Carnation Plaza Gardens is no more. Blasphemy. Fantasyland is in front of the castle. Sacrilege. What was once an iconic red and white tent is now a Pepto Bismal colored atrocity.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
That's what everyone has been saying about Fantasy Faire, the new area at Disneyland where you can have a meet and greet with the princesses or catch a retelling of one of their stories, told with heavy "theatrical" liberties (don't worry, that's a good thing.)
Well, those hipsters who swing (swung) dance can shut it. The new Fantasy Faire is a great addition to Disneyland, and turned an area I never used into something I just might visit every time I'm in the park. I'll go so far as to say I'm in the majority on this one, too.
Fantasy Faire doesn't officially open until March 12, but since I'm awesome (and dropped a ton o' cash on a premium annual pass), I was able to get a sneak preview of the new area that sits between Sleeping Beauty's castle and the entrance of Frontierland.
After getting in line to get a wristband, then getting in line to get into the new area and trying to get off a Vine of Figero (didn't happen), I sat down next to Dusty and Norman from MiceChat (a happy coincidence) and watched the retelling of Rapunzel, a 20-30 minute show put on by Rapunzel, Flyn Ryder, a pianist and two jesters, with the latter two wearing many different hats (and wigs) throughout the performance, playing parts ranging from Mother Gothel to Maximus the horse. It was all in a funny, self-aware way that kept the heart of the story while providing laughs for both young and old. It was a very entertaining show and I cannot wait to see the Beauty and the Beast show they also run in the theater. Way better than swing dancing!
I don't mind much the Pepto Bismal color of the Royal Theater, but I forsee a change coming. If we can whine enough to get Ariel's hair-do changed, we can complain till they change the color scheme to more naturally fit in with the rest of the village.
As for the rest of the village, the theming was spot on. It fit in like it was a part of the 1983 Fantasyland renovation. Disney seems to be all about theming and "guest experience"lately, (New Fantasyland and its one presently operating ride), and with the Fantasy Faire expansion, they don't disappoint (unless you're some crazy person that thinks Walt would have stuck with "tradition" and kept the CGP. I have a book full of quotes that proves you wrong, but hey, logic and proof, they suck sometimes [if you're disappointed by the theater, that's ok with me]).
Clopin's music box, a small box that plays music and rotates through scenes with a hand crank sitting by itself by the entrance to the princesses, is a nice little detail, featuring some familiar characters on the background of its many different, moving layers, and Figaro lazily swiping at the chirping caged bird next to him on a windowsill and fun little details and add to the thoroughness of the new area.
I finished off the experience by grabbing one the the three new twists on food they have, that are literally twists made from bagel dough. You can get strawberry, chocolate or garlic cheddar, and I got the garlic cheddar. It was delicious, and made for a great snack. I also got the apple freeze drink, which is the same thing they serve at the cones at Cars Land. It was still good. Count on long lines for this little cart in the future.
Having gotten my breath stinking to high heaven, I decided it was prime time to visit the princesses. My first stop was Ariel, who dug my shoes and asked if I swam from my hometown in NorCal, then to Cinderella, who also dug my shoes, and pointed out hers were of a similar ilk, and I told her they could have used some lime-colored laces, she said her fairy godmother would be assigned the task. Then onto Aurora, who dug my shirt, because it's blue and had her castle on it. Princess training 101: COMMENT ON THE OUTFIT. Got it?
Overall, I spent nearly two hours in the small area and had a great time. It's a perfect little area that will provide both live entertainment and a nice area for the princesses to call their own. I'll probably never visit them there again, but I know that there are millions of little girls out there who will be completely psyched and it will provide a more Disney-esque experience for them. That's a good thing, as is the whole area.