Thursday, July 30, 2020

More DLP!

It's time for another installment of photos from Disneyland Paris, graciously shared with us by GDB friend Huck Caton. He took these during a 2016 trip to the park, and took many pictures of Storybook Land, though there are images of other parts of the park too.

Meanwhile we continue our journey along the canals through Storybook Land; here's Belle's village from "Beauty and the Beast". 

If you look closely, you can see Belle herself sitting by the fountain, singing and reading books (Phhh! Books! Give me video games) while two puzzled sheep look on.

More from Belle's village. I don't remember if there was a scene of her dancing across a stone bridge, but I'll go with it. Too bad it's hard to make miniature waterfalls and roaring streams that look convincing.

This one had me baffled for a moment, but we can see characters from the 1985 movie, "Return to Oz" - a film that I personally like very much, even though it is very dark and sometimes unsettling and even scary, for a Disney release. I loved the way they made the characters (the Tin Man, Scarecrow, etc) so faithful to artist W.W. Denslow's portrayals. Very cool that they included this in DLP!

Looks like our tranquil voyage through the land of fairy tales is just over...

Hey, look! A Train! The "Disneyland Railroad" in Paris has four 4-4-0 steam locomotives - three built in 1992, and a fourth built in 1993, by the H.P. Phillips Company. Except for some cosmetic variations, they are essentially identical. I was pleased to learn that their train goes through a Grand Canyon Diorama. Apparently the train also passes though part of "Pirates of the Caribbean" and other attractions as well.

Here's a sign for the Casey Jr. Circus Train, or... well, you can read the French version for yourselves. It looks like Huck didn't actually ride Casey, but he took a number of photos of various signs. Just like a true Disney park fan would do!

These signs remind me of the title cards from "Dumbo", with the rococo carvings and fonts that evoke a turn-of-the-century circus.

That's it for this time! You're just gonna have to wait until the next time, because there's lots more from Huck. Many thanks to him!


Nanook said...


I'm fairly certain the title of the book Belle is reading is The Hardy Boys: The Secret of the Old Mill. (She really liked those boys).

Thanks to Huck for more great images.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, I think Belle especially had the hots for Parker Stevenson.

Thanks to Huck and Major, for more DLP pics!

Stu29573 said...

For some reason, I like Belle's Village better than the other Storybook places we've seen. Maybe they did a better job on it know... France and all. The train is ok, but I prefer WDW's real vintage versions. I guess that makes me a train snob. I would like to see France's version of Casey. Oh, wait, I can Google it! Let's see....hmmmm....Wait! Disneyland Paris' Casey is a ROLLER COASTER? Ok, they just got major authenticity props from me for putting in CASEY as he was originally envisioned. Those props are hard to come by, my friends...very hard.

Andrew said...

Several of the DLP Storybook buildings seem more "Toontown" to me than the Disneyland models.

Stu, the roller coaster snob in me says that powered coasters (meaning they use an onboard motor) aren't real roller coasters!

stu29573 said...

Well, I watched the video of Casey, and it's not much of a coaster, but it still counts, I guess. They get to keep the props...for now...(insert ominous music).

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I somehow never managed to read any Hardy Boys books while growing up. I thought for a moment that I did, but it turns out that The Mystery of the Green Ghost is a Jupiter Jones mystery.

TokyoMagic!, strangely, Belle actually had the hots for Jerry Stiller.

Stu29573, I think that the quality of the miniatures is quite nice in almost all of the scenes, but they seem to lack some secret sauce. Maybe because the photos were taken on a cloudy day, but it all feels a little bit oppressive. I do love those big trains at WDW (based on photos and what I’ve read, since I’ve never seen them in person); the larger size works for such a big park, whereas Disneyland’s 5/8 scale trains are appropriate for that park. Wait, the Casey Jr. ride is a roller coaster? I honestly did not know that.

