Where do you walk into a fairytale? At Fantasy Faire, of course! This new area of Disneyland Park is like a fairy tale come to life, with Tudor-style cottages, live entertainment, and magic around every corner. Of course, every fairytale needs a Princess – and, at Fantasy Faire, a trio of these royal damsels are in residence to meet their Guests.
As you make your way up Main Street U.S.A. to begin your Disneyland Park day, you’ll see a brightly colored new village to the left, where Carnation Plaza Gardens used to stand. Suddenly, you’re in a new extension of Fantasyland. (You might even spot a tiny tribute to Carnation Plaza Gardens in the new décor).
Michel Den Dulk, a creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering, explains, “We put in a lot of effort to make it very pretty, very royal, and very fitting to put next to the castle. My goal as the creative director was that the new Fantasy Faire would meld into the existing Fantasyland naturally. So that in a couple of years when people visit the Park for the first time they won’t notice that this is a much later addition than the rest of Fantasyland. And there’s some castle architecture that comes back into this new land — a couple of turrets and a castle wall. The new houses are constructed against the wall. It really looks like it’s all part of the existing Fantasyland.”
We were amazed at how much there is to see once you step in — including a lot of surprises. Perhaps that sleeping cat on an upper-story window-sill looks familiar, as if you’ve seen him before — I wonder if he might wake up? What happens if you turn the crank of that beautiful music box you’ve discovered? And is there something special about that lovely sculpture of Rapunzel? You never know where you might find a touch of pixie dust! Says Michel, “And with all these little charming details. Guests can explore all these things that hopefully add to the Disney quality they expect to get when they go to Disneyland.”
The centerpiece of a visit to Fantasy Faire is the chance to meet some of Disney’s most beloved princesses in a storybook setting. “The Princess character greeting area is called the Royal Hall. It has a beautiful gothic interior with nice wallpaper, wall cresting, wood finishes, and chandeliers,” explains Michel. Several of Disney’s most beloved princesses dispense autographs, greetings, and smiles to all.
But there’s more to explore at Fantasy Faire. Drop by the Royal Theatre, sit down, and enjoy the ancient art of storytelling with a Disney twist. Show Director Chris Utley tells us, “We’re presenting two 15- to 20-minute stories, Beauty and the Beast and Tangled. The stories will be presented by two storytellers, joined by the corresponding Princess. The stories are told in a fast-paced theatrical, very fun, whimsical way.”
Between shows and greetings, explore the Fairytale Treasures shop, for all your Princess gear, get tempted by delicacies at Maurice’s Treats, or simply look for hidden details and soak up the atmosphere.
Michel concludes, “The favorite aspect of the project for me personally is that it’s right in the heart of Disneyland. To be able to work on something that is constructed right next to the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle — that’s a treat every day to come to the construction site and see something going up next to that iconic American building. We put in a lot of effort to make it very pretty, very royal, and very fitting to put next to the castle. Guests can explore all these other little things that hopefully add to the Disney quality they expect to get when they go to Disneyland.”
Fantasyland has always been at the heart of Disneyland Park. Now with the opening of Fantasy Faire, that heart is just a bit bigger.