“Le Château de la Belle a Bois Dormant” Frank Armitage, 1991
Taking much visual inspiration from Eyvind Earle’s legendary pieces from Sleeping Beauty, this art by artist Frank Armitage sets the stage for Disneyland Paris’ beautifully ornate castle. Designed to add a fairy tale-esque aesthetic to separate it from real-life European castles, Le Château is 1/3 smaller than Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle, and features stunning stained glass windows that depict the story of Sleeping Beauty. Inside are two shops, a gallery space, and La Tanière du Dragon, the cave dwelling of a massive, sleeping animatronic dragon.
Gateway to Fantasy by CetusCetus Via Flickr: Not a fantastic photo technically, but I’m a sucker for any sort of high advantage shot. This shot was taken on Disneyland Paris’ version of Characters In Flight, Panoramagique. It sits at the end of the Disney Village, on the resort lagoon and due to the more compact nature of the Paris resort, it offers stunning views of the parks, resorts and the surrounding area.
Whilst we were up in the air, the winds picked up pretty significantly, cancelling the flights after ours, and giving us a particularly bumpy landing. Much worse than the landing we experienced in a non-tethered balloon. Well worth the 12 Euro price tag though, and something I’d love to do again if I ever got the chance, perhaps at sunset.
In shot is, of course, Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty Castle) with the Pirates of the Caribbean show building directly behind it. To the right is Fantasyland including (from left to right) Dumbo the Flying Elephant with Toad Hall Restaurant behind it, Le Carrousel de Lancelot (Lancelot’s Carousel), the “Meet Mickey Mouse” building with Fantasyland Train Station behind it. Next to that is the Cheshire Cat flower bed in Alice’s Curious Labyrinth and right on the edge of the frame you can see part of the roof of Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups. (I’ve added notes to the photo for guidance)
Parc Disneyland, Disneyland Resort Paris
When the Imagineers set out to bring the classic Haunted Mansion to their new Euro Disneyland park, the project was relocated to Frontierland and, together with the land’s other attractions, created an overarching lore for the area. While the original version was more thematically-driven, Imagineers instead crafted a lush backstory for the mining town of Thunder Mesa and the now-dilapidated Manor that sits on the edge of town. In the iconic ballroom sequence, shown here in art by Fernando Tenedora, the guests are dressed in far more “Wild West” style clothing as they dance the night away. Also visible is the Bride and the Phantom himself, who are at the core of the attraction’s storyline.
A good gathering place is a must for any theme park. Not only are they great for aesthetic purposes, but they’re ideal for rendezvousing with your party as you take off on your theme park adventure. We love a good rendezvous, and the below art, of an ornate clock tower fountain, would be ideal for that. Designed for Euro Disneyland by Imagineer Eddie Sotto, this large focal point would have been located in the Forecourt, in front of the park’s ticketing center. Unfortunately the detail was never built, so for now we’ll have to settle with meeting at the Main Street Gazebo.
Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland Paris is one of the most beautifully designed entry lands in themed entertainment. The attention to detail and the intricacies in every building is a wonder to behold. Here we have an early piece by land lead, Eddie Sotto. The art shows off a more “grand” and plussed look for the Main Street façades in comparison to the original street in Disneyland. For a beautiful tribute into the final façades of Disneyland Paris’ Main Street, check out our friend @main.story on Instagram!
Three years ago, as the first “Hunger Games” movie was breaking box-office records, Jon Feltheimer, the chief executive of Lions Gate Entertainment, asked his lieutenants to investigate ways to turn their hit movie into a Disneyland-style ride. His team thought he might be off his rocker: The film’s titular games involve children killing children for the amusement of a futuristic society.