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Visit delightful Fantasyland in Disneyland California
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of the colorful, nostalgic Fantasyland themed area of Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. This is often children's favorite area of Disneyland. Discover the fun you'll have with your kids when you enjoy this magical wonderland together with them!
Disneyland Park's iconic Sleeping Beauty CastleAh---the beautiful Sleeping Beauty Castle, gateway to Fantasyland in Disneyland California! It's not only one of the world's most photographed buildings...but also, one of the world's most beloved! Just the sight of it brings a glow of nostalgia to the hearts of many Disneyland Park enthusiasts.
To, your right, you see a picture of Disneyland's Castle as seen from its surrounding gardens. If it's been several years since you've visited Disneyland, you'll notice that Sleeping Beauty's Castle looks just a bit different now! Faint pink and blue tones have been brushed over the cold grey stone, to give it a warmer, more inviting, and "more delightful-than-ever-before" look. And, though most of the "golden" decorations added during the Disneyland 50th Anniversary celebration were removed after the event, some of the gilded accents still remain---giving the castle a dressier, more elegant look than before.
The Sleeping Beauty Castle once is home to a walk-through attraction---the tale of Sleeping Beauty, as told through a number of dioramas and vignettes. If you'd like to see pics of the castle's interior, visit the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthru page of the Ultimate Orlando website.
Fantasyland in Disneyland California: Snow WhiteAs you approach the entry to Sleeping Beauty's Castle (from Main Street USA), to one side you'll notice Snow White's Grotto and Wishing Well.
The statue of Snow White and her friends, the Seven Dwarfs, were actually a surprise gift to Disneyland shortly after it opened. Ornately carved out of Italian marble, the statues were quickly put into a display. However, there was one flaw...in the fairy tale, Snow White was supposed to be TALLER than the dwarfs, yet the gift statues portrayed the princess and the dwarfs as all being the same height. What to do?
Using the artistic concept of "forced perspective"---also used elsewhere in the park to make buildings and objects APPEAR to be taller---the Disney creative team designed the current configuration of the statues, which are placed around a scenic waterfall. With Snow White perched at the top, she does APPEAR to be taller than her dwarf friends...at least, to someone not especially thinking about the matter.
When Disneyland Tokyo was being planned, the Disney folks thought they'd correct the original design flaw, and wanted to make the Snow White statue for the Tokyo park taller than the dwarfs. But the honchos in Japan wanted none of it---they wanted their park to have exactly the SAME style statues that Fantasyland in Disneyland California has. And so it was! You can see pictures of the Snow White and Dwarf statues at Disneyland Anaheim in the image to your left.
In the picture of Snow White to your right, you see her dancing at the Disney Princess Fantasy Faire! The popular new Fantasy Faire attraction gives children a chance to see Snow White up close---and is a great place to head if your kids would like to meet her in person. This attraction has so much to say about it that it needed it's own page to mention everything! If your child is a Snow White fan, you'll want to visit the Disney Princess Fantasy Faire pictures page of this website to view pics and get details about the fun you'll find!
Alas, the story of Snow White also features a very evil character, the Wicked Queen (and her alter ego, the evil witch.) These forbidding characters can be seen in a different attraction: Fantasyland's Snow White "dark ride."
Fantasyland's Snow White ride shows scenes from Disney's animated movie classic, "Snow White," which was Walt Disney's 1st full-length animation feature. Not only that, it was the WORLD's first full-length cartoon-format movie. Some people in the late 1930's laughed at Mr. Disney for even THINKING of such an idea! But our hero Walt pursued his dream...and launched a new branch of family cinematic entertainment at the same time. Today, Christmas or summer school holidays just wouldn't be the same without taking the kids to see Disney's latest animated achievement at the local theater!
Are you a Snow White fan? Or, is your child? If so, you may wish to use the following link to visit the official Snow White coloring pages on the Disney activities website.
Fantasyland's King Arthur CarouselWalk across the Castle drawbridge...which, yes, CAN actually raise and lower. Step through the heart of the Castle and into the medieval European village-style streets of Fantasyland. What is the first thing that you'll notice? It's the King Arthur Carousel, with its beautiful hand-carved white horses playing calliope music in a medley of favorite Disney tunes.
Each horse on the carousel is actually unique and like none other. Though all of the Disneyland Carousel horses are white, the ornamentation and "pose" of each pony varies. To those who are very familiar with the steeds---such as employees and some Disneyland California die-hards---the horses each have their own personality and lore.
This beautiful carousel is OLDER than Disneyland's 50+ years, however. The King Arthur antique carousel pre-dates Disneyland Park! It was was bought from a Canadian amusement park, and the Disney artists refurbished it for the opening of Disneyland in 1955.
