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Didja ever notice how many castles Disney has added to Fantasyland?
Not so long ago, Cinderella Castle was "it." Now we also have Beast's Castle above Be Our Guest restaurant, Prince Eric's Castle by the entrance to Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid, and, now under construction on the former site of Fantasyland's old skyride station, Rapunzel's Tower. Anyone want to bet whether there will be a castle atop the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride (either the Snow Queen's or the prince's, or both), and/or Princess Fairytale Hall when they open?
"Meet me by the castle" just doesn't work the same way it used to. I also wonder how many meetings they held at Imagineering to decide whether "castles aplenty" was appropriate. After all, it's "Magic Kingdom," singular.
And considering how close each castle is to the next... those are pretty tiny kingdoms. I hope they can all live together in peace and harmony.
Co-Author, PassPorter's Walt Disney World, PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line, and PassPorter's Disneyland and Southern California Attractions
Interesting thought Dave. I feel like it still works though. Beast's Castle is really quite tiny in terms of what you see from ground level. The building structure that makes up the restaurant looks like the entrance to a castle, but is more "mountain" than castle. Prince Eric's Castle is tucked behind the mountain that houses Be Our Guest and isn't really visable until you turn the corner past Gaston's Tavern. You can't see either of them from the Main Street area--so it doesn't ruin photo lines or perception from the park entrance.
I'm not sure about there being a castle associated with the Mine Train--it doesn't feel like it fits the theme. As for the Fairytale Hall--I haven't heard much about that in awhile at all.
I'm personally really excited about Rapunzel's Tower! I was sad when they took down the miniature that was up in Epcot for last year's Flower and Garden Festival. That's also not really a castle--but in my opinion one of the most inspired pieces of art Disney Animation has put together in years!
I think they've done a good job of keeping the main focus on Cinderella Castle. The others are only facades, really, and as Heather says, they don't intrude on the sight-lines down Main St to THE castle. Good thing they aren't real kingdoms, though!
I had a bit of trepidation when I read about all the "castles" being built in New Fantasyland too. However, based on pictures I've seen and the comments above, it sounds like Disney was able to successfully still keep Cinderella's castle the main icon.
Its interesting - I noticed this when we were there a few weeks ago and we were on Dumbo at night. It was pretty cool being able to see a skyline of castles, but Cinderella's was definitely the biggest.
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I looked at it as "forced perspective". It will take a little getting used to. I felt lost in Fantasyland this trip. Though I guess it won't take too many trips for me to feel at home. In an era of political correctness, I guess it wasn't proper for Cindy to have the only castle around!
I'm happy with the new castles in Fantasyland because they aren't in view from Main Street so Cinderella's Castle is still the main focus Forced perspective really worked well in the new Fantasyland expansion.