Extinct Attractions – Alpine Gardens and King Triton’s Garden

Welcome to Extinct Attractions. This week, we’ll be taking a look back at an experience that wasn’t quite an attraction, but did appear labeled on maps, so I’ll be counting it as one today.

Last weekend, the Main Street Electrical Parade, Disneyland Forever, and World of Color all made their reappearance at the Disneyland Resort, and fans were ready for it, especially the Electrical Parade. I visited the parks last Sunday and all of the Electrical Parade merch was already sold out by that morning. It’s wild that a fifty year old parade could still inspire such dedication from fans, but Disney fans do love their nostalgia, so I can’t say that it’s particularly surprising. Today’s featured attraction takes us back to a time before the Electrical Parade existed and the end of a Monsanto classic.

Via Disney Wiki

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Monsanto House of the Future occupied the spot between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland and if you couldn’t tell by the name, was a big part of the Tomorrowland theme. But after about a decade, the attraction became a bit outdated and the house was torn down (though the concrete slab that it was on did not completely disappear).

Via Mickey Mouse Park

In December 1967, the area switched to become a picnic area known as the Alpine Gardens in an attempt to fit in more with the theme of the Matterhorn. At the time, Matterhorn was still a part of Tomorrowland, so the Alpine Gardens stayed a part of that as well. To be honest, there wasn’t too much to the Alpine Gardens other than the picnic tables and a souvenir stand, conveniently named “Souvenir Stand.” Luckily, the scenery was nice in the area, so there was a lot to look at as one strolled through the area or sat down for a nice lunch.

A few years after the gardens opened, there were talks that a theater in the round restaurant would emerge in the spot sometime in the 1970s, similar to the original idea of the Enchanted Tiki Room. However, those plans fell through and the area ultimately stayed as it did for the foreseeable future. A few times, they did try and spice the area up with a couple of character meet and greets and occasional events like Muhammed Ali coming by and doing an autograph signing in 1991 (which really is a pretty wild event to happen at Disneyland).

Via Duchess of Disneyland


The Little Mermaid hit theaters in 1989, becoming an immediate hit and getting the gears turning for Imagineering. It took a bit of time for the representation to hit the parks but after nearly 30 years, the Alpine Gardens closed on August 25, 1995 to get a light overall and become King Triton’s Garden (aka Triton’s Garden) in February 1996.

One of the cool ways that they made the garden unique was to make it more of a water garden. Water would jump over guests and light up at night to really help the experience kind of feel like an above ground version of Ariel’s home. It was just a really interesting pathway through and with the new more fantastical design, the gardens switched to become part of Fantasyland.

Via Wikipedia

What really made the Fantasyland change make sense was that guests could now meet Ariel herself in Ariel’s Grotto, a wonderful shell experience that let you meet Ariel in full mermaid garb. Personally, I don’t think I ever met Ariel there, but I did love walking through King Triton’s Garden as a little kid. I only ever knew King Triton’s Garden because the Alpine Gardens closed before I was born, but I do occasionally miss it since the area is just so barren now, even with Pixie Hollow taking over the Ariel’s Grotto portion on August 17, 2008. Luckily, the King Triton statue found a new home across the esplanade on top of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.

I would love to see some sort of decoration return to the area like the flower gardens that are supposed to replace the rocks in the area, but seem to be lollygagging. Hopefully soon, a true replacement even of just another picnic area would be a perfect new addition to help with all of the crowd issues at Disneyland right now.

Via Build a Better Mouse Trip 

As always, don’t forget to check out my interactive maps of the Disney Parks throughout the years where you can watch or learn more about all the attractions from every Disney park around the world.

Thanks for reading and have a magical day!

Cole Geryak
Cole Geryak is a childless millennial making his way through the world. He has ridden every single ride in Disneyland in one day, all while wearing a shirt and tie. Imagination is his middle name, and his heart truly lies in the parks.