Sleeping Beauty Castle is modeled after several European structures. You can see elements of the Château d’Ussé, Neuschwanstein Castle, the Hospices de Beaune, and it’s really obvious I’m just copypastaing Wikipedia now, isn’t it? Sorry, I’ll stop it.
The castle is a mere 77 feet tall, but again forced perspective was utilized to make it appear larger. This technique is also commonly used in Tom Cruise movies.
The castle houses a small walkthrough attraction featuring Eyvind Earle- inspired dioramas that tell the basic storyline of Sleeping Beauty (much like how the castle at Walt Disney World has mosaics depicting basic story elements from Cinderella).
This little area to the side of the castle is called “Snow White Grotto.” It has a bit of an interesting history. The story goes that they were donated anonymously to the park, but the sculptor made the Snow White statue the same size as the dwarves. Forced perspective was again used to trick the eye into thinking Snow White was larger.
This profile view of the castle should illustrate the inherent dangers of utilizing forced perspective – it is extremely difficult to make it work from every angle.
Let’s start off by journeying into Adventureland.
First thing you encounter is Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. This attraction holds a special place in history as it was the first attraction to utilize Audio-Animatronics.
Before going in, though, you need to hit the Dole Whip stand that conveniently has a counter on the inside (so you can order while you’re actually waiting to get in). If you have not yet accepted the magic of Dole Whips into your life, I feel bad for you.
Just in case you’ve never been in the Tiki Room (I have it on good authority that these poor bastards exist), it’s a simple show where a room full of birds sing at you. No seat belts are necessary. It’s just a cute show. I’m naturally a cynic, but I still love the thing.
If we were on the Jungle Cruise, this would be the “backside of the Tiki Room.“
The actual design of Adventureland isn’t meant to parrot any one particular place. It’s a mix of Africa, South America, Asia, with a bit of the South Pacific.
The E-ticket attraction in Adventureland is the Indiana Jones Adventure (Temple of the Forbidden Eye). This attraction utilizes Enhanced Motion Vehicles to send guests on a tour through an ancient temple in search of the missing main character.
It’s a fun ride, but I have to admit I was somewhat confused by the actual storyline. There’s just a hell of a lot going on in there, and I was almost certainly a victim of sensory overload. Sadly, the popularity of the ride makes re-riding a massive investment of time and I wasn’t willing to make that commitment. Most folks prefer this over Animal Kingdom’s very similar Dinosaur attraction, but I have to at least commend the Dinosaur ride for having a simpler, more cohesive narrative.
On to the Jungle Cruise!
The Jungle Cruise simulates a guided adventure down the rivers of Africa, Asia, and South America. If you’re wondering how that sort of expedition could physically be possible, you should repeat to yourself “It’s just a ride. I should really just relax.”
I don’t know if this is part of the Jungle Cruise or theming for the Indiana Jones ride. We took it in the outdoor queue area for Indiana Jones, but it was on the other side of the Jungle Cruise’s river. Either way, here’s a picture of a monkey idol. You’re welcome.
Lots of pictures of audio animatronic animals on the Jungle Cruise coming up (now I must display my ignorance. If Jungle Cruise has audio-animatronics, and it opened eight years before the Enchanted Tiki Room, why is the Tiki Room credited as utilizing the first audio-animatronics? I swear, if you can’t trust the dedicated scholars at Wikipedia to get these details straight, who can you trust?