The Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar at Disney California Adventure opened a new exhibit last week giving an in-depth preview of the new Fantasy Faire project at Disneyland. The new princess meet-and-greet village expands the borders of Fantasyland to the former Carnation Plaza Gardens area and gives a permanent home to princesses including Cinderella, Belle and Ariel. The new area is set to open this spring next to Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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Blue Sky Cellar gives an in-depth
preview of Disneyland’s Fantasy Faire

Disney California Adventure’s Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar reopened Saturday with a new exhibit previewing Disneyland’s under-construction Fantasy Faire project. The new exhibit features plenty of concept art, a complete scale model of the project and a new video preview with Imagineers.

The exhibit is divided up into different parts of the Imagineering creative process. Step 1: Research

Step 2: Blue Sky

Step 3: Concept

The new stage area, utilizing the old Carnation Plaza Gardens stage

New merch location

Step 4: Feasibility

The new Maurice’s Twisted Treats outdoor vending cart which will serve twisted bread sticks and Dole Whip drinks

Step 5: Implementation

A new medieval-style music box will feature Clopin from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

A new Figaro animatronic will keep watch over a bird in a cage in the new Fantasy Faire area

The center of the room features a full scale model of the new Fantasy Faire.

The area really looks like it’ll be a great-looking addition to the park.

Blue Sky Cellar Cast Members seem to have taken to enthusiastically telling guests that Walt Disney had always wanted to have a bigger Fantasyland (as apparently evidenced by early concept art), but was unable to due to money and technology. In a manner that borders on being aggressive, some cast members are telling guests that this project helps bring part of “Walt’s dream” to life. Yikes.

A glass case features a detail look at a newel post that will be part of the area

The screening room features a new video featuring Imagineers including Tony Baxter and Kim Irvine discussing Fantasy Faire.

Opening-day footage of Walt Disney dedicating Fantasyland

Tony discusses the detail and quality of the new Fantasy Faire

Kim Irvine tries her hardest to convince us that Walt and his original Imagineers including Herb Ryman and John Hench always wanted Fantasyland to extend in front of the Castle onto Main Street. Overall, the video is nice enough, but is it really necessary to invoke the name of Walt to justify a new project? It’s happening, it’s fine, just build it. There’s no need to try to convince us that this was Walt’s plan all along.

In the screening room, a “character facade sample wall” is on display.

A final display gives a quick look at the upcoming “Mickey and the Magical Map” production coming to the Fantasyland Theater.

OK, that wraps up our close-up look at the new Blue Sky Cellar exhibit. Thanks for reading — what do you think of Fantasy Faire?

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Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
[B]- Andy[/B]

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  • Trumpet

    Great Update Andy

    I love the detail in the Blue Sky Celler, but the way they are pushing that this was Walt’s idea is a bit intrusive. Still, I can’t wait to see it in person.

    Thanks Again Andy


    • ayalexander

      Actually a fantasyland that extends before the castle was Walt’s idea. Research it.

      • Trumpet

        I do remember reading that in a book. However, I think the way the Cast Members are trying to push the Fantasy Fair is a bit too much of what Walt would have wanted.

  • JCSkipr79

    Yes, only know, after FIFTY SEVEN years, are we finding out that Walt “wanted” Fantasyland outside the Castle walls and Walt “wanted” meet n greets as part of his dream??? RIGGGGGHT……. Like Walt “wanted” characters in Small World……

  • The model is so detailed that you can imagine EXACTLY what this area will look like in just a few short months.

    I also heard cast members telling guests that “Walt always wanted to have a bit of Fantasyland in front of the castle.” While initial concept drawings of the park may have shown walls in front of the castle, that is clearly NOT the way Walt actually went. I still think the new Princess Fantasy Faire will look great in its new location. But to pretend that this is what Walt always wanted is just silly.

    • mratigan

      ^It’s very silly. Thanks Andy.
      I can’t wait for this to open!!!

  • jcruise86

    Thanks for TWO Disneyland updates today!

    My only disappointment (besides an ugly chimney with stones in white stucco AND topped by red bricks) was seeing that this small new addition to Fantasyland has a substantial area for selling merchandise. Paul Pressler’s dream of Disneyland as a mall lives on.

  • Erik Olson

    I think there’s too much cynicism for this project.

    There were many shortcomings on opening day – Tomorrowland was basically a big void, for example. Walt wanted more than he could afford to accomplish and plans were well underway for expansions and enhancements even as the ribbon was being cut.

    Perhaps Walt did want a foreward transition into Fantasyland from Main Street? It could be. Walt admitted he was less himself – and more a character, akin to Mickey Mouse – after the television show propelled Uncle Walt further and deeper into the American lexicon.

