The new meet and greet in Fantasyland, Princess Fairytale Hall, opens on September 18. I was given access Friday night as part of the DisneyParks blog “Treat-Up” (meet up with treats), which was free to attend. Disclosure: as part of that meetup, I was given free admission to the Not So Scary Halloween party going on around us, as well as Glow With the Show Mickey ears. Verdict: it’s a solid addition to the park, with quality trappings and a stately feel that matches the castle. Its elegance, though, will do little to staunch the controversy that dogs this attraction. It’s a meet and greet that replaced a ride, a fact that will continue to irritate many fans but leave others happy that the characters (finally) have a permanent home.


First, a caveat. We were cautioned that our sneak peak does not constitute a “soft opening” and the attraction is still not necessarily “done”, so any operational details discussed here could easily change by the time it opens for real.

It’s worth remembering why the Princess Fairytale Hall was needed in the first place: because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of families that visit the Magic Kingdom on a daily basis looking to take photos of the Disney characters with their children. It may not match the demographic of every visitor (may not in face match the demographic of the majority of visitors to THIS site), but it’s nonetheless true that if any of us were suddenly put in charge of Walt Disney World, we’d want to cater to this demand. The larger Disney company has been creating demand for princess merchandise and princess mania in general for more than a decade, and yet these characters have only a temporary home in a corner on Main Street. The facilities there LOOK temporary, in fact. The first waiting room was about as unexciting as you can get, painted a dull blue color with no adornments.



The new digs are a definite step up. The furnishings, finishings, and trappings are highly reminiscent of what you’d find inside Cinderella Castle itself – and that makes sense, given the proximity. This is essentially an extension of the castle. You’d want there to be some thematic unity in the land, after all. That unity extends out to the new sections of the land. The Beast’s castle – seen in Be Our Guest – is all about refinement and luxury, not excessive Rococo decorations. This style is more Chateau Chenonceau (the opening castle in Impressions de France) than the mixed medieval look of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle decorations, especially indoors.

Castles, in other words, don’t come in just one shape or size. Schloss Nymphenburg outside Munich impressed me with its Rococo decorations when I visited several years ago, but this is not the style of the new Fairytale Hall. It’s actually closer to Neuschwanstein, the interior of which is less ostentatious, though it is also unfinished. The Orlando Fantasyland is now mostly a princess-land, and all of it seems to match the rest: emphasis on grandeur and artistocratic refinement rather than flashy decorations. The Disneyland Fantasyland area ALSO has a unified theme, but theirs is centered around medieval charm: you’ve got the medieval castle (notice the storybooks in the walkthrough are done in medieval style?) and the quaint German Fachwerk designs for most of the rest of the land. Like most comparisons between the two coasts, this too comes down to a simple spectrum: Disneyland is all about charm, and WDW emphasizes grandeur.

The new Princess Fairytale Hall is actually TWO attractions in one space. Like Orlando’s Space Mountain or Anaheim’s Matterhorn, it has two sides that never meet. One side is dedicated to Cinderella (the blue wallpaper shows off her slipper in the design) and the other to Rapunzel (her pink wallpaper has a rose in it). In each case, the princess in question is ALSO accompanied by another princess who is not promised or advertised from the outside. It could be Mulan, Tiana, Sleeping Beauty, or Snow White, all of whom have portraits in the main waiting hall. Or it could be a character from Frozen – that movie gets a call out in one of the props here in the set (see below).





The main waiting hall has six portraits of princesses. I took especial note of Tiana. Her picture shows not only firefly Ray, but another firefly companion. The implication is that this is Evangeline, his impossible-to-attain love interest from the movie. For Ray to finally get his Evangeline here in this magical place just drives home the message all the more: everyone’s wish is granted here!








A collection of books (princess stories, of course) in the meet-and-greet area pays special attention to ONE fairy tale: that of Snow White. The title is given in German, because, of course, the Disney movie was based on the German tale. The artwork, by the way, is reproduced from the original Little Golden Book on Disney’s Snow White.


Those bookends you see there are lifted from the Disney movie Cinderella.



Most of the book titles in the meet-and-greet room are accurate to the original language. But “Küss den Frosch” (which means “Kiss the Frog”) is not the title of the original tale from the Grimms’ collection, which is the most famous of the fairy tale collections. In Grimms, the title is Froschkönig, which means Frog-King. I guess the real title would be a distraction from the female heroine, who is the focus of this attraction?

