Very happy to be whisked away to Disneyland Paris today with a post from our friend Q, who last chatted with us about the charming Cape Cod area at Tokyo DisneySea. Once again, he brings attention to a spot in the Disney Parks that you might not immediately think to look for. Thanks so much, Q! – e
Let me take you to a place nearly every single guest of Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris passes without soaking in its beauty and romance, as they rush to exciting adventures in the nearby magic kingdom.
Welcome to Fantasia Gardens — another happy place of mine that leaves me captivated — as it sits resplendent in front of the fanciful Victorian ‘Disneyland Hotel’ (Paris) before you pass underneath and head into Disneyland Park.
Whether snow-covered in the coldest parts of the Marne-la-Vallée winters or ablaze in colourful abundance of the spring, Fantasia Gardens is a beautifully landscaped garden with intriguing winding pathways that meander through mini woodlands and ponds. After crossing small stone bridge-ways and walking along the paths nestled amongst the trees, four stunning and romantic gazebos appear.
Sit and relax, people watch, or wait to meet your group or partner for your imminent adventures on the ornate park benches as you relish the natural beauty of the gardens. Grand staircases offer views of the magical landscaping, and the excited guests preparing for their dreams to become reality.
When not frozen in the colder months, trickling streams bubble down rocky waterways and birds bathe in waterfalls as leaves fall gently to the ground below. Fountains spray from the gleaming lake, with the famous Floral Mickey smiling from across the way. The gardens and pathways on the outer edges are often deserted, and perfect for catching a quiet moment of reflection.
At night, Fantasia Gardens turns into an enchanting place, gently lit by elegant cast-iron light poles, and the hundreds of glowing popcorn lights that adorn the Disneyland Hotel, the stunning garden gazebos, and the trees throughout the gardens.
It’s the perfect farewell after experiencing a day in Disneyland.
I visited Disneyland Paris, the jewel of Disney’s Magic Kingdom Parks, in February 2013 and February 2014, and though it didn’t snow during my stay, it was very cold (weather I adore after our brutal Australian summers). Fantasia Gardens wasn’t in full bloom because of the time of year, but even without flowers everywhere, the gardens completely bewitched me. After finding a few other pictures online, I could only imagine basking in the breathtaking beauty of these gardens during a Parisian spring, summer, or autumn.
I would give anything to have a yard big enough to landscape (perhaps with a trickling stream!), along with a gazebo as beautiful as those in the Gardens. It is for sure a Happy Place for me that I remember fondly, always dreaming of the day I can return. When I think of it, view pictures of it, or watch the rare video footage of it, I am overcome with a sense of peace.
At the Gardens, you may be only a few seconds away from entering “worlds of history, discovery and ageless fantasy” but, for me, they are more than their location. They offer their own kind of magic.
Note from Q: for more info on the history of Fantasia Gardens, check out this wonderful piece from Designing Disney.