Fantasyland is themed after Disney’s animated fairy tale films. Each Fantasyland has a castle, as well as several gentle rides themed after those Disney films. In Disneyland Paris, Fantasyland is themed as a fairy tale village, this land specifically notes the European origins of the source material for many Disney animated films.
Feel the magic of Disney fairy tales in Fantasyland, Fantasyland brings the tales and legends from your childhood to life. Step into the fairytale Sleeping Beauty Castle, take off on a magical flight to Neverland, or go for a spin on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups from Alice in Wonderland. Take flight with Peter Pan, lose yourself in Alice’s Curious Labyrinth or head to Princess Pavilion for a resplendently royal encounter.
Fantasyland is the land of fairy tales, there are many heroes of Disney animation classics, the Disney Illuminations night show, but also the symbol of the park, the castle of Sleeping Beauty. At the foot of the castle, on the central square, the Théâtre du Château offers different shows according to the different seasons of Disneyland Paris. This open-air theater offers, for example, for Halloween, the Disney villains show…
Sleeping Beauty Castle marks the main entrance to this country, but it can also be reached on foot from Adventureland, Discoveryland or by train with Fantasyland Station. The castle has, which is a first for Disney, moats and underground passages which can be visited, but also a drawbridge, not straight but curved. Two shops share the ground floor of the castle, La Boutique du Château dedicated to Christmas, and Merlin the Enchanter with crystal objects. In this last shop, a staircase descends into the depths of the castle inside La Den du Dragon, there is an audio-animatronic dragonhalf asleep 27 meters long. On the first floor of the castle, you can discover the Sleeping Beauty gallery, it tells the story of Sleeping Beauty through frescoes, paintings, stained glass windows and works of art. This gallery is accessible from a staircase mimicking a tree, and offers an aerial view of the medieval-inspired square of Fantasyland.
Leaving the castle on the left, there is a building offering two attractions Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Les Voyages de Pinocchio, two shops La Chaumière des Sept Nains and La Bottega di Geppetto, and a restaurant Au Chalet de la Marionnette. The building on the right is home to three shops, La Confiserie des Trois Fées, La Ménagerie du Royaume and Sir Mickey’s Boutique, as well as a restaurant, L’Auberge de Cendrillon. Sir Mickey’s Boutique was named after the short film The Brave Little Tailor(1938) and has a magic bean in a small garden, inspired by the medium-length film Mickey and the Beanstalk (1947). In L’Auberge de Cendrillon, a replica of the silver pumpkin-shaped carriage from the film Cinderella, is displayed under a porch of the restaurant. This carriage was offered by the Walt Disney World Resort park as an opening gift, and was notably used in the parades afterwards.
Between the two buildings, in front of the castle, is a stone with a sword stuck in it that can only be released in the presence of Merlin during an animation, it depicts the famous scene where the future King Arthur extracts Excalibur. A little further on the square still between the two buildings, there is the Carrousel de Lancelot which tells the story of Lancelot and the Lady of the Lake.
Leaving the place, we face a stream coming from Adventureland which cuts Fantasyland in two. On the castle side, it is continental Europe with France, Germany and Italy, while on the other side of the stream it is England which occupies a large place, it should be noted however that a section evoking the Benelux was added in 1994.
A bridge in the axis of Main Street USA and the castle makes it possible to cross this stream, the two “islands” placed on either side of the bridge form the center of the land. On the island on the left is Dumbo the Flying Elephant with flying elephants, while on the right Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups, the Mad Hatter’s famous cups are covered with a glass canopy evoking the works of Baltard. Behind Dumbo is the English section of Fantasyland, there is Peter Pan’s Flight with a tower at the entrance reminiscent of Big Ben. Behind, the Toad Hall’s Restaurant is one of the rare evocations in a Disney park, of the film The Toad and the Schoolmasterof 1949. Next door is the Disneyland Railroad station, with the Fantasyland Theater below, which previously hosted shows but has since become a Meet Mickey Mouse hangout. Behind the Mad Hatters’ Tea Cups lies Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, this is an imposing maze and the Queen of Hearts’ castle, unfortunately the castle slide has been condemned due to frequent accidents.
