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Mirror Walt Disney World 3.0 – The Definitive Version

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm quite excited for this one, my friends, as this will cover an area that, for all intents and purposes, is all new to Mirror Walt Disney World. True, a version of this did exist at one point, but for the most part, this is fresh as fresh can be.

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Beyond Thunder Ridge, the northern road splits in two. If you were to head to the left, you’d find yourself in Bayou Country, a newly-added sub-area of Frontierland, inspired by the legendary swamplands of New Orleans, Louisiana. (As for where the other path leads, we shall get there very soon.) Now, to some of you reading this, the name may sound familiar. This is because, essentially, it’s a concept that was first devised for Season 18 of So, You Want to Be an Imagineer? in 2020 by Team NuOrbis. And I honestly thought it was too good not to use, especially because I want to make sure that a certain forthcoming E-ticket still has a home in a Magic Kingdom where Thunder Mesa did come to be.

Once you step underneath the trestle the Walt Disney World Railroad travels across, the adventure and daring spirit of the New Orleans bayous begins. As Team NuOrbis said in their initial document, “To provide the setting, the Barataria Preserve will serve as inspiration for Bayou Country. Known for its preservation of its unique environment, the Barataria Preserve is one of the six sites comprising the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Louisiana. The 26,000-acre preserve is filled with nature trails, canoeing experiences, and guided tours that allows its guests to traverse the many swamps, marshes, and bayous within the area.” The trees are tall, the plantlife is thriving, and small waterways dot the landscape, oftentimes housing frogs, much like the ones Tiana and Naveen were turned into. Even the lighting is specifically themed. @Suchomimus suggested that once we step into the bayous, not only do we have kerosene-lit lamps on wooden street poles, but, taking a page from @D Hulk and his tremendous DisneySky concept, “fireflies” – D Hulk described the effect as “simple fibre optic strings blown by fans” – surround the waterways of the bayous, and in the trees and foliage surrounding the entrance and exterior of the area’s big E-ticket attraction. And given what kind of an attraction it is, the fireflies make perfect sense.


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The first major point of interest is the second formation in Frontierland’s mountain range. It’s a large mountain scraping the skies. A thundering waterfall pours down from inside a large tree trunk at its peak, from which a familiar treehouse is perched in its branches. Every few seconds a log pours down the falls seemingly filled with...people? Screaming people. What is this, some kind of thrill ride? Well...yes. Yes, it is. This is Tiana’s Bayou Jubilee. Inspired by Disney’s 2009 animated film The Princess and the Frog, Tiana’s Bayou Jubilee invites us to join Tiana, Naveen and Louis, as they prepare for a big Mardi Gras celebration at Tiana’s Palace – the first Mardi Gras since the time when Tiana and Naveen spent the celebration as frogs! And boy howdy, is it going to be quite the celebration! In fact, it’s going to be so big, that preparations are just as big! You see, in the wake of the roaring success of Tiana’s Palace, it was decided to expand the business through the newly-formed Tiana’s Foods, an employee-owned cooperative. Set up within the confines of an old salt mine, one can even see various crops – all of which are real – growing along the side of the mountain. Ah, but where do we come in? Well, Tiana is searching for a most elusive ingredient that can only be found within the bayous, and we get to accompany her on the journey!

The journey is one filled with music, color and laughter. But what happens when our log is sent careening amid perilous whitewater? Well, what happens is the wettest and wildest ride in Disney park history, all culminating in the tallest, wettest drop in the Magic Kingdom. At 50 feet tall, the climactic drop of Tiana’s Bayou Jubilee is the greatest thrill in Frontierland, rivaling the climactic conclusions of the Thunder Mesa Railroad and Western River Expedition only mere yards away. Of course, all we have to do is “dig a little deeper” – or dive – to find our happy end.

At Disneyland in California, Tiana’s Bayou Jubilee served as a re-theme of Splash Mountain, a ride originally themed around the highly-controversial Song of the South. In 2019, ten years since The Princess and the Frog first came to theaters, Disney marked the occasion by announcing that Splash Mountain would, at long last, shed its Song of the South theming in favor of this new, bayou-set adventure. Not only that, the ride would also be coming to Walt Disney World with its own sub-area – the very sub-area we are in today.


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At a bend in the bayou waters near Tiana’s Bayou Jubilee, we’ll find the Friendly Firefly Restaurant, named in honor of Ray and Evangeline, and honoring their heritage by serving delicious Cajun dishes and southern fried soul food. In addition to Cajun dishes and Creole dishes, options like Po-boys and the famous “Monte Cristo” sandwich are also on the menu; and for dessert, Tiana’s “man-catching” beignets are all the rage, quite fitting as the bayou denizens often consider the Friendly Firefly a satellite extension of Tiana’s Palace back on the New Orleans mainland. The non-alcoholic Mint Julep Bar is located nearby. The Friendly Firefly also features live music to accompany your meal, often featuring a performance or two by the Nine Old Men, an authentic New Orleans jazz band, so named after the original team of Disney animators.

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Moving on, found amid the bayou foliage, we find Prince Naveen’s Cabin, the vacation home for Tiana and Naveen whenever they visit Mama Odie in the bayou. The naturalistic lodging reminds them of how they first fell in love. For this year’s Mardi Gras, Naveen has opened it up to all selling royal exports from Maldonia (such as replicas of Tiana and Naveen’s royal garments, tiaras, crowns, and makeup). Their cottage includes a stone chimney which has a painting of their wedding where they transformed back into humans. Prickly stems come out of the ceiling and contrast the man-made wooden walls. Wooden carvings above the doors honor their companions with Ray and Louis both having their own separate portrait.

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On the outskirts of the cabin, guests will find the Greetings Gazebo. With wooden columns, a rounded roof, and a pointed top, it’s not as fancy as what you would find in New Orleans, but still a nice way to get out of the sun. Carved frogs adorn the top of the columns and the gazebo is neither round or square, but shaped like a lily pad with a green floor. It serves as both a meet and greet spot for the characters from The Princess and the Frog – Tiana, Naveen, Louis, Dr. Facilier and Charlotte – as well as a venue to watch the Nine Old Men play! But it’s not just here at the Greetings Gazebo where you can find Tiana and Naveen. Oftentimes, they will leave the bayou and head out for Thunder Ridge to take a ride aboard the Liberty Belle.

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Beyond the cabin, we have what I like to call the Bayou Shopping Row, offering many merchants all within one building. Going from left to right, there are three shops here, starting with Tiana’s Supplies and Sweets. For the Mardi Gras celebration, Princess Tiana has renovated a former riverside saloon into a kitchen goods and candy store. Inside, Tiana’s latest cookbook, A Homemade Affair, as well as her other acclaimed cookbooks fills the shelves for purchase for the culinary wizard and the not-so-wizard ones. In addition, standard kitchenware fare like mittens, aprons, and other usable kitchen tools are for sale. Plus, there are plenty of spices and sauces for sale, as well – ingredients for which are among the real-life crops that are grown on the mountainside of Tiana’s Bayou Jubilee! As Tiana is away organizing the celebration, Mama Odie is operating the kitchen and is adding her own unique magic to the confectioneries. Expect elements of magic in the confectionary delights of Mama Odie’s Swampy Delights, ranging from candy objects, caramel apples, chocolate fudge, and the like.

Next door, Jouet du Marais is the resident toy store of the bayou. The interior compared to the nearby Tiana’s Supplies and Sweets is woodsy and rustic. Shelves cover the walls filled with all kinds of playthings. Lanterns hang from the ceiling. A mural is present behind the cashier that shows children playing underneath the stars in the sky.

Finally, there is Mortis’ Clothes Limited. Formerly owned by a trio of frog hunters, the cabin was later bought out by rich Texan businessman Justin Mortis, who became interested in clothing during his time in Europe during the Great War. Mortis’ Clothes Limited sells bayou-themed apparel (clothes, hats, and pins) for the tourists that dropped by for the Mardi Gras celebration. It’s the shortest building on the Bayou Shopping Row, but it has the largest floor space of them all. It has a similar styled rustic interior like Jouets du Marais, but the lanterns have much more of an art-deco style. On the shelves behind the cashier there are antique 1920’s-style shoes, campaign buttons, and hats.


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While we are here in Bayou Country, let us spare a moment for the original representation The Princess and the Frog had in the Magic Kingdom. From 2009 to Bayou Country’s grand opening in 2024, the Rivers of America came alive with the music and lifestyle of New Orleans, when Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee took over the Liberty Belle Riverboat! In this show, we joined Tiana, Naveen, Louis, and even Dr. Facilier – as well as a host of dancers, audience participants and a live jazz band – as they turned the Liberty Belle into a Mardi Gras showboat. Of course, the classic Randy Newman-penned tunes from the film were part of the show – “Almost There”, “Friends on the Other Side” and “Dig a Little Deeper”, just to name a few – and there were a few other surprises, as well! For fifteen years, this fifteen-minute celebration took place throughout the day.

Oh, and here is a map detailing where everything is here in this newly-formed sub-area of Frontierland:


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At the northern end of Frontierland is Columbia Gorge, an elaborate rock formation marked by five proud waterfalls and a trestle that the Walt Disney World Railroad passes along. It’s quite an elaborate sight, but its purpose is not just for looks alone. The gorge also hides views of what lies beyond it…

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Now, as mentioned before, this came pretty much wholesale from a concept devised for So, You Want to Be an Imagineer?, so all credit goes out to the good people at Team NuOrbis: @AceAstro, @montydysquith-navarro, @Outbound, @pix and @Sharon&Susan! Thank you all very much!

The next post will arrive on Thursday, October 27 -- 45 years and 5 months to the day when the first chapter in a certain film saga first came to theaters. Join me on that day, as we leave the Old West to explore "a galaxy far, far away!"
 
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DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Disney take notes, this is how you transition. They've somehow forgotten how to do it and are just putting stuff where they ever want. Sometimes it feels like they are throwing darts at park maps.
Ironically, I am actually all for the Splash Mountain re-theme, hence why I wanted to bring it into MWDW. I always thought that the walkway that goes along the edge of the post-drop Splash Mountain track could be a good divider between New Orleans and the Wild West. (Plus, we could get a Tiana's Palace re-theme for Pecos Bill Café!) But nonetheless, even if it disrupts theming, I can't wait to see Tiana's Bayou Adventure come to fruition.

Before we begin this next post, I must say that quite a few elements of this particular version of Galaxy's Edge all come from the incredible Galaxy's Edge expansion pad devised by Imagineerland, so all credit to him on that count!

Now that that is settled, let us venture forth...

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Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

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In 1977, the world of film was introduced to a little film called Star Wars. The brainchild of George Lucas, Star Wars revolutionized the way films were made. As the years went on, Star Wars was followed by two sequels: The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Undoubtedly, Star Wars was big, and it was only inevitable that it gain theme park presence. The collaboration of George Lucas and the Imagineers in Disneyland was a mythic dream fit for the young and the young-at-heart. “When we started discussing the idea,” says Tony Baxter, “George immediately saw the potential. But he wanted to put a new twist on the story. Disneyland has always been known as a place where nothing could go wrong. In this show, something would go wrong.” The cause of the “intentional misadventure” of what would be called Star Tours was a friendly, well-meaning but totally incompetent droid pilot named Rex. Star Tours entertained guests at the Magic Kingdom for thirty years, closing on December 31, 2019, to make way for an all-new adventure. What brought along this closing? Well, it all started when Disney had to decide what to do with the competition a few miles away…

Imagine...it’s 2010. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has just opened at Universal Studios Florida, five years since the park first opened. It’s a real game-changer, too; revolutionizing the way movies are represented in theme parks. Fully-immersive, right down to the smallest detail, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter truly put guests in Hogsmeade. Although the experience opened at Disney-Universal Studios in California, it was not to be for Walt Disney World, as the deal with Warner Bros. was solely made by Universal. Now that the Boy Who Lived had made his mark in theme park history, it seemed almost impossible to find something to top it. Rumors started swirling around in 2011, with sources varying on what Disney was going to do next. Then, on August 15, 2015, their rebuttal was officially announced. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was to be built not only at Disney-Universal Studios, but at the Magic Kingdom, as well.

Ironically, our portal into this strange and forgotten world comes not through the Magic Kingdom’s realm of science-fact and fantasy, Tomorrowland, but instead through the backwoods Wilderness Trail of Frontierland or the Marshlands Trail of Liberty Square. The densely wooded “Outer Rim” of Frontierland transitions our wilderness trail from 19th Century America to another world entirely; another world set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...




Galaxy’s Edge is set around the distant planet of Batuu, at some point in time in-between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. When we step foot onto Batuu, we are in its largest village: a settlement known as Black Spire Outpost. Black Spire Outpost is a thriving destination for those who would prefer to go about their business unnoticed - scoundrels, rogues, smugglers and, recently, whispers in the woods reporting sightings of individuals associated with the Resistance. Amid the omnipresent brew of conflict in the galaxy, sits an exotic outpost surrounded by a beautiful forest landscape dominated by the petrified remains of towering ancient trees, from which Black Spire Outpost draws its name. The modern village is built on the remains of crumbling structures built by a long-extinct civilization. Chat with the locals, and meet travelers from across the galaxy. Wander a street market filled with rare and unusual artifacts - and more than a few hidden treasures.

Beyond Thunder Mesa, we step over a drawbridge – which allows passage for the Rivers of America vessels to go for backstage maintenance – heading towards Bayou Country. To the right, the bayous call, but continuing northward leads to a place no guest has ever gone before.


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Upon entering Batuu, you’ll find yourself in the wilderness on the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost, an area teeming with life and substance. Unusual creatures and droid-tracks scar the mud-hardened traveler’s road. Peculiar sounds and mating calls fill the towering trees and alien underbrush. Broken-down droids and forgotten parts litter the sides of the beaten path. And, perhaps most notably, the proud craft of Resistance fighters, including a life-size X-Wing, have docked for safety in this hidden oasis.

Chewbacca, Rey and other members of the Resistance have established a base camp in the Batuu forest. The First Order wouldn’t dare comb these untamed wilds... Rendezvous with other Resistance allies in a forested area near the ancient Jedi ruins. There, members of the Resistance have set up a secret makeshift post at Resistance Supply. We can stock up on essential gear and supplies so we are better prepared to take on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.


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The Resistance needs our help! Hidden in the forest outside Black Spire Outpost, Rey and the Resistance are gathering recruits – namely, us – for a secret mission; a rendezvous with General Organa on Parcana. But of course, in keeping with the proud tradition set by Star Tours, something goes horribly wrong. Specifically, our transport vehicle is abducted by an imposing Star Destroyer filled with legions of stormtroopers and the dreaded Kylo Ren himself. Fortunately, the Resistance planned ahead in case this happened, and they’re ready to give us a chance to escape...but not before we get caught in the crossfire of an epic battle between good and evil.

Ever since its opening on December 5, 2019, Rise of the Resistance has been met with glowing reception, with many hailing it as one of Disney’s best rides to date. This incredible attraction makes use of four – count ’em, four – ride systems: walk-through, motion simulator, trackless dark ride and drop ride; all working together in perfect harmony to fully immerse us in the world of Star Wars. Ever since that fateful December day, Rise of the Resistance has garnered some of the longest lines of any attraction in the 50-plus year history of the Magic Kingdom...and with a ride this epic, it’s not hard to see why. This is definitely one of the highest high points of any day here at the Magic Kingdom!


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Across the way is a sight yet unheard of in the Star Wars Canon: the long-since abandoned Batuu Jedi Temple. It has been said in the Jedi Texts that the Batuu Jedi Temple was lost to time, and this is what brought the Resistance to the planet, in the hopes of refinding it and building up a bigger force to help defeat the First Order once and for all. Driven by the onslaught of the First Order and former Galactic Empire, the surviving Jedi now use the hallowed ruins for remote training. Brave Jedi Knights – led by Jedi Master Vanzell Mar-Klar and their* headstrong accomplice, Nedriss Narr – have assembled Force-sensitive children from throughout the galaxy. These fearless young recruits will learn how to wield lightsabers and feel the Force in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. But beware: horrific visions of foes like Darth Maul, Darth Vader and Kylo Ren plague this ancient site...

* I say “their” because Vanzell and Nedriss are genderfluid roles.

Also within this wooded part of the village, found tucked away in-between the entrance to the land and Rise of the Resistance, is the Vision Cave. This is an idea that was thought up by Charlie Callahan of Theme Snark, and is basically a way to allow meet ‘n’ greets with classic Star Wars characters without messing up the set timeframe of Galaxy’s Edge itself. Charlie even used the cave on Dagobah where Luke had his vision of fighting Vader, as seen in The Empire Strikes Back, as an example of what this cave is inspired by. Anyway, the backstory, as he relayed it, is that the Scavengers who set up shop at Savi’s have decided to take us visitors into these caves, wherein the cave recognizes the Force-sensitive among us. Because of this, familiar faces appear before our very eyes, allowing us humble folk to meet our favorite characters from any part of the Star Wars saga – from the Prequel Trilogy to the Original Trilogy to The Mandalorian. Plus, it’s randomized as to who will be in the cave at what time, so you never know who will appear!

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Beyond this vast wilderness is Black Spire Outpost itself. Upon our arrival in Black Spire Outpost, we are immediately cast into an authentic re-creation of a Star Wars spaceport, complete with alien lifeforms wandering the streets, droids and spacecraft whirring past, signs and messages written in Aurebesh. Buskers stroll through the market playing their instruments. There’s a guitar and horn duo, a performer playing an instrument unique to the Star Wars universe, as well as a droid band, who perform on a moving cart and are accompanied by a live singer and bass player. Screens built into the rockwork depict distant ships flying off, and they are controlled and closely monitored so that they can match the skies in real-time.

There are a bevy of things to see and do here, so we will explore Black Spire Outpost in a circular manner, beginning with what lies in store as we enter past Rise of the Resistance. First, we come across the Black Spire Marketplace, an eclectic bazaar reminiscent of the real-world Middle East and South Asia. The open-air shops and eateries are all of a unique and exotic flavor. As we wander the market, we follow the intoxicating scent of grilled meat wafting through the air. Ronto Roasters is a favorite stop for crews preparing for their next mission. Inside, spot the hanging podracer engine heating up a spit of meats. A pitmaster droid turns the mechanical spit, grilling a large side of ronto - a massive beast native to Tatooine. The colorful Kat Saka’s Kettle is an eclectic snack shop, where grains from all over the galaxy are on display. Order a generous, piping-hot helping of this popular and flavorful local specialty popcorn and enjoy it in our exploration of the marketplace.

Shopping for your next excursion through the Outer Rim? Need a new robe to greet the ambassador of your home planet, or just want to pick up some casual garb to blend in with the locals? Then Black Spire Outfitters is the shop for you. No galactic traveler should return home empty-handed. Here in this humble, jumbled shop called Toydarian Toymaker, we'll find all manner of artisanal playthings and collectibles handmade by the grotesque toymaker, Zabaka the Toydarian. Her fantastical storefront is cluttered with crates of toymaking supplies and other works in progress - including a tauntaun rocking horse. Zabaka’s silhouette is often visible through the frosted back window of her workshop as she flits around crafting Wookiee dolls and classic games like chance cubes and sabacc.

At the exotic Creature Stall, you’re free to explore as you peek into cages and crates filled with hard-to-find fuzzballs from across the galaxy. Bina, the stall’s proprietor, scours star systems to keep this storefront stocked with unique companions for her customers. A Dewback is chained in a large cage, mostly spending its time resting, but occasionally waking to look at the guests passing by (Imagineerland compared it to the dragon found under the castle at Disneyland Paris). Marvel at a large collection of cackling Kowakian monkey-lizards, the rambunctious pets popular with shadowy underworld figures—including Hutts. Most of the creatures here are available for purchase (restrictions may apply to rathtars). Contrary to its name, The Jewels of Bith does not sell jewelry. It instead offers a wide variety of trinkets – T-shirts, mugs, misters, mini Millennium Falcons – to commemorate our visit to Batuu.

Hungry travelers can fuel up on galactic grub at the local Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. At this restaurant housed in a working hangar bay, choose from a variety of dishes prepared with exotic ingredients - all of it delicious, but none of it familiar. Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs has docked a food freighter loaded with fresh supplies and he's ready to satisfy the appetite of visitors and locals alike with an array of unique offerings. His planet-hopping travels allow him to prepare fare with unusual flavors that delight customers.


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At the farthest back point in Black Spire Outpost, you’ll find one of the most iconic images in the Star Wars mythos: the Millennium Falcon. And within the mountains surrounding the Falcon, Weequay pirate Hondo Ohnaka is looking for discreet flight crews to deliver a backlog of hard-to-find items to particular clientele – no experience necessary!

In an attempt to go “legitimate,” former pirate Hondo has established Ohnaka Transport Solutions on Batuu. Despite his best claims, Transport Solutions is, in reality, a front for smuggling. After the Battle of Crait, the Millennium Falcon landed on Batuu, where the Resistance established a base outside the Outpost. Ohnaka made a deal with Chewbacca to use the ship, and hired us, a temporary crew, to take part in one or more of Ohnaka's jobs, most often tasked with hijacking First Order supplies. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is our chance to ride in the famous cockpit of the Millennium Falcon on a daring flight - and whether you’re pilot, engineer or gunner, every role is crucial!


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Welcome to the local cantina, specifically, Oga’s Cantina, where smugglers, bounty hunters, rogue traders and weary travelers of all ages come together to refuel, enjoy music and conduct business - no questions asked. With an expansive menu of exotic concoctions for young ones and adults, the cantina is a welcome rest stop before our upcoming galactic journey. We enjoy the bold musical entertainment courtesy of the eclectic DJ R3X. The cantina adheres to Oga Garra’s strict code of conduct, but patrons can be...unpredictable, so just keep your head down - and drink casual. Oga’s Cantina specializes in fantastical drinks sourced with ingredients from across the galaxy that will delight even the youngest crew members. To order selections with alcohol – like the Jedi Mind Trick cocktail, Bad Motivator IPA or Toniray wine – they will need to see your identification.

Steps away from Oga’s is the Kalikori Club, a table-service restaurant held within a converted bathhouse offering the finest dishes in all the galaxy. Plus, as we enjoy our meal, we also enjoy the bold musical entertainment courtesy of the club’s eclectic Twi’lek owner, Gaya. The main restaurant and performance area are on the bottom level of the restaurant, and there is a cantina upstairs.

Dok-Ondar is the Ithorian you seek for selling and buying rare and uniquely-valued (and acquired) items, antiques and artifacts from across the galaxy and spanning all eras of history. Hidden inside Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, we’ll encounter a rotating collection of unique items that include everything from jewelry, to ancient tools, to rare kyber crystals, to statues - and even a collection of famous lightsabers. The eclectic assortment of goods comes from many different planets and eras. How Dok-Ondar acquired all of these treasures, no one knows. Some secrets are better off kept that way. Other secrets are better off kept for sale on the shelves of Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. A constant presence in his den, Dok-Ondar resonates with something mysterious, enigmatic and almost mystical - and so do the objects he gathers. His shop is packed with crates, boxes and assorted carvings, and a close inspection reveals that each object has its own story to tell. Everything is carefully curated and arranged according to an unknown order. When one stumbles upon something, they might wonder - did they discover it by chance or were they meant to find it?


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A group known as the “Gatherers” usher us into a convert workshop packed with unusual parts, whimsical pieces and miscellaneous memorabilia collected from the far reaches of the galaxy. Under their guidance, you can construct your very own lightsaber and bring it to life through the power of kyber crystals in Savi’s Workshop. Builders beware: You must protect the shop’s secrecy to avoid being discovered by the First Order! Once your lightsaber is complete (purchase required!), you’ll be ready to embark on incredible new adventures – from the far reaches of Wild Space to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!

Ah, but a lightsaber isn’t the only thing you can build at Galaxy’s Edge. The Droid Depot is a workshop stocked with parts, chips, manuals and other tech items useful for constructing one's very own droid, one of the galaxy's most indispensable sidekicks. First, register your choice of the BB-series unit or R-series unit with the clerk, who'll provide a basket and blueprint for parts. Next, proceed to the assembly line and begin the droid-building experience at the Parts Station and Build Station. A resourceful astromech droid, R2-D2 has shown great bravery in rescuing his masters and their friends from many perils. He formed an unlikely but enduring friendship with the fussy protocol droid C-3PO. Both C-3PO and R2-D2 can be found wandering near the Droid Depot in search of “Master Rey.” And if you’re wondering...she and Chewbacca can often be found roaming the streets of Batuu, trying to elude the First Order.

No visit to Batuu is complete without a frosty confection from the Milk Stand. The vendors at this quirky stall offer travelers an invigorating, refreshing drink that's a favorite among the locals. Luke Skywalker can be seen enjoying blue milk in the original Star Wars and green milk in The Last Jedi. Both these exotic delicacies are enjoyed here. From here, a path leads back out into the Magic Kingdom mainland, towards Liberty Square. The path runs along the Rivers of America, taking guests past The Haunted Mansion.

As you stroll through this bustling marketplace, you may be witness to many takeoffs and landings. A delivery ship lands on top of the Kalikori Club. At Rise of the Resistance, at the point where the pre-show meets the loading area, an X-Wing hovers a few feet above the ground. And as we approach the edge of the land, a TIE Fighter lifts off and flies around, in service to the notorious First Order.

The First Order has arrived on Batuu in pursuit of the Resistance. Report for duty and make your way to Docking Bay 9 where the First Order has set up the temporary First Order Cargo post next to their shuttle, and all to win the hearts and minds of the locals. Kylo Ren and his elite Stormtroopers disembark from their shuttle and patrol the streets of the Outpost. Be ever so mindful as you step over to the Dark Side and encounter this imposing Supreme Leader of the First Order.

There are many familiar faces wandering through Batuu. Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, Rose Tico, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO, Vi, Kylo Ren, General Hux, as well as a whole host of Resistance pilots, rebels, Stormtroopers of various types, First Order Generals, aliens, smugglers, bounty hunters, Mandalorians, and droids. Not only that, there are stilt-based walk-around characters here, as well. Stilts bring a First Order walker to life, as well as a Blarg that pulls a cart through the Outpost. There is also a walking Bantha costume that roams the land, as well. But of course, the big Streetmosphere at Galaxy’s Edge are stunt performers in detailed fight choreography – lightsaber battles, shootouts on the rooftops, all that epic Star Wars stuff.


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And there we have Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at the Magic Kingdom! Again, all credit for the new stuff goes out to Imagineerland (and for more information on his ideas, please check out his incredible blog), and I should point out that the introduction to this land, as well as the vast land descriptions themselves, came mostly from @MANEATINGWREATH, so credit to him, as well!

Now, as we are approaching the end of the month, I think it only appropriate that we do two Halloween-centric posts. So, on October 29, we'll visit Liberty Square, the home of two spooky attractions here in the Magic Kingdom, and on Halloween night itself, I intend to tell you all about how Walt Disney World celebrates All Hallow's Eve! So get ready for a double dose of spooky, not-so-scary Halloween fun and I'll see you all in the next post!
 
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oogie boogie man

Well-Known Member
Ironically, I am actually all for the Splash Mountain re-theme, hence why I wanted to bring it into MWDW. I always thought that the walkway that goes along the edge of the post-drop Splash Mountain track could be a good divider between New Orleans and the Wild West. (Plus, we could get a Tiana's Palace re-theme for Pecos Bill Café!) But nonetheless, even if it disrupts theming, I can't wait to see Tiana's Bayou Adventure come to fruition.

Not me, Splash is one my favorites.

I think they could have just put a Tiana attraction somewhere else and left it alone. Tiana ride would probably be better and more cohesive in her own section off to the left. To me, she doesn't feel frontier enough for Frontierland.
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Liberty Square

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What was America like during the days of its infancy? Set during the time of the American Revolution, Liberty Square takes guests back to the days of America’s foundings. The architecture is a blend of several American colonies as they existed during the nation’s earliest years. The town is filled with merchants and trades in reflection of the time period. The smell of revolution is in the air. The fife and drum echoes throughout the land. Blue-coated men roam the streets. This truly is a world just ready to be born.

Liberty Square was inspired by its Californian counterpart, Liberty Street, which opened three years after Disneyland did. Speaking about the land’s development on his Disneyland TV show, Walt Disney said, “As you know, Disneyland Park is a sort of a monument to the American way of life. But after reading ‘Johnny Tremain,’ we realized we had overlooked one major item in the blueprint - a memorial to the freedoms that made it all possible.” And that spirit of memorial has carried over eastward.

The land’s origins as part of the Magic Kingdom, however, came mostly out of necessity. Naturally, the Magic Kingdom replicates many of the elements of Disneyland, so it was only natural to include a “Square” of some kind. However, plans for a Floridian New Orleans Square were rejected, as Florida is quite close to Louisiana. Plus, given that the United States of America itself would celebrate its bicentennial five years after the park was set to open, it was decided that Liberty Square, an expanded take on Disneyland’s Liberty Street, would become a part of the Magic Kingdom.


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Entering Liberty Square from the Central Plaza, we pass by a brick-laden gate, a wall nearby laden with this message: “Past this gateway stirs a new nation waiting to be born. Thirteen separate colonies have banded together to declare their independence from the bonds of tyranny. It is a time when silversmiths put away their tools and march to the drums of a revolution, a time when gentleman planters leave their farms to become generals, a time when tradesmen leave the safety of home to become heroes. Welcome to Liberty Square!”

Once over the wooden bridge that spans the rivers of the Plaza, lit by old-fashioned streetlamps, we find the first two buildings of Liberty Square waiting for us. The electric innovation and homespun façades of Main Street, U.S.A. have vanished. The street here is lit by candlelight and lantern’s glow. The old shutters on each building hang at an odd angle; metal was not shipped to the U.S. during the Revolutionary War. An odd detail, truly authentic to the era, is that, while most of the pavement appears red compared to Main Street’s grey, a brown streak travels down either side of Liberty Square. This streak travels directly to Liberty Square’s only restroom facility. Given indoor plumbing was not yet invented in colonial America, our forefathers would simply chuck their waste out the window and into the streets... Understood?

First, to the right, we have Sleepy Hollow, a colonial eatery, which boasts amazing funnel cakes, waffles, ice cream sandwiches, muffins, coffee and hot chocolate and other delectable treats. Modeled after the home of Legend of Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving, Sleepy Hollow features an outdoor seating area, which offers a wonderful view of the courtyard in front of Cinderella Castle. Sleepy Hollow also offers a small covered seating area, which features a small, almost hidden, forested pathway, leading to the backside of Cinderella Castle. The pathway offers amazing views of both Main Street, U.S.A. and Cinderella Castle. On the back end of the Sleepy Hollow seating area, there is an alcove, leading back into the heart of Liberty Square. The alcove cuts through several buildings and leads into the main plaza of the Square.


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On the other side of the street is Olde World Antiques. If the name didn’t tip you off, this is the most unique venue in the Magic Kingdom; the gifts here are all antiques and reproductions of things from the colonial era. An eclectic (but elegant) selection of antique clocks, jewelry, furniture, statuettes, paintings, tools and other treasures from the past are sold here. The style and craftsmanship of a bygone era are the true attraction; representing the founders of a new country – as a 1975 guide referred to them, “when immigrants from all over the world settled in the new colonies and brought with them their respective cultures and traditions.” In fact, as Walt Dated World once said of this shop, “According to some reports, it only made about $100,000 a year but spent close to a million on merchandise for sale!”

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Located in the house next door is Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, one of the most beautiful stores in the park. The year-round décor of shimmering garland, lights, trees and the sound of warm holiday music is in perfect compliment to the available ornaments, wreathes, stockings, nutcrackers and tree-skirts. Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe is most famous for its incredible Department 56 Village. Known for its lit portrayal of holiday nostalgia and memories in miniature form, the display is one of the world's largest found in a retail location. Better yet, Department 56 and Walt Disney World offer an exclusive village series: “The Magic of Christmas at Walt Disney World”, a miniature portrayal of the Magic Kingdom – from Main Street to Tomorrowland – decked out for the holiday season, complete with Cinderella Castle shimmering with “icicles.” The set even comes with “hills” upon which one can place Spaceship Earth, the Tree of Life and Pharos Lighthouse, also decked out in holiday fashion.

Behind these two shops, the pathway leads to a grotto, surrounded by trees that block views of it from Central Plaza. It is here in this grotto that one can find a meet ‘n’ greet location for Pocahontas – rather fitting, as the grotto does remind one of the forests of Virginia. Just off of the grotto, there is a pathway leading back to the entrance of Adventureland. Nearby, located on the porch of the Olde World Antiques house, a caricature artist is set up.

Heading westward from here, towards Frontierland, you’ll come across the Liberty Tree Tavern, a stately colonial inn that serves as Liberty Square’s exclusive dining hall. The lunch menu is in celebration of all things Americana – from smoked turkey legs and hamburgers to lobster rolls and New England clam chowder. Dinners here are a full-on family-style Thanksgiving feast: an all-you-care-to-enjoy mountain of roasted turkey breast, pot roast and carved pork roast (plant-based meatloaf is also available on request), and all accompanied by traditional sides: house salad, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and a variety of fresh vegetables, with either toffee cake or fruit pie for dessert. Liberty Tree Tavern is one of the most elegant and upscale dining facilities in all the Magic Kingdom.


