While the hubbub (and the traffic) has been circulating around Big Thunder Mountain, there has been another ride that received an upgrade this past year – Alice in Wonderland. I’ve always loved the Alice in Wonderland attraction at Disneyland but hadn’t been on it for quite some time and hadn’t realized that anything other than a regular refurbishment was done. One of the things I loved about it was it was the only dark ride that went “outside” and that made it unique among others of its kind. It’s also the only Alice dark ride among the Disney theme parks. No other theme park pays homage to this classic animated tale in the same way. Winding down the leaf tops toward the final scene with all of its twists and turns was different than any other experience at the park. But recently, Imagineers have sought to improve the guest experience on this classic attraction as well.
After adding temporary safety rails in 2010, Imagineers decided it was time to make the safety rails blend in more seamlessly into the environment. To be sure, to look at scenes with the temporary railing and the new railing, there is a world of difference. I do have to admit to missing the way it used to be with no railing as it often looked as if your caterpillar was about to go off the edge, but can definitely see the need for safety compliance. Imagineers didn’t stop there. New scenes and new technology including animated effects were added to enhance the over five decades old attraction. Falling down the rabbit hole seems even more like the movie than ever before. The poor hedgehog who becomes a croquet ball has even more of a starring role. And animation in other places is used to delightful effect, perhaps most notably in an opening scene with Alice and the White Rabbit. The titular character herself was added to the attraction, not only in animation but as a 3D character in two different places in the ride. The Disney Dose website mentioned that the Fantasyland dark rides at one time were all missing their title characters on purpose since you were supposed to take their place along the journey, but more and more the characters have been added in to each ride with Alice being one of the last to receive this update.
If you get the chance, you should see take a ride with Alice next time you’re at Disneyland park and see for yourself as I did what a difference these enhancements make!
- I took my own video of the ride, but this one on YouTube by Theme Park HD was so good, I thought I would share it instead so you could see the difference between the post and pre-refurbishment.