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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Princess Fantasy Faire - A Main Street View

What is wrong with this picture?
A MiceChat Dateline Disneyland Photo

Just look at the picture above. MiceChat's In The Parks and Dateline Disneyland (link) weekly photo reports have given us the best look at how the Princess Fantasy Faire construction has progressed over the last several months. As it nears completion Disneyland fans can now begin to form a real opinion of just how nice the brightly colored and extremely detailed buildings show themselves or just how much of an intrusion the classic views from Main Street are compromised by an out of place village.

I think lot of this depends on your view of where exactly does Main Street end? Does it end at the photo shop on one side and the Coca Cola Plaza on the other or does it include The Hub and its surrounding area? If you are one of those people that think The Hub is a transitional area to all the lands it connects to, then maybe the brightly colored Princess Fantasy Faire is not a big deal. It looks nice and doesn't occupy a huge amount space.

If you are one of those people who think The Hub, with the Partners Statue and the lovely seating area that surrounds it, the classic Plaza Inn Restaurant, and the Jolly Holiday Bakery are all part of Main Street, then the Princess Fantasy Faire just might be an out of place intrusion and the questionable decision to put a Fantasyland expansion area in front of the castle which has always been the traditional transition point.

I fall into the latter point of view. It comes down to money of course. In Disney, now matter how much magic and illusion they want to throw at you in pretense, it always comes down to money these days. The prior resident of the Princess Fantasy Faire space - the Carnation Gardens, really wasn't a money maker in the traditional sense. Oh it could be rented out or use to bring in park guests with swing dancing or other events that required a stage but it wasn't set up for what Disney likes - the constant handing over of cash and credit cards.

Enter the Princess Fantasy Faire. Beneath all the exquisite detail, it is primarily a meet and greet for Disney Princesses. But aren't meet and greets free you might ask? They can be but the best photo ops with a Princess are going to come from a Disney Photo Pass photographer. And right beside the meet and greets with a Princess is the shop with princess dresses and all the assorted goodies that come with it that little girls must have and moms are willing to pay for. When you strip it all the way down, Princess Fantasy Faire is a store that caters to a very specific demographic.

All that being said, when I first get my chance to look at Princess Fantasy Faire Village up close, I'm going to be a picture taking fool. But after that, do I really have any real reason to go in there? No, not really. I may be a one visit and done kind of guy unless the specialty snacks they serve in there are good enough to be "must have's". And you got a think that after all the regular Disneyland visitors make their first visit to PFF, it's probably only a small percentage that actually need to go back. This doesn't mean the place won't be popular. When the Princess Meet and Greet was held in the Fantasyland Theater, the lines often went beyond 60 minute wait times. Princesses are hugely popular and big business. Just not for me.

And I'm not going to lose any sleep over Disney violating another section of the park by putting a Fantasyland extension on Main Street. Goodness knows they have done that enough that you kind of get numb to it. But when I think about it, I don't have to like it.

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