Fantasy Faire gets finishing touches as Voices of Liberty celebrate Presidents’ Day

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on February 25, 2013 at 5:05 am with 36 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy wrote the long-running weekly Dateline Disneyland photo, news and opinion blog here on MiceChat from 2007-2016. Andy continues to make occasional special guest contributions on MiceChat.

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  • Trumpet

    Great Update Andy

    It is a shame that the Dapper Dans ae singing modern songs. However, the younger audience will listen as they know these songs.

    Hopefully, Alice will be fixed soon.

    Finally, the Hub rea has always been a mixmatch of land theme due to bbeing the entrance to the different world. Despite having loud colours, the castle has been their for nearly 60 years and there have been no complaibnts. Lets see what other Micechatters have to say.

    Thanks Again Andy


    • chesirecat

      Agree. The castle “works” with Main Street, and I think the trolley looks great going by Fantasy Faire, which I think has a lot of great details and “festive colors”, which is appropriate. After all, this will be a high traffic area with the princess meet and greets there, so it makes sense for it to be visible from the hub as guests will be looking for it. The purple color is actually appropriate because purple is a “royal color”, and they couldn’t go with pink because that would clash with the castle. Looks better than the faire theme that has been applied to the carousel for years.

      I like that it isn’t hidden from view because it goes well with the castle and you get a sense of the castle actually being at the center of a village. Because we’re talking Fantasyland here, not so decaying medieval village in Europe, it makes sense to use a wonderful palette of pastel colors that are celebratory and festive. This is why the special shingles, which I think look great.

      I love it that they are going to have an animatronic Figaro swatting a bird, awesome. They really went all out, and the details look great.

      I don’t understand the criticism of Fantasy Faire as it it so much better than what was there and looks even better than some of the facades in Fantasyland. I hope they eventually demolish the Fantasyland Theatre, and expand Fantasyland in the same style as Fantasy Faire as they did a great job. Obviously, they built Fantasy Faire to last decades by adding some many details and high quality craftsmanship.

    • DobbysCloset

      Oh dear, it’s just for one night (unless folks love it)!

      There are tween girls visiting the park who are too old to dress as Princesses but who will carry away this memory forever! There was a time when a Monkees medley would have captured my heart.

    • Westsider

      Fantasy Faire looks fantastic, and such a HUGE improvement over the abandoned Plaza Gardens in replaces.

      If the horse-drawn trolley bothers you when it rolls past Fantasy Faire, then also be prepared to pivot another 300 degrees and say…

      – Never mind the 1850’s frontier log fort behind the turn-of-the-century horse drawn trolley
      – Never mind the Polynesian tiki torches, thatched roofs and African elephant tusks behind the turn-of-the-century horse drawn trolley
      -Never mind the soaring metallic spires of the Space Age topped by glowing corporate logos for the Bell System and Monsanto with the fab PeopleMover trains gliding overhead (1967-1990 edition)
      -Never mind the flags of all 50 states, some that hadn’t been created yet in 1905, alongside the mid century mod circular clock and the giant plastic house of the future behind the turn-of-the-century horse drawn trolley (1955-1966 edition)
      -Never mind the giant, snowy Swiss mountain with jaunty Euro mountain climbers behind the turn-of-the-century horse drawn trolley (1959-2013 edition, mountain climbers seasonal)

      The Hub has always been a mish-mash of themes and architecture and frenzy. Fantasy Faire is gorgeous and will be wildly popular. The Plaza Gardens area will finally be put to good use for a wider range of parkgoers for the entire operating day.

      And I walked through Fantasy Faire on Saturday morning on the first CM Preview. It’s stunningly detailed and just dripping with charm and expensive fixtures. It is the equal of Imagineering excellence to Cars Land and Buena Vista Street. The era of cheap or value-engineered park installations is over.

  • JCSkipr79

    Fitzgerald touring Michael around is SCARY. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s trying to assimilate Michael, “We NEED TV SCREENS ALL OVER!” Tony should be leading the new DLR Pres. around. Not THAT no talent pretender. Good to see Michael actually going on rides.