Further on the right begins the section on the Benelux opened in 1993, with the restaurant Le Vieux Moulin, it was previously the attraction closed in 2002 Les Pirouettes du Vieux Moulin. Between the mill and the labyrinth, a path passing under the railway track was created a year after this expansion. This cul-de-sac allows access to two interlocking Casey Jr attractions – The Little Circus Train and The Land of Fairy Tales, these two attractions reproduce the existing one at Disneyland Park in California, but updating the tales.
Next to Le Vieux Moulin restaurant is the It’s a Small World attraction, often referred to colloquially as “The Land of the Dolls”. Attached to this attraction in place of its former “post show”, the Princess Pavilion opened its doors in 2011, it allows you to have your picture taken with a Disney princess. The queue for this character meeting place introduces the visitor to the various Disney princess tales, with their own castle illustrated in stained glass. Note that it is in Fantasyland, next to the It’s a Small World attraction that the Disney Stars on Parade begins and ends.
Opposite It’s a Small World, at the back of the building that houses L’Auberge de Cendrillon, among others, there is an evocation of Italy with a Bella Notte restaurant and a Fantasia Gelati ice cream parlour. A porch was located on the route of the Disney ImagiNations Parade between the Théâtre du Château and the Pizzeria Bella Notte, but it was removed in 1999 in order to pass floats topped with inflatable Disney characters, despite the end of this parade in 2001 it was never reassembled.
Sleeping Beauty Castle
Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant is the fairy tale castle at the centre of Disneyland Park. The Castle features two parts, a dungeon area in the base featuring an Audio-Animatronic dragon and, above, a concrete balcony walkthrough area with Sleeping Beauty–themed stained glass windows and tapestries. There are also several shops selling glass figures, ornaments and gifts.
The Castle is home to a dragon, which, at 27 meters (89 ft) from head to tail, was the largest Animatronic figure yet built when the park opened in April 1992. The walkthrough attraction consists of a dimly lit cavern with the large dragon sleeping silently. Occasionally it will ‘wake up’, puffing smoke and growling. The building also contains La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant, a gallery of displays which illustrate the story of Sleeping Beauty in tapestries, stained glass windows and figures. La Boutique du Château, a shop selling Christmas ornaments year-round, and Merlin l’Enchanteur, a shop specialising in handmade glass figures, are located on ground floor.
The castle has received several overlays throughout the years. The first occurred during the park’s first anniversary celebration in 1993, when the castle was dressed up as a cake complete with strawberries, icing and candles. This overlay was removed after the celebration ended. The cake overlay concept was later copied by Walt Disney World’s Cinderella Castle in 1996 for the 25th Anniversary of the resort.
During the fifth anniversary of Disneyland Paris in 1997, the castle was decorated in carnival masks, jester hats, frills and bells to promote the animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This overlay lasted until the beginning of 1998. During the tenth anniversary of Disneyland Paris in 2002, the front of the castle was fitted with a golden scroll displaying a large 10. The celebration also saw the opening of Walt Disney Studios next door. The scroll and other anniversary material in the park were removed in 2003.
In 2007, the castle received another overlay, celebrating the park’s fifteenth anniversary. It featured golden Disney characters displayed on the turrets and spires, each holding a candle, and Tinkerbell on the highest spire. The candles were illuminated each night during a special ‘Candlebration’ ceremony which took place on a raised temporary stage at Central Plaza, in front of the Castle. A huge illuminated gold plaque featuring a large ’15’ was hung on the front of the castle. This echoed the overlay from the tenth anniversary in 2002. The fifteenth anniversary and the ‘Candlebration’ ceremony ended on March 7, 2009.
The fifteenth anniversary overlay quickly followed on April 4, 2009 by Mickey’s Magical Party, a “theme year” celebration held at the park. The castle was again overlaid, this time with a Mickey and Friends plaque over the main window, and the spire heads were changed from being characters to being 3 circles “of ribbon” representing Mickey Mouse. A more permanent Central Plaza stage was built outside the castle to host the “It’s dance time… with Mickey and Friends” show.
