Wednesday, April 14, 2021

More Disneyland Paris from Huck

Here are more photos from our pal Huck Caton, from his 2016 visit to Disneyland Paris! All of these are from "Alice's Curious Labyrinth". 

I've always liked the strange creatures from the Tulgey Wood, including the bread-and-butterflies, rubber-bulb car horn "ducks", the "spectacle bird" (my name for him), umbrella-bodied vultures, and "toolie birds" such as this hammer-headed individual. 

My favorite character from the 1951 "Alice" movie is the Cheshire Cat, with his insane grin, his purple and pink stripes, and his habit of vanishing, leaving only a floating smile and pair of eyeballs.

Say! There's those car horn duck thingamajigs now! They're bigger than I expected. Looks like Disneyland Paris could invest in a power washer.

The hookah-smoking Caterpillar is a pretty great character too, he's right up there with the Cheshire Cat in my book. His curled slippers look mighty comfy. The giant leaves look just like the examples seen outside the "Alice" ride in Anaheim going back to 1958. 

I believe that this owl is another denizen from the Tulgey Wood - he has an accordion neck. I wonder if this maze figure's neck expanded and retracted?

At the center of the labyrinth is this large floral portrait of the Cheshire Cat himself, complete with moving googly eyes. I made an animated gif from two consecutive photos so that you can see for yourself.

THANKS to Huck Caton! There will be one more installment, coming when you least expect it.


Nanook said...

Some pretty-wonderful stuff, in spite of some 'upkeep issues'.

Thanks, Huck.

Melissa said...

It’s a goose-necked owl!

TokyoMagic! said...

One side will make you grow taller....and the other side will make you grow shorter.

Andrew said...

I just listened to a podcast where some people who have been to all the Disney parks ranked them, and DLP was #3. Animal Kingdom was #5, original DL #4, with #2 and #1 being Tokyo DisneySea and Shanghai, respectively. I thought that was pretty interesting, even knowing that I might never get to some of them.

I like the Caucus Race tune. Thanks, Huck and Major.

K. Martinez said...

Very nice pics, Huck. Thanks for sharing.

Pegleg Pete said...

Nice pics today – thanks, Major and Huck. Those clouds look a bit ominous! At least the Paris park has a covered walkway which leads from the back of Fantasyland all the way to the entrance, so when it does rain (or snow), one can cross the park without getting wet.

JG said...

This looks like a fun attraction, I would welcome it, if I didn't have to give up anything else to have it.

The Maze is somewhat reminiscent of the "pre-show" elements at the Haunted Mansion or even Big Thunder. Weren't some of the Tulgey characters eventually added (in smaller versions) on the Disneyland Alice exterior? I know the Cat is there, but I seem to remember some birds too.

Those characters (other than the Cat and Caterpillar) are pure Disney, as far as I know, I don't recall anything like them in the books?

Major, thanks for posting these, especially the "extra credit" gif. Thanks to Huck too for sharing with us.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yes, Huck had mentioned the upkeep issues in his original email to me; I think somebody mentioned (in GDB comments) that work had been done to improve some problems, I hope that’s true.

Melissa, I didn’t know geese had accordion necks! ;-)

TokyoMagic!, but which side is which??

Andrew, it seems pretty amazing to me that those people would rank the original Disneyland below DLP, but of course I am biased (and haven’t been to those other parks)! I assume Hong Kong Disneyland must have been even lower on the list? And what about the Magic Kingdom, or DCA, EPCOT, etc?

K. Martinez, there’s more to come, and who knows, Huck might find another stack of photos - which would be cool.

Pegleg Pete, I’m sure that rain is just something that comes with the territory (literally) at DLP. Interesting about the covered walkway; I’d hate to leave just because of some rain, but if it was a real downpour, I suppose it wouldn’t be much fun sticking around.

JG, I get a nagging feeling that the maze was built because it was relatively inexpensive, as opposed to a ride. That doesn’t mean that the maze isn’t fun, but I wonder about how often a repeat visitor would want to experience it. I’ll have to look for videos on YouTube, maybe there are features (sound, movement) that don’t translate in still images. I think the dodo (visible in the animated gif) is in the original book, but doubt that there is a hammerheaded bird and such.

Anonymous said...

I just watched (part) of a video on the Labyrinth. The props do have VERY limited motion. Really not even enough to justify doing it in my opinion. The caterpillar sprouts "smoke", which is nice. Still the overall effect was...well...boring. In fact, I turned it off. So, there may be some bang-up effect that I missed, but I doubt it. Also, some of the hedges seem pretty easy to look through, which was surprising. Probably the best part was the background music from the movie. All in all, I'd say a swing and a miss, although it could be "plussed" into something interesting...

Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, yeah that sounds about like what I expected; I thought it might be possible that there was one especially great surprise or effect, but it doesn't seem like it. I'm all for simple effects like the smoke from the caterpillar, or maybe some water effects and features. It would be neat to make it sort of like an outdoor funhouse, with trick floors that move, tunnels that spin, things like that. Why didn't they pay me ten million dollars? I could have given them so many ideas!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'd pay you Major! Let's see...I've got (rummages through pocket) a buck thirty in change and a cough drop!
But yeah, the outdoor funhouse concept would be SO much cooler!
Oh well...

JG said...

Major, I didn't see the Dodo there, but now I do. I just meant the weird birds with hammers and concertinas etc. being all Disney creations. I just went back to re-read the book after a recent post on the ride. It's a very weird book. Now, is the movie available on Disney Plus? It is one of my favorites, I think because of Mary Blair's influence is so noticeable.

I think the maze would make a great pre-show queue for Alice, if there was room, perhaps as Tokyo says take a bite from one side or the other until it fits. But it is a pretty thin concept for a stand-alone attraction.


Melissa said...

@Andrew, I’ve cone to accept that I’ll never make it to Tokyo Disneyland/Disneysea, but it will always be a huge regret!


I know I’ve mentioned this before , but there was a proposal to possibly bring the hedge maze to Disneyland in the early 90’s ....about where the motorboat Cruise dock was. The space would have been made available as preparation for TOMORROW 2055 construction ....but everything changed when it was decided to do the “indy” attraction before new Tomorrowland .... then some of the money for new Tomorrowland was given to Fantasmic . I’d love if Tomorrowland 2055 happened ,but I wouldn’t want the Monorail shortened for the hedgemaze .

The Japanese LOVE Disney’s 1951 Alice in wonderland and the Queen’s Royal Banquet Restaurant actually began as a proposal for a Alice in wonderland expansion area to Tokyo Disneyland’s Fantasyland. The addition evolved into a indoor area maze and a mad hatters indoor “Nite” tea - desert restaurant. Tokyo management decided against the hedgemaze all together because of the problem of guest movement etc. but the indoor tea and desert idea get getting bigger and more elaborate to the large restaurant that ultimately opened.

In early planning for WDWs “new” fantasyland - now almost 10 years old there was a whole indoor Alice in wonderland themed area that relocated the mad tea party indoors , a new hedgemaze , a dark ride thru and two shops and a restaurant - the restaurant and retail could be accessed from inside and exterior entrances but the attractions were only inside a Nite time Alice setting . All of this was abandoned in favor of focusing on just the princes themes .

Shanghai’s Alice in wonderland maze is themed to the Tim Burton live action film. The Chinese were not aware of either versions of the Disney Alice movies ..... even Mickey and Minnie were mostly unknown.

Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, I could use that cough drop! I hope it’s wild cherry, my favorite. The more I think about it, the more a “mad” funhouse with an Alice theme appeals to me.

JG, yes, I knew what you meant, I am reasonably sure that those birds and other critters were invented by Disney artists. I’ve never read the original Lewis Carroll books, however, so I am speaking from ignorance! I’ve heard that a lot of the nonsense is political satire, which doesn’t sound that interesting. And you aren’t kidding, that movie is possibly the most “Mary Blair” of all, even though she worked on “Peter Pan” and “Cinderella” too. I do like the idea of a maze as a pre-show queue, since the theme is consistent with the movie.

Melissa, I haven’t given up hope - I’d like to go there more than DLP, frankly.

Mike Cozart, I’m OK with the idea of a hedge maze where the old Motorboat Cruise used to be, especially since it wasn’t used for anything but a smoking spot for years and years. Better to have something there than nothing. The story of the idea going away because some other idea needed the money seems to be a common one. And yes, I wouldn’t want the Monorail shortened either! I’m rather surprised that no other park has tried to do a new, updated Alice dark ride, with cool technology and ideas. The bright psychedelic colors and strange sounds could really make for a wild experience! Ugh, those princess themes. Moneymakers, I guess, and parents love to see their little girls with Pocahontas, Ariel, Aurora, etcetera, but otherwise they don’t add much for other guests. Whoa, there’s a Tim Burton “Alice” maze in Shanghai? I don’t love that movie, but that sounds very weird.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I love seeing those giant, colorful leaves! Recently, I saw a couple of the old Disneyland-Alice-in-Wonderland-ride leaves for sale - and would love to own one or two - but really have no place for them, in my little house. I guess you could stick them in your backyard, but they WOULD disappear, in my neighborhood.

In the picture with the owl - does anyone know what type of plant is "pouring out" of that tree? I don't think I've ever seen a plant like that.

Huck (and Major), thank you for sharing more of your Disneyland Paris pictures - I'm really enjoying them (and all the info from everyone)!