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Standing proudly in the middle of Liberty Square are the Liberty Tree and Liberty Bell. Needless to say, it’s not actually the real thing. It’s a replica made using the same mold as the original; and it was produced by the Paccard Bell Foundry in Annecy, France. In fact, the replica found here at the Magic Kingdom was the 300th Liberty Bell replica the foundry ever produced! It is surrounded by 14 flags: the American flag and the flags of the 13 original states. The impressive Liberty Tree is a live oak transported to the Magic Kingdom. The tree itself is well over two centuries old and is a worthy tribute to the real Liberty Tree in Boston. Historically, the real tree was a beacon for the American Revolution - those rallied against the oppression of the British Empire would gather here in protest or plotting.

Across the way from the Liberty Tree is the office of Samuel Osgood, Postmaster General, a legitimate operational post office styled after the ones from the days of Colonial America. Ironically, it was, at first, a false façade. Mr. Osgood has serviced the famous mailboxes found throughout the Magic Kingdom. The location still accepts and distributes letters and packages today.

Steps away from Osgood’s office stands a near-exact re-creation of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, which, when the park opened in 1971, played host to The Hall of Presidents, a show that featured animatronic depictions of every last one of the people who have held the office of President of the United States. But as the Bicentennial came and went, it was decided to close the show, as it was not really drawing in large crowds now that the big reason for its existence was over. Thus, as the year 1979 began, the theater was shut down permanently, but the Independence Hall entrance and the museum foyer were left intact.


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The Hall of American History offers ever-changing displays of not just Presidential artifacts, but of eras throughout all 200+ years of American history, from the early days of the Revolution to the modern days of social change and the progressive movements of our time. Naturally, the rotunda of the museum was left intact, as was the prominent display of the Great Seal of the United States. In fact, the Hall of American History is the only place in the entire country where you can see the Great Seal outside of the White House! The only major cosmetic change to the building came in the form of expanded museum space, a space which took up the former tenant’s exit hallway.

Despite its relatively small size, the Hall of American History more than makes up for it with what it displays. The museum holds exhibits in portrayal of our country’s birth, well into the Civil War, Industrial Revolution and beyond, though the focus remains on our earliest years. Like its Liberty Street counterpart – the Revolutionary History Museum – the Hall of American History has been recognized by the United States Government as a national museum, meaning it to be at the quality and content of Washington D.C.’s famous Smithsonian Institute.

Although the exhibits come and go here, in 2016, it was announced that the Hall of American History would be getting a new, permanent exhibit, based around a rather...sensational take on American history.


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A town crier named James Jefferson – “J.J.” for short – steps outside the museum and invites us all to enjoy the stories of America. He is soon joined by Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, the Great Gonzo and, of course, Sam Eagle to bring their fuzzy view of American history to life. The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History is a reverent, hysterical and historical performance. Shows run ten to twelve minutes and each show performed throughout the day is different, depicting events like the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the arrival of the Pilgrims and the midnight ride of Paul Revere, told only as The Muppets can. The show makes use of musical numbers, wacky jokes and authentic Muppets to help add a sense of “edu-tainment” to the Magic Kingdom experience. The Muppets themselves appear in the windows above Osgood’s office (although Sam makes occasional appearances in a special roost within Independence Hall), and their puppeteers are dressed in the clothes of Cast Members working there, so they can get upstairs and down without giving away their Muppet-y connections.

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As for the space formerly held by the Hall of Presidents theater, it has become the home of an all-new dark ride: Ichabod Crane’s Midnight Escape. Considered a spiritual successor to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland, this fast-paced dark ride takes guests aboard an old carriage through the forests of Sleepy Hollow. Much like how Snow White and Her Adventures put guests in the shoes of “the fairest one of all”, or how Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride makes us feel like we are the recklessly-driving amphibian, this ride puts us in the shoes of the superstitious schoolteacher Ichabod Crane. He has just heard the legend of the Headless Horseman from old Brom Bones, and he is one nervous Nelly. The trek back home is one fraught with danger, but can he make it through...or will the Headless Horseman claim another victim? One can even meet Ichabod, Katrina and Brom Bones roaming through the area throughout the day.

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By the way, I should mention that I came across this picture thanks to Google Images. It wasn’t until quite recently that I learned this originated right here on the WDWMagic forums, posted by a user named Timon.

Heading further into Liberty Square, we come across a New Orleans Square-esque cluster of shops within one building, all of which involve live professionals performing their trades. One of the first sights (and sounds) is the Blacksmith Shop. Antique hinges, lamps, horseshoes, and other items are made here by a skilled blacksmith. The smithy hosts demonstrations and is also responsible for shoeing the horses that travel down Main Street each day. Paul Revere’s Silver Shop is unique, wherein all the wares available for purchase are made from 100% real silver. The second-floor window of said shop has two lanterns, a reference to the poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “One, if by land, and two, if by sea,” reads the poem. The two lanterns indicate that the British have arrived “by sea.” Paul Revere made these signals in the instance he was unable to perform his famous ride across the Massachusetts countryside.

The New England Print Shop serves as the editing place for Walt Disney World’s own newspaper, The Walt Disney World Explorer (not to be confused with the Cast Member-exclusive newspaper, Walt Disney World Eyes & Ears). The newspaper is available for purchase here (for $1), as well as in the colorful Newsstands found in Town Square and near the Main Gate. The skilled proprietor uses an old Washington handpress like the one Benjamin Franklin used more than 200 years before. Mlle. Lafayette’s Parfumerie offers a place for guests to purchase various types of perfume. You can even make your own custom-blended perfumes, complete with their own number so you can order more of your own perfume, either via mail or via online shopping.


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Nearby this new property, the Sailing Ship Columbia arrives at the local dock. As stated earlier, this ship is an exact replica of the Columbia Rediviva, the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe in 1790, three years after her rebuilding in 1787 – the same year America ratified the Constitution! Every inch of this ship is fully explorable. Even the area below deck contains amenities and quarters for the crew!

A path leads up into the final section of Liberty Square, as the colonial buildings start to close into a small courtyard. On the right, the Columbia Harbour House, named after the ship, offers a quaint dining experience, as the dining hall is filled with ship ornaments, harbor sculptures, seaside paintings and other sea lore. The menu consists of seafood-based dishes, such as shrimp, lobster rolls, fish and chips, and calamari, along with salads, chicken and their famous vegetarian chili.




“When hinges creak in doorless chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls... Whenever candlelights flicker where the air is deathly still... That is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight.”


Have you ever seen a haunted house? You know the kind I mean: that old dark house that’s usually at the end of a dimly lit street; barely noticeable by day, but carefully avoided by night. The owners haven’t been seen for years; no one really knows why. The windows are dark and silent, but as night falls, eerie lights pass from window to window, while the unnatural silhouette of an otherworldly wraith peers out from the attic window. The gardens and grounds are well-kept and groomed, though a single window appears cracked and disheveled. There’s a high moss-covered wall around the property. Is it there to keep somebody out, or is it there to keep something inside? It’s a house that people avoid walking past at night. Strange sounds come from within the walls, and it’s said that eerie lights have been seen both in the attic window and in the graveyard at the side of the house… It was always imposing, seemingly abandoned, and thoroughly rumored to be haunted. Well, here at the farthest end of Liberty Square, we can find such a house...

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Standing proudly, and imposingly, on the banks of the Rivers of America, is the abandoned structure of Gracey Manor, the former home of a wealthy colonial man known as “Master” Ambrose Gracey. Rumor has it that Gracey Manor was built upon a burial ground sacred to the early natives...but those are just rumors, right? When the man died, Gracey Manor became bereft and abandoned. But yet, strange things have happened here. People said that lights were still on, ever flickering. People said that they could see shadows drifting past. People said that they could hear ungodly music being played from within the manor. And what’s more, the door remained unlocked, meaning that anyone could enter and discover the mysterious secrets of Gracey Manor. And now, it’s our turn. Summoning up all our courage, we arrive at the gates of Gracey Manor...although it doesn’t seem to be called that anymore. Bronze plaques on twin brick columns now refer to this place as... The Haunted Mansion.



A peculiar chill shivers through us... The hairs on our neck stand straight up... And we feel as if someone is watching as we hasten past the Family Plot, a graveyard that marks the final resting place of the Gracey lineage. No matter where they were when they died, their bodies were sent to be buried next to the family’s beloved patriarch. The decayed monuments and crumbled crypts portray an aura of foreboding… A quick look at the epitaphs proves that no one in the family seems to take death too seriously...

Once past the plot, the doors creak open, as our “Ghost Host” urges us to step lively, others are just dying to get in... The Magic Kingdom’s most spirited attraction, The Haunted Mansion features not only its 999 floating, jumping, dancing residents, but also possessed galleries, breathing doors, and other little surprises guaranteed to send shivers up the spine of even the bravest visitor. But we are not left to shiver on our own - our Ghost Host holds our company throughout the journey.

Our first stop: the once private gallery of Gracey Manor. The images seem to stretch, revealing the true nature of their seemingly innocuous happenings, bringing us into the boundless realm of the supernatural; a warped, dark dimension of floating objects, wispy spirits and frightful memories. We’re next ushered into a long hallway that’s lined with eerie paintings and photographs, and flooded with the sound of a violent thunderstorm. From here we board our black-hooded “Doom Buggy”, our transport through a world of unearthly delights never before imagined… a supernatural journey through a labyrinth of frightful chambers.


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The Haunted Mansion is one of the Magic Kingdom’s most popular E-Ticket attractions; and for that matter, one of the crowning achievements in Disney park history. Here, the emphasis is more on the light than the fright, and dark humor and comical puns abound. Much as they had with Pirates of the Caribbean, the Imagineers combined genuine thrills with a large dose of humor, but with somewhat less balanced results than their previous E-Ticket effort. The likes of such legends as Claude Coats, Ken Anderson, Marc Davis, X Atencio, Rolly Crump, and Yale Gracey all worked on the show elements for The Haunted Mansion. Here on this “happy haunting” ground, we glide past a casket-filled funeral parlor, a chilling séance circle, a haunting party in the grand ballroom, a “swinging” wake in the graveyard out back, and an unforgettable encounter in the attic, all guided by the ominous voice of our Ghost Host... But beware, although there are 999 happy haunts inhabiting this mansion, there’s always room for a thousand. Any volunteers?

It might be possible that Madame Leota, resident fortune-teller of Gracey Manor, once lived in the shop that now plays host to Memento Mori. Resident gift shop of The Haunted Mansion - though located off the Gracey Estate - Memento Mori is a reminder to “live life to the fullest as everyone is mortal.” The skull on the marquee seems to hint at a grim fate for Leota, who disappeared decades prior. Perhaps the rumors of her disembodiment are true… The lost art of Spirit Photography has been reinvented here; a way for us to get in touch with the dearly departed.


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What do you think, everyone? Once again, I must credit @MANEATINGWREATH for serving as a major inspiration for this post. I paraphrased the Walt quote he utilized, and he came up with the concepts of the new Liberty Square shop concepts and the Department 56 Village. In addition, Ichabod Crane's Midnight Escape was heavily influenced by a project here on the forums, but I shall save the credit-giving for when I post the ride-through for it later on.

And remember, everyone: The next post will be coming out on Halloween, and in that post, we'll find out how Walt Disney World celebrates that most delightfully frightening time of the year! See you then!
 
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DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Happy Halloween, everybody! At this very moment in time (7:00 PM EST, for those of you reading this in the future), the Magic Kingdom is just starting its final Halloween party of the season. So what better time to find out how MWDW celebrates this most glorious of holidays? Let's go!

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Halloween at Walt Disney World

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An evil wind is howling, a dark fog is creeping in, and sinister forces have cast a shadow over Walt Disney World. The villains from classic Disney stories are back, and they’re eager to make this year’s Halloween a wicked one. Come celebrate with them for an unforgettable Halloween filled with Disney fun both day and night... It’s sure to be a spooky good time…

Halloween is one of the most famous of all the holidays, and for good reason! Who doesn’t love embracing the dark, macabre side of our personalities every now and then – you know, the kind that loves to be scared? Who hasn’t wanted to hobnob with ghosts, ghouls and other spooky specters? And of course, who wouldn’t leap at the chance to eat as much candy as they could possibly stomach? Naturally, Walt Disney World celebrates the spookiest time of the year in grand style. Amid the autumnal merriment surrounding the rest of the resort, Halloween takes the biggest priority among fall celebrations. The Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Mythica and even Disney Springs get in on the fun, with specialty happenings occurring throughout the fall!


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As always, the Magic Kingdom is the epicenter of all of Walt Disney World’s major Halloween celebrations. Even if you don’t attend the Halloween party here at the Magic Kingdom, there’s still plenty of unique decorations visible throughout this spooky season. Right out of the gate, the spirit of Halloween hits you. The music that plays throughout the entrance forecourt of the Magic Kingdom is a mix of instrumental arrangements of famous villain songs, as well as instrumental arrangements of songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and pieces that underscore some of the darkest moments from the Disney films.

  1. “Be Prepared” – Elton John and Tim Rice, The Lion King
  2. “This is Halloween” – Danny Elfman, The Nightmare Before Christmas
  3. “Grim Grinning Ghosts” – Xavier Atencio and Buddy Baker, The Haunted Mansion
  4. “I’ve Been Tricked/The Queen’s Transformation” – Paul J. Smith and Leigh Harline, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  5. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” – Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, The Little Mermaid
  6. “Friends on the Other Side” – Randy Newman, The Princess and the Frog
  7. “Cruella de Vil” – Mel Leven, 101 Dalmatians
  8. “Mother Knows Best” – Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, Tangled
  9. “The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind” – Henry Mancini and Larry Grossman & Ellen Fitzhugh, The Great Mouse Detective
  10. “Trust in Me” – Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, The Jungle Book
  11. “Jack’s Lament” – Danny Elfman, The Nightmare Before Christmas
  12. “Come Little Children” – James Horner and Brock Walsh, Hocus Pocus
  13. “The Bells of Notre Dame” – Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  14. “Pink Elephants on Parade” – Ned Washington and Oliver Wallace, Dumbo
  15. “Heffalumps and Woozles” – Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day
  16. “Trick or Treat” – Mack David and Jerry Livingston & Al Hoffman, Trick or Treat
  17. “Battle with the Forces of Evil” – George Bruns, adapted from Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Sleeping Beauty
  18. “Far into the Forest” – Paul J. Smith and Leigh Harline, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  19. “Oogie Boogie’s Song” – Danny Elfman, The Nightmare Before Christmas
  20. “To Die For (The Stampede)” – Hans Zimmer, The Lion King
  21. “Tiger Fight” – George Bruns, The Jungle Book
  22. “Remember Me” – Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Coco
  23. “Sally’s Song” – Danny Elfman, The Nightmare Before Christmas
  24. “The Firebird Suite” – Igor Stravinsky, Fantasia 2000
  25. “The Mob Song” – Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, Beauty and the Beast
  26. “New Spring Grass/Tragedy in the Meadow” – Edward G. Plumb, Bambi
  27. “West Wing” – Alan Menken, Beauty and the Beast
  28. “Transformation” – Paul J. Smith and Leigh Harline, Pinocchio
  29. “Night on Bald Mountain” – Modest Mussorgsky, Fantasia
  30. “Hellfire” – Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

After passing through the entrance gates, now sporting bunting of orange, purple and yellow rather than red, white and blue, and then traveling under the train station, now covered in giant pumpkins of Mickey and pals, guests step foot onto Main Street.

Taking inspiration from Buena Vista Street in DCA, Main Street, U.S.A.’s turn-of-the-century theming takes on a more darker feel. Bats are bursting out of every window in sight, and pumpkins and cobwebs cover the sidewalk and lampposts. In fact, there is a combined total of 300 or more jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, bats, cats, rats, crows, spiders, and ghosts; lots and lots of ghosts. Truly, no corner has been left untouched. Friendly ghosts and jack-o-lanterns of all shapes, sizes and styles can be found just about everywhere - benches, windows, balconies, rooftops, flowerbeds, sidewalks, you name it. The mischievous, Casper-like ghosts trail all the way from Town Square to the Central Plaza, and can be found doing just about anything, whether it be fishing from the roof of the Emporium, or relaxing on a quiet bench.


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Town Square has turned into a literal “Night on Bald Mountain.” A lifelike statue of Chernabog, the monstrous beast of Fantasia, has emerged from his eternal slumber, surrounded by massive headstones and Gothic statuary. Come nightfall, his eyes glow an eerie yellow… Center Street runs perpendicular with Main Street. To contrast with West Center Street’s Flower Shop, East Center Street has perhaps the most festive sight in the Magic Kingdom: the Main Street Pumpkin Patch. There isn’t a green pumpkin in sight. They’re all orange...because they are made of craft-foam.

Central Plaza becomes the Domain of Doom, with topiary statues dedicated to the greatest of Disney Villains circling the central spot – Maleficent, Queen Grimhilde, Cruella De Vil, Jafar, Ursula, Gaston, Hades, Dr. Facilier, Scar, Captain Hook, Mother Gothel, Lady Tremaine and Oogie Boogie. Liberty Square celebrates The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Hocus Pocus, since both have a similar colonial feel to them, and celebrate the darker side of American folklore.

As for the other lands…well, we shall get there later on, when we discuss how the Magic Kingdom really celebrates Halloween…

Not only that, certain attractions here at the Magic Kingdom get special, spooky overlays…

  • Main Street Cinema: The usual loop is swapped out in favor of some of Disney’s spookiest shorts and featurettes: The Skeleton Dance, The Old Mill, The Haunted House, Pluto’s Judgement Day, Donald Duck and the Gorilla, Trick or Treat, Lonesome Ghosts, and Night on Bald Mountain; and with eight shorts listed, they are grouped in two halves and sandwiched in-between showings of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Boo to You, Too, Winnie the Pooh.​
  • Jungle Terror Cruise: When the Halloween season comes, the shadow of night casts far across the treetops, perhaps a little darker than usual… The low rumble of the riverboats grows distorted and eerie, while the sound of pulsing native drums echo in a suspenseful crescendo. Here, we sail down the cursed waters of a rainforest forsaken with a deadly curse. The normal innocence of wildlife and sight gags are swapped in favor of imminent dangers and frights, including “living” vines, skeletal zombies, mythical beasts, jumpscares galore – courtesy of lions, tigers, crocodiles, hippos and even piranhas – and upset spirits, all set to an original score by Mystic Manor’s own Danny Elfman. The original ride delights guests by day, but in the afternoon, it closes to prepare for its darker, nighttime fright.​
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Onboard this classic attraction, live actors portraying pirates appear within the jail cells of the queue, along the loading area asking for directions, and on the bridge leading into the burning city sequence.​
  • Country Bear Halloween Hootenanny: The idea of MEW, this seasonal refresher celebrates the country side of Halloween.​
  • An Even Madder Tea Party: Wonderland becomes madder than usual as the iconic attraction gets specialty lighting and music.​
  • Tower of Terror – A New Dimension of Fear: How do you make the Tower of Terror even scarier? Simple: Just turn off all the lights and music. After all, nothing is scarier than the sound of silence.​
  • Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy: This Disneyland favorite has guests hurtling through the galaxy, pursued by a deadly nebula creature!​
  • Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade: In the week leading up to Halloween, Remember the Magic is temporarily retired in order for this experience to make its macabre march through the Magic Kingdom. This procession is Halloween fun incarnate; celebrating various iconography associated with Halloween – and autumn in general – in seven sections: Mickey’s Costume Party; A Pirate’s Life; The Haunted Mansion; Halloween Town; Fun in the Fall; Wreck-It Ralph’s Sugar Rush and The Disney Villains.​

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At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, All Hallows’ Eve is celebrated via the Harambe Halloween Celebration. Throughout the day, the townsfolk of Harambe celebrate Halloween, providing guests with a look at African Halloween traditions. There’s even a special bit of street entertainment, The Tales of Anansi. Dressed in traditional, colorful clothes of Ghana, a troupe of storytellers depict the various stories involving the spider god, using shadow puppets.

At Disney’s Mythica, Anglia depicts a medieval All Hallows’ Eve, while Tianxi, taking a cue from D Hulk’s DisneySky, is strung up with red sky lantern “jack-o-lanterns” and cute Chinese monster decorations. Tianxi also features Jiangshi - Chinese hopping vampires. Harmless rows of Qing Dynasty revenants who hop together as a group, led by a living sorcerer master.

Even the Adventurers Club at Disney Springs gets in on the Halloween fun with their Halloween Hoopla! That’s right, the club’s famous president, Pamelia Perkins, presents her own Halloween Spooktacular! Meanwhile, Otis discovers Halloween Carols, and the gang battles an evil spirit they accidentally conjure when Emil points out the club charter requires a séance in the Halloween show.

Ah, but the biggest way to celebrate Halloween here at Walt Disney World is at Mickey’s Halloween Spooktacular!


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On special nights throughout September and October, the Magic Kingdom comes alive with the sights, sounds and tastes of Halloween. If the fun of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and the atmosphere of Oogie Boogie Bash was mixed with the fright of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights (albeit on a much-more family-friendly level), this is what you’d get.

In this spooky celebration of tricks, treats, monsters, and ghouls, the Magic Kingdom undergoes a haunting transformation as the denizens of Halloween Town, the Disney Villains, and other creepy and kooky happy haunts take over to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve. In fact, the basic backstory of this party – as related in the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show at the Castle Forecourt Stage – is that the Sanderson Sisters have devised a “Hocus Pocus Party Potion”, which will help them put on the scariest Halloween party ever! Now, there are three special ingredients to the potion: sinister shadows, nefarious nightmares and frightful friends. Expect to see all three here.

Now, this being Disney, its own Halloween celebration won’t be as macabre and frightening as HHN. No masked lunatics running around with chainsaws. But, it will be scary, complete with scare zones, or “Frightful Friends Zones”, and haunted houses. Some lands will even get a special, spooky theming, complete with their own unique haunts! Some rides will undergo themed layouts for the season, as we have already discussed, and there will be an abundance of Halloween-themed merchandise and food to purchase in most of the shops. And for all you character-hunters out there, this is a prime opportunity to meet some beloved Disney characters, with a heavy emphasis on the Disney Villains…as well as a few rare faces (like the Seven Dwarfs and the Monsters, Inc. crew). Throughout the park, guests both young and young at heart can partake in trick-or-treating, heading down special “Treat Trails” and filling up their goodie bags with all sorts of treats and sweets. And of course, costume-wearing is heartily welcomed! But, we’ll be mostly focusing on the atmosphere, Frightful Friends Zones, houses, attraction overlays, and what attractions and dining will be open during the party.

On Main Street, or should I say, Mean Street, Town Square hosts scheduled meet and greets with Jack Skellington and Sally, Oogie Boogie, Cruella de Vil, Vampirina and the Lonesome Ghosts. In Elias Park, Mickey and the gang meet guests, dressed in their finest Halloween costumes. Not only that, Mean Street is where the grim grinning ghosts of the Haunted Mansion come out to socialize! These ghosts have been “let out” to experience the Halloween Spooktacular for themselves. Though, of course, the Ghost Host has only let them out with the intention of “recruiting” the 1,000th member of their swinging wake, so naturally, expect to receive a pamphlet advertising the “active” retirement community inside Gracey Manor... As they say in Halloween Town, “life’s no fun without a good scare,” so be prepared for a startling encounter with one or more of these silly spooks.

  • What’s Open on Main Street
    • Attractions: Discovery Arcade (which also features its own Treat Trail), Main Street Cinema​
    • Dining: Main Street Confectionery, Casey’s Corner, Main Street Bakery, Plaza Ice Cream Parlor​

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In Adventureland, the Forgotten Kingdom seems a bit more...barren than usual. A terrible curse has swept across the jungle, and you are about to be caught in the crossfire. The vines and moss claim it back into the jungle. Mist machines are everywhere, making it nigh impossible to see beyond a few buildings. Strange chanting can be here in the distance. The Jungle Terror Cruise gives guests a glimpse at the darker side of the jungle, with jumpscares and other mysterious events. Welcome to the Forsaken Kingdom.

A once-hidden pathway nearby the Temple of the Forbidden Eye gives us a hint to what is causing this curse. We are tasked with venturing through the jungle on our own on the Indiana Jones Jungle Trek. This new scare maze sees us run into the various villains of the Indiana Jones franchise, from Thugees to a Nazi Tank, before running into the ancient chaos god that has placed the Forsaken Kingdom under its hypnotic spell.

But never fear: There are less scary things to do here. The center and entrance to Adventureland are treated as “safe zones” – i;e areas that did not get infected by the chaos god’s curse. The Enchanted Tiki Room hosts a tropical Treat Trail. On the outskirts of town, the characters from Disney’s three “jungle” films meet guests, joined by their stories’ respective villain. Clayton joins Tarzan, Jane and Terk; Shenzi, Banzai and Ed join the gang from The Lion King, while the Legend of the Lion King theater becomes another Treat Trail, complete with Simba and Nala meeting guests at the end of the Trail. (And yes, gummy bugs and gummy worms are the main treats handed out here!) A puppet of Kaa joins Mowgli, Baloo and King Louie nearby Colonel Hathi’s. Over at the Adventureland Bazaar, Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie, Abu and Jafar continue to meet guests.

And at Caribbean Plaza, pirates take over the land! Throughout the night, you’ll be able to interact with the various characters from the Pirates of the Caribbean films: Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Joshamee Gibbs, Hector Barbossa, Tia Dalma, Davy Jones, Angelica, Philip Swift and Syrena. This corner of Adventureland plays host to a most unique Frightful Friends Zone: Curse of Smuggler’s Cove. Surrounding the area, both the cursed crew of the Black Pearl, and Davy Jones’ crew of the Flying Dutchman, roam the bridges and caverns of the plaza. A very immersive and spooky atmosphere, and maybe even an artificial fog is used to make the area look even more haunting and foreboding. And of course, there be booty aplenty at the Tortuga Treat Trail at El Pirata y El Perico!

  • What’s Open in Adventureland
    • Attractions: Swiss Family Treehouse, Jungle Terror Cruise, Indiana Jones Adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean​
    • Dining: Sunshine Tree Terrace, Aloha Isle​

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Let’s move on to Frontierland, which intermixes several American-based hauntings. First up, the Liberty Belle Riverboat plays host to Mama Odie’s River Cruise, turning it into an outdoor dark ride of sorts, depicting scenery from The Princess and the Frog. Mama Odie narrates the story from the riverboat’s intercom. Dr. Facilier’s “friends on the other side” fly across the walls of Thunder Mesa and Columbia Gorge. Mama Odie’s boathouse/treehouse still stands atop the mountain of Tiana’s Bayou Jubilee, with fireflies glowing within the branches at night. An animatronic of Louis bobs up and down in the river, playing jazzy tunes. The frog catchers are nearby in their boat. And one may even glimpse Tiana and Naveen in their frog forms on the small islands in the river. Of course, Bayou Country also plays host to the Friends from the Other Side Frightful Friends Zone. Tiana, Naveen, Louis, Mama Odie and Dr. Facilier all make appearances here.

In Thunder Ridge, Dia de los Muertos is celebrated as Pecos Bill Café temporarily gets a Coco overlay. Of course, during the party, you can meet Miguel, Héctor, Imelda and even that treacherous Ernesto de la Cruz! Mirabel, Bruno and the rest of the Madrigals can be found on the border between Adventureland and Frontierland. During Halloween, the Diamond Horseshoe plays host to Ghosts of the Old West, featuring the cast taking on the personas of a line-up of icons from the American Frontier and folklore. These include Davy Crockett, Pecos Bill, Zorro, Captain Stormalong, Paul Bunyan, and John Henry. Goofy also shows up as Rip Van Winkle. The land also has street entertainment from the Dapper Dans…or, should I say, the Cadaver Dans, who appear throughout Thunder Ridge in the guise of zombie cowpoke.


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Frontierland also has its own haunted house: Beyond the Frontierland railroad station and behind Thunder Mesa, you’ll find signs and posters, welcoming guests to Gravity Falls. This haunted house begins – where else? – at the Mystery Shack. Through the shop guests go, which is filled with many visual gags and references to the series. Bill Cipher has returned, causing reality to go a bit warped, and various monsters will jump guests in the corridors as they venture through the shop. The distortions in reality have caused various locations from the show to blur together. Dipper, Mabel, Gruncle Stan, Soos, Wendy, and others appear to aid guests on their way. In the final scenes, things go really crazy as Bill distorts the world, with the use of forced perspective and special effects to create some spooky illusions. There is also a meet ‘n’ greet area where guests can meet Dipper, Mabel, Gruncle Stan, Wendy and Soos.

Treat Trails can be found at Country Bear Jamboree, nearby Thunder Mesa, at the Tom Sawyer Island dock and nearby Tiana’s Supplies and Sweets.

  • What’s Open in Frontierland
    • Attractions: Country Bear Halloween Hootenanny, Thunder Mesa Railroad, Beaver Brothers Rafting Co., Western River Expedition, Liberty Belle Riverboat, Tiana’s Bayou Jubilee​
    • Dining: The Diamond Horseshoe, Mile Long Bar, Pecos Bill Café, Friendly Firefly Restaurant​
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge gets in on the spirit by having the First Order increase their pursuit of the Resistance on Batuu. Any and all members of the Resistance must increase their stealth as Stormtroopers, the Special Forces, and even Kylo Ren himself, patrol the streets, eager to snuff out the Resistance once and for all!
  • What’s Open in Galaxy’s Edge
    • Attractions: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run​
    • Dining: Oga’s Cantina​

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In Liberty Square, characters dressed in colonial-era dress wander the streets, telling tales of the Sanderson Sisters, and the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. Naturally, one can even meet the Sanderson Sisters, as well as Ichabod Crane, Katrina van Tassel and Brom Bones. The Columbia Harbour House hosts a Treat Trail.



Of course, The Haunted Mansion plays a huge part in Walt Disney World’s Halloween celebrations. On this most spooky time of year, the ghosts come out of the mansion and socialize with us living folk. While the other ghosts haunt Main Street, here in Liberty Square, we humble living folk can at last meet the Hitchhiking Ghosts, the Hatbox Ghost, Madame Leota as she appeared in life (albeit with a choker around her neck to keep her head from falling off), the Tightrope Girl and even the Ballroom Dancers, who host a Creepy Cotillion! We can also meet constantly-petrified caretaker Silas Crump and his gravedigging friend, and seek solace in Ambrose and Emily, at last reunited. These two enjoy Halloween, and are more than willing to meet with all guests.
  • What’s Open in Liberty Square
    • Attractions: Ichabod Crane’s Midnight Escape, The Haunted Mansion​
    • Dining: Sleepy Hollow​

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Fantasyland essentially becomes a giant Frightful Friends Zone, with the Disney Villains given free reign of the land. We can meet the villains of many of the stories told in Fantasyland – and yes, the heroes, as well – and get the chance to make a little mischief and magic ourselves. In Storybook Village and the Enchanted Forest, the usual Disney characters are out and about, as are the villains of the stories represented therein: Cinderella’s stepfamily, Madam Mim, Maleficent, Frollo, Hans, Ursula, the Witch, Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, Mother Gothel and Gaston. Over at Pinocchio Village Haus, Honest John and Gideon are seen trying to mess with Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket, and it’s fortunate that the Blue Fairy is also there to ward them off! At The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Pooh and his friends are wearing their Halloween costumes, and there’s even a special Treat Trail where projections and costumed characters make it look like Heffalumps and Woozles are after your candy!

In the Gardens of Imagination, the denizens of Wonderland are getting in on the fun, and the foliage surrounding the Mad Tea Party and the Alice in Wonderland ride get decked out to further reflect Wonderland. At Dumbo’s Circus, Sid can be found at Carnival Corral, while the tent that houses Pete’s Silly Sideshow becomes the home of Fantasyland’s haunted house: Pink Elephants on Parade.


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Designed by Hyzenthlay-Rose on DeviantArt



Within the walls of the tent is a walk-through designed to stimulate the senses, and provide a trippier kind of scare. Taking a page from what @DashHaber laid out for a possible MK Horror Nights equivalent, the Pink Elephants are brought to life via “cut-outs, statues, or even very basic animatronics in certain cases for showcasing characters”; and the walk-through itself is designed to “play more with atmosphere to give a chill, and use some effects for mild scares.” In fact, the very concept itself comes direct from DashHaber! Ah, but if you don’t want to go in to the tent itself, four costumed Pink Elephants (utilizing the same costumes from the former Viva Magic show Tokyo Disneyland) can be found wandering throughout Dumbo’s Circus, getting into gentle mischief with guests.

Other Treat Trails can be found in many places: Pinocchio Village Haus, Ariel’s Grotto, Belle’s Village, the Walt Disney World Railroad station, and a special one in Wonderland!

  • What’s Open in Fantasyland
    • Attractions: Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel, Mary Poppins’ Jolly Holiday, Frozen Ever After, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, A Tangled Tale, Peter Pan’s Pirate Adventure, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mickey’s Madcap Circus, Toy Story Midway Mania!, Mad Tea Party, Alice in Wonderland, “it’s a small world”​
    • Dining: Storybook Treats, The Friar’s Nook, Arendelle Treats, Big Top Treats​

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Hollywoodland becomes stuck on Halloween 1939, the night tragedy struck the Hollywood Tower Hotel. The mood is unnerving and rigid, as if everything is stuck in a time loop. The land gets its own haunted house by converting The Great Movie Ride into Haunted Hollywoodland. Here, guests get to walk through the ride, passing by the unmoving animatronics and getting some up close and personal encounters with some notorious film villains. The gangster scene gets even more dramatic with you caught in the crossfire (no real bullets, just really convincing sound effects). The Wicked Witch of the West can easily come and directly confront you.

