The removal of the benches in the open air auditorium of the Castle Stage (as reported last week) continued during this week. As can be seen in the photo below the jump taken on Friday, February 25, 2011, all benches in the middle sections of the auditorium have been removed. Currently one the last rows in the far out sections to the left and right remain in place.
One could wonder why the area is accessible to guests at all at this time, since the re-paving project of the parade route (that has now reached Fantasyland) and the major rehab of the Sleeping Beauty Castle have closed all walkways leading from the Castle Stage area except the one to the Central Plaza with the effect that the auditorium currently is a dead-end.
Heavy machinery has moved into Fantasyland and is busy pulling out the concrete ground that has gone since 1992 without a major rehab. However, it is not replaced with another concrete ground. Instead more lively brick grounds are put in place – which also have the advantage that damaged areas can be replaced / reworked much easier than the large slabs of concrete used before that over the years ahd developed major cracks and showed each and every attempt of repairing small sections.
The complete replacement of the main walkway in Fantasyland does not only affect the parade but also blocks access to Pizzaria Bella Notte as well as Fantasia Gelati. Signs mounted onto the construction fence in Fantasyland inform guests that Tony – the chef of the Pizzeria Bella Notte as introduced in Disney’s classic The Lady and the Tramp – is currently absent. As alternative locations guests are pointed to the two other counter service restaurants in Fantasyland: Toad Hall and Au Chalet de la Marrionette. Interestingly the signs do not mention that pasta and pizza (the specialties of the Bella Notte) are also served in Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost in Adventureland.