It was pretty much my destiny to love Walt Disney’s animated feature Alice in Wonderland, seeing as how I was born on the 32nd anniversary of it’s original theatrical release. However, being born on July 28th is not the only reason that I feel a deep connection with this animated classic. Growing up, I was enthralled with the utter whimsy, imagination, and absurdity of the film – so much so that my parents remind me I wore out two Beta Max tapes! As a young adult, I took to the written story of Alice, even though it wouldn’t be until my mid-twenties that I truly understood the depth of Carroll’s writing and wit. And now in my thirties and a member of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, I have Alice to thank for the many interesting Carrollians I have met.
So needless to say, when offered the opportunity to imagine my own attraction for a Disney theme park, Alice in Wonderland was the obvious choice! Yes, yes…I know there is already an Alice in Wonderland dark ride in Disneyland. But just like the song “World of My Own” (from the animated Alice in Wonderland), my world would be a Wonderland.
Blue Sky Daydreaming:
Imagine, if you will, having a wonderful time in the warm Florida sunshine at Walt Disney World‘s Fantasyland. The smell of fresh, salty popcorn permeates the air, children of all ages are running about with wide smiles, and the tinkling tones of princess themed music from Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel can be heard above the laughter of the crowd. Suddenly, the spacious courtyard becomes cast in shadow and an absurd forest lies in wait. The Tulgey Woods provides the entrance to the expansive world of Alice in Wonderland. Complete with tree of bright purple and pink, stepping stones of vivid fushica, and nonsensical signs, favorite Tulgey Wood inhabitants welcome you to explore. Once through the forest that is populated with mop headed mome raths, timpani frogs, and accordion owls, you enter into a marvelous, bright Wonderland of fun and excitement.
- Queen of Hearts Mini-Golf: No visit to Wonderland would be complete without a round of croquet, or in our case miniature golf! Using putters shaped like bright pink flamingos, golfers embark upon 18 holes of curiosity. Wonderlandian characters and scenery offer up obstacles such as; the Queen of Hearts’ playing card soldiers, the never ending jolly caucus race, a bed teeming with young oysters, a reappearing and disappearing Cheshire Cat, and golf holes done in complete miniature as well as larger than life scale. Will you be able to sink the last tricky shot into the White Rabbit’s domain?
- Mad Tea Party: No visit to Wonderland would be complete without stopping for a visit with the Mad Hatter and March Hare. Come fill your bellies and wet your whistles at the Mad Tea Party sit down restaurant. Guests walking in through the cozy thatched roofed cottage facade will have wonder at how Imagineers could hide such a large dining area from outside viewers. Similar to Be Our Guest Restaurant there would be three different themed dining areas. Guests could dine in the Hearts court, Tulgey Woods, or Hatter’s Unbirthday Party. Tables would be themed to the room with either heart, chessboard, or riddle motif. Some of the foods found on the menu would include the Heart court’s infamous jam tarts, tea service selection, and other delicacies with a whimsical flair.
- Down the Rabbit Hole: The main attraction would be some what styled after the Haunted Mansion (go with me here!). Upon entering a rather Victorian looking house, guests encounter the main foyer full of Carrollian Easter eggs. The lights soon dim and the White Rabbit is seen bouncing through the room (projection technology perhaps) exclaiming his tardiness. He makes a dramatic exit through a small door in the wall. Guests enter this door and find themselves in a stretching room (similar to that of the Haunted Mansion). Here the room stretches simulating the guests dissent into Wonderland. On the walls, iconic items from Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole can be seen – chairs, lights, portraits, map, bookshelves, etc. Guests would then exit and board moving tea cups for a wild and zany trip through Wonderland in search of the White Rabbit.
It certainly has been fun to live in my Wonderlandian day dreams and envision what could be done with some Imagineering know-how and lots of pixie dust!! Until then, remember that in June the flowers have a lot to say!
To learn more about Erin and read her recent posts for WDW Radio, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.