    That Walt is still being used as a character speaks more to me that Walt still plays a role in his park and that, right or wrong in their interpretation, Imagineering uses “what would Walt want” as a sorting criteria for their ideas. Sure, the management exerts their will over everything and their influence sometimes causes some misery.

    I see WDI as the closest thing we have to a living, breathing Walt Disney influence in the Parks and the thing I fear more than anything else is the continued farming-out of their duties.

    Count me as excited to see this – as well as the new Fantasyland in Florida! Thank you for the intensive photos of the materials. I, for one, can truly see Walt’s hand in them.

    • fravitmonk

      well said

    • Tinkd

      Well said, thank you!

      Otherwise great update.

    • sonnyk155

      Andy, Dusty Sage,
      Erick’s got it right. “What would Walt want?” is better understood by the imagineers than you are seeing. Invoking Walt in the marketing of Fantasy Faire, or any project, is appropriate, lest we forget. For all time WWWW (4W?) is the driving idea. And THAT brings tears for me.

      Respectfully submitted,

      • I agree that the new Princess Fantasy Faire looks to be fantastic. I have no problem with it what so ever. However, I think that using Walt’s name willy nilly to justify anything you are afraid the fans won’t like isn’t a wise move.

        If it were clearly something Walt would have wanted, I have no problem with using his name. But pulling a bit of blue sky concept art that was so far off the final model and using that to justify Fantasy Faire, is being disingenuous.

        There is no evidence that walt would have wanted Fantasyland to intrude into the central hub of the park any more than any of the other lands. Each land has a gateway of sorts and the lands appear behind that.

        Not that I’m not OK with this, because I actually am. I’m just saying that I don’t believe for a moment that this is what Walt intended and I think that some of the Disney folks are repeating something they’d like to be true and not something which actually is true.

        The earliest map of Disneyland which Walt used to help get financing of the park did in fact have castle walls in front of the castle. However, that, along with many other ideas, was changed as the plan was refined for actual production. In other words, as Walt begain to make his influence on the design, Fantasyland got pushed behind the castle.

        I’m not intending to be negative here. I think what they are building is great. But it wasn’t Walt’s idea.

  • Algernon

    And now, from the people who brought you Tarzan’s Treehouse, the Nemo Subs, and who got rid of the Peoplemover and the Skyway…

  • DVCer

    Thanks for the great peek at the new displays. Does anyone else feel that it would have been a good idea to put a Be Our Guest restaurant into this area?

    • Timekeeper

      It would have worked if there was room to build it; the exterior for the meet’n’greet screams for a Fantasyland dark ride, but I know it won’t be for one and I think many return visitors on vacation who expect a dark ride from the impression of the exterior will be very disappointed. But on the other hand, fans and annual pass holders will know otherwise and It might be very great for the little ones or first time visitors, especially girls.


      • grrandram

        There’s more than enough dark rides in both parks. You don’t know that anybody would be disappointed if there’s not a dark ride out in the Princess Area.

    • danielz6

      Sure and lets have story time with belle here too instead of Mr toad…NOT! Restaurants and meet/greets should never be built in lieu of attractions and that’s essentially what be our guest is. A restaurant that tries to be an attraction. Now if be our guest was built alongside a great B and B attraction (like blue bayou/POTC) now that would be spectacular and I’d say yes please!

  • SFDave

    I think a restaurant instead of another meet and greet would have been a better idea. Other than Blue Bayou there isn’t really another really nice sit down restaurant inside Disneyland.

  • sixalex

    Over all I am happy to see this. The kids that come to Disney these days love the meet and greets and, despite my innate dislike of over merchandization, they like to own items that make them feel they are connected to the various characters. This was always Walt’s initiative. From Mickey watches and ears to coonskin caps, Uncle Walt was a premiere capitalist. He always made sure that the product was a good value as well.

    This new section of Disneyland looks really nice. It is a good fit for the current times and more valuable to the park than the empty space that was there before. We all have our favorite things to spend money on at the parks. Let the new generations decide with their dollars what is “true” Disney magic.

    I will either enjoy this new project or go elsewhere in the park to enjoy what I have always enjoyed.

    Thanks for the comprehensive update! MiceChat is awesome.

  • eicarr

    While I have no interest for what’s going inside these beautiful new buildings, I can appreciate the effort to create attractions for little kids that don’t involve bouncy-balls or kiddie coasters. Disneyland definitely has a “Dream Team” of creative staff right now, and so the more they design and build at this time the better. I blindly trust them to properly expand main street U.S.A and fix Tomorrowland.

    • danielz6

      Ya I can’t wait to see what they’re gonna do with tomorrow land and behind thunder ranch. Should be great stuff.