One of the titles is Snedronningen – Danish for “Snow Queen,” the source material for the upcoming movie Frozen. It’s a fair bet the princess from that movie will soon find a home here as well! Missing from this list: the storybook for Mulan. Chinese characters would stick out too much here?


Both sides have artwork in the antechamber (just before the actual meet and greet room) and just inside the room itself, and that artwork is universally in the style of Eyvind Earle, the artist behind the look of the movie Sleeping Beauty. This prints are reproductions of actual backgrounds from the Sleeping Beauty movie (not all are necessarily from Earle; his fellow background artists painted in his style for that movie).








A more detailed photo tour is available here.




  • Speedway

    As you said, some people – especially the main demographics of this site – will never, ever let it sleep that (on paper in black and white) a meet and greet replaced a dark ride. That pretty much goes against everything everyone on MiceChat bangs on about.

    However, like it or not it happened and I have to say they’ve done it fabulously. The Imagineers on this project are clearly passionate about the mythologies not only of the original fairytales but the Disney versions and the collective Disney princess mythology universe. Very classy. The paintings of the princesses are as ‘painting-like’ without straying from the classic character models, and thankfully are nothing like the hideous Liberace-style images Consumer Products are using. I adore drag queens but Cinderella doesn’t need to look like RuPaul.

    I think a good few opponents of things like this should spend a few days at a hypothetical City Hall in a Magic Kingdom where the princesses are nowhere to be found. Maybe they’d gain insight into exactly how great the demand for something like this.

    And I’ve saved the biggest nugget of blasphemy for last: that Snow White ride either had to go, or be re-done bottom up. Classic Fantasyland dark rides as they are just cannot carry on existing in their current forms in the face of 2013 dark rides like the Little Mermaid. All of them: Peter Pan in the MK, Mr Toad at DL, need to either be totally re-thought or lavished with new technology and love.

    • cruise

      “And I’ve saved the biggest nugget of blasphemy for last: that Snow White ride either had to go, or be re-done bottom up. Classic Fantasyland dark rides as they are just cannot carry on existing in their current forms in the face of 2013 dark rides like the Little Mermaid. All of them: Peter Pan in the MK, Mr Toad at DL, need to either be totally re-thought or lavished with new technology and love.”

      And I’d believe you if these attractions had empty queues everyday. Oh wait… Peter Pan at Disneyland still carries a 45 minute wait while DCA’s The Little Mermaid’s wait averages 5 minutes.

      • Speedway

        If we’re going to consider everything fairly, let’s take into account how much huger TLM’s people eating capacity is, Peter Pan’s nostalgia-laden reputation and the timeless gimmick of being able to ‘fly’ in a ship. I remember on my family’s first every trip to WDW, my mum insisted on taking us on the ride as a lady she worked with said “You must go on Peter Pan and fly over London”.

        And absolutely none of these things have anything to do with the fact that ride is old, and looks it. You can’t deny that. Otherwise, it sounds a little like you’re suggesting it’s ok that Disney allows the ride to look shabby and scruffy because the wait time is always so long…

    • CaptainAction

      Yes, they had to tear out Snow White because there was no place to build a princess meet and greet in New Fantasyland or in any part of the 43 square miles of land available.

      The Little Mermaid Ride is the lamest dark ride yet. The 50 year old Pinocchio ride has more special effects (Monstro attacking, Lampwick changing to Donkey, Blue Fairy appearing) than Mermaid. Since Peter Pan and Mr. Toad have more guests in line for them than Mermaid, then I guess Mermaid should be the next to go. Mermaid is not lavished on with new technology and love. My kids and I never care if we ride it again.

      It is indeed hard to defend WDW today. You have a tough job ahead of you.

      • frollofan

        Pinnochio opened in 1983, so it is not 50 years old.

      • danielz6

        Regardless of when they were made, i enjoy Pinocchio, snow white, peter pan and toad all more than Little Mermaid. Little mermaid was a missed opportunity to really reestablish Disney’s mastery of the dark ride but comes up short. The story goes from kiss the girl to happily ever after leaving a huge hole and absent climax from the ride. At least one or 2 more show scenes were necessary to make this a great dark ride, and one of them had to be the giant Ursula battle.

