Alice’s Curious Labyrinth (in French, Le Labyrinthe d’Alice: L’Attraction) is a unique attraction that promises a lot of fun in the company of the “ubiquitous” Cheshire Cat. And the best part? You’ll never have the real feeling of getting lost, thanks to an ingenious model by Adrian Fisher, a renowned labyrinth designer.
Here, you’ll experience the story of “Alice in Wonderland” (1951), a classic inspired by Lewis Carroll‘s children’s fiction books: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (1865) and its sequel “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There” (1871).
Why does the White Rabbit seem so rushed and worried? You’ll have to enter a vegetable maze of yew trees, privet bushes, and buxus to find out, covering more than 350 meters of paths and trails!
So, do you want to know more about the 20 Secrets Of Alice’s Curious Labyrinth At Disneyland Paris? Keep reading!
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- Inspiration for Alice’s Curious Labyrinth
- 20 Secrets of Alice’s Curious Labyrinth
- 1. One-of-a-kind Attraction
- 2. Tribute to the United Kingdom
- 3. The Largest Walkthrough
- 4. Two Labyrinths
- 5. Catchy Songs
- 6. Tulgey Wood
- 7. Who Are YOU?
- 8. The Caucus Race
- 9. Cheshire Cat
- 10. “Painting the Roses Red”
- 11. Queen of Hearts Maze
- 12. A Colorful Work of Art
- 13. King of Hearts?!
- 14. Details and Views
- 15. A Former Slide!
- 16. Viewpoint Over the Kingdom
- 17. Happy Unbirthday!
- 18. A Sweet Surprise
- 19. The Fun Continues!
- 20. The Perfect Souvenir
- More Posts about Disneyland Paris
- More Posts about Attractions
- What Photography Gear Do I Use?
Inspiration for Alice’s Curious Labyrinth
In my opinion, “Alice in Wonderland” (1951) is one of the best-animated movies ever from Walt Disney Studios. The film producer managed to mix not only an adventure mission in a fantasy world but also to create a characteristic musical environment, which could only result in a fabulous classic!
With regard to Alice’s Curious Labyrinth at Disneyland Paris, it was based on the cartoon’s Wonderland Maze, that is, in the labyrinth garden of the Queen of Hearts. Therefore, it’s located in the Fantasyland of Disneyland Park, the main park in the French entertainment resort.
20 Secrets of Alice’s Curious Labyrinth
Since I started visiting Disneyland Paris more often, I discovered a lot of things about Alice’s Curious Labyrinth. Some were unusual curiosities, other interesting facts, or even original details, just to exemplify. At the same time, my experience as a Cast Member and especially the months I worked at Fantasyland, were ideal for putting together this list of secrets:
1. One-of-a-kind Attraction
Although there is a kind of dark ride called Alice in Wonderland at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim (California, United States), Alice’s Curious Labyrinth is an exclusive Disneyland Paris attraction.
Still, in June 2016, Alice in Wonderland Maze opened at Shanghai Disneyland Park (Shanghai, China). However, the theme of this modern labyrinth is inspired by the new “Alice in Wonderland” (2010), the live-action version of Tim Burton.
2. Tribute to the United Kingdom
Did you know that Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris is geographically organized? There are several countries in Europe portrayed in this “fantasy land”, as many of them served as inspiration for the first films. For example, there are attractions, restaurants, shops, and even characters alluding to France, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands.
The United Kingdom is also honored in Fantasyland, not only behind the Sleeping Beauty Castle with Le Carrousel de Lancelot – a reference to the classic “The Sword and the Stone” (1964) – but also in a farther back section of this thematic area. This is the case with Peter Pan’s Flight and Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups attractions, the Toad Hall Restaurant, Sir Mickey’s Boutique, and other small kiosks and selling points around.
3. The Largest Walkthrough
Alice’s Curious Labyrinth is not a normal amusement park attraction, but a walkthrough. This means that visitors can explore this panoramic and interactive tour with the attention and interest they prefer, and take their time. Therefore, it’s the ideal plan for when waiting lines are long at neighboring attractions or to admire the care that Disney Imagineers have given to details.
Each of Disneyland Park‘s five themed zones includes (at least) one walkthrough, although Alice’s Curious Labyrinth is the largest, most complex, and most interactive of the entire park. In any case, the others I personally recommend are La Cabane des Robinson (in Adventureland), Les Mystères du Nautilus (in Discoveryland), and La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant (in Fantasyland).
4. Two Labyrinths
This giant maze of about 2000 m² is actually made up of two sections.
