Fantasy Springs, Part 2

May 20, 2024 • Louie Mantia

Kim and I suspected that Monday would be another soft-opening day for DisneySea’s new Fantasy Springs area, so on a hunch, we took the train over to Maihama to see if we were right. We bought tickets and got in line for the main entrance. Then we heard the overhead announcement saying exactly what we hoped: Fantasy Springs would be open to all guests today. Perfect!

I took a photo of this Sleeping Beauty sculpture last time, but only at night, which doesn’t show you the pink and blue tones they add to her dress, which is very cute.

I also didn’t quite appreciate Maleficent’s cavernous wings at night! Or that Cinderella’s glass slipper is left on the waterfall steps.

Last Thursday, I didn’t even take a photo of Ariel at all, and that sculpture has a clever water feature to mimic the climax of “Part of Your World.”

But perhaps the best that I missed was the Magic Mirror, with a cloaked and reflective waterfall screen that occasionally disappears, revealing the face behind it. On the left is a small pool in the silhouette of Snow White, with a flower arrangement reminiscent of her dress. I can’t get over how smartly designed and well crafted all these sculptures are. I love them.

Fantasy Springs merchandise still isn’t for sale, but the whole display here is out in front to entice everyone.

How about this chandelier? Really ornate and lovely. All the light fixtures in Fantasy Springs are really excellent.


I was iffy about the clouds around the Never Land volcanoes when they started construction, but they’re growing on me! They’re really high up there (this is 5× zoom) and are textured. They don’t look natural, but they do fit in, I think!

LOUIE MANTIA REPORTING IN LIVE FROM NEVER LAND AT DISNEYSEA!
(Thank you Kim for taking this photo from Skull Rock.)

Again, the lighting design is so well done. Not just how the place illuminates, but the sculptural elements and arrangement is so fun.

In Lookout Cookout above the kitchen windows, there are this adorable array of doors with drawings of fruit and vegetables on them.

I didn’t get to experience Fairy Tinker Bell’s Busy Buggies last time, so I’m glad we got Standby Passes for it this time! It’s absolutely Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train version 2.

Disney loves to make miniature-sized areas and attractions, but this one has a finesse the others don’t. Less pristine, more natural, worn, and intricate. I love the woven thread along the queue and the instruments used as stanchions, like paperclips, safety pins, and pastel crayons.

I took a ride-through video with my iPhone 15 Pro Max, at 4K 60FPS with the wide-angle lens (because it spins quite a bit).


Over in the Rapunzel area, we went to the Snuggly Duckling.

This quick-service restaurant is so cute. There’s so many props and I feel like every one of them is so well designed.

Kim is filming for her YouTube channel, and occasionally I filled the role of cameraman. It was fun!


The North Mountain looks pretty great from anywhere, and you can get small peeks of it through lower mountains when close to the cliffs.

Obligatory pic of me.

Oh, I also captured a 4K 60FPS video ride-through of Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey. It captures every part of the attraction really well, including many of the smart effects they created for it.


In the afternoon, Anna and Elsa were greeting near the hotel. I think that’s where all the characters will meet in the future.

Gosh, at dusk, Fantasy Springs is gorgeous. Again with the 5× zoom, capturing the warm sky and the cool ice palace.

I can’t believe they actually made a tiny Tinker Bell silhouette in the lichen on a roof shingle atop the handwashing station. That’s insane.


I took this shot on my last visit, but now it’s framed identically to the daytime Cinderella shot to compare the daytime and nighttime lighting.

Let’s give it up for iPhone’s nighttime photography, coupled with the 5× zoom on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.


Only a couple weeks ’til the opening of Fantasy Springs, but now that I’ve seen all of it, I might steer clear for its first couple months. I feel very lucky to have caught the right days when it was open for test days.

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