Courtesy of Disney website

Squeal! Imagine my excitement at the announcement of the new Art of Animation Resort, making its official debut in October 2012. OK, so for now, all we have are artist renderings of what it will look like, but I’m pumped! Hmm, I sense a need for an upcoming blog report on the Art of Animation Resort as reviewed by the DDL’s Fine Arts Blogger. Anyone else see the connection besides me? (Notice my jockeying for position to review this resort and it’s not going to be open for another year). Oh well, can’t blame me. After all, the concept and theming for this resort sound like a winner. The inspiration for the rooms and suites? Why, only some of the most beloved Disney movies of all time…The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars.

DS2 and Lightning-courtesy of NDM 393

One of my most treasured photos is of my then two year old son seeing Lightning and Mater at Hollywood Studios. Priceless! So there is no doubt which area of the new Art of Animation resort we would have requested. If we had stayed in a Cars suite, I would have been a rock star mom for life! What an amazing concept, one that is sure to up the ante for value resorts at WDW. Now, I’m hoping the resort will also include an Art of Disney store where Disneyphiles like myself can purchase limited edition animation art. I simply LOVE our Mickey that we had customized with our daughter’s name and greeting from the artist. And it would be wonderful if there was a studio onsite where budding artists can create their own animated art (similar to the Magic of Disney Animation attraction at Hollywood Studios-a real hidden gem!

And while I’m sure this is no news flash to some of you, I was stoked to see on the Disney Parks blog more specifics about the Fantasyland expansion. Specifically, the Storybook Circus section, complete with big top tents and Casey Junior. Of course, the inspiration for this fun zone is Dumbo.

Storybook Circus courtesy of Disney Parks blog

Genius idea: this will be the interactive area that will keep kids and grownups alike entertained as they wait to ride one of TWO Dumbo the Flying Elephants!!! Can we say dueling Dumbos? And that doesn’t even mention what is dubbed the “royal side” of the Fantasyland expansion-the Beast’s Castle, Maurice’s Cottage and Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction!

The Disney Parks Blog ( has some wonderful photos of these attractions and their progress (including a cool explanation about the forced perspective concept at work on the Beast’s castle). Rounding out this doubling of the size of Fantasyland will be the Princess Fairytale Hall, where the character meet and greets will happen. To me, Fantasyland is like the heart and soul of the Magic Kingdom, and these Imagineers have really tapped into what I think families are looking for when they emerge from beneath Cinderella Castle. This makes me think of the Disney commercial where the kids AND the parents are too excited to sleep. That will be me!

Alas, while Disney has not announced a date certain for these new attractions to debut, take heart: the Disney Parks blog estimates most will be open by 2013! So late 2012 is shaping up to be a prime time to visit WDW, I would say! Pardon me if I squeal again! And yes, I WILL be uttering the following the night before we visit Fantasyland: “I’m too excited to sleep!”


Contributed by: Sherry Boswell (NDM#393) Sherry is the DDL Fine Arts Blogger. She is also the creator of href=””>Music to My Ears.

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