Disneyland closing historic Carnation Plaza Gardens on April 30, to be replaced by Fantasy Faire village for Disney Princesses

in Disney, Disneyland, Disneyland Resort, Entertainment, Music, Theme Parks

A treasured piece of Disneyland history will soon be “reimagined” into a village for guests to meet Disney Princesses as Disney has announced the closing date for Carnation Plaza Gardens.

The festive outdoor location close by Sleeping Beauty Castle has been home to swing dancing parties for decades, dating back to Walt Disney’s personal enjoyment of the pastime years ago. But as was announced at the 2011 D23 Expo, the area will soon become Fantasy Faire, described as “an enchanting village square that will immerse guests in the stories of their favorite princesses.”

Video: Fantasy Faire announced to replace Carnation Plaza Gardens at 2011 D23 Expo

The last day of operation of the existing Carnation Plaza Gardens will be April 30, 2012, immediately after which the “transformation” into Fantasy Faire will begin, essentially an extension of nearby Fantasyland and hosting an updated version of the Princess Fantasy Faire that’s been operating near “it’s a small world” for several years.

Tangled Tower and Royal Princess Hall will be among the elements that guests will find in the new Fantasy Faire village, featuring “ample” time to meet and greet with Disney Princesses.

The new Fantasy Faire Stage is “where the tales of Disney’s fairy tale heroes and heroines will be brought to life each day.” And it’s here that at night the popular dancing of Carnation Plaza Gardens will return – the part of the announcement seen in the video above that received the most applause from the attending Disney fans in the D23 Expo audience.

In the meantime, the Jump, Jive, Boogie Swing Party will take place at Carnation Plaza Gardens three more times before it closes, on each Saturday this month featuring (in order) Doc Anello & the Swing Machine, Stompy Jones, and Swingtown. Then beginning May 5, Disneyland is moving the Jump, Jive, Boogie Swing Party to the Westside stage in Downtown Disney.

Many Disney fans upset with the upcoming closure of this classic piece of Disneyland nostalgia have passed around the below image of Walt Disney, very clearly enjoying himself at Carnation Plaza Gardens, which has remained relatively untouched since Disney’s time in the park – until the end of this month.


  1. Justin

    I’m sure swing dancing will be a hit in Downtown Disney because it won’t require an admission to the park. If it does too well, however, I’ll bet it will never go back to inside the park. I wish they could leave this quiet area of the park alone. It is also strange to me that Fantasyland is growing in front of the castle.

    1. FS

      Its not exactly a new idea.

      For years, Ariel’s Grotto (now Pixie Hollow) has been a part of Fantasyland, and it is well outside and front of the castle.

  2. NoAssemblyReqd

    Just goes to show how much you can miss at the Disney Parks. WDW is my “home park” but I’ve been to Disneyland a couple of times, yet I have no idea what or where the Carnation Plaza Gardens is. I really must get back out to the West Coast and take in more of the treasures that distinguish DL from MK.

  3. Jeff Lynch

    I think this looks wonderful.

    I’d also love one day for Autopia to go away and for Disney to do something with the old motor boats area. There appears to be a half dozen or so of these little spots that are underused in the parks that can be turned into something really cool.

  4. FS

    Rickey, I’m sure you realize that Walt wanted Disneyland to change and evolve. It was his dream for the park. The only reason I’m mentioning this is because I sense a hint of cynicism in your article. Change is not always a bad thing.

    That stage has not always been untouched. The early 90’s saw a few of different character shows on that stage.

  5. FS

    …I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t think that you believe in Walt’s dream for the park.

  6. FS

    If swing dancing will still be hosted at night, then what may I ask, is the problem?

    Why the angry, cynical tone?

    1. Ricky Brigante

      I am neither angry nor cynical. In fact, I have no personal connection to this area of the park and really won’t miss it at all. But I know longtime Disneyland fans will, which is what I was reporting here.

  7. Denise

    This is a shame, I know they’ve been talking about removing The Carnation Plaza for 10+ years but didn’t think it was going to happen. My husband & I purchased premium season passes for the specific reason of being able to swing dance at CP, doubt we’ll renew next year. Not sure where or how big the Westside stage is at Downtown Disney but if it’s where they’ve had previous dances due to CP being occupied, this is sad news. That dance floor is so small & gets extremely over crowded.

    1. Dawn

      I agree wholeheartedly, Denise. This classic piece of Americana architecture has been an icon for nostalgic dance lovers for a half a century. Shame on you, Disney, for this travesty. Carnation Plaza was a historic landmark and young and old were still relishing dancing in this Victorian beautiful setting. Dancing in Fantasyland will not be the same at all for nostalgia buffs, which Walt was first and foremost!! He would not have allowed this, I am absolutely sure of it. A tragic mistake by Disney. My husband and I planned to come for our anniversary, when our annual passes expire. We, also, get the passes every year expressly to be able to have our lovely Disneyland date nights Swing Dancing at Carnation Plaza while still enjoying the rest of the overcrowded and overly commercialized other attractions. This makes me sick. We will NOT be renewing our passes. Over the forty years or so we still might have left in us, that loss to Disney will mean nothing, I am sure. But their lack of consideration to Walt’s original vision of balancing nostalgic, idyllic settings with moderate re-invention, expansion and growth is deplorable. We are longtime loyal Disney fans and have amassed a collection of Disney memorabilia rivalling a museum, largely in nostalgia for our Date Nights at Disneyland. We will sell them all and NEVER purchase Disney junk again. I am disgusted. Disney, beyond the exponential revenue over the rest of our lives throughout our large family you have lost, which again is meaningless to you sellouts, you have also lost the loyal following of souls who loved you and believed in Walt’s vision of preserving the past while dreaming of the future. Shame on you. Walt would care about preserving the Victoriana of this iconic landmark. New is not necessarily better. When our home was being built, one of the few remaining places to get inspiration for Victorian architecture was within your Park. What’s left fir future generations to enjoy American turn of the century architecture while snuggling their sweeties and enjoying such a beautiful venue? Carnation Plaza was a gem and you are destroying it. Never again will we give you a cent. Shame on you…how greedy and myopic can you get?? !!

      1. jackie

        I totally agree Dawn. Sometimes change can be good but sometimes Disneyland doesn’t know when to stop. Truth be told the whole “Princess” thing is going over board. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH Disney. You are taking away a beloved part of the park to put MORE princess stuff…..UGH!!! Just like the wonderful “bucket” ride…..or the calm “People Mover” (a lot of people actually liked it)…..to the great “Tahitian Terrace” restaurant with it’s dancers….all gone!!! Some things you shouldn’t change. Our family has always enjoyed Disneyland, but between the changes and the ridiculous prices for passes, we can’t even afford to go anymore. VERY SAD.

  8. Joel Pascual

    Ah, very sad! Change is good I suppose. However, I know Carnation plaza is where a lot of singing groups, bands, high school choirs and other performers go to perform! I hope there’s still going to be a place where the aforementioned can still be a part of the Disney “cast member” for a day.

  9. Greg

    Change is not a bad thing necessarily, but whose fault is it that the venue is underused!? So schedule some entertainment and it will be used!

    My fear is what is happening to live, unscripted entertainment throughout the parks. Miner 49ers gone. Big Thunder entertainment gone on weekdays. Most of the other “street” acts cut back. And all I see on the horizon are scripted character shows or numbingly similar “High School Musical”-style dance acts. Is that the case, or is this is a scary transition?

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