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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fantasia And Disney's Animal Kingdom

Ben Ali Gator and Hyacinth Hippo have been entertaining audiences ever since Walt Disney's Fantasia debuted in movie theaters way back in 1940. Fantasia was not a big hit when it was released, but by the time these plush toys were sold in 1990, the film's characters were very popular with collectors.

When Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Florida was first announced back in 1995, one of the concepts that captured the imagination of lots of folks was a section of the park devoted to mythical creatures.

Proposed attractions for "Beastly Kingdom" included a Dragon roller coaster, a Unicorn Labyrinth, and a Fantasia Boat ride.

Disney's Animal Kingdom opened in 1998 without the mythical land. There's still a dragon on the park's logo and on one of the ticket booths, and you can park your car in the Unicorn section, but this addition to Disney's Animal Kingdom seems to be as elusive as the legendary Yeti that did find his way to the park in 2006(at Expedition Everest, in the Asia section).

Aside from two pieces of concept art I've seen, I don't know much about the Fantasia boat ride that was proposed for Disney's Animal Kingdom. The boats would have looked like a Pegasus, and would have floated by the Pegasus Family from the movie and one of the fauns.

The world of Fantasia really does blend Animal Kingdom's "Real, Extinct, and Imaginary Animal" theme nicely.

Zoom in on this snow globe to catch some of the details.

Fantasia stars animated flora and fauna, African animals, dinosaurs, and mythical creatures.

An immersive Fantasia world would be amazing.

Fantasia characters have been included in Disney theme park entertainment for years now.

Fantasia has been a key component in Walt Disney World's "SpectroMagic" parade since it opened in 1991.

Walt Disney World also opened the Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf course in 1996.

Tomart's Disneyana Update Magazine showed off these detailed Fantasia Tiny Kingdom figures in 2000.

Pewter versions of these figures were sold in the Disney Catalog in the United States. This set included a Pterodactyl. It is rare to see Fantasia Dinosaur items. I would think Fantasia's Dinosaurs would move a lot of merchandise.

Imagine seeing these characters in an interactive ride.

The Mushrooms are among my favorite Disney characters.

Maybe that's why I don't eat mushrooms much.

I think the Centaurettes are good friends with the Mermaids from Peter Pan.

These could be Animal Kingdom's version of the Disney Princesses.

A Fantasia world could really be something special during the holidays.

I'm thinking there would be Hippos and Alligators skating on an icy pond, and a sleigh driven by the Pegasus Family.

Bacchus could host a wine party. That would be a big hit.

Ben Ali Gator could dress up like Santa Claus. It could be Animal Kingdom's answer to Grinchmas.

Of course, there would be lots of special Christmas merchandise.

There would have to be a big show, too. They'd have to feature The Nutcracker Suite and The Steadfast Tin Soldier (from Fantasia 2000).

Hyacinth Hippo and her friends have appeared on some fancy collectibles over the years.

Music is a big part of Fantasia, so it would have to be used in a big way in a Fantasia Land.

Make sure you visit one of Fantasia's gift shops.

You can't pass up a music box featuring a hippo and some dancing mushrooms.

The Pegasus Family could be a merchandising blockbuster hit for Animal Kingdom. It would be like printing their own money. Or making their own coins.

Back when I played the original Zoo Tycoon computer game, the most fun I had was with the mythical animals. Zoo Tycoon had unicorns (white female, black male), Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster.

With Fantasia, you have to have night time entertainment, which Disney's Animal Kingdom is not known for.

A Fantasia land would let Sorcerer Mickey into Disney's Animal Kingdom, so he could work his magic and light up the dark sky with colorful Fantasia characters.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice could add a whole new dimension to Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Sorcerer Mickey can already be found at Fantasmic (at Disney's Hollywood Studios) but if Finding Nemo can be found at two Walt Disney World parks, it will be alright for the Sorcerer's Apprentice (it is Mickey Mouse, after all).

Hickory Dickory Dock, the Mouse rang up the clock.

Just one? No way! You can sell the other on eBay. Hickory Dickory Dock.

Imagine Sorcerer Mickey carved on the Tree of Life. Maybe that would be going too far.

How about moving the Hat from Disney's Hollywood Studios and putting it in a Fantasia Land at Animal Kingdom? That's more like it!

Wow, there really has been a lot of great Fantasia merchandise sold in the Disney Catalog.

Most of the items seen here were sold at the Disney Catalog and Disney Stores (1989-2005).

