The grand opening for the New Fantasyland® expansion at Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort 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.
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.
Grammy Award-winning singer Lady Gaga paid a visit to the Evil Queen from Disney’s classic animated film “Snow White” at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World yesterday. Lady Gaga was in town for her sold-out show at the Amway Center on Friday night and then on Saturday she was spotted at the new princess room, in the Exposition Hall’s Town Square Theater on Main Street.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is getting a new castle… Beast’s Castle, from Beauty and the Beast, is rising high over the park as part of the New Fantasyland. Fans of the parks Cinderella Castle shouldn’t worry about having their view distracted though, because the clever people at Disney are using a technique known as forced perspective architecture to make the structure look more grandiose in size than it appears in reality.
Beast’s Castle, will sit high above the mountains in the Fantasyland expansion and you can see the used of forced perspective in the following photos – (click on picture to see larger image):
Forced perspective works as a form of optical illusion essentially tricking the eye into believing a structure is much larger or taller than it really is. This is done by cleverly manipulating the size and scale of a building, based on the perspective it will be viewed from.
The company’s use of forced perspective started with Walt Disney during the construction of the Disneyland park in California and you can also see it at Disney World . It’s perhaps best seen at Magic Kingdom as you enter the park and you’ll notice your eye is immediately drawn up Main Street to Cinderella’s Castle. Walt paid special attention to the scale of each building along the way, as well as the specific shrubs and trees that flanked them, in order to create the best sense of height and drama.
As you can see in this side by side comparison between the artist rendering and the current construction, the castle sits high atop what eventually will be the Be Our Guest Restaurant, which is really the gateway to the castle’s interior. Here, the restaurant will offer quick-service lunches and table-service dinners inside the Beast’s elegant ballroom, gallery and mysterious “west-wing.” The restaurant will comfortably seat 550 people changing from quick service by day to full table service dining by night.
The castle and restaurant are scheduled to open in late 2012, along with the rest of the New Fantasyland in phases that follow.
The Easter Bunny and his wife, Mrs. Bunny, have decided to visit the Walt Disney World Resort for some rest and relaxation in the days leading up to Easter’s annual holiday basket delivery. The Bunnies, who have spent the last few months painting eggs and stocking up on jelly beans, will spend their vacation meeting and greeting families from April 17-23 at the Tour Guide Gardens, adjacent to City Hall at Magic Kingdom Park.
On Sunday, April 24, immediately after Easter’s whirlwind basket delivery is complete, the couple will celebrate by appearing in a special pre-parade that steps off 15 minutes prior to the park’s 3 p.m. All guests are welcome to visit them during this time and should remember that this is a limited engagement, so hop on it!
Wow… it’s almost been a week since the Super Bowl XLV. It’s “Most Valuable Player”, Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, made good on his promise of “I’m going to Disney World” when he arrived at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom last Monday afternoon, 7th February 2011. Joined by Mickey Mouse, the Packer star was immersed in applause and showered with confetti for the second time in less than 24 hours as he rode a red convertible down Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.
The event marked the continuation of a grand tradition that began in 1987 when New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms proclaimed “I’m going to Disney World” in a television commercial spot right after Super Bowl XXI.
After the ride ride down Main Street U.S.A. (under the threat of rain and mainly under the gun to get to The Late Show with David Letterman in New York), Rodgers visited the Rose Garden where he was given a gift of cheese in the shape of a G (for Green Bay) as fans nearby chanted “cut the cheese”. He then quickly met with reporters before heading out.
The Magic Kingdom Philharmonic Band provided a musical backdrop to the procession that included Minnie Mouse (decked out as a cheerleader), Chip ‘n’ Dale in referee garb, and “football Goofy” plus players from a central Florida NFL Youth Football team. It was quite a sight… here’s some video…
Disney released more brand new information late on Tuesday night in regard to its plans to expand Fantasyland. This project is earmarked as the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.
In front of an auditorium packed with local and international press, Disney executives unveiled details on a new and improved Fantasyland scheduled for a 2013 completion.
The audience learned that Fantasyland will double in size. Guests will see all of the classic icons, plus some new ones.
Yesterday we posted a list of the new or revamped attractions on this blog (click here) and here are a few more things that you might find interesting:
Execs told us Tuesday that construction is well under way for the Castle of the Beast. Next to it is Belle’s Village. It will have a tavern, but no alcohol.
Close to the Beauty and the Beast section, guests will find an all-new ride starring Ariel and all her friends.
Look for the Princess Fairytale Hall where the Snow White attraction is currently located. Eric Jacobson, the senior VP of Creative Development,also said that Snow White’s attraction will shut down soon but did not give a date.
Inside the new Circus’ big top are interactive wonders for kids, and all sorts of games.
“Reimagined” Star Tours attraction will open May 20, just in time for the Star Wars convention.
The new attractions will begin to roll out in phases starting late next year and completion is expected in 2013.
And to round the night off, Disney launched it’s premier of “The Magic, Memories & You” which is a wonderful slideshow of photos of guests who have used the Disney PhotoPass service that day. Intelligent computer software program selects 500 photos taken throughout the day by PhotoPass photographers and fits them into the 10 minute program that’s projected onto the facades of Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom as a combination of sixteen projectors positioned in four different locations help create the show. It’s certainly fun to be around Disney at the moment!
