With a bit of pomp and circumstance only fitting for royalty, guests can now pay a visit to the fairest princesses in all the land at the recently opened Fairytale Hall located in the Castle Courtyard in the center of an expanded Fantasyland at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Here you will be able to meet and greet some of your favorite Disney princesses. On opening day when I visited Cinderella, Aurora, Rapunzel and Snow White were holding court.
The new hall is located at the site of the former Snow White’s Scary Adventures attraction, the classic dark ride that had been part of the Magic Kingdom since opening day in 1971. It closed in 2012 to make way for Fairytale Hall. But for Disney fans, just like other previously closed attractions, Fairytale Hall pays homage to Snow White by having her portrait prominently displayed inside the high-ceiling Royal gallery which leads you toward the princess greeting rooms. Snow White’s portrait is one of six featured in the arched, wooden-beam, high-ceiling hall along with Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Mulan, Jasmine and Aurora.
As you wait in line before entering the main hall, pay close attention to the stain-glass windows which feature images from the 1950 Disney animated classic movie. You will spot her mice friends Gus, Jaq, Susie and Perla.
Anticipation builds as guests of all ages wind their way through the royal purple and gold trimmings, stone walls and ornate chandeliers snapping pictures before arriving at the portal to the princesses receiving rooms. Before you enter either of the two chambers, Cinderella’s dazzling glass slipper sparks in your face. Be sure to catch a quick photo op before you are ushered in to meet the princesses.
Once inside the princess chambers, Disney royalty takes their time to meet and greet each and every guest and of course pose for your photos as well as the Disney PhotoPass photographer. In my family’s visit Cinderella and Aurora were most accommodating talking to each and every guest and making them feel welcome inside their new rooms and pausing to sign autographs for those small princes and princesses-in-waiting. Each royal greeting chamber is ornately decorated with wood paneling, flowers, a table and framed fairytale landscape paintings that look like there are on loan from Disney’s the ink-and-paint department.
Guests can either choose to visit the princesses by using the standby queue or FastPass and Legacy FastPass. We opted for the standby line and our wait was about 20 minutes. Chances are lines are likely to get long as your visit to the new Fantasyland extends throughout the day.
As you bid a fond farewell to the princesses and exit the royal chambers into the gift shop, make sure you look over your left shoulder for the reigning queen of the Magic Kingdom. Minnie Mouse stands there waving goodbye as you continue your journey into the New Fantasyland.
The Princess Fairytale Hall is the latest gem in the crown jewel of Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Work continues across the Castle Courtyard on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction which is on track to open in 2014 as the final piece of the current New Fantasyland expansion.