By Brady MacDonald
Los Angeles Times staff writer
11:30 AM EST, February 1, 2013
In this week's episode of "The Real Princesses of Disneyland," Aladdin has his eye on Sleeping Beauty, Ariel calls Cinderella an old hag and Snow White is jealous of Tiana's new line of designer tiaras.
The new Fantasy Faire enchanted village opening at Disneyland on March 12 will bring together all the Disney princesses -- old and new -- under one roof in what sounds like an ABC reality show waiting to happen.
What do you get when hot-headed Merida, bookworm Belle, stubborn-minded Jasmine, free-spirited Pocahontas and fair-haired Rapunzel move into their "enchanting new home for the princesses" at Disneyland? A fireworks spectacular unlike any ever seen at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Located next to Sleeping Beauty Castle on the Disneyland hub, Fantasy Faire will feature a Royal Hall meet-and-greet area where visitors can get their photos taken with a rotating collection of princesses.
During a construction preview, I got to take a sneak peek as work crews transformed the former Carnation Plaza Gardens location into a medieval village complete with a Royal Theatre outdoor stage, Maurice's Treats food cart and Fairytale Treasures gift shop.
The back story for the newest part of Fantasyland is that a traveling fair has come to town and the curious princesses have decided to pay a visit.
While Disney is usually pretty good about keeping its distinctive stories separated (you wouldn't expect to see Buzz Lightyear palling around with Peter Pan), the mashed-up meet-and-greet area throws together princesses who hail from different worlds, cultures and eras. We'll just have to wait and see what kind of drama unfolds when all these royal fairy tales collide.
Geared toward mothers and daughters, the Royal Hall meet-and-greet will feature photo and autograph opportunities with three princesses (you won't know exactly which ones until you get inside). Expect long lines with no FastPass option as Disney has done with some character meet-and-greets at its Florida parks.
In an apparent attempt to pacify the fathers and sons, the Royal Theatre will include a pair of shows featuring the comic duo of Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones, Renaissance vaudevillian versions of Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello. The alternating 20-minute shows will be ostensibly hosted by Rapunzel and Belle, but the slapstick comedies will be acted out by Smythe and Jones, playing all the roles in each show.
Fantasy Faire promises to have a couple of whimsical touches that had yet to be installed during our hard-hat tour: An interactive music box featuring hand-painted scenes from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and an animatronic cat pawing at a caged bird sitting on a window sill.
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