After leaving Adventureland last time, we arrive at Fantasyland. This land is where you'd expect it to be compared to the US parks, although again the size and scale is surprising.
At the rear left of the land is the Fantasyland train station, in a popcorn light-lined building that'd be at home on Main Street. The majority of the building was originally for a theatre show, and was reworked last year to be a controlled meet n greet for Mickey Mouse similar to Orlando.
|It's a Small World|
The land is also home to Alice's Curious Labyrinth, a well themed and fun way to loose yourself for a half hour with plenty of animated show effects and visual gags from moving figures to jumping fountains. Climbing the castle spire at the finale offers great views of the land and beyond, and of the second castle in the land.
Sleeping Beauty Castle, or Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, is just gorgeous. Crossing the winding bridge from the hub reveals the interior breezeway and so much more. A galleried upper level circles the interior roof space, below sculptured white trees and branches that appear to hold the roof up. Guests can walk up and around the balcony, following the story of Sleeping Beauty, and even exit onto the exterior balcony overlooking Fantasyland. Attached to the castle is a series of shops, with interior courts appearing to be outside, all themed and detailed to DLP standards. One court has
a semi hidden staircase down to the castle
dungeon, also accessible via a second bridge from the hub. Both entrances lead
to the cave like dungeon, with a spectacular animatronic dragon sleeping in a
lake. The dragon breathes, flicks its tail, and occasionally wakes, its huge
head watching the guests from a safe distance as smoke bellows from its roaring
mouth. A great show that can be watched for ten minutes or more, and a great
example of details of original DLP.
And so we reach the final land, Discoveryland. Accessed from the hub or a landscaped pathway near small world during peak season, the land was the first to be designed as a future past area. Taking hints from Jules Verne and HG Wells, it is a curious mix of 90s future, retro theming with a Steampunk touch, and 50s retro. Another land that looks as good at night as in the daytime, covered in creative lighting touches and neon.
At the rear, traversing the berm, is an original Star Tours, featuring a near identical queue and ride layout as the first DHS version, with dialogue in French. Next door is the Magic Eye Theatre, currently closed after EO closed, and slated to become an extension of a Star Wars mini land. Next door, and under the berm, is
a peak season Pizzeria that may also be rethemed to a Lucas
Acting as an anchor for a certain mountain is a lagoon with a full sized Nautilus Submarine docked in it. A spiral staircase takes guests down to a lower level for a large, elaborate Captain Nemo walk through complete with a giant squid attack. Another great walk through attraction layered in detail.
Finally, right in the middle of Discoveryland, is Space Mountain. Yes, in the middle. You can walk around the huge show building and
attached station. No surprises
this is one popular attraction, and very different from the other 4 of the same
name. Stood outside, the partly exposed launch track is clearly visible as the
show canon fires trains into the mountain every minute or so. Standby line
takes a walkway though the mountain itself, sadly with the original viewing
windows mostly covered over apart from one that still offers an impressive,
themed ride view. Fast Pass and standby merge in the mountain, and continue to
wind around, over, and under the ride path. The ride was rethemed Mission Two:
Supernova in 2005, the mission now travelling far further than Mission Ones
moon but with nods in the queue line to the 1995 version.
|Mission Two: Supernova|
And so, that's Disneyland Parc. In the daytime. Next I'll look at entertainment, parades, and Disney Dreams!