Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Vault Disney ~ August 14

On This Day in Disney History ~ August 14, 1958:

Disneyland, Fantasyland poster

Official dedication of Disneyland's Alice in Wonderland dark ride takes place with a ceremony hosted by Walt Disney himself and Mouseketeer Karen Pendleton - dressed as Alice.

Alice in Wonderland is a dark ride in Fantasyland at Disneyland park. Based on the animated Disney adaptation of the same name, the attraction resides next to a second ride, the Mad Tea Party, based on a scene in that same adaptation. The presence of two rides based on the film is unusual in that Walt Disney said he regretted making it because it lacked a connection to the audience's hearts.

The ride follows the path of the movie, as the riders (as Alice) follow the White Rabbit down the Rabbit Hole into Wonderland. They spin through scenes in a madcap fashion, dodging absurd creatures in the Tulgey Wood with some questionable guidance from the Cheshire Cat. When the Queen of Hearts loses to Alice at croquet, she threatens to chop off the innocent girl's head as she (and the ride vehicles) push their way through brigades of playing cards.

The vehicles then leave the ride building's second floor (a rare occurrence in a non-thrill ride at a Disney park) and descends by people waiting in line on a winding giant vine, before heading to the climactic scene at the Mad Tea Party. The White Rabbit quivers as a giant unbirthday cake with a dynamite candle on top of it explodes and the ride vehicles escape back to where they began.

Alice herself is only seen in the singing flower garden, hidden behind a leaf to the visitors' right.


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