  • RodeToad

    Great photos! Thanks

  • Malin

    It’s a tough call from what Walt always and would have wanted to what today’s average Disneyland Guests expect. For the most part I have no issue with Fantasy Faire being built in front of the castle since it provides an offering in that area. I have no idea what it was used for before this apart from where people would go dancing on a Weekend. I don’t think in all my trips to Disneyland I have ever set foot in this part of the Park. I was hoping the Blue Sky Cellar would give us a look at the Figaro AA but no such luck 🙁

  • jasmineray

    Everything looks beautiful and I can’t wait for this to be completed. Thank you for the update and beautiful photos!

    Regarding the whole “Walt wanted this” thingy, who cares if the CMs and imagineers are talking about this? They’re simply telling us about Walt Disney and his plans back when he was alive. What’s the harm in that?

  • TweedlDum9

    What is going on in that Fantasyland Theater downplan? Entry and exit doors? New queue pathways? I’m guessing the entrance sign is staying in place near the restrooms, but what was drawn there would be great.

  • Timekeeper

    Another note: I like how they are referring to the previous name of the area, the Carnation Garden Plaza, in the form of a crest medallion, plus the inclusion of Chopin from the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Figaro from Pinocchio. I think Rapunzel’s Tower looks nicely placed, I hope it’s stone-colored and does not have the color scheme from the movie. I think the naming of the themed odv cart, Maurice’s Twisted Treats, seems a bit off as he really wasn’t that twisted in the film, he’s an inventor, not a mad scientist. Plus, is the meet’n’greet only going to have just three Disney princesses, (Cinderella, Belle and Ariel) as the only Disney Princesses or will the meet’n’greet character be rotated? Because if’s only three princesses, does that mean Jasmine has her own meet’n’greet in Adventureland?


    • danielz6

      I don’t think they’ll have Ariel or jasmine there…don’t fit with the theme. I’m guessing they’ll have Cinderella, Aurora, belle, repunzel, and maybe Merida. The others fit better in other areas of the Parks.

  • JulieMouse

    My only concern was the loss of the stage and weekend swing dancing, which is a tradition I would like to see continue. The facility for dancing is still there, hopefully we will see some big bands playing late on Friday and Saturday nights! I think the area will look great and I am really looking forward to the Fantasyland Theater finally being put to good use again! Thanks for the detailed look at these changes!

    • JulieMouse

      Ohhhh, and I can’t wait to see exactly what Dole drinks will be offered here!!! 🙂

    • danielz6

      Its been widely publicized that the swing dancing will continue.

  • Disneykin Kid

    I saw the exhibit and talked to a cast member there. The inside Princess Meet & Greet will be Aurora, Cinderella and Ariel. There will be two alternating shows on the stage, Beauty and the Beast and Tangled with Rapunzel and Flynn, and the characters will be outside after each show. Snow White will go back to her wishing well, Tiana will be in New Orleans Square, and Merida will go into the former Gepetto’s Toy Shop where Rapunzel was. The cast member didn’t mention Jasmine, but I assume she will stay in Aladdin’s Oasis.

    I’m ok with the Fantasy Faire being outside the castle walls, after all, they’re running out of space, although they could have done it in the Small World mall, but hopefully they’re leaving that space for something big in the future. I’ll make the argument that it wasn’t Walt’s original idea to put something outside of Fantasyland, simply because when Disneyland first opened, each land was contained with only one entrance in and out. They connected the lands in the back portions only later.

    • Disneykin Kid

      Also Rapunzel’s Tower is represented only by a stone sculpture, that’s a disappointment, I was hoping to see the actual tower.

      • danielz6

        The actual tower would probably be too tall and disrupt the illusion of nearby frontierland and main street. There’s very little space here and its sandwiched between three lands so it can’t have any tall landmarks.
        I’m surprised that Ariel will be here…she doesn’t really fit the theme of European village. Wouldn’t she fit much better in Paradise pier where she already has a ride and restaurant themed to her?

  • Ravjay12

    Great update and pictures! I’m glad Disney decided to keep the original stage and work it around the new meet and greet. It looks great and is sure to be a hit with the kids. It’s also great that they’re utilizing the Fantasyland Theatre for what it was meant to be.

  • JCSkipr79

    We don’t need Rapunzels tower ruining the skyline and theming like it did at MK. Cause nothing makes the Mansion spookier than a cartoon Tyrollean German tower next to it…….

  • Tinkbelle

    The wooden structure with the red posts almost has an asian inspired look to it – might that be for Mulan?

    I think it is great that there will be a themed area better suited for meet and greets than the Small World plaza or the Fantasyland Theater. It is sad that some history is being lost and that everything seems so commercialized and geared towards selling more princess stuff but if the customers want it I guess it makes business sense to give it to them and this area will make more sense than what they’ve been using.

  • brian11811

    Regarding the scale model, how do they expect people to enjoy the fantasy fair, if they can’t even fit inside the building?

    (Zoolander reference)