Alice In Wonderland Ride


Alice is present in many forms in every Kingdoms but only in Disneyland can you ride an authentic Alice in Wonderland Dark ride.

Giant mushroom marking the entrance of Alice in Wonderland ride. The book sits on its top

The mushroom marquee !

It mimics those classical carnival dark rides which had its guest travel both indoor and outdoor. The ride opened in 1958 with a little bit of delay but turned out to be one the first jewels of early Fantasyland.

Around the end of the ride, the caterpillar-shaped cars glide in the open to give their riders a stunning view of the matterhorn’s side and Mad Tea Party from above. Then it’s back inside for the Un-birthday finale.

The outdoor portion of Alice in Wonderland Ride

Zigzaging above Wonderland during the ride’s outdoor section

Flickr user: WEBMikey

Toontown minus One

That’s it! One Toontown, Orlando’s Magic Kingdom’s Mickey’s Toontown Fair closed last week. This park will gain from this saddening closure but the 5 Kingdoms will lose.

No attraction count alteration here for Toontown Fair didn’t share any attraction with its 2 counterparts. ‘The Barnstormer at
Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm’
and Toontown Train Station which both stays but will be rethemed. We still lose 1 Minnie’s House, 1 Mickey’s House and 1 Donald’s Boat.

Although only a decorative feature, Pete’s Garage was unique to its Toontown and is no more

There is now only 2 Toontown left in California’s Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland. While they are larger and on many levels better than Toontown Fair used to be, this little piece of cartoon world was unique to the Kingdoms for it held an original carnival theme (over the cartoon theme).
The last 2 Toontown are very faithful to each other but for their layouts which somehow differs.

Barnstormer will be rethemed to better match the new Storybook Circus area

Related articles and coverage:

Silver Spur Steakhouse

Paris’ Le Parc Disneyland holds many table service fine restaurants. So naturally only in its Thunder Mesa can you enjoy a fancy dinner in a location themed after the pricey premises of 19th century western America.

Its beautiful facade facing Frontierland’s Rivers of the Farwest docks

It’s hard to find information about its ‘Storyline’ but it suits perfectly the one of Thunder Mesa, a striving gold rush city whose ‘nouveau riche’ clientèle could only finish its day in such a fine establishment.
It sits right by Rivers of the Farwest opposing River Boat Landing.

The lobby has been faithfully designed to match this early concept art

Alain Littaye‘s From Sketch to Reality

Silver Spur Steakhouse welcomes guests upon strongly advised reservation on its main floor and elevated side ground. Everyone can admire the huge open kitchen from which comes the best grilled and roasted meat of the french Kingdom. Its cuisine is famous for freshly cut i-bones and faux-filet.

The one dining room and open kitchen

The open kitchen is presented as the centerpiece of this culinary attraction where the noises, smells and occasional flames of a busy restaurant backstage comes into direct contact with its audience. An audience already thrilled by its original setting, for the recreation of a gold rush age restaurant is not only unique to the Kingdoms, but to every Disney resorts!

Credits:

A special thanks to partyhare for its valuable suggestions and proofreading.

2 Village Haus and 1 Chalet de la Marionnette

They are the largest and most popular dining location in any Fantasyland they inhabit and reccurently make it to almost every Kingdomers’ ‘Where do we eat? list! Only among them can you order your food in an italian village and go seat under a vast Pinnochio’s mural.
They are to mountain urbanism what the Matterhorn is to the Alps’ grandiose terrain, this article is about the 3 Village Haus style restaurants of the 5 Magic Kingdoms!

[tweetmeme]Or more precisely and in chronological order, 1 The Pinnochio Village Haus, 1 Village Haus and 1 Au Chalet de la Marionnette (At the Puppet’s Cabin)

Le Chalet de la Marionnette’s own welcoming sign

flickr user and fellow blogger: Hilary JW

Chronological you said? Indeed! Here is a restaurant which was originally Floridian. Pinnochio’s Village Haus openned first in Orlando as one of the first and largest eatery the Magic Kindom held on opening day.
In 1983, when Disneyland redesigned its Fantasyland, came along Village Inn a grand yet smaller Village version of its floridian sister that would soon be renamed Village Haus. The third Village, Au Chalet de la Marionnette opened along Disneyland Paris innauguration in 1992.

