“Here is a land of imagination, hopes and dreams. In this timeless land of enchantment the age of chivalry, magic and make-believe are reborn and fairy tales come true. Fantasyland is dedicated to the young and the young at heart, to those who believe that when you wish upon a star your dreams do come true.” — Walt Disney, July 17, 1955
Fantasyland is a land in which classic Disney stories come to life. Nestled in the shadow of the Matterhorn Mountain, this little Swiss village was very special to Walt Disney. There is a reason that this land held such a special place in Walt’s heart and was said by Walt himself to be his favorite of all the lands in his original Magic Kingdom, Disneyland.
Walt’s desire to create a place in which parents and their children could both enjoy a theme park together was originally inspired by the carousel in Griffith Park. As he sat on a bench, watching his young daughter enjoy her ride aboard the carousel, his dreams of creating Disneyland began to unfold in his mind. King Arthur’s Carousel is one of the surviving attractions from the opening day of Disneyland on July 17th, 1955. This beautiful attraction stands as the central hub in Fantasyland. Walt made sure that the unique carousel would feature all white horses so that each person to ride aboard the carousel could be a hero on a white horse. Jingles, the horse adorned in golden bells, was Walt’s very favorite horse. Jingles can be found in Tsum Tsum form as well!
Another of Disneyland’s original attractions was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, themed after the 1949 mini feature, “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.” The Mr. Toad Tsum Tsum would love to join you on a wild ride through Fatasyland!
Another original attraction was the Mad Tea Party, or as known by many Disney fans, the “Teacups.” Three years after the park opened, the Alice in Wonderland attraction in Fantasyland was built to accompany the Mad Tea Party attraction. This attraction was originally envisioned by Walt to be a walk through experience! This cute little Teacup Tsum Tsum would make a welcome addition to any Tsum-fan’s collection, don’t you think?
Fantasyland doesn’t seem quite complete without the iconic “it’s a small world” attraction. But believe it or not, this attraction is not one of Disneyland Park’s original attractions. The attraction first debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. My dad actually had the opportunity to be one of the first people ever to experience this attraction! When he was the young age of 6, he and his family attended the World’s Fair and he was able to experience the iconic attraction before it even arrived at Disneyland. To spot a glimpse of what it may have looked like back in 1964, check out the movie “Tomorrowland!”
I couldn’t possibly write a blog post about Fantasyland without mentioning my favorite attraction… Storybook Land! This attraction opened with the park and was originally titled “Canal Boats of the World.” Walt originally intended to create a “magical little park” in Burbank, California, but this thought evolved into a canal-boat style attraction for Disneyland. The attraction opened as a simple muddy canal experience, but re-opened in 1956 as Storybook Land Canal Boats which featured miniature representations of buildings from classic Disney stories as well as the giant Monstro the Whale from Pinocchio. Monstro now stands as the gateway to Storybook Land.
New stories have been added to the attraction over the years, with the most recent being Arendelle from the Disney Animated Film, Frozen. This attraction is especially special to me because this is where I began my Disney career as a Cast Member! The photo below is actually me over 10 years ago aboard my favorite Storybook Land boat, “Daisy!”
What is your favorite Fantasyland Attraction? There are even MORE great attractions to discover in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park, but you’ll have to visit Walt’s original Magic Kingdom to check them out!