Tokyo Concert art of Incertainty

2 months ago, Oriental Land Co., the mother company of Tokyo Disney resort announced a massive expansion of its resort and produced this very unresolute concept art to go along.

This ‘mystery village’ in the center looks closer to a non-sense urban placeholder than any substantial placemaking intent. It’s a forest of windows, roofs, waterfalls and rocks with no path or streets whatsoever.  And that Fantasilandesque more substanced village in the back can only forecast one fact : There is gonna be a walkthrough castle, but from which universe ? …nothing match that purplish blue in our DVD collection.

It looks like a typical, “let’s hurry and show our intentions”, real plans will have to be decided later. Now those intentions are real and already quiet satisfactory, beside it still looks better than 2010′s Razulo’s unveiling of his soon to be scrapped version of the New Fantasyland.

And this indecision is quiet understandable. To this day, Tokyo promised both a Fantasyland extension (close to an addition of 2 mini lands) and the real addition of a whole new port (understand land) to the already placemaking champion of the world,  Tokyo DiseySea.
Many rumors plan this new port will be a Frozen’s Arrendal bringing some (needed?) colder sea to the park and the 2014 okayed-for sequel-disney-hit attached to it.
But dedicating a whole land/port to one franchise whose look and feel would better fit a Magic Kingdom park is a far stretch, especially from the cold tempered Oriental Land Co., whose wisemen would think twice before running along the US parks into the short term marketing stampede of a still very young (and not really expected) successful franchise.

They are definitely bringing Frozen to their restort, but to which park is a delicate question. Sure Tokyo DisneySea may be in dire need of some best selling characters but the success of DisneySea is also due to its more mature, pondered universe.

One thing is sure, no disappointment is expected from boldest of the resorts. We already know how big it is, no problem with waiting bit to know the how…

2 Blue Bayou and 1 Blue Lagoon

From ‘Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality’ by Alain Littaye

It may bear a shy and modest entrance, but its riverside decor wows dining guests as well as simple pirates enthusiasts. Cajun food and quiet atmosphere made it famous in two continents, while Caribbean cuisine and explorer’s mood made the last location unique. There is no more famous Disney restaurant in the Kingdoms – this article is about the 3 Blue Bayou type restaurants of the 5 Magic Kingdoms !

The original Blue Bayou Restaurant at Disneyland sits at 31 Royal Street in New Orleans Square.

5 Kingdoms Contributor Partyhare

8 months after New Orleans Square opened, along came only the second full service restaurant in Disneyland. It opened in 1967 being the first restaurant ever built inside an E-ticket attraction. If Anaheim Disneylanders had to wait 12 years, Tokyo residents had not to wait a day for their Blue Bayou opened right at Tokyo’s Disneyland’s opening in 1983, just like Disneyland Paris’ Blue Lagoon in 1992.

The indoor atmosphere of Disneyland’s Blue Bayou, replicated by its Japanese counterpart

flickr user: karlb

Blue Bayou’s theme was to reprise urban New Orleans on its outdoor narrow facade and entrance, while the interior was set to immerse the guests in a colonial riverside mansion’s garden. There, lunch and dinner are taken at night, along the sound of a peaceful, yet intriguing river. The innovation was to include guests as part of the dining area decor. Since its opening, Blue Bayou in the original Kingdom has become the adult reference for Disney quiet and chic. Notoriety of its Le Special de Monte Cristo’s signature meal reaches way beyond Disneyland’s berm.

As for theme differences, Anaheim and Tokyo are very similar. The colonnaded facade of a Louisiana mansion protects the few dozen small intimate round tables that stretch to the river. Nighttime atmosphere seems only to be lit by the dangling lanterns and table candles. Those may provide the coziest dining experience encountered in the Kingdoms, a dining experience unfortunately no pictures can give justice to.

Here in Tokyo: differences there are, only hard to see.

Now how do you build a bayou in a park deprived of any New Orleans references? You change the theme.
In Paris, the Blue Lagoon’s first similarity with its older counterparts is the Pirates of the Caribbean’s adjacent attraction after which it has been dutifully themed. The second and last resemblance is the modest outdoor/luxuriant indoor ratio.

