A Guest-favorite Magic Kingdom attraction that was scheduled for removal has come to its final day, and fans who aren’t in the parks today won’t have the experience again as a permit has been filed for the construction of a brand-new experience in the same location.
There’s quite literally something for every Guest, young and old, at the Walt Disney World Resort. And more than that, at the Central Florida Disney Parks, Guests of every age will find unique and engaging experiences to embrace–and eventually describe as their favorite thing about a Disney World visit, and that’s for good reason.
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park is called magic for a reason. Yes, the name has a “ring” to it, and kingdoms belonging to royalty are all the better when they’re magical. But Magic Kingdom is far more than that. Because it’s Disney’s, there seems an actual measure of real magic to any experience that takes place in the park (barring, of course, those massive dual-family fights in recent months and the alligator near Splash Mountain that had to be fought off by Cast Members).
All of Disney World’s theme parks exist with a measure of magic to them–whether it’s EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But there’s no theme park where the magic is more palpable than Magic Kingdom. This weekend, however, one part of Disney World’s first theme park is losing some of that magic, although more magic is reportedly on the way, as per a new permit filed by Disney for the construction of a brand-new experience in its place.
Saturday is the last day on which Guests can enjoy the meet-and-greet experience with Merida, the Scottish princess whose story is the center of PIXAR’s Brave (2012). Merida began interacting with her young fans (and her young-at-heart fans) at Magic Kingdom in 2012, but now, Imagineers are gearing up to begin the work of creating a new experience at Fairytale Garden in Fantasyland near Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe and Cheshire Cafe, where Merida usually practices her archery and chats with Guests.
A permit filed by Adena Corporation on behalf of Disney gives some insight into plans for a brand-new experience in place of Merida’s meet-and-greet, and fans of Disney’s Encanto (2021) will be thrilled. The current setting of Fairytale Garden is the Scottish highland, but soon, Guests will get to experience the magic and wonder found deep within a chain of the Andes Mountains found in Colombia.
But first, Disney’s Imagineers will need to work some magic of their own–magic that will turn the moorlands of Scotland into the mountains of Colombia. But as usual, they’re up for the task.
Mirabel from Disney’s award-winning 60th animated feature film Encanto (2021) will soon meet Guests at Magic Kingdom (and yes, she’ll be wearing her iconic green glasses). Encanto was released at the box office in November 2021 and on Disney+ in December 2021 and was an instant success. With catchy songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a timeless story about the power and value of the family unit, Disney’s Encanto immediately amassed a massive fan base, and nearly two years later, the number of fans who love the story about the amazing Madrigal family living deep in the Colombian mountains at casita only continues to grow.
As of the time of this publication, the link for Merida’s meet-and-greet times at Fairytale Garden on Disney World’s website re-directs Guests to a webpage listing various character experiences but does not lead to the former page that gave details about the experience with the Scottish princess. As Imagineers account for the popularity of Encanto, they are–no doubt–tasked with creating an interactive space that welcomes Guests and gives them the feeling of being in the South American country. The new area will also have to accommodate large crowds of Mirabel’s fans, who will be thrilled to finally have the chance to meet Mirabel and learn more about the amazing Madrigals!
At this time, there’s no official date for Mirabel’s debut, but more information will be shared about the new experience as it becomes available.