Both “Le Pays des Contes de Fées” and “Casey Jr.” are located outside the perimeter of the Disneyland Railroad. To reach these attractions you must pass under a trestle.
Le Pays des Contes de Fées (Land of the Fairytales)
This ride is an updated version of "Storybook Land Canal Boats” found at Disneyland in California. You board European-style canal boats and enter the land of make-believe. Your journey takes you past the homes of some of your favorite fairytale characters in one of the most charming of any Disney attractions.
Unlike Disneyland, where all of the boats run independently, these vessels are tethered to one another underwater with a chain. You load and unload the boats from a revolving turn-table in the same manner as you do on Kali River Rapids in the Animal Kingdom. Also different from Disneyland is the lack of a tour guide to explain the sights along your journey. Here, each character’s residence is clearly marked and appropriate music plays in the background.
After loading, you sail under a bridge used by Casey Jr. and your voyage begins.
The following pictures are in the order that you would experience them if actually on the attraction. I have included many, but not all of the vignettes. Here we have the Dwarf’s cottage from Snow White.
I do not know why the witch’s cottage from Hansel and Gretel is included on this attraction. I could only find two references between the story and Disney. First, there was a Silly Symphonies released in 1932 titled “Babes in the Woods.” It featured two children who could or could not be Hansel and Gretel, but the story is significantly different than the one I knew as a kid. Also, the witch’s house in the movie does not match the house in the attraction.
The other reference was a Tim Burton short released in 1982. This was an animated/live action film that was only shown on the Disney Channel once. I find it hard to believe that this obscure feature would qualify for a spot in this attraction.
Next we find Prince Eric’s ship and castle from “The Little Mermaid.”
Here we find intrepid Peter looking for the wolf. (The wolf can't be seen in this picture, but he's hiding behind the next tree.)
Bald Mountain and Chernabog can also be seen along the way.
On the Disneyland version of this ride, your voyage begins by sailing through Monstro’s mouth. On this attraction, Monstro is missing, but instead you sail through Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders halfway through your journey.
The next picture is of the Emerald City of Oz. If you’re perplexed as to why an MGM movie is represented here, you have to remember that Disney made a sequel to the “Wizard of Oz” called “Return to Oz” in 1985. I’m not quite sure why the Imagineers chose to include this vignette as the movie was pretty much considered to be a flop.
Below is of the town square in Belle’s village. The Beast’s Castle is located nearby and is the centerpiece of the attraction.
This is a charming ride and can be enjoyed by all ages. The voyage takes approximately ten minutes.
Casey Jr. – le Petit Train du Cirque (The Small Train of the Circus)
In case you’ve forgotten, Casey Jr. is the circus train that transports animals in Disney’s “Dumbo” movie.
Like the “Le Pays des Contes de Fées,” the Casey Jr. attraction is also an updated version of its Disneyland, California cousin. The big difference here is the track. In California, the ride uses traditional steel rails and wooden ties and the train chugs along at an unhurried speed.
In Paris, the track is tubular steel. This turns the train into a roller coaster of sorts. Although not as thrilling as Goofy’s Barnstormer or Gadget’s Go-Coaster, this train does run at a reasonable clip in and around the sights of “Le Pays des Contes de Fées” (Land of the Fairytales).
All passengers ride in various train cars that resemble circus animal cages. As this is a “petite” train, the seating can be tight.
As the ride begins and you head for the first bridge you can hear Casey Jr. puffing, “I think I can. I think I can.”
For the next two and a half minutes you travel around the Land of the Fairytales. You are able to catch quick glimpses of the sights below, but to truly enjoy their beauty and intricacy, you need to take the boat trip.
Many would classify this as a “Kiddy Coaster,” but I think any adult with a Disney heart will find it entertaining.
In my last blog, I said that I thought “Alice’s Curious Labyrinth” would fit nicely into the area once occupied by the 20,000 Leagues attraction at Disney World. I think “Casey Jr.” and “Le Pays des Contes de Fées” should also be considered for this spot.
My next blog will discuss “it’s a small world.”
The previous post in this blog was Nostalgia – Ticket Books and Transportation.
The next post in this blog is Muppet*Vision 3-D Trivia.