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Disneyland Paris - Fantasyland – Part 4 – Le Pays des Contes de Fées (Land of the Fairytales) & Casey Jr. – le Petit Train du Cirque (The Small Train of the Circus)

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.


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Casey Jr. Entrance


Le Pays des Contes de Fées (Land of the Fairytales)


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland 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.


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales

Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytalesjpg


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.


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales

Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales


After loading, you sail under a bridge used by Casey Jr. and your voyage begins.


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales

Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales


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.

Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales Dwarfs 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.


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales Hansel and Gretel


Next we find Prince Eric’s ship and castle from “The Little Mermaid.”


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales Prince Eric's Ship and Castle 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.)


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales Peter and the Wolf


Bald Mountain and Chernabog can also be seen along the way.


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales Bald Mountain and Chernabog


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.


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales Aladdin's Cave of Wonders


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.


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales Emerald City of Oz


Below is of the town square in Belle’s village. The Beast’s Castle is located nearby and is the centerpiece of the attraction.


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales Belle's Village

Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Land of the Fairytales Beast's Castle


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)


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Casey Jr.


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.”


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Casey Jr.

Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Casey Jr


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.


Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Casey Jr

Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Casey Jr


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.

Comments (8)

Diane C.:

Hi Jack,
Thanks for a great blog, as usual.
Seeing the picture of the cast members directing people onto the Land of Fairy Tales boats made me wonder: do the cast members begin speaking to you in French or English when you're boarding a ride? Thinking about visiting WDW, most of them greet you with, "How many?", when you're approaching a loading area for a ride. Do they say that in French in Paris? Do you find yourself learning a little French (numbers, I guess) by the time you're done so you can answer them with a French number?
Thanks!
Diane

Answer: The simple answer to your question is, "The cast members generally speak to you in French first." But since all Disneyland Paris cast members speak both French and English, all you have to do is say, "I don't speak French" and they'll immediately re-ask the question in English.

But the real answer is more convoluted. First, I know how to count to ten in French, so as I approached a cast member, I would hold up two fingers and say "deux" before they ever had a chance to ask me "How many in your party?" And while we're on the subject, I think anyone who travels to a foreign country should take the time to learn a few words or phrases like "thank you, good morning (afternoon, evening), and please."

Often, a cast member would greet me with “bonjour” and then wait to see what language I replied in.

But more than that, I look like an American. The French cast members can see me coming a mile away. I'm going to make a generalization here, so please don't attack me with letters to the contrary. But there are subtle differences in the way Europeans and Americans dress. For example, Americans tend to wear white walking shoes whereas Europeans wear black. So while I was visiting Disneyland Paris, the cast members would make an assumption that I was American and usually spoke to me in English first.

Other Americans visiting Disneyland Paris might have had a different experience than mine, but all I can report on is what happened to me.

Rochelle Moser:

I am enjoying your blog on Disneyland Paris so much! Please keep up the hard work.

As a California resident, I noticed that one of the jokes that Walt intended never made it's way to completion. The patchwork of different greenery (seen in the Casey Jr. photos) was supposed to be the quilt for a sleeping giant who slumbered and was mistaken for a hill.

In California, the patchwork remains, but the giant's head is missing. How about it's Paris cousin? If there a giant's head or did they just like the patchwork look and keep it.

(If you look closely, the dividers resemble stitching as well.)

Answer: This attraction at Disneyland was first called "Canal Boats of the World." Guests were to sail past miniature landmarks from around the globe. However, by opening day money had run out and this attraction was neglected. For over a year, guests sailed past mud banks and weeds.

One of Walt's ideas for this ride was Lilliputian Land. He wanted to recreate a miniature village with tiny automated inhabitants and a large automated giant. However, the technology did not exist at that time to realize his dream. So the idea was tweaked and "Storybook Land Canal Boats" were born.

I have never heard the story about the patchwork quilt being the giant's blanket, but I suspect this was a holdover from the Lilliputian Land concept. And since Disney did have Mickey fight a giant in "The Brave Little Tailor," a Disney "giant" does exist and could easily have a presence among the other storybook characters of this attraction.

Now to answer your question. Although an extensive patchwork garden quilt does exist at Disneyland Paris, I saw no reference to a giant. If others know of his presence, please feel free to let me know.

J.S.:

Hi Jack! Thanks for such terric work on your blog! It's always a treat when you post a new entry!

I have a question about the Land of the Fairytales. From the pictures above, it looks like some of the houses are quite substantial while others are on the minitature side. Is that true? If you had to guess....How tall are the houses?

Thanks Again...J.S.

Answer: Different scales are used on different structures, but it is done so well that all of the buildings seem to blend seamlessly.

I would say that Snow White's, Hansel & Gretel's and Peter's houses are about 12 inches high. But other structures like the Emerald City and the Little Mermaid's castle are more substantial. I'm guessing that the Emerald City is at least 3 feet high. But then, it's representing an entire city, rather than a single dwelling.

Callie:

That's really cool that the cast members can determine that you are American!

Comment: I won't say they could recognize me as American 100% of the time, but it was uncanny how often they could.

Jeff Carlson:

It is amazing that people can often tell nationalities. I would say the same is true at WDW. If you've been to WDW much, it is not too difficult to tell who the Europeans are - probably as easy as it is to spot an American in Paris!

Kevin:

Another fantastic entry, Jack. These are terrific posts, especially for someone who can't afford to travel to California, let alone France. I am in awe.

roxanne:

Is this beauty and the beast castle really in paris? I'm guessing it's new if it is cos i've never seen it and i've been there twice. Can you go in it. I just want to know if there really is a beauty and the beast castle. In paris or floirda. Manys thanks

Jack's Answer:


Beast's Castle does exist as part of the "Land of the Fairytales" and the "Small Train of the Circus" attractions at Disneyland Paris. It is a miniature and you can see it as you pass by on the boat or train. To my knowledge, it is not new and has been there ever since these attractions opened.

Sebastien.:

Hi there. This was the ride I worked in for one year. I've got a question do the pictures were taken in 2009 ?

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 15, 2009 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Nostalgia – Ticket Books and Transportation.

The next post in this blog is Muppet*Vision 3-D Trivia.

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