The castle was repainted in a new colour-scheme, restored and fitted with multicolored LED lighting during 2011. For the Disney Dreams nighttime spectacular show its moat was fitted with water fountains, the upper window was replaced by doors that open to reveal a LED lighted star and Central Plaza stage was removed in order to increase the viewing area.
The Lair of the Dragon
La Tanière du Dragon is a walk-through attraction located beneath Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, and is unique to that park. It opened with Euro Disneyland on April 12, 1992. The attraction features an audio-animatronic dragon, which at 27 metres (89 ft) from head to tail was the largest Animatronic figure ever built when the park opened in April 1992. The walkthrough consists of a dimly lit cavern with a large dragon sleeping silently. Occasionally it will ‘wake up’, puffing smoke and growling.
In 1987, Imagineer Terri Hardin completely headed up a project, which was surprising to her because it just didn’t happen often to women, when she worked on Dragon’s Lair in Euro Disney. She was the sole Imagineer from Walt Disney Imagineering who created it. Terri intended to have the skeleton of Maleficent’s Dragon in the lair because it was under the Sleeping Beauty Castle, but Disney didn’t go for it.
Lancelot’s Carousel is a carousel plays organ-based versions of Disney music during the two-minute ride period. Hand-painted scenes from Cinderella can be seen on the top. All horses are painted white because white horses are typically associated with heroes. All of the original horses were carved from maple. The horses were each given a unique design, gold leaf, silver, and bronze to each of the horses and added scenes from Cinderella’s story.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White’s Enchanted Wish is a dark ride at the Disneyland, it is one of the few remaining attractions that was operational on Disneyland’s opening day in 1955, although it has seen several different redesigns over its history. The ride’s story is based on Disney’s 1937 film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, their first animated feature film.
Guests enter the ride building through the Evil Queen’s castle. Overlooking the entrance is a high window whose curtains are parted every few minutes by the Evil Queen. A metal, gold-colored apple is within reach of guests standing in the queue. Touching the apple causes the disembodied voice of the Queen to cackle menacingly. Guests wind their way through a dungeon inside the castle, passing by a book of poisons. The book reads, “One taste of the poisoned apple and the victim’s eyes will close forever in the Sleeping Death.” Like most of the dark rides, the boarding area is dominated by a large mural depicting characters from the movie.
The ride vehicles resemble mine carts and feature the names of each of the Seven Dwarfs, much like their beds in the film. When guests board the ride vehicles, they enter the Dwarfs’ cottage first. Here, the music and yodeling from “The Silly Song” can be heard, while birds, chipmunks, and other forest creatures perform housekeeping tasks such as hanging a clothesline and washing the dishes. Guests pass Snow White followed by some of her animal friends climbing the stairs to the second floor of the cottage. The guests then move past the Dwarfs, who are performing “The Silly Song”.
When guests leave the cottage, they pass by the Queen who says “Soon I’ll be fairest in the land.” They then enter the Dwarfs’ diamond mine, which is full of jewels of many colors. Guests pass under a branch with two vultures perched on it and enter the Queen’s castle. There, they see the Queen as she stands before her Magic Mirror with her back to the guests and beautiful reflection saying, “Magic Mirror on the wall…” She then turns and faces the guests.
They see that she has become an ugly, green-eyed, toothless witch with a wart on her nose. “With this disguise, I’ll fool them all!” she adds. This effect is achieved by two models—one queen and one witch—rotating on different sides of the ‘mirror’, which is actually a sheet of transparent glass. Projections and LED lights create the effect of cobwebs and electricity running through the walls. Guests continue to pass through the castle laden with skeletons. Nearby, the Witch is accompanied by a raven in a dungeon where she is creating a poisoned apple for Snow White. She heads for the Dwarfs’ cottage in a small boat.
Guests wind their way through a menacing forest. Here, trees have ugly faces and branches like talons or grasping hands. Bats fly everywhere and logs resemble snapping crocodiles. The guests then turn toward the Seven Dwarfs’ cottage. The door opens to reveal the Witch, who offers the guests the apple. Guests turn towards a mountainside where the Dwarfs pursue the Witch. Nearby, the Witch tries to roll a boulder down the mountain to crush the Dwarfs below. However, a strike of lightning causes her to tumble to her death; her scream is heard as guests exit the area.
