The Rabbit, The Dragon, & The Toad

I'm totally hooked on 'Once Upon A Time'. Have you seen it?  It's a girlier version of LOST.  And now to take up another spot on the DVR is 'Once Upon A Time In Wonderland'.  It's a bit far fetched and nothing like the Disney version of my youth.  And I'm pretty sure Lewis Carroll is not too happy about the liberties they are taking.  I mean Jafar in Wonderland?  It's borderline heresy.   I promise there's a point to this - pardon my rabbit trail (pun intended).  But seriously though, it brings back awesome memories of my sister's Alice themed birthday party.  Decades ago.  Complete with 'Eat me' cakes and roses to paint red.  I truly can't think of any party we had as kids that ranks as high as this one in my memory meter.

Alice's Labyrinth Disney Paris
Alice's Labyrinth Disney Paris

So I was beyond ecstatic to discover an Alice themed labyrinth at Disneyland Paris.  I had pictured a kid's version, where I, and most certainly Andy would see over the top and loose the illusion.  But hallelujah - it was adult sized.

The Labyrinth Disneyland Paris
The Labyrinth Disneyland Paris

Not only did I get to hang out with the cards & paint roses, but the caterpillar and the Dodo bird too?  It was almost too much.

Queen of Hearts Disneyland Paris
Queen of Hearts Disneyland Paris
Catapillar Alice Labyrinth Paris
Catapillar Alice Labyrinth Paris
Cheshire Cat Disneyland Paris
Cheshire Cat Disneyland Paris
Alice's Labyrinth Disneyland Paris
Alice's Labyrinth Disneyland Paris

 The Queen of Hearts' castle is at the end of the walk and it gives a decent view of Sleeping Beauty's castle & Fantasyland.  I made my way up the skinny stairwell for the view, but as I wasn't looking to fold Andy in half to make him fit.

Alice Exit Disney Paris
Alice Exit Disney Paris

When you leave, there is a set up of the tea party where you can take your picture at the end of the table with the Mad Hatter's hat.  Don't miss it.  Or a chance for a stomach turning ride on the Teacups.

IMG_9770
IMG_9770

So now for the biggest let down of the day.  Go get your tissues.  I had my heart set on eating lunch at Mr. Toad's Hall - a quick service restaurant.  One of my favorite rides as a kid in the Magic Kingdom was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.  I can't explain it - that ride was creepy especially in the eyes of a kid.  I mean evil weasels?  Not exactly what fairytales are made of.  Kids today probably have no clue what the Wind in the Willows is right?  I love dating myself.  The sad state of affairs is that the ride was closed in the 90's despite my childhood signature on a 'Save Mr Toad' petition.  Oh yes.  I did.

Toad Hall Disneyland Paris
Toad Hall Disneyland Paris

So this was likely going to be my last chance for a memory of the Toad variety.  See how happy I was during picture time.

IMG_9639
IMG_9639

And then I tried to open the door.  And it was locked.  Remember how I said only 3 restaurants were open?  Yeah.  This wasn't one of them.  If I could have had a full on fit I would have.  Instead I focused on changing camera setting to try to get a decent (I use that word loosely) picture of the inside.  I could see Mr. Toad's portrait inside the door & down the hallway.  Not how I had planned it - but at least the outside met my expectations.

Mr Toad portrait Disneyland Paris
Mr Toad portrait Disneyland Paris
Mr Toad's Hall Disneyland Paris
Mr Toad's Hall Disneyland Paris

The most unique part about Fantasyland for me is that you can actually go into the castle.  Not just walk through it like at the Magic Kingdom.  Upstairs, you can see the story of Sleeping Beauty in stained glass.  And step out onto the back balcony and catch a view of Fantasyland from the air. If only you could do that in Cinderella's castle.

Sleeping Beauty Spinning Wheel
Sleeping Beauty Spinning Wheel
Sleeping Beauty Stained Glass
Sleeping Beauty Stained Glass
Sleeping Beauty Stained Glass
Sleeping Beauty Stained Glass
Castle Disneyland Paris
Castle Disneyland Paris

And let's don't skip the dungeon.  There is an anamatronic version of Maleficent as the dragon.  It's pretty cool, but a word of warning - most kids until 5 were screaming at the top of their lungs when it came 'alive'.

Dragon Disneyland Paris
Dragon Disneyland Paris
Dragon Disneyland Paris
Dragon Disneyland Paris

As much as I wanted to highlight all the unique parts of Fantasyland in one post, I'm just too darn wordy and in love with pictures to throw in any more.  So tomorrow, take 2 - Fantasyland.