With Walt Disney World preparing to break ground on the big Fantasyland overhaul at the Magic Kingdom soon, the government that oversees the property is preparing to spend money on the work, too.
The Reedy Creek Improvement District’s board of supervisors this morning signed off on a tentative budget to pay for extending the district’s electrical and reclaimed-water lines to serve the expanded Fantasyland. The price tag? A little over $1.3 million, though that figure includes about $186,000 in contingency money to handle cost overruns.
The district’s board also approved spending the first $60,000 from that $1.3 million budget to cover early design work.
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
The Spring 2010 issue of Disney Twenty-Three magazine features a huge article on the Fantasyland Forest expansion (as it is now being referred to according to the article), featuring some never before released details on the project. Here are just a few interesting notes from the article that should be arriving in members mailboxes any day now:
-In early 2006, Walt Disney Imagineering’s Eric Jacobson, creative lead for the Walt Disney World portfolio, and members of WDI’s Blue Sky Studio, led by Jon Georges, began brainstorming new E-ticket-like attractions for the Magic Kingdom. Imagineering’s creative leaders quickly determined that a bold reimagining of Fantasyland would have a far greater and longer-lasting impact on the Magic Kingdom experience than any one E-ticket attraction could ever hope to make.
-That physical separation is a stone wall that will lead from Fantasyland proper into a heavily forested realm that will be far more organic and natural than the bricks, mortar, and asphalt of the existing land. “The expansion area won’t be built over the Utilidor,” Eric says, “so we’re able to plant trees and create water features, which we were never able to do with the rest of Fantasyland.”
-The expansion, which has come to be known as Fantasyland Forest, will provide more fully realized homes for such longtime Magic Kingdom residents as Ariel and Dumbo as well as make room for some new additions to the neighborhood, from Belle and east to Tinker Bell and the fairies of Pixie Hollow. And that was part of the Imagineering team’s goal from the beginning.
-”Our anchor is the Little Mermaid,” Jon explains. “The centerpiece of that area is Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, an E-ticket attraction we codeveloped with the Disney’s California Adventure expansion team. It’s a ride-through experience that celebrates the characters and music from the animated classic.” And true to Imagineering’s goal to create the most immersive fantasy environments possible, the attraction is housed in an elaborately and highly detailed rockwork grotto behind a fully rendered version of Prince Eric’s castle from the film.
-The Beauty and the Beast area is composed of three major show elements. The first is Enchanted Tales with Belle, one of three fairy-tale experiences created for Fantasyland Forest. The adventure begins when guests arrive at Maurice’s cottage, where they step through an enchanted mirror and are magically transported to the Beast’s library for an interactive storytelling session with Belle. At the Be Our Guest Restaurant, guests are invited to dine inside the Beast’s castle in one of three fully rendered environments, including a faithful re-creation of the ballroom. And once outside the castle, guests can explore Belle’s Village, an entire corner of the expansion area that includes Gaston’s Tavern.
-Dreams Come True with Cinderella takes place within the Tremaine Chateau from the 1950 film, and A Birthday Surprise for Sleeping Beauty is tucked away inside Briar Rose Cottage, deep within a lush, Eyvind Earle-inspired forest. “Cinderella’s Chateau is fully realized,” Jon explains. “When you step through the doors of that attraction, your interaction is immediate. You arrive at the moment she realizes she won’t be going to the ball, and her dress will transform from rags to a ball gown before your eyes, and then she’ll step down and have a 15-minute interaction with the guests.” For the Sleeping Beauty experience, that entry point happens as Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather prepare to celebrate Briar Rose’s 16th birthday, smack dab in the middle of the action from the original film. Guests are treated to all sorts of interactive fairy magic inside the cottage, with Aurora herself as the guest of honor.
-”You know, the ability to go to Cinderella’s Chateau and Belle’s Cottage to meet them is very exciting. As Imagineers. we don’t get to build those kinds of iconic locations very often. We’re going to look at this model as our template for other Fantasylands world-wide as we build new Magic Kingdom’s around the world”
-The final area, or neighborhood, is Dumbo’s Circus, which will relocate Dumbo the Flying Elephant from it’s current location and-get this, patient parents-double capacity by adding a second attraction, effectively cutting guests’ wait time in half! Imagineers are also air-conditioning the entire experience by moving the queue indoors-under the big top, as it were. “We’ll provide a fully immersive circus environment inside Dumbo’s Big Top,” says Jon, “where guests are invited to engage in a series of interactive experiences, from sideshow acts to carnival midway games, while they wait. We really endeavored to begin the guest experience the moment they entered the queue.” The Dumbo area, built on the former site of Mickey’s Toontown Fair, will also absorb Goofy’s Barnstormer and transform it into a Dumbo-centric, clown themed coaster.
-And-drumroll please-Fantasyland forest won’t be limited to four neighborhoods for very long. Although the new expansion is slated to open in the fall of 2012, at the tail end of Walt Disney World’s 40th anniversary celebration, Imagineers already have their eyes on 2013, when Pixie Hollow will bring Tinker Bell and her fairy friends to Fantasyland Forest in the expansion’s second phase.
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
That model is a great reference as I was trying to figure out just where everything will be built in Fantasyland Forest. In my opinion, this is a much needed rehab for WDW's Fantasyland. It will definitely up the quality of theming.
