Ten Things You May Not Know About Fantasyland
1. Creating a World of Fantasy
One of the challenges in creating Fantasyland was in the architectural design of the buildings. Imagineers needed to stylistically represent many of the classic Disney films in the attraction facades without creating a disorienting mish-mash of opposing styles. The solution was to create an eclectic European Gothic village. A wide variety of influences creates an enchanted storybook setting; everything from an Alpine Village and English Tudor Houses to a Medieval Tournament and even a mystical seaside land.
You may notice that the word “carrousel” in Prince Charming Regal Carrousel has two “r”s. Is that a mistake? No…that’s the old-fashioned spelling, and it’s spelled that way to keep in line with the “once upon a time” theming of Fantasyland.
3. Rapunzel’s Tower
You may not remember, but the Tower that soars over Fantasyland was actually not the first to appear at Walt Disney World. As part of the 2011 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, a replica of Rapunzel’s Tower was temporarily added to the Germany pavilion.
4. A Special Crown for a Special Princess
Look for the Cinderella Fountain on your way to Liberty Square. If you stand in just the right spot (slightly to the right and below eye level), the crown in the background mural will be placed perfectly over Cinderella’s head!
5. From Days of Old
New Fantasyland is home to the longest running character in Disney animation history. Which character is it? It has to be Mickey Mouse, right? Nope! That distinction belongs to the mischievous Pete, who made his debut in 1925, three years before Mickey Mouse would arrive.
6. No Water for Dumbo
The versions of Dumbo the Flying Elephant in Disneyland and Disneyland Paris feature water elements in the center. The reason there weren’t any in the original Magic Kingdom version (before it moved to its present home in Storybook Circus) was due to the Utilidors that ran directly underneath the attraction, which prevented the installation of any
7. A New Land
In preparation for the arrival of New Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown Fair permanently closed in 2011. Ariel’s Grotto, a princess meet-and-greet location, also closed in 2010, but has since been relocated to Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid. Another classic dark-ride attraction, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, also closed to make way for Princess
8. Try the Gray Stuff, It’s Delicious!
Fantasyland is home to the Be Our Guest Restaurant, located beneath the distant spires of the Beast’s Castle. Inside, you’ll find a giant chandelier that serves as the restaurant’s centerpiece. The chandelier features 84 candles and contains more than 100 jewels.
9. Colorful Gems
Speaking of jewels, you’ll find a gem matching game in the queue of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Matching up the different colored gems is hard enough, but can you remember what those colors are? No? They are six of them: red, green, amber, purple, blue, and clear. OK, “clear” isn’t really a color, but since that’s the “color” of a diamond, I don’t think anyone will complain.
10. Riding the Rails
And now that we’re on the subject of the Seven Dwarfs, each of the mine cars that took you through the former Fantasyland attraction Snow White’s Scary Adventures was named after each of the Seven Dwarfs. Good luck to you if you got Grumpy!
Tim Foster is the founder and editor of Celebrations Magazine, as well as the author of the Guide to the Magic for Kids. For him, Disney is all about sharing the magic…whether it be with friends, family, or even fellow Guests wandering about the parks. Speaking of parks, you’ll likely find him in Epcot’s Japan pavilion or riding “it’s a small world” for the 12,324th time (and still singing each and every time).