Now that the New Year is upon us it’s only appropriate to discuss what’s next for Walt Disney World ® in 2012. And while there are several new rides and attractions coming to the Orlando theme park in 2012 and beyond, a noteworthy addition is the new Fantasyland expansion in Disney’s ® Magic Kingdom ™. The largest expansion project in Magic Kingdom ™ history will open in phases this year and will feature attractions and experiences in an area that will nearly double the size of the original Fantasyland.
One of the main objectives of the expansion is to add new Beauty and the Beast-themed attractions, eateries, and architecture, including Beast’s Castle. The Castle will house the Be Our Guest restaurant, scheduled to open later this year. The restaurant is said to “offer a lavish dining experience in the castle’s elegant ballroom, gallery and mysterious “west-wing.” Once the Beast’s Castle is complete other Beauty and the Beast-themed buildings will open around it including Gaston’s Tavern, Bonjour! Village Gifts, and the cottage of Belle’s father, Maurice. But it’s the castle itself that is getting all of the buzz as construction is already underway at Magic Kingdom ™.
With the creation of a second castle in Disney’s ® Magic Kingdom ™ some guests can’t help but wonder if Beast’s Castle will take over as the main castle of the park, dwarfing the iconic Cinderella Castle in size. But Cinderella Castle fans can rest assured that while the new castle will add its own unique magic to the park it will in no way take away from the original. In fact, it won’t even be half as large.
According to Disney Parks Blog, Beast’s Castle uses forced perspective architecture to make the structure look bigger in size than it appears in reality. Forced perspective works as sort of an optical illusion, tricking the eye into believing a structure is much larger or taller than it really is. This is done by manipulating the size and scale of a building, based on the perspective it will be viewed from.
This isn’t the first time the company has used forced perspective. It all started with Walt Disney himself during the construction of Disneyland park in California. At that time, Walt paid special attention to the scale of each building, as well as the specific shrubs and trees that flanked them in order to create the best sense of height and drama.
The Beast’s Castle will sit high atop what will be the Be Our Guest Restaurant, which is really the gateway to the castle’s interior.
Stay tuned for more details on the optical illusion that is Beast’s Castle as well as news on the epic Fantasyland expansion.