Treat Trails are found inside Disney Animation, at the Gag Factory and inside Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop.

  • What’s Open in Hollywoodland
    • Attractions: Jim Henson’s Muppet*Vision 3D, Roger Rabbit’s Runaway Trolley, Tower of Terror​
    • Dining: Fifer, Fiddler and Practical Café, The Great Gonzo’s Pandemonium Pizza Parlor​

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Tomorrowland becomes the home of Tomorrowland: INVASION! The story here is that the Alien from Alien Encounter has escaped the Convention Center and is spreading chaos throughout Tomorrowland. Cast Members get in on the fun by having their clothes and make-up reflect the fact that they may have been the victim of an attack. Of course, with an attraction as utterly nightmare-inducing, pants-browning, all-around horrifying as The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, Tomorrowland doesn’t need a haunted house!

Far more family-friendly, the area near Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is turned into Jumba’s Experiment Encounter, where guests can meet Stitch and his numerous cousins, along with Lilo, Jumba and Pleakley; and Cosmic Ray’s serves as the host of the Monsters, Inc. Boo Bash, a dance party featuring appearances from Mike, Sulley, Boo, Celia and George Sanderson. Meanwhile, Stark Expo becomes the home of some of Marvel’s most well-known villains, including Agatha Harkness, Taskmaster, Hela, Death Dealer and Mysterio.

Treat Trails are found at the Carousel of Progress, Cosmic Ray’s and in the lobby of The Mysterious Galaxy.

  • What’s Open in Tomorrowland
    • Attractions: Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy, The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Avengers United, Astro Orbiter, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover​
    • Dining: Pan-Galactic Pizza Port, Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, The Lunching Pad

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Special entertainment during the night includes the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, two runs of Mickey’s Boo to You Halloween Parade (heralded by a pre-parade ride of the Headless Horseman), performances from the Silver Lake Sisters inside the Hollywood Tower Hotel lobby, as well as Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular, a special fireworks show. The story involves the Pumpkin King himself, Jack Skellington (brought to life as a towering puppet), who transports Mickey and the gang into a haunted house filled with silly skeletons, vile villains and all sorts of other tricks and treats.

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And thus concludes our "spook-tacular" look at how Mirror Walt Disney World celebrates Halloween! This was a lot of fun to put together and I hope you all enjoyed it! It was definitely a treat, not so much a trick! Now, the biggest inspirations for this Halloween post came from five different sources: @MANEATINGWREATH and his 2019 version of Mirror Disneyland, the thread of which ended with a look at how Halloween is celebrated therein, and likewise, the main meat of Jungle Terror Cruise came from a brief description in one of his Dream Disney Resort threads; @Outbound and his Undead Disneyland; @Evilgidgit and the Halloween Spooktacular he devised for the One Little Spark Competition in 2018; @D Hulk and his post about how DisneySky celebrates Halloween; and, as previously mentioned, @DashHaber, who came up with the Pink Elephants haunted house.

Now, where we last left off on our tour of the Magic Kingdom, we had just finished Liberty Square. So, that means the next land we shall visit is my favorite of all lands in the Magic Kingdom: Fantasyland! I'm so excited to explore this land with you all that I will devote the first three days of November entirely to Fantasyland. Four separate sub-areas spread across three days. So, come and join me tomorrow for the start of our sojourn through Fantasyland! See you then!
 
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DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And now, let us begin our tour of Fantasyland.

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Fantasyland

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Make a wish...you’re about to enter a world where classic Disney stories leap off the screen and come to life like never before. Here is a land where elephants fly, teacups dance and every corner holds a bit of the magic of dreams come true. If the Magic Kingdom has a heart, it is surely here. Fantasyland was always portrayed as Walt’s favorite, although much like children, no doubt he’d be hard pressed to pick a favored land in his Park. Fantasyland, however, was the realm of his already-famous and most-beloved canon and characters, a world inspired by his vast animated catalogue, a land that Snow White, Peter Pan, Pinocchio and Alice might call home. Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald were also perfectly at home in the regal fairy tale and comfy storybook settings, created for this new entertainment experience by many of the same men and women who had brought them to the movie screen.

The impressive Cinderella Castle transports us from the classic Americana of Main Street, U.S.A. and into the age-old pages of a childhood storybook. Here, magnificent mosaics, golden spires, lavish tapestries, imposing gargoyles, and ornate latticework compose a symphonic atmosphere reminiscent of the grandeur and romance of the Renaissance. Cinderella Castle truly represents a bygone era: a time where princes and princesses reigned, a time when dragons roared and knights sought to intercede them, a time when fairy-tale fantasy lived in a world rich in magic... This world, of course, is represented beyond the castle walls in the happiest kingdom of all, Fantasyland.

As we cross over the stone bridge and through its towering portico, we are “welcomed” by a never-ending loop of some of Disney’s classic fairy-tale romance songs: “When You Wish Upon a Star”, “Once Upon a Dream”, “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and “Someday My Prince Will Come.” The sheer size and magnificence of Cinderella Castle is fully realized once inside the castle’s lavish interior, laden with decor reminiscent of the medieval era; vivid tapestries, stone statues and fine-glass windows. The most notable feature of the castle’s interior is a series of mosaic murals, re-telling the story of Cinderella through over 30,000 individual glass tiles, their colors flecked with real gold. The scenes speak of romance, magic, and beautiful dreams all come true.

The King’s Gallery resides on the first floor of the castle. Within this gallery, decorated with high beamed ceilings and medieval flags, we can peruse a royal vault’s worth of kingly riches: swords, shields, artwork, jewelry, collectibles and even specialty chess sets. Plus, the King’s Gallery is the Floridian equivalent to Disneyland’s Castle Heraldry Shoppe; in that we can investigate the history of our family name and crest, and subsequently order an item with the crest on it. Across the way from the King’s Gallery, we climb an elegant spiral stairwell to the second floor, playful gargoyles and the light of dim sconces beckoning for us to climb toward whatever mysteries and magic may preside above.


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Soaring archways and cathedral ceilings create a dramatic atmosphere for Cinderella’s Royal Table, a fantastical feast for the eyes and taste buds. As the story goes, Cinderella is holding a banquet in honor of the world’s best-loved Disney Princesses, and we are invited. As such, we dine in splendor as Disney’s iconic princesses mingle, give autographs and pose for pictures. Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Aurora, and Ariel are just a few of the familiar guests in attendance. Authentic medieval tapestries and acquired artifacts adorn the lavish dining room, whilst flags and shields bearing the namesake of many a medieval nation hang proudly above us.

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A secret elevator up to the third floor, hidden by a perpetually-closed door within the castle foyer, takes us to the closed-off residence of the Cinderella Castle Suite, an in-park hotel suite if you will. Only reserved for those of us with special circumstances (or taking a guided tour of the park), the Cinderella Castle Suite is an immersive gem hidden within the castle walls, a luxurious penthouse suite of fantastical proportions. With a master bedroom, jacuzzi-tub, and stunning view of Fantasyland, the Cinderella Castle Suite is truly and quite literally the suite of our dreams.



Heading back downstairs, we pass through the northernmost-facing portico of Cinderella Castle and step into Storybook Village, a quaint little village displaying what life in the Dark Ages might have been like were it to clash with the color and whimsy of Toontown. Architecture of Bavarian, Dutch, Swiss, and Tudor origin craft the town. Minstrel-style, “bardcore” arrangements of classic Disney tunes fill the air, creating a sense of medieval trade and fellowship. Beloved Disney characters roam the streets, eager to meet with guests, thus truly making Fantasyland the land where characters live. Though the characters found throughout Fantasyland have specific meet ‘n’ greet locations, don’t be surprised to see them wandering about, taking full advantage of the “roaming character” concept.

For reasons of budget, schedule and creative intent, when the Magic Kingdom first opened in 1971, the initial décor for the Fantasyland courtyard was that of a simple medieval tournament, with brightly colored (sheet metal) awnings, tents and banners. And as the years went by, the “Old” Fantasyland clearly displayed its wear and tear, especially when compared to what had been opening in the park since the 1990s. Because of this, in 1994, the “Old” Fantasyland area was remodeled inside and out, and new exteriors reflecting the locale and era of the attractions were built. Now, when you step into Fantasyland, you’ll find yourself in a European-themed setting. Cobblestone pathways and lush, colorful foliage reminiscent of the Black Forest put the finishing touches to Fantasyland’s Storybook Village. Each attraction today sports a detailed, three-dimensional facade, while technological advances and stunning special effects combine for truly memorable fantasy adventures. And that was just the beginning: in 1996, a garden grew, throughout the 2000s, a forest flourished, and in 2012, the circus came to town.

Today, Fantasyland features four sections to it: Storybook Village, Enchanted Forest, Dumbo’s Circus and Gardens of Imagination. Fantasyland will always be a magical land of make-believe, where dreams really do come true.


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One of the original Opening Day attractions at the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel is nestled in the idyllic heart of Fantasyland, a nod to the inspiration for Walt’s Disneyland, the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round. Held underneath a vibrant medieval tent, inspired by the medieval tournaments of yore, sculpted greenery and vibrant flowers set the stage for a cavalry of wood-carved horses and gleaming carriages. Upon the wooden canopy, eighteen painted stills depict scenes from Cinderella. As an old-fashioned calliope plays, we parade up and down atop our horses, getting unique views of the wonders that are awaiting us here in Fantasyland. Oh, and by the way, Cinderella’s horse is among the team of horses. Just look for the one with the gold ribbon around its tail!

Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel and most of its horses date back more than 100 years. It was originally handcrafted by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1917 for Belle Isle Park in Detroit, Michigan, and eventually found its way to Olympic Park in Irvington, New Jersey. Olympic Park closed in 1965, and most of the park’s attractions and paraphernalia was either destroyed or sold off. The Walt Disney Company purchased the carousel in 1967, saving it from the jaws of destruction.

Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel sets an impressive backdrop for the final resting place of the Sword in the Stone itself, Excalibur, the legendary blade of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. In its base reads: “WHOSO PULLETH OUT THIS SWORD OF THIS STONE AND ANVIL IS RIGHTWISE RULER BORN OF ENGLAND.” The wise Merlin hosts the daily Sword in the Stone Ceremony, where a would-be King or Queen of England is chosen in the absence of King Arthur (reportedly visiting Bermuda) to draw Excalibur from its sheath. Only one true hero will prevail in an often humorous celebration of magic and royalty.


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Throughout Storybook Village, some of Disney’s most beloved stories are re-told. To the right of the carousel is a building straight out of Medieval France, particularly the Old Town of Bordeaux. It seems only natural that this building plays host to Sleeping Beauty’s Spell. One thing that should be noted about the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland is its choice of dark rides. The three original dark rides were chosen to serve as analogues to their Floridian counterpart. For example, Sleeping Beauty’s Spell is meant to be the Floridian counterpart to Snow White’s Enchanted Wish at Disneyland.

Once inside the queue, depictions of the rolling hills and fields of the forest, with the Fairies’ woodland hut and King Stefan’s castle in the distance, prelude the beauty, grandeur and magic of Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. This elaborate, three-dimensional diorama was created by Claude Coats, who would later go on to create the famous diorama for Snow White’s Enchanted Wish at Disneyland in 1983. As Disney Legend Marty Sklar recalled, “Claude paved the way in turning sketches and paintings into three-dimensional adventures.” Coats’ work for Sleeping Beauty’s Spell is certainly no exception.

From this loading area, we then board a crystal ride vehicle – in either red, green or blue; after the Three Good Fairies, of course – and set off for an adventure through some of the story’s most famous moments, both light and dark. The attraction pays strict attention to detail, making sure Eyvind Earle’s legendary artwork comes to three-dimensional life. Likewise, it features three-dimensional displays, stunning animatronics, sound and incredible special effects, especially in the climactic battle between Prince Phillip and Maleficent, who has transformed into a fire-breathing dragon! Fortunately, all ends well for our heroes, as Aurora is awakened and receives her “happily ever after.”

Heading towards the Enchanted Forest from Sleeping Beauty’s Spell, we have two counter-service areas. First is The Friar’s Nook, a counter-service spot so named as a dual play-on-words: firstly, it is owned and operated by Friar Tuck, the kindly badger from Robin Hood; and second, it specializes in fried food: French fries, chicken strips, fish sticks, mozzarella sticks, fried zucchini and onion rings, all served with one of seven delicious dipping sauces. For those who don’t wish to enjoy fried foods, sandwiches and macaroni and cheese are offered, as well. And although the Friar has a few special desserts on hand – apple slices with caramel dipping sauce and a few varieties of pie – right next door is Storybook Treats, which offers some of the sweetest ice-cream treats in all the Kingdom.


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Heading back towards the castle from Sleeping Beauty’s Spell, a giant beanstalk can be seen stretching towards the heavens, growing from the top of a thatched-roof cottage; the same cottage that served as the homestead of three certain poor farmers... This homestead serves as the home of Sir Mickey’s, a shop themed around the classic featurette Mickey and the Beanstalk. The shop specializes in toys, plushes, clothing and accessories. The beanstalk’s roots can be found spreading all throughout the ceiling of the store, and along the walls, with Mickey Mouse himself seen standing on one of the roots. You can even see a statue of the Golden Harp standing proudly in the center of the shop – naturally, the real one is back in Happy Valley, casting her spell of prosperity and joy – and Willie the Giant peeking through the walls!

Next door, held within an elaborate building, almost an extension of Cinderella Castle, is The Wishing Well, a charming boutique honoring Disney’s first princess, Snow White – complete with an interior garden and yes, a wishing well. The shop sells princess gowns, tiaras, playsets, and postcards. But don’t expect to find the “fairest one of all” here. She tends to be within the Enchanted Forest (more on that later). Just outside these two shops, a path leads down past the castle, past a small forest, and towards Cinderella’s Wishing Well. Much like with La Fuente de la Fortuna in Adventureland, all the coins tossed in the well are donated to children’s charities all over the world. The path continues on, reaching the second Fantasyland entrance from Central Plaza.

Now, on the other side of the carousel, we first come across the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. In this enchanted chamber inhabited by chattering mice and whistling bluebirds, children of all ages are allowed the chance to magically transform into his or her own favorite Disney character (mostly princesses), a dream come true for many a youngster. Built within the walls of the Boutique is La Fontaine de Cendrillon. Small yet beautiful, this fountain features a bronze sculpture of Cinderella. And if you look at it just right, you’ll notice that the crown in the mural behind the sculpture is positioned right on the sculpture’s head. The path continues to Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square.

In 1971, one of the Magic Kingdom’s signature new attractions was The Mickey Mouse Revue, an animatronic stage show featuring a host of beloved Disney characters singing their most famous songs. The show was a bona fide success, but had a relatively short run, running only nine years in Florida before moving to Tokyo Disneyland. What to do now? Well, the theater sat dormant for a few years, but in 1987, something wicked this way came…


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Following its tremendous success in Tokyo, and its equally-successful opening at the original Disneyland in California, it was decided to bring the Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour over to Florida. However, since the area beneath the castle was home to the Utilidor system, the attraction was put into the space that once held The Mickey Mouse Revue and received a new name: The Realm of Mystery. In The Realm of Mystery, guests found themselves sucked into the Magic Mirror, into the realm of the dreaded Disney Villains. We face off against the likes of the Evil Queen, Maleficent and Chernabog, before finally facing the Horned King himself. Fortunately, good triumphs over evil as a child is chosen to use a magic sword to defeat the Horned King before he can sic his undead army on the world.

However, as the years wore on and The Black Cauldron gradually faded further and further away into obscurity, The Realm of Mystery started to suffer for it. Barely a decade had gone by, and The Realm of Mystery was no more, closing in 1995 to be replaced with a new attraction…


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The former Gothic Bavarian tones of The Realm of Mystery have turned into kind, welcoming architecture that wouldn’t feel out of place in 19th-century Paris. The building is festooned with streamers and banners, as if prepared for a jubilant celebration of sorts. From within this building, we can hear the warm music and unmistakable laughter of a celebratory feast... Perhaps a feast of fools?

Indeed, we have discovered the entrance to the world’s first dark ride themed to Victor Hugo’s classic novel and Disney’s 1996 animated film. In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, we climb aboard a gargoyle for an unforgettable retelling of Quasimodo’s inspired tale. We soar through the ancient arches, hulking bells and towering pillars of Notre Dame Cathedral. We sail through the color and mayhem of the Feast of Fools. We fight alongside Quasimodo and Esmerelda as the sinister Claude Frollo gives chase through a sea of molten lead. The ride makes use of some of Disney’s finest animatronics to date, detailed sets, all sorts of nifty practical effects – including fire – and of course, Alan Menken’s iconic score to make for a ride that is visceral and emotional, while still bringing to life some of the story’s most iconic moments. Naturally, for character experiences, one can meet Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Phoebus and Clopin outside the attraction’s entrance.


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The stately English home of the Banks Family at No. 17, Cherry Tree Lane is intertwined with a soaring “Big Ben” and the patchwork “rooftops” of London. Among the rooftops are the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the iconic roof-turned-ship of Admiral Boom (and yes, a cannon fires every day to mark the time, at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.). Even when Storybook Village’s exteriors were mostly tournament tents, this was the lone exception. Stepping aboard a miniature carousel, our horse jumps off the platform and into one of Bert’s chalk drawings, allowing us to set off on Mary Poppins’ Jolly Holiday. Serving as the Floridian counterpart to Peter Pan’s Flight, and being the first of many wonderful attractions to come from Tony Baxter, Mary Poppins’ Jolly Holiday brings to life some of the film’s most beloved moments. We begin with finding Mary Poppins and Bert enjoying their “jolly holiday”, then pass by singing barn animals, beautiful forests and dancing penguins, before unintentionally finding ourselves on a racehorse track. Somehow, we win the horse-race and celebrate with Mary Poppins, Bert and the Pearly Band to the tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” An unexpected thunderstorm brings us to the rooftops of London, where we “step in time” with the chimney sweeps, and finally into a flock of soaring kites on a brilliant, windy day. Naturally, Mary Poppins and Bert are normally seen around Fantasyland, occasionally joined by the Penguins.

Ah, but the Mary Poppins fun doesn’t end there. The Pearly Band can often be seen roaming through Storybook Village. Marked by their pearl-covered clothes, the band performs their unique arrangements of classic Disney songs; and they even do a special show in the castle forecourt, performing the classic songs from Mary Poppins alongside the “practically perfect” nanny and her chimney sweep friend. And throughout the day, Streetmosphere performers are found among the grounds and outdoor loading area of the attraction, interacting with each other and with guests. Expect to see familiar faces as Constable Jones, Admiral Boom and Mr. Binnacle, Mrs. Corry, who sells gingerbread stars and words, and even Jack the Lamplighter from Mary Poppins Returns, who really does light the lamps surrounding the attraction when night falls.


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A few feet away from Mary Poppins’ Jolly Holiday is a small, yet nonetheless beautiful, garden. If you enter Fantasyland from Liberty Square, this is where you’ll find yourself. And within this garden is a beautiful chateau, which serves as the home of Princess Fairytale Hall, a meet ‘n’ greet space that allows one and all a visit with the world’s most beloved royalty: the Disney Princesses. Within the walls of the Fairytale Hall, guests of all ages are hereby invited to rub elbows with the likes of Cinderella, Anna, Elsa, Aurora, and Elena of Avalor, joined on occasions of inclement weather by Snow White and Merida, who mainly roam the streets of Fantasyland.

The queue for the experience takes guests through the garden. A large willow tree stands at the entrance of the garden. From within the tree, dangling from the branches, are various strings of lighting up multicolored orbs that are simply fantastical. A wrought iron gate encompasses the entrances. Signs direct guests into one of two queues. One queue allows guests to meet Cinderella and Elena, while another queue allows for guests to meet Anna and Elsa and Aurora. Regardless of which queue is chosen the majority of the standby lines go through the same area. The queues meander throughout an outdoor garden made up beautifully curated flower beds, hedges, bushes, trees, and a central pond with water lilies and a small fountain.

Eventually, we reach the chateau, reminiscent of Disneyland Paris’ Auberge de Cendrillon, complete with a replica of Cinderella’s pumpkin coach within the entrance courtyard. Upon entering, we find ourselves in a portrait gallery with a series of switchbacks leading down a hallway where the queues finally separate to lead off to the two separate areas. Each princess receives visitors in her own special nook amidst magnificent surroundings and resplendent décor.

In 1994, “it’s a small world” closed in its old location to prepare for a move to a new location on the other side of Fantasyland, thus opening up a great deal of space for new attractions, and clearing up that notorious bottleneck that stood in Fantasyland for nearly 25 years. Originally, there was only one new attraction that opened on the new space, but as the 2010s went on, the Imagineers decided to build a new one, so that the attraction would be flanked on both sides. The eastern side had long since been filled in…but what of the western side?




Frozen became a cultural phenomenon after its global release on November 22, 2013. The film dethroned The Lion King as the highest grossing animated film of all time, and became a de-facto fairytale of the 2010s, instantly cemented as a classic forever on par with The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. The stunning score, storyline, and gorgeous animation made Frozen a timeless film, quickly spawning a number of spin-offs, shorts and a sequel in 2019. It was inevitable that an attraction based on the film would soon follow.

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Fresh-cut Scandinavian timber, roofs topped with snow and regal stone mark the entrance to Frozen Ever After. Stepping inside, a proclamation is embedded on a center post:

“Hear ye! Hear ye! One and all are cordially invited to a Summer Snow Day Celebration at the Ice Palace, in honor of the day Princess Anna saved her sister, Queen Elsa, with an unselfish act of true love.”

As we pass through the switchbacks, we see the distant harbor of Arendelle at night, viewed from the elevation of one of the hills surrounding the kingdom. Look closely, and you can see lanterns flickering in the town’s windows. Right on cue, a sled glides up to the loading dock, a fitted transport into the world of ice and snow. A supernatural, frozen grotto seems magical in its own right, never mind the appearance of Olaf, an Audio-Animatronics figure among the new generation of Disney’s advanced Audio-Animatronics figures. The incredible figure blinks, gestures, walks, jumps and sings.

“Do you wanna build a snowman? Come on, let’s go and play! Elsa wants to give us all some fun, she’s making everyone a snowy summer day!”

Leaving Olaf behind, we set off for Elsa’s ice palace in the North Mountain. Along the way, we come across various characters from the movie and other wintry creatures. The path leads us past the Valley of the Living Rock, the home of the Trolls. We see timber wolves howling at the Aurora Borealis. We pass through Kristoff and Sven’s barn. At last, we emerge in the icy blue world of Queen Elsa’s enchanted ice palace. Anna is there to welcome us, of course. In an elaborate show scene combining projections, animatronics and special effects, Elsa works her magic to the tune of “Let It Go”, conjuring snow to fall from the twinkling heavens above in a glorious finale.

Nearby the ride’s exit, Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post (and Sauna) welcomes us so-called “weary travelers” to its year-round “Big Summer Blowout!” The friendly “Wandering” Oaken sells any and all things Frozen, including fresh carrot-snacks and winter-wear exclusive to the Fantasyland mercantile. Oaken’s sauna hisses and trembles from the excess of steam within, often accommodated by a chorus of friendly “Yoohoos!”

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Across the street from Frozen Ever After, beneath towering steeples and chimneys, wrought-iron weathervanes and swaying roofs, we find the entrance to a most fanciful restaurant. What Fantasyland would be complete without the inclusion of the Pinocchio Village Haus? All real boys and girls can feast upon Italian favorites in this quaint cottage. Italian cheeses, panini sandwiches, seafood, pastas and stone-cooked pizzas are just a few of the available selections. Aside from lavish murals harkening to Walt Disney’s classic Pinocchio, large windows provide ample viewing of the streets of Fantasyland.

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It seems only fitting that Geppetto’s Toy Shoppe, an exact replica of the shop seen in the 1940 classic, sit right next door. Every child’s dream come true, Geppetto’s is a must-see for toy collectors and world-travelers alike, a cozy collection of international trinkets and treasures. Stocking the shelves are hand-carved marionettes, nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, toys, music boxes and dolls and other handmade tin and woodcraft toys traditional to Central and Southern European cultures and styles; in addition to candies, puzzles, and traditional Disney toys. Figaro the cat can be seen on the shop’s highest windowsill, fast asleep, often awakening for a quick swipe at a nearby “occupied” birdcage. In keeping with the “roaming character” aspect of Fantasyland, the likes of Pinocchio, Geppetto and Jiminy Cricket can be seen here, joined on special occasions by the Blue Fairy.

But the adventures in Storybook Village don’t just take place on land. Frozen and Pinocchio were specifically chosen to be where they are, because Storybook Village also has a harbor within its borders. And here, at the farthest end of the street, ocean bluffs near Frozen Ever After and Geppetto’s Toy Shoppe mark the transition from the mainland to an uncharted isle…


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A lush, sub-tropical lagoon – re-using some of the water from the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea lagoon – churns at the base of an awe-inspiring waterfall, with remnants of a sailing ship strewn along the rocks and shores, and a full shipwreck at the forefront, even featuring a nautical figurehead with a near-exact resemblance to Ariel. A closer glimpse of the shores below reveal that, in addition to a large cluster of purple clamshells, a shimmering fork, or “dinglehopper”, has also washed ashore…

Opposite the shipwreck is the weathered castle of Prince Eric himself. Heading up a small hill, we enter the castle through its right-hand side, roaming the hallways within. One rotunda is graced with mural-like mosaics in depiction of fearsome sea monsters, including one giant octopus that resembles a certain sea witch… At the farthest edge of the castle, we find a passageway leading through the caverns and into another beach, bathed in the light of eternal sunset. This is the loading area for a truly remarkable, song-filled “shell-ebration”: Voyage of the Little Mermaid.


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Aboard a “floating” seashell (utilizing the same ride system as Peter Pan’s Flight), we sail through the fantastic undersea world of Ariel, Sebastian, King Triton, Flounder and Ursula – and all without getting wet! – in a musical adventure awash with scenes from the 1989 animated classic. Utilizing a two-story set-up, with the undersea world on the bottom floor and the surface world on the top floor, we relive all the magic and romance of Ariel’s story, from her gadget-filled grotto to Ursula’s sinister, eel-infested lair. Immersive special effects and hand-drawn animation sequences recreate each unforgettable scene. This classic attraction is a direct, English-language clone of the popular attraction that debuted at Disneyland Paris. In fact, the Magic Kingdom version opened five years after the original Parisian version, in November of 1997, just in time for the film’s theatrical re-release. It’s been quite the popular addition to the park since then, constantly garnering long lines.

Built within the cliffs surrounding the castle, Gadgets & Gizmos is held in an “above-the-surface” recreation of Ariel’s famous grotto, the place where she once yearned to be part of our world, right down to the statue of Prince Eric, long since repaired, and treasures untold strewn along its rocky walls. Naturally, this shop satisfies all our Little Mermaid needs, with gadgets and gizmos aplenty and whose-its and whatsits galore! You want thingamabobs? They’ve got twenty! And so on, and so on, and so on… Ariel’s Grotto itself is in the cave nearby, the all-too-appropriate meet ‘n’ greet location for the Little Mermaid herself.


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And thus, Storybook Village has fully been explored. Come and join me tomorrow as we go "into the woods" to explore the Enchanted Forest!

The idea for this particular iteration of Princess Fairytale Hall came from @tcool123 and their "Alternatively" project. Essentially, this Princess Fairytale Hall is their Glen of Whimsy; and the idea of having Streetmosphere Mary Poppins characters interacting with guests is something borrowed from @kap91's absolutely brilliant Mary Poppins ride concept, which I included specifically as a nod to that particular project. And of course, @MANEATINGWREATH served as inspiration here, as the ideas for The Wishing Well shop and the Hunchback of Notre Dame attraction were from his 2016 Dream Disney Resort thread; and Gadgets & Gizmos was featured in many of his projects, from Dream Disney Resort to Mirror Disneyland.
 
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DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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On the outskirts of Storybook Village, the path opens up to the northeastern point of town, branching out towards the unknown. Waterfalls flowing with magical springwaters mark the entrance to the next section of Fantasyland, a short transition by foot into this mysterious realm. Storybook Village behind us, we find ourselves in the shadow of beautiful, supernatural rock formations. Thundering cascades, shimmering rainbows, and lush foliage accent these mysterious formations designed in the not-so-subtle image of famous Disney characters, like Cinderella, Aladdin, Belle and Peter Pan. At night, the waters and foliage seem to undulate in an ethereal, almost otherworldly light. A short cavern tunnel is formed, linking the two separate formations, while the rockwork and vines stretch just beyond the berm of Storybook Treats, forming a secondary passageway. A magnificent wood awaits on the other side…

Before us sits a massive forest from the pages of a fantasy novel or the reels of Once Upon a Time. This area, of course, is naturally the second sub-area of Fantasyland: the Enchanted Forest. The Enchanted Forest encompasses a key location in almost any major fairy tale: the woods. Tall trees of European origin provide shade from the sun, yet a sturdy hideaway for those wishing to evade the law or the eyes of any given wicked witch. At all times, a mysterious fog rolls across the dirt trail, providing a quaint but exciting sense of mystery amid the fairy tale setting. The very pavement in which we walk upon tells a story – wolf tracks, wheel lines, and dragon claw prints hint at the ongoing stories of the forest. Our ears are met with the orchestral sound of unseen wildlife. At any moment, one might expect a chance encounter with a fearsome dragon, or a fleeting glance at a knight on his valiant steed. Trickling streams and miniature waterfalls roll along the side of the road, while the occasional cottage protrudes from among the tree trunks and treetops. Fiber optic LED lighting embedded in the trees make the entire area seem to sparkle in an array of magic.

The waterfall entrance was set up in 2012. At the start of that year, Dumbo the Flying Elephant flew over Storybook Village for the last time before moving eastward to a new location in Fantasyland. With his presence gone, and with construction on an all-new E-ticket underway, the Imagineers decided to utilize the leftover space to craft a remarkable new entrance to the soon-to-be-opened Enchanted Forest.

Much like Storybook Village, the Enchanted Forest serves as a gateway to further adventures in the realm of fantasy. These adventures start with what lies directly in the middle of the Forest: an age-old mountain; its rocky façade and numerous hills offering a dramatic backdrop for the village and serving as a teaser for things to come beyond its reaches. But what lies inside of this mountain?

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Woodland creatures and bits of mining equipment lead our path into a glittering diamond mine, where a rustic mine train awaits. Zipping around hairpin turns and teetering back and forth along the countryside aboard the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, we crawl deep into a mine shaft where we find the Seven Dwarfs hard at work, whistling and singing while collecting their keep. A wild race from the mountain’s peak to the foot of the mountain takes us behind a waterfall and past the cozy cottage of the Dwarfs, where its cheery occupants dance in merriment, unaware of the spying Wicked Witch. This wild ride was a rather special one, as it was the attraction that finally gave Walt Disney’s first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, its own attraction in the Magic Kingdom – and it only took over 40 years for it to happen! A separate path takes guests in front of the Seven Dwarfs’ Cottage, a perfect place for photo opportunities. In fact, throughout the day, Snow White, Prince Florian and Dopey make meet ‘n greet appearances in front of the cottage.

In the early days of Fantasyland, the land currently held by the Enchanted Forest was once the home of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, an updated take on the famous Submarine Voyage, based more on the classic sci-fi film. Sadly, it closed in 1994, and bit by bit, the lagoon was soon landlocked, in order to build pathways leading to Fantasyland’s various new attractions. The space was soon filled by small, temporary-looking attractions, like the Princess Fantasy Faire meet ‘n’ greet area, which opened in October of 2006, and Pooh’s Playful Spot, a playground inspired by the Winnie the Pooh stories that opened in September of 2005. Then, in January of 2011, Disney announced the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which would, indeed, take up the former space (both Princess Fantasy Faire and Pooh’s Playful Spot closed on April 10, 2010 to accommodate construction), opening on May 28, 2014.

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Now, across the way from the Seven Dwarfs’ mine, you’ll find a highly-themed environment themed around the movie Tangled. Rapunzel’s tower stands proudly in the middle of a rocky cavern, while other nods to the film include various Pascals hidden among the area, Flynn’s satchel, Maximus’ hoof-prints and of course, multiple frying pans. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider themselves often make meet and greet appearances in a wooden gazebo near the cavern. Vines and leaves cover the gazebo to create an extremely relaxing atmosphere. A powerful wooden fan rests on the ceiling, providing a cool breeze on those hot Floridian days.

Built into the walls of this cavern, A Tangled Tale transports us into the exciting world of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, for the very first time in Disney Parks history. Amid the stunning music and vivid settings of Disney’s 50th animated feature, we discover this timeless tale of bold adventure, swashbuckling bravery, dark villainy and fairy-tale romance. Oh, and did I mention that we’re riding inside our very own floating lantern? Naturally, the unfortunate wanted posters for Flynn Rider (all of them with his nose wrong) find their way around and about the trees surrounding the cavern.

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A Tangled Tale, which opened on March 12, 2013, replaced one of the Magic Kingdom’s Opening Day attractions: The Wild Dalmatian Escape, inspired by the 1961 Disney classic One Hundred and One Dalmatians. This attraction, meant to be the stand-in for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, focused on a wild and crazy journey through the London countryside, as we follow the plight of the Dalmatians and their attempts to avoid the notorious Cruella de Vil.

