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  1. #1

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    Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    The new Fantasy Faire Village opened for Annual Passholder previews today and we have a look at what to expect from this new extension of Fantasyland. With much trepidation, we watched from the hub as the traditional dance floor of Carnation Gardens and its quiet surroundings were transformed into a new hive of princess activity. The tranquil dining area slowly transformed into a charming Bavarian village backdrop while the Carnation Gardens stage was morphed into a gold and pink monstrosity. This, so close to the castle, really seems as if it would visually compete with the central icon of the park. What were the Imagineers thinking?



    Then we visited the new area. In short, this is a surprisingly nice addition to the park that actually works a lot better than we anticipated. Why? To begin with, the details laced throughout the storefronts and facades are exemplary. Once surrounded by the patchwork architecture and cobbled rooftops, one feels immersed in the little village. Glancing back at the Sleeping Beauty Castle only reinforces the illusion that you are in a magical place.




    Its footprint is relatively small. It is understandable that Disney would want to offer a place to take advantage of the wildly lucrative princess dress-up market they have created. But the old Princess Fantasy Faire next to it's a small world was far too large for this purpose and, when in operation, put an otherwise nice theatre on hiatus. Not to mention that the new Fantasy Faire Village is literally just down the path from the Bibbidi Bobbidy Boutique inside the castle. The new placement just makes sense.



    There is one meet and greet, The Royal Hall, one store, Fairy Tale Treasures, one food location, Maurice's Treats, and one entertainment offering, The Royal Theatre.


    Expect massive lines for the nicely done Royal Hall princess meet and greet. They mercifully built a large shaded queue and pathway through the gardens below the castle to allow for a wait that won't be nearly as painful as the Royal Walk (the outdoor meet and greet area on small world mall). Once inside, guests are directed to one of two paths, and allowed to visit with not one, but three separate Disney Princesses. The first main room has a divider wall that separates the area into four meet and greet spots, serving two sides. After the first main hall there is another, final room with one more princess. On our visit we got to meet Aurora, Ariel, and Cinderella.



    There is one small problem in the first main hall, regarding sound. There have already been reports of children asking why they can hear more princesses on the other side of the divider wall, as it only divides the area and does not reach the ceiling. They should be able to address this simply by bumping the music up a little. When we entered the meet and greet, it had a ten minute wait. When we exited, it had ballooned to 45 minutes. Something tells me that the lines will only be longer after previews. If you plan on going, be sure to bring patience and pixie dust.















    Next up is the charming show staged at the Royal Theatre. We ignored the eye-popping colors on the tent above us as we took our seats and were treated to an adorable show. A small troupe of actors played out the story of Rapunzel, with her newly crowned prince, Flynn. The performers, with live piano accompaniment, engaged the younger audience members without talking down to them or excluding everyone else in the room. Playhouse Disney, this ain't. Catch this show if you can, as they really did an impressive job here.



    Jumping over to the Fairy Tale Treasures (check In The Parks tomorrow for photos and a review), we see that the merchandise here is just another extension of the existing Princess dress up stuff over at the boutique. But, in this shop, one can clearly see why this entire area was invented. It's almost too blatant. But, there is a market for it, so...








    Finally we stopped by the food cart, Maurice's Treats. The edibles here are fine, but nothing outstanding. The Boysen-Apple freeze for $4.69 ($9.99 in a souvenir mug) is similar to what you can grab in Carsland, but with a berry flavored twist of course. We next tried the Cheddar Garlic Bagel twist for $4.19 Ouch! That cheddar is awfully jagged. The flavor is fine, but not exactly worth $4.50. Bring it south of $3 and we'll talk.




    While we are actually very happy with this little addition to the park, there are some downsides. Some purists, including this journalist, would argue that the magic of Fantasyland belongs behind Sleeping Beauty's Castle, not in front. They have attempted to make it work by extending the wall of the castle over to the new facades, and it certainly blends well. But again, it's a minor qualm. The fact is there was no room to do this behind the castle without serious infrastructure work or the removal of a ride or two. It's a decision that had good and bad sides, but one that we can live with.

    The other downside is, of course, the tent for the Royal Theatre. Its pink, purple and gold color scheme and crowns atop the center pole are so brightly colored that they pull the eye away from the castle and compete for attention. If that was the intention, and we are guessing it was, then we can understand why they might have felt they needed to go this direction. But it feels like an obnoxious ingenue trying to upstage the established star of the park. If the tent for the royal theatre was toned down in color by about 50 percent, and the crowns pulled down to half their size, it would easily blend more with its surroundings. Especially when viewed from afar (from the hub or Main Street).

