Mini-land? Did we get your attention? Perfect, that was the plan. We’re here to talk about the potential of a Princess and the Frog mini-land at Disneyland park in California. Every Disneyphile will remember where they were on June 25, 2020, when news broke about the rethemeing of Splash Mountain. For us, we were off to the beach for a little R&R. Immediately following the announcement, we thought to ourselves could we have been right about a Princess and the Frog mini-land for Disneyland? If you missed our prediction, check out the following article where we share the potential rethemeing options for Splash Mountain. Well, fast-forward a few weeks and we have our first hints to whether or not our prediction was right!
What’s A Disney Mini-Land?
You know us, we like to lay a little groundwork before diving into the details. When the term mini-land is used in relation to a Disney park, it usually means an area with one main attraction or a few smaller attractions, as well as a few smaller things like a shop or a dining experience. Traditionally, we usually see the mini-land concept used at the Disney parks outside the US, for example, the smaller Toy Story Land (called Toy Story Playland) at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris. Once an awhile we do see mini-land within the US parks, like Camp Minnie and Mickey at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (this has been replaced by Pandora: World of Avatar).
The Princess and The Frog Mini-Land
On to the good stuff! Not the grey stuff, though it is delicious and worth trying at Be Our Guest. Looking at a map of Disneyland park it is easy to see the tie in between New Orleans Square and the Princess and The Frog attraction. The one thing that stands out is what to do with the rest of Critter Country, as Splash Mountain was previously the anchor attraction within the land. The rest of the area consists of the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the Winnie the Pooh Store, Hungry Bear (quick-service), Harbor Gallery, and Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes. As we said in a previous article, flipping Hungry Bear over to Tiana’s Place or Mama Odie’s dining experience would make a lot of sense
We’re not the only ones thinking this, according to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, Disney Imagineering is already considering including a Princess and the Frog restaurant as part of the update. At the moment, this is still in the “blue sky” area of development and a lot can change between now and when everything is complete.
Now, we know what your thinking, what about the rest of Critter Country? At the moment, nothing is known, but we have a few ideas. We could easily see the Harbor Gallery and Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes switch over to Frontierland, especially since Tom Sawyer Island is already part of this land. The tricky part is the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. We’ve gone record saying that we would like to see a Louis driven jazz show, but that may not keep in the over storytelling within a Princess and the Frog mini-land. Let’s just Louis will have a larger part within the land’s story. We’ll save that story for another day. In the short-term, we would project that Disney would not make any changes to the attraction. If anything this would probably fall into a second phase for the area.
This is why we’re saying a phase two for the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Black Spire Outpost. But Nate, what does Black Spire Outpost have to do with a Princess and the Frog mini-land. Well, besides being neighbors within the park, it’s vantage points. When Disney Imagineering created Black Spire Outpost one of the big things they took into consideration were the sightlines. They wanted guests to feel like they “left” the park and were transported to a new world, as they could not see any other aspect of Disneyland from within the land. To create this environment, Disney Imagineering strategically placed trees to block out certain sightlines, for example, the top of Splash Mountain.
Ahh, we see where you’re going, Nate. You got it. Based on the concept art of the new Princess and the Frog attraction, the top of the mountain will be getting a lot larger. So much so, that Disney Imagineering is looking at what they may have to do to ensure the sightlines within Black Spire Outpost are not impacted. The original plan had the trees encasing the land growing a lot more before updating Splash Mountain.
It’s a bigger project than anyone thought! As we know, concepts change along the way, but it is looking like we may get a Princess and the Frog mini-land after all. But, should we call it a mini-land, as it will be part of New Orleans Square when all is said and done? Well, let’s just call it a land within a land for now. No matter what, we cannot wait to see what Disney Imagineering has in store for this area of the park. If it’s anything like the rethemeing of California Adventure’s Tower of Terror, we’re in for a treat!
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