There is no minimum height requirement on the King Arthur Carousel; toddlers...and even babies...can enjoy the ride. Nevertheless, parents should stand alongside young children riding the moving horses. Adults may ride on the horses, too!
Sword in the Stone show
The King Arthur Carousel is also the setting for an interactive children's show called Sword in the Stone. This fun show is one of Disneyland Park's smaller entertainment offerings, but it's great fun for families with younger kids.
Merlin the Magician needs help finding someone who can pull the strongly-embedded sword from its resting spot in front of the carousel. Maybe one of your kids will have the magic touch to dislodge it! You can see a picture of Merlin the Magician in his flowing purple robes and wizard's cap in the photo to your right.
Fantasyland Attractions: Dumbo the Flying Elephant RideWalking further into Fantasyland in Disneyland California, your attention will immediately be drawn to the lovely Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride. This attractive ride features Dumbo-shaped ride cars that circle a central hub decorated with flowing fountains. Your child can raise the elephant up or down for an additional delight. There is no minimum height requirement, but adults should ride with young preschoolers, for whom Dumbo is a favorite attraction.
This beautiful version of the Dumbo ride is not actually the same one which debuted with the park. There were no fountains before, and the ride was smaller in diameter. What happened was that Fantasyland got a make-over in 1983...which was at the same time the Disney folks were preparing to open Disneyland Paris.
The Dumbo ride is themed after the 1941 Disney animated feature of the same name. If you remember, though, the plucky little elephant's name wasn't Dumbo at all...but, rather, "Jumbo Jr." after his father. The name "Dumbo" was actually a cruel epithet given to the little fellow when other animals in the circus discovered his overly-large, floppy ears which, at first, caused him to trip & stumble.
It was through the encouragement of his friend, Timothy the mouse (seen atop this ride holding Dumbo's good-luck charm, the "magic feather") and a flock of friendly crows that Dumbo learned both how to fly AND how to have self-confidence. In the end, his special abilities led him to become the star of the circus!
Are there any Dumbo lovers in your family? If so, perhaps they'd be interested in enjoying the Disney's Electrical Parade! This popular nighttime parade---with it's unique music and thousands of colorful lights---has a Dumbo Circus float that Dumbo fans are sure to enjoy. The Disney Electrical Parade runs at Disneyland's "sister" theme park, the Disney California Adventure Park. (Note: it's usually performed during the park's "busy season" only.) To see pictures and get details about this fun attraction, you may check out the Disney's Electrical Parade page of this website!
Fantasyland Attractions: Pinocchio ride & charactersWhen you're at Fantasyland in Disneyland California, you can see the "Pinocchio's Daring Adventure" ride as you stand near either the Carousel or the Dumbo ride. The Pinocchio-themed ride is not an original to the park but, rather, was added in the 1983 remodeling of Fantasyland (in an area that used to be a theater.)
If you board the Pinocchio ride, you'll journey into the world of the little wooden puppet...who, eventually, became a real boy. You'll see scenes based on the animated Disney classic movie, "Pinocchio," of course, and follow the little fellow's journey from Gepetto's woodshop, to the carnival where he is lured to the wicked side of life, and ultimately, his rescue from Monstro the evil whale. You'll see story-favorites, Jiminy Cricket and The Good Fairy, too...and witness the happy ending for all. (But, do beware...some of the darker scenes can scare little ones.) There is no minimum height requirement for Pinocchio's Daring Adventure, but parents should ride along with toddlers and preschoolers...or children of any age who might become scared by this attraction.
Outside the Pinocchio ride, strolling characters from scenes in this classic movie can occasionally be spotted. In the picture to your left, you see Gepetto, the kindly woodcarver who created Pinocchio, hugging my grandson, Gabriel, a few years back. The Pinocchio costumed character, too, can sometimes be found just outside of "Pinocchio's Daring Adventure."
If you're a Pinocchio fan, you might like to use the upcoming link to enjoy making a Pinocchio calendar on the Disney activities website. And, perhaps your child would also have fun visiting the Pinocchio's official Disney coloring pages!
In the photo below, you see the attractive, old-European style building which houses the Pinocchio dark-ride attraction in Fantasyland.
Fantasyland's Strolling Disney CharactersIf you enjoy spotting the strolling Disney characters, then Fanatsyland in Disneyland California is a good place to be! You won't see ALL of the Disney characters on any given day that you attend the park...but over time, you can amass quite a list of different make-believe folks for your photo collection. I was especially happy to spot Cinderella's Fairy Godmother in Fantasyland one day---who is one of the lesser-seen characters.
In the picture to your left, you see Gabriel visiting with The Beast (from the "Beauty and the Beast" animated Disney movie), who is also a character that you "don't just see every day!"