    Those minor issues aside, we can safely say that the Fantasy Faire Village is a lovely addition to the park, even if it's a little too close to the hub and castle. Little girls are gonna go nuts over this place.
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    Thanks for the review. I look forward to seeing this for myself in October when I next visit Disneyland.
    My Next WDW Vacation is Aug 18, 2014 - Aug 23, 2014
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  3. #3

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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    Visually it's great but will it get me from Texas to California to experience it? That would be a big NO.

    Carsland got me to the Disneyland Resort. This is just an addition that means little for me. I am not a fan of the rushed stories in the theatre. Meeting 3 princesses in generic backgrounds is nothing to rush out the door for. I love Hunchback of Notre Dame but the music box thing is not what I expected. But again it wasn't built for me. My niece and nephew would love the place, as an adult, I feel this place is a let down.
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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    Thanks for the photos and all that is happing I can't wait until I see it in person on the 12th. I don't care if I have to stay in line 1 or so to meet the Princess send that is what I usely do when I go there.

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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Micoofy Duck View Post
    Visually it's great but will it get me from Texas to California to experience it? That would be a big NO.

    Carsland got me to the Disneyland Resort. This is just an addition that means little for me. I am not a fan of the rushed stories in the theatre. Meeting 3 princesses in generic backgrounds is nothing to rush out the door for. I love Hunchback of Notre Dame but the music box thing is not what I expected. But again it wasn't built for me. My niece and nephew would love the place, as an adult, I feel this place is a let down.
    I don't think you're understanding the intention of this. It wasn't meant to bring in the kind of audience as Carsland. This is just the small detail to cleanup an underused area.

  6. #6

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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    Quote Originally Posted by DARTH MAUL View Post
    I don't think you're understanding the intention of this. It wasn't meant to bring in the kind of audience as Carsland. This is just the small detail to cleanup an underused area.
    I was just about to say this. It's obvious Disney isn't marketing this like they did for Cars Land, as there's no need to. When was this ever supposed to shatter attendance records? I actually find this more interesting than New Fantasyland in Florida.

    Thanks for the review, OP!
    Princess of Agrabah and Queen of Never Land

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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    I wish they could design the walkway/parade route towards Small World more like this. The theming starts to die when you get passed Storybook Canal. I love how this area looks.

  8. #8

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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Micoofy Duck View Post
    Visually it's great but will it get me from Texas to California to experience it? That would be a big NO.

    Carsland got me to the Disneyland Resort. This is just an addition that means little for me. I am not a fan of the rushed stories in the theatre. Meeting 3 princesses in generic backgrounds is nothing to rush out the door for. I love Hunchback of Notre Dame but the music box thing is not what I expected. But again it wasn't built for me. My niece and nephew would love the place, as an adult, I feel this place is a let down.
    This was never intended to be on the level of Carsland, and IMO was built as a little something to appeal to the local audience and not to tourists. Even one of the drinks apparently has boysenberry in it, which only the locals would recognize as something more in tune with Knotts Berry Farm than Disneyland. People from outside California probably won't get this connection.

  9. #9

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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    Yeah totally agreed. This is no major addition. This is a more effective repurposing of an underused area that will now be exploiting the lucrative princess franchises.

    At least the little darlings will have a tiny little corner here at Disneyland as opposed to the whole fantasyland expansion out in Florida that is practically a big meet and greet at the moment.
    Submit your Orlando news and photos to us!

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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    Then we visited the new area. In short, this is a surprisingly nice addition to the park that actually works a lot better than we anticipated. Why? To begin with, the details laced throughout the storefronts and facades are exemplary. Once surrounded by the patchwork architecture and cobbled rooftops, one feels immersed in the little village. Glancing back at the Sleeping Beauty Castle only reinforces the illusion that you are in a magical place


    Bob Iger extends his arm...and drops the mic! Walks out the room.

    Finally reviews of people who BEEN in the place and can judge not just from the outside but from the inside. Yep, I give it through the summer before CPG has completely faded away from existence forever. Excited to see this for myslf now and I will probably spend 20 mins there now instead of the 15 mins I had slotted in lol. Seriously cant wait to see it now when I can. And excited for the shows.

