Friday, January 21, 2011

Lost Imagineering: Fantasyland Lost

Yes, I realize that two Lost Imagineering posts in one week is a bit of a surprise, considering the prolonged hiatus that the category had taken here at 2719 Hyperion.  But the official announcement by Walt Disney World earlier this week concerning the ongoing Fantasyland expansion afforded the opportunity to add four new virtual trading cards to our Lost Imagineering collection.

The initial Fantasyland expansion plans unveiled in 2009 were very girl-centric, heavy on meet-and-greets and a bit lacking in actual ride-based attractions.  While I was very impressed with the scope of the project, I was generally disappointed with its over-reliance on Princesses and Fairies.  I was clearly not alone in those thoughts; gone now are the Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella themed venues as well as the Tinker Bell Pixie Hollow area.
Cinderella's Chateau and the Briar Rose Cottage would have both featured interactive shows and meet-and-greets.  At the Chateau, guests would have observed the Fairy Godmother magically prepare Cinderella for the royal ball; at the cottage, participants would have helped celebrate Briar Rose's birthday with the help of Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.

Another significant casualty of the redrawn plans is Pixie Hollow, an elaborate meet-and-greet venue for Tinker Bell and her fellow Disney Fairies.  It is another indicator that this particular franchise hasn't quite lived up to the company's expectations.  The characters will in fact migrate to another park, although there are conflicting reports as to which one.  The Disney Parks Blog claims that Tink and friends will relocate to Epcot as part of the Flower and Garden Festival.  The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Fairies will land somewhere inside Disney's Hollywood Studios.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with the assumption that the Fairies franchise isn't living up to company expectations, because it's STILL doing well and bringing in TONS of cash for Disney.

Just because something gets nixed it does not necessarily indicate something being unsuccessful.

Jeffrey Pepper said...


I don't know about TONS of cash but I will agree that Fairies have generated $$$ for Disney.

But keep in mind that the Disney Fairies and Pixie Hollow were not the result of creative sensibilities. They were born of the desire to create another consumer products franchise akin to the Disney Princesses. In comparison to the Princesses, they have distinctly underperformed commercially and that was the context in which I made the comment to which you found offense.

I am nothing but delighted that this aspect of the Fantasyland expansion was canceled. It was ill-conceived and included for all the wrong reasons. It does not carry the pedigrees that are apparent with The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast and doesn't deserve to be part of such an ambitious and certainly long term upgrade and expansion.