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All in the Details: Creating a Cozy Cottage for Maurice & Belle in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

This week’s photos, supplied by Walt Disney Imagineering, will focus on some of the charming details that can be found on the exterior of Maurice’s Cottage in New Fantasyland.
Maurice's Cottage in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

The home of Maurice, Belle’s father, has a tinkerer’s touch both inside and out. The roof sports mismatched chimneys and this creative weather vane.

On the ground level, the house is highlighted with heart shutters and support beams that are designed to look aged and weathered.
The Fence around Maurice's Cottage in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

A wishing well and wooden fence, which has been repaired by the handy Maurice using extra wood found around the house, outline the property.

Maurice’s tinkering handiwork also extends inside the house, which you can check out in this previous blog post. Guests will be able to see it all themselves when the Enchanted Tales with Belle character interaction experience officially opens this holiday season.

Speaking of Enchanted Tales with Belle, we’ll have a few updates on this new experience coming up in August right here on the Disney Parks Blog. It will be much more than your average character meet and greet. Keep watching!

Read on for more posts in the “All in the Details” series from Walt Disney Imagineering:


  • My husband and I have a trip planned for Nov. 9-16… I’m wondering if we are going to be missing out on a lot though with the opening of Fantasyland in December. What do you think? Should we change the dates? (I’m also a little bummed about missing the Test Track reopening.)

  • All the changes, all the magic. It’s like Christmas Eve night. Were waiting all year for that night!!!!!!!! and it takes forever to get here. lol!

  • AAah! Its killing me waiting, coming October 5-10 for Halloween Party on a girls weekend! Me, my best friend, her 4 year old daughter and my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter. So hoping they will get to ride the little mermaid, they do the virtual ride on the video all the time, hope it is similar! It will be great anyway! Never been to Halloween event before!

    • Halloween is a BLAST. You’ll have a ton of fun. Don’t forget your costumes.

  • When can we safely book our next trip in order to see all of the new additions? We’re thinking summer 2013 or should we wait until 2014?

    • The last piece opening is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in 2014, however there will be a TON to see by this holiday season. New attractions, restaurants, character meet-and-greet experiences. You won’t recognize the area!

  • My son and I were there in June and we are booked for Nov. 8th-12th. This will be his first Cristmas Party at Disney. We have the tickets and like everyone else we can’t wait for “Be Our Guest”.I have to tell everyone about the Disney Floral and Gifts! We had a few things sent to our room in June and we were so excited we ordered a bunch more for our Nov. trip. Lee and the girls do such wonderful magic. Check them out next time you come to Disney, trust us you won’t be disappointed. Thanks so much for the magic Disney, Your pals, Donna and Norman.

    • Have a great Christmas party – that’s a wonderful event!

  • By hoildays do you mean hallaween and cristmas.

  • Whoops, meant Sept 25th, sorry! 😀 Wonderful article by the way. Thank you so much for all these updates!

    • Welcome!

  • I’m SO EXCITED for this! Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney movie. I was three when the movie came out and my parents allowed me to go see it in theaters. Apparently after I saw it, I was talking about how much I wanted a Beast of my own!

    Now I’m 24 and I’ve been dating my very own Beast for the past 4 years. It’s our 5 year anniversary this September and we’re heading to Disney World to celebrate it! I’m praying that there are some soft openings then (Sept 5 – Oct 1) so I can experience the world that has been the greatest impact on my life. It would be the best anniversary present in the world. :)

    Has there been any information yet on when merchandise for the new forest will start appearing? Even if Belle’s area isn’t opened yet I’d definitely be interested in seeing some new Beauty and the Beast merchandise!

    • No update on Merchandise just yet. Our Merch pal, Steven Miller, is working on it.

  • It looks like one of Marie-Antoinette’s houses in her little village at the Palace of Versailles in France.

    • Totally! The French countryside must’ve been a charming place to live.

  • This is so cute! The amount of detail that Disney puts into these things is amazing. :)

    • Truly amazing!

  • Philip- I thought thats what enchanted tales would be!!! My little girl will be sooo excited!!!!! Thanks!

    • It’s actually going to be an amazing interactive experience. Stay tuned for more details.

  • P.S.: I wonder if the “thing that Jennifer hasn’t covered yet” is going to be either Gaston’s Tavern, Bonjour Village Gifts, the new Ariel’s Grotto or Scuttle’s Scavanger Hunt–those are my best guesses.