Andrew, I know I am not the first person to point this out, but I always thought it was strange that Toontown looks nothing like Disney cartoons; instead they are more reminiscent of things like the old Fleischer cartoons. I can’t really think of ANY Disney cartoon that has the crazy “no straight lines” buildings that are in Toontown.

stu29573 (is your nickname capitalized or not?), ah, I guess I need to watch a video of that ride as well. You know, the Casey Jr. ride for Disneyland was originally envisioned to be a roller coaster, and Richfield produced a souvenir comic book that shows the ride as a coaster.

Stu29573 said...

Major, I too enjoyed The Mystery of the Green Ghost. Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators played a big part in my childhood, and I still have quite a collection of the books. I can't honestly say I've read a Hardy Boys book, but I read a Nancy Drew to my daughter (who found she liked The Three Investigators better). Interestingly enough, the Three Investigators are very very popular in Germany.
I have no idea if my name is capitalized or not, lol! The 'puter does it!
Yeah, I knew they wanted it to be a coaster (hence, the "props," but I knew not of this Richfield book. I must now do research and find it!

Stu29573 said...

BYW. I just noticed that if I comment from my laptop, I'm capitalized, from my phone, I'm not. Whoa. Freaky.

DrGoat said...

The European aesthetic does have it's own charm. Different but pleasing in a certain way. Emerald City is quite grand. Looks like real black marble.
I started to read The Hardy boys but I soon discovered Tom Swift and that's what I read exclusively till my uncle brought me the Lord of the Rings, which changed everything. I still have about 20 or so TS's stuck in a box somewhere, along with a few on my sister's Nancy Drew books.
Major, as you know, that no straight lines thing started with Roger Rabbit. In my humble opinion, the old way was much more to my liking.
I appreciate old stuff like Fleischer, but never really liked it that much. A bit creepy in a weird way.
Thanks Major and Huck

Melissa said...

All sheep look a bit confused, IMO.

I liked Return to Oz; I thought it was more consistent with the tone of the Oz books than the 1939 musical (which has its own charms).

Thanks to Huck & the Maj - really enjoying this DLP series.

JG said...

Big thanks to Huck & Major P for letting us study the differences between parks. I would never have seen these otherwise.

Like Dr. Goat, I was a Tom Swift fan. I have almost the entire series still.

I watched a Disney special recently, a 1955 construction report, they explicitly called Casey a coaster. Whatever, I’m easy. I just like the little ride.

Cheers all!


Anonymous said...

Of course, I rode Casey, Jr. during that 2016 visit! I’ve never been so insulted… oh, wait. ;)

In fact, as the Paris circus train is a steel track coaster (already pointed out) with no ride operator, we rode in the engine car. Gently put, the attraction has virtually none of the charm of its Anaheim archetype. That pretty much goes for the whole place.

Just sayin’.


zach said...

I read the Hardy Boys a LOT back then. Also Rick Brant Science Adventures. Still have some of them.

Since it's doubtful I'll ever get to DLP I appreciate the photos. Thanks Huck for sharing. Now I won't be satisfied if my train doesn't go through Pirates.

Thanks Major,

zach or Zach if I'm on my phone

Omnispace said...

Thanks again for sharing, Huck. I agree it's interesting to get a personal perspective on a different park. It's difficult to say which is better, (wasn't optimal weather to take photos), but I think the individual guided launches of the original version is always going to give a better experience, vs. the automated chain of boats in Paris.

Say, I think I spot a group of women wearing tiaras at the load platform. Must be a pre-wedding bridesmaid party? Or they are on a Disney princess kick.

Thanks for the book discussion, everyone I hadn't thought of The Mystery of the Green Ghost in ages! Eventually I graduated to Edgar Rice Burroughs and his Mars chronicles. Also read a few of L. Frank Baums other OZ books.

Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, that book must have been given to me by my grandma, and I really liked it. Maybe it never occurred to me that it was part of a series of books! I didn’t remember that it had to do with Alfred Hitchcock (and the Three Investigators), but that makes sense, my grandma gave me another Alfred Hitchcock book of stories - I think I’ve mentioned it here before, but there were black and white illustrations with magenta highlights that, for some reason, really disturbed me! I wish I could remember what the cover looked like.

Stu29573, oh well, the mysteries of computers!