Returning to the boarding and debarkation area, guests pass a giant book featuring a silhouette of Snow White and her Prince with his horse as they wander away towards a castle. The words at the bottom of this picture read, “And they lived happily ever after.” The guests then disembark from the ride vehicles and return to Fantasyland.
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey is a dark ride at Disneyland, the attraction tells an abbreviated version of the film, with Pinocchio escaping from Stromboli’s circus and visiting Pleasure Island, ignoring Jiminy Cricket’s advice. Monstro the whale makes an appearance, and Pinocchio is finally reunited with Geppetto and turned into a real boy.
Guests board the ride vehicle, designed to look like a wooden cart, in a station themed to a street in Pinocchio’s village. The vehicles are carved with the faces of Figaro, Cleo and Jiminy Cricket. The ride travels through Stromboli’s puppet theater, featuring Pinocchio dancing and singing with a pair of marionettes, then travels backstage where Pinocchio is being kept prisoner in a birdcage. Stromboli tries to catch the guests in a cage, but Jiminy Cricket warns riders of the trap and leads the car down an alley to safety. The ride then goes to Pleasure Island, which is filled with boys enjoying carnival rides, and inside a pool hall, where Lampwick is turning into a donkey.
Outside, behind Pleasure Island, the Coachman and his henchmen are caging the other boys who have become donkeys. The Coachman tries to trap the guests in a crate and send them to the salt mines, but Jiminy Cricket leads them past the docks, where Monstro the whale appears, and back to Pinocchio’s village. Inside Geppetto’s workshop, the Blue Fairy appears and disappears beside Geppetto and Pinocchio, and the ride vehicle travels through Geppetto’s workshop, filled with animated clocks, toys and automatons, back to the station. There’s a “Hidden Mickey” in the final scene as the vehicle goes through the workshop; the top of a carved wooden display case holding a ship has a familiar pair of mouse ears.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Dumbo the Flying Elephant is an aerial carousel-style ride located in Fantasyland. Based on the character from the 1941 animated feature, the 16 ride vehicles each resemble Dumbo, and are mounted on articulated armatures connected to a rotating hub. The passengers ride in the “Dumbos” and can maneuver them up and down with a joystick that operates a hydraulic ram. The ride itself rotates counterclockwise at a constant rate.
Peter Pan’s Flight
Peter Pan’s Flight is a rail-suspended dark ride, its story, music, staging, and artwork are based on Walt Disney’s Peter Pan, the 1953 animated film version of the classic Peter Pan story by J. M. Barrie. It is also one of the few remaining attractions that was operational on Disneyland’s opening day in 1955, although the original version was entirely redesigned in 1983.
Departing from the station, but before entering the actual ride building, guests fly over the rooftops of London. The new version of the ride includes Audio-Animatronic versions of the characters, like at the Magic Kingdom in Florida. As part of the new remodel, scenes from the Florida ride were added to Disneyland, including the pirate ship deck where Peter and Hook duel on the tip of the ship’s bowsprit.
The new Disneyland ride opened as part of New Fantasyland on May 25, 1983. After winding through the queue, guests board a three-passenger miniature galleon, which is suspended from a track on the ceiling above to enhance the sensation of flying through the air. The ship leaves the load area and winds through the Darlings’ nursery, passing Nana the Saint Bernard dog nursemaid next to some toy blocks which spell “D1SN3Y” when read backwards. Wendy, John and Michael Darling are on the bed and Peter Pan’s shadow is on the wall.
Guests hear Peter Pan saying, “Come on, everybody! Here we go!” At this point, the ship flies out of the nursery window and over moonlit London. Lights from Tinker Bell twinkle all around. Below guests are miniature versions of some of London’s famous landmarks, including St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, the Tower Bridge and the River Thames.
Then, going past “the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning,” the flying ships reach Neverland, where guests pass some of its landmarks, including the Indian village, a glowing volcano, a giant octopus, three colored fish, The Lost Boys’ camp, Mermaid Lagoon, and Skull Rock. It is here that guests encounter some of Neverland’s most famous residents, including Princess Tiger Lily, Mr. Smee, Tick-Tock the Crocodile and Peter’s arch-rival, Captain Hook, in addition to Peter and the Darlings.