It's not hard to imagine Mickey in a special Sorcerer's Apprentice attraction/game in a Fantasia Land at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Yen Sid (clever name) could give Sorcerers Apprentices various tasks to complete in Fantasia. Using---a Wand. It seems like that kind of thing is popular in Orlando these days...

Oh, and I bet a Fantasia Land would do really well if they sold the Fantasia Ice Cream that was sold at Disneyland in California years ago.

Seriously, people loved that Fantasia ice cream. After reading about it so much, I want to try it!

I think the Sorcerer's Apprentice would make a good water attraction.

Off the top of my head, I think a Splash Battle Ride with buckets and brooms would be pretty easy to do.

Or maybe "Mickey's Broom Brigade" would be a clever way to trick kids into sweeping up trash all over the park.

Grab your special Fantasia broom and your magical receptacle and set off for an adventure across the park. Whoever collects the most garbage wins!

Disney's Animal Kingdom gets really hot, so I wouldn't mind seeing another flume ride or rapids ride.

At Walt Disney World, Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland, the brooms cool people off with a bucket of water at the Mickey's Philharmagic 3D attraction.

Fantasia could bring lots of refreshing Disney magic to Animal Kingdom.

Maybe the Sorcerer's Apprentice section of a Fantasia Land could be called "The Sorcery Academy of Yen Sid." I like it.

Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey really knows how to put on a show.

Mickey can light up the night sky or your living room.

Do you play music in a symphony orchestra by day, and belong to a biker gang at night?

Only members of the Chernabog's Minions Motorcycle Club get to wear this exclusive leather jacket.

Little Susie and Little Billy are afraid of the dark. Don't worry, they'll feel safe with a night light.

A Chernabog Night Light. Sweet dreams. Mwa-ha-ha!!

I'm running out of things to write here. Look at the pictures.

The marionette is awesome.

After many years in development, Fantasia 2000 opened in theaters...in the year 2000.

The film brought back The Sorcerer's Apprentice, but the rest of the movie was new content. A number of elements from Fantasia 2000 would fit in at Disney's Animal Kingdom, including "The Firebird Suite," which stars a wood sprite, and elk, and a firebird, of course.

"The Pines of Rome" sequence stars some whales swimming in the sky, and "The Carnival of the Animals" features a yo-yo wielding Flamingo. Tomart's Disneyana Update Magazine from 2000 shows some of the merchandise based on the film.

If that's not enough, Donald Duck is responsible for an Ark full of animals who march to "Pomp and Circumstance."

Remember how Beastly Kingdom was planned to feature a Dragon and a Unicorn? Fantasia 2000 has that covered (yes, there's a Griffin, too!).

Fantasia 2000's Unicorn, Dragon and Griffin did not cooperate with Donald Duck. I would enjoy seeing these fun characters at Disney's Animal Kingdom. They could do Meet and Greets an appear on merchandise.

Maybe someday they could star in their own attraction...


  1. I've always like the Disney sculpts by Enzo Arzenton. Never knew there was one for Fantasia. Very nice.

    I understand why they are creating an Avatar land at Animal Kingdom, but if I had a choice, I'd love to see a Fantasia land even more.

  2. Hey Snow White Sanctum! Disney has done some amazing Fantasia merchandise for collectors. Like you, I "get" the reasoning for an Avatar land, but I would personally rather see Fantasia. Given the passion Disney fans have for Fantasia, this would be a money machine for Animal Kingdom. You just couldn't go wrong with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck (who are animals, of course) dressed in their Fantasia costumes hosting a magical fantasy land at Disney's Animal Kingdom. I can already imagine what a Fantasia billboard in Orlando would look like. And Animal Kingdom would finally have a dragon and a unicorn!

  3. I can't believe I still need to see Fantasia 2000. It's one of the few that I haven't seeen......that, and Treasure Planet. I vote for a Fantasia Land! Or a Fantasia dark ride! DL Paris has a scene in their "Storybook Land" with Chernabog perched on a mountain high above a European village.

  4. TokyoMagic!: I actually had to go and buy Fantasia 2000 on DVD for this story, and the only place I could find it was at a store called 2nd & Charles (I got it used, and it was the only copy they had). I guess the chances of a Fantasia Land in Florida may be slim because of the fact that they already have a Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf at Walt Disney World. It's too bad the Disneyland Paris version of the Storybook Land boats (including Chernabog and the rare Disney version of the Wizard of Oz characters and the Emerald City) wasn't imported to Florida for the Fantasyland Expansion.