From the outside, the Blue Lagoon looks like an old Port Royal house dwarfed by a rocky terrain, but from the inside, it is the luxuriant multilevel beach, covered by scattered tables, pickets and terraces built with after-the-storms remainders. Think Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

The small front court of Disneyland Paris’ Blue Lagoon is right next the exit of Pirates of the Caribbean

From this adventure theme, comes a totally different atmosphere : more family, more noise, more fun and of course less coziness. This results in the Paris’ Pirates riding guest being a little bit more daring when shouting the so French ‘Bon Appetit !’

One last detail about the theme : as the Blue Bayou patrons usually sit on 18th century benches in a narrow upscale waiting area, Blue Lagoon’s benches sit right against the rock in an underground-like area filled with old canons and pirate artifacts. Again, both adventurers and peace seekers know which venue to pick.

Blue Bayou(s) waiting area

flickr user: Johanni

Blue Lagoon waiting area



Ok, horribly long load time and server error shoudn’t happen anymore. The blog’s never been this fast. Not much improvement elsewhere unless the Only In categories are now accessible from the main menu. The tiny features and thingies of the blog will come along in the coming hours.

Thanks for your understanding and enjoy your time on 5 Kingdoms.

4 Pirates of the Caribbean

flickr user:Joe Shlabotnik

They are the one mandatory stop in every Kingdom they dwell in, the one attraction you’re gonna have to do no matter how often you visit. From the moment you hear those seldom banjo chords to the great blazing finale, you never stop rediscovering this ever so detailed Disney experience and humming its Yo Ho(w) so famous tune!
Since in Hollywood dead men do tell tales, its grandeur recently broke out of the Kingdom’s berm and conquered the unthemed world…
This article is about the 4 Pirates of the Caribbean attractions of the 5 Magic Kingdoms!

As for the history fix, many people are aware that Pirates is the last attraction that Walt Disney followed the development from start to almost finish. He had Marc Davis sketch different fiction scenes, George Bruns and Xavier Atencio wrote the score …It opened in 1967, less than a year after New Orleans Square where it currently lays in Anaheim. This is one of the very rare attractions to be absolutely named the same all through the Kingdoms with one major difference being that only the original doesn’t reside in an Adventureland.

It is relevant to note that its first sister should have never been built. Imagineers, thinking Pirates were a bit overused in Florida, envisioned a Western style version of Pirates to be built during phase 2. But after many Walt Disney World guests asked why Pirates was not in the Magic Kingdom, they scrapped Western River Expedition to make way for Florida’s own ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ which opened in 1973. As there was no New Orleans Square in this Magic Kingdom, Pirates settled in Adventureland. The 2 other Pirates would both open on opening day in 1983 for Tokyo Disneyland and 1992 in Disneyland Paris.


Disneyland’s Pirates’ house prior to the queue expansion

flickr user: Disneyland Postcards

Tokyo and Disneyland share the same exterior design, for even though there is no New Orleans Square proper in Japan, its Adventureland holds a similarly themed area with its own Blue Bayou and New Orleans street which both set the decor for its own Pirates of the Caribbean. They both hide behind the same Lousiana townhouse with the difference being that Anaheim’s has a queue area extension in the form of an elevated round-about ramp which hides most of its first floor.

Tokyo Disneyland Exterior 

Cleared off facade of Tokyo Disneyland Pirates’ town house.

flickr user: pink_emmie_bat

Disneyland exterior

Disneyland facade hides behind the modern queue extension.

5 Kingdoms contributor partyhare

The two other versions have their own entrance style even though both of Spanish architectural inspiration!
Magic Kingdom park’s Pirates are shielded behind a Spanish fort-like structure called Castillo Del Morro, sided by a prominent clock tower. The ensemble is enclosed in an unofficial area called Caribbean Plaza which holds the recently renamed Tortuga Tavern (formerly El Pirata y el Perico) quick service restaurant which faces the Pirates attraction.