The original plans for the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland involved Ichabod Crane’s Midnight Escape being built here, instead of in the more thematically-appropriate Liberty Square. However, those plans were stopped once the executives thought it would fit better there. Then, Rolly Crump proposed a revolutionary, two-way version of the beloved Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride to replace it. However, since work had already begun on Mary Poppins’ Jolly Holiday and Sleeping Beauty’s Spell, the foot was put down for a Floridian Mr. Toad. No clones of the original Disneyland dark rides. Hence, Wild Dalmatian Escape.

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Heading back towards Storybook Village, a fork-in-the-road leads two ways. Go left, you’re back in Storybook Village. Go right, you continue further into the Enchanted Forest. Giant green mountains, framed by an eternal rainbow, can only mean one thing: we have arrived in Neverland! Yes, unlike other Disneyland-style parks, where guests can merely fly to Neverland, here in the Magic Kingdom, they can actually explore Neverland, in an area that opened on February 5, 2003, 50 years to the day when Walt Disney’s Peter Pan first came to theaters!

On the outskirts of Neverland is a small lagoon, which, like the lagoon surrounding Voyage of the Little Mermaid, reuses some of the water from the 20,000 Leagues lagoon. It is here on this lagoon that we can step aboard The Jolly Roger, Captain Hook’s pirate ship. A gangplank leads up to the deck of the ship. Like the Columbia, this ship is fully explorable. You can turn the ship’s wheel, you can climb up to the crow’s nest, you can even fire the cannons! (Fear not, for these cannons are air cannons. No cannonballs involved here.) And don’t be too surprised to see Peter Pan, Wendy, John, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee on this ship from time to time. They appear all throughout Neverland, causing mischief and making new friends. The ship sits docked within a sandy lagoon amidst steep coral cliffs, tropical settings and the imposing Skull Rock. 39-feet tall, this rock makes an ominous impression on the Neverland range. We can actually step inside this rock for a mysterious adventure. Inside, a network of haunted caves and eerie grottoes echo the fateful “Tiger Lily incident.” Lush waterfalls, slow-rising tides and unfortunate skeletons, still chained to the cavern walls, set the stage for Captain Hook and Peter Pan, eternally locked in combat in an alcove high above. The grinning Tick-Tock Croc hungrily eyes the familiar silhouette of Captain Hook from a pool below, patiently awaiting his “codfish dinner.”

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Across the way from this lagoon, Hangman’s Tree offers a walking tour of the Lost Boys’ hideaway, a six-story treehouse and interactive playground. Hands-on activities and plenty o’ climbing mean spectacular 360° views of Fantasyland as seen from the eye-level of a soaring Peter Pan.

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A cave at the base of the Neverland mountains leads the way for an adventure unlike any other: Peter Pan’s Pirate Adventure. Yes, at long last, a Peter Pan-based dark ride has made its way over to the Magic Kingdom, set to delight a whole new generation of Disney park fans. However, don’t expect this to be your typical Peter Pan’s Flight experience – after all, it would be ridiculous to have a ride about flying to Neverland where the surrounding area is Neverland. Instead, this ride takes an entirely different approach. You see, Captain Hook has kidnapped Wendy’s younger brother, John, and it is up to us to team up with Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys to rescue him! Boarding our own pirate ships, we start by voyaging down the rivers of the jungles of Neverland with the Lost Boys. But then, Tinker Bell uses her pixie dust to make us fly! What follows is a flight through Neverland on an adventure unlike any other! As if you couldn’t tell, this is essentially the ride that will be coming to Tokyo DisneySea in 2024.

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On the outskirts of the Neverland mountains is a towering tree, shimmering in golden light; with an elaborate network of roots and caves at its base. These caves serve as our access point into Pixie Hollow. In this realm, we shrink down to the size of a fairy to meet up with Tinker Bell and her fairy friends: Iridessa, Rosetta, Silvermist, Fawn, Terrence, Vidia and Periwinkle, all of whom rotate on a regular basis. In order to maintain the illusion of shrinking, the plants and flowers seem to grow bigger and bigger as we enter Pixie Hollow, and grow smaller as we head back to Fantasyland.

Just beyond Neverland, heading towards the easternmost part of Fantasyland, the fantastical fauna turns more realistic, like something out of the British countryside. Blending in beautifully with the naturalistic settings of the Enchanted Forest is an old, timbered English farmhouse. A verdant garden takes up residence to the right of the farmhouse, marked by a tall oak with a blue balloon tied to one of its branches. Stepping inside the farmhouse, we pass through its foyer, down a hallway and find ourselves in the room that belongs “to a boy named Christopher Robin.” Of course, his favorite storybook is wide-open, and big enough for us to step through. It is here, inside this book, that we take a magical journey through the imagination of a child; for this English farmhouse is the all-too-appropriate home of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

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Winnie the Pooh has been a popular character ever since A.A. Milne first documented his adventures in 1926, and a Disney favorite ever since Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree premiered in 1966. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, a film compiling his first three featurettes, has since gone on to become one of the most beloved films in Disney’s animated catalogue. With all this in mind, is it any wonder the “willy-nilly, silly old bear” would eventually get his own ride? Now, this was not the first Winnie the Pooh attraction to have opened. The first was the incredible Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, the world's “first trackless dark ride”, which premiered in Tokyo Disneyland on September 4, 2000, and would later be cloned for Disneyland in California in 2003. Ah, but the Magic Kingdom decided to play a different game with their own Winnie the Pooh attraction. The Magic Kingdom utilizes a concept that was first developed for Disneyland Paris, and both parks saw the attraction open in 2006, just in time for Pooh’s 80th anniversary.

Based on the stories of A.A. Milne and the timeless music written by the Sherman Brothers, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh uses a revolutionary three-in-one ride system, taking guests through an aerial dark ride experience, a typical dark ride experience, and a water ride experience all in one incredible adventure. Having meandered through a bramble of oversized pages from a Pooh storybook, we come upon a large, animated map of the Hundred Acre Wood. From aboard the back of a Heffalump Bee – or “Heffa-Bee” for short – we sail through the warm and friendly world of Winnie the Pooh, flying past a blustery day in the Hundred Acre Wood, followed by a chance encounter with a bouncing Tigger back on ground – and yes, our little Heffa-Bee bounces right along with him. As night falls, Heffalumps and Woozles transform our (and Pooh’s) flight of fantasy into a colorful, whirling, twirling nightmare. A freak rainstorm sends our Heffa-Bee into the floodwaters, sailing past our forest friends as they salvage their homes and plunging down a waterfall! But never fear, my friends – our journey ends in a rather sticky happily ever after for Winnie the Pooh as he finally gets to indulge in his favorite treat.

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Leaving the Hundred Acre Wood and coming back to the farmhouse, Hundred Acre Goods is our one-stop shop for all things Pooh. The shop, held within a supplemental cottage (presumably the place where the farmhouse owners sell their wares) is filled to overflowing with charming décor and Winnie the Pooh merchandise from all corners of the wood – in particular rows and rows of stuffed animals and books. There is also a bakery portion of the store, with different sweet Pooh-inspired treats, including the ever-popular “Tigger Tails.” One thing is for sure: at Hundred Acre Goods, the only “bother” here is settling on a purchase!

Appropriately sitting near the farmhouse is Rabbit’s Garden, a farmer’s market offering fresh fruits and veggies, all of which are grown in the garden and utilized in restaurants throughout the Magic Kingdom. In addition to these fresh goodies, pretzels, cookies, apple juice and frozen lemonade are also among Rabbit’s specialties. Of course, Pooh, Rabbit, Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger, Owl, Kanga and Roo all make meet-and-greet appearances at Pooh’s Thoughtful Spot, found in the surrounding hollow.

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In-between Neverland and Christopher Robin’s house, a path leads guests deeper into the Enchanted Forest. The forest starts to change between European nationalities, from British…to French. Unsurprisingly, we have entered Belle’s village from Beauty and the Beast. Beneath the shadow of the Beast’s Castle, which stands tall at a height of 108 feet, we find a world of mystery and romance. Maurice’s Cottage with its whirring gizmos, buzzing contraptions and smoking chimney-stack welcomes us inside for a quick tour of the family’s living space and Maurice’s workshop. Within the workshop, guests can try out some of Maurice’s more recent inventions, with the wood-chopper that helped kick-start the events that led to Belle and the Beast falling in love displayed proudly.

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Across the way from Maurice’s cottage is the “poor provincial town” that Belle and Maurice call home. Here, the cobblestone pavement leads us to the fountain where Belle once sat and read her favorite book, featuring “far-off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise”…little did she know that she would live out that story in more ways than one. This sets the foreground for Gaston’s Tavern, a rough ‘n’ rowdy inn if there ever was one. In this antler-lover’s paradise, a massive portrait of Gaston overlooks the bar from above the fireplace mantle, a slain black bear at his feet. Menu items include turkey legs, pork shanks, jerky snacks, meat pies, drinks (alcoholic or otherwise), hummus, and giant warm cinnamon rolls. But the spécialité de la maison is LeFou’s Brew, a tasteful blend of 100% frozen apple juice with toasted marshmallow and passion fruit/mango foam. Gaston himself has been known to make an appearance or two right outside his tavern, often engaging in push-up contests with men or a game of flirtatious wits with beautiful ladies. In addition, LeFou also shows up, getting into shenanigans with park-goers, while the Bimbettes – Claudette, Laurette and Paulette – spend their time swooning over Gaston or flirting with any other potential suitors.

On the other side of the street are three other shops. First is Bonjour! Village Gifts, a small shop for all our Beauty and the Beast needs. Second is the Village Bookshop. Inspired not only by the bookshop from Beauty and the Beast, but from the bookshop featured in the Playhouse Disney show Sing Me a Story with Belle, this shop sells a vast array of Disney storybooks – particularly books based on the stories told here in Fantasyland. Third is Little Town Traders, the village’s general store.

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Cracked gargoyles and beastly statues point the forested path toward the Beast’s Castle, which, ironically, is wide-open for visitors. Crossing the bridge and stepping inside the mighty castle, the foyer provides access to three distinct areas of the castle. First, to the right, we can become part of the story in The Tale of Beauty and the Beast. In this show, direct from Disneyland Paris, we are invited inside the castle’s Grand Hall to visit the beloved characters from the film. After a prologue in the Portrait Gallery, where we are reminded of what happened that caused the Prince to turn into a Beast, a re-enactment of Belle’s first night in the castle is acted out. Of course, Lumiere and his band of enchanted dishware perform a spectacular rendition of “Be Our Guest.” Then, the mood turns ominous as singing gargoyles warn us of the castle’s temperamental master. Indeed, the Beast is furious to discover strangers in his abode, but Belle stands up to him on our behalf, insisting we are friends. To prove it, Belle brings up a child from the audience to give a rose to the Beast, thus reminding him to love and breaking the spell.

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But that’s not all: To the left, you’ll find the magnificent Be Our Guest Restaurant. Inside this elaborate restaurant, we sit down to a feast of French fare for a quick-service breakfast or lunch, or a fabulous sit-down dinner in one of three dining areas: the Grand Ballroom, the West Wing, or the Castle Gallery, each meticulously designed and crafted for the exquisite “French” diner in all of us. In the Castle Gallery, the center of attention is a giant music box topped with a sculpture of Belle and the Beast in the midst of their iconic waltz. In the West Wing, a destroyed portrait of Prince Adam keeps watch over diners as the petals of the enchanted rose lightly fall from a pedestal below. The baroque Grand Ballroom with its domed ceiling, lavish chandeliers, and snow-laced arches recreate the setting of that iconic waltz we have all come to love. Oh, and don’t forget to try the grey stuff. It’s delicious!

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Heading up the grand staircase, we are led up to the castle’s spacious Library, home of Royal Reception. Not only is this an in-person meet-and-greet, but it also serves as a testing point for an interesting project: interaction with animatronics. As guests wait to meet the book-loving prince and princess, they can have a conversation with Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Chip, and even the Wardrobe. How is this possible? I’m sure some of the tech-savvy members of the forums may recall this animatronic version of the Doorknob from Alice in Wonderland, which was utilized for IPW 2015. The technology used for the Doorknob would be used for the Objects, thus allowing guests to enjoy a conversation with these living animatronics. The performers doing the voices have been specially trained to perfectly mimic the voices of the characters (however, Chip’s dialogue would be pre-recorded and serve only as general reactions and questions for Mrs. Potts), so the experience is even more personal. Of course, meeting the Objects is only the prelude to meeting Princess Belle and Prince Adam themselves. In front of the Library’s grand fireplace is where you’ll be able to find the couple, and they are always eager to share book recommendations or share a dance with you.

On the outskirts of this quaint French village is the entrance to somewhere new and exciting…but we will get back to that in due course.


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The Enchanted Forest has always been my favorite section of Fantasyland, and it was certainly a lot of fun to prepare this new version of it for you. What did you guys think? If you've liked Fantasyland so far, we've still got two more sub-lands to explore, and we shall explore them both tomorrow!

The waterfall entrance and the name Pooh's Thoughtful Spot came from @MANEATINGWREATH's Enchanted Forest, so credit to him on that. The Tangled dark ride was created by Ideal Buildout's own S.W. Wilson back in 2012; and likewise, the name of Peter Pan's Pirate Adventure came from a name featured in an alternate version S.W. Wilson's Hong Kong DisneySea; in which a Moana are stood in place of a Mermaid Lagoon clone.

The Wild Dalmatian Escape was the creation of @AceAstro, @Mickeynerd17, @Sharon&Susan, @ThemeParkPriest, @goofyyukyuk, @Outbound, @Tegan pilots a chicken, @DisneyFan18, @NateD1226 and @PerGron; and they created it for Season 19 of So, You Want to Be an Imagineer? I decided to use it here within the history of MWDW because I loved its unique nature and thought it would perfectly befit a Toad stand-in.
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And now, let us finish our tour of Fantasyland!

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As we head to the easternmost point of Fantasyland, the buzzing of bees within the Hundred Acre Wood and the singing of the Seven Dwarfs inside their mine seem to fade away into the distance, soon replaced by the sounds of an old-fashioned calliope. The smell of popcorn and cotton candy fills the air as our vision is filled with bright colors and vibrant excitement. We have arrived at the third sub-area of Fantasyland: Dumbo’s Circus!

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Themed around Walt Disney’s fourth animated film, Dumbo’s Circus is a nostalgic look back at turn-of-the-century circuses. Don’t be surprised if everything looks temporary, because that’s the point of this area. You have just stepped inside the world of a traveling circus that just set up shop on the outskirts of the Enchanted Forest, just beyond Cinderella Castle. Whereas Storybook Village and the Enchanted Forest are based on European styles, Dumbo’s Circus takes us to an old Midwestern American town known as Carolwood Park. Passing underneath a weathered old marquee, we find ourselves in the heart of Carolwood Park, ready to explore all the wonders the circus has to offer.

The taller trees of the Enchanted Forest transition into a sparkling thoroughfare of striped tents, festive banners, popcorn lighting and “retro” circus posters with classic Disney animated characters, where hot-air balloons soar overhead and searchlights pierce the heavens above. The old-time banners and posters hearken to such fictitious acts and attractions as “The Reluctant Dragon: Fire-Eater” or “Lambert the Sheepish Lion: Man-Eater.” Circus animals have left behind their foot-, hoof-, and pawprints in the pavement; and the elephants seem to have also left behind their peanut shells! Upon entering into the circus grounds, guests are met by Streetmospheric circus Cast Members, such as acrobats, balloon artists, fire-eaters, fortune tellers, organ grinders and baton twirlers. The entire area is a bustling interactive and entertainment ground for streetmosphere and live entertainment. But of course, it wouldn't be fair to not include an entourage of mischievous clowns in Dumbo’s Circus…


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The beloved Giggle Gang creates all the melodramatic and musical mischief required for your yesteryear Victorian circus. The well-rehearsed and well-educated “professionals” have skill and tremendous talent in slapstick violence, bad jokes and puns, humorous dances, and awful – seriously, awful – singing. Gentlemen, be forewarned: the lovely Whinny Horselaugh is always on the hunt for “sugar” from unsuspecting male visitors. Her partners-in-comedy are the head clown, Chuckles Buffoon McMonkeyshine III, and Snort, recognizable by his (removable) tuft of yellow hair; and they are often joined by their “in-tent” house band, the Silly Saxtet. Another clown entertaining here at Storybook Circus is Wowzer, a mime clown who specializes in juggling and balancing acts.

Immediately to our left as we enter, Big Top Souvenirs is our typical “amusement tent” filled to overflowing with merchandise in theme and brand with Dumbo’s Circus. Big Top Treats is also found inside this charming mercantile, a “show kitchen” famous for its cotton candy, caramel apples, shaved ice and other carnival treats.


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Marked by the visage of a large yellow circus tent, Dumbo the Flying Elephant is undoubtedly one of Fantasyland’s biggest stars. Here, we hop atop a Dumbo of our own for a flight around the skies of Fantasyland amid the jubilant sounds of a nearby circus organ. Flying into the sky aboard Dumbo is somewhat of a Disney World initiation ritual for both the young and young at heart. There’s just something miraculously enchanting and entirely timeless about this simple carousel-in-the-sky, reliving that magical moment when Dumbo first discovered his gift of flight. Much of the magic comes from the attraction’s design, which effortlessly turns a “circus” theme into a beautiful and elegantly-designed space. The design of the carousel in use is a piece of art all its own, dropping jaws and inspiring countless passengers to follow their dreams and shoot for the stars, no matter what.

But, this isn’t your everyday flight of fancy. Unlike other versions of the attraction, this version features two sets of rotating elephants moving in opposite directions as they fly through the air high above Fantasyland. This was a development that came with the announcement of Dumbo’s Circus back in 2009. It also helped make construction for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which was announced two years later, all the easier, as the coaster track partially took up the old space. Plus, since Dumbo the Flying Elephant is one of the all-time classics – one of the rides that, without which, no Disneyland-style park would be complete – a second carousel was added so that more people could experience it, thus eliminating the notoriously long lines the original version received. And within the confines of the tent is a circus-themed playground, perfect for those tiny tots who want something to do as they wait for their own turn aboard Dumbo.


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In the center of Carolwood Park, guests can find the Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station, a complete water playground, themed around the classic train from Dumbo. In their cars surrounding the engine, various animals – elephants, giraffes, monkeys and camels – spray water at frolicking guests, providing a wonderful reprieve from a typical, sunny Florida day. Casey Junior himself often shoots steam out of his funnel, adding a lovely mist to the area as well. Oh, and fun fact: the number of each car corresponds with the opening of each park of Walt Disney World: 71, 82, 98 and 21 (originally 55, after Disneyland, but changed to 21 when Mythica opened).

Heading up a small flight of stairs towards the tents, immediately to your left are three different food carts: a popcorn cart, a hot dog cart and a pretzel cart. A few steps away from Dumbo the Flying Elephant, guests will be able to find The Barnstormer featuring The Great Goofini. This kiddy coaster features Goofy opening up his own sideshow attraction, in which he invites guests aboard his stunt aircraft, before proceeding to lead them through a twisting turn through his circus grounds. It’s a wild ride through the skies of Fantasyland, in a staggering series of stupendous stunts, darting and soaring past airborne traffic signs and flying right through an air traffic control tower and a billboard – both past accidents on Goofy’s part – before “landing” safely during the grand finale.


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From the late 1940s, Walt Disney had a miniature railroad set up in his backyard he called the “Carolwood Pacific.” His pride and joy was the Lilly Belle, a hand-built model train named in honor of his wife, Mrs. Lillian Disney. The Walt Disney World Railroad stops in Dumbo’s Circus at the aptly named Carolwood Station. Walt Disney’s lifelong love of trains was expressed in the railroads that surround Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. His backyard toy had “grown up” and now he could share with the world another of his childhood fantasies. His interest dated back to his teenage years when he “rode the trails” selling candy and newspapers on trains rolling between Kansas City and Chicago. It seems only fitting that the next stop from Fantasyland is right back to Main Street, U.S.A., thus further solidifying the bond between two of Walt Disney’s greatest loves and inspirations: the thrill of the train and the nostalgia of Marceline, Missouri.

Just to the right of the Big Top Souvenirs tent, guests will be able to find Pete’s Silly Sideshow, a meet ‘n’ greet area. Here, Pete welcomes the guests into his new establishment, a three-ringed circus, where he hosts a series of circus acts. Now, given that Mickey and the gang already have a meet ‘n’ greet set up on Main Street, as I mentioned earlier, this means that – unlike Disneyland – they don’t meet at the Sideshow. Instead, Pete has a whole new set of acts featured here, namely: the Three Little Pigs (or rather, the unicycle high-wire act “The Three Little Piggolinis”); “Queen of the Tightrope” Clarabelle Cow; Horace Horsecollar, “the Rubber-Hose Horse” (in other words, a contortionist); and “Prima Donna” Clara Cluck. Of course, Pete himself also has a meet ‘n’ greet location here.

Nearby is a smaller yellow tent, which serves as a rest area; and just beyond that tent is a path leading over the tracks of the Walt Disney World Railroad and towards the entrance to a most peculiar attraction…


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Held within a building inspired by the famous Barnum Museum, Mickey’s Madcap Circus, which opened on March 4, 2020 (and is a creation of our own @mharrington), is a spiritual successor to its Californian counterpart, Circus Disney. Serving as a way to highlight Mickey and the gang ever since their Toontown Fair was demolished, this newest member in the pantheon of Fantasyland dark rides stars Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, as well as a host of other familiar Disney faces mainly from the classic Disney shorts, although a few well-known faces do make cameo appearances. Mickey and the gang welcome their guests to their circus, which is holding a special free show for the Orphans (those little Mickeys in the nightshirts, seen in Mickey’s Circus and Orphan’s Benefit). However, thanks to those rambunctious little tykes, the ride takes a sudden twist, as the guests begin to speed and spin through the craziest three-ring circus the world has ever known!

The best way to describe this attraction would be a fusion between The Cat in the Hat at Universal Studios Florida, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney-Universal Studios and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin at Tokyo Disneyland. It really does feel like we’re inside a cartoon from the early days of Mickey Mouse; to the point where Mickey is voiced here not by Bret Iwan, but by Chris Diamantopoulos, who was chosen to voice Mickey for the 2013 cartoon series, as he sounded much more like Walt’s Mickey voice. The attraction will host completely new and innovative dark ride experiences that will make this attraction one of the most immersive in the Magic Kingdom.


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Mickey’s Madcap Circus is located off to the left-hand side of Carolwood Park, but leading off to the right-hand side of Carolwood Park, going along a bridge leading over the railroad tracks, the twinkle of popcorn lights and smell of vanilla have attracted the attention of passers-by toward the allure and excitement of the Carnival Corral. Bullseye welcomes eager patrons into an old-fashioned midway cut from the same cloth as a turn-of-the-century seaside amusement park; the place is even situated along the banks of a small lagoon! Innumerable fun house mirrors, nickelodeons and other classic games of the midway fill the Corral. Four classic carnival Games of the Midway – all inspired by Toy Story, naturally – offer up the chance to try our luck and take home adorable and exclusive prizes: including…
  • Bullseye’s Stallion Stampede
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Bunny
  • Lotso’s Strawberry Toss
  • Zurg’s Villainous Tractor Beam
Indeed, Woody, Buzz and friends have all been detailed into every game. And of course, Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bo Peep and Bullseye all make meet and greet appearances here, in addition to their more “natural” habitats in Frontierland and Tomorrowland, respectively.

Though held inside the walls of a beautiful, Coney Island-inspired façade on the opposite end of the lagoon, Woody’s Roundup Rodeo appears to be set in Andy’s backyard - in fact, Andy has cut and taped three cardboard boxes together to create a rodeo arena with some of his favorite toys and games. Surrounded by all the rodeo festivities as well as a LEGO western town and train station, we dine on a variety of options, from a grilled three-cheese sandwich to a mouthwatering BBQ brisket melt.

Of course, these are all naught but appetizers for the main course: the Carnival Corral’s true main attraction, Toy Story Midway Mania!


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Entering through the charming Victorian structure that houses the experience, we are steps away from being magically transported from Dumbo’s Circus and whisked into Andy’s room. The queue maintains its Victorian sensibilities, not giving a hint at what whimsy awaits; but at one point, we come across Mr. Potato Head, dressed as a carnival barker. The old “hockey puck” performs song and dance routines as we wait for our turn on the midway. At last, we board a nifty tram with shooters attached to the fronts. Putting on a pair of 3D glasses, we take aim at various “revisionist” games of the boardwalk. There are six fast-paced games to play:
  • Pie Throw Practice Booth: Woody and Buzz help to ease guests into the game via this simple game of throwing pies at targets.​
  • Hamm & Eggs: On this down-home farm, Hamm and Buttercup encourage you to throw eggs at animal-based targets.​
  • Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts: Amid the background of a cut-out volcano, throw darts at balloons.​
  • Green Army Men Shoot Camp: Here, you can finally defy your mom and throw baseballs at plates!​
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers: In this Star Command spin on the classic ring-toss game, see if you can get a ring around one of the Aliens.​
  • Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery: The grand finale, taking place in a setting not unlike Woody’s Roundup. Beginning in a Western town, we launch suction cups at targets, before moving on to the lonesome prairie and ending with a “dynamite” finish in the gold mine.​
The dark ride, of course, exits into Midway Mercantile, a gift shop selling anything that’s everything to do with Toy Story.

Toy Story Midway Mania! and Carnival Corral were built on the outskirts of Space Mountain, so as not to disturb the water containment lake naught but a few feet away. The building and the trees surrounding it hide all views of Tomorrowland from the guests, although guests who ride the Walt Disney World Railroad get a good view of the Corral as they pass by. Later on, Mickey’s Madcap Circus restructured the lake shape, and a bigger lake was created just south of Space Mountain.


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Finally, we move on to a place where colors pop, music swells and excitement is at an all-time high: the Gardens of Imagination. Here, a pastoral garden, full of fountains, shrubs, topiaries and flowers in every hue known to man, reflects the endless power of childlike innocence and fantasy. The Gardens of Imagination serve as a home for some of the more fanciful stories of Fantasyland. And what story could possibly be more fanciful than Alice in Wonderland?



Just mere steps away from the Seven Dwarfs’ mine, the towering trees and foliage of the Enchanted Forest suddenly warp and mend into the oddball topiaries, multicolored leaves, giant mushrooms, and twisted trunks of Alice’s nonsensical Wonderland. Catching our attention right as we enter the Gardens, an instrumental medley of songs from the film beckon us towards a Disney park staple: Mad Tea Party. This iconic attraction is inspired by the unbirthday party hosted by the Mad Hatter and March Hare. Shielded from the elements by an overhead glass canopy with an intricate design, a la Paris, we hop aboard a teacup for a mad spin around a massive, twirling teapot inhabited by the eternally-tipsy Dormouse. Paper lanterns and stringed-lights illuminate the “dance floor” as night falls upon Wonderland, creating a magical, yet eerie glow. As with other versions of the iconic flat-ride, we are able to control the speed and “spin” of each teacup via a wheel in the center of the “brew.” For guests of a younger age, this attraction is a must-see, similar to a certain flying elephant, but for guests our age who get dizzy easily...well, we’ll pass.

Across from the Mad Tea Party, the strangeness of Wonderland continues. In 1994, the Tomorrowland Terrace
(what we know today as Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café) closed and work also began on clearing the Grand Prix Raceway to make way for an all-new version of “it’s a small world.” But in the case of the Terrace, it was decided not to get rid of the restaurant entirely, but to rather tie it in with the new Wonderland sub-area being developed – which, to be honest, was a natural choice, given that the restaurant always seemed to be more on the Fantasyland side than on the Tomorrowland side.

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Thus, on December 9, 1994, the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall made a splash here at the Magic Kingdom. The Queen of Hearts is holding a banquet at her castle, and you're all invited! The theming is impeccable, with a giant doorknob marking the entrance to the dining area, flanked by card soldiers. Stained-glass windows depict characters from Alice in Wonderland. As for the food, service here is buffet-style, so there’s a wide variety of foods to choose from, some of it elegant, some of it rather wacky. Fantastically themed, whimsical and serving up great food, this is a great place to eat! And on top of all that, between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., the Banquet Hall plays host to an afternoon tea session...but since this is Wonderland, after all, the tea doubles as an unbirthday party, hosted by Alice, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare themselves!

It’s clear that Wonderland plays a crucial part of the Gardens of Imagination experience. On trees surrounding the Mad Tea Party, directional signs point every which way. Bright flowers and bizarre topiaries fill the planters. Hedges separate this part of Fantasyland from Central Plaza. Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum all wander about like a bunch of lunatics. There are no boundaries here. Just plain, good old-fashioned fun.


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Sitting nearby the Mad Tea Party is the Mad Hatter shop. Held in a quaint cottage, the shop sells a wide array of Disney-themed hats and clothing, including the ever-popular Mickey Mouse ears. Like The Chapeau back on Main Street, we are allowed to have our names embroidered on any hat, but for a small fee, of course. An interior mirror in the shop for trying on hats often provides quite a jump scare when the Cheshire Cat mysteriously appears on the other side of the looking glass, bouncing his head around before quietly disappearing into oblivion.

Across the way from the Banquet Hall, found in a small cottage, is Cheshire Café. This is a good place to go before you begin your adventures here in the Magic Kingdom, because this stand offers cereal, pastries, muffins and fruit available, along with yummy slushies, strawberry punch, and other refreshing beverages.


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In 1997, the gardens near this section of Fantasyland – the gardens that, in our real-life WDW, became the Fairytale Garden meet ‘n’ greet area – became the home of a clone of Disneyland’s iconic dark ride, Alice in Wonderland. The decision to bring the ride to Florida was a rather smart one. Not only would it help bring together the Wonderland sub-area, but since the ride was specifically designed to be built on two levels, it would help to conserve space and to allow for green space to remain on the Fantasyland river banks.

Alice in Wonderland is our curious voyage down, down, down the Rabbit Hole and into the nonsensical world of Alice’s Wonderland. Here we discover an upside down world of wonder, mystery and danger. Tulgey Wood and the Queen of Hearts’ Castle await amidst a peculiar labyrinth of magical creatures, conflicting signage, glowering flowers, and a grinning Cheshire Cat. A chatty Doorknob welcomes us: “Looking for the White Rabbit? Well, see for yourself!”

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum lead us astray and into a crop of beautiful, singing flowers - standing six to eight feet in height! Hungry dandelions and a snarling tiger lily lie in wait… The Caterpillar enjoys his favorite pipe from atop a technicolor toadstool. “W - H - O - are you?” Conflicting directions, bizarre birds and a sinister Cheshire Cat welcome us to the labyrinth of Tulgey Wood. Card Soldiers frantically “paint the roses red” in fear of their evil mistress: The Queen of Hearts. After we defeat the Queen in a game of croquet, we are forced to escape our undesired fate - pursued by the Queen of Hearts and her Card Soldiers - through an outdoor “slide” of spiraling high and low hedges and hills. The outdoor track runs over the outdoor queue facing Central Plaza, allowing for glimpses of parades and fireworks, and over near the restrooms near Cheshire Café allowing for a view towards the Mad Tea Party and “it’s a small world.” One wrong turn aboard our sour Caterpillar-shaped car might lead right back to the Queen’s Castle; one right turn might lead to our safe and sound return to Fantasyland.

Finally, we come upon Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the Dormouse whilst they enjoy a spot of tea for a very merry unbirthday party. Whistling teapots, spinning cakes and precariously stacked cups set the scene, followed by a very terrified White Rabbit and a very explosive unbirthday cake.

The attraction has been a beloved part of the Magic Kingdom ever since it opened in 1997; and like its Disneyland counterpart, a 2014 refurbishment would plus the attraction with new lighting and state-of-the-art special effects. Of course, Alice in Wonderland is where the Wishing Well path meets up with the second entrance from Central Plaza.


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Beyond Wonderland, the golden spires and fanciful shapes of a magnificent palace protrude high above the Gardens of Imagination. Before us rests Small World Palace. Spinning flowers, whirligigs and stylized icons – from the Eiffel Tower to the Golden Gate Bridge – complement the smiling face of the palace’s iconic, 30-foot clock tower. Not only is this one of the Magic Kingdom’s more artistic landmarks, but it actually tells time … and it does so in a most imaginative way! The spectacle begins as a frenzy of sounds and activity. Gears, cogs, springs and other clock paraphernalia come to life. Drums roll, trumpets blare, doors open, and suddenly, 24 figures of internationally costumed children - one for each hour - march forth in a gala parade of toys to announce the quarter hour being signaled by colorful numerals in the clock’s doorway.

Topiaries in the shape of animals from around the world fill the colorful gardens and planters around the palace, while quirky instrumentals of that ever-famous tune, “It’s a Small World” constantly fill the air, each time portrayed in a different form of instrumental from a different culture. The magnificent Tower of the Four Winds stands nearby Small World Palace, functioning as a real weathervane on a most spectacular scale.


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Of course, inside this magnificent palace is “the happiest cruise that ever sailed”: the 1964-1965 World’s Fair classic, “it’s a small world.” Since 1964, people the world over have been captivated by this whimsical voyage; and to this day, “it’s a small world” stands as a salute to the children of the world, a delightful cruise that speaks the international language of goodwill. Amid a vibrant, technicolor world of glitter, fabric, and paper-mȃché, a cast of over 300 Audio-Animatronic children, animals and toys from every corner of the globe – from Europe to Asia, to the Middle East and Africa, to Australia and the islands of the South Pacific, and to Latin America and North America – sing the all-too-familiar theme in their native language about peace and unity. From the snow-capped Alps to the deserts of North America, “it’s a small world” is a fantastic voyage that is to be enjoyed by both the young and the young-at-heart.

