Monday, August 11, 2014

Unexpected Disney Loves: Gazebos...

We're so thrilled to welcome back our friend and Disney explorer Q! Today he's exploring one of his more unexpected Disney obsessions.  Take it away Q...
  Our love for Disney Parks and the details in them can manifest itself in many unexpected ways and new obsessions. From newfound appreciation of Park Audio and Background loops (something I had never even considered 5 years ago), to collecting artifacts to create an Adventurers Club themed bedroom (*cough Adam and Andrew cough*), paying attention to tikis and theming details we may have never even noticed before, to randomly falling in love with garden gazebos. Today I will be sharing my appreciation of some of my favourite Disney gazebos. I love them. How random.

   Let’s start where it all began. The magnificent and unique entry statement of Disneyland Paris – Fantasia Gardens. Truly the most beautiful entry statement forecourt of any Disney Park worldwide, Fantasia Gardens is an incredibly designed botanical masterpiece. Around a central pond there are elevated terraces and staircases to bring you down between meticulous gardens and a veritable forest of trees. The Floral Mickey for Disneyland Park can be found here and some topiaries. But also bubbling streams down rocky creeks, ornate lighting, stone bridges, meandering pathways, fountains and the romantic elegance of the gazebos where you can steal away quiet time, or meet up with your touring party. All of this is located meters from the entrance to Europe’s most visited tourist attraction, every guest entering the main entrance to Disneyland Paris has to pass through here, and yet there are places in Fantasia Gardens where not a soul will bother you. It’s incredible.

   The Fantasia Gardens Gazebos match the Victorian Elegance, and colour palette, of the Disneyland Hotel at the park entrance side of the gardens. Rose coloured with green shingle roofs, and popcorn lights for nighttime the four gazebos throughout Fantasia Gardens offer park bench seating with a variety of views, elevated and overlooking the main pond and entrance route, or hidden away amongst trees and hedges. There are two pairs of designs. One design with an ornate multi-gabled roof, or the other design with a simpler roof structure. These gazebos have fueled my desire for a decent sized backyard of my own so that I can plant some trees around my own wooden gazebo.

   Next up, the even more ornate bandstand gazebo in the center of Disneyland Paris Town Square. Sharing a few design elements of the Fantasia Gardens gazebos, and others from surrounding Main Street buildings, this blue/green shingle roof, white and dark wood banister elevated construction often plays parts in meet and greets, shows and special events, and makes an elegant feature upon your immediate entry into Disneyland Park from underneath the Disneyland Railroad, Main Street Station. Perfectly complementing the breathtaking Main Street USA buildings that surround it. Stunning.

   Over in the incredibly themed Cottonwood Creek Ranch part of Disneyland Paris amazing Frontierland (my favourite land in the whole Park), stands an aged red bandstand gazebo. Simple in structure, and is adorned with simple brass balls on its low pointed shingle roof and the four corners, with brass lanterns hung on the support pillars. I can imagine a great little banjo band playing here, or a prize being awarded for best pig in show and the steam train rolling past on the nearby railroad!
While walking around the Disneyland Paris Resort Hotels, I stumbled across this rough beauty up on a hill amongst the trees outside of the stunning Disney’s Sequoia Lodge. A simple and natural looking structure, with shaved tree trunks holding up a tall green tin roof, not to take any attention away from the natural beauty surrounding it.

   Let’s leave Disneyland Paris now, and head south. Way south. Like 9584km/5955mi south, to Hong Kong Disneyland for the last few Disney gazebos I’ll share with you. In the beautifully manicured gardens overlooking the ocean at the Victorian themed, Grand Floridian inspired, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel stands a gazebo to celebrate all things Love.  Enter the path under a heart shaped topiary archway and ‘walk down the aisle’ to this cream coloured beauty.

   The red roof, and white gingerbread detailing perfectly matching the opulent waterfront beauty of the Disneyland Hotel, with love heart tiles in the center of the paved floor, and a love heart compass weathervane crowing the top. I’m sure there’s been many a romantic vow pledged here under this Disney shade giver!