  • indianajack

    Not feeling at all the new green color scheme on the Small World thruway lighting. The old gold and white was much classier and fitting with Small World.

    Thanks for the update as always.

  • eicarr

    I NEED one of those haunted mansion picture frames YESTERDAY. I love my Cars Land souvenir cups I use at home for rootbeer floats all the time and am glad they’ll have more cups to get next time I’m there. I still wish Disneyland could have its own name on paper products, “Disney Parks” just doesn’t carry the magic of reminding me I’m in the greatest park on earth… Disneyland.

    The sight of Fantasy Faire with a horse traveling by is a welcomed distraction from the Tomorrowland embarrassment. While Main Street’s improvements are never ending, the only new TL improvements I remember, besides an awesome Star Tours 2, is a time share booth to take advantage of guests and new advertising booths at innovations. I’m glad the ornate Fantasy Faire will distract from the abandoned Peoplemoover track that tarnishes an entire land.

  • WheresMickey

    Nice update!

  • DisW

    The various colors used for the rooftop shingles of Fantasy Faire clash and look horrible. Did the designers study authentic European locales for their project? If so, then I didn’t realize classical Europe contained structures that were so oddly tacky. And the chimneys definitely don’t look even somewhat authentic, unless the designers were going for a cartoon type of style.

    When Disney does something right, it’s often so well done I couldn’t second guess them if my life depended upon it. But with some of the basic architectural elements of FF, my sense is that even Stevie Wonder is going to pause and be able to detect something is off.

    • ayalexander

      You do realize that Fantasy Fair is part of FANTASYLAND and not based off of a realistic realm, right? I mean, do you really think you’ll walk into Fantasy Fair and meet and greet with France’s King Louis XIV?? No, you meet with Ariel, the former mermaid! Plus, Fantasy Fair is not Europe, its Fantasyland. Yes, the architecture was designed to be similar, but in no way was it designed to be exact. That’s the point.

      • DisW

        But when Fantasyland was redone in the 1980s, I don’t recall its design features being as off or as inappropriately designed — if at all — as is the case with Fantasy Faire. There’s no excuse for the poor artistic choices evident in FF, including the cheap-looking shiny vinyl (again: noticeably shiny vinyl) skirt that hangs from the top of the “tent.” Or the use of tiles/shingles that outline the blue shingles on top of some structures, and whose red color is reminiscent of the look of tiles on top of a Spanish-style building. That is a simple case of poor design choices and work.

        If people in the company believe the Hyperion bridge over Buena Vista Street in DCA, and its colors, needs to be tinkered with, then they better feel ten times that way about Fantasy Faire.

  • Internitty

    I liked the gold and white for Small World too, it blended nicely with the actual facade and looked like it belonged.

    I think the main problem with the Princess Fantasy Faire at the hub is the garish pink big top where Princess Dumbo will live, if the pink was toned down and trees and fencing put in place to soften the transition it would blend really nicely, alternatively let’s have a good old turn of the century circus under the tent 🙂

    • Internitty

      I want glass versions of the Gibson Girl cups too :):)

  • DisneylandTraveler

    Let me get this straight. Iger and Lasseter removed the X-1 plane from the front of the Taste Pilots Grill because it interfered with the views from Buena Vista Street but are good with a garish medieval village at the end of Main St where horse drawn carriages, fire engines, and double decker buses pass by right in front. I get it….. No I don’t….

    • ayalexander

      Well the X-1 plane was positioned in a very comic way… Disneyland was meant to be one giant fantasy realm… California adventure was meant to appear more realistic at first glance. and a plane bursting out of a hangar and frozen in place does not look appear realistic at first glance. At first glance, it looks like a failed comic attempt at whimsy… that’s why it was removed.

  • JCSkipr79

    But Lasseter dosen’t care about DL Park unless it’s Pixar. And it’s totally insulting having Fitz give Michael a tour of…A TONY BAXTER CREATED ATTRACTION. I bet Fitz can’t wait to get in some Johnny Depp TV screens in there!

