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Fantasia Promenade


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  • Fantasia Promenade

    When "it's a small world" was moved to Disneyland following the 1964-65 World's Fair, the attraction was placed at the far end of a long mall because the stylized show wasn't fully in keeping with the literal fictions in the rest of Disneyland. Videopolis, then, was added in Small World Meadows for much the same reason. As the mall was revamped for "Light Magic", the walkway was renamed "Small World Promenade". During this time, a railroad station was added at Videopolis. Afterwards, Mickey's Toontown, with its literal fictions, opened beyond the railroad tracks, and the Videopolis Station became Toontown Depot: Gateway to Fantasyland. Since that time, Videopolis has become the Fantasyland Theatre and, most recently, the Princess Fantasy Faire. Meanwhile, with the closure of the Motor Boat Cruise, the incidentally-named Fantasia Gardens took residence in the area.

    All of the preceding sounds complicated because it is. This part of Disneyland has become increasingly confused and unclear. So, the following is a way to bring all of these disparate elements together, and it centers on Toontown Depot.

    Toontown Depot was designed to echo Mickey's house, and his bungalow was designed to resemble the mouse, himself. So, the station, in fact, looks like Mickey. But, how does Mickey relate to the whole of Fantasyland?

    The answer lies in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". With just a few modifications, Toontown Depot could become Fantasyland Station and suggest that segment from the 1940 and 2000 programs of "Fantasia". Imagine, for example, that the Paul Dukas music is playing inside the station while a jumble of musical instruments is awaiting becoming cargo on the next train. Hidden amidst these is a carefully-placed glowing sorcerer's cap that guests might spot like Rosebud in "Citizen Kane" or the Ark of the Covenant in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

    Fantasyland Station would preserve some of the ideas that attach it to Mickey's Toontown, but an ambiguity would be introduced that could also place the depot squarely in the Old World-inspired Fantasyland. Banners and other design elements that suggest "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" might complete the effect.

    Since Yen Sid and Apprentice Mickey are so important to Disneyan culture, they should be represented at Disneyland. And, their presence lends itself to creating an even more elaborate musical motif that would connect the railroad station with: "it's a small world"; the promenade; the amphitheatre; and, Mickey's Toontown.

    For example, as guests enter Mickey's Toontown, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" ideas would give way to Silly Symphonies and to Mickey in his traditional role as Leader of the Band.

    The amphitheatre adjacent to the railroad station could then incorporate "Fantasia" themes and more general musical motifs that might suggest a royal pavilion where concerts might be performed by orchestras for monarchs. To supplement the live entertainment the venue offers, "Philharmagic" has the potential to be presented there, too.

    Now, "it's a small world" is a faux-naif work of art that is relatively abstract, so, if one thinks of the attraction as just another segment of "Fantasia", the attraction fits nicely, especially if the topiaries of the animals are replaced by those of musical notes, for example.

    Small World Promenade, which serves as the parade route, then, has the potential to be re-imagined as Fantasia Promenade where dancing and musical performances take place and where a fusion of different ideas juxtapose themselves with one another in order to create a collage effect.

    Here, one might find Ben Ali Gator and Hyacinth Hippo performing a comic ballet in a Classical environment while Pegasus flies off to meet a Centaurette in a different direction. "it's a small world", incidentally, was designed originally with Greek and Roman ideas in mind, and they all seem to lend themselves to each other.

    Even the "Carnivale of the Animals" uses flamingoes who might just as easily have come from the Queen of Hearts' croquet matches over in Wonderland.

    Fantasia Promenade would be an ever-changing and interactive space where different pieces of timeless music are presented for all the senses and where they are experienced as three-dimensional worlds.
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 01-23-2007, 06:05 PM.

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