Facing Orando Pirates is Tortuga Tavern restaurant

Facing Orando Pirates is Tortuga Tavern restaurant

flickr user: Imagineering My Way


Walt Disney World’s own Castillo Del Morro is host to Pirates of the Caribbean

In Disneyland Paris, the buccaneers found shelter in an abandoned Spanish fortress. They use its own distinctive armory tower to rally the adventurous guest underneath a mast whose hauled down massive sail reads the iconic attraction’s title.


A production model of the dramatic entrance of Paris’ ride

Alain Littaye‘s Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality

Now each queue area is different among the 4 Pirates. But it’s fair to say that the theming is very similar for Tokyo and Anaheim.
In Disneyland, all the waiting primarily takes place outside of the house where you wander around its front garden, eventually climb up its pathway and down again toward the entrance of the house. Once inside, you queue pass a small brick wall above which the boats gently sail and behind which is set a small island with funny parrots. It is then a straight line to the Laffite’s Landing loading area.


In Disneyland (here) and Tokyo Disneyland, the indoor houseboat river means you’re close enough to Laffite Landing.

flickr user: christine.pingel

Tokyo starts the same way (minus the outdoor garden) unless after being welcomed by the boats and parrots, you take a left and explore the house’s first floor. There the line can stretch around indefinitely, even a second floor is available for very busy days. Afterwards it’s back next to where you enter and following the stream and brick wall toward the loading area.

Inside Tokyo Disneyland Pirates’ mansion.(Sorry no better quality)

Orlando’s Pirates waiting area is initially set underneath the hacienda where it can spread around its immense open air ground floor. Then the guests walk underneath two archways, along a wide cellar corridor and inside the besieged construction.  Once inside, the queue splits in two – the original path to the right leads into the fort and past a prison scene where two skeleton pirates are forever playing chess. The clever Marc Davis gag here, rare to be even in the waiting area, is that the chess board is set in a totally unwinable stalemate! The left queue takes a different path, with less theming, to board the ride boats on the opposite side of the loading area.

The outdoor section of Orlando’s line is underneath the Castillo

flickr user: Groucho Dis

Disneyland Paris’ own fort holds a very long and detailed queue all set inside even though the outdoor is queue ready for major year dates. Indoors, it’s a series of very dark galleries going up and down, passing occupied prison cells, narrow windows, plunging precipices with skeletons in the bottom and all other kind of piratey artifacts ! Afterwards the guests come out overlooking the loading area which looks like a small Caribbean port swarmed impatient guests.

Plundering pirates lurkin’ in ev’ry corner of Orlando’s Castillo del Morro

flickr user: Spencer Lynn Productions

Paris’ many alleyways are garnished prisons cells acting as showcases of the pirate world!

But the outside is not the only thing differing on those 4 Pirate versions. The ride itself denotes a lot from one another. Before we start, it’s quite relevant to say that every Pirates of the Caribbean attraction has been updated to include references to the very popular movie franchise. For the nostalgic out there, as of today Disneyland Paris still detains a Jack Sparrow free crew but the Hollywood overhaul will soon be officially announced for the French park to roll out during its 20th anniversary next year. High five the castmember, we’re going in.

Psst! Avast there! Remember mateys that because these are all familiar scenes, the tale that follows will not linger into detailed description but rather give a quick synopsis comparison of the 4 riggety layouts.


Paris loading area as seen from the line above

flickr user: DanMcNeely

Let’s start by what doesn’t change around the Kingdoms : the main part of the ride – its core story! It starts between an assailing galleon called the Wicked Wench whose captain identified as Barbosa in some locations, but still Black Beard in Paris, shouts out against the attacked fort opposing him. It follows by a plundered town whose mayor is being dunked in a well and women are being auctioned. The third main stage is the most famous and depicts what happen when you put a bunch of inebriated pirates in the center of a burning city (which they set on fire themselves). That’s it - this is the main trail of the attraction, and the portion that throughout all 4 Kingdoms is always present with very little alteration.

Now for what’s before and after this most memorable course, we’ll see that no salty old Pirates seek the same adventure.

