Disney Princesses move into their new home at Disneyland’s Fantasy Faire

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

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Published on March 11, 2013 at 5:05 am with 31 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

    My main concern of the Fantasy faire was the lack of space. At least there are more than one entrance to the area. At least the Princesses all now have a home in the park at different locations. Hoever, where will the new Princess go, in Frozen… I gues we will have to wait and see.

    All the refurbishemnts are looking great.

    Thanks Again Andy

    Trumpet

  • sixalex

    I’ll be at the park today, but I am so happy to see the beautiful pix first thing in the morning!

    Nice view of the Main Street shops interior hallway.

    Thanks Andy!

  • eicarr

    Getting tons of annoying strollers out of lands into the Faire is great!!! I’m glad to see people can now enjoy that once dead space.

    The store maps are great! I hope they add two for each side of buena vista street where the storefronts do such a poor job of showing me items they sell inside. I often skip the large stores because I don’t want to waste my valuable park time on a treasure hunt to try and find merchandise.

  • cwalter428

    Thanks for the update! I don’t plan on spending much time in Fantasy Faire, but I like how it looks. Very charming…as it were.

  • bamato

    Anybody else notice the speaker beneath Rapunzel?

    • ayalexander

      yup, amazing that its only noticeable from up close. -At first I thought you meant the Rapunzel on stage and I thought to myself -why would there be a speaker blatantly sitting beneath Rapunzel?

  • mickeyandme

    Great update as usual. I write this as I am getting ready for a day at the parks using my 2 night stay at the lovely Howard Johnson provided by Dateline Disneyland’s 5th anniversary giveaway. Thank you again Dateline Disneyland!!!

  • WheresMickey

    Great update!

  • jcruise86

    THANKS for an excellent update, Andy!

    We went yesterday afternoon and evening and had a terrific time, despite that it was crowded.

    • jcruise86

      P.S. We started our day at the Indiana Jones archeology exhibit at the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. We liked that and it seemed like a good intro into archeology for my seven year old. And that is my favorite Taco Bell inside the museum. If only Five Guys Burgers and Fries would take over the Aquarium of the Pacific.

  • Disneykin Kid

    Saw FF over the weekend, my impression is that it is very small. I looked at Google maps, and there is a small hill with trees to the side of the castle, why couldn’t they have taken that out to allow for more space? It would have almost doubled the size of FF, but I guess maybe they didn’t want to make it too big to compete with the castle.

    Still the meet and greet is very small and intimate, again maybe that’s a good thing, but I could have expected a Royal Hall to be bigger and grander. I also think they could have benefited from a larger retail shop and food venue. It seems like Princesses are a big cash generator, IMO they needed more space to take advantage of it. Also the entrance to Frontierland right in the middle of it all is a little jarring.

    The shows are a change from the usual Disney show, not necessarily in a good way. It’s true they have a lot of vaudeville comedy, but there is no singing. In fact, during the B&B show, the audience members have to sing the ‘B&B’ song while Belle and ‘the Beast’ dance. It made me long for the B&B stage show they had years ago in the Fantasyland theater.

    Lastly, the Figaro and bird are cute, but I think Lucifer from Cinderella would have been a better choice. Hey it’s about princesses, right? Jaq and Gus could have peeked out of a hole, and Lucifer could have hissed and shaken his paw at them.

    I agree overall it’s executed with detail, I just think they needed more space.

    • ayalexander

      That hill you’re talking about. They took out 3/4 of it to make way for Fantasy Faire. But they couldn’t take out all of it because it acts as an in-park berm with trees block back-stage views of the backside of Fantasyland. -And if they wanted to block the view with a tall castle wall… then where would the greenery be? It’d be brimstone nightmare! lol

  • Disneykin Kid

    Actually I liked the ‘royal’ princess show they had at the Fantasyland theater better. It just felt more royal with the princesses entering, dancing and Sir Elias and Lady Marian (not sure I remember their name correctly) singing. It seemed more fitting than this slapstick vaudeville show they have now with B&B and Tangled.

    • Disneykin Kid

      It’s almost like the princesses lowered themselves to participate in this slapstick vaudeville show. The Smythe and Jones characters are like fools, which I guess goes with the Festival of Fools feeling of the area, complete with Clopin music box.

  • Tinkbelle

    You did a great job showing the details of PFF. You also showed angles of the area that I had not seen before that give me a better idea of what it is like. Fantastic photos, Andy.

    How do you go about meeting Belle and Rapunzel now? I guess they got rid of Mulan completely. I’m glad they kept the entrance to Frontierland/Zocalo.

    The refurb calendar needs cleaning up, again. And the early bird discount for the Gumball rally has passed.

  • Michael Greening

    The Chocolate pastry at Maurice’s Treats is actually pretty good and surprisingly a good value for the money.

    Didn’t anyone else notice that there is no music at all in the queue for the Royal Hall. When I previewed it on Thursday, it was a 20 minute wait and in the covered part of the queue, it was completely silent. Everyone in line kept saying how boring it was and how they were getting tired. I noticed that there wasn’t any music and looked and looked for speakers but there weren’t any. I sure hope they fix that part. I did point it out to several of the Cast Members that were talking with guests.

  • mycroft16

    Well said about Fantasy Faire.

    It should be noted though that no one has said the dancing isn’t coming back. There has been no misleading here. They went to the pain and trouble of preserving the floor and insuring that nothing was bolted down in that area. They retained the stages ability to host musical ensembles. They clearly have the return of swing dancing/musical performances to this area in mind.