      • Speedway

        Your point about them building the meet and greet somewhere else to avoid ripping out a dark ride is absolutely valid and I totally agree.

        Calling TLM ‘the lamest dark ride yet’, however, is one of the most ludicrous opinions I’ve ever heard and will be consigned to my mental bin of “Ridiculous Irrational Things MiceChat Users Say” which will probably lead me to abandoning the forums for another twelve months, a cycle in effect for the past half decade.

      • AaroniusPolonius

        “Yes, they had to tear out Snow White because there was no place to build a princess meet and greet in New Fantasyland or in any part of the 43 square miles of land available.”

        So much THIS.

    • CaptainAction

      Speedway, by standards of 2013 the Mermaid ride is lame. They completly skip the story. They completly skip the Ursula battle and instead use a small 3 foot tall wooden cut out of her with a scream expression in the back of the wedding scene.
      Our family like the others below really like Snow White, Mr. Toad, Peter Pan, Alice, etc. much more. Winnie the Pooh is much better. Mermaid was a rush job and a miss. We have ridden the Mermaid in CA and WDW and were all underwelmed.You can tell by the lines that most guests are too.
      By the way, if you are going to leave this forum, as you threaten, maybe you can’t defend your feelings very well.
      By the way, if forced to I would choose Mermaid over Small World.

    • Westsider

      All good points above.

      But it should also be remembered that Disneyland’s version of this new facility is larger and with more princesses (3 instead of two), more lavish looking and enveloping, with extra special effects and interactives, plus a separate theater with varying stage shows, a custom shop, and a snack bar, all rolled into one Princess Fantasy Faire mini-land in the shadow of the Castle.

      It’s ironic that little, old Disneyland keeps five classic dark rides in Fantasyland and shoehorns in the bigger and more involved new Princess meet n’ greet attraction. Meanwhile at sprawling WDW, where they have “the blessing of size” and a Magic Kingdom Park without enough rides, they closed a dark ride and left Fantasyland with only two classic dark rides, and then built a smaller and less involved Princess meet n’ greet attraction.

      WDW doesn’t operate in a vacuum, as much as TDO thinks it does. The comparison to Disneyland’s Princess Fantasy Faire is not flattering to WDW’s decision makers.

      • danielz6

        well said, i agree completely. It baffles that magic kingdom has so much more space yet less attractions, and as you say, smaller and abridged attractions compared to disneyland’s. Actually looking at google there’s large expansion space behind new fantasyland. I’m really hoping, but not expecting, a beaty and the beast dark ride that could fit there. Those films deserve so much more than just retail, they deserve to be world class attractions, and no storytime with belle is not a world class attraction.

    • disneytom

      The reason Peter Pan looks like crap is because Disney can’t get a sponsor for the ride and you know darn well they’re not going to invest a dime of their own money to “enchant” it!

  • BradyNBradleysMom

    I think a lot of the noise regarding this project will quiet once the Seven Dwarves Mine Train opens. I don’t think people realize how fantastic it is going to be. On fan forums, I know that many enjoy saying “it’s just a kiddy coaster”…but that’s so strange to me because any coaster at all is more exciting than the original Snow White’s Scary Adventures ride. The Mine Coaster is a step up. I think we need to reserve final judgment on New Fantasyland until the Mine Coaster opens.

    In a perfect world, everything could have been opened at once…but then vacationers would have been locked out of Fantasyland while all that construction was happening. That’s a lot of unhappy children. Disney was truly damned if it did and damned if it didn’t and I believe at this point nothing it does will ever please its “super fans”.

    My sister is a psych nurse and she and I have talked about this before, but I think sometimes people who start off big fans of Disney end up hating the thing they were fans of and just go into blind rages over things that Disney does that don’t match up with the fans’ dreams or imagination. It turns into psychosis. I wish people would take deep breathes, enjoy the offerings in the parks, and zap away the negative feelings and angry emotions. It’s a theme park after all, that was designed to make people happy…not something to get so upset about all the time.

    • CaptainAction

      No, Fantasyland remained open during the building of New Fantasyland. Disney wasn’t darned if it did or not. They could have finished the Dwarf Coaster if they wanted to. WDW is either doing it cheap with very few workers (WDW w/ Resorts and Monorail was built in 1,500 days and Dwarf Coaster is approaching day 1,000) or WDW is TRYING to go slow and time the opening w/ New WWOHP at Uni. Either explanation is very sad.