The original and Tokyo’s have you start with a bayou canal from which you can overhear the discreet whisperings of the Blue Bayou restaurant. Afterward every shipmate listens to the ‘cabin joe’ and plunge into the abyss of the Caribbean.
There, still shivering from their single drop in Tokyo and two consecutive drops in California they test their weathered eye against the icy air of some cryptic lair where pirates found their end sitting on piles of golds and captain’s quarters.

The rallying sail of Disneyland Paris’

5 Kingdoms contributor Partyhare

This quiet start differs in Florida and France as those two Pirates don’t convey any cajun theme. As Orlando is stripped of any ‘Pirate restaurant’, Florida has you start straight on your voyage among a deserted beach covered with the remains of headstrong buccaneers, a raging squall and down to the unknown where at this point your journey will be the same as Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland except for the cavernous lair and several show scenes not present at Magic Kingdom park.

Even though Paris’ does include a Pirate attached restaurant, its start is the most different from the four. Indeed, the very first knots traveled are also shared with fellow patrons of the Blue Lagoon which, though of a very different theme, serve the purpose of the Asian and American Blue Bayou, but as soon as you left the murmurings and chinkings behind you, the adventure takes a unexpected start for the bow suddenly inclines up a waterfall.

That’s right, even though every other Pirates of the Caribbean’s journey starts with traveling down a waterfall, Paris’ does the exact opposite by towing the boats to an upper level unique to its conception. Once way above see level, the guests can look down to witness the attack of the fort by the Wicked Wench before navigating though a flooded fort in which some inmates attempt to bribe a guarding dog. Once this very popular scene is behind, they go down the Parisian first drop which leads in the middle of the Wicked Wench attack and down to the same besieged town shared by all 4 attractions.


In Paris, running chains give the illusion that the boats are really being hauled up by the fortress ancient mechanism.

flickr user: Shahnawaz Sid

Now we can skip this shared storyline of villages pillaged and ablaze, and go right after it where our four cruises part way again.

In Paris right after escaping the flames through the second bridge, Les Pirates des Caraïbes have their matelots goes down another slope and into those very same treasure grottos the other mateys explored during the first part of their travel.
In the meantime, in Japan and both American coasts, sailors finish their journey through the dog and inmate scene which Parisians encountered at start. After that Orlando goes straight to the unloading area. Tokyo and Anaheim are not quiet done yet, they end up in the middle of a gun fight inside the town’s powder storage and while Japanese unload right after that, Californians have to stay on board for the final waterfall climb up and a second pass by the entrance parrots and queue, this time in the boat.

Facing Orando Pirates is Tortuga Tavern restaurant

This famous closing scene is opening Paris’ Pirates

flickr user: K. Buckingham

After that, while Disneyland corsair are towed back up ride level, Japanese and Floridian visitors use a speed ramp up to the gift shop, while guests from Paris, already on ground level walk right into a small piratish area with a gift shop and the Blue Lagoon restaurant depicted above.

All of this not without having met the famous talking skull or Jolly Roger. Its location differs in Paris though where instead of warning of the squalls ahead, it reminisces of those before. It is the last thing you see of the ride, waiting to unload. Alas, the skull is absent in Orlando where for some mysterious reason it was taken down for the 2006 overhaul and never returned.

After that, the pirates of the world will have to ride it again and again in order to catch every single detail! Parisians may have missed those unique to Disneyland Paris sword fighting bachelors during the chase scene, or this huge split ship wreck they’ve been cruising through at the start.

Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris may have a better queue than Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland. Those last two may have a better storyline than their Floridian and European counterparts but they all share those common details which mark our body and mind every visit: those gentle splashing sounds, the oh so safe flickering flames, the rocking of the boat when landing after a breezy, rapid fall, and this ever question we like to ask ourselves no matter how many times we faced the answer, what next squall be ahead?

Tokyo Disneyland's Talking Skull

flickr user: garygraphy

Every land of a Kingdom has a pillar attraction that defines it, ‘Pirate’s’ is just that for already 4 lands and hopefully soon 5. But beside that, it is the origin of 4 blockbuster productions, 9 video games and truly stands as a model of story telling applied to a seldom used medium : the amusement ride. That may very well have been the climax of Walt Disney’s comprehension of amusement park rides, and it certainly has been a turning point for the theme park industry.

