October 13, 2014

Villains in Vogue: Tokyo Disney's Mystery Tour

Disney villains are always in vogue. At Tokyo Disneyland, there was a tour of Cinderella Castle celebrating the dark side of the animated films: The Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour.

It wasn't quite an opening day attraction, as it debuted in 1986, but it was quite popular with the crowds that wanted to explore the heights and depths of the beautiful structure at the center of the park. In fact, it was the first castle to feature an attraction since the opening of the Sleeping Beauty Castle walk through at the original Disneyland. It's popularity may also have played a part in an expanded series of rooms designed to be explored at Disneyland Paris.

This full color attraction poster gives a pretty good hint as to what's involved. The walking tour is full of mystery as it journeys through the castle. It concludes with a terrifying encounter with the Horned King from The Black Cauldron, Disney's darkest and most sinister animated film to date. Of course, since this is Disney, a guest is chosen to defeat the monarch... to much fanfare from the crowd.

Being Disney in the new century where princesses are king, the Castle Tour was closed in 1986 and a sanitized, friendly princess focused Cinderella's Fairy Tale Hall debuted soon after. 

Make sure to click on this image and blow it up in an incredibly large and beautifully articulated form! (Thanks to my friend, Len, for the gift of the image.)

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I did do this tour. Unfortunately it was not in English so what they were saying is beyond explanation. It was fun to walk through the castle though. The stair wells and show spaces were cramped and if you had to exit fast it might be a problem. A fun tour in the end.

Mark Taft said...

Thanks for sharing that info! And thanks for reading!

Len said...

This was the first attraction I did when I arrived in Tokyo DL back in 2002. I remember being surprised by the use of the Horn King as the main villain. I guess The Black Cauldron had a better reception in Japan then it did in the states. Glad you were able to make use of that image Mark!

Mark Taft said...

I'll look forward to the rest of them- when you get a chance.

Mark Taft said...

I'll look forward to the rest of them- when you get a chance.