The first is called Tulgey Wood, like the forest where Alice met many of its “curious” inhabitants. And the second is the Queen of Hearts Maze, the maze itself that inspired this French attraction.
The goal of both is to reach the Queen of Hearts Castle, where a breathtaking panoramic view of the whole Fantasyland awaits you.
But to reach the end, your sense of orientation will be tested, to see if you don’t get lost or end up at one of the many dead ends…
5. Catchy Songs
Along your journey through the various sections of Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, you’ll have the opportunity to listen to excerpts from the movie’s soundtrack, perfectly synchronized with the walkthrough.
These are melodies that are easily heard and it’s funny to hear in different languages, through the mouth of the visitors themselves. In other words, get ready to sing the catchy songs that we all know, like “It’s Late”, “The Unbirthday Song”, or “Painting The Roses Red”!
6. Tulgey Wood
The first part of Tulgey Wood begins as if you were going through the White Rabbit‘s lair to Wonderland, where several signs – in contradictory directions – indicate the supposed correct path. You can even open and venture through the tiny doors that the beginning of the film portrays – even if they’re more suitable for children!
Along the way, you’ll find some of the strange characters that appeared in the animated film making small animations, sounds, and voices: in the beginning, you have one of the Hammer Birds and the Accordion Owl (a little hidden!), and, further on, the Horn Ducks family, with their mother and some of their young.
7. Who Are YOU?
Since Alice’s Curious Labyrinth works in much the same way as a walking tour, the path is full of instagrammable places. One of the first symbolizes the iconic Blue Caterpillar scene, where he asks “Who are YOU?” in French and English while smoking your hookah (water pipe).
If you managed to escape the small jets of water that emerged from the fences and bushes before this photo location, now you may have to wait for your turn with the Blue Caterpillar, as there are always a lot of people ready to capture this moment.
8. The Caucus Race
Right after the statue of the Caterpillar, you’ll notice that you entered the famous Caucus Race, commanded by the Dodo. As the movie mentions, this big circle of animals started with the intention of “drying” its participants from Alice‘s tears (remember the water jets?). The Caucus Race – where no matter how much you run, everyone wins – includes a Pelican, a Parrot, a Toucan, a Starfish, and a Lobster.
As people usually do this route without stopping, it’s likely that few will know of a little trick in the center of the wheel: the Dodo can be controlled by you! To do that, just turn its big blue rock and it unexpectedly starts to rotate counterclockwise, just to make it harder for you to run through more water jerks!
9. Cheshire Cat
And here you finally come to the brand image of Alice’s Curious Labyrinth: the face of the Cheshire Cat, made of flowers and herbs, which are constantly changed according to the season. To get a perfect picture in this very photogenic place, go up the small stairs, in order to gain height over the flower bed.
If you want to prolong your walk, then you can venture into the Cheshire Cat Walk, a more hidden area designed especially for the youngest. This curiosity is not noticeable during a visit to the attraction, but did you know that the Cheshire Cat‘s body is drawn by the trees in this part of the labyrinth? Search aerial images of the area and you’ll see what I mean!
10. “Painting the Roses Red”
The Cheshire Cat Walk ends at a third photographic spot, the scene from the movie in which the three Playing Cards paint the roses red (who doesn’t remember the song?). Despite being a wide area to circulate, a lot of people tend to gather, just like in the Blue Caterpillar‘s spot.
Interestingly, one of the Playing Cards has no head, to serve as a photo stand-in (those photo holders with a hole in the face) for all visitors – unless the Queen of Hearts has already made her thing!
11. Queen of Hearts Maze
Afterward, the Queen of Hearts Maze begins and it may seem a little more complicated – as far as I can tell, there are eight dead ends! In the meantime, be careful where you go and make sure you don’t make too much noise: the Queen of Hearts can suddenly appear and say “cut off your head” (one of my biggest childhood traumas, I confess…)!
The Queen’s Army of Playing Cards also walks around here and two Playing Cards (the Ace of Hearts and the executioner Ace of Spades) are not very… nice. Pay attention to some fences, as these are where these Animatronics come from to fulfill Her Highness‘s death sentence: “Off with their head!” / “Qu’on leur coupe la tête!”. The route also has an arch made of Clubs Cards, with which you can take photos.
12. A Colorful Work of Art
When you arrive at the Queen of Hearts Castle, in the center of the labyrinth, take the opportunity to admire this vivid and fantastic color show, clearly worthy of Wonderland. The painting is fairly recent, after a major restoration work in late 2016, which took about two months.
Since Alice’s Curious Labyrinth is an outdoor attraction, very subject to adverse weather conditions, and dependent on demanding maintenance in terms of landscaping and gardening, Disneyland Paris carries out renovations for two to four weeks, every year.
