the film as she is reading. Ted and Chris also walk us through the detailed process it takes to create such an elaborate bronze statue – from building a clay maquette to choosing specific shades of bronze for the piece.

For reference, the fountain sits in the center of Belle’s Village in New Fantasyland. The building that appears behind the fountain is Gaston’s Tavern, while the structure directly across is Bonjour! Village Gifts.

And as we shared last week, each of these experiences will grand open December 6 (with general previews beginning November 19).

New Fantasyland Grand Opening Set For December 6 at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

For more than a year now, we’ve shared updates on the New Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom Park and we’re just as excited as you are to experience these magical new attractions for ourselves.

New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Today we’re thrilled to announce that the grand opening of New Fantasyland will take place on December 6, 2012. Attractions included in this opening are Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariel’s Grotto, Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.

Previews of these attractions will begin November 19.

As previously planned, the New Fantasyland expansion will continue with the opening of Princess Fairytale Hall in 2013 and the debut of a new Disney “mountain” in the form of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in 2014.

The Storybook Circus section of the New Fantasyland expansion, which includes Barnstormer – Starring the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash & Soak Station, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, opened to guests in July.

How soon will you visit? And which New Fantasyland attraction are you most excited to experience?

A New Fantasyland Milestone: Gaston Arrives in Belle’s Village at Magic Kingdom Park

Gaston has arrived in Belle’s Village – well, a statue of him has, anyway.

Our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering are excited to share this latest milestone as Gaston arrived on site earlier this week, and they even snapped this pic for us to share exclusively with our Disney Parks Blog readers.

Gaston Arrives in Belle’s Village at Magic Kingdom Park

This bronze work of art will be a focal point in Belle’s Village, appearing as part of a larger fountain that also features Gaston’s sidekick Lefou right outside of Gaston’s Tavern.

Belle’s Village

Here’s what we can expect Belle’s Village to look like when it’s complete. (For reference, Gaston’s Tavern is on the left and Bonjour Gifts is on the right).

We’ll be back Tuesday morning with another update on New Fantasyland. In the meantime, what part of New Fantasyland do you want to see next?

All in the Details: A Castle Fit for a…Mermaid in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

When I think about the New Fantasyland expansion, what gets me most excited is that Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) is adding two Disney castles to the park – Beast’s Castle, which houses Be Our Guest Restaurant, and the one pictured below, Prince Eric’s Castle, which tops off the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction.

Prince Eric’s Castle in the New Fantasyland

While we’ve showcased pieces of this castle in previous posts, here’s the first complete look at Prince Eric’s abode. I have to say when I first saw the rendering for this attraction, I had no idea it would possibly turn out to be this amazing!

Prince Eric’s Castle

Just like Beast’s Castle, Prince Eric’s Castle uses the forced perspective technique for which WDI is famous to make the structure appear much larger in size than it is in reality.

Forced perspective, which has been used since Walt Disney oversaw the construction of Disneyland park in the 1950s, is sort of an optical illusion that uses architectural scale to “trick” the eye into believing a building towers above you, when it’s really not as tall as you’d think.

So I have to ask, which of these new castles do you prefer – Beast’s Castle or Prince Eric’s? (Visit this post for a look at Beast’s). I have my favorite. Share yours in the “comments” section below!

Chef of Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland Shares His Favorites from the Menu

Braised pork for lunch and a grilled strip steak for dinner – Chef Michael Deardorff had a hard time choosing, but says those are two of his favorites from the new menu for Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.

Guests can start making reservations in late August (we’ll let you know the exact date as soon as we can), with the restaurant to be open for the holidays.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Chef

Chef Deardorff has been at the helm in Disney kitchens for 25 years, most recently as part of the opening of the restaurants at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai’i. Now he’s back to open Be Our Guest, inspired by “Beauty and the Beast,” with three dining rooms and seats for over 500 guests.

“Lunch is quick service, but not traditional counter service,” says Deardorff. Guest-activated terminals make ordering a snap (there also will be traditional cashiers for cash orders and special dietary requests). You order, take a seat and lunch is delivered to your table – on china, not paper.

Back to the menu. “It’s all about simple, fresh ingredients,” says Deardorff. “Just like your favorite quick-service restaurants across Magic Kingdom Park, you’ll be able to enjoy sandwiches and salads at Be Our Guest Restaurant for lunch, but all with a twist that transports you to the French setting of ‘Beauty and the Beast.’”

There’s a little French bistro flavor with tuna Niçoise salad and a Croque Monsieur sandwich with carved ham, Gruyere cheese, béchamel and pommes frites (a fancy term for French fries). Or go for the carved turkey on a warm baguette with Dijon mayonnaise, or the grilled steak sandwich with garlic butter spread, both with pommes frites. Heartier fare includes braised pork that’s cooked for eight hours, and for vegetarians, there’s a loaded vegetable quiche or quinoa, shallot and chive salad.

Be Our Guest Restaurant in the New Fantasyland

Dinner is table service, with diverse starters such as a charcuterie plate with cured meats and sausages, mussels steamed in white wine, French onion or potato leek soup, and a salad with champagne vinaigrette. We’re intrigued by the salad trio with three mini tastes of roasted beet, raisins and orange; green beans, tomatoes and roasted shallots; and watermelon, radish and mint.

Entrées include a thyme-scented pork rack chop with au gratin pasta, rotisserie rock hen with roasted fingerling potatoes, pan-seared salmon in leek fondue, grilled strip steak with pommes frites, sautéed shrimp and scallops with veggies in puff pastry with creamy lobster sauce, and an oven-baked ratatouille.

Oh, and dessert – we vote for the cupcakes, strawberry cream cheese or triple chocolate. If cupcakes aren’t your favorite sweet ending, there’s a chocolate cream puff and a passion fruit cream puff.

For kids 9 and under, the lunch entrées include a carved turkey sandwich, roasted pulled pork, Mickey meatloaf, seared mahi mahi, or whole-grain macaroni topped with marinara and mozzarella. For dinner, it’s grilled steak, grilled fish of the day, whole-grain macaroni or grilled chicken breast.

“We think guests will be pleasantly surprised with the menu and the value,” says Deardorff.

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