September 15, 2009

D23 Expo News Part 2: Walt Disney World Resort

Today we will take a look at the WDW news from the D23 Expo, headlining this article is of course the MASSIVE Fantasyland Expansion...

This expansion has been long rumored for years, and all of the plans have been talked about in cyberspace for the past couple of years, but no one thought that they all would come to fruition and on this type of scale.

In July of this year, a Fantasyland Expansion blueprint (pictured below) had was "leaked" to the internet, and all the fan sites and rumor patrols were all over it like flies to a light. With that, many of them figured that is was purposely leaked, and was an original plan, and that we wouldnt get ALL of it.
Many questions arrose throughout the community, from what are the castle walls? what is Be Our Guest Restaurant, could it be a incarnation of the DLP planned attraction? What is with all of the Princess Meet n Greets? And most of all, what is up with the "Dueling Dumbos"?

Well on Saturday September 12, 2009, Jay Rasulo answered those questions publicly at the D23 Expo and officially released the information regarding this major project, and believe it or not, it all came true, which came to the suprise of many.

As you can see in this concept art of the perspective expansion aerial view, it would take up from just beside Pinocchio's Village Haus all the way through Mickey's Toontown Fair, just like the plans that were "leaked" stated. And the castle walls question was answered in the picture below, they look as if they are to enhance the "story" of Fantasyland,with the Castle and the little village in the "main area" then outside of the walls, you have the little "forest" featuring the Princess cottages and such. First off, what looks to take the place of Ariel's Grotto, we have the Beauty and the Beast area, with many things, featuring a Bell interactive meet n greet (pictured below). This leads to the question, will Storytime with Belle, be moved to this area? The answer, most likely.We also have a "Beasts Castle" area which features a restaurant, now tentatively called Be Our Guest Restaurant...The restaurant seems to be a Table Service restaurant, and adding elements of possibly a show in it, similar to the DLP attraction idea, and the original concept of the Enchanted Tiki Room. Also in the picture below, we can see a waiter rolling around a car with Lumiere on it, which leads many people to believe that this restaurant will have a Living Character Interactive like the Remy in Epcot's France Pavilion. Rumors online suggest that this restaurant will be a Quick Service during Lunch, only having one room open, and a Table Service at dinner with all three rooms open.More concept art of this area featured a "Gaston's Tavern" which also seems like another idea for a quick service restaurant. Along with the Beauty and the Beast area, we also have a few more interactive meet and greet areas for more Princesses, for Cinderella and Princess Aurora.

Pictured below is the cottage that she will be meeting in for her meet and greets, it will be interactive, it sort of seems like the Happily Ever After Party that only ran for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the first Year of a Million Dreams.Another meet and greet will take place at Cinderella's Chateau, and guests will help her get ready for the ball...The "major" piece of news is the new dark ride that will be coming to DCA, is now swimming over to WDW's Fantasyland, Ariel's Adventure will take the place of Pooh's Playful Spot, and some now backstage area. This would be the outside entrance to the attraction, as you can see the Imagineers had more freedom with this facade than the DCA one, instead of a boardwalk theme, they are now having Eric's Castle. This attraction is slated to open in 2012.Here are some show scenes, (they seem the same as the DCA version, which is totally fine by me).Moving over to Mickey's ToonTown Fair, is the new circus themed area in which Dumbo was moved to have "Dueling Dumbos", and i think it gives it more of a Circus theme, which is a good thing.Dumbo entrance, this attraction is to have a new "queue" which Rasulo said will be more of a play area, then a queue.Our final piece of Fantasyland news is a new Meet and Greet/ Play area themed to Fairies and Pixie Hollow, which will be the final part of the project, opening 2013.Other major news from the event was Star Tour 2.0 coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios, which we talked about yesterday, so take a look at yesterday's article.
What do you think of the expansions and new additions??? Please comment, and vote in the blog poll for this week... Tomorrow we will take a look at the details of the Hong Kong Disneyland Expansion.

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