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Alice in Walt Disney World
Page 1 of 1

by Marc Spignese
July 23, 2001
A look at how Alice in Wonderland is represented in Walt Disney World.

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The entrance to Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Walt Disney World

When it came time to build Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, the Imagineers had to decide which Disneyland attractions would make the trip to Florida. However, in building an East Coast Magic Kingdom, the designers did not merely want to copy what had been done in California. They wanted to give each transplanted attraction it's own unique "spin" - maybe even improve on them. The Mad Tea Party is one such attraction.

The larger size of Florida's Fantasyland meant the teacups did not have to be squeezed in right next to the carrousel. In fact, the Mad Tea Party was built in the far corner of the area, on the border of Tomorrowland.

One of the problems with the California attraction is that it must be closed whenever it rains. Since rain is far more common in Florida, this problem constituted a major design flaw. However a solution was quickly found. The attraction is surrounded by a short brick wall and covered by an ornate roof. These modifications not only made the attraction more attractive then Disneyland's 1971 version, but also made it practically weather proof.

Early concept art for Disneyland's Mad Tea Party shows a teapot with the Mad Hatter and March Hare perched on top set in the center of the spinning cups. It was cut from the Disneyland version - probably for budget reasons. But when they were building the Magic Kingdom, they had more money to work with and were able to include the teapot. However, instead of the Mad Hatter and March Hare, the Door Mouse pops up from inside and then sinks back down again. It makes a very clever and charming addition to this classic attraction.

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The Door Mouse peeks at the guests

A few years ago, an Alice topiary tableaux of the mad tea party scene from the movie was added right next to the teacup attraction. They also added a few of the distinctive fiberglass pastel leaves that adorn Disneyland's Alice in Wonderland dark ride. They provide a nice tie-in with the Alice area in Disneyland.

Although Alice in Wonderland's Florida presence is not as strongly felt as in the other Magic Kingdoms, the experience still leaves an indelible impression.

Alice fans visiting Walt Disney World can also find the characters meeting guests at the United Kingdom pavilion at Epcot.

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-- Posted July 23, 2001
-- Story by Marc Spignese
-- Pictures by Rebekah and Doobie Moseley

 

 

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