Let's hop on a boat and dreamily float through Storybook Land! On Disneyland Park's Storybook Land Canal Boats, we gently cruise past miniature versions of iconic storybook tales. Ever dream of seeing a tiny English village from Alice in Wonderland? Well, wait no more. Here you can! During this secret history, we'll hop inside a storybook (I mean, not literally, but ya get it), and explore the tale of Storybook Land Canal Boats.
The Secret History of Storybook Land Canal Boats
The idea of Storybook Land Canal Boats started from Walt Disney's dream of opening a small park across the street from Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Calif. Of course, this park never opened. However, during its early ideas and concept, Walt wanted to include a canal boat ride! (Hence, the idea of Storybook Land Canal Boats was born).
Once plans for this small park were nixed and plans for Disneyland Park were underway, Walt had another idea for a miniature attraction. Inspired by the miniature city of Madurodam in the Netherlands, there was to be a village inside the park. This idea was also nixed due to the lack of technology. Instead, a canal boat ride opened. When the attraction first opened with Disneyland Park on July 17, 1955, it was called Canal Boats of the World.
The ride encountered plenty of problems though. It was never fully landscaped due to time and money, so it earned the nickname "The Mud Bank Ride." The boats were also prone to breaking down, causing even more problems! Only after a couple of months in operation, Canal Boats of the World shut down in September 1955. It didn't take long for the ride to be transformed into Storybook Land Canal Boats. This version opened on June 16, 1956!
While Storybook Land Canal Boats is certainly not the most thrilling ride of Disneyland Park (I usually prefer rides like Indiana Jones Adventure and such), it's a great way to take in the sights of Storybook Land. You can also ride a version of the canal boats in Disneyland Paris!
Storybook Land Canal Boats Fun Facts
- The miniature villages and locations were created on a 1:12 scale!
- You know the giant (or probably miniature compared to the real thing) Monstro that swallows you whole on the ride? This actually came from an idea of a "Monstro the Whale" ride!
- The waterfall on the ride actually hides the storage area for other canal boats.
- The canal contains around 465,000 gallons of water!
- The doors and windows on the buildings of the miniature villages actually open; they gotta change the light bulbs somehow!
- The 12 original boats were named after female Disney characters.
What's your favorite miniature location on Storybook Land Canal Boats? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to check out Storybook Land Canal Boats wait times and more!