They’re clever and funny, we all give a hoot
drink up me ‘earties yo ho!

Written by Regis Philibert AKA CheriBibi with the tremendous help of Partyhare.

China Voyager

There are only two Chinese restaurants in the 5 Kingdoms (and not so many more in the whole Disney world). The first one is Hong Kong Disneyland’s Plaza Inn whose only uniqueness is its Chinese servings. Only in Tokyo can you eat in a unique Chinese restaurant.

The Tiny Facade

The shack is well idden behind lush foliages

The story of this humble counter service, all outdoor venue, evoques a group of Chinese adventurers whose clipper ship crashed on Adventureland’s perilous shores. From the rescued items of the destroyed ships, they were able to build this restaurants for the locals.

The outdoor seating of China Voyager

China Voyager’s seating area is all outdoor.


The handmade construction covering the kitchen is the only indoor environment, the seating is layed out on the side under a sheet metal roofing shed, again decorated by the remnants of a ship.

The Indoor Counter of China Voyager

Great theming inside as well

The restaurant seats neatly in Tokyo’s Adventureland in an block of exotic buildings wedged between its New Orleans area and its bamboo bridge entrance.

Side of China Voygager

From Adventureland bridge, the side of China’s looks less precarious.


The Only counter service Chinese restaurant of the 5 Magic Kingdoms, Tokyo Disneyland’s China’s Voyager is a popular dining location in its locality which draws heavy line any day of the year. Its outdoor seating area adjacent to a cute river scene makes it a prime location for any new or regular visitor of the Japanese Kingdom ! So don’t forget to visit and enjoy this unique place when you’re in Tokyo.

3D Menus

Wouldn’t be a true asian restaurant without 3D menus!

And a special thanks to PeterPanFan whose pictures made this Only In possible.

Disneyland Paris Year of Refurbs

This is just a quick recap of the major refurbs which will blossom in the park in anticipation for 20th anniversary next year.
When you’re familiar with other Disney resorts around the world, the condition of some of the major artefacts of the park strike as a shock. Budget restrictions imposed for so many years are responsible for this lack of attention, along with the serious levels of humidity which plague the area.

But at last some locations untouched since 1992 are receiving the major refurbishment (replacement for some) they truly deserve. The following map and list is to better understand what will change.

A legended map of the coming Disneyland Paris refurbs

  1. The Castle is already receiving a new color scheme closer to its original version from 1992. Some underwater fountains are also being installed in the moat for something that may be a permanent fixture for a coming night time show.
  2. Big Thunder Moutain is also being refurbished, at least the mountain and the arch which had not been refurbished even during the great repaint of 2007.
  3. Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost will at last be completely repainted. This major eating location suffered from the worst case of humid wood but was left untouched judging it didn’t hurt the surrounding adventure theme.
  4. Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship is “officially” beyond repair and will be rebuilt form stern to bow. Again another victim of the “okay with the theme” Disneyland Paris policy.
  5. The thatch roof from both The Old Mill and March Hare Refreshments will be redone. March Hare has indeed been in a very bad condition for the last 5 years.
  6. The wide parade route of Fantasyland is currently being repaved to better accomodate both the floats and the crowds which amass there before/during the parade and inevitably bottleneck right after.
  7. Two major locations from Main Street USA, Walt’s An American Restaurant and Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlour will be repainted to better match their colors and style from the early days.

Present state of the thatch roof of March Hare Refurbishments

fellow blogger Hilary JW

Present state of Captain Cook’s Pirate Ship

Coming 2012 the French Kingdom may again be worth of its acclaimed lavishness.

This article is just a recap of the planned Disneyland Paris refurbishments. For more information you can read the many articles published by the excellent DLRPToday about the upcoming refurbishments.