    • ayalexander

      lol Tony Baxter did not build Alice in Wonderland, Alice in Wonderland opened to guests in 1956, just a year after Disneyland opened. I don’t believe Tony was even an Ice Cream scooper back then.

  • chesirecat

    Thank you for the pictures.

    I think that Fantasy Faire looks great, the bright colors are part of the Faire theme. Just look in Fantasyland and you will see that the Carousel has had a “temporary Faire” theme for years, not an ugly wooden box-type medieval theme, which would disappear into the trees and look grungy. There are a lot of pastel colors, but I think it really works given the purpose of this area, and it will look great for years to come.

    The trolley doesn’t look bad at all with Fantasy Faire in the background, quite the opposite, the Hub also hosts views of Tomorrowland, Adventureland, Frontierland as the trolley goes around.

    The reddish brown paint job is not functioning as an overcoat, but they painted the BVS using a palette of a couple of beige-like colors and a white. If you can see the top coat they put on last week, then they didn’t use enough primer for this new coat (you can’t they did a good job). And the tops of the “towers” are painted red, which wasn’t what the original bridge looked like. Most decidedly not the original paint scheme which was a basic off-white like Carthay, and really, really surprised that the author thinks this is close to the original as there are so many changes in paint scheme.

  • chesirecat

    Remember that before Fantasy Faire, there was the Carnation Plaza Gardens which looked horribly dated, and it didn’t work with the castle, now with Fantasy Faire I think you get a sense that the castle is the center of a village, with Tony Baxter’s Fantasyland on the north side, and Fantasy Faire off the side. Obviously some of the shingles look worn and have shades of brown, and others have a bit more color, it all works as this is the “celebratory” faire part of Fantasyland, remember the concept art with the may pole and confetti, looks spot on to me. Looks better than the new Fantasyland in WDW to my eyes, and it really pluses the whole Hub area and provides some placemaking for the castle.

  • bayouguy

    I think the theming of the Fantasy Faire won’t cause too much commotion in the long run. It’ll soon blend in. And I’m very certain every American Main Street has a castle, a Matterhorn Mountain and a Rocket Jets. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

    • Imagineer2B

      Hahahaha. I completely agree. The hub area is a transition into many lands which can all be seen from the hub. I’m thrilled with the quality and attention to detail. While the details may not be period or locale accurate or specific, that is fine…this is FANTASTY Faire after all. I understand that the color of the new “tent” can be a little jarring but I think we are just reacting to change. Give it a couple months and we’ll be on to the next project.

      • RodeToad

        Lol I completely agree well!
        The hub is where many lands come together, be it an old west fort or a medieval castle.

        And the bridge….
        I respect Andy’s opinion about the bridge; I just disagree. I saw room for improvement, and obviously others did as well. I think the new paint job looks great. For me, this falls under the category of “Plussing” that is a time honored tradition that goes back to Walt, and I am excited they found money in a budget to continue that tradition, and that this is something that they should be commended for doing. I would would hate to see the day where “the little things” no longer matter, because they are criticized that it was a waste of money.

  • dznycat

    Would be nice if they would get rid of that horrible bright PINK color. It looks cheap compared to the rest of the area. I think they could have made the Fantasy Faire over on the side to bridge the gap from tea cups to small world. Let’s be real that has been dead land since the phantom boat days. How nice if they would have used some of that space.

  • DobbysCloset

    For all of those who are commenting on the color I would like to recommend a fabulous book, very difficult to read, that talks about how humans perceive color and how different times and cultures “saw” color. “Through the Language Glass” by Guy Deutscher. Because I have to reserve judgement based on the reality, not the virtual representations.

    Thank you so much for the tour! Money is being spent everywhere and it looks like we’re expecting a wonderful summer crowd! Finally a photo for dogs (Dobby would gladly take Toto’s place for a munch on the Yellow Brick Roll — wish my computer had Smell-o-vision.)

