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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some lingering questions following the Fantasyland expansion announcement

Artists rendering of the new Fantasyland - image copyright Disney.

Now that's it's been several days since Disney's stunning announcement of the major expansion of Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, I was starting to consider some of the side effects of this project.

What will become of Cinderella's Royal Table?
With the new "Be Our Guest" restaurant coming to Belle and the Beast's castle, I figure this will become the new princess character dining location. The princesses can't be in two restaurants at once, so I guess Disney's leading ladies will leave the restaurant in the castle. Perhaps Cinderella and her friends will be the only ones to remain at CRT? Will Disney convert the space into a more adult-oriented upscale eatery? Many good questions.

Will Storytime with Belle stay in the same place? Will it move? Will it be closed?
In a similar manner to Cinderella's Royal Table, Disney faces a continuity problem if Belle is both at her castle in her attraction/meet-and-greet and at the old Storytime with Belle location between Cinderella's Castle and the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. If I had to take a guess, I'd say Storytime with Belle is on its last few chapters. Although it is one of the best places for some one-on-one interaction with a character, I can see Disney deciding to close the book on this show.

Most importantly, what's happening with Mickey and Minnie?
The one major draw for Toon Town are the meet-and-greets with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. These are Disney's top twosome and queues for picture and autograph time can easily exceed one hour each day. With the eventual demise of Toon Town in favor of a greatly expanded Pixie Hollow (something many Disney fans greeted with cheers when it was announced at the D23 Expo), Mickey and Minnie will become homeless. During a news conference at the D23 Expo, an Imagineer was asked this very question. The response was that Mickey and Minnie will have a new home. No further details were available. Could Disney's big couple be moving to Main Street? Perhaps in the Exposition Hall? Maybe Disney will (finally) remove the smoking location where the old swan boats were located and turn that into a meet-and-greet area?

What about the rest of the Fab 5?
While we're on the subject of Disney major characters, where will meet-and-greets for Donald, Goofy and Pluto go? Currently, Donald and Pluto can be found in Western garb at times in Frontierland.

Maybe Disney will find a space and create something like the Epcot Character Spot where guests can queue up in one line and get the entire Fab 5 in one series. That would be helpful.

What other questions are still unanswered in connection with the new Fantasyland? Post a comment!


Believes in Fairies said...

I was under the impression from the 30 minute video I saw that Storytime with Belle would be at her father's, because it said "we would tell her the story" (or something along that line).

I haven't been to the castle, so I wasn't aware there was more there than Cinderella. I think it should be just her there though. Just in case, I better go!

KramNebuer said...

I was just reading this post now, and you bring up lots of really good questions! I'm most intrigued of what is to become of CRT, since this really is the most magical and famous place to meet the Disney royalty, being in a castle and everything.

My guess is that the Beast's castle restaurant will be a Beauty and the Beast characters meal. Maybe they'll have more realistically scaled proportions of the enchanted objects on carts like Remy in France or perhaps their human forms will mix and mingle with guests. I think it would be great if human Mrs. Potts herself comes by to refill your teacup or coffee cup with her teapot self!

I just think that it would be wrong to not meet the Disney princesses and princes in the actual castle at CRT. I don't think they would move them to the new restaurant.

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