About the 6th Castle

Shanghai Disneyland castle will be the largest and tallest “Story Book Castle” of any Disney park

-Bob Iger

Judging by the very few concept arts massively released last friday, there seem to be two very good reasons why this castle needed to be the largest of any Disney’s Kingdom.

First it is clear that the castle presents several different styled sides, each complete with their own gate and drawbridge.

We can see 3 distinct gateways. Are there 2 or 3 other ones in the back?

Now if the Imagineers designed several standalone elevations/facades for Shanghai’s castle it can only be so that it never shows its “back” or “flank” to any land, but always one of its many “fronts”. Following this logic, those different “fronts” may have been tuned to better match the land they face. The castle would then act as a true centerpiece: wienie to every land.

What lays under the castle?

Not only will it be a super-centerpiece, but looking closer and hypothesizing from this multiple entrance uniqueness, this Castle may also act as a first-of-its-kind Kingdom hub.
The traditional Disneyland hub is not present on any artwork, on the other hand drawbridges and gates all seem to be above ground, which make those sets of gateways unlikely leading to a hub inside the castle. What if the the castle was sitting on that hub ? Imagine a large covered rotunda underneath this elevated castle, which, would act as an indoor hub dressed as a fantasy or cryptic baroque hall where people could rest and shop while picking their next destination.

The 6th Castle being wienie to every land, the 6th Castle being the hub of its Kingdom! These are only 5 Kingdom’s own speculations and shall not be taken for facts, especially knowing that those concept arts may not be definite.
A risky exercise yes, but who could resist speculating on the design of a new Magic Kingdom?

5 Carrousels

flickr user: Corsey21

They are the quintessence of outdoor entertainment, the cornerstone of carnival history from which everything started, even Disney’s idea of a theme park burgeoned around one. Their adult size wooden horses best represent the wish of Walt Disney to let adults and children play together. In a Disney Kingdom, they strike on entering as you see them spinning like an enchanted zoetrope whose window is none other than the Castle itself.
This article is about the 5 Carrousels of the 5 Magic Kingdoms !

Since Disneyland’s opening, Carrousels have always been the centerpiece of their Fantasyland.

flickr user: Disneyland Postcards

5 Carrousels is the shortcut title of the article for each of those Disneyfied merry-go-rounds have their very own name.
King Arthur Carrousel opened in 1955 in Anaheim and Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel recently renamed Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel followed in Orlando. Tokyo got a simpler Castle Carrousel only 5 years after opening while Disneyland Paris received the pompous Le Carrousel de Lancelot and Hong Kong another Cinderella Carrousel.

Disneyland's King Arthur Carrousel's front sign

Disneyland’s own

flickr user: trekkiebeth

Each carousel is Disney-made but one – Disneyland’s original.  This one Disney bought from Toronto and plussed it upon arrival in California. It was redesigned slightly as only horses could be riden on Disney’s French spelled Carrousel. Anything else was removed and used on other Disneyland attractions. Going against usual carousel practices which left each animal’s feet firm on the ground, WED Enterprises decided to bend some knees as to give the impression those wooden mammals were actually moving.

There are 2 merry-go-round designs and 2 canopy designs for this attraction.

Anaheim’s orginal carrousel and Hong Kong’s unique Jester heads ornaments

flickr user: FrogMiller

Disneyland and Hong Kong, as often, share the same merry-go-round.  It has 68 white horses aligned in four rows. The top ornaments are mirrors and jester heads both lit as backstage mirrors. In the back of the platform, what used to be mirrors are painted scenes of the Sleeping Beauty movie.

2 kinds of interior : Left is Hong Kong Disneyland, Right is Orlando.

flickr user: dmbpphoto

flickr user: sizemoresr

For the 3 other carousels, Walt Disney World’s original merry-go-round will be used. The ornaments are of small mirrors flanked with two ladies, one with eagle and fasces, the other with a shield. In between each ensemble lays a medallion with Disney’s Cinderella movie images for Tokyo and Orlando, and Lancelot and the Lady of the Lake painting imagery for Paris.