No trip around the world is complete without a trip through Small World Imports, a Mary Blair-esque toy store that specializes in dolls, appropriate considering that “it’s a small world” is filled with dolls.


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And with that, our tour of Fantasyland is complete! What did you all think?

The idea to bring Alice in Wonderland over to the Magic Kingdom was one I borrowed from @tcool123's Alternatively project, so credit to them on that count; and the vivid description of the famous "small world" clock parade came from @MANEATINGWREATH's Mirror Disneyland 2021.

And to clarify the layout of the Carnival Corral; if you were to go across the bridge, Roundup Rodeo would be to the left-hand side, while Toy Story Midway Mania! and the Games of the Midway would be situated to the right-hand side, in a layout similar to Pixar Pier at DCA.

Now, it's going to be a few days -- if not a week -- until the next post comes out. I'll say that the next post will come out either on or by next Thursday (November 10). And it is in that post where we'll start exploring Hollywoodland. So, until the next post comes out, please feel free to leave any comments, thoughts or constructive criticism you have, and I'll see you all later!
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Well, here I am again. I've had a nice break from posting, and now, I'm ready to continue our tour of Mirror Walt Disney World. It's time to explore a new land here at the Magic Kingdom...

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Hollywoodland

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As we proceed northward from Belle’s village, we notice a shift in the mood. The breathtaking, symphonic orchestrations give way to jazz standards typical of the 1930s...in fact, even the European structures appear to be giving way to more Art-Deco-style buildings...could it...could it be? Yes, it could! We’ve just entered Hollywoodland!

There’s no denying that Disney-Universal Studios was a massive success. However, a deal between the two studios came with a stipulation: No new Disney studios park could be built until the year 2000. Despite that, the executives wanted something Hollywood-themed in the Florida property, so in 1996, it was announced that the Magic Kingdom would receive an all-new land. It would be called “Hollywoodland”, and it was designed to feature what was considered to be some of Disney-Universal Studios’ best elements in one place.

Construction had begun earlier that year, and it was going to be quite the project. In order to prepare for the new land’s arrival, Floridian Way and the Cast Member access road had to be re-routed to make way for the new land.* Likewise, the fireworks launch zone had to be moved, as well. In hindsight, the move helped to make the construction of Galaxy’s Edge all the easier. The land area itself had seen many possible expansion ideas come and go. Originally, the land that would become Hollywoodland was slated to host a further-expanded Fantasyland, with a Swiss village and a clone of Matterhorn Bobsleds, but this failed to materialize. Likewise, there was also an idea to use that land to host a clone of Disneyland’s Enchanted Snow Palace, but this too never came to be.


* In this Mirror universe, the Reedy Creek Energy Services center is built a few miles further north, leaving plenty of room for Hollywoodland. Remember, MWDW sits on about 30,500 acres of land; whereas real-life WDW sits on 27,000 acres.

Imagineers and construction workers worked tirelessly for well over three years, and on May 1, 1999, Hollywoodland opened its golden gates for the first time!

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Beyond the farthest reaches of the Enchanted Forest, an ornate entrance gate stands before us. A pair of mighty, ornamental elephants sat atop polychromatic pillars mark the gate. Carved in gold along the gate is the world “Hollywoodland.” Stepping underneath the gate, we pass under a railroad trestle and find ourselves back in time, back in sunny California during the early half of the 20th century.



Hollywoodland is a representation of Hollywood in its Golden Age; the age when Walt first started out as a filmmaker. This is the Hollywood of Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This is a town that once took the heart of a young Walt Disney. The automobile has made way for the Red Car of the Pacific Electric Railway. The shimmer of neon and bustle of traffic have built a fairy-land from a suitcase and a dream, where any office boy or young mechanic can be a panic, with just a goodlooking pan.” Here, one can go out and try their luck, and most certainly meet Donald Duck. Here, in the year 1940, the stress of our contemporary life fades for a glimpse into a warm embodiment of the “Hollywood That Never Was.” The shimmer of neon and triumph of a dream set our stage for this reverent tribute to the romance, glamour and sentimentality of the silver screen.

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In the principle of Main Street, U.S.A., Hollywoodland is a sparkling thoroughfare presented in the style and architecture of one historic Hollywood building after the next. The use of Art Deco and Mission Revival instills in us a sense of familiarity with a hint of intrigue. The reality of the Great Depression has subdued into the color and excitement of a cinematic Tinseltown. Trolley cables hang throughout the “skies.” The historic Red Car of the Pacific Electric Railway once criss-crossed Los Angeles from 1887 to 1961. Today, the Red Car Trolley is of one and the same purpose: efficient travel. With two convenient stops throughout Hollywoodland, the Red Car is in tribute to the bygone memory of a yesteryear Los Angeles. The Red Car Newsboys exclaim the “daily” headlines through song and dance aboard their trolley “stage.”

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Keystone cops patrol the streets in search of ne’er-do-wells, while an overly-flamboyant movie starlet canoodles her poodle to the adoration of her “fans.” The Citizens of Hollywood simply and thematically add to the immersive environment, entertaining one and all with their improvisational comedy acts, including their legendary “Funniest Citizen of Hollywood” contest. They also help set a period that is further established in Art Deco architecture and rooftop billboards representing fictional and nonfictional products of the 1930’s and 40’s. Big band beats fill the air, played in crisp, fresh orchestrations rather than crackling radio transmissions; although authentic big-band sounds can be heard in the form of the fabulous Five & Dime, who ride the streets of Hollywoodland in a jazzed-up jalopy. As the legend goes, five working-class folk from Chicago met a dame named “Dime” and hit it big in La La Land – thanks to a certain Mr. Disney – playing the Ritz and hits of yore.

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Forming something of its own Town Square, Hollywoodland begins in Buena Vista Park. In the center of Buena Vista Park, Storytellers recalls the moment in which a young Walt and Mickey first laid foot in the City of Angels. The tribute of bronze and plaster has hidden itself among the foot-traffic of Buena Vista Park, a subtle reminder that Walt was once such an everyday dreamer as ourselves. An adjacent plaque reads: “It was July 1923. I packed all of my worldly goods – a pair of trousers, a checkered coat, a lot of drawing materials and the last of the fairy tale reels we had made – in a kind of frayed cardboard suitcase. And with that wonderful audacity of youth, I went to Hollywood, arriving there with just forty dollars. It was a big day the day I got on that Santa Fe California Limited. I was just free and happy!” – Walt Disney.

On the left-hand side of Buena Vista Park, your senses are stimulated by the sights and smells of Philippe’s, an L.A. original, found across the way from the Hollywood Boulevard trolley station. “Home of the Original French Dipped Sandwich,” specialties of the house include roast beef, pork, turkey, ham, or leg of lamb. Coleslaw, pickles, macaroni salad, pickled eggs, olives and peppers compliment the varied deli meats. This near-exact replica of the real-world location has been built to the minute detail; sawdust on the floor, neon in the signage, and “Carvers” at the counter. Found just a few feet away from the station, however, is the Fairfax Market, an outdoor grocery stand selling fresh fruits, snacks, and refreshments, represented as an authentic open-air grocery stand of a bygone era.


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Across the way, bright lights and the crackle of a phonograph welcome us to Oswald’s Filling Station. There always seems to be a ‘40 Pontiac Torpedo Coupe out front. Oswald’s is decked “ear-to-toe” in memorabilia of American Car Culture, with the inventory following suit. Oswald himself often frequents the station in full mechanic attire, a rabbit-shaped wrench at hand. As with Oswald, in Hollywoodland, we can “rub elbows” with the classic Disney stars of celluloid – including Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy – dressed in their Hollywood finest.

Beyond these two locations, Hollywoodland turns into a thoroughfare – Hollywood Boulevard. On either side of Hollywood Boulevard are unique experiences one can only find at Disney World. On the left-hand side of Hollywood Boulevard, we first come across the lavish Mickey’s of Hollywood, which sells any and all things related to kid-friendly merchandise, from stuffed Mickeys to Disney character-themed clothing. The store also features large statues depicting the Big Cheese in some of his most iconic roles, including him as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Steamboat Willie and the conductor of The Band Concert. Built within the same complex as Mickey’s, Pluto’s Toy Palace features all kinds of Disney toys – although, tying in with its neighbor, it mainly supplies toys inspired by Mickey and the gang. Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-a-Kind Antiques and Curios is the place to go for all sorts of “Tinseltown treasures”: movie posters, books, and – most notably – authentic movie costumes and props. Mr. Cahuenga himself is among the Citizens of Hollywood troupe, although he mainly appears within his shop, performing magic tricks and impressions of the stars. As cheesy as the name sounds, Award Wieners next door stands in the spirit of another famous culinary Hollywood hotspot, Pink’s Hot Dogs, selling hot dogs and gourmet sausages from a window with a line that stretches around the block. Streetside tables with umbrellas provide ample dining space and perfect views of the live street entertainment.

On the other side of Hollywood Boulevard, the Red Car makes its first of two Hollywoodland stops outside the Celebrity 5 & 10, which is a “one-stop shop” that, while featuring generic merchandise, also features merchandise related to the Red Car and other railways. Neighboring the 5 & 10 to the left, our vision is pulled towards Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Parlour, a place which recalls the Hollywood soda fountains of the 1930s, complete with film memorabilia, preserved props, and stills of the classics. Specialty sundaes, ice cream sodas and triple scoop cones abound. Next door, the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café has a charming selection of dining and bakery items, the second in-park home of Starbucks Coffee. The Silver Lake Sisters – Dottie, Dolly and Ethel Bounds – once inspired the classic 1933 Silly Symphony short, The Three Little Pigs. In 1937, the three sisters have opened a coffee shop laden with the memorabilia of a previous decade in the limelight. And yes, they often perform here in Hollywoodland throughout the day, as well.


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Just up the road from the FF&P Café, you’ll find a beautiful Streamline Moderne building. Within the blue glass walls and the orange-tinted entrance mural, you’ll find the familiar faces and silhouettes of many a beloved Disney character. Below the vertical marquee, a rotating filmstrip features a gradually-moving image of Mickey Mouse. It is clear that this building is inviting you to explore the ever-fascinating world of Disney Animation. One of the most beautiful, and most interesting, experiences in all the Magic Kingdom, Disney Animation is our firsthand glimpse into the secret world of the Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

There’s so much to see and do at Disney Animation, but first, let’s talk about something that happens outside the building. At certain points throughout the day, three animators take their craft to the streets of Hollywoodland and invite guests to be Drawn to the Magic. In this show, we join three animators as they invite guests to see how they get inspiration for their drawings; each one focusing on a certain kind of character: heroes, princesses and magical friends. Three volunteers are even brought up to help them out by posing a certain way. Then, after a medley of songs from the Disney films, the sketches they've been working on are revealed, and in a true bit of magic, the character they’ve sketched appears before our very eyes! After the show, guests are even invited to meet the characters inside the Disney Animation building’s lobby or right outside nearby the animators’ easels – a perfect photo-op if you ask me!

And by the way, the three characters in the show are as follows: Representing the heroes, Woody. Representing the princesses, Cinderella. And representing the magical friends, who else but Sorcerer Mickey. In addition, other heroes and princesses have been known to drop in on one occasion, if Woody and Cinderella can’t make it to a particular performance. So, for the heroes, Hercules and Peter Pan are on stand-by; and for the princesses, Snow White and Belle are on stand-by.


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Entering the building, we pass by a curved wall in which “Once upon a time…” is inscribed in gold lettering. Once inside the well-sized building, we are greeted by the breathtaking Animation Lobby. Inside this gorgeous place, a number of gargantuan screens convey the clips, music, stills and sketches of the Disney Animated Canon and the Pixar Canon. The films date back from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Peter Pan, all the way up to current films like Tangled and Encanto. The loop here at Hollywoodland, first put into service for the 100th Anniversary of The Walt Disney Company, is a combination both the old (pre-2011) and new (post-2011) loops found at the Disney Animation building at Disney-Universal Studios, with a few new additions added, as well. Here’s a brief overview of what this loop would feature, listing the films that will appear, and the music that will play underneath each film…

  • The Little Mermaid (“Part of Your World”)​
  • Beauty and the Beast (“Belle”)​
  • Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 (“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”)​
  • Bambi (“Little April Shower”)​
  • Finding Nemo (“Fronds Like These”)​
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (“The Silly Song” / The Evil Queen’s transformation)​
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire (“The Crystal Chamber”)​
  • WALL-E (“Define Dancing”)​
  • The Incredibles (“The Incredits”)​
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (“Winnie the Pooh” / “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers” – the latter segment largely inspired by this video.)​
  • The Jungle Book (“The Bare Necessities”)​
  • Toy Story tetralogy (“You’ve Got a Friend in Me”)​
  • Cinderella (“A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”)​
  • Mulan (“Reflection” – instrumental)​
  • Hercules (“Go the Distance (Reprise)”)​
  • Monsters, Inc. (“The Scare Floor”)​
  • Ratatouille (“La Festin”)​
  • Luca (“Portorosso”)​
  • Zootopia (“Try Everything”)​
  • Lilo & Stitch (“Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride”)​
  • Tarzan (“Two Worlds (Reprise)” – instrumental)​
  • Inside Out (“Dream Productions” / “Bundle of Joy”)​
  • Coco (“Un Poco Loco”)​
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (“The Bells of Notre Dame (Reprise)” – instrumental)​
  • Alice in Wonderland (“The Unbirthday Song”)​
  • The Emperor’s New Groove (“Perfect World”)​
  • Up (“Married Life”)​
  • Lady and the Tramp (“Sunday/The Rat/Morning Paper” / “He’s a Tramp”)​
  • Encanto (“The Family Madrigal” / “Dos Oruguitas”)​
  • Tangled (“I See the Light”)​
  • Dumbo (“Casey Junior” / “Baby Mine”)​
  • The Lion King (“King of Pride Rock”)​
  • Frozen (“Let it Go”)​
  • Moana (“We Know the Way (Finale)”)​
  • Soul (“Epiphany”)​
  • Pocahontas (“Colors of the Wind”)​
  • Sleeping Beauty (“Once Upon a Dream”)​
  • Wish (Whatever the major song from the film will be; I intend to come back and fill this part in once the film comes out)​
  • Aladdin (“A Whole New World”)​
  • Peter Pan (“The Second Star to the Right”)​
  • Pinocchio / Finale Montage (“When You Wish Upon a Star”)​


This indoor courtyard is our “hub” for the varied wings of the sprawling exhibition. There are four major components of the Disney Animation building, and we shall explore them, going from left to right. First, directly to our left is the Animation Academy. In this magical classroom, learn to draw a beloved Disney character with a hands-on lesson from a Disney artist.

Right next door to the Animation Academy is Character Close-Up. What Disney animation exhibit wouldn’t be complete without the chance to meet a beloved Disney character? Well, there are so many beloved characters from Walt Disney Animation Studios, it’s impossible to decide which ones to have meeting guests here. What to do? Randomize, of course! In this colorful meet-and-greet, you’ll get the chance to meet up with four randomized characters representing four time periods: The Golden Age (1930s/1940s), The Silver Age (1950s/1960s/1970s), The Renaissance (1980s/1990s) and The New Millennium (2000s/2010s/2020s). Every morning, a different movie from each time period is selected by a computer, and one or two characters from the film in question are scheduled for an all-day meet ‘n’ greet in the space, providing an experience that always proves to be different.

Linking all these separate time periods together are unique walls with projections on them. Behind each character is a specific projection area. In a style similar to what is seen in this video, the world of the character is sketched out right before our eyes and filled in with color (for example, Snow White would have the Dwarfs’ Cottage; Moana would have Motonui; Elsa would have either her ice palace or the Enchanted Forest). This adds for a nice visual for our meet-and-greets, almost as if we are stepping right into an animated world. Surrounding all these screens are more projections. As we wait for our turn to meet these beloved characters, pixie dust darts across the walls (via fiber optics) and familiar Disney characters are drawn before our eyes, also in the style of the video linked above.


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Then, there’s the Sorcerer’s Workshop, a collection of three exhibits each focusing on a different aspect of bringing an animated character to life: development, voice and appearance. In the Magic Mirror’s Realm, we can create simple animation via spinning “reels”, create our own virtual portraits and mosaics, piece together our own Silly Symphony short or create an adventurous and romantic plot to their own animated film. There are also interactive exhibits teach how the principles of persistence of vision trick the eye into believing that still images are in motion, the most notable exhibit being the mesmerizing Toy Story Zoetrope, a constantly-spinning optical illusion that brings to life several sculptures of characters from the film(s). The stone walls reveal many of our favorite characters arranged by theme: Fairies and Spirits, Heroes and Villains, Mentors and Warriors.

The wise, talking portrait of the Magic Mirror points the path into Ursula’s Grotto, the eerie but humble abode of Ursula the Sea Witch. Rather than stealing our voice for her own benefit, Ursula allows us to do a bit of voiceover work, re-recording our own voices over classic scenes and songs from Disney animation. The adjoint Beast’s Library allows us to find our “Disney” self in a humorous quiz with Lumiere and Cogsworth. One of the most beautiful areas in the entire park, the Beast’s Library seems to stretch into the heavens, often falling into a state of disrepair before the displayed rose is restored and beauty and magic brighten the chamber.


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An element from the original Disney Animation at Disney-Universal Studios, Back to Neverland is a classic film starring Walter Cronkite and Robin Williams, who gets transformed into a Lost Boy and fights alongside Captain Hook, in a demonstration of how hand-drawn animated films are made. In 2011, a sequel – “Back Again to Neverland” – was created to follow the original film, once again starring Robin Williams, but this time, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and focusing on CGI animation. The film ends with a discussion from prominent animators and directors of Disney and Pixar, discussing what animation means to them, culminating in a moving montage featuring a highlight of clips from every film in the Disney Animated Canon, all set to a dramatic score of some of the best music from these movies.

When it comes time to leave, you head out past a wall similar to the one we passed when we entered, this time reading “...and they lived happily ever after.” Disney Animation exits out into the Off the Page store, which showcases merchandise from several classic animated Disney films.


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The original Carthay Circle Theatre, built in 1926, played a significant role in the life of Walt Disney. His first feature-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered there in 1937 and, in 1941, groundbreaking stereophonic Fantasound was installed in the theatre for the West Coast premiere of Fantasia. The Carthay Circle Theatre of Hollywoodland, located across the street from Disney Animation, is in reflection of the romance and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, including references to the accomplishments of Walt Disney and his original animators. In fact, for this replica, the Imagineers studied the original floor plans and photographs down to the last detail, in order to make sure that the circular theater looked exactly like it did all those years ago. The theater makes use of orchestra and balcony seating and a pit for live musical accompaniment.

The first major production to be performed at the Carthay Circle Theatre when Hollywoodland opened in 1999 was Animazement, a show which brought together the characters and stories of the Disney Renaissance. Animazement came and went, and what replaced it? Well, what would a land themed around the glitz and glamour of Hollywood be without an awards ceremony?


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The proud musical legacy of Disney is on full display as the Carthay Circle hosts The Golden Mickeys! Directed by acclaimed Broadway director Diane Paulus and choreographed by Maria Torres, The Golden Mickeys highlights achievements by various Disney characters in several different categories; represented, of course, through some of the most iconic songs to come from the Disney movies. Right from the get-go, the feeling of being at an awards ceremony hits you. The pathway that leads up to the theater is outfitted with a red carpet and banners. There’s no mistaking that a special event is about to take place. A velvet rope is set up a few feet away from the entrance doors. Behind this cordoned off area is a video camera. An announcement is made that Rona Rivers, famed red carpet hostess, will be interviewing guests as they arrive for the show. A beautiful woman in a gold evening gown arrives and begins her sound and camera checks. A display of the awards to be presented is set up behind her. As the special guests (a.k.a. us) arrive, Rona selects a few to interview. Each is asked what “designer” line they are wearing, who's their favorite Disney character and other “red carpet” questions. While this is fun to watch in person, you can see these interviews as they're broadcast inside the theater.

However, just as the music tunes up and the performance is about to begin, there’s a commotion backstage. The master of ceremonies has failed to appear, so a reluctant young stage manager named Chris (who, in this version of the show, is a genderfluid role) must take over hosting duties. The show follows the age old show biz tale of the star unable to perform with the understudy stepping into and shining in their role, ultimately realizing that anything is possible and dreams really do come true. What makes the show truly stand out is that it highlights many of the classic Disney films. In fact, there are fifteen Disney films represented in this 65-minute production – and that’s not even counting the hundreds of other films represented via movie clips and montages! To prove it, here’s a program detailing all the songs and films represented in the show…

  • Pre-Show: “Red Carpet Arrival”​
  • Opening: “Tonight is the Night”​
  • History Lesson (Scene between Chris and Leonard Maltin)
  • Classic: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • “Someday My Prince Will Come”​
    • “Whistle While You Work”​
    • “Heigh-Ho”​
  • Heroism​
  • Symphony​
    • “Under the Sea” (The Little Mermaid)
    • “Dig a Little Deeper” (The Princess and the Frog)
  • Villainy​
    • “Cruella de Vil” (101 Dalmatians)
  • Friendship​
    • “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” (Lilo & Stitch)
    • “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (Toy Story)
  • Romance​
    • “Bella Notte” (Lady and the Tramp)
    • “I See the Light” (Tangled)
    • “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (The Lion King)
    • “Beauty and the Beast” (Beauty and the Beast)
  • Finale: “Who Knows Where a Dream Might Lead?”​

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And ever since the Carthay Circle Theatre opened, the Yuletide season has brought along a cherished classic: Mickey’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. In this festive revue, Clement C. Moore’s iconic holiday poem is given a Disney update, with Mickey and Minnie as the narrator and his wife, respectively, Goofy as St. Nick, as well as Pluto, Chip, Dale, and even Hyacinth Hippo from Fantasia in smaller roles. And the reason I call this show a “revue” is because it makes use of a wide and unique variety of Christmas tunes, including “We Need a Little Christmas”, “Santa Baby” and even Brian Setzer’s take on “Jingle Bells.” Making use of a boisterous ensemble, live musical accompaniment, and a few other special surprises, Mickey’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas is definitely a high point in any Magic Kingdom holiday celebration.

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At the northern end of Hollywood Boulevard splits off into the Grauman’s Chinese Theater Courtyard, a much needed expanded courtyard, surrounded with lush, green foliage and planted with lining palm trees. The surrounding area is lined with plains of grass, planted with bountiful trees, illuminated with twinkling LED lights. The courtyard is quite the common place for meet ‘n’ greets. Befitting the land’s status as a land themed around Hollywood, the usual faces you can find here are Mickey and the gang, as well as the stars of Disney Channel and Disney Junior

Standing before us is the shining star of Hollywoodland: a life-size replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The Chinese Theatre is one of the most famous in all of Hollywood, a theater which has hosted dozens of award shows and numerous movie premieres. It is truly the icon of all of the glitz and glamour that Hollywood could imply. The theater has hosted dozens of award shows and numerous movie premieres, including two Disney films: Mary Poppins in 1964 and The Jungle Book in 1967, souvenirs from which you can find in window displays. Outside of the theater, instrumental musical pieces from well-known movies play.

The actual Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles had been studied to be re-created and detailed in exact appearance here in Hollywoodland. Not only was the exterior of the Theater created, but even the forecourt was created, having actual celebrity handprints and spurting fountains along the rim of the Theater. In fact, this Chinese Theatre is so detailed, searchlights wave proudly behind it at night. Having celebrities arrive to place their handprints has been a time-honored tradition of Hollywoodland ever since Opening Day. Some of the first additions include Alan Alda, Liza Minnelli and Danny DeVito, and some of the more modern additions include the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Meryl Streep and Channing Tatum.


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“Ready when you are, C.B.!”

Inside the theater, we can take The Great Movie Ride, a 25-minute guided dark ride through the history of cinema, cataloging and bringing to life some of the greatest stories ever told. Brimming with excitement, we enter the lavish movie palace and into a lobby filled with iconic props and posters of the silver screen; Dorothy’s ruby slippers, the Ark of the Covenant, Mary Poppins’ carousel horse. An inspired collection of trailers and scenes of classic cinema lead to a soundstage held beneath the Hollywoodland Sign at twilight. Here we board a “traveling theater” for a guided, immersive tour through the world of cinematic history.

The Great Movie Ride employs the use of Audio-Animatronic figures, practical sets, live actors, projections and special effects in a 25-minute experience. Along the way, we pass screen legends in their most iconic roles; a tableau of film in a timeless snapshot, from one movie to the next. And at one point, we become part of the action when a gangster shootout leads a mug named Mugsy to hijack our car! The finale, of course, brings all the films together in a moving montage of what else, but great movies… Such featured films include Titanic, High Noon, Singin’ in the Rain and The Wizard of Oz.


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If you need to take a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of Hollywoodland, then take a quiet stroll through the Eastern Gardens. This is a tranquil and gorgeous garden nestled alongside the left side of the Chinese Theatre and into the Hollywoodland Hills, which serve as the street’s backdrop. Under the hill’s uneven letters reading HOLLYWOODLAND are the garden’s walking paths, bridges, streams, pagodas, and waterfalls that serve as a break from the ever-frantic pulse of Tinseltown. Nestled in the shadow of the Hollywoodland Hills, guests will find the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant, a lavish restaurant modeled after the truly iconic location. The restaurant is famously known for its Cobb salad, which was apparently Sid Grauman’s favorite snack after he had undergone some dental work. The restaurant features wonderful meals, while completely re-inventing the iconic restaurant, which even includes the classic Bamboo Room, modeled after the VIP Space.

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And that's where we'll stop for now. There's still plenty more to see and do here in Hollywoodland, and I intend to show it to you on Saturday, November 12, so stay tuned for that!

The idea for the Eastern Gardens was one borrowed from an elaborate pre-Galaxy's Edge/Toy Story Land concept a fan devised for a revitalized Hollywood Studios, as seen on Theme Park Tourist. "Back Again to Neverland" comes from @MANEATINGWREATH and his Dream Disney Resort thread; and the land itself was largely inspired by what he did for the earlier versions of Mirror Disneyland. And I should point out, the idea to have the handprint ceremonies continue well on into the land's existence comes from an idea from a revitalized Great Movie Ride concept we had back on the Visions Fantastic forums of old, devised by @comics101, @Snoopy, as well as FutureImagineer and Monkey4057.
 
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DisneyFan32

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
Well, here I am again. I've had a nice break from posting, and now, I'm ready to continue our tour of Mirror Walt Disney World. It's time to explore a new land here at the Magic Kingdom...

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Hollywoodland

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As we proceed northward from Belle’s village, we notice a shift in the mood. The breathtaking, symphonic orchestrations give way to jazz standards typical of the 1930s...in fact, even the European structures appear to be giving way to more Art-Deco-style buildings...could it...could it be? Yes, it could! We’ve just entered Hollywoodland!

There’s no denying that Disney-Universal Studios was a massive success. However, a deal between the two studios came with a stipulation: No new Disney studios park could be built until the year 2000. Despite that, the executives wanted something Hollywood-themed in the Florida property, so in 1996, it was announced that the Magic Kingdom would receive an all-new land. It would be called “Hollywoodland”, and it was designed to feature what was considered to be some of Disney-Universal Studios’ best elements in one place.

Construction had begun earlier that year, and it was going to be quite the project. In order to prepare for the new land’s arrival, Floridian Way and the Cast Member access road had to be re-routed to make way for the new land.* Likewise, the fireworks launch zone had to be moved, as well. In hindsight, the move helped to make the construction of Galaxy’s Edge all the easier. The land area itself had seen many possible expansion ideas come and go. Originally, the land that would become Hollywoodland was slated to host a further-expanded Fantasyland, with a Swiss village and a clone of Matterhorn Bobsleds, but this failed to materialize. Likewise, there was also an idea to use that land to host a clone of Disneyland’s Enchanted Snow Palace, but this too never came to be.


* In this Mirror universe, the Reedy Creek Energy Services center is built a few miles further north, leaving plenty of room for Hollywoodland. Remember, MWDW sits on about 30,500 acres of land; whereas real-life WDW sits on 27,000 acres.

Imagineers and construction workers worked tirelessly for well over three years, and on May 1, 1999, Hollywoodland opened its golden gates for the first time!

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Beyond the farthest reaches of the Enchanted Forest, an ornate entrance gate stands before us. A pair of mighty, ornamental elephants sat atop polychromatic pillars mark the gate. Carved in gold along the gate is the world “Hollywoodland.” Stepping underneath the gate, we pass under a railroad trestle and find ourselves back in time, back in sunny California during the early half of the 20th century.



Hollywoodland is a representation of Hollywood in its Golden Age; the age when Walt first started out as a filmmaker. This is the Hollywood of Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This is a town that once took the heart of a young Walt Disney. The automobile has made way for the Red Car of the Pacific Electric Railway. The shimmer of neon and bustle of traffic have built a fairy-land from a suitcase and a dream, where any office boy or young mechanic can be a panic, with just a goodlooking pan.” Here, one can go out and try their luck, and most certainly meet Donald Duck. Here, in the year 1940, the stress of our contemporary life fades for a glimpse into a warm embodiment of the “Hollywood That Never Was.” The shimmer of neon and triumph of a dream set our stage for this reverent tribute to the romance, glamour and sentimentality of the silver screen.

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In the principle of Main Street, U.S.A., Hollywoodland is a sparkling thoroughfare presented in the style and architecture of one historic Hollywood building after the next. The use of Art Deco and Mission Revival instills in us a sense of familiarity with a hint of intrigue. The reality of the Great Depression has subdued into the color and excitement of a cinematic Tinseltown. Trolley cables hang throughout the “skies.” The historic Red Car of the Pacific Electric Railway once criss-crossed Los Angeles from 1887 to 1961. Today, the Red Car Trolley is of one and the same purpose: efficient travel. With two convenient stops throughout Hollywoodland, the Red Car is in tribute to the bygone memory of a yesteryear Los Angeles. The Red Car Newsboys exclaim the “daily” headlines through song and dance aboard their trolley “stage.”

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Keystone cops patrol the streets in search of ne’er-do-wells, while an overly-flamboyant movie starlet canoodles her poodle to the adoration of her “fans.” The Citizens of Hollywood simply and thematically add to the immersive environment, entertaining one and all with their improvisational comedy acts, including their legendary “Funniest Citizen of Hollywood” contest. They also help set a period that is further established in Art Deco architecture and rooftop billboards representing fictional and nonfictional products of the 1930’s and 40’s. Big band beats fill the air, played in crisp, fresh orchestrations rather than crackling radio transmissions; although authentic big-band sounds can be heard in the form of the fabulous Five & Dime, who ride the streets of Hollywoodland in a jazzed-up jalopy. As the legend goes, five working-class folk from Chicago met a dame named “Dime” and hit it big in La La Land – thanks to a certain Mr. Disney – playing the Ritz and hits of yore.

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Forming something of its own Town Square, Hollywoodland begins in Buena Vista Park. In the center of Buena Vista Park, Storytellers recalls the moment in which a young Walt and Mickey first laid foot in the City of Angels. The tribute of bronze and plaster has hidden itself among the foot-traffic of Buena Vista Park, a subtle reminder that Walt was once such an everyday dreamer as ourselves. An adjacent plaque reads: “It was July 1923. I packed all of my worldly goods – a pair of trousers, a checkered coat, a lot of drawing materials and the last of the fairy tale reels we had made – in a kind of frayed cardboard suitcase. And with that wonderful audacity of youth, I went to Hollywood, arriving there with just forty dollars. It was a big day the day I got on that Santa Fe California Limited. I was just free and happy!” – Walt Disney.

On the left-hand side of Buena Vista Park, your senses are stimulated by the sights and smells of Philippe’s, an L.A. original, found across the way from the Hollywood Boulevard trolley station. “Home of the Original French Dipped Sandwich,” specialties of the house include roast beef, pork, turkey, ham, or leg of lamb. Coleslaw, pickles, macaroni salad, pickled eggs, olives and peppers compliment the varied deli meats. This near-exact replica of the real-world location has been built to the minute detail; sawdust on the floor, neon in the signage, and “Carvers” at the counter. Found just a few feet away from the station, however, is the Fairfax Market, an outdoor grocery stand selling fresh fruits, snacks, and refreshments, represented as an authentic open-air grocery stand of a bygone era.


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Across the way, bright lights and the crackle of a phonograph welcome us to Oswald’s Filling Station. There always seems to be a ‘40 Pontiac Torpedo Coupe out front. Oswald’s is decked “ear-to-toe” in memorabilia of American Car Culture, with the inventory following suit. Oswald himself often frequents the station in full mechanic attire, a rabbit-shaped wrench at hand. As with Oswald, in Hollywoodland, we can “rub elbows” with the classic Disney stars of celluloid – including Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy – dressed in their Hollywood finest.

