The Magic Kingdom’s newest meet and greet opened officially this week, adding another checkbox to the Fantasyland to-do list. Princess Fairytale Hall is a fully-themed Disney Princess meet and greet located just behind Cinderella Castle next to Sir Mickey’s.
What do you need to know in order to get the most out of this new meet and greet location?
First, Princess Fairytale Hall (PFH) is now the permanent home of two of your favorite princesses, Rapunzel and Cinderella. Both princesses meet daily from park open to closing. You can find out which princesses will be meeting and greeting on the daily Times Guide available at the park entrances and many retail locations, as well as at Guest Relations. FastPass+ is available for Princess Fairytale Hall, with Cinderella and Rapunzel’s lines each requiring a separate pass. Guests may schedule FastPass+ using the My Disney Experience app on their phones or at park kiosks. On April 20, Princess Fairytale Hall will begin hosting Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. The girls will greet with another surprise princess in one room and Cinderella and Rapunzel will be moved to a room together. Fastpass+ will be available for meet and greets with these princesses beginning April 20, 2014. Given their popularity, it is certain that Anna and Elsa’s wait times will be some of the highest on property. It’s recommended that you use Fastpass+ to see them.
The queue lines are a combination of covered outdoor space and air-conditioned indoor space, which can be a relief in the heat. They are somewhat short, however, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see standby lines stretch out into the uncovered walkway during peak season.
Be sure to check out the details all around the building including the very royal scrollwork, the stained glass windows with Cinderella’s animal friends, and the shields adorned with each princess’s symbol that hang around the marquee. The Imagineers went to great lengths to make this venue entertaining to look at.
Once inside Princess Fairytale Hall you’ll wait in a corridor filled with tapestries and themed lighting. Because the only windows lead to the covered waiting area outside, the interior corridors are a little dark. There’s also not a ton to see at this point in the line, which may make for some squirmy kids if the wait is long.
If you are in the standby line, this interior hallway takes you to the Portrait Hall, a gorgeous room outfitted with six nearly-life-sized princess portraits of Aurora, Tiana, Rapunzel, Mulan, Jasmine, and Snow White. This room also houses Cinderella’s glass slipper as a special surprise. It should be noted here that if you choose to use FastPass+, you will not go through the Portrait Hall, but instead will go directly to the meet and greet rooms. While this is faster, it may detract from the overall experience.
Have your camera ready because you don’t get much time to see the slipper, as it’s just at the end of the line before you’re shown to your meet and greet room. From that point, Princess Fairytale Hall works like a standard meet and greet. You’ll see Cinderella or Rapunzel and their surprise princess friends and will be able to chat with them, as well as get pictures and autographs. The rooms are luxuriously outfitted from the carpets to the drapes to the furnishings, and storybooks are a common theme in the meet and greet rooms. Snow White’s storybook is permanently placed as a nod to the ride that formerly occupied the space where the meet and greet now resides.
You may notice that many of the photos I took have a red cast to them. While the lighting in Princess Fairytale Hall is lovely to look at, in many places it is similar to theater lighting (especially the super-bright spotlights on each princess) and is thus not great for photography. I was shooting with a Nikon D60 DSLR and no flash. Be sure to accept the PhotoPass cards that the photographers offer you in case your photos don’t turn out like you want them to, or, in the alternative, adjust your white balance when possible. External flashes are also helpful.
Last, but definitely not least, if you’re concerned about being filtered through a shopping area upon exiting the meet and greet, choose the line on the left side of PFH, which does not empty into a merchandise location. The right side funnels you into Sir Mickey’s when you are done.
**This article was updated on March 23, 2014, to reflect changes made to character schedules at PFH.