   Last up, also at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort are the large gazebos found along the tropical Park Promenade, scattered from near the gorgeous, but not used Disneyland Resort Pier on the ocean front, right up to the entry gates of Hong Kong Disneyland. These functional structures of green metal construction not only provide shade along the walk from the resort hotels to the Park, but also cool air too as they are fitted out with electric fans! Definitely the most practical of the gazebos I’ve shown you today, they serve their purpose well in the hot Hong Kong sunshine, yet maintain the elegance and inspiration of the garden gazebos that inspired me in the first place.


  1. Dear whoever wrote this
    Thank you for doing this blog
    I was part of the design/ build team that built the garden & town square gazebos in 1991
    We were not allowed to take photos of them at pain of having camera & film destroyed & pos being thrown off site
    I am so glad to see them
    We also built two more oblong style gazebos at the roundabout near the castle which had a hidden flat roof for spot lights & fireworks
    So glad to see the fruits of my labours & I still have a full size working drawing that I did of the finial on top of the multi gabled ones in garden

    Many Thanks
    Michael Peddy

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  3. I, too, am obsessed with gazebos. I think they look cool. And gazebos at Disney Parks are the best.
    Disney World has quite a few of them. At the Magic Kingdom, there is one in Liberty Square where Mary Poppins regularly hangs out. You'll also find a gazebo attached to the building that used to be Aunt Polly's on Tom Sawyer Island in Frontierland. In Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade, Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty) and Prince Phillip ride by on a gazebo float previously used in the Easter parade.
    Epcot has three gazebos. One is in the UK pavilion, and it's where Disney World's resident Beatles tribute band performs. Aurora hangs out by the one in the France pavilion, and Pluto hangs out by the one at the entrance to the World Showcase.
    Some Disney World hotels have gazebos, too. These include Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort, Disney's Boardwalk Resort (which has a really impressive gingerbread gazebo at Christmastime), and Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts.
    I believe Disneyland in California had a gazebo in Main Street, USA, at some point. I don't know if they still do.
    The Disney parks in East Asia also have their share of cool gazebos. Besides the ones you listed, Hong Kong Disneyland also has a gazebo in their version of Main Street, USA, and in Fantasyland they have an area called Fantasy Gardens, which has several gazebos where characters hang out. There is also a gazebo at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel. And last Easter at Tokyo DisneySea, there was a beautiful gazebo for photo-ops at Waterfront Park. Concept art for Mickey Avenue at Shanghai Disneyland included a gazebo, but I don't know if they actually built it in the park.

  4. You know how I said that Disneyland in California had a gazebo in Main Street at some point? Well, I did some further research and found out that this particular gazebo was relocated many times until it was bought by a place called Rogers Gardens, and that's where it is to this day. Now there is a different gazebo in Disneyland's Main Street. It is located near the Carnation Cafe.

  5. There is a quieter area of Shanghai Disneyland called Wishing Star Park, and there is a gazebo there.

  6. Besides the Disneyland Hotel in Paris, there are a couple of other Disneyland Paris hotels that have gazebos: Disney's Newport Bay and Disney's Hotel Cheyenne. There is also a gazebo in Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland in California.

  7. There is a sort-of-a-gazebo outside of Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris. When you go inside, you can see a tea set laid out and hear a creepy music box tune.

  8. The Disneyland Hotel in California also has a gazebo. In Frontierland, there used to be two gazebos. One was part of New Orleans Street before it was expanded into New Orleans Square. The other was in the middle of Frontierland, where a live mariachi band would perform.

  9. Actually, the Disneyland Hotel in California has two gazebos.

    --Karen Connelly (using a different account)

  10. There are also gazebos at Inspiration Lake, a recreation complex near Hong Kong Disneyland.

    --Karen Connelly

  11. There is also a gazebo at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort. I don't know its exact location since the resort is so big, but Donald and Daisy were recently photographed there during WDW Marathon weekend.

    --Karen Connelly