When I visit a Disney park, it’s not always necessary for me to ride on an attraction. Sometimes, simply being immersed in the wonderful atmosphere is pleasure enough. And for me, Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris is near the top of the list when it comes to ambiance. It is truly a magical place that allows you to do absolutely nothing and still enjoy the experience.
Even though “Le ChÃ¢teau de la Belle au Bois Dormant“ (Sleeping Beauty Castle) is technically a part of Fantasyland, I discussed it in detail in my blog about The Hub. However, I didn’t present any pictures of the back side of the castle. Here are two.
After passing through the castle you enter a beautiful courtyard. Here you’re surrounded by covered walkways and charming shops. In the middle of the courtyard is a raised area bordered by a low granite wall. Inside this enclosed area is a stone and anvil with the sword Excalibur embedded deep within it.
Here is a picture of me taken in 1993 trying to become the King of England.
Perhaps I needed Merlin’s assistance to become a Royal.
Here are a couple of pictures of the courtyard taken from the balcony of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Within one of the courtyard shops you’ll find the Seven Dwarf’s cottage and some of Snow White’s animal friends.
One of the most delightful restaurants of Disneyland Paris can also be found near the courtyard. Called the “Auberge de Cendrillon“ (Inn of Cinderella), this elegant eatery offers an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring classic French countryside cuisine. I have no pictures of the restaurant’s interior, but the outside is stunning. Here you dine in the small courtyard of a French chÃ¢teau. In the corner, Cinderella’s coach awaits.
The pictures below are of the La Menagerie du Royaume (The Menagerie of the Kingdom) and Sir Mickey’s. As you can see, the exterior of the “Menagerie” is shaped like a carrousel. In the interior, you’ll find Sir Goofy astride his steed.
Both of these shops sell Fantasyland and storybook merchandise. These include plush toys, books, and souvenirs. Notice the beanstalk Mickey climbed to reach the giant.
“Le Carrousel de Lancelot” is the first attraction you encounter when entering Fantasyland. Unlike other Disney carrousels, where all the horses are painted white, Lancelot’s Carrousel features an array of colors. Shades of black, brown, tan, and grey can all be found. The sixteen steeds on the outer ring are adorned in elaborate armor worthy of a jousting knight. This is also the first Disney carrousel to have two chariots for guests who are unable to climb aboard a mount.
Here is a picture of me taken in 2003.
This is a picture of one of the carrousel’s canopy panels. It’s a little more graphic than we’re used to at the California or Florida parks.
In my next blog I’ll discuss the three “dark” rides of Fantasyland.