For the locations in the 3 Kingdoms they were built into, those three alpine themed restaurants all sit in Fantasyland. In Disneyland and Disneyland Paris they both reside on the furthest side of the patch of buildings left to the castle. In Walt Disney World, their location is across the way from the castle, facing the left side of what is now the Fantasyland Expansion project.

There are 2 designs for those 3 locations.

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom bares the unique and original one. A lavish, mutli-building like construction which stretches from It’s a Small World side up to the now gone Ariel’s Grotto. It looks like a fair size village surrounding a modest, busy centercourt along witch runs a narrow balcony.
The whole structure spans on three facades each build with their own entrance and style. Thus it looks like you’re passing 3 very distinctive locations and twice as many town houses.
Above this swissish ensemble rises a bulky pinacle whose large opening displays 3 big bells.

The east and west facade. Central is in article head.

The second design, created for Disneyland and later adopted by Disneyland Paris is more modest in size but still revolves around a center court dominated by a pinacle. The houses are lower but their roofs and walls seem more complex, less squarish in shape. While the first design seems to homage the massive gable-roof houses of Munich the second one bends more toward a rural appreciation of bavaria.

Disneyland and Disneyland Paris’ own bucolic version


Disneyland‘s and Paris’ own pinacle

flickr user: collegenelson2336

Upon entering any Village or Chalet using the main door, you walk up a large isle leading up to the counters. They sit in a recreation of a small town square whose first floor windows all overflow with colorful flowers.


Disneyland’s Village Haus counter area, very similar to Paris.

flickr user: Mandy Coleman

After that, when you walk around the several rooms, the two designs differ in matter decor. The fisrt Floridian interior has smooth walls and wooden floor. The atmosphere is of a Fantasy medieval castle. The second design welcomes you in a cosier, smaller ‘tavernish’ mood with its bulky wall and log ceilings. Both though are covered with murals and wood carving all depicting Disney’s Pinnochio’s characters.

Orlando’s first and simpler interior

flickr user: Javier Doren

Stone arches lead up to the town square like counters area.

Those wood carvings are present in every Village Haus (here Paris).

Now about their own little twists.

Disneyland Paris’ Chalet has a special section themed with barrel-like tables and other naval artifacts wich leads to an outdoor area with a similar atmosphere. This is to better match the Adventureland theme where you exit to from this side of the restaurant.

Smooth transition between Le Chalet’s Cabin and Galleon theme

And last but not least, not only Walt Disney World can accommodate guest on two floors plus a balcony but it also has a side of this second floor which is open to It’s a Small World loading area. That makes it the second restaurant open to an indoor attraction in a Disney Kingdom after the 3 variations of the Blue Bayou.

Magic Kingdom’s Pinocchio’s Village Haus let guest dine overlooking It’s a Small World’s loading area.

flickr user: partyhare

As in any counter service Kingdom’s dining, the menus change every so often as they so recently did in Disneyland, but one special stays in Paris where le Chalet de la Marionette is famous for its nowhere else to be found ‘Bavarian Hot Dog’ wich is no less than frankfurter in a bun, generously topped with sauerkraut.

No matter what you ate, no matter the name of your Village, you lunch or dinner has been a unique one beautifully framed in a themed counter service unique of his Kingdom’s area. Because of both their incredible outside and inside themeing the Village Haus are one of the rare restaurants every guests ultimately remembers after their firs visit!

Famous or not trivia :

For some debated reasons the exit sign is off-centered in Disneyland hence this little Figaro cameo which Paris paid tribute to by putting another Figaro, this time giving the thumb’s up, next to their perfectly aligned exit sign.

flickr user: idogcow

Want to know more : Read Sam Genneway’sarticle about the Figaro trivia.
and read DF’82‘s two articles on Au Chalet de la Marionnette’s murals !

A Kingdom Change.