  • Oh I love Maurice’s house – so quaint! Will Maurice himself be a part of the meet & greets once the area opens?

    • No, however you’ll see plenty of his tinkering handiwork inside and outside.

  • Sue, they are bringing back Storytime with Belle, in the form of the upcoming Enchanted Tales with Belle experience.

  • My family and I are going in mid-September. Will we be able to at least see all of the work that has been completed without the wall?

    • I don’t have any info on when the wall will come down – stay tuned!

  • It looks great! But like so many others, the wait for actual dates to be announced is driving me crazy! We have October reservations and need to confirm or change them very soon. Any idea of when in August we might hear something?

    Thank you for all the updates and pictures. I’ve really enjoyed watching the transformation. The attention to detail is amazing. Impressive as always, but what else would you expect from Disney.

  • One word: Magical!

  • I can’t wait to see this! Been a Beauty and the Beast fan my entire life! It’s going to be a magnificent addition to the park. So much artistry and hard work has gone into it! Going to be in WDW August 9th to the 18th, I think going to just miss the opening.

  • When is the restaurant Be Our Guest opening? Will it be ‘the holidays’ too? Can’t wait to see it. I’m “coming home” in Febuary.

    • Yes, “holidays 2012” is the opening date for Be Our Guest, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Gaston’s Pub and Mermaid.

  • it looks lovely am counting the days til i can come visit! and so looking forward to getting dates when all the new expansion is ready!

    • I really look forward to sharing them. I know many people are looking forward to visiting this new area and want to plan their vacations.

  • Since this post is about the “details” I’d point out the French word for West is Ouest. I believe Beauty and the Beast is supposed to be in France, or at least a francophone country. Accordingly the weather vane on top of the cottage would not have a “W” to symbolize the west cardinal direction. I know. Ima dork.

  • Please oh please can you give us something more concrete than “in time for the holidays”? We are arriving the day after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is part of the holidays, right? The waiting is torture!!!!!

    • The info is coming soon…

  • Tomorrow is August! I’ll keep my browser pointed here. :)

    • I like to hear that!

  • We are going the last week in September, I am so sad, I think we might miss it!! Any chance it will be open then?????

  • So hope they bring back “Storytime with Belle.” My family loved that. We did it multiple times each trip,(we come to disney twice a year), and never got tired of it.

  • I’ll be there October 13th, please tell me it’ll be opened by then!

  • And by “holidays” you mean National Boss’ Day on Oct. 16th, right? tee hee. This cottage is so quaint. Love the little shutters.

    • :)

  • Jennifer,
    With the anticipated updates in August, will Disney change the official wording from “in time for the holidays” to include actual opening dates? I’m assuming yes (or at least partially yes) since they plan to begin accepting reservations at Be Our Guest for the holiday season by the end of August? Thanks for all the updates!!

    • Yes. We’ll know something very soon.

  • Looks like I need to make another trip to WDW this year!! My kids have been asking to go back since we got home from our last trip last November! Only this time, I won’t be 3months pregnant so I can ride! Can’t wait to see the new area! Took pics of the construction when we were there!

  • Wow. It’s amazing to see all the details that the Imagineers put in to everything they do. I have a request though. The past 3 weeks in a row of posts have been about something Beauty and the Beast related. Can next week’s post PLEASE be about something related to Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid??? Thanks.

    • I have to be mysterious here, but next week’s post will be about something entirely different that I haven’t covered yet. :)

  • wow…it amazing. we cant wait to check it out. With all the details in the houses we will probably be spending most of the day looking and taking photos of everything!! Hope they open it in early Oct – fingers crossed!!

  • Once again the attention to detail is incredible. Thank you for all of this effort. Cant wait!

  • The info says “to be open around the holidays.” Is there an actual date? I’m going on 11/30 for the first week of December and am HOPING we can get in to see the new additions! Cannot wait!!

    • No actual date yet…we’re hoping to have an update soon!

  • We are coming to WDW in March 2013…will most of the expansion be open? My little princess can’t wait!!!

    • Most of it, yes. The opening estimation right now is “holidays 2012.” The Princess Fairytale Hall will open in 2013 and Seven Dwarf Mine Train in 2014.

  • I’m so excited for this area to open! It’s really coming to life now, isn’t it?

    • It’s going to be amazing, Joyce!

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