New Fantasyland revealed, shorter Bears, and Epcot news

Written by Cory Disbrow. Posted in Dateline Disney World, Walt Disney World

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Published on October 19, 2012 at 5:03 am with 32 Comments

About Cory Disbrow

Cory likes Walt Disney World so much, he recently packed his bags and moved to Orlando. Cory is a photographer and writes MiceChat's Dateline Disney World columns every Friday.

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  • Mac Daddy

    Great update, Cory! The new Fantasyland looks amazing!

    • Cory Disbrow

      You shouldn’t have time to comment on my columns, Bill. You should be out capturing an amazing sunset out at Disneyland!

  • Aotphks

    Mr. Disbrow wrote: “This outside of this (Little Mermaid) attraction and the queue are nothing short of Disney’s best work. Truly amazing.”.
    With due respect, maybe Mr. Disbrow should visit Disneyland Paris or Tokyo DisneySea. Those two parks represent the very best of Disney’s themed works in a “park enviroment”, and I don’t mean just an area, but entire parks.
    I don’t mean to downplay what the Imagineers have accomplished in the Magic Kingdom and I do agree that it is “Disney’s best work” so far IN THE Magic Kingdom park. After seeing Tokyo and Paris, I expected no less from this new expansion, and I am glad to see the old Magic Kingdom park getting some well deserved and much delayed TLC. Yet, as beautiful as it is, seems to me it’s all candy and not a lot of substance. It’s been mentioned the Mermaid ride is the same as California Adventures, which I thought was neat. And apart from some technical aspects of the “Belle’s Enchanted Tales”, this new expansion still does not deliver a huge POW!! like Universal’s Harry Potter ride does. I am looking forward to the Snow White themed coaster but I’m not expecting an E-ticket extravaganza, but it should be interesting to see what transpires since it will be a totally new concept with a familiar theme.
    The photos in this report show what Disney is capable of if given some cash and dedication to exceed. Yet, it all comes across as the Magic Kingdom trying to “catch up” with similar visual quality already found in most Disneyland Parks around the globe. I guess we should be glad it’s finally happening.. even if a bit tad late.
    At this point in time, I can only hope that those in charge of creating change in the Magic Kingdom can turn their attention to the rest of the park and somehow re-theme the rest of what is now a very stale park when compared to it’s sister Disneyland parks and some 2nd gates.
    For now, the Magic Kingdom can claim two great visual areas to enjoy: the newly expanded fantasyland area and walking down Main Street toward Cinderella Castle. Even maybe three great visual park moments if you count arriving at the Magic Kingdom from the Ferry Boat over the Seven Seas Lagoon as a moment to behold.

    Thanks for the great photography and commentary.

  • Gn2Dlnd

    The CBJ edits are terrible. The Fantasyland additions are gorgeous (though, having lived with it in DCA for a while now, the Mermaid ride is a bit light).

    How is it that a company known for their storytelling skills can deliver such erratically different product? Just sad.

  • danielz6

    I don’t understand why the castle entrance is in the side of a rock mountain. In the movie the bridge leads directly to the castle doors. Is that supposed to be like a back entrance or something?
    Also its getting really annoying comparing this to Potter land and their e ticket. You should just take it on its own terms for what it is. Disney never claimed to be countering Potter with this expansion. IMO Potter isn’t even the ride to beat, that would be transformers which is easily universals best ride.
    Finally, here’s how I see it(at least until mine train opens) Immediately I have negative thoughts about it because they cut snow white. I mean c’mon! Its snow white! Its one of the most influential films in ALL history. And by the way with out snow white, Disneyland, Disney world and all of the Disney empire would never have existed! That’s a fact that’s hard to refute so why the heck would you cut that ride from the park? That is the worse decision I can imagine second only to removing one of the iconice castles from a park! However if snow white AND the evil queen make a climactic appearance in mine train, it would be forgiveable. If not than unforgiveable. I wouldn’t cut snow white for the extra major e ticket Tron, racers, iron man I don’t care! You don’t mess with snow white! Period! Ok I’ve made that point I think.
    Ok so the theming

    • danielz6

      Theming is unrefuteably gorgeous, and yes it appears to be Disney best work. Doesn’t mean its better than Tokyo or paris as some have improperly misquoted the author, he’s saying its Disney’s best quality work, not the best thing Disney has ever done, those two sound the same but they’re not. He’s saying they’re Disney’s best, in terms of quality, not in terms of overall quantity of rides and attractions. Yes it looks beautiful, especially the ball room.
      And of course mermaid, well we’ve all heard the criticisms for that ride and I agree with them. Ride should have been substantially plussed for WDW.
      So overall I give the new land a 7. And only because the themeing is so immaculate. A plusses mermaid ride and e ticket b and beast ride would have easily trapped a solid 10. But of course they cheaper out with tales with belle instead and that to me is another big dissapointment after removing snow white. However if mine tribe is a hit AND includes the aforementioned snow white and evil queen some way I’d give the land and 8. But without a great e ticket I couldn’t go any higher than that. Lets not forget that even little 80 acre Disneyland has the Matterhorn as its fantasyland anchor, built way back in ’59, and I always exoectexpect Disney world , with all of its land and status to build bigger and better than Disneyland. Walt expected that and so should us fans.

      • danielz6

        Sorry stupid phone spell checked my words. Trapped should be grabbed. Plusses should be plussed. And tribe should be train.

  • dinosaurjim

    Great post! One question though, as a guy who has only ever taken his family to Disneyland and never Disney World, are there a lot more meet and greets at WDW than there are at DLR? I feel like, as the father of 5 pretty young kids, there weren’t enough! It seemed like in DLR there was always an hour wait for each character meet and greet spot, and for my family, precious time at any Disney property was just not well spent standing in line for the character meet and greets, even though I know the kids would have LOVED to meet more characters. I figure if there are more meet and greets, the lines would be shorter (you know, the old supply and demand stuff). Is there any sense to my logic? Are there a lot more meets at WDW than DLR already?

    • Cory Disbrow

      Yes, there are tons of meet and greet locations at WDW! Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 11 just in the Magic Kingdom alone. There are less than that in the other parks, but I think that you’ll see more meet and greets than you have time to visit them while still seeing all the rides and shows. One of the criticisms WDW has been receiving of late is the fact that they just keep dropping in meet and greets instead of new attractions!