Showing posts with label Snow White's Scary Adventures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Snow White's Scary Adventures. Show all posts

Good vs Evil / Light vs Dark

One corner of Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris looks considerably more dark and menacing than the rest. This area, inspired by the Black Forest region of Germany, brings to life the Brothers Grimm tale of Snow White. Here, the attraction is known simply as Blanche Neige et les Sept Nains (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) and doesn't have the word "scary" in its title like it does in the States. Instead, the designers used visual clues to let Guests know they could be in for a fright.

Approaching the entrance, the marquee with the carved faces of Snow White & Co. is juxtaposed with sculpted skulls and ravens. Just overhead, the Queen peers down on us from her upstairs window.

As it is in the Snow White film, the attraction presents a contrast between dark and light. A warning about the Wicked Witch comes just before a stone column capped with images of playful squirrels from the woods. A beautiful stained glass chandelier, upon closer inspection, reveals images of a poison apple and a dagger piercing a heart.

The castle-like interior of the queue space is, for the most part, inviting. In one corner, though, is a scene of the Queen's dungeon, complete with her spell book and the box she gave the Huntsman.

Soon, a carriage approaches to take us into the boundless realm of the supernatural... (Wait. Sorry. Wrong attraction.)

The carved wooden benches which carry us on our journey with Snow White are each named for one of the seven little men. We step aboard and glide past a mural to enter the forest for the story. (Curiously, the mural depicts both the Queen and the Witch together.)

Again, the attraction experience is very similar to the other Snow White dark rides around the world. In the end, good triumphs over evil, and everyone lives happily ever after!

The Perfect Storybook Village

Stepping through Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, you enter Fantasyland, what Walt Disney described as "The Happiest Kingdom of Them All." The Fantasyland we know today, though, is a far cry from the one experienced by guests back in 1955. At the time, Walt didn't have the money to do everything he wanted to do with Disneyland, and Fantasyland was a good example. Instead of the fairy tale village he imagined, the inner walls of the castle were instead festooned in bright (and less expensive) tents, banners and flags.

But perhaps the thing Walt loved most about Disneyland was that the park would forever be a work in progress. The medieval fair look lasted for nearly thirty years until 1983, when a Disney team of Imagineers led by Tony Baxter finally transformed Fantasyland into the village of Walt's dreams.

Today, Fantasyland is a truly magical place, where the stories from Walt Disney's animated features come to life. Each of the anchor attractions in the castle courtyard area is housed in a portion of the village, and each section takes on unique architectural properties influenced by the tales told within.

Peter Pan's Flight takes off inside an English cottage, built alongside a clock tower reminiscent of Big Ben. Take a look, too, at the weather vanes on the rooftops. They're in the shapes of a pirate ship and a crocodile, straight from the story.

Around the bend, the architecture remains English but morphs into a Tudor style with the entrance to Toad Hall. The weather vane here is a silhouette of Toady speeding along in his motor car, just as you're about to do on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Not one for humility, Toad has also commissioned statues of himself to adorn the facade of his home.

Across the way, the architectural styles are less English and more Italian and Bavarian. There's a small puppet theater above the entrance to Pinocchio's Daring Journey, along with a carved wooden toy like Geppetto might have made, right on the peak of the roof. Pinocchio's Daring Journey was a new attraction added during the 1983 reimagining of Fantasyland. It actually replaced the Fantasyland Theater, which had stood on this spot since the '50s.

The stone facade for Snow White's Scary Adventures is especially detailed, with intricate carvings representing both the light and dark aspects of that story. Above the entrance, made to look a bit like the Queen's dungeon, are ominous ravens perched atop skulls. They set an appropriately eerie tone for what is to come. Make it past that point, though, and you'll come to the cottage of the seven dwarfs, where friendly forest animals are carved into the columns of the queue.

In a way, your trip through the queue mimics the adventure to come. You and Snow White have to make it through the dark and scary forest, but will discover light and joy on the other side. Beware, though, for wherever you go the Queen is always watching from her tower perch.

It's a Cinderellabration!

The concert with the PhilharMagic Orchestra isn't the only special event happening in Fantasyland today. In fact, the entire village is holding a spectacular celebration, all in honor of Cinderella, Prince Charming and their distinguished Guests (that's you!).

The celebration carries throughout the Kingdom. There are jousting tournaments, festivals of food and an ornate carousel set up under a beautiful canopy. Even a traveling circus has pitched its tents and brought in an elaborate calliope just for the occasion.

Everywhere you look there are colorful tents, banners and flags to mark the celebratory mood.

Since this is a magical storybook Kingdom, many of those tents set up along the castle walls actually serve as portals, transporting the Guests to other fantastic places: the Dark Forest, the Hundred Acre Wood, London, Neverland and the Seven Seaways for a trip around the world.

Wherever we go within Fantasyland, we're free to enjoy our celebration in peace, secure in the knowledge that the entire Kingdom is surrounded by the protective walls of Cinderella Castle. (Just look closely at all the pictures above, and you'll see.)