    Only big downside for me: $4.50 for a bagal?????? Jesus Disney!!

  11. #11

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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    Quote Originally Posted by jasmineray View Post
    I was just about to say this. It's obvious Disney isn't marketing this like they did for Cars Land, as there's no need to. When was this ever supposed to shatter attendance records? I actually find this more interesting than New Fantasyland in Florida.
    I agree, and other's I've heard from appear to agree also. While the WDW Fantasy upgrade is big and has a number of attractions, what it doesn't have is CHARM. And DL's Fantasy Faire had that in abundance.

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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishbulb View Post
    The other downside is, of course, the tent for the Royal Theatre. Its pink, purple and gold color scheme and crowns atop the center pole are so brightly colored that they pull the eye away from the castle and compete for attention.
    Dark shades of purple and this shade of red isn't too "bright". If you'll notice, Sleeping Beauty castle is a brighter shade of pink than all of these colors. I'll give you that the tent does look slightly "obnoxious", but the reason is that the colors "clash", you've got a *different* shade of light purple on the awning versus on the "tent" like entrances, and of course, these colors clash with the purple which also clashes with the pink/purple spire on top. For anybody who has painted a bathroom, done minimal interior decorating of their own house, they would know how to select colors that don't clash.

    Maurice's wagon has orange, brown, and green . . . they work moderately well together, I would go with a more "worn" orange to complement the texture of the wood. If the tent color scheme was changed to purple, white and blue, no clash and folks wouldn't complain about "brightness" (though the tent would be brighter) which is really just the human eye noticing clashing colors. There is ton of tomato reds on Main Street, but they don't clash. I'll admit that red on purple is a poor design choice.

    There are even articles on the internet about how hard it is to combined red and purple without them clashing.

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    Pure purple and red usually do clash . . .

    Different shades of light purple = clash
    Mixing red and purple = clash
    Different shades of red on awnings and spire = clash

    I really do love PFF and I'm not that put out by the color scheme on the tent, and I guess I'll have to wait to see it in person before making a judgement on this.

    There's different tolerance to different types of clash, and I think Fishbulb is just perturbed by this clash. Normally, Disney does a great job avoiding clash and using colors that compliment each other. Remember that the old CPG used tomato reds and white . . . two colors which don't clash but are a whole lot brighter than the current color scheme:

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    If anything, the "brightness" of the current PFF needs to be upped, and the color scheme changed a little bit. Red and white, or pink and white would work fine (similar in style to CPG), and brighten it up a bit. Though even above, notice the three different shades of red, even the old CPG had clash. If you can't perfectly match roof/tent red and table umbrella red, then I would go with green/white for the umbrellas, and make sure all the red on the tent matches.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 03-07-2013 at 09:54 PM.

  13. #13

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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    Quote Originally Posted by bfdf55 View Post
    I agree, and other's I've heard from appear to agree also. While the WDW Fantasy upgrade is big and has a number of attractions, what it doesn't have is CHARM. And DL's Fantasy Faire had that in abundance.
    Yep, I definitely agree, especially the "charm" part.
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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Orlando Parkhopper View Post
    Yeah totally agreed. This is no major addition. This is a more effective repurposing of an underused area that will now be exploiting the lucrative princess franchises.
    I think there's a difference between "exploiting" and "marketing" and just allowing people to see popular characters, there's clearly a demand for in a Disney themed park. These are classic characters from the Disney canon. This is where they belong.

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    Re: Fantasy Faire Village opens to Disneyland Passholders, Photos and Review

    With regards to color debate, the model of PFF revealed a different color scheme: No tomato red (less clash), and lighter/brighter shades of pink and purple (which reduces the vibrancy of the colors). The entrance tents are done with a light pink and a darker pink, work a whole lot better than a lighter shade of purple which clashes, plus there are these accessory banners with light greens/blues that help provide contrast given the still heavy reliance on red side of the color spectrum.

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    Importantly, the "pink" on the awning is isolated in a white band, from the purple below. (For a classier look, I would have gone with a slightly sandy off-white to compliment the pink).

    Sometimes what contractors build isn't what WDI had in mind . . . though obviously there is some clash with the pink on purple at the top of the "tent".
    Last edited by chesirecat; 03-07-2013 at 10:45 PM.

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