Walt Disney on Fantasyland: “Here is the world 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 at heart — to those who believe that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.”
Overview: Fantasyland, dubbed “The Happiest Kingdom of Them All,” opened as one of five original lands at Disneyland Park on July 17, 1955. The fairytale village brings to life the wonder and magic of Disney’s animated stories and characters. While the land has grown and evolved, with a significant redesign in 1983 and additions in 2013, its magic continues to attract guests of all ages. Journeys include adventures with Snow White, Peter Pan and Pinocchio; a race down the icy slopes of the Matterhorn mountain; sailing to visit children around the globe on “it’s a small world” and more.
What’s new: In 2019, Sleeping Beauty Castle was refreshed with vibrant new colors, a new roof and charming and subtle pixie dust, along with other enhancements.
The team of Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones put their unique spin on the “Tangled” and “Beauty and the Beast” stories as they adapt it for the Royal Theatre. As expected, they present the tale in their own inimitable way, with a fun filled, fast-paced retelling of the story featuring their own wacky performances in key roles, along with Rapunzel, Belle and the Faire Maidens.
Don’t miss: Fantasyland has 13 attractions, including updated classics such as the Disney FastPass attraction, Matterhorn Bobsleds, where sleek new bobsleds glide down and around the mountain and “it’s a small world” which has been delighting children of all ages at Disneyland since 1966. Guests also will find three live shows, eight shops and five dining locations in Fantasyland.
Entertainment: The dazzling stage show “Mickey and the Magical Map” plays at the Fantasyland Theatre. Mickey learns some valuable lessons on a musical odyssey that features classic tunes from beloved Disney movies. Fantasy Faire invites guests to visit Disney princesses at the Royal Hall, and enjoy live stage shows with Rapunzel from “Tangled” or Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” at the Royal Theatre. The Royal Hall is the home of Princesses Cinderella, Ariel and Aurora. Guests may find some of their favorite characters throughout Fantasyland, including Tinker Bell at Pixie Hollow.
Dining: Fantasyland has a variety of unique and tasty treats. Adventurous eaters will enjoy the jumbo turkey legs and chimichangas from Edelweiss Snacks while Red Rose Taverne offers the more traditional fare of burgers, salads and the “grey stuff.” Guests may choose to plan ahead and order their favorite food and beverages from either Edelweiss Snacks, Red Rose Taverne and Troubadour Tavern using the mobile ordering feature on the Disneyland app. At Maurice’s Treats in Fantasy Faire, guests may enjoy delicious pastry twists and the very popular Boysen Apple Freeze.
Imaginative landscaping: From topiaries to fanciful colors in the flowerbeds, the enchantment of Fantasyland is created with soft landscape based on classic European gardens. The trees provide shade while drawing attention to the architecture and floral tapestries. All the plants appear to have been “miniaturized” at the Storybook Land Canal Boats attraction, while the art of topiary transforms hedges into animals and geometric designs at “it’s a small world” — all part of the living design.
Did you know?
- Fantasyland has the most “dark rides” of any land in the park. They are called “dark rides” because they feature brilliantly painted show scenes that are illuminated by black light inside the darkness of the attraction. Dark rides on opening day were Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Peter Pan’s Flight. Alice in Wonderland was added in 1958 and Pinocchio’s Daring Journey in 1983.
- Clopin’s Music Box in Fantasy Faire was inspired by the characters in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and features a unique arrangement of the song “Topsy Turvy” from the film.
- There are more than 60 horses on King Arthur Carrousel, no two of them alike.
- During a 16-hour operating day in the park, the iconic song inside “it’s a small world” is played, on average, 1,200 times.
- The Matterhorn Bobsleds was the first tubular steel roller coaster in the world when it opened in 1959 and can be found only in Disneyland. This attraction celebrated its 60th anniversary on June 14, 2019.
Cast member tips:
- For children, buy princess dresses a half-size larger than normal for extra comfort in the parks.
- For a spectacular view or a shorter wait time, ride the Matterhorn Bobsleds during the fireworks or late at night.
- Get a good seat at The Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire by arriving 30 minutes before show time.
- Consider this the ultimate summer cooler: On a hot day, “it’s a small world” is a 15-minute ride through an air-conditioned building.
- Attention Pin Traders: Small World Toy Shoppe has a large selection of cloisonné pins.
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