Beyond these two locations, Hollywoodland turns into a thoroughfare – Hollywood Boulevard. On either side of Hollywood Boulevard are unique experiences one can only find at Disney World. On the left-hand side of Hollywood Boulevard, we first come across the lavish Mickey’s of Hollywood, which sells any and all things related to kid-friendly merchandise, from stuffed Mickeys to Disney character-themed clothing. The store also features large statues depicting the Big Cheese in some of his most iconic roles, including him as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Steamboat Willie and the conductor of The Band Concert. Built within the same complex as Mickey’s, Pluto’s Toy Palace features all kinds of Disney toys – although, tying in with its neighbor, it mainly supplies toys inspired by Mickey and the gang. Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-a-Kind Antiques and Curios is the place to go for all sorts of “Tinseltown treasures”: movie posters, books, and – most notably – authentic movie costumes and props. Mr. Cahuenga himself is among the Citizens of Hollywood troupe, although he mainly appears within his shop, performing magic tricks and impressions of the stars. As cheesy as the name sounds, Award Wieners next door stands in the spirit of another famous culinary Hollywood hotspot, Pink’s Hot Dogs, selling hot dogs and gourmet sausages from a window with a line that stretches around the block. Streetside tables with umbrellas provide ample dining space and perfect views of the live street entertainment.

On the other side of Hollywood Boulevard, the Red Car makes its first of two Hollywoodland stops outside the Celebrity 5 & 10, which is a “one-stop shop” that, while featuring generic merchandise, also features merchandise related to the Red Car and other railways. Neighboring the 5 & 10 to the left, our vision is pulled towards Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Parlour, a place which recalls the Hollywood soda fountains of the 1930s, complete with film memorabilia, preserved props, and stills of the classics. Specialty sundaes, ice cream sodas and triple scoop cones abound. Next door, the Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café has a charming selection of dining and bakery items, the second in-park home of Starbucks Coffee. The Silver Lake Sisters – Dottie, Dolly and Ethel Bounds – once inspired the classic 1933 Silly Symphony short, The Three Little Pigs. In 1937, the three sisters have opened a coffee shop laden with the memorabilia of a previous decade in the limelight. And yes, they often perform here in Hollywoodland throughout the day, as well.


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Just up the road from the FF&P Café, you’ll find a beautiful Streamline Moderne building. Within the blue glass walls and the orange-tinted entrance mural, you’ll find the familiar faces and silhouettes of many a beloved Disney character. Below the vertical marquee, a rotating filmstrip features a gradually-moving image of Mickey Mouse. It is clear that this building is inviting you to explore the ever-fascinating world of Disney Animation. One of the most beautiful, and most interesting, experiences in all the Magic Kingdom, Disney Animation is our firsthand glimpse into the secret world of the Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

There’s so much to see and do at Disney Animation, but first, let’s talk about something that happens outside the building. At certain points throughout the day, three animators take their craft to the streets of Hollywoodland and invite guests to be Drawn to the Magic. In this show, we join three animators as they invite guests to see how they get inspiration for their drawings; each one focusing on a certain kind of character: heroes, princesses and magical friends. Three volunteers are even brought up to help them out by posing a certain way. Then, after a medley of songs from the Disney films, the sketches they've been working on are revealed, and in a true bit of magic, the character they’ve sketched appears before our very eyes! After the show, guests are even invited to meet the characters inside the Disney Animation building’s lobby or right outside nearby the animators’ easels – a perfect photo-op if you ask me!

And by the way, the three characters in the show are as follows: Representing the heroes, Woody. Representing the princesses, Cinderella. And representing the magical friends, who else but Sorcerer Mickey. In addition, other heroes and princesses have been known to drop in on one occasion, if Woody and Cinderella can’t make it to a particular performance. So, for the heroes, Hercules and Peter Pan are on stand-by; and for the princesses, Snow White and Belle are on stand-by.


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Entering the building, we pass by a curved wall in which “Once upon a time…” is inscribed in gold lettering. Once inside the well-sized building, we are greeted by the breathtaking Animation Lobby. Inside this gorgeous place, a number of gargantuan screens convey the clips, music, stills and sketches of the Disney Animated Canon and the Pixar Canon. The films date back from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Peter Pan, all the way up to current films like Tangled and Encanto. The loop here at Hollywoodland, first put into service for the 100th Anniversary of The Walt Disney Company, is a combination both the old (pre-2011) and new (post-2011) loops found at the Disney Animation building at Disney-Universal Studios, with a few new additions added, as well.

Here’s a brief overview of what this loop would feature, listing the films that will appear, and the music that will play underneath each film…
  • The Little Mermaid (“Part of Your World”)​
  • Beauty and the Beast (“Belle”)​
  • Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 (“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”)​
  • Bambi (“Little April Shower”)​
  • Finding Nemo (“Fronds Like These”)​
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (“The Silly Song” / The Evil Queen’s transformation)​
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire (“The Crystal Chamber”)​
  • WALL-E (“Define Dancing”)​
  • The Incredibles (“The Incredits”)​
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (“Winnie the Pooh” / “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers” – the latter segment largely inspired by this video.)​
  • The Jungle Book (“The Bare Necessities”)​
  • Toy Story tetralogy (“You’ve Got a Friend in Me”)​
  • Cinderella (“A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”)​
  • Mulan (“Reflection” – instrumental)​
  • Hercules (“Go the Distance (Reprise)”)​
  • Monsters, Inc. (“The Scare Floor”)​
  • Ratatouille (“La Festin”)​
  • Luca (“Portorosso”)​
  • Zootopia (“Try Everything”)​
  • Lilo & Stitch (“Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride”)​
  • Tarzan (“Two Worlds (Reprise)” – instrumental)​
  • Inside Out (“Dream Productions” / “Bundle of Joy”)​
  • Coco (“Un Poco Loco”)​
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (“The Bells of Notre Dame (Reprise)” – instrumental)​
  • Alice in Wonderland (“The Unbirthday Song”)​
  • The Emperor’s New Groove (“Perfect World”)​
  • Up (“Married Life”)​
  • Lady and the Tramp (“Sunday/The Rat/Morning Paper” / “He’s a Tramp”)​
  • Encanto (“The Family Madrigal” / “Dos Oruguitas”)​
  • Tangled (“I See the Light”)​
  • Dumbo (“Casey Junior” / “Baby Mine”)​
  • The Lion King (“King of Pride Rock”)​
  • Frozen (“Let it Go”)​
  • Moana (“We Know the Way (Finale)”)​
  • Soul (“Epiphany”)​
  • Pocahontas (“Colors of the Wind”)​
  • Sleeping Beauty (“Once Upon a Dream”)​
  • Wish (Whatever the major song from the film will be; I intend to come back and fill this part in once the film comes out)​
  • Aladdin (“A Whole New World”)​
  • Peter Pan (“The Second Star to the Right”)​
  • Pinocchio / Finale Montage (“When You Wish Upon a Star”)​

This indoor courtyard is our “hub” for the varied wings of the sprawling exhibition. There are four major components of the Disney Animation building, and we shall explore them, going from left to right. First, directly to our left is the Animation Academy. In this magical classroom, learn to draw a beloved Disney character with a hands-on lesson from a Disney artist.

Right next door to the Animation Academy is Character Close-Up. What Disney animation exhibit wouldn’t be complete without the chance to meet a beloved Disney character? Well, there are so many beloved characters from Walt Disney Animation Studios, it’s impossible to decide which ones to have meeting guests here. What to do? Randomize, of course! In this colorful meet-and-greet, you’ll get the chance to meet up with four randomized characters representing four time periods: The Golden Age (1930s/1940s), The Silver Age (1950s/1960s/1970s), The Renaissance (1980s/1990s) and The New Millennium (2000s/2010s/2020s). Every morning, a different movie from each time period is selected by a computer, and one or two characters from the film in question are scheduled for an all-day meet ‘n’ greet in the space, providing an experience that always proves to be different.

Linking all these separate time periods together are unique walls with projections on them. Behind each character is a specific projection area. In a style similar to what is seen in this video, the world of the character is sketched out right before our eyes and filled in with color (for example, Snow White would have the Dwarfs’ Cottage; Moana would have Motonui; Elsa would have either her ice palace or the Enchanted Forest). This adds for a nice visual for our meet-and-greets, almost as if we are stepping right into an animated world. Surrounding all these screens are more projections. As we wait for our turn to meet these beloved characters, pixie dust darts across the walls (via fiber optics) and familiar Disney characters are drawn before our eyes, also in the style of the video linked above.


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Then, there’s the Sorcerer’s Workshop, a collection of three exhibits each focusing on a different aspect of bringing an animated character to life: development, voice and appearance. In the Magic Mirror’s Realm, we can create simple animation via spinning “reels”, create our own virtual portraits and mosaics, piece together our own Silly Symphony short or create an adventurous and romantic plot to their own animated film. There are also interactive exhibits teach how the principles of persistence of vision trick the eye into believing that still images are in motion, the most notable exhibit being the mesmerizing Toy Story Zoetrope, a constantly-spinning optical illusion that brings to life several sculptures of characters from the film(s). The stone walls reveal many of our favorite characters arranged by theme: Fairies and Spirits, Heroes and Villains, Mentors and Warriors.

The wise, talking portrait of the Magic Mirror points the path into Ursula’s Grotto, the eerie but humble abode of Ursula the Sea Witch. Rather than stealing our voice for her own benefit, Ursula allows us to do a bit of voiceover work, re-recording our own voices over classic scenes and songs from Disney animation. The adjoint Beast’s Library allows us to find our “Disney” self in a humorous quiz with Lumiere and Cogsworth. One of the most beautiful areas in the entire park, the Beast’s Library seems to stretch into the heavens, often falling into a state of disrepair before the displayed rose is restored and beauty and magic brighten the chamber.


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An element from the original Disney Animation at Disney-Universal Studios, Back to Neverland is a classic film starring Walter Cronkite and Robin Williams, who gets transformed into a Lost Boy and fights alongside Captain Hook, in a demonstration of how hand-drawn animated films are made. In 2011, a sequel – “Back Again to Neverland” – was created to follow the original film, once again starring Robin Williams, but this time, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and focusing on CGI animation. The film ends with a discussion from prominent animators and directors of Disney and Pixar, discussing what animation means to them, culminating in a moving montage featuring a highlight of clips from every film in the Disney Animated Canon, all set to a dramatic score of some of the best music from these movies.

When it comes time to leave, you head out past a wall similar to the one we passed when we entered, this time reading “...and they lived happily ever after.” Disney Animation exits out into the Off the Page store, which showcases merchandise from several classic animated Disney films.


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The original Carthay Circle Theatre, built in 1926, played a significant role in the life of Walt Disney. His first feature-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered there in 1937 and, in 1941, groundbreaking stereophonic Fantasound was installed in the theatre for the West Coast premiere of Fantasia. The Carthay Circle Theatre of Hollywoodland, located across the street from Disney Animation, is in reflection of the romance and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, including references to the accomplishments of Walt Disney and his original animators. In fact, for this replica, the Imagineers studied the original floor plans and photographs down to the last detail, in order to make sure that the circular theater looked exactly like it did all those years ago. The theater makes use of orchestra and balcony seating and a pit for live musical accompaniment.

The first major production to be performed at the Carthay Circle Theatre when Hollywoodland opened in 1999 was Animazement, a show which brought together the characters and stories of the Disney Renaissance. Animazement came and went, and what replaced it? Well, what would a land themed around the glitz and glamour of Hollywood be without an awards ceremony?


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The proud musical legacy of Disney is on full display as the Carthay Circle hosts The Golden Mickeys! Directed by acclaimed Broadway director Diane Paulus and choreographed by Maria Torres, The Golden Mickeys highlights achievements by various Disney characters in several different categories; represented, of course, through some of the most iconic songs to come from the Disney movies. Right from the get-go, the feeling of being at an awards ceremony hits you. The pathway that leads up to the theater is outfitted with a red carpet and banners. There’s no mistaking that a special event is about to take place. A velvet rope is set up a few feet away from the entrance doors. Behind this cordoned off area is a video camera. An announcement is made that Rona Rivers, famed red carpet hostess, will be interviewing guests as they arrive for the show. A beautiful woman in a gold evening gown arrives and begins her sound and camera checks. A display of the awards to be presented is set up behind her. As the special guests (a.k.a. us) arrive, Rona selects a few to interview. Each is asked what “designer” line they are wearing, who's their favorite Disney character and other “red carpet” questions. While this is fun to watch in person, you can see these interviews as they're broadcast inside the theater.

However, just as the music tunes up and the performance is about to begin, there’s a commotion backstage. The master of ceremonies has failed to appear, so a reluctant young stage manager named Chris (who, in this version of the show, is a genderfluid role) must take over hosting duties. The show follows the age old show biz tale of the star unable to perform with the understudy stepping into and shining in their role, ultimately realizing that anything is possible and dreams really do come true. What makes the show truly stand out is that it highlights many of the classic Disney films. In fact, there are fifteen Disney films represented in this 65-minute production – and that’s not even counting the hundreds of other films represented via movie clips and montages! To prove it, here’s a program detailing all the songs and films represented in the show…

  • Pre-Show: “Red Carpet Arrival”​
  • Opening: “Tonight is the Night”​
  • History Lesson (Scene between Chris and Leonard Maltin)
  • Classic: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • “Someday My Prince Will Come”​
    • “Whistle While You Work”​
    • “Heigh-Ho”​
  • Heroism​
  • Symphony​
    • “Under the Sea” (The Little Mermaid)
    • “Dig a Little Deeper” (The Princess and the Frog)
  • Villainy​
    • “Cruella de Vil” (101 Dalmatians)
  • Friendship​
    • “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” (Lilo & Stitch)
    • “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (Toy Story)
  • Romance​
    • “Bella Notte” (Lady and the Tramp)
    • “I See the Light” (Tangled)
    • “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (The Lion King)
    • “Beauty and the Beast” (Beauty and the Beast)
  • Finale: “Who Knows Where a Dream Might Lead?”​

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And ever since the Carthay Circle Theatre opened, the Yuletide season has brought along a cherished classic: Mickey’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. In this festive revue, Clement C. Moore’s iconic holiday poem is given a Disney update, with Mickey and Minnie as the narrator and his wife, respectively, Goofy as St. Nick, as well as Pluto, Chip, Dale, and even Hyacinth Hippo from Fantasia in smaller roles. And the reason I call this show a “revue” is because it makes use of a wide and unique variety of Christmas tunes, including “We Need a Little Christmas”, “Santa Baby” and even Brian Setzer’s take on “Jingle Bells.” Making use of a boisterous ensemble, live musical accompaniment, and a few other special surprises, Mickey’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas is definitely a high point in any Magic Kingdom holiday celebration.

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At the northern end of Hollywood Boulevard splits off into the Grauman’s Chinese Theater Courtyard, a much needed expanded courtyard, surrounded with lush, green foliage and planted with lining palm trees. The surrounding area is lined with plains of grass, planted with bountiful trees, illuminated with twinkling LED lights. The courtyard is quite the common place for meet ‘n’ greets. Befitting the land’s status as a land themed around Hollywood, the usual faces you can find here are Mickey and the gang, as well as the stars of Disney Channel and Disney Junior

Standing before us is the shining star of Hollywoodland: a life-size replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The Chinese Theatre is one of the most famous in all of Hollywood, a theater which has hosted dozens of award shows and numerous movie premieres. It is truly the icon of all of the glitz and glamour that Hollywood could imply. The theater has hosted dozens of award shows and numerous movie premieres, including two Disney films: Mary Poppins in 1964 and The Jungle Book in 1967, souvenirs from which you can find in window displays. Outside of the theater, instrumental musical pieces from well-known movies play.

The actual Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles had been studied to be re-created and detailed in exact appearance here in Hollywoodland. Not only was the exterior of the Theater created, but even the forecourt was created, having actual celebrity handprints and spurting fountains along the rim of the Theater. In fact, this Chinese Theatre is so detailed, searchlights wave proudly behind it at night. Having celebrities arrive to place their handprints has been a time-honored tradition of Hollywoodland ever since Opening Day. Some of the first additions include Alan Alda, Liza Minnelli and Danny DeVito, and some of the more modern additions include the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Meryl Streep and Channing Tatum.


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“Ready when you are, C.B.!”

Inside the theater, we can take The Great Movie Ride, a 25-minute guided dark ride through the history of cinema, cataloging and bringing to life some of the greatest stories ever told. Brimming with excitement, we enter the lavish movie palace and into a lobby filled with iconic props and posters of the silver screen; Dorothy’s ruby slippers, the Ark of the Covenant, Mary Poppins’ carousel horse. An inspired collection of trailers and scenes of classic cinema lead to a soundstage held beneath the Hollywoodland Sign at twilight. Here we board a “traveling theater” for a guided, immersive tour through the world of cinematic history.

The Great Movie Ride employs the use of Audio-Animatronic figures, practical sets, live actors, projections and special effects in a 25-minute experience. Along the way, we pass screen legends in their most iconic roles; a tableau of film in a timeless snapshot, from one movie to the next. And at one point, we become part of the action when a gangster shootout leads a mug named Mugsy to hijack our car! The finale, of course, brings all the films together in a moving montage of what else, but great movies… Such featured films include Titanic, High Noon, Singin’ in the Rain and The Wizard of Oz.


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If you need to take a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of Hollywoodland, then take a quiet stroll through the Eastern Gardens. This is a tranquil and gorgeous garden nestled alongside the left side of the Chinese Theatre and into the Hollywoodland Hills, which serve as the street’s backdrop. Under the hill’s uneven letters reading HOLLYWOODLAND are the garden’s walking paths, bridges, streams, pagodas, and waterfalls that serve as a break from the ever-frantic pulse of Tinseltown. Nestled in the shadow of the Hollywoodland Hills, guests will find the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant, a lavish restaurant modeled after the truly iconic location. The restaurant is famously known for its Cobb salad, which was apparently Sid Grauman’s favorite snack after he had undergone some dental work. The restaurant features wonderful meals, while completely re-inventing the iconic restaurant, which even includes the classic Bamboo Room, modeled after the VIP Space.

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And that's where we'll stop for now. There's still plenty more to see and do here in Hollywoodland, and I intend to show it to you on Saturday, November 12, so stay tuned for that!

The idea for the Eastern Gardens was one borrowed from an elaborate pre-Galaxy's Edge/Toy Story Land concept a fan devised for a revitalized Hollywood Studios, as seen on Theme Park Tourist. "Back Again to Neverland" comes from @MANEATINGWREATH and his Dream Disney Resort thread; and the land itself was largely inspired by what he did for the earlier versions of Mirror Disneyland. And I should point out, the idea to have the handprint ceremonies continue well on into the land's existence comes from an idea from a revitalized Great Movie Ride concept we had back on the Visions Fantastic forums of old, devised by @comics101, @Snoopy, as well as FutureImagineer and Monkey4057.

I think the Great Movie Ride should've have Toontown scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit which transition to the Muppet Movie's swamp scene aka Rainbow Connection.
 

The Lochness Monsta

Active Member
I think the Great Movie Ride should've have Toontown scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit which transition to the Muppet Movie's swamp scene aka Rainbow Connection.

OOOOOOO Ahhhhhhhh, that sounds like a great idea. With all they own I really wish they would have kept GMR. There's so much they could have done with it. Mickey could have been put somewhere else in the park like Launch Bay.
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I think the Great Movie Ride should've have Toontown scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit which transition to the Muppet Movie's swamp scene aka Rainbow Connection.

OOOOOOO Ahhhhhhhh, that sounds like a great idea. With all they own I really wish they would have kept GMR. There's so much they could have done with it. Mickey could have been put somewhere else in the park like Launch Bay.
Actually, you guys, they won't be in The Great Movie Ride. I technically already revealed this back in the Halloween post, but both Roger Rabbit and The Muppets will be having their own separate attractions in Hollywoodland, so they'll still get some park representation here in Mirror Walt Disney World.
 

DisneyFan32

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
Actually, you guys, they won't be in The Great Movie Ride. I technically already revealed this back in the Halloween post, but both Roger Rabbit and The Muppets will be having their own separate attractions in Hollywoodland, so they'll still get some park representation here in Mirror Walt Disney World.
Oh, man. I want to see Roger Rabbit and Muppets gets representation in The Great Movie Ride so bad. Anyways, is Roger Rabbit's Runaway Trolley will gonna have many Toon cameos appear during the ride, and what Toon cameos aka Disney characters we will also gonna see non-Disney characters like Bugs Bunny, Betty Boop, Popeye, etc...
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Oh, man. I want to see Roger Rabbit and Muppets gets representation in The Great Movie Ride so bad. Anyways, is Roger Rabbit's Runaway Trolley will gonna have many Toon cameos appear during the ride, and what Toon cameos aka Disney characters we will also gonna see non-Disney characters like Bugs Bunny, Betty Boop, Popeye, etc...
Well, to be frank, if I ever describe what Universal Orlando is like in a Mirror universe where, as @MANEATINGWREATH established, Universal Orlando didn't open until 2005, I think Warner Bros. would be siding more with them than they would with Disney. Wizarding World opens there, as I mentioned earlier, and I'm honestly intrigued by a "second gate" that's a cross between Epic Universe and the original "Cartoon World." So, sadly, much like with Car Toon Spin, no Warner Bros./outside studio cameos. Sorry.

And now, let us resume our tour of Hollywoodland.

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Extending from the Chinese Theatre Courtyard are two pathways, each leading to different places in Hollywoodland. Located to your right is Valiant Way, a sub-area inspired by the Academy Award-winning Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The film successfully created the illusion that animated characters were interacting in the “real” world with people, thanks to the state-of-the-art technology of that time. Steps away from Disney Animation, we come across the Hollywood Cab Co., the exterior for Roger Rabbit’s Runaway Trolley.

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The attraction, which is among the six that first opened in 1999 with the rest of Hollywoodland, revisits the fabulous misadventures of Roger Rabbit and his beloved wife, Jessica. After a series of mishaps aboard the “Toontown Jolly Trolley,” tour guide Roger loses his hold on the controls. Suddenly, the trolley is sent hurtling through innumerable obstacles and misadventures that would only be possible in Toontown - portable holes, falling anvils, and a number of unexpected cartoon cameos! The villainous Weasels are pouring Toon-melting Dip all throughout Toontown, and our trolley is doomed for a date with Doom... Oh, and do watch out for that annoying Aracuan Bird!

The attraction features state-of-the-art technology - including a “next generation” flight simulator, digital 3D video, Audio-Animatronics characters, and “in-trolley” special effects and music.

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Lowbrow tomfoolery is the stock-in-trade of the Gag Factory, the Runaway Trolley’s obligatory “exit through the gift shop”, where rubber chickens and whoopee cushions are manufactured by a highly over-engineered contraption. Gag gifts and Toon merchandise are all the rage in this prop warehouse, a clever gift emporium for the young and the young-at-heart. Roger and Jessica (as a face character, not as that creepy fur character seen in Paris) can often be found for meet ‘n’ greets nearby, occasionally joined by Eddie Valiant.

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In-between the Hollywood Cab Co. entrance and the Gag Factory, a door leads to the opulent foyer of the Ink & Paint Club. An Audio-Animatronics Bongo stands guard from behind a window mere feet from the entrance, asking for the password – which, if you’re curious, is “Walt sent me.” Of course, since this is a theme park, he can’t actually kick anyone out, so we’re free to pass. Just don’t comment on the monkey suit!

Once past Bongo, a host motions us toward a “larger than life” portrait of Marvin Acme, the so-called “Gag King.” Even so, the rose etched on his breast pocket squirts water straight from the canvas. Suddenly, the entire wall begins to move and we are thrust into the smokey nightclub, with jazz blaring and cigarette girls roaming the room. A large octopus is our bartender, while the penguins of Mary Poppins hustle as the frantic waitstaff. Corks are popping and dinner is served. Rarely does live entertainment occur – only on special occasions – so for the most part, we get to enjoy classic Disney cartoons projected onto the big screen.

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Turn left from the Chinese Theatre, and the path leads toward a most unique cul-de-sac. Welcome to Muppet Studios, where Jim Henson’s iconic cavalcade of creatures run the show! This is the place where the Muppets live and work, welcoming visitors from all over the world to experience their wacky, almost explosive antics.

Oh, and I should point something out about this Mirror universe: In this Mirror universe, Jim Henson does not die young. He is able to reach the doctor’s office in time to be cured of the pneumonia that, in our universe, sealed his doom. With this said, the deal between Disney and the Muppets goes through in 1990. Disney acquires the rights to many Henson and Muppet productions – with the big exception of Sesame Street, which remained under the control of the Children’s Television Workshop – and Henson himself oversees many future projects that push the Muppets beyond their worth. Of course, classics like The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppets Tonight still get made, just as they do in our universe. Henson retires from active puppeteering in 2011 at the age of 75, though he still produces and oversees various other Muppet projects. Oddly enough, the last big project he worked on in this Mirror universe was The Muppets (2011), so it serves as a fitting farewell for the man’s performing career. He hands over Kermit to Steve Whitmire, who does not get fired in this Mirror universe. Anyways, with this tangent aside, let’s move on.

Stepping through the Muppet Studios entrance gate, bizarrely-styled buildings, peculiar gardens and a massive hot-air balloon marked with the grinning face of Kermit the Frog welcome us to this unique district of Hollywood, where the strains of 1930s jazz fade in favor of classic Muppet favorites – “The Muppet Show Theme”, “Movin’ Right Along”, “The Rainbow Connection”, etc. The brick courtyard leads to a Muppet fountain right in the middle. The fountain features several Muppets, including Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Rizzo and Miss Piggy, dressed as the Statue of Liberty. A plaque in front of the fountain features the quote featured above, and is dedicated by Jim Henson in the name of, of course, “the lovers, the dreamers and you.”

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Directly behind the fountain, guests will find the outstanding Jim Henson’s Muppet*Vision 3D in a brick soundstage building. The venerable classic seats us in a perfect replica of the theater from the classic television series, The Muppet Show. As the curtain rises, Kermit, Miss Piggy and the whole Muppets menagerie appear in eye-popping 3D. They’re taking us on a zany tour of Muppet Labs and showing off their new movie-making invention: Muppet*Vision 3D. Things, of course, go haywire when Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker set off a disastrous string of events into motion. With onscreen musical numbers, Audio-Animatronics figures and live-in-theater special effects, it’s a show guaranteed to bring the house down – and end with a glorious “three-hour” finale: a “Salute to All Nations, but Mostly America.” Oh, and here’s a fun little tidbit: Although the front of the Muppet*Vision building is rather regal with its brick-faced facade, the back is a complete 180. There are bizarre paintings and all sorts of wackily-designed pipes. This references a unique tidbit of Jim Henson’s career. As he and his fellow Muppeteers were waiting to perform on The Jack Parr Program in 1964, they decided to kill time by painting pipes in a supply closet in their dressing room...paintings which still exist to this day!

Flanking the entrance gate are two buildings. To our left is Rizzo’s Prop & Pawn Shop, a complete gift store themed to the Muppets. Designed like an old television studio, complete with “MUPT” tower, the store features three themed sections: one themed to the Muppet Babies segment from The Muppets Take Manhattan; the other themed to the “Magic Store” sequence that ended The Muppet Movie, featuring lighting rigs, camera equipment and real props used in the Muppet movies, set around the elaborate set used during the “Rainbow Connection” reprise; and the last is an exact replica of the Happiness Hotel set from The Great Muppet Caper. Steps away is the Muppet Studios’ restroom facility, courtesy of Gonzo’s Royal Flush, the business seen – and just as quickly destroyed – in The Muppets (2011).

An old warehouse found to our right houses Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop. The workshop is unique to the Magic Kingdom in the sense that it provides live puppet shows and an exhibit all about Jim Henson’s Muppets from their early days in Sam and Friends to their heyday in The Muppet Show. For a good sum of money, we can design our own Muppet and receive one-on-one tips from a trained Muppeteer. If we do not wish to pay, all we have to do is pick-up a spare Muppet Whatnot from the Muppet Chest and enjoy. There’s even a special experience for children to learn the fine art of Muppeteering, hosted by P.J. and Kai-Lee, two young Muppets who have experience working with children. After all, they were the ones who starred in the Jim Henson Play-Along Video series of the 80s. (The link provides an example of their work.) The giant Muppet-Tron 3000 overlooks the workshop, often playing classic clips and skits from The Muppet Show.

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The Muppet Workshop also houses meet ‘n’ greets with the Muppets themselves, in the flesh…or fur, rather. Authentic, trained puppeteers provide guests the chance to meet the gang, full of life; while a technology similar to the Talking Mickey system allows guests the chance to carry on a conversation with the Muppets. Among the usual faces we can meet here are Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Rizzo and Pepe; although faces like Rowlf, Sam Eagle, Scooter, the Swedish Chef and Statler and Waldorf can be found rotating here throughout the day.



Chickens squawk and explosions echo as we approach The Great Gonzo’s Pandemonium Pizza Parlor. Inspired by the dive pizza joints of Manhattan, the music and mayhem inside set the stage for a truly “Muppetational” experience. Real-life Muppet costumes and props are on display. The living, breathing pizza oven often has a chat with patrons, belching smoke to no remorse. Rats scurry past in the shadows, busily handling ingredients, and even personally delivering meals to guests! (This is accomplished via Audio-Animatronics rats running along on tracks.) Autographed headshots and Muppet memorabilia line the walls. And don’t be too shocked when an explosion causes the entire restaurant to shake. It’s just another one of Gonzo’s stunts gone wrong. The waitstaff even gets in on the fun, hastily apologizing for the inconvenience. Of course, Gonzo is perfectly fine, and if you listen closely, you can hear him talking and singing to himself as he climbs through the restaurant’s air ducts.

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Of course, Streetmosphere can be found aplenty here. Muppet Studios is the place to go to hear the sweet sounds of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Arriving in – and performing from – their glamorous tour bus, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot and Animal take the stage to play the latest and greatest songs, some covers, some originals. Expect “Can You Picture That?” to be featured at least once a day. Plus, the band even takes time to meet their fans after each performance! Muppet Studios is also a common location for the Muppet Mobile Lab to appear, another interactive experience, where “living character” Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker take members from their audience to help enlist in the creation and performance of their new inventions.

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Just beyond the joyful reaches of Muppet Studios, guests will find an abandoned part of town, decrepit and derelict. In this part of town, the Hollywood Tower Hotel casts a foreboding shadow against the streets. Looking at this 199-foot tall structure, something bad has happened. A giant, cracked hole in the middle of the tower appears, as a complete part of the building has seemingly been ripped from the hotel. We step uneasily up a hill, leading into the lobby into the infamous hotel, only to find it dusty, abandoned, frozen in time, with everything in order as it was nearly one hundred years ago, left in untouched condition. Even the subdued hotel staff seems to be strangely out of this long-lost era.

Legend has it that the hotel was once the pinnacle of the hotels in Tinseltown, until something tragic happened. The year was 1939. The Hollywood Tower Hotel was holding its annual Halloween shindig. However, during the soiree, lightning struck the tower, causing an elevator and five unfortunate hotel patrons, as well as an entire wing of the hotel itself, to disappear; completely wiped off the face of the earth. In the aftermath of such a tragedy, the Hollywood Tower closed its doors. But now, the doors have mysteriously opened up, allowing guests to take an unusual journey aboard that haunted elevator. We strap ourselves in and prepare to discover what lies among the dark side of the Hollywood dream. We shriek in terror as we are suddenly propelled up and down the abandoned shaft – unexpectedly dropping and rising – as the sound of cables snapping and metal clanging rings in from overhead. When this living nightmare finally ceases, we’ll hopefully discover the mysteries of the Hollywood Tower Hotel ... or as it’s more commonly referred to ... the Tower of Terror.

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The desolate, 199-foot tall hotel is easily one of Walt Disney World’s tallest landmarks. So, as to not dwarf the iconic Cinderella Castle, which is ten feet smaller, the Imagineers built the Tower lower, in a style similar to how they set up the park on top of the Utilidors. Unaware guests hardly realize that the pavement leading from the center of Hollywoodland to the Tower of Terror is on a downward slope. In fact, the foundation of the Tower of Terror is 20 feet below ground surface; and construction began on Tower long before construction began on the rest of Hollywoodland, in order to ensure that guests could walk down the slope easily.

The Magic Kingdom’s Tower of Terror is notable for two reasons. First, it was the only Hollywoodland attraction at the time to be unique to Florida. In fact, their Tower opened a good five years before its clone at Disney-Universal Studios did. One can tell because Florida’s Tower was inspired by Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, whereas California’s was Pueblo Deco in design. What is also notable about the Magic Kingdom’s Tower of Terror is its theming. When the attraction opened, it was themed to The Twilight Zone. But in 2016, it was decided to re-theme the ride, to see if the ride could still stand on its own without the Twilight Zone framing device. In a similar vein to Tokyo DisneySea’s Tower, the existing backstory was expanded into a full-fledged story. Now, guests join a team of investigators to discover what happened to the hotel, and what caused the elevator’s disappearance. Instead of Rod Serling, an old 1930s newsreel gives us the basic backstory of the lightning incident, a newsreel that is interrupted by a live feed from the investigation team. The fifth dimension scene was re-worked as a new scene based on the Halloween 1939 backstory. Joel McNeeley, he who scored Tokyo’s Tower, was brought on to re-work that haunting score to fit this new backstory. And of course, the voice of the head investigator crackles away as the hotel takes over and the drop sequence begins.

The Tower of Terror is considered a member of the Magic Kingdom’s “Terrifying Trio,” three attractions considered unusually macabre for such a family-friendly park (And as for the other two members? The Haunted Mansion and The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter). Our frightening excursion supernaturally exits into Tower Gifts, a musty gift shop of the old Hollywood Tower Hotel.

Hollywoodland sure is one big place to get around. Here is a map detailing where everything is here, as well as detailing the location of Galaxy’s Edge here in this Mirror-universe Magic Kingdom.

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For the sake of context, The Golden Mickeys would be where CineMagic is labeled. I originally wanted to put the Paris favorite in this land, but then I realized that it was essentially a movie version of The Great Movie Ride; hence why I put The Golden Mickeys in there.