Two of many family’s favorite holiday events at Walt Disney World begin tomorrow night, 8th November. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will brighten Disney’s Hollywood Studios while Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will transform Magic Kingdom into a winter wonderland.
At 6 p.m. each evening through Jan. 3, guests on the Streets of America can experience more holiday lights than they’ve probably ever seen in one place. Millions decorate the buildings, a large Christmas tree, a twirling carousel, flying angels and reindeer and more as Christmas music is played and “snow flurries” fall.
About every 10 minutes, the lights “dance.” For the last several years, the lights have been synchronized to blink to the upbeat “Mad Russian’s Christmas” by Trans Siberian Orchestra; “Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24″ by Trans Siberian Orchestra; and “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano.
The tradition began two decades ago when Arkansas businessman Jennings Osborne strung 1,000 lights as a Christmas gift to his daughter. After the exhibit grew too large for a private residence, it was brought to Disney World in 1995.
At the Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes place from 7 p.m. to midnight Nov. 8, 11, 12, 16, 18, 19, 28, 30 and Dec. 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17 and 19.
Two of the signature events are the holiday-themed parade and fireworks, which only can be seen at the party. (After the last party, the parade and fireworks are shown in the park with regular admission through New Year’s.)
“Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade” — with dancing gingerbread men, roller-skating snowflakes, marching toy soldiers (my favorite!) and Santa and Mrs. Claus — is performed twice each night. “Holiday Wishes, Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” is a special fireworks show orchestrated to holiday melodies.
Guests also will see the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights, stage shows, special character meet-and-greets and shorter lines for popular rides. Snowflakes are always forecast for Main Street, U.S.A. and complimentary cookies, apple slices and hot cocoa are served.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party requires a separate ticket and costs $59.95 for adults ($53.95 for ages 3-9) on the day of the party. Advance tickets are available with $6 savings for most dates at Disneyworld.com/christmasparty.
The Air Force Thunderbirds air demonstration team made a special appearance at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 26 as they flew their famous delta formation over Cinderella’s Castle and the theme park’s main street. It was one of numerous events scheduled as part of Air Force Week Cocoa Beach.
The theme of this Air Force Week is Honoring Hometown Heroes. During the week, which runs from Oct. 23 through Oct. 31, there will be free concerts, ceremonies, static displays and demonstrations.
Air Force Weeks were established in 2006 by the chief of staff of the Air Force. Air Force Week objectives were to bring together a mix of Airmen, numerous platforms and recruiting assets to provide the big picture of the Air Force mission and its way of life. The first Air Force Week was held in St. Louis in 2006.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a great event held annually during September and October at the Magic Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World. The event really started in response to the very successful Halloween Horror Nights event at Universal Studios Florida. Disney’s event, really caters to a family atmosphere, whereas Universal’s has more of a “fright-centered” event.
The event is priced separately and encourages guests to dress up in Halloween costumes and celebrate the season with themed events throughout the park. Normal rules prohibit guests over the age of nine years old from dressing in costume, however, this rule is waived for the party, although anyone dressed as a Disney character is prohibited from signing autographs or posing for pictures with other guests so as not to be confused with regular cast members in those roles.
The event includes “trick or treating” throughout the Magic Kingdom and features an Alice in Wonderland themed trail on the bridge between Mickey’s Toontown Fair and Tomorrowland. It’s entitled, appropriately enough, “Alice and Mad Hatter’s Treat Party.”
A stage show and meet-and-greet with villains from Disney animated movies led by Maleficent titled “The Disney Villains Mix and Mingle” is held at the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage. Among those to visit are the Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook and the Evil Queen. Other meet-and-greet opportunities exist during the party, including two Disney Character dance parties, one in Fantasyland at Ariel’s Grotto and features supporting characters such as Chip and Dale and ‘Stich’s” Cosmic Dance Party”, held at Tomorrowland inside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe Starlight Room. All the other characters are available at their regular locations, such as the Princesses from the Disney animated canon at Mickey’s Toontown Fair.
A parade and fireworks show are the centerpieces of the event. The parade, entitled “Mickey’s Boo To You Halloween Parade,” features a pre-parade ride by the Headless Horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The parade, also features various Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and their friends in Halloween costumes and a live-action version of Ezra, Gus and Phineas, the three hitchhiking ghosts from the Haunted Mansion attraction.
The fireworks show is titled Happy HalloWishes: A Grim Grinning Ghosts’ Spooktacular in the Sky, which is based on the Haunted Mansion and features Halloween-related music from the Disney library of animated films.
September 28, 30
October 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, and 31
Prices for the party are as follows (all prices listed include tax):
Advance Purchase: $57.46 for adults 10 and older / $51.07 for ages 3-9*
Passholder Discounts: $53.20 / $46.81*
Day of Event (if still available): $63.85 /$57.46
*Not available October 29 and 31. Those two dates are priced at a premium: $69.17 (ages 10 and up) and $62.78 (ages 3-9), tax included.