      WDW also could have built a new princess meet and greet with all the restaurants, stores, and snack stands but they aren’t about rides anymore, they are about revenue.

      The reason people are leaving WDW and getting upset with the current leadership is simple. Over the last 10 years prices have risen, stores have risen, restaurants have risen, snack stands have risen, photo ops have risen but rides, not so much. Guests are getting tired of being unappreciated by something that was so guest centered for over 50 years.

      • AaroniusPolonius

        Anecdotal evidence of “people leaving WDW” is not evidence. Attendance is up at WDW: all parks, with MK setting a record this year.

        As for the dwarf coaster, it’s plainly obvious that they are slowing down the construction to open it when Potter Phase Two does. I’d also suspect that they unveil a big Star Wars or Avatar or Something Else Big moment at that Potter opening as well. That’s just good marketing.

    • danielz6

      I’m a lifelong fan of Disney and have zero angry emotions or psychosis. But I refuse to give my hard earned money to a Disney park that doesn’t live up to the standard set by Walt Disney’s magnus opus of New Orleans square in 1966. Sorry but little mermaid, tales with belle and Dumbo playground simply don’t measure up to that standard imo. So I spend all my money in Anaheim, Tokyo and universal florida where Walt’s spirit of timeless attractions and continual plussing is alive and well. There’s nothing psychotic about it I think it’s much more psychotic to continue giving more and more of your money and getting less for it.

      • BradyNBradleysMom

        I think everyone has a choice on where to spend their “hard-earned money”…but most people choose not to talk about money. It’s kind of tactless. Every day people have to choose what to do with what they have, yet some people have a weird need to tell the Internet about their “hard-earned money”. That’s strange to me.

        Going on about money like you did danielz6 is odd to me.

      • CaptainAction

        Daniel and Brady Mom,
        It isn’t odd to stop rewarding companies who are taking customers for granted. In business school it’s called your economic vote and an opportunity cost. The $, Euro, British Pound, etc are the votes of what you support. The opportunity cost is that you can’t spend the same $ twice in two places, but must chose.
        We don’t keep shopping at a store which isn’t serving your needs well.
        Many people are turning away from WDW because they just are making it very obvious that they value our money but not the guest. You can’t keep raising prices and building tons of revenue outlets but not find time or resources to build attractions.
        Universal and Disneyland have really been trying to build attractions which make the guests feel appreciated and interested in the new attractions.
        I really DON’T want an ARMBAND to tell me where to eat, what I’m eating, what I’m riding, and when I’m riding. WDW isn’t guest centric like Walt was. They are dollar centric.

      • danielz6

        I’m a lifelong fan of Disney and have zero angry emotions or psychosis. But I refuse to give my hard earned vacation time to a Disney park that doesn’t live up to the standard set by Walt Disney’s magnus opus of New Orleans square in 1966. Sorry but little mermaid, tales with belle and Dumbo playground simply don’t measure up to that standard imo. So I spend all my vacation time in Anaheim, Tokyo and universal florida where Walt’s spirit of timeless attractions and continual plussing is alive and well. There’s nothing psychotic about it I think it’s much more psychotic to continue spending your vacation in a place that offers less creativity than what disneyland offered in 1966, when other places are booming with creativity.


  • mickdaddy

    Snow white will be better served with the mine train coaster in the long run, as much as my family loves the princesses, having a 9 year old daughter, I would rather the space be used as a dark ride. I have always thought they should do a princess themed dark ride that would focus on the original princesses or just a Sleeping Beauty ride (best story line for a dark ride IMO). I do like how well the meet and greet is themed. Looks like they did a good job.

    • danielz6

      Sleeping beauty would be awesome! Just imagine Prince Philip battling the dragon or the spindle scene man I’m getting goosebumps thinking about it. There’s so many Disney films that deserve to be made into rides. Regardless of what the fan boys say, Disneyland became the monumental success it is because Disney built rides, not meet n greets. I’m all for character experiences but never at the expense of rides or attractions.

      • CaptainAction

        Well said Daniel

  • DobbysCloset

    Kevin, thank you for this comprehensive look at a project that is both beautifully crafted and also a very meaningful of cultural desire & technological advancement. It reminds me of the Animation Palace at California Adventure; a place I am happy simply to be in while contemplating my love for Walt’s legacy.