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And there we have Hollywoodland! What did you all think of it? Once again, I must credit @MANEATINGWREATH, as his Hollywoodland from Mirror Disneylands past inspired the land you see here.

I think I'm going to take a few days to prepare the next post, so join me on Tuesday, November 15, as we conclude our tour of the Magic Kingdom with a visit to Tomorrowland!
 

comics101

Well-Known Member
The idea for the Eastern Gardens was one borrowed from an elaborate pre-Galaxy's Edge/Toy Story Land concept a fan devised for a revitalized Hollywood Studios, as seen on Theme Park Tourist. "Back Again to Neverland" comes from @MANEATINGWREATH and his Dream Disney Resort thread; and the land itself was largely inspired by what he did for the earlier versions of Mirror Disneyland. And I should point out, the idea to have the handprint ceremonies continue well on into the land's existence comes from an idea from a revitalized Great Movie Ride concept we had back on the Visions Fantastic forums of old, devised by @comics101, @Snoopy, as well as FutureImagineer and Monkey4057.

*Loved* that challenge. Boy do I miss the old Visions Fantastic days! Holy cow guys, we've been armchair Imagineering for such a long time now! ahaha
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And now, here is the final land of the Magic Kingdom!

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Tomorrowland

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Imagine, if you will, a vision of the future with its roots in the past… In this kinetic metropolis of tomorrow, the hope and promise for a better future have seamlessly clashed with the color and imagination of Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon. Amidst landed spacecrafts, whirring contraptions, and bizarre creatures from the darkest reaches of known space, the “future that never was” is finally here!

Volcanic rock formations mark the entrance to Tomorrowland, hissing steam from leagues beneath the earth… Misshapen rocks and sparkling crystals protrude from the waters below, undulating with an ethereal, almost alien glow. As a rusted placard decrees, these supernatural formations were uncovered just centuries before, the last relics of a vanished sentient race. The crystals have only begun to glow as of late, a supposed beacon for the return of their creators to Earth, sending a message far out into the deepest reaches of space that Earth is finally an advanced enough civilization that it could begin accepting visits from extraterrestrials. As always, we enter the land via bridge; only, our bridge here is built from the half-submerged wreckage of a flying saucer crashed into the river.

When we step foot inside this immense metropolis, we’ll find ourselves in an advanced, “modernized” spaceport of the 24th Century, as made clear by the seamless blend of chrome, iron and metal, washed in hues of blues and purples - not to mention video advertisements produced by the city to describe their “reinvention.” Outlandish, ominous, and wholeheartedly bizarre, Tomorrowland blends the pulp Deco-Tech aesthetic of 1920s and 1930s science-fiction with the color, neon and imagination of tomorrow’s utopia. Here, everyday living is improved through curious science, oddball inventions and intergalactic travel… Robots, space aliens, and human inventors – fictional or otherwise – work, live, and play here in perfect harmony. In fact, so renowned and advanced is Tomorrowland that it was chosen to serve as the headquarters for the League of Planets, an organization devoted to promoting peace among the various galaxies in the universe.

When we step into Tomorrowland, we’ll be entering Rockettower Plaza, the aptly titled “Civic Center of Interstellar Citizenship.” Rockettower Plaza is the hub of Tomorrowland, where all the major places of work and play are in the city. Beyond Rockettower Plaza are the “Hover-Burbs”, where the citizens of Tomorrowland live. In fact, the Contemporary Resort is even woven into the area – in Tomorrowland, the Contemporary is known as “Perfect Park Acres, the latest in Hover-Burb Communities.” Here in Rockettower Plaza, there couldn’t have been a better time for us to visit. You see, we’ve arrived in Tomorrowland just in time for the Galaxy’s Fair, where all forms of life gather together to show off the latest technological breakthroughs.

Beneath the soaring highways of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and the towering arches of this bustling community, we venture down the Avenue of Planets, the “Main Street” of science fiction. Kinetic sculptures, video walls, and electronic advertisements portray the innovation and mystique of “tomorrow”, with nonsensical gadgets to save on human labor. Storefront windows display robots performing household chores, a la Horizons. In the vast promenade at the end of the Avenue of Planets, a sleek, streamlined rocket, The Explorer, points to the stars, readied for a launch into some far-off system beyond sight and sound. The narrow “mall” of the Avenue of Planets features an attraction on either side: To the left, The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. To the right, The Timekeeper.


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The Tomorrowland Interplanetary Convention Center welcomes visitors to experience the latest in scientific innovation and design from the various corporate leagues of the known universe. Within these walls, we are introduced to the genius, alien minds behind X-S Tech. Once again, we serve as “lucky volunteers” to “seize the future” with X-S and catch a glimpse at their latest invention: the X-S 2000 Teleportation System. One awry presentation after another results in an unforgettable encounter…

A botched transmission results in the accidental arrival of a bloodthirsty creature from another planet… Angered, hungry, and confused, the alien monster breaks loose from the teleportation tube, causing horrific chaos in the now-darkened viewing chamber. Gnashing fangs, warm breath, hot drool, shattering glass, splattering blood, and a slimy, foreign tongue are among the extrasensory thrills encountered in this, the scariest and decidedly “most adult” attraction in the Magic Kingdom. Like it or not, The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter is here to scare...uh, I mean “stay”.

In 2002, it was announced that the show would undergo a re-casting in the wake of … well, something rather terrible regarding Jeffrey Jones, the actor who played X-S Tech chairman L.C. Clench. Kelsey Grammer took up the reins as Clench, and John Michael Higgins took up the role of Spinlok. Kathy Najimy retained her role as Dr. Femus and Tim Curry was retained as S.I.R., the robotic pre-show host. This new casting debuted on October 12, 2003.

The Interplanetary Convention Center hosting Alien Encounter exits into the iconic Merchants of Venus, a retro-futuristic bazaar in which aliens, humans and robots alike are invited to trade, sell and offer their wares from across the universe. In-store murals depict a side of Tomorrowland not seen to us - soaring skyscrapers, bustling highways, and floating suburbs. Not but a few feet from Merchants of Venus is The Space Place, a smaller shop offering wares themed around Disney’s sci-fi library.

Across the way from The Space Place are two quick-service eating options. First is Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, an ice-cream shop neighboring Merchants of Venus. Inside, we can try some of the finest ice cream and some of the most succulent smoothies in the whole galaxy. Oh, and by the way, the source of ice cream here in Tomorrowland? The Milky Way, of course! Then, there is The Lunching Pad, a counter-service location offering sandwiches, chicken nuggets, chips, salads, punch, desserts and other snacks. It also has a full salad bar with all sorts of toppings and dressings for your sandwiches or salads. The PeopleMover passes right through the restaurant on its way to Space Mountain.


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The late, great Robin Williams posthumously provides his voice to the title character of The Timekeeper, the finest in CircleVision 360 entertainment that has long been forgotten in the Disney theme park universe. Today, The Timekeeper has received an update for a new generation, featuring a new, high-definition, seamless CircleVision film (while the scenes remain the same to accommodate the Robin Williams/Rhea Perlmann dialogue; they’re all new and reshot; even the Jules Verne actor is different) with new in-theater effects and magic. Entering the Metropolis Science Centre sends us far forward into the future where robots in the likeliness of Timekeeper and 9-Eye are able to exist, the dream of many a classic futurist come true. What ensues next is a 360 degree trip through time and space, all the while accompanied by an unintentionally “kidnapped” Jules Verne who experiences many ideas in which he wrote about coming into fruition.

In 1972, If You Had Wings came in for a landing in Tomorrowland. This Eastern Airlines-sponsored Omnimover attraction captured the sensation of flight, and became an immediate favorite. Alas, it only operated for ten years, closing in 1982 for fear of redundancy with EPCOT’s forthcoming World Above pavilion. In 1984, TRON: Escape the Grid opened, using the same Omnimover system. This operated for over 30 years, finally closing in 2018. Why did it close? Well, it was all to make way for another new attraction…


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Further down the street from the Avenue of Planets is the Tomorrowland Exhibition Hall. Today, as part of the Galaxy’s Fair happening in Tomorrowland, the Nova Corps, peaceful representatives of the planet Xandar, who also double as the planet’s police force, have elected to use a pavilion to tell the people of Earth about Xandar, and to hopefully establish a peaceful connection with Earthlings. Thus, within the walls of the Exhibition Hall is the Galaxarium, which will not only give people a glimpse of the universe, but also give them hyperspeed access to Xandar. Alas, those plans are derailed as the presentation is interrupted by Eson, a celestial being who, taking after the Mad Titan, wants to remove all of humanity from the universe. So, the Nova Corps must call on the Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Drax and Groot to arrive on “Terra” (what we call Earth) in the nick of time to save humanity from the threat of immediate extinction…again.

Hopping aboard a fast-moving Starjumper, we careen through intergalactic mayhem from all ends of the universe, as one of Star-Lord’s “Awesome Mix” tapes blasts a classic tune. These Starjumpers have been specifically spruced up by Rocket, in order to follow Eson from jump point to jump point, from one corner of the universe to the next…and even all the way back to the Big Bang!

An incredible motion simulator adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened on January 27, 2021, after an astonishing three years of construction and development. The ride utilizes the simulators that once took guests to a galaxy far, far away on Star Tours, which were moved over here to save costs. In fact, the reason why TRON closed in 2018 was so they could start gutting the building ahead of time, so they could move the simulators in with no problems. The experience exits out into Treasures of Xandar, selling any and all merchandise themed around Guardians of the Galaxy.


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After Tomorrowland underwent its refurbishment and became New Tomorrowland in 1994, the original atmospheric music changed to reflect a mixture of modern electro-synthetic musical impressions, interwoven with recognizable themes from Disney’s many film productions and former attractions from Tomorrow’s past. The atmospheric music of Tomorrowland carries into the Merchants of Venus and beyond, even while waiting at the station of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. The TTA PeopleMover soars through the second story of Tomorrowland, traveling through the various attractions and pavilions. Aboard the PeopleMover, we can preview almost every attraction in either land, then come back later to see the whole show.

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The magnificent Astro Orbiter stands proudly in the heart of Rockettower Plaza, a creation of the League of Planets themselves. Seeming to have been borrowed from the pages of a Buck Rogers comic book, the Astro Orbiter is our chance to maneuver a personal rocket on an airborne series of revolutions held high above the streets of Tomorrowland from an elevated platform, sat directly above the TTA station. The streamlined craft of The Explorer sits adjacent to the planets, cogs and contraptions of the Astro Orbiter, acting as a secondary “weenie” to the fantastical attraction. Rocket pilots are invited to dance, float and sail through the air in conjunction with the Astro Orbiter via 16 mechanical arms.

With the advent of New Tomorrowland in 1994 came an all-new elevated walkway, connecting the Astro Orbiter to a few new vantage points in Tomorrowland. This eliminated the need for the escalator up, and a new queue was set up along the walkway. Built into the base of the TTA station is the Space Bar, specializing in non-alcoholic cocktails with an intergalactic twist. At night, these drinks glow thanks to special, glowing ice cubes, blending in beautifully with the neon lights of Tomorrowland.

Built directly behind Rockettower Plaza is a unique restaurant: Cosmic Ray’s Starliner Diner. This is a unique take on a table-service restaurant here in the Magic Kingdom. Let’s just say it’s not every day you get to have a meal inside a flying saucer! Yes, Cosmic Ray sets up shop from within his giant flying saucer, which has docked right here in Tomorrowland. In fact, it overlooks the land almost as much as the iconic Space Mountain! Much like Tokyo Disneyland’s Space Mountain, a prominent escalator leads guests up into the dining room within the saucer. After checking in with the concierge service by the entrance of Space Mountain, guests will be free to wander until paged on their phone or led straight to the escalators. After a short ride up, the doors will open welcoming guests to the Starliner Diner.

Looking towards the center of Tomorrowland, guests are greeted by sloping windows that reach towards the ceiling. The windows themselves are regular windows augmented with projection technology. Over the course of their dining experience, guests will witness rockets launching and landing in the distance, robots traveling through the sky, and other strange sights. The window supports sport a modern medal look with inset lights. The Starliner Diner itself looks like a trendy, high-class nightclub, or the futuristic alien equivalent of such. The food offered is served in a style similar to Garden Grill, wherein the various entrees and sides are served all at the same time in a family-style platter. Now, of course, it wouldn’t be a nightclub without entertainment, and luckily, Cosmic Ray brought along an old friend…


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Sonny Eclipse, the “biggest little star in the galaxy!” His 27-minute set of tunes – and wisecracks – has been enjoyed by diners multiple times a day since the Starliner Diner opened in 1994. This literal “lounge lizard” tickles the glowing keys of his Astro-Organ, an invention devised in his hometown of Yew Nork City on the Planet Zork, “a topsy-turvy town where the subways are up and the streets are down.” Sonny’s favorite songs include “Planetary Boogie,” “Gravity Blues,” “Bright Little Star” and more. “You know, I recently heard the universe was expanding. Guess it’s time to loosen the asteroid belt!”

Speaking of aliens, at Close Encounters located nearby, you can meet up with everyone's favorite alien, Stitch, as well as his ohana: Lilo, Angel, Jumba and Pleakley. Other such visitors to Tomorrowland include Buzz Lightyear, Mickey and the gang in snazzy astronaut suits, and even WALL-E and EVE! But they aren’t the only characters you can meet here. There’s also PUSH, the Talking Trash Can. Yes, here in Tomorrowland, even the trash cans can talk, and this guy loves rolling about, striking up conversations with unsuspecting visitors.


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Down the road from Cosmic Ray’s is a circular pavilion, the contribution of the Tomorrowland Progress Initiative, a group dedicated to the progress we have made, and a source of inspiration for what may come next. A step inside their pavilion takes us on a trip through time and space aboard Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, one of the most seminal shows in Disney Parks history. Starting at the turn-of-the-century, we meet up with everyone’s favorite Audio-Animatronic family – father John, mother Sarah, daughter Gracie, son James, second daughter Louise, Grandma, Grandpa, faithful dog Rover and, of course, Cousin Orville – who showcase the latest breakthroughs in home-based technology. As the show continues, we step forward in time to the next generation of progress, then the next, and the next, until finally, we see how far progress has traveled into the future and how it may have an effect on our everyday lives. Delighting guests ever since its debut at the 1964 World’s Fair, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is a perfect reminder that there's always a “great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day.”

Of course, the show has received multiple updates over the years, the most recent taking place in 2021, in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Although the scenes have changed, the biggest change of all involves a new post-show.


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Much like the World’s Fair original, the post-show involves guests heading up to the second floor of the Carousel Theater to take a gander at Progress City. The model, which at one point was only visible if you rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, has been fully restored to its original glory. In fact, it was originally going to be part of the 1975 original Magic Kingdom version – they even outfitted the exit theater with the beginnings of the escalator up to the viewing area, set up an exit ramp, and gave the theater a dome in the style of the original 1964 Carousel Theater (and let me tell you, it wasn’t difficult to blend that dome in with the styles of New Tomorrowland in 1994) – but alas, budget cuts cut that part out, and a curtain hung over that escalator for nearly 50 years.

In-between Cosmic Rewind and the Carousel of Progress is a newly-expanded section of Tomorrowland. In the late 1980s, the original Tomorrowland Stage was razed in order to make way for more experiences for guests to experience, the first of which was a certain E-ticket known as Star Tours. Star Tours, which opened on December 15, 1989, was inspired by the classic Star Wars films, and was the first ever attraction to use flight simulator technology. Aboard the StarSpeeder 3000, the rookie pilot Rex would take passengers on a harrowing flight into deep space, encountering icy comets and deadly TIE Fighters, all before destroying an inexplicable third Death Star. The large, multi-tiered “Spaceport” quickly became one of the Magic Kingdom’s biggest hotspots, garnering long lines day after day. Plus, when work began on New Tomorrowland in the early 1990s, it fit theming like a glove, so win-win! In 2011, a new ride film debuted: Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, which utilized a randomized technology system, so that guests could be taken to new places in the Star Wars universe. No two rides were the same!

However, that all changed once an entire land based on Star Wars was announced to be coming to the Magic Kingdom; and thus, that means Star Tours would end up taking its final flight in 2019, just a few weeks after Galaxy’s Edge opened. Work soon began on an all-new attraction with an all-new ride system; an attraction which would premiere on April 26, 2021, two years after the release date of Avengers: Endgame.


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The Star Tours Terminal has turned into the headquarters of the Stark Expo, which offers an all-access look into the company’s legacy of changing the world for the better, before introducing the ground-breaking technology that will shape our future. Displayed are innumerable Stark innovations that will change and improve our home today and the visionary thinking that will transform our entire world tomorrow.

The Stark Expo is divided into several exhibition halls. In the Hall of Protection, we glimpse a number of Iron Man and War Machine suits, including the famous MARK III suit and other leading advancements in the sphere of defense. The Hall of Energy details how an arc reactor could provide enough clean and sustainable energy to power an entire city. But the piece de resistance is the display in the Hall of Mobility: the latest technological masterpiece from Stark Industries – the gravity-defying Iron Bike. However, the demonstration is interrupted by the sudden arrival of either Nick Fury or Maria Hill. They warn us that Thanos has completed the Infinity Gauntlet, and must be stopped before he wipes half the universe out of existence! In order to do that, we must jump aboard our own Iron Bike and join the fight and save the universe from an existential nightmare! What follows is one of the Magic Kingdom’s most thrilling adventures: Avengers United!

The way you could describe this could be as a “hybrid attraction.” You see, Avengers United uses the same modified Soarin’ system Flight of Passage uses in our current Walt Disney World (hence why we use Iron Bikes); and it also uses the randomized simulator technology of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. In this rousing 3D E-ticket simulator, we rotor through an interstellar Kree battle over Tomorrowland. Thanos, the Mad Titan himself, oversees from his hover-throne. With his Infinity Gauntlet, able to wield absolute power over all aspects of existence, Thanos banishes recruits on a randomized journey: to the original Battle of New York; alongside Captain America in WWII; into the cosmos with the Guardians of the Galaxy; in the Bifrost with Thor; shrunken in the Quantum Realm with Ant-Man; a trip through the Multiverse of Madness with Doctor Strange; defending Wakanda alongside Black Panther; fighting the Kree alongside Captain Marvel in 1995; et cetera! Finally all Avengers unite to thrillingly defeat Thanos!

But a thrilling excursion on Avengers United is only the half of what you can do here at the Stark Expo. When Star Tours closed, Disney decided to take the initiative to expand the building to include more Marvel experiences. So, while the first floor contains the queue for Avengers United, you’ll also find Avengers Academy, a spiritual successor to the Jedi Training Academy, where all hopeful heroes can train alongside the Avengers. It seems only fitting that the Hall of Armor take up residence next door, allowing children the chance to transform into their favorite hero or heroine.

The Hall of Fame is found in the same complex as the Stark Expo. The Hall of Fame is somewhat of a Marvel fan supercenter, with unique merchandise and rare comic-books. The Hall of Fame also offers us a glimpse at a large, revolving globe portraying the birthplace, origin and power of each recorded Avenger and villain. In this expansive museum and tribute to “Earth’s Greatest Heroes,” we discover one detailed exhibition after the next in honor of almost every hero in the Marvel Canon – Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Vision, the Fantastic Four, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange – everyone is here, even Deadpool.

Of course, the Stark Expo is the place where we can meet some of our favorite heroes and villains from across all points of time, including, but not limited to: Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Loki, Mighty Thor (Jane Foster), Black Widow (both Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova), Hawkeye (both Clint Barton and Kate Bishop), Taskmaster, Spider-Man, Captain America (both Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson), the Winter Soldier, Doctor Strange, Wong, America Chavez, Ms. Marvel, Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Agatha Harkness, Ant-Man, the Wasp, Shang-Chi, Death Dealer, Black Panther (both T’Challa and Shuri), M’Baku, Okoye and the Dora Milaje, Moon Knight, Mr. Knight, Werewolf by Night, Elsa Bloodstone, Captain Marvel, and three members of the Eternals: Sersi, Kingo and Phastos.

On the second floor of the Expo Center is Expo Gifts, epicenter of all Marvel merchandise, with gadgets and comic-books for available purchase. This is, naturally, where Avengers United exits out into. Also within this shop is Officer Zzyzx, an alien who works for the Expo Center and who oversees the shop. He is known to interact with shoppers and passers-by, and – given that he’s almost-always awaiting lunch break – always recommends guests visit what lies right across the way…


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Across from the Expo Center is the two-story visage of the galaxy’s number-one source for “pie in the sky”: the Pan-Galactic Pizza Port! When Cosmic Ray’s table-service eatery opened, and the Tomorrowland Terrace closed to make way for the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall, that left Tomorrowland without a counter-service restaurant (The Lunching Pad wouldn’t open until 1998). So, the Imagineers decided to bring this extraterrestrial hot-spot into the picture. The restaurant, a clone from Tokyo Disneyland, is a multimedia dinner show with an Audio-Animatronics alien named Tony Solaroni. Solaroni is the charismatic mechanic behind a large machine that delivers pizza anywhere in the galaxy. However, it’s not an easy task, given that the machine is prone to breaking down, and given that Solaroni has a boss, Mr. Foosano, and a wife, known only as “Mrs. Solaroni”, who are always breathing down his neck. The restaurant’s pizza includes all our favorite flavors, and some unique “extraterrestrial” varieties.

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Next door is the Trimaxion Space Facility, named after the legendary craft featured in Flight of the Navigator, the place where guests can explore The Mysterious Galaxy. The Mysterious Galaxy is an alternative space adventure for those who can’t yet board – or refuse to board – Space Mountain. In Tomorrowland, space travel is as common as a trip to the store. Pretty much anyone can set off to explore the galaxy! As such, we are invited to take off on a journey that would put IMAX to shame. Captain Tom Morrow is our host as we blast off to explore the Solar System and beyond, and facing such events as the heat of the Sun, traversing through the asteroid belt, jumps through hyperspace and a brief glimpse at what lies beyond the Milky Way. And it’s all scored to a specially-arranged version of Gustav Holst’s famous suite “The Planets”, to add another level of majesty to this spaceflight. And the technical side of the attraction is nothing to scoff at, either! Utilizing a special domed theater, in order to fully immerse guests in the beauty of space, in-theater effects, including shaking, KUKA-esque seats, and the largest seamless projection screen ever used in a Disney production, The Mysterious Galaxy truly is an adventure unlike any other!

Back outside in Rockettower Plaza, we find that night has fallen on our day at the Magic Kingdom. Tomorrowland is perhaps the most striking of all lands in the Magic Kingdom after dark - the city is awash in hues of neon and color reflecting off the metallic spires, twisted arches and jagged rocks. Bizarre, near-Avatar-like plant-life is aglow in fluorescent light. Triumphant orchestrations from classic films reminiscent of the space age fill the air both day and night, inspiring us to dream bigger and go further with our ideas and our adventurous spirit. The landed spacecrafts, varied robots and techno-rhythms emulate an omnipresent sense of living, breathing energy throughout the land. In a way, the ominous yet romantic lights of this retro-futuristic world recall not the far-off future of our own imagination, but instead the far-off future of the early 20th Century.


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Approaching the farthest eastern edge of the Magic Kingdom, overhead highways of the PeopleMover whisk by as we approach the entrance of StarPort 75, home to one of Walt Disney World’s most iconic rides: Space Mountain. In this unknown and dangerous frontier, we navigate through a futuristic, glowing space station as you make your way to Mission Control, home of the launch pad for your journey to the farthest realms of space. Upon our arrival, we board our very own sleek spaceship and prepare for a daring adventure into the unknown. Upon blasting off, what follows is a wild roller coaster ride through the deepest banks of space, all the while evading and fighting back against asteroids and black holes; a ride featuring unexpected drops, tight turns, strange special effects, as well as some surprise encounters, an attraction truly meant for those of an older age. Come nightfall, Space Mountain provides an ethereal glow from within, a beacon for those viewing Tomorrowland from the Central Plaza and beyond.

Ah, but don’t think it will be the same old ride that you remember going on as a kid. Just like how Disneyland’s Space Mountain got a refresh for their 50th anniversary, so too has Walt Disney World’s Space Mountain. Our own @montydysquith-navarro came up with many amazing ways to improve Walt Disney World’s signature thrill ride, almost all of which are on display here at Mirror Walt Disney World: a completely replaced coaster track to allow for a smoother ride experience; newly-redesigned ride vehicles, redesigned for more guest comfortability and addition of SOBATs/synchronized onboard audio tracks; enhancements to the lighting and projection systems inside the dome; the addition of new story elements that will be unique to each track – specifically, randomized “encounters” with various celestial bodies interacting with the track done through projection domes/screens a la Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (as it opened in our real-life EPCOT, of course); and a redesigned “wormhole” re-entry tunnel to the redesigned unload platform, which finally resembles the loading platform. Now, I say “almost all”, because monty proposed a new attraction score from Pinar Toprak, the composer of Captain Marvel and “The EPCOT Anthem”...which, honestly, I wouldn’t go with. Honestly, I’d personally restore Dick Dale’s iconic score that entertained Disneyland guests from 1996 to 2003 – a surf guitar version of “Aquarium” from Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals.


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The time has come. As the exit music to Happily Ever After comes to a close, you might notice the Sensational Six at the train station’s balcony, waving goodbye to us. They normally stay on the balcony for about ten to fifteen minutes before retiring for the night. However, don’t think you need to leave just as soon as the fireworks end. Main Street, U.S.A. stays open a half-hour after park close, so guests can get one last snack in or grab a last-minute item from the shops. But for many Disney fans, it is what happens at the end of this extra half-hour that something truly special happens…



The Kiss Goodnight is one of the Magic Kingdom’s most underrated surprises, and it is a truly moving event. This simple audio farewell – climaxing with a choral version of “When You Wish Upon a Star” similar to what was performed on Dedication Day – framed against the simple lighting package of Cinderella Castle, is a quiet, yet understated, way to say goodbye to the Most Magical Place on Earth. With the Kiss Goodnight having ended, we head back down Main Street, through those magic tunnels, and find ourselves on the edge of Seven Seas Lagoon once more, our day at the Magic Kingdom complete.

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That was Tomorrowland, the final land of the Magic Kingdom! What did you think? Later tonight, I'll post a recap list featuring every attraction, restaurant, shop, entertainment option and character greeting place in the Magic Kingdom; and that will conclude our time in the Magic Kingdom. After today, I'm going to be going on another brief hiatus, because I've got a very busy schedule the rest of this week. But, join me on Monday, November 21, when we'll begin our tour of EPCOT! See you then!

Once again, I must extend credit to Ideal Buildout for the idea to expand Tomorrowland beyond the old Galaxy Palace Theater space; credit to @Disneylover152, @FireMountain, @James G., @TheDesignPirate, @NateD1226, @Outbound and @Voxel, whose Atomic Lounge concept served as a huge inspiration for Cosmic Ray's Starliner Diner; as well as credit to @D Hulk, the creator of the incredible Avengers United attraction, and @MANEATINGWREATH, from whom I borrowed the Avengers United queue and the Hall of Fame. And once again, I absolutely must credit @montydysquith-navarro, who created that refurbished Space Mountain for the final Sorcerer's Warmup in Season 7: Fantasmic Journeys I named second-place in that round. With that in mind, I knew I had to work it into MWDW, somehow. Truth be told, I wanted to include it in the original MWDW, but I never got around to including it.
 

DisneyFan32

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
And now, here is the final land of the Magic Kingdom!

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Tomorrowland

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Imagine, if you will, a vision of the future with its roots in the past… In this kinetic metropolis of tomorrow, the hope and promise for a better future have seamlessly clashed with the color and imagination of Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon. Amidst landed spacecrafts, whirring contraptions, and bizarre creatures from the darkest reaches of known space, the “future that never was” is finally here!

Volcanic rock formations mark the entrance to Tomorrowland, hissing steam from leagues beneath the earth… Misshapen rocks and sparkling crystals protrude from the waters below, undulating with an ethereal, almost alien glow. As a rusted placard decrees, these supernatural formations were uncovered just centuries before, the last relics of a vanished sentient race. The crystals have only begun to glow as of late, a supposed beacon for the return of their creators to Earth, sending a message far out into the deepest reaches of space that Earth is finally an advanced enough civilization that it could begin accepting visits from extraterrestrials. As always, we enter the land via bridge; only, our bridge here is built from the half-submerged wreckage of a flying saucer crashed into the river.

When we step foot inside this immense metropolis, we’ll find ourselves in an advanced, “modernized” spaceport of the 24th Century, as made clear by the seamless blend of chrome, iron and metal, washed in hues of blues and purples - not to mention video advertisements produced by the city to describe their “reinvention.” Outlandish, ominous, and wholeheartedly bizarre, Tomorrowland blends the pulp Deco-Tech aesthetic of 1920s and 1930s science-fiction with the color, neon and imagination of tomorrow’s utopia. Here, everyday living is improved through curious science, oddball inventions and intergalactic travel… Robots, space aliens, and human inventors – fictional or otherwise – work, live, and play here in perfect harmony. In fact, so renowned and advanced is Tomorrowland that it was chosen to serve as the headquarters for the League of Planets, an organization devoted to promoting peace among the various galaxies in the universe.

When we step into Tomorrowland, we’ll be entering Rockettower Plaza, the aptly titled “Civic Center of Interstellar Citizenship.” Rockettower Plaza is the hub of Tomorrowland, where all the major places of work and play are in the city. Beyond Rockettower Plaza are the “Hover-Burbs”, where the citizens of Tomorrowland live. In fact, the Contemporary Resort is even woven into the area – in Tomorrowland, the Contemporary is known as “Perfect Park Acres, the latest in Hover-Burb Communities.” Here in Rockettower Plaza, there couldn’t have been a better time for us to visit. You see, we’ve arrived in Tomorrowland just in time for the Galaxy’s Fair, where all forms of life gather together to show off the latest technological breakthroughs.

Beneath the soaring highways of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and the towering arches of this bustling community, we venture down the Avenue of Planets, the “Main Street” of science fiction. Kinetic sculptures, video walls, and electronic advertisements portray the innovation and mystique of “tomorrow”, with nonsensical gadgets to save on human labor. Storefront windows display robots performing household chores, a la Horizons. In the vast promenade at the end of the Avenue of Planets, a sleek, streamlined rocket, The Explorer, points to the stars, readied for a launch into some far-off system beyond sight and sound. The narrow “mall” of the Avenue of Planets features an attraction on either side: To the left, The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. To the right, The Timekeeper.


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The Tomorrowland Interplanetary Convention Center welcomes visitors to experience the latest in scientific innovation and design from the various corporate leagues of the known universe. Within these walls, we are introduced to the genius, alien minds behind X-S Tech. Once again, we serve as “lucky volunteers” to “seize the future” with X-S and catch a glimpse at their latest invention: the X-S 2000 Teleportation System. One awry presentation after another results in an unforgettable encounter…

A botched transmission results in the accidental arrival of a bloodthirsty creature from another planet… Angered, hungry, and confused, the alien monster breaks loose from the teleportation tube, causing horrific chaos in the now-darkened viewing chamber. Gnashing fangs, warm breath, hot drool, shattering glass, splattering blood, and a slimy, foreign tongue are among the extrasensory thrills encountered in this, the scariest and decidedly “most adult” attraction in the Magic Kingdom. Like it or not, The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter is here to scare...uh, I mean “stay”.

In 2002, it was announced that the show would undergo a re-casting in the wake of … well, something rather terrible regarding Jeffrey Jones, the actor who played X-S Tech chairman L.C. Clench. Kelsey Grammer took up the reins as Clench, and John Michael Higgins took up the role of Spinlok. Kathy Najimy retained her role as Dr. Femus and Tim Curry was retained as S.I.R., the robotic pre-show host. This new casting debuted on October 12, 2003.

The Interplanetary Convention Center hosting Alien Encounter exits into the iconic Merchants of Venus, a retro-futuristic bazaar in which aliens, humans and robots alike are invited to trade, sell and offer their wares from across the universe. In-store murals depict a side of Tomorrowland not seen to us - soaring skyscrapers, bustling highways, and floating suburbs. Not but a few feet from Merchants of Venus is The Space Place, a smaller shop offering wares themed around Disney’s sci-fi library.

Across the way from The Space Place are two quick-service eating options. First is Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, an ice-cream shop neighboring Merchants of Venus. Inside, we can try some of the finest ice cream and some of the most succulent smoothies in the whole galaxy. Oh, and by the way, the source of ice cream here in Tomorrowland? The Milky Way, of course! Then, there is The Lunching Pad, a counter-service location offering sandwiches, chicken nuggets, chips, salads, punch, desserts and other snacks. It also has a full salad bar with all sorts of toppings and dressings for your sandwiches or salads. The PeopleMover passes right through the restaurant on its way to Space Mountain.


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The late, great Robin Williams posthumously provides his voice to the title character of The Timekeeper, the finest in CircleVision 360 entertainment that has long been forgotten in the Disney theme park universe. Today, The Timekeeper has received an update for a new generation, featuring a new, high-definition, seamless CircleVision film (while the scenes remain the same to accommodate the Robin Williams/Rhea Perlmann dialogue; they’re all new and reshot; even the Jules Verne actor is different) with new in-theater effects and magic. Entering the Metropolis Science Centre sends us far forward into the future where robots in the likeliness of Timekeeper and 9-Eye are able to exist, the dream of many a classic futurist come true. What ensues next is a 360 degree trip through time and space, all the while accompanied by an unintentionally “kidnapped” Jules Verne who experiences many ideas in which he wrote about coming into fruition.

