Monday, March 01, 2010

Riding Through Wonderland

There's a big new Alice in Wonderland movie coming out this weekend. My son is really looking forward to it and I'll probably take him to see it. But besides the 1951 Walt Disney movie, I wouldn't really consider myself a fan of Wonderland. However, I did come up with enough Wonderland related ideas to hold our first theme week here at WWoB.

When it comes to amusement park rides, Disneyland and Walt Disney World's Mad Tea Party ride has been duplicated so many times at other parks, that the term "Teacups" is most often used to describe the ride at any park. At the Disney parks, the popular Scrambler ride was built with cars resembling tea cups and the whole ride was given an Alice in Wonderland theme using the Mad Hatter's Tea Party scene as it's inspiration. East Coasters who have only ever been to Disney's Florida park might be surprised to know that in Disneyland Alice is also the star a very cool dark ride.

The Alice in Wonderland ride is similar to other rides in Fantasyland but for some reason I think of all the Disney storytelling dark rides, Alice in Wonderland really hits the nail on the head! Here's a YouTube video of the ride...as with all ride videos, this video isn't perfect. These rides were built to experience first hand, but the clip does give you a feel for what the ride it like:



While searching for this video I found out about another Alice in Wonderland ride. This one stands at Pleasure Beach Blackpool in England. According to whoever posted this next video, the ride was built in 1961 by the Arrow Dynamics Company after a licencing agreement with Walt Disney Productions. I don't know if that's true or not. The Alice in Wonderland story is in the public domain, and this British ride doesn't seem to borrow much from the Disney film, actually the song playing in the ride sounds an awful lot like "I've Got a Golden Ticket" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (???)

Again, this is an amature video - and half of it is out of focus, but it's neat to see a glimpse into this other Wonderland attraction.

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