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|Oo la la! A look at Disney in France|
Alice's Curious Labyrinth
Alice's Curious Labyrinth is a 1200 feet maze that ambles between walls of clipped yea and ivy. It's inspired by the traditional English hedge row mazes of the 1800's, and as you explore you will run into some of the characters from Alice in Wonderland. The hedges squeak and whistle and creatures appear and disappear from above.
At the center of the maze is the Queen of Hearts Castle offering some of the best views of the park. The leaping fountains are captivating and it is worth keeping an eye on the huge floral Cheshire Cat, especially at night.
Casey Jr. Circus Train
Based on the train in Dumbo, this ride features both regular seats and 'cages' for the animals (also known as kids) to ride in. It carries you through a series of scale model versions of Disney movies. The detail is amazing, with stained glass in the small church windows, mailboxes outside the houses and lights in each of the windows.
Disneyland Railroad Fantasyland Station
Grab a seat on this authentic steam train excursion around the theme park to Main Street, U.S.A., Frontierland and Discoveryland.
Deep beneath Sleeping Beauty Castle is a dark cave with bubbly pools and stalactites. Eerie sounds fill the dark chamber. Here lies a huge, leathery gray dragon, slumbering in the darkness, chained to the wall. As you explore the attraction, the dragon seems to break loose and come after the hapless guests ! The dragon is one of the most sophisticated Audio Animatronics ever created. It is some 89 feet long and weighs over two tons.
Dumbo, the Flying Elephant
Probably the most often crowded ride in Fantasyland, this one offers some great views at night, but does not offer the extra treat that some of the other rides do. You move up and down on your 'Dumbo' car while whirling around in a circle. Lots of fun for the kids, but adults could probably skip it.
Storybook Land Boats
This is one of the most overlooked rides in the park, and was inspired in part by Lilliputian Land, one of the lands Walt originally planned for Disneyland (it was scrapped due to budgetary and logistical problems). Boats carry you through a series of scale model versions of Disney movies. The detail is amazing, with stained glass in the small church windows, mailboxes outside the houses and lights in each of the windows. Portions of this ride are visible on the Casey Jr. Circus Train Ride.
It's a small world
Located next to Fantasyland Station, this one of the signature Disneyland rides. The original version premiered at the 1964 -65 World's Fair, along with Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. You ride in boats through a series of 'lands' which features animatronic dolls dressed in the native costumes of nations around the world. The detail is very well done and it can take several rides through to see it all. The music, by the Sherman Brothers, is pleasant, but often hard to get out of your head.
On the way out The World Chorus features all the children in a miniature city. You can peer through the building windows and see uses of the latest communications technology (phone, fax, video, etc) to make it easy for people around the globe to communicate with each other. Kids will love it, even though it is a clear ad for France Telecom.
This beautiful carousel, complete with fully restored gleaming white jeweled horses is a true work of art. It is graceful, majestic, and a treasure to behold. It is especially a beautiful sight at night.
Mad Hatter's Tea Cups
One of the rides people envision when they think of Disney, this is sort of like the carnival Tilt-a-Whirl, but themed for Alice in Wonderland. As in Florida, the ride is covered to prevent the rain problems that plague DL California's version.
Peter Pan's Flight
One of the best Fantasyland attractions, and still one of the best. Board your own flying pirate ship for a journey through the Darling's window, over London, past the second star to the right and straight on 'til morning! Try to catch the detail of decoration in the bedroom of the Darling children. Fly over nighttime London presented in amazing detail, and circle Neverland from above.
The detail of this "dark ride" (a black room filled with specially painted scenery, illuminated by ultraviolet light) is wonderful. Look down at London, and notice the cars moving on the expressways. Neverland is a beautifully rendered island, floating in the stars. The waterfalls are spectacular, and Hook's ship is right there in the bay where it belongs. While many adults pass on this one as a 'kiddie ride', it is well worth the wait.
Peter Pan has been a Fast Pass attraction but it has been temporarily suspended while they rework the queue area outside the ride.
Not as scary as Snow White for young children, but Pleasure Island might give a chill, particularly when Lampwick becomes a donkey right before your eyes or Monstro the Whale suddenly lunges toward you near the end. A bit of tongue in cheek humor as we watch of the perils of being in an amusement park right in the center of Disneyland. The detail here is some of the nicest, and rumor has it there is a hidden Mickey along the way
Sleeping Beauty's Castle
This is the magnificent centerpiece of the park rising some 148 feet above the moat. It's design is that of a classical fairy tale castle, based on Sleeping Beauty. As with the other castles, forced perspective gives the view of greater height. The walls are pink with decorative stonework, topped with sixteen ornamental turrets done in sea blue tiles. At night the castle takes on a completely new look, all lit up.
Up a spiral staircase you will find the Sleeping Beauty Gallery. This wonderful gallery features traditionally crafted tapestries, stained glass windows and wonderful illuminated manuscripts depicting the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Be sure to step out onto the balcony, the view over Fantasyland is magnificent.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
A ride that might be too much for younger children, it is another nice visual effect ride (visual effect in the artistic, rather than the computerized sense). You board an appropriately decorated car, but ride along the ground on a track. It carries you through the Dwarfs' Diamond mine it goes on to encounter the Wicked Witch, reaching out for you with a poisoned apple. She meets her doom in the end, to the cheers of many spirited riders.
Twirling Old Mill
This is a beautiful old mill, with sails twirling in the breeze, in reality a themed Ferris type wheel. While the ride is not that inspiring, it does offer great views of Fantasyland. This is a seasonal ride and often closes in the slower months. In fact it is currently closed for renovation.
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