    Even your own choice of words, “for now, ” supports this notion. Given that this area is brand new and likely to draw large crowds for the next several months at least, it makes absolute sense to keep it open as is through the evening hours.

    As it settles in to a routine, more than likely towards the end of summer, maybe even sooner, look for them to try doing swing dancing here once again.

    Also, no history has been wiped out. All that history is still there. That floor, is the same floor that people have danced on for a long time. That stage, is the same stage that the greats have played on. All they did was put a different skin on it. ALL the history remains, even the location remains. They didn’t rip it out and put something new in its place. They preserved the location and just changed the colors and set dressing.

    Aside from that tiny point, well written and fair article.

    • ayalexander

      I agree with you 100%. Well said.

  • sandiegomousefan

    1) Anything that sucks up crowds is a good thing. Not sure this does THAT but it can’t hurt.
    2) VERY sad to see the end of big band jazz at DL. One of the greatest nights spent at the park was a HS jazz band player listening to Woody Herman and the Thundering Heard play that stage. If they were ‘smart” they have masterplanned what they want to do with Festival stage; FLand Stage and T.Land Terrace so as to suck up crowds .
    3) I am giving the music box a month before it is broken and the animatronics about 2. Sadly I am just not sure that was money well spent.

  • Disneykin Kid

    They should build a bandstand for swing dancing in Buena Vista Street. The time period is perfect.

  • I am glad they didnt put all the princess’s on a rotation and you can go to other areas of the park and meet Snow White, Tiana and brave. That is a great option!

    Great review !

  • chesirecat

    They might bring back swing dancing at some point, but I think that it is to be expected that during the initial rush of guests to this new area that it be open as much as possible.

    Also, the swing dancing can be done anywhere you have a floor, and building a duplicate CPG would be pretty cheap because its just a ramada, don’t see what would preclude them putting one in Downtown Disney or DCA.

    Don’t think Tom Staggs “lied”, as obviously they were thinking about roating swing dancing back into this location, but obviously plans change and a lot will depend on the popularity of the area, and of the new shows.

  • JiminyCricketFan

    I like the new area, although I would have done a few things differently;

    1) I see no reason to kill the dancing. I think the stage shows in the day are fine, but I think would grow very tiresome for the evening. I also would have used music in the day show. Kids love music and it would have been a lot more fun.

    2) I would have had the magic mirror to interact with instead of the music box. A cast member would answer wishes and questions. It would be much more fun.

    3) Figaro does not look real to a kid, or anyone else who has seen a real cat. There is no magic in that. It looks like a plastic toy waking up. I think having a talking owl would have been much more fun and maybe more believable. Anyone think Sword in the Stone?

    4) The treats that Disney came up with are sad. They should come up with better choices that are tastier. Princesses deserve better food than that.

  • Westsider

    I’m enjoying the subtle and continuing evolution of thought from the park fans on Fantasy Faire. First it was an abomination that would destroy everything Walt wanted to do with Fantasyland by expanding the land’s footprint. Then it was simply a tacky expansion that ruined the 1905 Victorian theme of The Hub, even if the Matterhorn, sky buckets overhead, plastic houses from Monsanto, flaming tiki torches, gleaming Bell System logos on metal tailfins, and an Oregon Trail fort and Indian teepees had already muscled in on the Hub’s “theme” fifty years ago. And now it’s a nicely done and much needed facility that re-energizes a dead corner of the park and looks inviting from across the babbling brook, but the theater tent is just a tad too pink. This thing doesn’t even officially open until tomorrow, but for the fans something tells me by Easter it will be the new favorite gem in Disneyland’s crown of charming attractions. Well done WDI!

  • garyman

    Yes, Nice Update. A well themed area, Too bad about Swing Dancing though. We always loved to watch them when we come to visit.

  • 4Apples4Disney

    Another fantastic installment!

  • mainejeff

    So can I assume that there will be no more Princess meet n’ greets for a while?…….

  • MysticalSkye

    I have to say that Merida moving into the Tangled location has NOT BEEN CONFIRMED. Things are supposed to stay as they are, with Rapunzel and Flynn doing meets at the location after their story.

  • FredSimmons

    The Fantasyland-style buildings at the new Fantasy Faire look wonderful. And the detailing is great.

    But that gaudy, purple & pink monstrosity next to them has to go. (Fortunately, that should only be a matter of new paint and signage.)

    Didn’t someone along the line realize how garish it looks? Especially when sitting next to the more subtle, realistic shades of the Faire village? The two styles simply don’t belong together. The sooner they acknowledge this and make the change, the better.

  • danielz6

    This looks like a nice addition to the park and is a welcome stroller eater imo. All I can say is thank God the shows have actual actors and not that enchanted tales with belle garbage where the audience has to be the show.

  • darkamor

    So, I can no longer enjoy Live Swing Music / Swing Dancing nightly inside Disneyland, because Team Disney Aneheim needed something more then the Princess Royal Walk in Fantasyland to create a stroller parking lot? (Was Pixie Hollow not enough for parental units who will be forced to schill out $ in shops to appease their toddlers?). Thanks for nothing TDA (thanks for taking a dump on Disneyland History in the name of profits) !!!!

    I cringe @ the loss of the original Rainbow Ridge Buildings, but @ least what will be rebuilt is more then what was done for Fort Wilderness on Tom Sawyer Island (there’s no excuse for leaving Disneyland History to rot beyond repair!). Dumbing down & mall-ification of Main Street … what’s next – Walmart @ Disneyland?

    Another interesting update that’s left me thinking is TDA aware of the fact they are irritating Disneyland Fans <3 of keeping things intact ? (if its not broken, then leave it alone!)

    C J

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