Alice’s Curious Labyrinth
Alice’s Curious Labyrinth is a hedge maze attraction at the Disneyland Park within Disneyland Paris. It opened in 1992 with the Park, and belongs to the British part of Fantasyland. The hedge maze is themed around scenes and characters from the Disney 1951 feature Alice in Wonderland. It comprises two sections: the first one with some of Alice’s adventures prior to meeting the Queen of Hearts, and the second based on Alice’s encounter with the Queen, who had a similar labyrinth in the film.
The goal of the maze is to reach the Queen of Hearts’s Castle, where one can obtain an aerial view of the Fantasyland section of the park. One can exit the maze prior to entering the second area, and the maze’s route is similar in shape to the body of the Cheshire Cat, with a semi-floral recreation of the character’s face adjacent to the attraction.
The first and easiest part of the Labyrinth focuses on Alice’s journey through Wonderland. It starts with guests entering the White Rabbit’s Hole, and arriving in a wood featuring strange animals, doors of various sizes (for instance some can only be opened by children), and several signs with conflicting directions. Guests then walk under fountains which spray streams of water over the guest’s heads. Then they discover the Caterpillar’s Mushroom Lair, and see the Caterpillar smoking his hookah while it says quotes from the movie. Finally, guests enter the Caucus-Race, led by the Dodo Bird, as they circle him with animals (as the movie presents that scene). The first part of the Labyrinth ends up here with a small “Cheshire Cat Walk” Maze and the scene of card soldiers painting the white roses red.
Queen of Hearts’s Maze is the second and tougher part of the Labyrinth. It represents the Queen’s Maze as long as Alice’s encounter with her. As guests wander through it, the Queen or her card soldiers pop up from time to time, while she screams her famous “Off with their heads!” The Queen’s Castle stands in the center of the maze. Guests reach it in the end, and can therefore go on top of it, where they are given a sight of Fantasyland. A slide used to be featured on the side of the Castle, for children to go down without the stairs, but it was removed due to safety reasons during the park’s opening year.
Close to this maze is a recreation of the Tea Party of the March Hare and the Hatter. Known as March Hare Refreshments, guests can have drinks near the Hare’s house. Like in Walt Disney World and in Tokyo Disneyland, the Dormouse can be seen popping his head out of a large teapot and the March Hare, although absent, can be seen on the sign of the doorway. The attraction Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups is located close to this house as well.
Mad Tea Party
Mad Tea Party is a spinning tea cup ride, the ride theme is inspired by the Unbirthday Party scene in Walt Disney’s Alice In Wonderland, and plays a carousel version of the film’s “Unbirthday Song”. The Paris version of the attraction is the only version to feature a petal-shaped glass roof and surrounding gardens. It also uses the Dormouse’s teapot outside the ride, near the March Hare’s Refreshments.
It’s a Small World
“It’s a Small World” is a water-based boat ride, the ride features over 300 audio-animatronic dolls in traditional costumes from cultures around the world, frolicking in a spirit of international unity, and singing the attraction’s title song, which has a theme of global peace.
The boats enter the show building through a tunnel under the Small World clock and emerge from the attraction fifteen minutes later. The show building interior is larger than the façade. Voyagers see animatronic dolls in traditional local costumes singing “It’s a Small World (After All)” together, each in their native language. Boats carry voyagers as they visit the regions of the world.
Other Disney park installations wind the flume around one large room, emphasizing its theme that the world is small and interconnected. Each installation may vary the countries which are represented and the order in which they appear. The boats are stored behind the facade and go in and out backstage in between the Spanish room.
The Tower of the Four Winds was not relocated to Disneyland’s It’s a Small World after the New York World’s Fair; in its place is an outdoor oval flume and boarding queue decorated with topiary backed by a large, flat facade with stylized cutout turrets, towers and minarets which are vaguely reminiscent of world landmarks (such as the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa). The facade was designed by Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump, who was inspired by Mary Blair’s styling. Walt Disney asked Rolly to design a large 30-foot clock, a central feature of the exterior façade, with a smiling face that rocks back and forth to a ticking sound.