    What does it mean that “every little girl wants to be a princess” at Disney? What photo opportunities are supplied for little boys? What other role models are offered? Where is Pocahontas, a real-life princess?

    Now that every person can take a decent photograph with an inexpensive piece of technology, it makes perfect sense to provide formal photo opportunities as lovely as these. I don’t know what Kodak Moments you had in Florida, but photographs are the best souvenirs money CAN’T buy.

    The Snow White ride at Disneyland haunted me in my sleep for years. At first sight of the evil Witch I would cover my face until I saw daylight. It’s OK you don’t have it any more. Hopefully all the sweet dreams of four-year-old princesses will cancel out all my nightmares in the balance of the Force.

    • Eric Davis

      I am pretty sure that Disney’s Photopass proves that Money can buy photographs. lol

      • BradyNBradleysMom

        I hope you realize that no one is forcing you to buy Photopass. It’s there for people who want it. I’ve used it in the past when some of the shots were beautiful. I’ve also just taken screengrabs of the Photopass shots that were just okay and never bought them, just as I take pictures of the shots on Space Mountain and BTM and never buy those. But I like that the option is there.

  • Swice

    I am one who appreciates details. I would love to “see” the environment they created in person… But I guess I never will… I have boys.

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    I’m not opposed to change, nor do I think the Snow White attraction was particularly spectacular.

    However, I do question why they couldn’t find another spot for this princess meet and greet? It seems to me they have space to spare. Why not add some capacity to the Magic Kingdom?

    In any case, I appreciate the article and am glad they did a good job.

    • Eric Davis

      The could have built this and the Tangled Toilets in the same location… but they didn’t.

      • CaptainAction

        This is where Disney folks who just can’t admit they are being taken for granted by WDW are left, “Oh boy, have you seen the new Disney toilets and themed bathrooms!” Quite a fall.
        Walt and the old boys were the antithesis to these bloated, lazy leaders.

  • Orlando71

    Replacing Snow white doesn’t bother me that much since in the long run we will have the coaster which is supposed to be between the barnstormer and big thunder in intensity. The first time i rode barnstormer i didn’t really want to because i thought it was to kiddish. But i had a blast and i thought it was really fun. My only regret, it was way to short. Anyway, the thing that bothers me the most is the outside. The inside looks great, but come on they could of fixed the facade, because it is not attractive. Thanks for the pics.

  • Haven

    Love the main portrait room with the groin vault ceiling, well done. Not so crazy about the room with the scenery portraits. Disney, lets please try to hide the linear diffusers in a larger crown moulding next time or up within a ceiling cove as it is carried out in the portrait chamber. Portrait lights over each of the scenery paintings would be a nice touch even though the art can be lit from ceiling fixtures directed properly. Portrait lights would give it that extra touch though. A simpler wallpaper pattern would help not to compete against the beautifully detail painted scenes, as well as some lush drapery with tie backs to add that castle grandeur quality.
    Sorry, didn’t mean to write all this, guess my Wynn training just can’t help itself. I’ll be quiet now.

  • chesirecat

    Nice article Kevin, and thanks for the link to more photos on your site.

    I gotta say though, I’m kinda underwhelmed with the exterior of this meet and greet. In some of your photos you can see metal bars painted blue which are used to support the upper part of signage (such as the ‘crown’), and these purple beams that support the banner part of the sign. I’m kinda reminded of the disappointment with Dumbo’s signage which seemed downgraded from the concept art.

    I can’t help but remember Michael Eisner’s comment that “nobody would ever look behind themselves on a dark ride”, referencing the fact that everything is “fake” inside of a Disney park. I think they could have done a much better job with the outside, maybe they could have built a metal trellis with a more classy sign, yet still in the medieval faire theme, that wouldn’t need awkward metal bars, and perhaps they could have added flowers so it’s not all metal and concrete.

    I get that Orlando gets hot in the summer, and that the fans will help a bit, but I think a better idea would have been to use vents for air flow, even if its just recirculated air from the outside, and hence remove the visual distraction of the fans. The ceiling I guess is meant to be the greyish bricks that the castle is built out of, but it kinda doesn’t work. On the inside, everything pretty much looks like a bonafide castle, and they went to pains to hide a ceiling vent with woodwork on the ceiling! So why is the exterior so ‘cheesy’?!?