What does this mean for the Kingdoms ?
Not suprisingly, judging by the scale of this expansion, a lot!

Let’s start with a bit of accounting: we are losing a Snow White’s Scary Adventure! So starting very soon, there will only be:

  • 1 Snow White’s Scary Adventures in Disneyland,
  • 1 Snow White Adventures in Tokyo Disneyland and
  • 1 Blanche Neige et les 7 Nains in Disneyland Paris.

Totaling 3 Snow White’s Scary Adventures rides.
Enjoy the Magic Kingdom’s one while it last for soon enough Walt Disney World will join Hong Kong as a Kingdom deprived of this historical dark ride!

Even though we don’t know the name of the Little Mermaid ride included in the expansion, it will be the second version of this ever so anticipated Disney experience whose Californian grand opening is planned for this summer.

As for Snow White’s new not-so-kiddie roller coaster (remember all the excitement on the internet is mainly voiced by grown-ups) well it constitutes some major Kingdom firsts.

This is the first time Snow White gets a major venue in a Kingdom beside its original rides and its a welcomed event considering this is regarded by many as one of the cornerstones of the whole Disney legacy.

This is also the first time a Disney Classic from the first Golden Age gets a ride in a Kingdom since the 50′s beside Pinnochio’s Daring Jouney’s!
And this is not just a Snow White dark ride, it is an E ticket long to be remembered. Judging by the rendering provided by Disney and the previously leaked blueprints, this new Snow White attraction will take as much space as Big Thunder Mountain and as it must be slower, even more ride time.

Now this will also mean a lot of other firsts in the Kingdoms :
Beauty and the Beast Castle’s has never been reproduced in such a scale in any Kingdom. Its only model stands as the eye catch miniature piece of Le Pays des Conte de Fées, Disneyland Paris’ own Storybook Land Canal Boats.

Le Pays des Contes de Fées’s own Beauty and the Beast Castle in Disneyland Paris

flickr user: thesophiescene

Another familiar sight of Storybook Land is Prince Eric’s castle. This magnificent Mediterranean Disney Castle will shelter the new The Little Mermaid ride and will be the only construction directly borrowed from the film to be build in a Disney Magic Kingdom.
Tokyo Disney Sea does use The Little Mermaid undersea Castle as a gate to its Triston’s Kingdom but this Disney Park jewel is not a Kingdom.

The other great news is the retaking of an old Disney classic : The Circus. And not as simple attraction, but as a whole mini land! The Mickey Mouse Club Circus did entertain thousands of kids during Disneyland early history and a large chunk of the park was originally envisioned as a circus area, but since then, beside the indispensable Casey Jr. not much was given to the circus in Disney Kingdoms. Disney has a lot of Circus related characters and story to fill this wonderful new miniland so it’s great news this part of worldwide entertainment’s heritage finds a home in Walt Disney World.

All together this a great expansion and certainly the first time a Kingdom is plussed this much in such a short time.

Roy E. Disney 1930 – 2009

Sadness shall not walk in the Kingdoms, but this man fought for the persistence of their standards and much more, twice. One good life.

Mr Toad !

flickr user mpieracci


Mr Toad has been a prominent Disney character since its introducion…

Early on it has been incoprorated in the magical Disneyland mix. Early visitors were able to ride crazy automobile in what quiclky became one of the most famous Disneyland attraction : Mr Toad’s Wild Ride !

Even though Walt Disney World lost its unique dual tracked Mr Toad’s Wild Ride in 1998,  Anaheim kept it, and cherished it with a brand new facade along with the New Fantasyland of 1983.

courtesy of Flickr user VLoB

courtesy of Flickr user VLoB

So Today only one coast still proudly celebrate the honourable Mr Toad and on two location. The guest streaming along Canal Boats will also see a tiny representation of Toad Hall.

courtesy of Flickr user Anna1227

courtesy of Flickr user Anna1227

The only other Kingdom where Mr Toad lives is Disneyland Paris but in a very different way. There, the wealthy frog Toad Hall is none other than counter service restaurants using its many rooms as dining area. It is the biggest recreation of Toad Hall, complete with veranda and gardens, and serves fish and chips all through the year !

