“Caricatures, color portraits while you wait.“
Much like its shorter-lived sister, Main Street’s Art Festival, the Fantasyland Art Festival was a merchandise operation that specialized in one product: souvenir portraits of guests rendered in ink, pastels or oil pencil.
The Festival was originally located at the west end of Fantasyland, where it occupied the alcoves between Peter Pan’s Flight and the restrooms just north of the Liberty Square portal. The original easel storage closets remained in that location until late 2000, when the Peter Pan’s Flight queue was extended through the wall.
By 1973 a new home had been built for the Art Festival at the opposite end of Fantasyland. The attractive little structure just across from the Mad Tea Party was tacked onto the east side Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride’s show building, and the artists moved down the street to line the new building’s double patios. After approximately ten years of operation, the Fantasyland Art Festival was closed. Main Street’s Art Festival had already been shut down around 1976. This left the Shadow Box on Main Street as the Magic Kingdom’s sole outlet for custom artwork – not counting monogrammed hats – until Liberty Square added its silhouette cart in the mid-1980s. Liberty Square also added its own Portrait Gallery in 1994.
The building that housed the Fantasyland Art Festival (shown below in December 2000) was reopened as a food operation, Enchanted Grove, circa 1983. It is still open under that name.
Fantasyland Art Festival
Opened: October 1, 1971
All photos copyright The Walt Disney Company. Text copyright 2001 Mike Lee I would like to acknowledge the thoughtful assistance of Dave Applewhite and John Kunzer with my research on the Fantasyland