DrGoat, I’ve never read any Tom Swift, but have always been intrigued. The books are public domain now, I should go to Project Gutenberg and download a few e-books. I loved to read, and can think of a number of books that really clicked with me. “The Phantom Tollbooth”, “Treasure Island”, and certainly the “Lord of the Rings” books. Gosh, I love those old Fleischer cartoons, so surreal, silly, and strange! Same with some of those wonderful silent “Felix the Cat” cartoons.

Melissa, Return to Oz was definitely more like the books, which are weird. And saying that the 1939 has its own charms is an understatement!

JG, funny, I know of several Disney collectors who are also Tom Swift fans, I guess I really should do myself a favor and check out some of those books (since I can get them for free, legally!). Interesting that they called Casey Jr. a coaster on that TV show, I probably have watched that very program and never noticed that.

Huck, I didn’t mean to insult you! I just remember that there are lots of photos of signs, but I couldn’t recall any that I could definitely say were taken from aboard one of the trains. I’m sure there are lots of videos of the Paris version of the ride online, I will check one or two of them out.

Zach, I once read something about the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books that was odd - they continually change them every generation so that they are not seen as old fashioned relics. The story that you read today is not the same one that your father read as a boy, even if the title is the same. Personally, I’d rather read the old original stories!

Omnispace, I understand the need to have a more generalized ride system, instead of one that relied on a host or hostess speaking one language, since they surely have people from all over Europe (and beyond). But the lack of a human being guiding your tour through Storybook Land makes a big difference in tone! I see the tiaras now, could be a bridesmaid party, or just gals who want to be princesses. I never read any Edgar Rice Burroughs either, there are definitely gaps in my book reading!

Chuck said...

I loved The Secret of the Old Mill! It was about...smugglers...or something. Which is pretty much all of the Hardy Boys books. But I loved it...and I didn't read it until I was an adult. I read the first 15 or so in order about 10-12 years ago. It was fun re-acquainting myself with stories I'd enjoyed as a kid and reading ones I'd missed.

Only read one Tom Swift book in junior high, Tom Swift and his Rocket Ship, but I loved it even then as a throwback to '50s science fiction. I recently picked up a used hardcover copy and am looking forward to reading it.

I think part of what is hurting the DLP Storybook Land photos in this collection is that the landscaping isn't as carefully-maintained as it is in Anaheim. The grass is too long and the hedges need trimming, and that monkeys with the sense of scale and takes you out of the scene. At Disneyland, I feel as though I could take a sip from the little vial Alice found next to the key on the glass table and step into the scene, opening a door and finding Ratty and Mole sitting down to tea or Snow White sweeping up the Dwarfs' cottage. These scenes look like really nice models that somebody stuck in their yard. I don't mean to diminish the work and craftsmanship that went into these - it's certainly better than any effort I could make - but it lacks the charm and detail I expect after being spoiled by Disneyland's version.

Melissa said...

I never read very many of the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew books; I was more of a Cherry Ames girl. She was a nurse and fought the Nazis! But she still had time to solve those mysteries.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Chuck, I agree that the [sloppy] long grass ruins the look, as well as the static figurines. In today's pictures, you feel like you're looking at toys in someone's nice backyard. In the original Disneyland, the scenes look real and you can imagine people going about their business, inside those cottages.

I don't have any future plans to visit Disneyland Paris, but I sure am enjoying going there on GDB with everyone!

Merci beaucoup, Huck and Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, even the title The Secret of the Old Mill makes me smile. It just sounds like the type of adventure story that a boy would want to read. “What’s IN the old mill? Is it scary? Maybe treasure? Who put it there? WIll the Hardy Boys be in mortal danger?”. I’ve occasionally gone back and reread books that I loved as a kid, and in most cases they are still delightful. Even today I think I would enjoy “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel” or “Where the Wild Things Are”. I just downloaded some Tom Swift books from Project Gutenberg: Tom Swift and… “His Airship”, “His Motor-Cycle”, “His Submarine”, “The Visitor From Planet X”. I can’t wait to read the Planet X story! I didn’t really notice, but you’re right, the too-long grass and the seedy hedges are a detriment. It’s a shame to let those things go since it hurts the overall ride.