Orlando, Paris and Tokyo share this sculpted crown model. Incrusted medallion is one of Paris’ unique set.

flickr user: Jenn Owen, montage by 5 Kingdoms

Repetitive adornments in the center for Orlando and Tokyo are the eagles, and a lily flower for Paris. The horses are always white since King Arthur Carrousel’s scarce white horses’ popularity in the 50′s tampered with the attraction’s smooth operation. Only Disneyland Paris itself got colorful horses aligned following a rainbow’s order of colors. Another particularity of Paris is the 16 fully armored horses of the external rows who’ve specially been designed by an Ohio sculptor.

One of Disneyland Paris' armored horses

One of Paris’ 16 armored horses


Not every carousel shares the same canopy! Even though its name brings it to mind, King Arthur Carrousel was never about the movie which only opened 8 years later. The theme was of  Lancelot and the Lady of the Lake. In respect to this, the shields on the pillars of the canopy bore the seals of 10 founding knights of the round table. This is perpetuated on Disneyland Paris’ spear shaped pillars since Le Carrousel de Lancelot is defintely themed after Lancelot and his ‘Dame du Lac’. Paris’ canopy is similar to Disneyland, only its topping differs.

Disneyland Paris’ own canopy, shields, and flags.

flickr user: House Of Secrets Incorporated

The shields are also present on Hong Kong’s Cinderella Carrousel’s canopy which is an open replica of Disneyland’s.

The two canopies left are Tokyo’s Castle Carrousel and its inspiration, Orlando’s Cinderella Golden Carrousel. They both share a unique pentagonal tent crowned with a pinacle and golden toppings.

Orlando’s own Topping on the top !

flickr user : IceNineJon

They all share this unique location facing the castle back gate. A location in the heart of Fantasyland which have Carrousel riders fly by a spinning medieval reverie. For many this magical moment includes children and parents. This way the 5 Disney Carrousels capture Disneyland’s true purpose, having guests enjoy a family moment which through variable appeals will amaze adults and children. For this particular reason, the carrousels are and will always be both the keystone and cornerstone of any Kingdom it passively upholds.

5 quick numbers:
Disneyland holds 68 horses and 1 bench.
Magic Kingdom holds 86 horses and 1 bench.
Tokyo Disneyland holds 90 horses.
Disneyland Paris holds 86 horses and 2 benches.
Hong Kong Disneyland holds 56 horses.

And a special thanks to Partyhare for an amazing work of proofreading and fact verification!

La Tanière du Dragon (dragon’s lair)

Only in Disneyland Paris can you walk through the cave of a Disney castle, and only there can you see the living Sleeping Beauty’s Dragon hiding underneath.

Those not familiar with the french tongue are in for quite a shock.

This marvelous size large animatronics lives and breath in the dark for all to see. Waking up every now and then to produce the terifying roar anyone’s expecting from such a ferocious creature.

Alain Littaye‘s From Sketch to Reality

The lair is faithful to this early concept.

There are three not so obvious accesses to this walk by attraction. Two are right underneath the castle on moat level. The third one is inside one of the Sleeping Beauty Castle’s isle shop. The last one presents itself as a secret passage in the back of the shop that leads straight down to the lair.

Enlarge so Tink and Jiminy show the spots…

This is not a much publicized detail of the french Kingdom, but is definitely worth a stop. Let’s not spoil it by too many pictures and descriptions. Though those familiar with the Dragon or those not afraid to loose the element of surprise can easily find on the internet dozens of pictures and videos of this marvel of animatronics.

Sorry no spoiler, just a glimpse of the beast

There used to be another Dragon in Tokyo Disneyland which, to be witness of, you had to do the “Castle Mystery Tour”, a walkthrough dark ride in the form of a castle visit. Sadly this closed in 2006 and since then Only in Disneyland Paris can you see an almost real Disney Dragon.

Thinking about Tokyo

The resort has not been spared by the Earthquake which shall soon be named and often spoke in the years to come. Even if our concern goes first to the people mostly affected up north, DeepDisney gives a pretty pictural description of the state of Tokyo Disney Resort today. (click on the second link on the left, below DeepDisney)

The park is closed, no casualty report yet.