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Beast’s Castle: Behind the Scenes With Walt Disney Imagineers

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Today, we’re happy to present a backstage look at the creation of Beast castle at Magic Kingdom Park, a huge milestone in the Fantasyland expansion.

Beast Castle: Behind the Scenes With Walt Disney Imagineers

In response to Monday’s post, many of you asked how tall the new castle is, or if it would even distract from the view of Cinderella Castle (this shot was taken from the queue at Dumbo the Flying Elephant). Well, the next few photos should put your mind at ease. As you can see, Beast’s castle actually uses forced perspective architecture to make the structure look more grandiose in size than it appears in reality.

Beast Castle: Behind the Scenes With Walt Disney Imagineers

Forced perspective works as sort of an optical illusion, tricking the eye into believing a structure is much larger or taller than it really is. This is done by manipulating the size and scale of a building, based on the perspective it will be viewed from.

Beast Castle: Behind the Scenes With Walt Disney Imagineers

The company’s use of forced perspective started with Walt Disney during the construction of Disneyland park in California. At that time, Walt paid special attention to the scale of each building, as well as the specific shrubs and trees that flanked them in order to create the best sense of height and drama.

Beast Castle: Behind the Scenes With Walt Disney Imagineers

Beast Castle: Behind the Scenes With Walt Disney Imagineers

As you can see in this comparison between the artist rendering and the current construction, the castle sits high atop what will be the Be Our Guest Restaurant, which is really the gateway to the castle’s interior. Here, the restaurant will offer quick-service lunches and table-service dinners inside the Beast’s elegant ballroom, gallery and eerie “west-wing.” The construction to the far left will become Maurice’s Cottage.

Word on the street is that WDI is preparing a video tour of the area for our Disney Parks Blog readers. More to come on this next week.


  • My family and I are planning a trip back to WDW in October 2012. Do you think that our timeline is right for viewing the new Fantasyland?

  • Well.. while I welcome any improvements at the Magic Kingdom park, a park that needs all the help it can get, this Beast castle remains nothing but a visual prop on top of a building. Hardly anything that will put the Magic Kingdom ahead of it’s local competition.. especially if this is being done in response to Universal’s outstanding Harry Potter land. So apologies if I am not as excited about this as many of you are.. but having seen what Disney Imagineering is capable of doing with theming and show quality (Tokyo DisneySea in Japan for example), it’s very difficult to get excited over this little miniature castle. I just hope it turns out Ok at the end… because I know that no matter how lacking it will be, people will still find this to be amazingly awesome. Me? I expect and *demand* more from Disney for the price I pay for admission.

  • I told my kids we were going to have to wait 5 years before we visit the park again. Lets face it! I will not be able to wait that long. I am excited to see the new Fantyland!

  • WOW..i was there in october 2010 and had no clue that a new castle was coming!Looks great i hope it’s done by the time i surprise my kids with a 2nd trip there in aug.2012!!! I’m excited!WHOO HOO!

  • is this going to have stained glass windows like in the movie? from the sketch and the pictures so far i cant see any… seems like a big detail to just skip…

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