I’m not really sure why this is, but for years, and I mean YEARS, I totally avoided the Storybook Land Canal Boats. When I was really little I was afraid of the whale, but when I was in older (high school) I just thought it was lame. In fact, I thought it was the lamest ride in Disneyland. I’m really not clear where all that vitriol came from, because now that I’ve ridden it again I find it quite charming.
The Storybook Land Canal Boats is a guided tour through various Disney story locations created in miniature. You get to ride on a boat and be disproportionately huge compared to the recreations.
Maybe I’ve just developed a greater appreciation for miniature things after several visits to the most amazing model railroad layout in the universe, Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany. It’s beyond remarkable. I’m serious–you have to watch this video. I could spend a week there. And it’s funny as hell too.
Anyway, Storybook Canals. So the attraction is denoted by the floral signage on a small hill.
Park your stroller by the giant lighthouse
At this point on this particular visit, Theo was getting very wiped out. He did get to ride his preferred method of transportation
"Daddy head! Daddy head!"
But his energy was seriously flagging.
You all climb aboard a boat, and this is one of the few rides where not only can you sit however you like with no restraints, you can actually sit ON the vehicle rather than in it, if you choose. Theo thought that was a great idea for about 0.2 seconds and then he flipped out.
We hadn't even started moving yet
Your cruise director also sits rather haphazardly on the boat as well.
Our cruise director, Julie!
You then go through the mouth of a whale, which doesn’t look in the least bit realistic, but when I was little looked very menacing and scary.
Not as menacing as Monstro from Pinocchio, but close.
Once you get through the whale, you start to see little scenes from various stories, like this one.
I totally can't remember what this one is
It’s also a ride that’s difficult to photograph.
I do remember this one is Aladdin’s lamp.
The Storybook Canals are actually really connected to Casey Jr.’s railroad, mainly because on Casey Jr. you travel right past most of the Storybook Land.
Casey Jr. comin' round the track
The princesses are very highly represented here.
I definitely recognize this one--Sleeping Beauty!
Can't remember what this one is though
Ariel’s post-ocean life is also displayed. I don’t recall ever seeing a good view of Prince Eric’s castle, but honestly I haven’t seen the movie in a LONG time, even though we own it.
Out of the sea
You even get to see King Triton under the sea!
It's like a castle but it's under water
And those are pretty much all of the pictures that turned out even remotely good. Did I mention this one’s a tough one to photograph? Also, I think it looks like an entirely different ride in the daylight. The little lights and stuff were very cool, but I’ll have to go back during the day and shoot it again.
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I too was terrified of the whale when I was small and would refuse to go on this ride. It was one of my mom’s favorites though and I was “forced” to accompany her at least 2 times. I have very little memory of it.
For years this was one of the last remaining sexist attractions in the park. Up until about fifteen years ago, there were no female Jungle Cruise Skippers and there were no male canal boat narrators. Now the gender barrier has finally been broken in the Storybook land canal boats. I still relish the times I get to cruise with a female Skipper on the Jungle Cruise and even though I have seen male narrators working the attraction, I have not yet had the pleasure of a male narrator.
Regardless, this has come to be one of my favorite attractions in the entire park, because Storybook land, along with the Jungle Cruise, is an attraction that allows the cast member operators to actually contribute to and participate in the attraction. Other guest participatory attractions are the carousel theater shows in Tomorrowland and any mode of transportation down main street. The explorer canoes are participatory, but those are rarely, if ever, run any more.
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I had a funny experience on this ride. There was a family of international guests (I forget exactly where they were from) with two little kids who wanted to sit on the front of the boat. The tour guide told them they had to sit “criss cross applesauce” and the kids (and their parents) had no idea what that meant. For some reason, the guide refused to say it another way, and just kept repeating “criss cross applesauce” over and over again, as the family look increasingly confused. Eventually they just pulled their kids off the front of the boat. I don’t really get why the guide couldn’t have said “with your legs crossed”…
Thank you for that post. I never remember the line,”cross cross applesauce” when discussing the attraction, and I have never heard it used anywhere else in any other context. I always knew it as “cross legged,” yet every time I ride the canal boats and I see a skipper use that phrase, the kids always seem to understand exactly what is meant. If a skipper has suggested that I sit, “criss cross applesauce,” I would have been as dumbfounded as Justin’s boat companions.
That castle is actually Cinderella, not Sleeping Beauty.