I hadn’t given much thought about today’s article topic until I was having a twitter conversation with Lisa Green who writes the Living A Disney Life blog. She wrote an article, late last week, about her displeasure with Anna & Elsa kicking Aurora and Snow White out of the Princess Fairytale Hall.
Disney recently made the decision to move the “other princess” (Aurora or Snow White) out of Princess Fairytale Hall. Princess Aurora is meeting guests next to City Hall while Snow White greets guests on Center Street near Uptown Jewelers.
Taken when Aurora/Snow White/”mystery princess” still shared a space with Anna and Elsa.
This got me thinking, “Lisa does have a point.” Is Disney pushing aside two very iconic Disney princesses to make room for a new regime?
I started thinking about this topic looking through the lens of what Disney has done with some more recent Princess movies. Princess Tiana took up a very natural location in Liberty Square after Princess and the Frog come out. Rapunzel had a location “built” for her behind the Winnie the Pooh ride after Tangled. She stayed in this location for a little over a year. The area got a makeover as Princess Merida moved into the space after Brave.
Anna and Elsa started their Disney Parks career over in EPCOT at the Norway Pavilion. In this location, they were in high demand. Wait times were over three hours and the queue, at times, became unmanageable given the narrow areas that are part of the Norway Pavilion. This jam was only made worse by the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and the princess meal taking place there.
At this point, Disney made the decision to move them to the Magic Kingdom with a location in the Princess Fairytale Hall. At first, they only saw guests until 5 pm which resulted in huge lines (over 5 hours at some points). They shared the space with Aurora and Snow White. Then, their hours were extended to park close while still sharing the space with Aurora and Snow White. Now, Aurora and Snow White are being moved while Merida is still seeing guests in her location behind Winnie the Pooh.
If you’ve some of my earlier posts, you’ll know that I’ll favor the Disney Icon over the “up-and-comer.” Anna and Elsa are on their way to becoming iconic Disney princesses. However, they still need some time to age and “earn their place” in the Fairytale Hall. Thinking it over, I’ve come out with two solutions that could keep both the traditional princess lover and the new princess lover happy.
1) Move Anna and Elsa to Merida’s Location
Disney has already shown that this location can be quickly turned over to make room for a new princess. I’ve gone through this location twice. Once when it was themed for Rapunzel and again when it was themed for Merida. Disney did a great job with the theming for both princesses and you would never know that it was once themed for Rapuzel after it was turned over to Merida.
Disney could turn the area over for Anna and Elsa while moving Merida to the United Kingdom Pavilion. However, this plan causes two problems. The first is Merida could potentially kick out another Disney Icon in Mary Poppins who makes frequent visits to this pavilion. The second is it could cause a massive traffic jam in this area of Magic Kingdom if Anna and Elsa are moved here. The queue would be completely outside leaving guests standing, potentially for hours, out in the elements. Right now, the queue at Princess Fairytale Hall is covered and/or indoors. This keeps the guests waiting in line both dry and cooler since they are out of the elements. They wouldn’t have this luxury if they were made to wait at Merida’s current location.
On further reflection, this is probably not the best idea. Although, it did sound good to me when it first popped into my head.
2) Create a third meet and greet within the Fairytale Hall
Now, I’m going to start off that I have never set foot inside the Fairytale Hall so I don’t know if this idea is actually possible. My daughter is now nine years old and has “outgrown” the princesses right now. She wants to spend her time going on rides like Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. As a result, we’ve never been in the hall.
As I understand it, there are four rooms. One for Cinderella, another for “her guest” (usually Rapunzel), a third for Anna, and fourth for Elsa. Disney could go about creating this third meet greet by either expanding the hall with another room or two or by merging princesses into the existing rooms.
If Disney wants to keep Anna and Elsa in separate rooms, then expansion seems like the best option. There isn’t a natural combination between the other four princesses: Aurora, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. You would need to a fifth or maybe even a sixth room to accommodate all of the princesses. Give each of the princesses their own private themed space to meet the guests. An added side benefit of this expansion is it would create another Fastpass+ option for guests to choose from at Magic Kingdom
The other option is to merge the princesses into the existing four rooms with three meet and greets. If Disney wants to keep Anna and Elsa in two separate rooms as one meet and greet, things get interesting since there are not natural pairings for the other two meet and greets. An interesting combination would be to put Cinderella with Snow White in one room and Aurora and Maleficent in the second room while moving Rapunzel to an area between It’s A Small World and Haunted Mansion or to the Germany Pavilion in EPCOT.
Of course, the easiest option would be to go back to how things were with two meet and greets. Cinderella and Rapunzel in one meet and greet with Anna, Elsa, and a rotation of Aurora and Snow White in the other meet and greet.
But Disney doesn’t like to stay stagnant, there are always new movies coming out and new characters for people to meet. Anna and Elsa could be our children’s generation version of Aurora and Snow White.
Where do you stand on this issue? My thought is to create three meet and greets in this space. One featuring Anna and Elsa. Another with Cinderella and Snow White (two of the Princess Icons) and a third with Aurora and Maleficent while Rapunzel gets relocated.
Would you like to see Aurora and Snow White move back into Princess Fairytale Hall? Would you like to see a third meet and greet in this area if they were to come back? Or were you fine with how things where before they left? Leave a comment and let me know what you know.
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