Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ride Review: Storybook Land Canal Boat Ride

One of the wondrous things about Disney is how quickly you can be transported to another place. This opportunity to awaken in a new place is very evident in the Storybook Land Canal Boat Ride in Disneyland. This was one of the original rides when Disneyland opened in 1955. The ride has since been updated but it was one of the original rides that Walt Disney himself had imagined.

The ride passengers are seated on small decorative boats at a dock by costumed cast members. Most of the boats are named after female Disney characters. Once the boat leaves the dock, the water path travels toward a large sculptured opening of Monstro the whale from Pinocchio. The boat moves through Monstro’s mouth and into a miniaturized world that is similar to the Lilliputians from Gulliver’s Travels.

The scenery is instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with Disney’s animated classics. There are miniaturized trees and shrubs that landscape Pinocchio's cobblestone village with Geppetto's wood shop, Toad Hall from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, the Sultan’s Palace and the Cave of Wonders from Aladdin, King Triton’s castle from the Little Mermaid. There are also scenes from Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Snow White among others. After traveling through these scenes, the boat returns to the dock where passengers can exit.

If you have the opportunity to visit this ride, the line tends to move slowly as the ride does not hold that many passengers. I can remember traveling there one time thinking that my children who were quite young at the time would love to see the various scenes from familiar movies. One of my children refused to get on the boat since we had to travel through the whale’s mouth. Once through this portion of the ride there are no additional villains or scary moments for children.

The only other option to see this miniaturized village is to board the Casey Junior Circus Train. This ride (featuring an equally slow line) provides a distant view of the village from the cars and cages of the train. This was also an original ride for the Disneyland Park. If the Storyland Canal Boat Ride is not an option, the Casey Junior Train is a good alternative.

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