With Goofy's Barnstormer coaster being rethemed to Dumbo, I wonder if DCA will receive the old Goofy/Aviation show props, as Mulholland Madness will be renamed "Goofy's Sky School" and sport the same theme.
-Sean C. ____________________________________
FORMER DISNEYLAND ATTRACTION OP ____________________________________ Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (2009) Indiana Jones Adventure (2008) Disneyland Railroad (2007) ____________________________________
Interesting that Tinkerbell's section is a "second phase". I would more than bet that is because they are going to re-evaluate putting anything Fairy-branded into the park, as it is not as popular as the "Princess" line-up of merchandise.
Reads like Belle's area is really an outdoor mall with a premium restaraunt.
Imo, maybe they are focused too much on the retail side in this instance. I know they are spending huge money on research projects on how to address the line issues at their parks, but really isn't the answer kind of self-explanatory? High quality attractions/rides will split crowds far better than shopping.
Cinderella's Chateau? Strikes me as perhaps low on the capacity side, and more of a mini-theatrical performance area.
Dumbo's Circus, now the start of a "land" really with Barnstormer becoming clown ride - does appear to be a tad out of place within the visual context of this expansion. It's like a little pocket of circus within the natural "forest" look they are going for just across the pathway. Maybe they should dump Tinkerbell and embrace the Dumbo circus concept more fully within that pocket. Mickey's Silly Symphony (DCA) would at least kind of match the fairground feel of Dumbo.
Disney has officially announced that it will add its own version of California's recent Summer Nightastic celebration to its calendar featuring the short return of the Mainstreet Electrical Parade, updates to the Tower of Terror and a new Summer-specific fireworks show.
The “Main Street Electrical Parade” lights up the streets of Magic Kingdom and headlines a season of after-dark excitement coming to Walt Disney World Resort. “After the sun goes down, our Walt Disney World parks will light up the night with ‘Summer Nightastic!’, ” announced Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort, at a media event Wednesday.
Disney magic will shine and shimmer in a whole new light. Here’s a look around:
-With floats and characters appearing for the first time at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s “Main Street Electrical Parade” returns with its joyous sights and sounds. Direct from Disneyland and marking its first engagement in Florida since 2001, the cherished parade will be led by Tinker Bell waving from the basket of a magical balloon aboard a new float. Pinocchio and Snow White join the parade this summer, aboard bright new floats. Disney’s “Main Street Electrical Parade” is set for its summer-long nighttime premiere in early June at Magic Kingdom. -The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror welcomes “drop-ins” this summer with even more pulse-racing surprises. New lighting effects and the addition of a new drop sequence, created especially for “Summer Nightastic!”, will bring unexpected frights to guests who step into that infamous service elevator. If they dare. -What could be more summery than fireworks on a star-studded night? Magic Kingdom will treat guests to a special summer fireworks spectacular. The night sky will explode in vivid colors and brilliant visual effects as whimsical music fills the air. -Other fun! The return of the Sounds Like Summer concert series to Epcot and extended evening hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom several times a week add up to summer fun as only Disney can do – at all four Walt Disney World theme parks.
Big news today…we’re thrilled to announce that one of the most beloved attractions in Disney history, the Main Street Electrical Parade, is returning to Magic Kingdom Park this summer – and it’ll be better than ever. The classic parade will feature new LED lights and new audio technology when it begins its limited engagement at Walt Disney World in early June 2010.
Tinker Bell will lead the parade waving from the basket of a magical balloon aboard a new float. The parade’s return is part of Summer Nightastic! — an amazing lineup of new and enhanced entertainment planned this summer at Walt Disney World theme parks. For example, there will be new lighting effects and a new addition to Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Also, Magic Kingdom will treat guests to a special summer fireworks spectacular.
There’s plenty more planned and we’ll have more details in upcoming weeks but we wanted to tell you what we knew first on The Disney Parks Blog. Check back here for more.
Great news for fans of “thousands of sparkling lights and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sounds”: Walt Disney World will bring back the classic Main Street Electrical Parade to the Magic Kingdom this summer.
Other changes around Walt Disney World: A new Magic Kingdom fireworks show, and new effects at Hollywood Studios’ Tower of Terror, including a change to the drop sequence. But it’s the return of the Electrical Parade, the most beloved parade in Disney history, that will have Disney fans rejoicing. As part of a seasonal promotion called “Summer Nightastic!,” the parade is being shipped from the Disneyland resort in California. Although it’s the classic parade, it will have some tweaks: A new Tinker Bell presentation at the head of the parade, and floats dedicated to Snow White and Pinocchio.
On the technology front, the lights will now be LED bulbs and there is new audio technology being employed. “Even the music is guaranteed to bring back Disney memories,” said Walt Disney World president Meg Crofton Wednesday evening. The return of the MSEP, as aficionados abbreviate it, is expected to take place in June; it will run through the summer.
The parade debuted at Walt Disney World in 1977 and ran until 1991, when it was replaced by the SpectroMagic parade. It later returned for a limited engagement from 1999-2001. It has been showing at peak times at Disney’s California Adventure park in Anaheim during the past few years. The California parks had a Summertime Nightastic! promotion this past summer
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