Beast’s Castle – Behind the Scenes

Filed under: Florida News,Theme Parks,Vacation Tips,Walt Disney World |

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is getting a new castle… Beast’s Castle, from Beauty and the Beast, is rising high over the park as part of the New Fantasyland. Fans of the parks Cinderella Castle shouldn’t worry about having their view distracted though, because the clever people at Disney are using a technique known as forced perspective architecture to make the structure look more grandiose in size than it appears in reality.

Beast’s Castle, will sit high above the mountains in the Fantasyland expansion and you can see the used of forced perspective in the following photos – (click on picture to see larger image):

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

The company’s use of forced perspective started with Walt Disney during the construction of the Disneyland park in California and you can also see it at Disney World . It’s perhaps best seen at Magic Kingdom as you enter the park and you’ll notice your eye is immediately drawn up Main Street to Cinderella’s Castle. Walt paid special attention to the scale of each building along the way, as well as the specific shrubs and trees that flanked them, in order to create the best sense of height and drama.

As you can see in this side by side comparison between the artist rendering and the current construction, the castle sits high atop what eventually 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 mysterious “west-wing.”  The restaurant will comfortably seat 550 people changing from quick service by day to full table service dining by night.

The castle and restaurant are scheduled to open in late 2012, along with the rest of the New Fantasyland in phases that follow.

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