If you were a child of the 80’s, you know that Walt Disney World’s Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom has undergone a major attendance shift. When we were kids, you could go on Peter Pan’s Flight more than once and not have it take half a day. You could have the bejesus scared out of you on Snow White’s Scary Adventures – in fact, once I went on that ride at age 6, I never rode it again until age 18. You can also take a moment to lament on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, but that is so late 90’s (it’s ok, I still lament). You could eat a cheeseburger at Pinocchio’s Village Haus and wave at guests riding It’s a Small World.
Today, Fantasyland is madness. You are bringing your kids to ride these rides. The adult who were kids in the 80’s but don’t have kids now want to ride the ride too. And your parents, who are now grandparents are standing in line because they don’t know what a fast pass is, they don’t understand that wristband, and are still thinking you have to attach your ticket to your belt loop.
We all want that dose of nostalgia! If you manage to ride Pooh, the carousel, and see Philharmagic, you now consider it a win. Yes, you can still wave at the guests riding It’s a Small World from Pinocchio’s, but is it better because you’re eating a wrap or a little pizza or whatever it is that’s on the menu there now?
It should be not surprise that the Disneyland Park Fantasyland in Paris has a European flavor, acknowledging the source material from which your favorite Diz princess derives. Standing before Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty’s Castle) prepares you for this. Don’t even get me started on how I failed to visit the dragon in the dungeon (I was a bit overwhelmed and forgot), the castle inspired by Neushwanstein’s in Southern Germany leaves you with the impression that you’re someplace special, yet familar.
The big hit for me in this Fantasyland was Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, a considerable sized hedge maze at the back of the park. For one, it made me wish this was the expansion that took place in Orlando. Instead we have Dumbo (I get it, there were ready made circus tents). Two, I am a huge fan of the 1951 animated film. if you ask me (today, at least) what two animated films, pre-dating 1990, are my favorites, I will answer ‘Alice…’ & ‘Pinocchio’ (a little know fact). If you ever get a chance to visit, fall down the White Rabbit’s hole and test it out. The area is very popular with visits to Caterpillar’s Mushroom Lair, the Queen of Hearts Castle, and a Cheshire Cat walk. You’ll leave singing the ‘painting the roses red’ jingle.
Next up, Les Voyages de Pinocchio & It’s a Small World. For now, enjoy the Curious Labyrinth pictorial!