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Further info on Fantasyland Forest, additional details on the Disney Dream Home

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Further info on Fantasyland Forest, additional details on the Disney Dream Home

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Alec M. writes in to say:

I’ve really been enjoying all of these stories that you’ve been running lately that tie back to the D23 EXPO. As someone who wasn’t able to get out to the Anaheim Convention Center last September in order to experience this Disneyana fan event in person, I have to admit that I’m stunned that there’s still information dribbling in. That six months after the fact, people like you are still finding new things to report on when it comes to the EXPO.

Alec, you don’t even know the half of it. There was so much stuff going on at the D23 EXPO, so many exhibitions & presentations that were densely packed with information that even now I find myself looking over the notes that I took at this four-day-long event and then saying: “You gotta be kidding me. I haven’t written about that yet.”

Take – for example – the Be Our Guest restaurant which will be located at the very center of that Beauty & the Beast attraction that’s to be built as part of the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland Forest expansion project. This giant facility – which will allow WDW visitors to dine in full-scale recreations of the Castle’s library, the West Wing & the Grand ballroom – will be a quick service restaurant for breakfast & lunch. But then – in the late afternoon – this space will then transform into an elegant full-service restaurant.

Cinderella's Fairy Godmother watches as Cinderella's dress turns into a ball gown
Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

What’s more – as you sit there, enjoying your dinner – waiters & waitresses will push serving carts through each of this restaurant’s environments. And atop each of these carts will sit a Living Character Initiative version of a memorable supporting character from “Beauty and the Beast.” So imagine getting the chance to chat with Mrs. Potts or Lumiere as you dine in the Grand Ballroom. Or – better yet -- have Cogsworth point at his own face as he says “Oh, look. It’s almost time for dessert.”

Mind you, not all of the restaurants that got talked up at the D23 EXPO were what you’d call innovative. In fact, one that’s planned for Phase II of the Cars Land project at Disney’s California Adventure is going to seem very familiar to DHS fans.

Yep, the Radiator Springs Drive-In Theatre is going to have an awful lot in common with that ridiculously popular Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ eatery, the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. In that Guests will be seated inside of old style convertibles and then watch Pixar-ified versions of 1950s horror films while they dine on classic drive-in fare like cheeseburgers & chocolate milkshakes.

The Beast peeks out from behind a curtain
Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

I know, I know. There are those who will take issue with the idea that the Imagineers re-use old concepts in order to come up with new rides, shows, restaurants and attractions for the Parks. But me … I have to admit that I take a more pragmatic approach.

I mean, given how much it cost The Walt Disney Company to develop, design & then build a major new E-Ticket attraction like “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid,” it only makes sense (to me, anyway) that the Company would then build two versions of this attraction at the same time. With the hope that there might then be some sort of cost savings to be found in this duplication of effort.

The Little Mermaid
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But what intrigues me is when people overlook the obvious … Like how come no one’s put together yet that the “Dreams Come True with Cinderella” attraction that will be presented inside of the Tremaine Chateau in WDW’s Fantasyland Forest every 15 minutes is the exact same show that Tokyo Disneyland Guests will soon get to experience once this “Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour” replacement is installed at that theme park.

Which isn’t to say that the effects that will be presented as part of “Dreams Come True with Cinderella” show aren’t going to be absolutely spectacular. I was just talking with someone who’d seen the test footage for this attraction’s transformation sequence. Where Guests will get to see a live Cast Member – right before their eyes – transform from being this girl who’s dressed in rags to becoming a beautiful princess who’s ready to head out to the ball.

Cinderella's Fairy Godmother watches as Cinderella's dress turns into a ball gown
Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

“I’m not going to tell you how this effect is actually achieved,” my source explained. “What I can tell you is that it’s not a Pepper’s Ghost effect or done with mirrors. The girl twirls around three times. And when she’s done, her hair & make-up are perfect. She’s even wearing the gown from the movie. What’s more – as soon as her transformation is complete – Cinderella then walks straight over to her Guests and then welcomes them to her meet-and-greet. People’s jaws are just going to drop when they experience this portion of that Fantasyland Forest attraction.”

Of course, if you’re one of those types who always wants to take the Disney magic home with you, the D23 EXPO had exhibits that appealed to that crowd as well. Take – for example – the Disney Dream Home. Where – right there on the floor of the Anaheim Convention Center – you could walk through this showcase house. Where every single room -- from the dining room to the home office to the kid’s bedroom, even out on the lanai – had that distinctive Disney-style. With furniture, carpets, lighting, wallpaper, paintings, even the glassware and candles all paying tribute to a particular film or character.

If you want to check out what the Disney Dream House at the D23 EXPO was actually like, check out the latest video from Disney Living, DCP’s official YouTube channel. Where you’ll regularly get sneak previews of the latest toys, books and fashion items that the Mouse House has in the works.

Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

And speaking of sneak previews … I’m actually headed down to Orlando today. Where I’ll be taking part in a “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” press event. Which will supposedly feature all sorts of news about what’s in the works for Disney Parks & Resorts over the next few years.

Come on back by JHM tomorrow and (hopefully) I’ll be able to give you my first impressions of this two-day-long affair.

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  • This post was mentioned on Twitter by JimHillMedia: Further info on #Fantasyland Forest, additional details on the #Disney Dream Home http://goo.gl/fb/gj8I

  • I'm glad to hear that the drive in theater is finally coming to DCA. As many people know, it had been planned in the past but was dropped. It'll fit right in with "Cars Land." Especially with the end of the "Cars" movie having a scene with a drive in theater, makes it all the better.

  • The Sci Fi Drive In is cute, but lordy lordy is the food awful! I hope the new DCA drive-in features palatable, as opposed to plastic, food...

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