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Mickey and the Disney Princesses will soon move into WDW's Town Square Theater

Mickey and the Disney Princesses will soon move into WDW's Town Square Theater

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So when Mickey's Toontown Fair closes for good this Friday night to make way for the next phase of the New Fantasyland construction project, what happens to all of the characters that used to greet WDW visitors inside of the Judge's Tent & the Toontown Hall of Fame? Well, they'll be on the move for the next few weeks.

Starting on Saturday, Mickey & Minnie will temporarily be meeting-and-greeting Guests in Tomorrowland. The Disney Princesses (with the exception of Rapunzel. Who will continue to play-and-greet WDW visitors in Cinderella Castle's Fairytale Garden at least through the Fall of 2011) will be holding court out on the Adventureland Veranda. Tinker Bell will be shifting over to Disney's Hollywood Studios for the rest of February. Though starting on March 2nd (with the kick-off of this year's International Flower & Garden Festival) Tink & her Disney Fairies friends will begin calling EPCOT home.


Photo by Diana Zalucky. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

But all that changes come Spring. Where -- after a lengthy rehab (which will involved the creation of some pretty elaborate backdrops and props. Not to mention state-of-the-art lighting packages. Which means that any pictures that you may take here of the characters and/or any images that you order through Disney PhotoPass will look better than ever) -- Mickey and the Disney Princess will move into the Town Square Exhibition Hall. Which -- by then -- will a brand-new sign out front which reads "Town Square Theater."

"And what will the Town Square Theater meet-n-greet area be like?," you ask. Well, do you remember how the Toontown Hall of Fame had those two feeder lines for its queue area? Where you could then choose whether you wanted to get on line to see the Disney Princesses or the Disney Fairies ?


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Well, picture something similar in what used to be the exit area of "The Walt Disney Story" theatre / the Magic Kingdom's old preview center. Guests will now walk through the entrance of what-used-to-be-known as the Town Square Exhibition Hall and then find themselves inside the lobby of the Town Square Theater. Once they move past the entrance of Tony's Town Square Restaurant, these theme parks visitors will then have to decide which queue they'd like to enter. Do they get on line to see Mickey & Minnie OR the Disney Princesses?

Post meet-n-greet, these Guests will now move through the old lobby / pre-show area of "The Walt Disney Story " theatre / the Magic Kingdom's old preview center before they'll then be directed to enter what-used-to-be-known-as the Town Square Exhibition Hall's gift shop. Mind you, this area in the Magic Kingdom will still be used as retail space. But as part of the Exhibition Hall's retheming, this gift shop will now be redressed as the Town Square Theater's wardrobe department.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

 

Now keep in mind that the Disney Princesses won't be staying. They're just biding their time at Disney Main Street Animation Studio until Disney Princess Fairytale Hall opens. And then they'll decamp for their new digs.

But work on Disney Princess Fairytale Hall can't really begin until Snow White's Scary Adventures closes. And because WDW officials still remember what a PR nightmare the September 1998 closing of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was ... Well, they're being pretty close-mouthed (right now, anyway) in regards as to when Snow's officially slated to close.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

That said, I have heard unofficially that - due to capacity issues / Guest satisfaction concerns - that Snow White's Scary Adventures isn't expected to close until WDW's version of "Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid" is ready to open in 2012. More to the point, I've also been told that D23 - The Official Disney Fan Club - would like to be able to give its members the opportunity to get in one last ride on this Fantasyland favorite before this WDW dark ride then goes dark for good. So expect more details on all that be released in the coming months.

But what do you folks think? Is retheming a portion of the Town Square Exhibition Hall as a temporary character meet-and-greet area a smart way to go? Or are you more looking forward to the NextGen digs that Disney will allegedly be unveiling for its Magic Kingdom characters in 2012 & beyond?

Your thoughts?

The article was updated / corrected on February 19, 2011 to fold in additional information

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  • It will be a sad day when Snow White closes for a meet and greet. Aren't those supposed to happen as you walk around the park? So why not just have the princesses in fantasyland until the main street thing a ma bob opens?

  • This whole situation is a giantic, porrly thought cluster.  I think anyone who has spent more than an hour with a copy of Rollercoaster Tycoon could have dealt with this expansion better.  There is absolutely no reason that this expansion should have cost a family ride ("scariness" not withstanding, there's no height limits on Snow White, unlike what will be needed for even a mini-cioaster), and there is absolutely no reason to take away one of the last portions of Main Streeet that actually feels like Main Street and not a fancy department store!  

    WDW needs new leadership.  Almost a decade after they left, you can still see Pressler and Harris' influence lingering in the culture in Orlando.

  • I was more excited by the thought of the animation studio reopening. That tour is sad and dated, but makes sense for Hollywood Studios.  Animation Studios on Mainstreet USA breaks the illusion that WDW's characters are 'real.'

    I agree with Longaway - perhaps unlocking all the levels of Rollercoaster Tycoon should be part of the senior management interview process.  Also, I have no daughters, so Princess-landia and more princess meet & greets aren't really an enticement.

  • I agree with Longaway.  Off with their heads!

    We've actually stopped going to WDW for a few years now, choosing instead to fly from our home in Boston out to LA to vacation at DL.  Although I miss EPCOT, the neglect and lack of innovation is just not worth the price of admission.  We may return to WDW but only as a one-dayer so we can visit IOA and Harry Potter world.  Until the bulldozers move on and someone with vision takes over in that TeamDisney building, we'll continue to choose DL over WDW.

  • Hopefully they will only close snow white once the new Mine Train ride is ready to go....

  • Snow White should stay open till at least the coaster's ready.

  • John Lasseter for CEO...  OFF WITH EVERYONE ELSE'S HEADS!

  • Just like DoleWhipDude, we are also not planning to go to WDW for the next couple of years. Instead, we are going to visit DLR and check out DCA. I want to see WoC and the Mermaid ride this summer and Carland next year. Even if are going back to Florida, we would check out IoA's Harry Potter and other theme parks instead. There are so much new things to see out there, I can't think of a reason to go back to WDW for their run-down broken rides.

  • "But what do you folks think? Will retheming a portion of the Town Square Exhibition Hall as the Disney Main Street Animation Studio make this temporary character meet-and-greet area seem like  a better fit for this theme park's Main Street, U.S.A. area? Or are you more looking forward to the new digs that Disney will allegedly be unveiling for its Magic Kingdom characters in 2012 & beyond?"

    My reaction is "HUH"?  How does one relate to the other?  There is absolutely nothing related between the two and it really doesn't matter.

    The animation studio belongs at the studios park. It should not move to Main Street.

  • Did you see that article that JHM ran last Tuesday ? The one where I talked about how that new character

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