    Having mice chatting is such a better way to open my day than yahoo new PTSD Triggering home page…

    What I would like to see is A) a Brawny Face Character. I have always wanted to meet that guy. I’ve bought paper towels from him for years… Surely it would be easy to find some out-of-work model to stand there and smile… B) themed attendants for the Princesses to provide protection as well as role models for little boys. Isn’t there supposed to be a knight in shining armor lurking in the shrubbery? Revive “Sword in the Stone” maybe? I sure wish Narnia had stuck…

    Also, you mentioned the theater being “loud.” I do not think Walt would have liked the idea of blasting sound at children at decibel levels that would damage their eardrums and make them cry. I am very sensitive to sound myself and no longer enjoy most movie theaters — keep the sound appropriate for all ages unless otherwise noted.

    • ayalexander

      In Walt’s time everything was quiet, today everything is loud. Things must compete with today’s standards. Yeah children cry but old people pout when they can’t hear.

  • EC82

    Main Street was designed to evoke the memory of turn of the century America, when towns had bandstands for weekend fun. The new Fantasy Faire is designed to evoke the memory of more Princess merchandise sales to line the company’s coffers.

    Am I the only one, by the way, who can only think of that awful Hunchback of Notre Dame area when I see these garishly colored buildings?

    Why not just turn all of Main Street into the “forecourt” of the castle?

    The whole thing is awful. It’s gone from a lovely quiet gem to another merchandise/meet and greet area.

    I’m all for change if it’s done right. This is change done badly.

  • Bfscott77

    I have to say, the re-paint of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge was well done and worth the effort! The first paint job was all one color and flat – good enough to get it done for the opening of Buena Vista Street last year. Good to see that Disney isn’t done perfecting the park. It is touches like the repaint that shows me that on-going great care will be put into DCA!! I can not WAIT to see what Disney does with the rest of DCA one day (here’s looking at you Paradise Pier and Hollywoodland – among other areas)

  • Susan Hughes

    I’ll be checking out the new Fantasyland CM viewings this week. I hope the big Thunder Mountain yellow crane is out of view when it officially opens. That would ruin all the promo shots for sure.
    As for the Dapper Dans, I would much rather hear them do The Beach Boys. I think they would sound amazing recreating their harmonies.

    • Internitty

      Don’t worry too much about the crane in the promo shots, as a graphic designer myself I can assure you Photoshop is a wonderful thing 😉

  • jjmaneja

    I just came back today after a nice 3-day stay at the parks. I loved both of the Limited Time Magic offerings, especially the Voices of Liberty. As a 25yo guy whose Disney fanaticism is still quite this, this was a surprisingly amazing offering.

    I also love that they brought back the “Remember…Dreams Come True” fireworks show. It was a great way to end off my last visit with my first ever annual pass.

    The one thing that really caught me by surprise was the Dapper Day, because I started to keep track of this blog and Disney Parks exactly one year ago, but I have not heard of this day until I walk into the park and realize how many of the guests were looking unusually Dapper. I would have loved to participated if I had known about it. Is there a calendar available of popular annual events that I should know about if I am to reach the next level of fandom?

    • Marko50

      I think that Dapper Day is another unofficial celebration much like Bat Day or Gay Days. Don’t think there is an unofficial calendar existing, but I could be wrong.

  • ewo1992

    I fail to see how fantasy fair is invading Main Street. I thought Main Street and the hub were two completely different things.

  • Kritter

    Since Cast Members were just having a sneak peak at what the Fantasy Faire is about it was more of an educational tour of what will be there while being directed by Tour Guides. Cast Previews begin this weekend.

  • Marko50

    Just a note – the weekday hours seem to have been transposed; the Disneyland site lists Mon-Fri as 10AM – 8PM (both parks).

    • Marko50

      Um, make that Mon-Thur.

  • danyoung

    Thanks for the great update. But I have to disagree about the Dans – I see nothing cringe-worthy about the Dans singing popular music, as long as it’s in their barbershop quartet style. It makes for a very fun mash-up, and I think it will be very popular!