    I think they also used too many crowns on the outside part of the queue, crown lights, crowns everywhere. The stained glass windows details look great, and the interior looks much, much better than the outside queue, that they made sure to add crowns to all the chandeliers.

    I also think that the inside queue, as beautiful as it is, could have used a focal point, and something unexpected, such as adding some “living characters”, such as Lumiere in Enchanted Tales with Belle, even if it was just using screens to animate Gus and other mice from Cinderella running behind of plates on a shelf or something. Yes, the princesses are the stars of the show, but I think the whole experience needs some supporting characters rather than just being a stable with various princesses in their stalls, so to say, though it is a very high quality stable.

    Disneyland’s princess meet and greet has Figaro the cat on a window sill, maybe more little details will be added in the future. I know that this meet and greet does have some great little nods to the princesses, but if you can see them all in one time through, then it’s not really saturated with details like other Disney attractions. It would have been cool to have a backstory for this meet and greet, perhaps referencing how Cinderella got the princesses together or something.

    No Jasmine or Mulan book, yet there is a Brave book and I don’t think Merida is at this meet and greet yet . . . maybe when Frozen comes out they’ll shuffle Mulan with the two new princesses, but Jasmine is still uber popular, yes?

    Another problem is that Jasmine’s “book” wouldn’t reference this princess, but rather Aladdin, and Mulan’s book . . . not sure what the title would be. I think they wanted books which reference the princess first and foremost, and they decided not to think up a “Enchanted Tale of Princess Jasmine” book titles, “Adventure of Princess Mulan” book titles, and tried to make the books look like medieval classics or something, so they missed a creative opportunity.

    Seven Dwarf mine train will be a major thrill ride, and I do mean thrills as they mine cart swinging will add a whole new dimension of fun, I think fans are upset because the dwarfs and snow white just kinda make cameos, the ride isn’t about story first and foremost. Not necessarily a bad thing as Big Thunder’s main attraction is thrills, with a window-dressing story added on, but for a Fantasyland attraction (where story has always been of primary importance), I kinda feel like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a missed opportunity, had they had a larger footprint, or even built a large basement for show scenes, they could have added as many scenes as the old ride, which would have made the ride more than just “that Dwarf ride” that younger audiences may view it, without understanding the story.

  • Tielo

    I guess I’m the only one who doesn’t like meet and greets (in any park whatever the brand).
    When I went for the first time to WDW +20 years ago and I met characters just walking around. It was a surprise and a special, magical moment. I know people started demanding it because they had to pay a shitload of money to enter the park they where demanding to have a meet and greet with Mickey and the gang. But for me it killed the atmosphere of the park, it made it less magical.
    Now meet and greet locations get to the size of a dark ride it’s kind of starting to become a problem. Why do they need a home? The whole park is their home.

    • frollofan

      Excellent post.

    • Eric Davis

      I agree. I miss the days when Character interactions were surprises that delighted guests. Now thanks to Autograph Books, Photopass and Merchandise the character interaction have become something for WDW to exploit.

      Gone are the days of the chance meeting, because now you can book it 6 months in advance thanks to MM+

  • Eric Davis

    Am I the only one who thinks that (while the paintings truly are beautiful) the scenic paintings feel really empty. And that the design of the paintings on top of that wall paper make it look unnecessarily cluttered at the same time.

    • chesirecat

      I believe the idea with the landscapes is that parents with little princesses hold them up against the back-drop and take pictures with cellphones/cameras.

      • KingEric

        If that were really the intention they would be life sized, and it would be intentional. Again they just feel so empty.

    • CaptainAction

      The painting styles don’t match the room at all. One room looks pretty good and the next looks cheap. The outside looks like a carnival and one room looks like a castle. What the heck?

  • chesirecat

    Turns out Mulan is based, in part, on a Chinese poem, from wiki:

    Then Disney consultant and children’s book author Robert D. San Souci suggested making a movie of the Chinese poem, “The Song of Fa Mu Lan” and Disney combined the two separate projects.

    So, there could be a book title with perhaps, “The Song of Mulan” in English, and some Chinese characters/aging to make it more authentic.

    Obviously, Snow White is in the meet and greet, but is there a special reference to the old attraction in this new area?

