Saturday, January 28, 2012
Fantasyland and the Use of Space
Without small children (unless we are with family that have small children) I have to admit that Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I do not spend a lot of time in Fantasyland anymore with the exceptions of the Matterhorn and it's a small word (two must-do attractions providing they are running). Mostly Fantasyland is a place for us to pass-through. Sometimes I go there early in the morning to take some pictures. Every few years or so, we may, on a slow day attendance wise, hit the Fantasyland rides for old times sake but generally we have no compelling reason to do so.
But there are two spots in Fantasyland that absolutely blow me away for the same reason. Go up to the little patio area adjacent to the Casey Junior Circus Train and look down towards the Matterhorn or take a look around the next time you are standing in line to get on the Tea Cups or Alice. From those place, how many rides can you count that are in your line of sight? Disneyland is space challenged. Fantasyland is really space challenged within the confines of the castle area but somehow Disney was able to put in a lot of punch in a very small footprint of space.
Think about Alice in Wonderland, a traditional dark ride whose special magic stems from the small design feature that actually elevates most of the ride. Elevates to where? Well, most of the ride runs over the top of Mr. Toad. Talk about using space - two dark rides in one building. Even Walt must of seen opportunities for maximizing space. Casey Junior and Storybookland Canal Boats are both 1955 original rides - two modes of transportation that basically cover the same plot of land. Brilliant.
Of course we are about to run full circle here. Putting so much (and so much whose primary audience is children) in such a small area also put an awful lot of people in a very small area. On a really hot, crowded day, spending time in Fantasyland people dodging is no fun at all which is why I spend very little time there. Did I mention the strollers? Hundreds of em'.