Toad Hall Restaurant in Disneyland Paris

Toad Hall Restaurant in Disneyland Paris

A 6th Kingdom.


6kingdoms_icon

That’s it, the Shanghai Disney project is official : we’re getting a new resort.

Some feel sorry for it, some feel doubtful… I feel quiet happy.

Happy because, no matter how many parks they choose to inflate this new resort with, this can only mean a new Kingdom for us. A Kingdom to wait for, speculate about and enventually walk through.

EuroDisney emerged in an internet free era, Hong Kong in an interest free era – due to the general deception its evolving concept triggered.
Shangai should be a very well budgeted Disney venture, and so shall be its internet monitoring.

News will be sparse and rumors numerous and I don’t usually post news on this blog but for a 6th Kingdom, I think I’ll take my chance.
Untill we can start comparing…

2 Refreshment Corner and 2 Casey’s Corner

Sans titre

flickr user: Mandi Coleman

Heading toward the castle and closing on the hub, your left hear may sense a joyful piano, your left nostril a  fresh ketchup scent. This Disney signature counter restaurants proudly bares its white and red colors in  two coastal states plus France and Japan : A corner, some hot dogs and plenty of Coca Cola, this article is about the 4 Refreshment Corners style restaurants of the 5 Magic Kingdoms.

refresh_poster_thumb

Even though its sponsors and soda fountain style both define those 4 locations as one family, there are 2 different types of “Corners” and 3 different designs.
The first design made of red brick and white wood stood in Disneyland on its opening day.
Over the year the oldest running fast food inside the berm grew very famous for its music. Rod Miller hold its white piano for 30 years before retiring in 2006.

The first Refreshment Corner

The first Refreshment Corner

It is smaller than its 3 counterparts but benefit from a large adjacent terrace called Corner Café. Interior is bright red and white, perfect to wait in line for your refreshment.
tokyo_thumb

The other unique design is in Asia where sits the other Refreshment Corner. Red brick and wood all along but with a major twist. Being a “corner” in Tokyo Disneyland binds you to World Bazaar’s canopy, and so that particular Coca Cola vendor leans right on it as if it was part of support. Like the venue opposing it, it harbors an impressively rich spiral stair enclaved in a giant gazebo. This impressive piece of craftsmanship acts as a little turret towering Corner’s terrace. The theme and feel is very similar to its homonymous sister from California, as only one corner room circles its massive pearly white counter.

paris_orlando

But the 2 last corners from France and Florida not only share a name, they share a particular theme. And this theme is non other than early America’s most popular sport: baseball. Those 2 Casey’s Corner, both colored in lemon yellow welcomes visitors in the familiar counter centered room but have some extra space. Passing the counter on the hub side is another room dressed like a sport’s fan room from the past.

refresh_orlando_interior_thumb

Magic Kingdom's Casey's counter.

When Refreshment Corners can only sit guests on their respective terrasse, Casey’s Corners give theirs an indoor option, decorated with flags, signed collectibles and Corner’s distinctive Coca Cola luminaires.

the Backroom from both Caseys Corners

the Backroom from both Casey's Corners

All next to the hub, the 4 Corners do square its circle by completing its swarmy joyful atmosphere for no matter when you visit them, their terraces are always packed with hot dogs cravers. Every way seems to lead to them…

Because, Refreshment Corners, Casey’s or not simply and lively appeal to the top american fan groups: Baseball fans, Coke fans and Disney fans.

CREDITS & RESSOURCES

Disneyland Paris – From Sketch to Reality for the backroom shot. The book is available on Alain’s blog Disney and More.
Flickr user DisneyPrincess71

Disneyland Paris Google Earth 3D finally on

dp3d

That’s it, the long promised Google Earth modelization of Disneyland Paris is up and running. You can check it by opening your Google Earth software and go straight to Disneyland Paris after having checked the 3D Building box ! 

For all of you never having visited the french resort, rush to that marvel of communication ! 

Expect the same attention to details Walt Disney World already bares.

Hopefully the californian resort should get its 3D soon !


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