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As most of you know, the official Disney Parks Blog recently hosted a special live chat with Chris Beatty, one of the Walt Disney Imagineers working on the new Fantasyland Forest project. He shared with the blog's readers some new information, as well as some great photos from the area. Here you are some of them.
First of all, at the beginning of the chat, Chris Beatty shared this new video of the Be Our Guest Restaurant:
What we’d like to share with all of our fans today is a video that gives you a sneak peek into the West Wing and the Rose Gallery rooms within the Be Our Guest Restaurant from an Imagineer’s standpoint. It’s really exciting for me to share this with you because we’ve always shown artwork of the main ballroom and guests, as of this weekend got a sneak peek of it, so this is really a first look into those two rooms.
Of all the videos we've released through the Disney Parks Blog, this is my favorite one. I think it really captures the three Imagineers and their love of building this and giving this to our guests._________________________________________________________________________
Here you are some of the photos that were shared during the chat:
This is the newest artwork released to the public. It depicts the West Wing, inside Be Our Guest:
In addition to all that, here you are some interesting tidbits about this expansion, and what it includes:
What do we have to look forward to in the West Wing?
The West Wing is meant to feel like any minute you’re in there that the Beast could come busting in the door. There’s a sense of foreboding to the room - the ambiance is very dark and heavy and it really takes on the personality of the Beast. You get this sense that you’re trespassing in some place you should not have been. It’s probably the most magical of the three rooms. Here you’ll find the Enchanted Rose, which sheds its petals in a great illusion that brings it to life. There’s a moment when you hear the storm rolling in and we hear the lightning get closer and closer, and when the final petal falls, you get this really great effect when the portrait turns from the prince to the Beast.
Can you tell us more about the painting that changes? How often does it change?
As Imagineers we want to make sure that every guest who dines in that space has an opportunity to experience that moment. At the same time we wanted to make sure we didn’t overplay it, so it’s not special. During design, we were careful to sprinkle enough magic in to make it special.
And what about the Enchanted Rose? Where is it located in this dining room, and will guests be able to view it up close?
Yes, guests will be able to go into the West Wing in its jar sitting on a table in the balcony. The jar also sits in front of a set of windows that have a nighttime effect and as the storm approaches, the windows change color. The windows also have a lightning effect.
How did the idea of the large music box as the centerpiece of the room come to be?
Early in design, we wanted to celebrate Belle & Beast’s love and the moment they danced in the ballroom in special way. In Maurice’s Cottage, the mirror was a gift given to Maurice by Beast so he could visit Belle anytime in the castle. We reversed this idea in the Rose Gallery, where Maurice gave Belle & Beast a music box to celebration of their love for each other. If guests look closely somewhere in Maurice’s workshop, they’ll see the maquette and drawings he used to build the music box.
Will it play music?
Yes. One of my favorite moments within the castle is this transition moment between the two scores. When you move from the main ballroom into the Rose Gallery, there’s a transition from the full orchestration into actual music box music.
What should we know about the lobby area? There are a lot of beasts in this area - minotaurs and other creatures.
I think a lot of people forget that this is the Beast’s Castle, and it is enchanted. We spent a lot of time going back and looking through the film, pulling out the original drawings, talking to the animators, and if you watch that film, it’s very dark. We actually had to dial down how scary the castle is. It’s very ominous. And that’s part of it’s transformation. When we started design, we wanted you to enter into the castle with an ominous feeling and as you move from room to room, it transforms. By the time you reach the ballroom it’s warm and inviting, but at first we wanted you to almost question, should I go in there?
Is the Be Our Guest Restaurant a character dining experience?
No, there are no current plans to have a character dining experience. As popular as reservations have been, the Beast himself might even had a hard time getting a table. :)
Now let’s talk about the other dining experience in New Fantasyland - Gaston’s Tavern. (...) What was it like bringing this space to life?
If you watch "Beauty & The Beast," it's one of the places that you'd want to visit. When we were designing the space, we wanted to be really true to the film. There are some hidden elements there that really bring the place to life. If you look around, you might notice that a brawl just ended and there are fist marks on the wall. There are some fun hidden elements hanging from some of the antlers as if a party just ended. My favorite part of that whole location is the portrait. It just captures the personality of Gaston - he's so arrogant.
By the way, right now New Fantasyland is in dress rehearsal, so there’s one more element that’s missing from Gaston’s Tavern that will ‘sit’ next to Gaston’s portrait.
“How much will the interior (meaning the actual attraction show scenes) of ‘Under The Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid’ differ from the California version?
he story of Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid is identical to the one in California, but the guests who have experienced both, will notice subtle differences throughout. My favorite effect that we added here in Florida is in Ursula's Lair. We added fog that fills her cauldron. It adds one more layer of detail that brings the story to life.
Moving on to Snow White, will you be integrating the Evil Queen into the Dwarf’s mine roller coaster storyline at all? Will we be able to go inside the Dwarf’s cottage?
The story of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train really focuses on the Dwarfs themselves, but I wouldn't rule out the witch making an appearance.
We've also received several questions about construction going on elsewhere in Fantasyland, in the area where the old Skyway attraction was. What can you tell us about this area?
Not only have we looked at adding new guests experiences to the New Fantasyland, but we looked at opportunities to enhance guest comfort. Many of you are curious to know will there be a character meet-and-greet in this area, but at this moment there are no plans.
Remember that you can already preview all the areas of this great, new Fantasyland Forest by checking out our humongous 11-part photo-gallery by clicking on this link! We hope you will enjoy the more than 400 photos we took (if you haven't already done so).
PHOTOS AND INFORMATION INCLUDED IN THIS POST: ©Disney. All rights reserved.
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