13. King of Hearts?!
Have you noticed that the arch at the entrance to the Queen of Hearts Castle is in the shape of a heart? Also, if you are facing it, or already too close, you may miss a character hiding in the bluestone wall: the King of Hearts!
The villain’s tiny, docile husband in the movie Alice in Wonderland has arrived to welcome you to the kingdom personally, so don’t forget to bow to him. Unless you realize that it’s all a recreation of the Judgment of Alice from the film, with an Army of Playing Cards that watches you suspiciously!
14. Details and Views
The interior of the Queen of Hearts Castle in Alice’s Curious Labyrinth has several paths available, including access to the tower and the exit of the attraction. Namely, the short flight of stairs to the left takes you to a pink terrace on the first floor, which almost never has people!
Although the lobby itself looks a little empty, it has some details to explore. There’s a large deforming mirror (like those in popular fairs), a Hidden Mickey formed by the stones of the ceiling, as well as a locked door that hides a secret…
15. A Former Slide!
First of all, if you go up the winding staircase of the main tower – with heart-shaped lamps – you’ll arrive at a yellow terrace with another pink tower in the center. Very few know this secret and to discover it, you’ll have to look through the wall, before leaving the blue tower: a SLIDE! Unfortunately, it was disabled shortly after the park opened due to security concerns.
Nowadays, this slide is subtly inserted in the decoration of the Queen of Hearts Castle, being visible from The Old Mill, the mill-shaped snack kiosk. You can also watch it from the rear of Fantasyland, in the children’s attractions area Le Pays des Contes de Fées and Casey Jr. – le Petit Train du Cirque, or even from the Disneyland Railroad, the train that goes around the park.
16. Viewpoint Over the Kingdom
If you climb the yellow tower of the Queen of Hearts Castle, you’ll discover a breathtaking view not only of Fantasyland but also of the rest of Disneyland Park and much more! This is the perfect place for panoramic photographs or to contemplate the busy life in the park.
In fact, if you want a little extra observation challenge, you can look for the top of the following buildings on the horizon:
- Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant (the tallest attraction in Fantasyland)
- Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain (the tallest attraction in Discoveryland)
- Big Thunder Mountain (the tallest attraction in Frontierland)
- La Cabane des Robinson (the tallest attraction in Adventureland)
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (the tallest attraction in the entire Disneyland Paris resort!)
- RC Racer (only the most attentive can find the famous orange ramp from Hot Wheels!)
- Disneyland Hotel (just behind the Sleeping Beauty Castle)
- Panoramagique (if you’re very lucky, you can catch this hot air balloon from Disney Village in the air!)
17. Happy Unbirthday!
Congratulations, you’ve managed to go through Alice’s Curious Labyrinth in its entirety! Do you need a drink?
This walkthrough’s exit takes you directly to an “Unbirthday Party” – who knows, yours? – organized by the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse.
Therefore, you can sit at the table of this extravagant tea party, for a few laughable pictures. There are two big chairs that are faithful reproductions of the movie, but they normally have waiting lines for the photoshoots.
18. A Sweet Surprise
If you’re a big fan of “Alice in Wonderland”, you’ll love discovering the number of elements that Disneyland Paris created in Fantasyland, in tribute to this animated movie! Alice’s Curious Labyrinth ends right in front of the March Hare Refreshments, a snack kiosk that mimics the home from the animated classic.
Within the theme of “foods and drinks”, they serve all kinds of hot drinks, in addition to delicious crepes, dry cakes, or ice cream (in summer). Eventually, if the weather is inviting, take advantage of the colorful terrace, which includes a steaming teapot. At first, the smoke may seem like a simple decorative effect, until the lid of the teapot lifts and exposes a small sleepyhead!
19. The Fun Continues!
It shows that the Disney Imagineers involved in the creation of Fantasyland had a special affection for this movie.
In the same way that there’s a walkthrough dedicated to Alice and a refreshment house of the March Hare, it’s normal that the Mad Hatter also received his dose of the protagonist.
Onboard crazy and unruly teacups, this is certainly the best way to continue the fun!
20. The Perfect Souvenir
Fantasyland‘s shops, kiosks, and outdoor selling points have numerous objects from the Alice in Wonderland universe that you can take home. Among them, you’ll find pins, mugs, accessories, school supplies, soft toys, etc. On the other hand, I have a much more interesting and special suggestion…
How about a photo with the movie’s protagonists? There are lots of photo locations around here where you can meet Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, and even Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. If you’re looking for more information, check out my complete guide on how and where to find characters at Disneyland Paris.
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