Our photographer, Joe Hogarty attended the New Fantasyland Annual Pass Holder Previews this weekend. He sent this report and some great new photos.
I went to the New Fantasyland Event for Annual Passholders on Saturday. I could not believe how crowded it was at the Magic Kingdom. I had some time beforethe event and I wanted to see the new mermaids at Pirates Of TheCaribbean ride. Unfortunately the ride was down all day so I will have towait till next trip. I also wanted to see the changes that were made to the Country Bears Jamboree. I was able to see that and actually like this version better. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of the Country Bears. They look kind of creepy. I always thought the show was to long and they did cut some songs and some dialog and I really couldn’t tell you what was cut. All of the bears received new fur and some animatronic upgrades and I could tell
the difference and they now look better. It used to be 16 minutes and now it is about 10 minutes. I finally made my way over to the Passholder Event and one of the first things that I did was head over to Be Our Guest Restaurant for counter service. The inside of the restaurant looks incredible. I really was floored and that rarely happens to me with anything. I was not the only one. You could hear may people gasping as they entered the ball room and even while inside of it. The ball room looks just like it did in the movie. The ceilings are the most impressive because they have several amazing chandeliers and painted cherubs and clouds. Towards the rear of the ball room, if you looked out of the windows and doors, you could see it snowing
which is a really nice effect. It looks like night time, even in the day. One thing that I thought was strange at first is required that you order something if you want to view the ball room. I ended up ordering a bottle of water because I wasn’t really hungry. I understand it though because it would be a huge draw and I understand why they limit the number of people into the ballroom because it would be chaotic after a while. When you place your order they give you a rose, basically a circular device with a rose painted on it. When your meal is ready, the rose will light up and a waitress will come with your meal on a rolling cart. People were very impressed with that. To the left side of the ballroom is the entrance to the West Wing, which is another area where you can sit and have your meal. The big attraction there is the floating rose with the falling petals under the glass. This is another amazing effect. They also have a portrait of the Prince that has been damaged by the Beast and when lightning strikes you see the portrait turn into the Beast for a second. Another great effect. I was definitely surprised with the whole experience because after seeing pictures of Be Our Guest, it was the last thing I was looking forward to and didn’t think it would be that impressive. I especially thought it would be a
mistake to have counter service during the day but it definitely works well. I really am looking forward to the dinner service at some point in the future. I am not sure how much different that it will be, other than the menu, but I do hope that they change it up a bit and provide some extra spectacle. The ballroom is truly amazing. I have attached photos and have many more that I need to go through and will send them to you hopefully soon. But I felt these were some of my favorites and just wanted to send you these for the time being. I also went to Ariel’s Grotto for the a Meet and Greet with Ariel. I told Ariel that I was taking photos for The Disney Brit Podcast and she went out of her way to pose for me. All of the characters there are very nice.