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« Little Box of Treasures | Main | Revisiting Early Space Mountain »
Wednesday
Nov242010

THEN AND NOW: MK Fantasyland [Part 1]

Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom

 

 

Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland facades has seen relatively little change over the years.  You'll notice a lot of color changes though.

As for attractions, Mickey Mouse Review has sadly been gone for almost 3 decades... and now it no longer exists ANYWHERE as it was recently removed from Tokyo Disneyland.  

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, you know, "that one thing with water and submarines and stuff that nobody liked because it used to cost a lot to maintain", well it's still gone.  Golly, I do miss it regardless of how much they tried to tell me it was "bad business" to keep around.

The Skyway tower still looks sharp.  Can we just keep it there forever?  It does no one any harm.

Thank you for no more Lion King in the area.  Oh wait, there's that one scene in Mickey's PhilharMagic.  That's ok, I suppose.

Thank goodness Cinderella Carrousel is no longer just for little girls.  And it's no longer Cinderella's.  And now it's regal.  It's the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel!

Winnie the Pooh is still the new Mr. Toad.  Speaking of "Pooh", shouldn't he be called "Winnie" or "Winnie the Pooh" and not just "Pooh".  Pooh is his species, right?  It's like calling Yogi Bear just "Bear".  

And another question: With the facade/queue of the "Pooh" ride being changes so radically from the (sort of) medieval courtyard look to a themed-out 100 Acre Woods look, will we see more of this sort of thing with the other existing Fantasyland attractions??  I would think they would limit this to anything outside what might be the castle courtyard area.  This makes sense for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and it's close proximity to what may become Fantasyland Forest (or whatever they decide on).  But I can only imagine a successful more immersive queue like this one might inspire a Neverland-themed interactive queue at Peter Pan's Flight that jets out into the walkway with a bunch of non-medieval courtyard-themed props placed every-which-way...?  And similar treatments to all other Fantasyland rides??  Don't get me wrong, I've always considered the medieval tent entrances to be a little less than exciting compared to say, Disneyland's 1983 Fantasyland make-over with it's super charming architecture adapted to the storyline of each attraction.  But the medieval courtyard look offers a pretty nice, consistent look throughout the area.  

So will this Pooh queue inspire a new movement that will change the existing Fantasyland to become yet another incohesive, hodgepodged, mix-matched land? I'm not referring to the expansion but the land as we know it today.  My fear is they'll treat each little piece of the land independently without much thought of the other pieces.  Think: Future World in the last 12 years.  

Now let's say the facade/queue of each attraction gets new treatment. Let's say there is a great master plan. Let's say there is great attention to each attraction AND to the look of the land as a whole.  This might be a good thing.  Not too many digital screens please.

Thoughts?

 

Related posts:

THEN AND NOW: MK Tomorrowland [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: Liberty Square [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: Epcot Future World [Part 1]
ABANDONED DISNEY: River Country [Part 1]
Fantasyland Expansion Model
Matterhorn for Magic Kingdom Fantasyland

 

BONUS: Today marked the theatrical release of Disney's 50th animated feature "Tangled". Check out Rapunzel's tower at Disneyland's Fantasyland:  

Photos taken 11-16-10

 

Reader Comments (10)

Excellent. I always love the "Then and Now" articles, and Fantasyland is a great one. I'm always commenting on the change of scenery around the castle and still remember when huge trees used to partially block the view from Main Street. Funny seeing a random character greeting a guest. I long for the time when they didn't need handlers to keep over-zealous guests in "Civilityland". Characters simply roamed around the park, approching guests at leisure and vice-versa. Definitely miss the Skyway and do hope they keep the remaining tower.

I agree with the hope of restraint on too many ride changes. Some are good, but change just for change's sake is rarely best.

November 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWDWFanBoyBrett

Thanks Brett. Speaking of trees around the castle, that second "then" pic was hard to match. That green hill has much larger, fuller trees now (right behind the Storytime with Belle stage) and they block that specific view seen in the photo. I had to shoot from a slightly different angle. I thought that picture was beautiful with the green grass and small trees and all. Had to include it.

November 25, 2010 | Registered CommenterAdmin

Love these articles. The skyway just looks like it belongs there, doesn't it? The sky seems naked without it! Also, the Cinderella then and now is beautiful. The base looks slightly different, but I guess that's a trick of the light. "Then" castle pic is gorgeous. Looks much more like the original Neuschwanstein without the day-glo blue.

November 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

I also love these Then and Now Series. Especially since here it is more of a lack of change over the years. Hopefully the new expansion can breathe new life into this land. Pooh isn't exactly what I'd call new life. This land definitely needs changes.

November 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I LOVE these posts! Please keep them coming!!

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric Ross

Great pictures! It is suprising how little the architecture has changed. A testament to the fact that it was done right in the first place.

The new Pooh queue (say that 10 times!) really points the way for how guests will spend their time on line in the future. I love the idea of taking down time and creating an experience with it. Keeping the kids busy is a huge addition to any waiting line. I just hope there is still room for a cohesive look to the whole area.

I do still miss Mr. Toads Wild Ride.

December 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterscott

I really HATE they way they are going with so much/many digital projections and digital "immersive" gimmicks...sure, the tech is great, but Disney built it's reputation on innovation and audio-animatronics...I can see digital animation on tv at home, for heaven's sake...adding so much of it to the parks does not contribute to the philosophy of "here you leave the world behind"...why go to the parks when I can get the same thing at home. I'll stick with the animatronic shows, thanks very much.

April 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

I like the colors!

July 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Oriotis

I still think attractions such as Skyway and 20,000 Leagues disappeared because of the ever growing waistlines of typical visitors. They weren't designed for 25% of folks riding them to be obese. Pics from our first visits in the 80s look very different from pics today. We used to capture crowds in the background. You could see several people or many people. Now we have lens covering butts or wide load backs or stomachs. Some of them could use a dunk in a pool as well. Get that chlorine working on the body odor! But that aside, we still love WDW. But old school queues spaces and ride space simply wasn't big enough. I never got to enjoy 20,000 Leagues because we were only there twice in the 80s and just never got to it. We came back in the 90s just a few days after it closed. We've been frequently since then and I'm sad i missed it. If, however, something is similar in the expanded fantasyland, I hope it won't overdo the Little Mermaid theme to the point of distraction as Nemo has done at EPCOT's Living Seas.

May 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterL montin

I love all of your posts and just wanted to give you an update on the Skyway tower seeing I was there about a month ago. The Skyway tower in Fantasyland unfortunately no longer exists. I was recently there from January 5th to the 12th and it was officially removed. The area surrounding it which I know for a while was used as stroller parking is completely blocked off and you could see Rapunzels tower from above the construction. My guess is that area will look exactly like the Tangled themed one in Disneyland.

February 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

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