The Storybook Land Canal Boats is a Disneyland attraction. Passengers board a leisurely-paced outdoor boat excursion down a winding canal filled with tiny sets from Disney animated flicks. Although the small buildings and landscaping were not built until the following year, the Disneyland version was one of the park’s original attractions when it debuted on July 17, 1955.
Passengers enter the attraction via a chain queue that wraps around the loading dock. When Disneyland required tickets to ride individual attractions, a lighthouse at the queue’s entrance served as a ticket booth. Originally, Storybook Land Canal Boats required a “D” coupon.
The motor-driven boats are miniature copies of Dutch, English, and French vessels. Except for Flower (retired), the male skunk from Bambi, all of the boats are named after female Disney characters. Passengers are placed along the boat’s edges, facing inward, while youngsters are occasionally allowed to ride on the front flat area of the boat. A costumed guide narrates the voyage from just above the passengers on the back of the boat, positioned over the engine housing.
After leaving the dock, the boat sails through a small tunnel modeled after Monstro, the whale that devoured Pinocchio. Monstro is partially animated: his eye opens and closes, and steam occasionally emerges from his blow hole.
The canals leading up to the Monstro cave are beautifully manicured with small trees and bushes. Along the banks are miniature buildings that resemble the residences of Disney animated film characters, however not all of the locales were actually featured in film. While there are no physical characters in the attraction, several of the locations include sound recordings of actors singing.
The canal holds 465,000 gallons of water, which runs through underground pipes to the moat surrounding Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Jungle Cruise, and the Rivers of America before being pumped back to Storybook Land.
The 13 boats at the attraction are propelled by electric inboard engines. They are kept in a boathouse hidden behind the waterfall that houses Triton’s Castle when not in use.
The Storybook Land houses have six-inch doors and quarter-inch hinges that open and close, allowing Disneyland electricians to change the lightbulbs.
Among the miniature settings are:
- The dwellings of the Three Little Pigs
- Alice in Wonderland’s English village, complete with a church and the entrance to the White Rabbit’s hole.
- Peter Pan’s London Park
- The Aladdin Sultan’s Palace
- The Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders
- From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the dwarfs’ cottage and mine
- Cinderella’s French countryside village, complete with a gold-spired castle
- The Lullaby Land patchwork quilt
- Toad Hall from Ichabod and Mr. Toad Village of Arendelle from Frozen, with Anna and Elsa’s castle, Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, and Elsa’s ice palace
- Pinocchio’s Cobblestone Alpine Village with Geppetto’s Wood Shop
- The Little Mermaid’s Prince Eric’s coastal castle
- The Little Mermaid’s underwater castle, partially hidden beneath a waterfall.
Next Point of Interest: Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island