  • Kevin Yee

    I assume Mulan and Jasmine’s books aren’t there because if they were, the titles would be in the original languages (like the others) and THOSE titles don’t use Roman characters. Introducing a new alphabet would just be confusing rather than a good homage, at least to a large number of visitors.

    • chesirecat

      There’s always artistic license, and if we go with a backstory of the princesses visiting Cinderella, they might have given her a book with, say, for example, Aladdin’s Tales in a Germanic language in addition to Farsi, though there isn’t anything wrong with just an English version.

      “Brave” isn’t in Scottish gaelic as Brave could be either Calma, Cruadalach (in addition to others) and it seems Merida gave Cinderella the english version, the Dannish thing for Snow Queen probably flies over the head of most guests.

      I wouldn’t have a problem with a “Song of Mulan” book with some chinese characters, Cinderella was nobility so you’d expect a lavishly adourned place to have books from other continents. Maybe even an expensive “Song of Mulan” book with both Mandarin characters and an English version.

      I’m kinda suspicious that Disney doesn’t want any “foreign” characters, such as Chinese/Farsi on the books and they want the titles to reflect the Germanic origins of Cinderella and her castle which might be more familiar and less foreign to American guests. Is this racism? I’ve got a niece who is part Japanese, she loves all the princesses, but might wonder where is Mulan’s book? Is this some form of mild european-centric chauvanism? Farsi is OK if written on a wall near the Jungle Cruise queue in an “exotic” land but doesn’t belong in a Germanic princess village?

      Maybe, maybe not. I think the whole attraction could have used an explicit backstory, these princesses from different lands come to Cinderella’s castle for a party or some sorts, and perhaps bring gifts from their different lands (though it is hard to explain what an early 20th Century Princess (Tiana) is doing in Cinderella’s time.) They could have used the ever-popular birthday theme and said “Cinderella is having a birthday” and her friends are invited.

  • MainSt1993

    Another gimmicky cash grab further pollutes the worst castle park in the company. Surprise, surprise…

  • BuckyRister

    Can someone explain to me how Mulan is a princess?

    • poohmeg

      I know, right? I love her and her movie more than just about any of the other characters in there, but I don’t get that, either – her family wasn’t royal, and I don’t think Li Shang’s was either. It seems like princess = cute young animated female character in the current definition rather than actual royalty!

  • LoveStallion

    I would argue for the creation of Obscuraland, where random characters and would-be princesses can have attractions built around them. We’re talking all of the great Disney films that get no attraction love. Follow me, children!

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  • Amy VandenBoogert

    Well, this new area looks nicely done, but since I’m not a princess fan (and I’m a girl), I won’t be visiting any time soon. Yeah a lot of girls like princesses, but there are also a lot of females out there who can’t stand them. Give me the furry-heads and/or villains any day… or even a prince or two.

  • CaptainAction

    Maybe we should start calling New Fantasyland, New Rockland? Rocks must be cheap to build because WDW has made the whole new area out of more and more rocks.

  • AaroniusPolonius

    Leaving aside the controversy of ripping out an actual ride for a highly themed Character Hug Spot, it looks pretty fabulous and complete, which is certainly an improvement over the pre-Iger, post-Euro Disney days.

    Having said that, it seems as if they MIGHT have overdone the Character Hug Spots in New Fantasyland, with the Belle’s cottage experience, the Dumbo Circus Hug Spot and now the Princess Hug Spot in place. I’m sure they’ll get plenty of takers (I can’t wait to see the Gay Day pictures of queens hugging princesses,) and sell plenty of photos, but it seems like massive overkill of an idea, as well as a way to get a premium-quality look and feel on the cheap, which is to say that it’s much more expensive to create a new ride versus a photo op spot.

    Don’t get me wrong: we knew that New Fantasyland was going to put a premium on the Character Hug Spots (remember the original design, sans kiddie-Dwarf coaster, with individual Princess Hug Zones AND a Fairy Hug Zone?) I guess I’m old enough to remember taking pictures with these characters spontaneously, as I walked through the parks, going from actual ride to actual ride, and thus, old enough to be miffed at this reliance on the Hug Spot-As-Attraction.

    As for The Little Mermaid missing a scene, a climax with Ursula, I totally agree, but it’s a good dark ride all the same: it has a lot of detail and it’s well done. The wait is shorter because it was designed to gobble up more people per hour than Peter Pan or Small World.