This is our monthly edition of Fantasyland Forest Friday, keeping you up-to-date on the latest happenings over in the Fantasyland area that is being made over into the “Fantasyland Forest”. Be sure to follow our Fantasyland specific Twitter feed, FantasyLFriday.
Past Fantasyland Forest “Fridays” for you to keep track of the progress:
First thing we will ‘cover’ this month is this picture that surfaced on D23’s Editor Letter by Steven Clark, a debate ensued on Twitter between @Exprcoofto, @EPCOTExplorer, @EPCOTPluto, and myself about the picture, whether the model depicted Sleeping Beauty’s Cottage or Pixie Hollow. Exprcoofto, EPCOTPluto and myself thought (and kinda know…lol) it is of Sleeping Beauty Cottage, you can see through the comparison between the model and the whole Fantasyland model, and concept art.
This past month, July, has been filled with many news and rumors regarding the Fantasyland expansion. Early in the month, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction Fast Pass’ are now able to be picked up in the Mickey’s Philharmagic Fast Pass system.
Also, the outside of the attraction, and the newly placed Pooh’s Tree is walled off, but the attraction is still open, for a new facade to be designed, and the queue line to be reworked. The wall also features the new logo for the attraction, it resembles the style of the upcoming 2011 movie.
Rumor has it that Frontierland is being looked at for a possible addition. The possibility of something in Frontierland is coming from pretty high up in the company, from people who don't really like the 100% girl oriented Fantasyland Expansion. While this is still very early speculation, one of the areas being looked at is Tom Sawyers Island. That area could possibly see some influence from Grizzly Trail going in over at Hong Kong Disneyland.
You might ask how that relates to Fantasyland?? Answer: The next day rumors began to fly that the Pixie Hollow area of the Fantasyland expansion have been axed from the plan. Nothing is confirmed, but later that day Jim Hill Media released a posting that gave reasonings and explanation as to why Pixie Hollow might be axed. Once again nothing is confirmed, but it is interesting to read.
Other reports I have read say that the Pixie Hollow area can easily be switched out, and exchanged Walt Disney Animation’s latest film, Tangled, does well in the box-office when it’s released in December, and a small Tangled themed area can be placed in that area to continue the 'princess’ theme.
EDITOR’S NOTE: One thing I must personally add, when talking with Tom Corless of WDW News Today, he let me know that the ONLY things that are confirmed for the Fantasyland Expansion, right now, are of the Beauty and the Beast area, The Little Mermaid attraction, and the Dumbo area, everything else is still on the drawing boards, and can be cut at any point, because they were never confirmed by management, just ‘planned’.
In the middle of the month, the LA Times Travel Section featured an interesting blog about Disney California Adventure’s upcoming Little Mermaid dark ride and a scene-by-scene description of the attraction:
Scene 1 — The loading area features a panoramic mural with all the main movie characters and a seaside castle.
Scene 2 — Audio-animatronic versions of Sebastian the crab and Scuttle the seagull set up the ride’s back story.
Scene 3 — A blast of cold air and a visual illusion make riders feel as if they are submerging underwater as the clam shell vehicle descends into the heart of the dark ride.
Scene 4 — Riders pass through Ariel’s treasure-lined mermaid grotto with sidekicks Sebastian and Flounder as the song “Part of Your World” plays.
Scene 5 — Sebastian conducts an audio-animatronic orchestra of sea creatures in the ride’s main showroom to the tune of “Under the Sea.”
Scene 6 — In Ursula’s lair, riders pass under menacing rock work as henchmen eels Flotsam and Jetsam lurk nearby during the villainous sea witch’s big diva musical number “Poor Unfortunate Souls.”
Scene 7 — The clam shell vehicle appears to ascend from the ocean depths.
Scene 8 — Ariel and Prince Eric kiss on a rowboat to the strains of “Kiss the Girl” as geysers spout water.
Scene 9 — The spell-breaking kiss drives Ursula mad as “Love’s First Kiss” plays amid gathering storm clouds.
Scene 10 — The “Happily Ever After” finale scene has been kept a closely guarded secret by Walt Disney Imagineers.
Scene 11 — Riders unload as Ariel and Eric stand atop the castle, King Triton salutes them from the water and Sebastian waves goodbye.
Another piece of information that intrigued me from the article was that it said some information about the Magic Kingdom attraction, it says its to be opening in 2013?:
In 2013, a similar version of the Little Mermaid dark ride is scheduled to open in the retooled Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom near Orlando, Fla.
Wasn’t the original opening date for the Little Mermaid attraction late 2011/2012? Has the date changed? Hmm… Interesting.
At the end of the month of July, I took a trip to Magic Kingdom for some pictures of the construction of the Great Wall of Fantasyland, and the Mountain of Fantasy. But first, the Exposition Hall’s right side has come out from under construction walls, and now the left side is covered up. Most likely to ‘prepare’ for the Character Moves from Mickey’s ToonTown Fair.
We’ll finish off this Fantasyland Forest Expansion Friday post with a mysterious camera on Space Mountain. Is this to keep track of the Fantasyland Forest Expansion?? Possibly. Be sure to follow FantasyLFriday on Twitter, a GDP affiliated Twitter account that will keep you up-to-date with the latest Fantasyland Expansion news, information, pictures, articles, and posts.
Last Minute Edit! For those of you who have stayed with us through all of the news, and my ramblings I have some special information for you. Pete Werner, from the WDW Info and the DIS Unplugged Podcast, stated in his latest episode about the Adventures By Disney Backstage Magic Tour, that in his trip to Imagineering he got to take a full look at the Fantasyland Model, and he explained about some of the ‘rumors’ that we mentioned at the top of this report, about Pixie Hollow and such. He said while talking to an Imagineer, he explained that the Pixie Hollow section (which once again, was/is never confirmed) is to be downsized to incorporate more of a ‘Circus-themed’ area to go along with the (goodness I hate this title…) ‘Dueling Dumbos’. The area will take place on the area that is part of Mickey’s ToonTown Fair currently. But, let me tell you, he specifically said that “Toontown as we know it is going away” (sorry ToonTown fans). In its place they will be “adding three circus tents that will house various characters for meet & greets” because they didn’t want to “lose the character interaction that Toontown offered”.
So you’ve heard it here first (well, second if you listen to the Dis Unplugged…lol). Remember, this is not confirmed, and until confirmed I call it a rumor, but it does have some tooth behind it, so I think it will be staying.
Here is a *ROUGH* idea of where it could be located in respect to the rest of the areas. (NOTE this is NOT confirmed, and can change with any moment, I’m just reporting on information!!)
All information regarding rumors and news are always subject to change, and concept art of various new/planned attractions are courtesy of the Walt Disney Company.