In 1972, If You Had Wings came in for a landing in Tomorrowland. This Eastern Airlines-sponsored Omnimover attraction captured the sensation of flight, and became an immediate favorite. Alas, it only operated for ten years, closing in 1982 for fear of redundancy with EPCOT’s forthcoming World Above pavilion. In 1984, TRON: Escape the Grid opened, using the same Omnimover system. This operated for over 30 years, finally closing in 2018. Why did it close? Well, it was all to make way for another new attraction…


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Further down the street from the Avenue of Planets is the Tomorrowland Exhibition Hall. Today, as part of the Galaxy’s Fair happening in Tomorrowland, the Nova Corps, peaceful representatives of the planet Xandar, who also double as the planet’s police force, have elected to use a pavilion to tell the people of Earth about Xandar, and to hopefully establish a peaceful connection with Earthlings. Thus, within the walls of the Exhibition Hall is the Galaxarium, which will not only give people a glimpse of the universe, but also give them hyperspeed access to Xandar. Alas, those plans are derailed as the presentation is interrupted by Eson, a celestial being who, taking after the Mad Titan, wants to remove all of humanity from the universe. So, the Nova Corps must call on the Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Drax and Groot to arrive on “Terra” (what we call Earth) in the nick of time to save humanity from the threat of immediate extinction…again.

Hopping aboard a fast-moving Starjumper, we careen through intergalactic mayhem from all ends of the universe, as one of Star-Lord’s “Awesome Mix” tapes blasts a classic tune. These Starjumpers have been specifically spruced up by Rocket, in order to follow Eson from jump point to jump point, from one corner of the universe to the next…and even all the way back to the Big Bang!

An incredible motion simulator adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened on January 27, 2021, after an astonishing three years of construction and development. The ride utilizes the simulators that once took guests to a galaxy far, far away on Star Tours, which were moved over here to save costs. In fact, the reason why TRON closed in 2018 was so they could start gutting the building ahead of time, so they could move the simulators in with no problems. The experience exits out into Treasures of Xandar, selling any and all merchandise themed around Guardians of the Galaxy.


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After Tomorrowland underwent its refurbishment and became New Tomorrowland in 1994, the original atmospheric music changed to reflect a mixture of modern electro-synthetic musical impressions, interwoven with recognizable themes from Disney’s many film productions and former attractions from Tomorrow’s past. The atmospheric music of Tomorrowland carries into the Merchants of Venus and beyond, even while waiting at the station of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. The TTA PeopleMover soars through the second story of Tomorrowland, traveling through the various attractions and pavilions. Aboard the PeopleMover, we can preview almost every attraction in either land, then come back later to see the whole show.

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The magnificent Astro Orbiter stands proudly in the heart of Rockettower Plaza, a creation of the League of Planets themselves. Seeming to have been borrowed from the pages of a Buck Rogers comic book, the Astro Orbiter is our chance to maneuver a personal rocket on an airborne series of revolutions held high above the streets of Tomorrowland from an elevated platform, sat directly above the TTA station. The streamlined craft of The Explorer sits adjacent to the planets, cogs and contraptions of the Astro Orbiter, acting as a secondary “weenie” to the fantastical attraction. Rocket pilots are invited to dance, float and sail through the air in conjunction with the Astro Orbiter via 16 mechanical arms.

With the advent of New Tomorrowland in 1994 came an all-new elevated walkway, connecting the Astro Orbiter to a few new vantage points in Tomorrowland. This eliminated the need for the escalator up, and a new queue was set up along the walkway. Built into the base of the TTA station is the Space Bar, specializing in non-alcoholic cocktails with an intergalactic twist. At night, these drinks glow thanks to special, glowing ice cubes, blending in beautifully with the neon lights of Tomorrowland.

Built directly behind Rockettower Plaza is a unique restaurant: Cosmic Ray’s Starliner Diner. This is a unique take on a table-service restaurant here in the Magic Kingdom. Let’s just say it’s not every day you get to have a meal inside a flying saucer! Yes, Cosmic Ray sets up shop from within his giant flying saucer, which has docked right here in Tomorrowland. In fact, it overlooks the land almost as much as the iconic Space Mountain! Much like Tokyo Disneyland’s Space Mountain, a prominent escalator leads guests up into the dining room within the saucer. After checking in with the concierge service by the entrance of Space Mountain, guests will be free to wander until paged on their phone or led straight to the escalators. After a short ride up, the doors will open welcoming guests to the Starliner Diner.

Looking towards the center of Tomorrowland, guests are greeted by sloping windows that reach towards the ceiling. The windows themselves are regular windows augmented with projection technology. Over the course of their dining experience, guests will witness rockets launching and landing in the distance, robots traveling through the sky, and other strange sights. The window supports sport a modern medal look with inset lights. The Starliner Diner itself looks like a trendy, high-class nightclub, or the futuristic alien equivalent of such. The food offered is served in a style similar to Garden Grill, wherein the various entrees and sides are served all at the same time in a family-style platter. Now, of course, it wouldn’t be a nightclub without entertainment, and luckily, Cosmic Ray brought along an old friend…


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Sonny Eclipse, the “biggest little star in the galaxy!” His 27-minute set of tunes – and wisecracks – has been enjoyed by diners multiple times a day since the Starliner Diner opened in 1994. This literal “lounge lizard” tickles the glowing keys of his Astro-Organ, an invention devised in his hometown of Yew Nork City on the Planet Zork, “a topsy-turvy town where the subways are up and the streets are down.” Sonny’s favorite songs include “Planetary Boogie,” “Gravity Blues,” “Bright Little Star” and more. “You know, I recently heard the universe was expanding. Guess it’s time to loosen the asteroid belt!”

Speaking of aliens, at Close Encounters located nearby, you can meet up with everyone's favorite alien, Stitch, as well as his ohana: Lilo, Angel, Jumba and Pleakley. Other such visitors to Tomorrowland include Buzz Lightyear, Mickey and the gang in snazzy astronaut suits, and even WALL-E and EVE! But they aren’t the only characters you can meet here. There’s also PUSH, the Talking Trash Can. Yes, here in Tomorrowland, even the trash cans can talk, and this guy loves rolling about, striking up conversations with unsuspecting visitors.


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Down the road from Cosmic Ray’s is a circular pavilion, the contribution of the Tomorrowland Progress Initiative, a group dedicated to the progress we have made, and a source of inspiration for what may come next. A step inside their pavilion takes us on a trip through time and space aboard Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, one of the most seminal shows in Disney Parks history. Starting at the turn-of-the-century, we meet up with everyone’s favorite Audio-Animatronic family – father John, mother Sarah, daughter Gracie, son James, second daughter Louise, Grandma, Grandpa, faithful dog Rover and, of course, Cousin Orville – who showcase the latest breakthroughs in home-based technology. As the show continues, we step forward in time to the next generation of progress, then the next, and the next, until finally, we see how far progress has traveled into the future and how it may have an effect on our everyday lives. Delighting guests ever since its debut at the 1964 World’s Fair, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is a perfect reminder that there's always a “great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day.”

Of course, the show has received multiple updates over the years, the most recent taking place in 2021, in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Although the scenes have changed, the biggest change of all involves a new post-show.


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Much like the World’s Fair original, the post-show involves guests heading up to the second floor of the Carousel Theater to take a gander at Progress City. The model, which at one point was only visible if you rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, has been fully restored to its original glory. In fact, it was originally going to be part of the 1975 original Magic Kingdom version – they even outfitted the exit theater with the beginnings of the escalator up to the viewing area, set up an exit ramp, and gave the theater a dome in the style of the original 1964 Carousel Theater (and let me tell you, it wasn’t difficult to blend that dome in with the styles of New Tomorrowland in 1994) – but alas, budget cuts cut that part out, and a curtain hung over that escalator for nearly 50 years.

In-between Cosmic Rewind and the Carousel of Progress is a newly-expanded section of Tomorrowland. In the late 1980s, the original Tomorrowland Stage was razed in order to make way for more experiences for guests to experience, the first of which was a certain E-ticket known as Star Tours. Star Tours, which opened on December 15, 1989, was inspired by the classic Star Wars films, and was the first ever attraction to use flight simulator technology. Aboard the StarSpeeder 3000, the rookie pilot Rex would take passengers on a harrowing flight into deep space, encountering icy comets and deadly TIE Fighters, all before destroying an inexplicable third Death Star. The large, multi-tiered “Spaceport” quickly became one of the Magic Kingdom’s biggest hotspots, garnering long lines day after day. Plus, when work began on New Tomorrowland in the early 1990s, it fit theming like a glove, so win-win! In 2011, a new ride film debuted: Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, which utilized a randomized technology system, so that guests could be taken to new places in the Star Wars universe. No two rides were the same!

However, that all changed once an entire land based on Star Wars was announced to be coming to the Magic Kingdom; and thus, that means Star Tours would end up taking its final flight in 2019, just a few weeks after Galaxy’s Edge opened. Work soon began on an all-new attraction with an all-new ride system; an attraction which would premiere on April 26, 2021, two years after the release date of Avengers: Endgame.


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The Star Tours Terminal has turned into the headquarters of the Stark Expo, which offers an all-access look into the company’s legacy of changing the world for the better, before introducing the ground-breaking technology that will shape our future. Displayed are innumerable Stark innovations that will change and improve our home today and the visionary thinking that will transform our entire world tomorrow.

The Stark Expo is divided into several exhibition halls. In the Hall of Protection, we glimpse a number of Iron Man and War Machine suits, including the famous MARK III suit and other leading advancements in the sphere of defense. The Hall of Energy details how an arc reactor could provide enough clean and sustainable energy to power an entire city. But the piece de resistance is the display in the Hall of Mobility: the latest technological masterpiece from Stark Industries – the gravity-defying Iron Bike. However, the demonstration is interrupted by the sudden arrival of either Nick Fury or Maria Hill. They warn us that Thanos has completed the Infinity Gauntlet, and must be stopped before he wipes half the universe out of existence! In order to do that, we must jump aboard our own Iron Bike and join the fight and save the universe from an existential nightmare! What follows is one of the Magic Kingdom’s most thrilling adventures: Avengers United!

The way you could describe this could be as a “hybrid attraction.” You see, Avengers United uses the same modified Soarin’ system Flight of Passage uses in our current Walt Disney World (hence why we use Iron Bikes); and it also uses the randomized simulator technology of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. In this rousing 3D E-ticket simulator, we rotor through an interstellar Kree battle over Tomorrowland. Thanos, the Mad Titan himself, oversees from his hover-throne. With his Infinity Gauntlet, able to wield absolute power over all aspects of existence, Thanos banishes recruits on a randomized journey: to the original Battle of New York; alongside Captain America in WWII; into the cosmos with the Guardians of the Galaxy; in the Bifrost with Thor; shrunken in the Quantum Realm with Ant-Man; a trip through the Multiverse of Madness with Doctor Strange; defending Wakanda alongside Black Panther; fighting the Kree alongside Captain Marvel in 1995; et cetera! Finally all Avengers unite to thrillingly defeat Thanos!

But a thrilling excursion on Avengers United is only the half of what you can do here at the Stark Expo. When Star Tours closed, Disney decided to take the initiative to expand the building to include more Marvel experiences. So, while the first floor contains the queue for Avengers United, you’ll also find Avengers Academy, a spiritual successor to the Jedi Training Academy, where all hopeful heroes can train alongside the Avengers. It seems only fitting that the Hall of Armor take up residence next door, allowing children the chance to transform into their favorite hero or heroine.

The Hall of Fame is found in the same complex as the Stark Expo. The Hall of Fame is somewhat of a Marvel fan supercenter, with unique merchandise and rare comic-books. The Hall of Fame also offers us a glimpse at a large, revolving globe portraying the birthplace, origin and power of each recorded Avenger and villain. In this expansive museum and tribute to “Earth’s Greatest Heroes,” we discover one detailed exhibition after the next in honor of almost every hero in the Marvel Canon – Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Vision, the Fantastic Four, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange – everyone is here, even Deadpool.

Of course, the Stark Expo is the place where we can meet some of our favorite heroes and villains from across all points of time, including, but not limited to: Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Loki, Mighty Thor (Jane Foster), Black Widow (both Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova), Hawkeye (both Clint Barton and Kate Bishop), Taskmaster, Spider-Man, Captain America (both Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson), the Winter Soldier, Doctor Strange, Wong, America Chavez, Ms. Marvel, Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Agatha Harkness, Ant-Man, the Wasp, Shang-Chi, Death Dealer, Black Panther (both T’Challa and Shuri), M’Baku, Okoye and the Dora Milaje, Moon Knight, Mr. Knight, Werewolf by Night, Elsa Bloodstone, Captain Marvel, and three members of the Eternals: Sersi, Kingo and Phastos.

On the second floor of the Expo Center is Expo Gifts, epicenter of all Marvel merchandise, with gadgets and comic-books for available purchase. This is, naturally, where Avengers United exits out into. Also within this shop is Officer Zzyzx, an alien who works for the Expo Center and who oversees the shop. He is known to interact with shoppers and passers-by, and – given that he’s almost-always awaiting lunch break – always recommends guests visit what lies right across the way…


tony-solaroni-pan-galactic-pizza-port.jpg

Across from the Expo Center is the two-story visage of the galaxy’s number-one source for “pie in the sky”: the Pan-Galactic Pizza Port! When Cosmic Ray’s table-service eatery opened, and the Tomorrowland Terrace closed to make way for the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall, that left Tomorrowland without a counter-service restaurant (The Lunching Pad wouldn’t open until 1998). So, the Imagineers decided to bring this extraterrestrial hot-spot into the picture. The restaurant, a clone from Tokyo Disneyland, is a multimedia dinner show with an Audio-Animatronics alien named Tony Solaroni. Solaroni is the charismatic mechanic behind a large machine that delivers pizza anywhere in the galaxy. However, it’s not an easy task, given that the machine is prone to breaking down, and given that Solaroni has a boss, Mr. Foosano, and a wife, known only as “Mrs. Solaroni”, who are always breathing down his neck. The restaurant’s pizza includes all our favorite flavors, and some unique “extraterrestrial” varieties.

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Next door is the Trimaxion Space Facility, named after the legendary craft featured in Flight of the Navigator, the place where guests can explore The Mysterious Galaxy. The Mysterious Galaxy is an alternative space adventure for those who can’t yet board – or refuse to board – Space Mountain. In Tomorrowland, space travel is as common as a trip to the store. Pretty much anyone can set off to explore the galaxy! As such, we are invited to take off on a journey that would put IMAX to shame. Captain Tom Morrow is our host as we blast off to explore the Solar System and beyond, and facing such events as the heat of the Sun, traversing through the asteroid belt, jumps through hyperspace and a brief glimpse at what lies beyond the Milky Way. And it’s all scored to a specially-arranged version of Gustav Holst’s famous suite “The Planets”, to add another level of majesty to this spaceflight. And the technical side of the attraction is nothing to scoff at, either! Utilizing a special domed theater, in order to fully immerse guests in the beauty of space, in-theater effects, including shaking, KUKA-esque seats, and the largest seamless projection screen ever used in a Disney production, The Mysterious Galaxy truly is an adventure unlike any other!

Back outside in Rockettower Plaza, we find that night has fallen on our day at the Magic Kingdom. Tomorrowland is perhaps the most striking of all lands in the Magic Kingdom after dark - the city is awash in hues of neon and color reflecting off the metallic spires, twisted arches and jagged rocks. Bizarre, near-Avatar-like plant-life is aglow in fluorescent light. Triumphant orchestrations from classic films reminiscent of the space age fill the air both day and night, inspiring us to dream bigger and go further with our ideas and our adventurous spirit. The landed spacecrafts, varied robots and techno-rhythms emulate an omnipresent sense of living, breathing energy throughout the land. In a way, the ominous yet romantic lights of this retro-futuristic world recall not the far-off future of our own imagination, but instead the far-off future of the early 20th Century.


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Approaching the farthest eastern edge of the Magic Kingdom, overhead highways of the PeopleMover whisk by as we approach the entrance of StarPort 75, home to one of Walt Disney World’s most iconic rides: Space Mountain. In this unknown and dangerous frontier, we navigate through a futuristic, glowing space station as you make your way to Mission Control, home of the launch pad for your journey to the farthest realms of space. Upon our arrival, we board our very own sleek spaceship and prepare for a daring adventure into the unknown. Upon blasting off, what follows is a wild roller coaster ride through the deepest banks of space, all the while evading and fighting back against asteroids and black holes; a ride featuring unexpected drops, tight turns, strange special effects, as well as some surprise encounters, an attraction truly meant for those of an older age. Come nightfall, Space Mountain provides an ethereal glow from within, a beacon for those viewing Tomorrowland from the Central Plaza and beyond.

Ah, but don’t think it will be the same old ride that you remember going on as a kid. Just like how Disneyland’s Space Mountain got a refresh for their 50th anniversary, so too has Walt Disney World’s Space Mountain. Our own @montydysquith-navarro came up with many amazing ways to improve Walt Disney World’s signature thrill ride, almost all of which are on display here at Mirror Walt Disney World: a completely replaced coaster track to allow for a smoother ride experience; newly-redesigned ride vehicles, redesigned for more guest comfortability and addition of SOBATs/synchronized onboard audio tracks; enhancements to the lighting and projection systems inside the dome; the addition of new story elements that will be unique to each track – specifically, randomized “encounters” with various celestial bodies interacting with the track done through projection domes/screens a la Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (as it opened in our real-life EPCOT, of course); and a redesigned “wormhole” re-entry tunnel to the redesigned unload platform, which finally resembles the loading platform. Now, I say “almost all”, because monty proposed a new attraction score from Pinar Toprak, the composer of Captain Marvel and “The EPCOT Anthem”...which, honestly, I wouldn’t go with. Honestly, I’d personally restore Dick Dale’s iconic score that entertained Disneyland guests from 1996 to 2003 – a surf guitar version of “Aquarium” from Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals.


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The time has come. As the exit music to Happily Ever After comes to a close, you might notice the Sensational Six at the train station’s balcony, waving goodbye to us. They normally stay on the balcony for about ten to fifteen minutes before retiring for the night. However, don’t think you need to leave just as soon as the fireworks end. Main Street, U.S.A. stays open a half-hour after park close, so guests can get one last snack in or grab a last-minute item from the shops. But for many Disney fans, it is what happens at the end of this extra half-hour that something truly special happens…



The Kiss Goodnight is one of the Magic Kingdom’s most underrated surprises, and it is a truly moving event. This simple audio farewell – climaxing with a choral version of “When You Wish Upon a Star” similar to what was performed on Dedication Day – framed against the simple lighting package of Cinderella Castle, is a quiet, yet understated, way to say goodbye to the Most Magical Place on Earth. With the Kiss Goodnight having ended, we head back down Main Street, through those magic tunnels, and find ourselves on the edge of Seven Seas Lagoon once more, our day at the Magic Kingdom complete.

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That was Tomorrowland, the final land of the Magic Kingdom! What did you think? Later tonight, I'll post a recap list featuring every attraction, restaurant, shop, entertainment option and character greeting place in the Magic Kingdom; and that will conclude our time in the Magic Kingdom. After today, I'm going to be going on another brief hiatus, because I've got a very busy schedule the rest of this week. But, join me on Monday, November 21, when we'll begin our tour of EPCOT! See you then!

Once again, I must extend credit to Ideal Buildout for the idea to expand Tomorrowland beyond the old Galaxy Palace Theater space; credit to @Disneylover152, @FireMountain, @James G., @TheDesignPirate, @NateD1226, @Outbound and @Voxel, whose Atomic Lounge concept served as a huge inspiration for Cosmic Ray's Starliner Diner; as well as credit to @D Hulk, the creator of the incredible Avengers United attraction, and @MANEATINGWREATH, from whom I borrowed the Avengers United queue and the Hall of Fame. And once again, I absolutely must credit @montydysquith-navarro, who created that refurbished Space Mountain for the final Sorcerer's Warmup in Season 7: Fantasmic Journeys I named second-place in that round. With that in mind, I knew I had to work it into MWDW, somehow. Truth be told, I wanted to include it in the original MWDW, but I never got around to including it.

I think The Batman (2022) will be perfect for Universal Orlando's second gate for Gotham City expansion.
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
As promised, here's a recap of all that can be found here in MWDW 3.0's Magic Kingdom. And just for the sake of context, *** denotes things I forgot to mention in the posts.

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Magic Kingdom
Main Street, U.S.A.

ATTRACTIONS

1. Walt Disney World Railroad
2. Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream
3. Main Street Vehicles
- Fire Engine
- Paddy Wagon
- Horseless Carriage
- Jitney
- Omnibus
- Horse-Drawn Streetcar
4. Discovery Arcade
5. Penny Arcade
6. Main Street Cinema
7. Plaza Swan Boats

DINING
1. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
2. Main Street Confectionery
3. Casey’s Corner
4. Main Street Bakery
5. Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
6. The Plaza Restaurant
7. Crystal Palace
8. Walt’s - An American Restaurant
9. Club 33

SHOPPING
1. The Disney Gallery
2. Emporium
3. Sherman Music Co.
4. Kodak Camera Center
5. The Chapeau
6. Uptown Jewelers
7. Wonderland of Wax Candle Shop
8. Greenhouse Flower Shop
9. Harmony Barber Shop
10. Hallmark Card Shop
11. Toymakers to the World
12. Disney Clothiers
13. House of Magic
14. The Storybook Store
15. Market House
16. Crystal Arts
17. The Shadow Box Silhouette Studio

ENTERTAINMENT
-- Dapper Dans
-- Citizens of Main Street
-- Flag Retreat
-- Main Street Trolley Show
-- Walt Disney World Marching Band
-- Casey’s Corner Pianist
-- Mickey & Friend Cavalcade
-- Royal Princess Processional
-- Adventure Friends Cavalcade
-- Hundred Acre Cavalcade
-- Remember the Magic Parade
-- SpectroMagic
-- Once Upon a Time
-- Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular
-- Kiss Goodnight

CHARACTER GREETINGS AROUND MAIN STREET, U.S.A.
-- Mickey and the Gang; Disney Princesses; and Hundred Acre Friends at Town Square
-- Disney Adventure Friends at Central Plaza

Adventureland

ATTRACTIONS

1. Legend of the Lion King
2. Swiss Family Treehouse
3. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
4. Jungle Cruise
5. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye
6. Pirates of the Caribbean
7. Caribbean Arcade

DINING
1. Tropical Hideaway
2. Sunshine Tree Terrace
3. Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen
4. Aloha Isle Refreshments
5. El Pirata y El Perico

SHOPPING
1. Bwana Bob’s
2. Colonel Hathi’s Safari Club
3. Adventureland Bazaar
4. Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar
5. Lafitte’s Portrait Deck
6. The Pirate’s League
7. The Golden Galleon
8. La Princesa de Cristal

ENTERTAINMENT
-- Arabian Knights
-- The Bootstrappers
-- Adventureland Steel Band

CHARACTER GREETINGS AROUND ADVENTURELAND
-- Rafiki and Timon along the path leading to Legend of the Lion King
-- Characters from The Jungle Book across from Colonel Hathi’s Safari Club
-- Tarzan, Jane and Terk nearby the Jungle Cruise
-- Characters from Aladdin in and around the Adventureland Bazaar
-- Moana in the Enchanted Tiki Garden
-- Characters from Pirates of the Caribbean at Caribbean Plaza

Frontierland

ATTRACTIONS

1. Western River Expedition
2. Thunder Mesa Railroad
3. Beaver Brothers Rafting Co.
4. The Diamond Horseshoe Saloon Revue
5. Country Bear Jamboree
6. Tom Sawyer Island
7. Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade
8. Hiking Trails
9. Stagecoaches
10. Covered Wagons
11. Liberty Belle Riverboat
12. Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes
13. Walt Disney World Railroad
14. Tiana’s Bayou Jubilee

DINING
1. The Diamond Horseshoe
2. Mesa Terrace Restaurant
3. Mile Long Bar
4. Pecos Bill Café
5. Aunt Polly’s Dockside Inn
6. Friendly Firefly Restaurant
7. Mint Julep Bar
8. Mama Odie’s Swampy Delights

SHOPPING
1. Westward Ho! Clothing Co.
2. Frontier Trading Post
3. Big Al’s
4. Prairie Outpost & Supply
5. Prince Naveen’s Cabin
6. Tiana’s Supplies and Sweets
7. Jouet de Marais
8. Mortis’ Clothes Limited

ENTERTAINMENT
-- Fantasmic!
-- Frontierland Hoedown
-- Frontierland Stunt Show
-- Nine Old Men

CHARACTER GREETINGS AROUND FRONTIERLAND
-- The Country Bears outside Country Bear Jamboree
-- Pecos Bill and Slue Foot Sue nearby Pecos Bill Café
-- Woody, Jessie and Bullseye; Kenai and Koda and Cowboy Mickey and the gang at Lookout Dock
-- Miguel Rivera and Mirabel Madrigal *** near Thunder Mesa
-- Characters from The Princess and the Frog at Greetings Gazebo


Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

ATTRACTIONS
1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
2. Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
3. Vision Cave
4. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

DINING
1. Ronto Roasters
2. Kat Saka’s Kettle
3. Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
4. Oga’s Cantina
5. Kalikori Club
6. Milk Stand

SHOPPING
1. Resistance Supply
2. Black Spire Outfitters
3. Toydarian Toymaker
4. Creature Stall
5. The Jewels of Bith
6. Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities
7. Savi’s Workshop
8. Droid Depot
9. First Order Cargo

ENTERTAINMENT
-- Battles of the Force (Streetmosphere)

CHARACTER GREETINGS AROUND GALAXY’S EDGE
-- Characters from the Sequel Trilogy roaming through the land
-- Other Star Wars Characters in the Vision Cave

Liberty Square

ATTRACTIONS

1. Hall of American History
2. Ichabod Crane’s Midnight Escape
3. The Haunted Mansion
4. Sailing Ship Columbia

DINING
1. Liberty Tree Tavern
2. Sleepy Hollow
3. Columbia Harbour House

SHOPPING
1. Olde World Antiques
2. Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
3. Samuel Osgood, Postmaster General
4. Blacksmith Shop
5. Paul Revere’s Silver Shop
6. New England Print Shop
7. Mlle. Lafayette’s Parfumerie
8. Memento Mori

ENTERTAINMENT
-- The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History

CHARACTER GREETINGS AROUND LIBERTY SQUARE
-- Pocahontas nearby Olde World Antiques
-- Ichabod Crane, Katrina van Tassel and Brom Bones roaming throughout the land

Fantasyland

ATTRACTIONS

1. Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel
2. Sleeping Beauty’s Spell
3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
4. Mary Poppins’ Jolly Holiday
5. Princess Fairytale Hall
6. Frozen Ever After
7. Voyage of the Little Mermaid
8. Ariel’s Grotto
9. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
10. A Tangled Tale
11. The Jolly Roger
12. Hangman’s Tree
13. Peter Pan’s Pirate Adventure
14. Pixie Hollow
15. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
16. The Tale of Beauty and the Beast
17. Royal Reception
18. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
19. Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station
20. The Barnstormer featuring The Great Goofini
21. Walt Disney World Railroad
22. Pete’s Silly Sideshow
23. Mickey’s Madcap Circus
24. Carnival Corral
25. Toy Story Midway Mania!
26. Mad Tea Party
27. Alice in Wonderland
29. “it’s a small world”

DINING
1. Cinderella’s Royal Table
2. The Friar’s Nook
3. Storybook Treats
4. Pinocchio Village Haus
5. Rabbit’s Garden
6. Be Our Guest Restaurant
7. Gaston’s Tavern
8. Big Top Treats
9. Woody’s Roundup Rodeo
10. Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall
11. Cheshire Café

SHOPPING
1. The King’s Gallery
2. Sir Mickey’s
3. The Wishing Well
4. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
5. Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post (and Sauna)
6. Geppetto’s Toy Shoppe
7. Gadgets & Gizmos
8. Hundred Acre Goods
9. Bonjour! Village Gifts
10. Village Bookshop
11. Little Town Traders
12. Big Top Souvenirs
13. Midway Mercantile
14. Mad Hatter
15. Small World Imports

ENTERTAINMENT
-- The Sword in the Stone Ceremony
-- The Pearly Band
-- The Giggle Gang and the Silly Saxtet
-- Wowzer

CHARACTER GREETINGS AROUND FANTASYLAND
-- Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Phoebus, Clopin, Frollo, Mary Poppins, Bert, Penguins, Pinocchio, Geppetto, Jiminy Cricket, Merida, Snow White, Prince Florian, Dopey, Rapunzel, Flynn, Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee roaming throughout Storybook Village and at certain locations in Storybook Village and the Enchanted Forest
-- Merlin normally meets guests after the Sword in the Stone Ceremony
-- Fairy Godmother, Jaq, Gus, Suzy and Perla *** at La Fontaine de Cendrillon, or nearby the castle
-- Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella *** also roaming through Storybook Village
-- Cinderella, Aurora, Elena of Avalor and Anna and Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall
-- Ariel at Ariel’s Grotto
-- Tinker Bell, Iridessa, Rosetta, Silvermist, Fawn, Vidia, Terrence and Periwinkle at Pixie Hollow
-- Characters from Winnie the Pooh at Pooh’s Thoughtful Spot
-- Belle and Prince Adam at Royal Reception in the Beast’s Castle
-- Gaston, Lefou and the Bimbettes in Belle’s Village
-- Dumbo and Timothy *** at Dumbo the Flying Elephant
-- The Three Little Pigs, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar and Clara Cluck at Pete’s Silly Sideshow
-- Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bo Peep and Bullseye at Carnival Corral
-- Characters from Alice in Wonderland roaming throughout the Wonderland section of the Gardens of Imagination

Hollywoodland

ATTRACTIONS

1. Red Car Trolley
2. Disney Animation
- Animation Academy
- Character Close-Up
- Sorcerer’s Workshop
- Back to Neverland
3. The Golden Mickeys
4. The Great Movie Ride
5. Roger Rabbit’s Runaway Trolley
6. Jim Henson’s Muppet*Vision 3D
7. Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop
8. Tower of Terror

DINING
1. Philippe’s
2. Fairfax Market
3. Award Wieners
4. Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Parlour
5. Fifer, Fiddler & Practical Café
6. The Hollywood Brown Derby
7. Ink & Paint Club
8. The Great Gonzo’s Pandemonium Pizza Parlor

SHOPPING
1. Oswald’s Filling Station
2. Mickey’s of Hollywood
3. Pluto’s Toy Palace
4. Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-a-Kind Antiques and Curios
5. Celebrity 5 & 10
6. Off the Page
7. Gag Factory
8. Rizzo’s Prop & Pawn Shop
9. Tower Gifts

ENTERTAINMENT
-- Red Car Newsboys
-- Citizens of Hollywood
-- Five & Dime
-- Silver Lake Sisters
-- Drawn to the Magic
-- Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem
-- Muppet Mobile Lab

CHARACTER GREETINGS AROUND HOLLYWOODLAND
-- Mickey and the Gang roaming through Hollywoodland
-- Various Disney Friends at Character Close-Up at Disney Animation
-- Stars from Disney Channel and Disney Junior at the Chinese Theatre Courtyard
-- The Muppets at Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop
-- Oswald the Lucky Rabbit at Oswald’s Filling Station

Tomorrowland

ATTRACTIONS

1. The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter
2. The Timekeeper
3. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
4. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
5. Astro Orbiter
6. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
7. Avengers United
8. Avengers Academy
9. Hall of Fame
10. The Mysterious Galaxy
11. Space Mountain

DINING
1. Cosmic Ray’s Starliner Diner
2. Pan-Galactic Pizza Port
3. Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies
4. The Lunching Pad
5. Space Bar

SHOPPING
1. Merchants of Venus
2. The Space Place
3. Treasures of Xandar
4. Expo Gifts
5. Hall of Armor

ENTERTAINMENT
-- PUSH, the Talking Trash Can
-- Superhero Demonstrations at Stark Expo ***

CHARACTER GREETINGS AROUND TOMORROWLAND
-- Characters from Lilo & Stitch at Close Encounters
-- Buzz Lightyear, WALL-E and EVE roaming through Tomorrowland
-- PUSH, the Talking Trash Can also roaming through Tomorrowland
-- Marvel Superheroes at Stark Expo

Compared to the real-life Magic Kingdom, this Magic Kingdom stretches a few acres more than the modern Magic Kingdom, thanks to Galaxy’s Edge and Hollywoodland, and the various attractions on the other side of the railroad berm; and clocks in at 84 attractions, and if you were to count the entertainment – of which there are 37 kinds – as attractions, as well, then the total would be bumped up to a whopping 121 attractions! For comparison, there are about 33 (34 with the upcoming TRON Lightcycle/Run) attractions in the modern Magic Kingdom, as of this posting – November 15, 2022, for those who are reading this in the future. Of course, I didn’t count all of the meet and greet areas, as most of them are set up near other attractions or they involve roaming characters. Plus, this Magic Kingdom has 55 restaurants and 79 shops, altogether making 134 places where guests can spend their money; compared to the 33 restaurants and 44 shops in the modern Magic Kingdom. Plus, there are a whole bunch of snack and merchandise carts throughout the park, but I didn’t count them, either.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Once again, I'm gonna be taking the rest of the week off, so the next post will be coming out on Monday, November 21. And in that post, we will start our tour of EPCOT!
 
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