Disney alters Fantasyland plans for Magic Kingdom

Posted Friday, August 13, 2010 12:00 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Disney is redrawing the sweeping Fantasyland expansion plans it laid out last year, even as bulldozers clear land for the project inside the Magic Kingdom. With the revisions, begun under new Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs, designers are attempting to rebalance the plans, which initially tilted heavily towards young girls by emphasizing attractions and experiences built around Disney’s stable of animated-movie princesses.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

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Friday, August 13, 2010 2:58 PM

During my last visit to WDW it seemed that Disney had learned that the current thing to do was princess stuff. It was amazing how much everything was princess: merchandise, the Bibbity Bobbity Botiques, shows, food... everything!

Marketing to young girls and tween girls seems to be where the cash is right now. I wonder if Disney figured this is a fad and are retooling their plans to have broader appeal because of that.

I also think it's interesting that the article mentions Harry Potter at IoA and the incredibly broad appeal it has- and an incredible success. I wouldn't rule out Potterland having an effect on the plans.

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Friday, August 13, 2010 3:00 PM

Well, Potterland definitely appeals to both sexes. And maybe instead of changing trends, Disney is actually trying to change trends (or fads) and give the boys their turn? :) Seems like a new Pirates movie could help with that. Not sure why they haven't used more Pirates themed stuff after the success of the movies.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 1:06 AM

Rumor has it Staggs looked at the plans with an eye towards his boys and saw nothing for them to get excited about and asked for changes waaaaaay back in January. Unlike the original plans that got leaked Disney is holding the new ones close to their chest; updated concept art and additions have been created but not released yet. Also Pixie Hollow died soon after the plans were announced thanks to poor sales and little interest in the characters around the parks.

My GUESS? They'll consolidate the meet and greets and move them to where Toontown Fair is, keep Mermaid ride, keep B&B restaurants and meet and greet, and add more dark rides. I've heard we're looking at one or two solid D tickets being added to the plans.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 2:24 PM

That would be interesting. I'm having a tough time telling which rumors are coming from fanboy fever dreams and which have some basis in reality, so for now I'm in wait-and-see mode.

A couple extra dark rides sounds plausible---low grade fever, at worst. ;)

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 4:48 PM

Brian Noble said:
That would be interesting. I'm having a tough time telling which rumors are coming from fanboy fever dreams and which have some basis in reality, so for now I'm in wait-and-see mode.

A couple extra dark rides sounds plausible---low grade fever, at worst. ;)

If you listen closely you'll find out who speaks from authority of actually knowing stuff while others just spout random crap and wishful thinking.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 5:07 PM

The Mole said:


If you listen closely you'll find out who speaks from authority of actually knowing stuff while others just spout random crap and wishful thinking.

Hey!...don't give away my modus operandi :)

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Monday, August 16, 2010 8:30 AM

This might mean nothing...but...my little girl has me wrapped around her finger. I find it hard, if not impossible, to say not to her. When she asks me for something with those wanting eyes I just melt. My son, unfortunately for him, doesn't have that same power.

So, if I'm Disney I would load up on princess stuff too.

That said, I do think they went a little over the top with their original plans for a girlish Fantasyland so a little change wouldn't hurt.

But, keep this in mind: The "princess salon" at Downtown Disney (the "real" salon that makes up little girls hair, makeup, dresses, crows, etc) makes $1 million a year. Yes, that single location makes $1 million a year.

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Monday, August 16, 2010 8:40 AM

I definitely think that skewing female in the Disney setting is definitely more money. You simply aren't going to get boys excited about shopping, boutiques, clothing, salons, etc. And there is a lot to pull from for little girls from the Disney Movies.

I've always thought Fantasy Land as a whole skewed more female, and that's fine. But with all of those additions, there wasn't anything that looked to be for young boys. I definitely think they could add in something for the boys and tomboys too.

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Monday, August 16, 2010 9:47 PM

I think boys have just as many toys and cool clothes as girls...

Disney needs to use Marvel to get boys excited about buying stuff. -Not in Fantasyland, but all over. Maybe that could help balance it all out.

Or maybe, in Fantasyland, Disney could offer up the Heros in their movies and make attractions and merch locations about them. There are plenty of male characters, who fight evil, for boys to identify with, if Disney would just make them more available and prominent.

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Monday, August 16, 2010 11:06 PM

Disney won't be doing Marvel in Orlando for a loooooong time.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010 2:35 PM

There is plenty of stuff for boys in the Walt Disney World complex. Animal Kingdom has the dinosaur themed section. Epcot has the whole front of the park. Hollywood Studios has Toy Story, Star Tours, Tower of Terror, etc. The Magic Kingdom has Adventureland and Tomorrowland.

I don't think having the addition to Fantasyland skewed towards girls in a bad thing. That's where the money is and the long term fan base is. However, as a father of a 1 year old boy I'm more excited about the changes to California Adventure.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010 6:20 PM

Yeah, and really, the younger the kid, the less likely they neatly fit into typical gender roles anyway. Even when they do start grade school, they have stuff like stunt car shows and stunt archeologist shows, mine train roller coasters and the Hall of Presidents (which is all dudes).

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