Melissa, Cherry Ames sounds like a badass! I’ve never heard of her, but then again, she’s probably never heard of me either. She should read my book, “It Turns Out Bathing Isn’t So Bad After All”.

Lou and Sue, I suppose those landscaping problems are miniature versions of the other full-scale problems that Huck did not like at DLP. As you can see from his comment, he was not very pleased with the place in general. It hurts to see so much effort put into a park, only to be let down by the people who are charged with maintaining it.

DrGoat said...

All you Tom Swift fans, the set I have (yes, I had to dig them out), is about 23 of the books. I remember I used to buy them at the local book store. They came in yellow and blue. I tried to keep my set consistent so I always looked for the yellow ones. I had to buy a blue one or two because I needed them but they only had them in blue. It came back to me when I was pulling them out of the box. Made me chuckle remembering it. I think my favorite was Tom Swift and his Giant Robot, of course. Great cover.
Major, I'll send you a pic via email tomorrow.

zach said...

Major! I haven't thought of Mike Mulligan for years! It was my son's favorite book and I read it over and over 40 years ago. I get teary eyed thinking about Mike and Mary Ann with their corners 'neat and square.'

I went from Hardy Boys to Rick Brant to Heinlein to Thomas Hardy in HS, then Tolkien, Wouk, Michener and then it was off to the races. I just downloaded The Count of Monte Cristo. I'm going to have to try Tom Swift. And I agree, it's the originals that I enjoy, not the updated to hip, cool kids.

Read on, friends



The depiction of OZ in DLP’s Storybook Canal is not based on the 80’s Disney film but the plans for the Disneyland OZ area designed in the 1950’s for Disneyland California’s Storybook Canal in conjunction with the 1950’s /60’s musical film “The Rainbow Road to Oz” that was next filmed and the project took back seat to Babes In Toyland movie.

The entire OZ storybook canal addition was designed - and Blaine Gibson sculpted all the figures as guests boats enter into the Wizard’s Palace as Emerald City celebrates Ozma’s birthday.

The paris Oz scene dies use the 1980’s film music “The Emerald City Grand March Rag” , but uses the track for the Return to Oz Electrical Parade float music .

I’m not sure what the miniature figure references are from.


I guess the miniature OZ Storybook land figures are based on Return To Oz film.

Major Pepperidge said...

DrGoat, I sure am learning a lot about Tom Swift! I hope that the first book I read lives up to the hype! It’s usually not a good idea to go in with high expectations for anything. “Tom Swift and his Giant Robot” sounds pretty awesome!

zach, yeah, Mike Mulligan is one of those stories I must have read 50 times as a kid. I loved the illustrations too, looking like they were done with lithographic crayon or something very textury. So great. “Rich Brant”, that’s not a name I know at all. And I am ashamed to admit that I have not read any Alexander Dumas stories either, yet another blind spot.

Mike Cozart, I do seem to remember that there was supposed to be some sort of OZ tableau for Storybook Land - isn’t that the famous one with the candy that got eaten by birds? I might have even seen a photo of it, maybe with Harriet Burns. I don’t remember “The Rainbow Road to Oz”, is that an animated film? Non-Disney of course.

Mike Cozart, I definitely recognized the figures as being from Return to Oz, but wasn’t so sure about the buildings.


RAINBOW ROAD TO OZ was going to be a live action Disney film. Walt Disney did a special episode of the Mickey Mouse Club that previewed songs and characters from the film going into production. Walt Disney has JUST purchased the rights to ALL the OZ stories ( except The Wonderful Wizard of Oz ... MGM owned .

Annette Funicello was to play OZMA ...... but Disney put a hold on the OZ musical and focused on BABES IN TOYLAND ...where Annette played Mary Quite Contrary .

I have a feeling that modern versions of the OZ stories done in the victorian book version similar to RETURN TO OZ would do well today. But Disney is just gonna redoing SPIDER-MAN every 8 months .