Disney has just released the big blockbuster movie “Oz the Great and Powerful”, a prequel to the original books by L. Frank Baum.
Walt Disney had a big fascination for the stories about Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Wizard and all the other Oz characters. He loved them so much, he bought the rights to the books in the late fifties to make a movie called “The Rainbow Road to Oz”.
This concept eventually fell through and when the Storybook Land Canal Boats for the original Disneyland in California was being designed, an elaborate scene with scenes from the world of Oz would have been placed inside a giant mountain made out of candy.
These plans as well fell through and were replaced by scenes from Walt’s famous animated movies like Pinocchio, Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
When Disneyland Paris opened in 1992, it became clear that the park needed added capacity. Plans for a large expansion behind Fantasyland Station were quickly abandoned and replaced by two attractions: Casey Jr Le Petit Train du Cirque and Le Pays des Contes de Fées, the French counterpart of Disneyland’s Storybook Land Canal Boats.
Although this version is shorter than its American cousin and does not feature a Cast Member in each boat telling the stories of the miniature scenes, the Paris version did get one thing Walt Disney always had in mind to add to this ride: the wonderful world of Oz!
Le Pays des Contes de Fées concludes with a scene representing the castle from the Wicked Witch of the West and Esmerald City, based on Disney’s 1985 movie Return to Oz. Miniature figures of Dorothy and Toto, the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow can be seen overlooking the banks of the Story Book Land canal. A figurine of Tiktok, one of the 1985’s movie characters has been missing for years.
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