Fantasyland Attractions: Casey Jr. Circus Train & Storybookland Canal BargesThe Casey Jr. Circus Train ride is a delightful ride themed on the 1941 "Dumbo" classic movie. You'll even be able to ride in "circus animal cages," if you like!
Another interesting feature of the Casey Jr. train itself is its sleigh-shaped cars. These sleigh cars actually came off of Disneyland's antique carousel! Walt Disney wanted to make room for more horses on the King Arthur Carousel during its refurbishment for the park's opening, and so he removed 4 of these unusually-shaped cars from it.
To put a good use to these lovely antiques, he added 2 of them to each of the 2 Casey Jr. Trains...and they have been a source of enjoyment for Disneyland's guests ever since.
After boarding the Casey Jr. train, you'll ride out into the "open countryside," or--at least--what SEEMS like it. You'll tour scale model reproductions of fairy-tale villages---Alice in Wonderland's home and town, Toad Hall, the Agrabah palace of Aladdin and Jasmine, and many more. You'll view carefully tended gardens and bonsai adorning the little villages. And then, Casey Jr. attempts to climb a hill with his heavy load of passengers, re-creating the famous scene from the movie where he wheezes, "I THINK I can, I THINK I can." (Does he make it to the top? Does the train get back to the station? OOH...I don't know! You'll have to ride it to find out!)
Another ride which passes the cute little fairy tale villages of Fantasyland in Disneyland California is the Storybook Land Canal Boat ride. When you board the little boats and set forth, a live guide will accompany you and give you a complete narrative about the little homes and villages which you're passing.
Thus, each of these 2 rides makes use of the same scenery, but each ride does it in its own unique way. Both rides are enjoyable and worth your time. Below, you see a photo of Monstro the Whale, (a character from the movie "Pinocchio," into whose mouth you sail on your journey through the canals of Storybook Land.
As you exit the Casey Jr. Circus Train ride, look carefully into the dense trees to the side of the ride. Can you guess what building it is that you can just barely see?
It's the beautiful Swiss chalet that used to be the boarding station for the Fantasyland end of the Disneyland Sky Ride!
For those who never got to enjoy it, the Sky Ride was an interesting way to journey from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland...and, in route, you'd pass right THROUGH Matterhorn Mountain! On the other end, you'd disembark the Sky Ride at a "terminal of the future" at the Tomorrowland side of this attraction.
What an enjoyable ride it was! It's a disappointment that the Disneyland Sky Ride is no longer in operation. But, at least we have this intriguing chalet left behind to remind us of it.
Fantasyland Attractions: The popular Peter Pan RideNow we come to one of the most popular rides in all of Fantasyland---the Peter Pan ride (judging from the constant crowds waiting to ride!)
The Peter Pan ride is, of course, based on the Disney animated movie, "Peter Pan," which is itself an adaptation of the J.M. Barrie classic novel.
For this Fantasyland attraction, you'll board a Pirate Ship-shaped ride car---which is suspended from an overhead track to give you the sensation that you're flying. You'll pass through the nursery of Wendy, John and Michael...and then enter the timeless world of Peter Pan.
You'll fly high over the city of London at night, romantically lit with hundreds of street lights. You'll be able to see London's famous sights--such as Big Ben--and even witness the movement of tiny cars on the roadways below.
As you pass through Never Land, you'll see all your favorite characters--sinister Captain Hook and his minion, Mr. Smee; Princess Tiger Lily and members of her tribe; the Lost Boys...and OF COURSE, Tinker Bell, too. If you're a fan of these Peter Pan characters, you might wish to have some fun making Peter Pan greeting cards on the Disney Activities Website. And when you've finished that project, you'll also find the official Disney Peter Pan coloring pages to enjoy.
In the picture of the Peter Pan ride building to your left, you'll see the attraction's beautiful exterior. Do you notice the tall spire atop the Peter Pan ride? Check out the photo below to see the delicate figure mounted on the spire---it's Captain Hook's pirate ship!
Disney Collector's Corner: Disneyland Castle
Do you collect Disney memorabilia? Many people pick up a cute Disney stuffed animal or new pair of Mouse Ears with each visit to the park. If you're interested in adding to your collection of Disneyana, there is something new and interesting every day of the year on the EBay auction website.
Since we've been talking about the Disneyland Castle on this page, the following EBay auction has Disney Castle collectibles you might enjoy adding to your collection. (Some of the items are hard to find!) In the EBay widget below, you'll see current auctions of EBay collectibles; and when one auction ends, a new one moves in to fill its place. If you think the Disneyland Castle is lovely, and you'd like to remember it even when you're not in the park, you may find the perfect keepsake on EBay. It's a way to keep adding to your collection until you make your next park visit!