A parade of wooden dolls in native culture costumes dance out from doors at the base of the Small World clock to an instrumental toy soldier version of “It’s a Small World (After All)” in preparation for each quarter-hour, reminiscent of a European automaton clock. As the last doll returns into the clock, the parade doors close and the large central pair of doors open to reveal two giant toy blocks – the large block displays stylized numerals of the hour, the small one displays the minutes, while large and small bells toll to count the hours and quarters.
The attraction at Disneyland Paris is a departure from other versions of the attraction. The façade features rearranged and slightly redesigned landmarks with a completely different clock tower. The exterior clock face features a wide-awake sun on its left half and a sleeping moon on its right half. Unlike all other versions of the ride, every scene is housed in one room with arches being used to define sections of the ride. The scenery design is a complete departure from Mary Blair’s distinctive style, though the dolls used remain identical to all other versions.
The ride also uses a completely different soundtrack composed by John Debney (which was also used for roughly a decade at the Californian version from 1992 to 2002, before switching back to the original 1966 soundtrack), which can be described as more ornate compared to the original soundtrack. This is the first version of the ride to incorporate a scene for North America with dolls representing Canada and the United States, and a distinct Middle Eastern section with dolls singing in Arabic and Hebrew.
In the Finale room, in addition to the song being sung in English, it is also sung in Dutch French German and Russian. Also, the attraction had a post-show area called World Chorus that was sponsored by Orange S.A., which opened with the park in 1992 and then closed in 2010 to make way for the Princess Pavilion meet and greet area.
The Land of Fairy Tales
Le Pays des Contes de Fées is an attraction that passengers embark on a leisurely paced outdoor boat ride through a winding canal featuring settings from Disney animated films recreated in miniature. Passengers enter the attraction through a chain queue that winds in front of the loading dock. A lighthouse at the queue’s entrance was once a ticket booth from when Disneyland required tickets for riding individual attractions. Storybook Land Canal Boats originally required a “D” coupon.
The motor-driven boats are scaled-down replicas of Dutch, English, and French boats. All of the boats are named after female Disney characters except for Flower (retired), the male skunk from Bambi. Passengers are seated along the edges of the boat, facing inward, although children are sometimes permitted to ride on the front flat part of the boat. A costumed guide sits just above the passengers on the back of the boat, perched above the engine housing, and narrates the ride.
After departing from the dock, the boat passes through a short cave sculpted to look like Monstro, the whale that swallowed Pinocchio. Monstro is partially animated: his eye opens and closes, and periodically steam comes out of his blow hole. The canals past the Monstro cave are landscaped with miniature trees and shrubs. Along the banks are small buildings representing the homes of characters from Disney animated films, although not all the locations were actually depicted in film. While no characters physically appear in the attraction, many of these settings feature sound recordings of characters singing.
Casey Jr. Circus Train
The Casey Jr. Circus Train is the name of a powered roller coaster attraction, based on the train of the same name from the 1941 film Dumbo, it gives passengers a tour of many miniature versions of scenes from Disney animated films. Casey Jr. Circus Train is designed as a roller coaster for small children through The Land of Fairy Tales, giving riders good views of the Storybook Land castle and other scenes that are not as visible from the Storybook Land Canal Boats.
The Disneyland Railroad is a 3-foot (914 mm) narrow gauge heritage railroad, which was inaugurated on April 12, 1992, the park’s opening day. Its route is 7,150 feet (2,180 m) in length and is used by park guests for transportation to other areas of the park, or simply for the experience of The Grand Circle Tour.
Fantasyland Station was located in the British part of the Fantasyland section (which also includes Peter Pan’s Flight and Alice’s Curious Labyrinth) where guests are given a whole view on the land, and then trains even venture through the facade of It’s a Small World.
Disneyland Paris is an entertainment resort in Chessy, France, 32 km (20 mi) east of Paris. It encompasses two theme parks, resort hotels, Disney Nature Resorts, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex, and a golf course.
Disneyland Park is the original theme park of the complex, opening in 1992. Be transported to a world that inspires the imagination, where wonder and enchantment fill the air all year round. With Sleeping Beauty Castle at the heart of this fairy-tale setting, the attractions, shows, parades and restaurants will immerse you in the Disney magic you know and love.