Thursday, June 18, 2015

Disney Animated Movie Representation at the Disney Parks: Part 2

11. Cinderella

Cinderella happens to have one of the biggest representations at any of the parks, due to the fact that her castle is the main icon at the Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland. The castle is a tad misleading, as it is much shorter than you think. When viewed from afar, it appears to be a tall majestic building, but when you get closer, you realize it's only about 189 feet high. It's still a big building, don't get me wrong, a full 100 feet higher than Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland. The Disney Imagineers used forced perspective to give the building the illusion of being bigger and grander from afar. As the castle gets higher, the smaller its proportions are. Pretty cool, right? There's not much to do inside the castle, at least for visitors. Cinderella's Royal Table, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, the Cinderella Castle Suite, and of course the mosiacs inside the archway leading through the castle are all there is. Sorry, no running through the halls pretending to be Cinderella. As you can expect, Cinderella's Royal Table is one of the more expensive places to eat at Disney, though the kids have a chance to meet and greet with various Disney Princesses. The Cinderella Castle Suite is a luxury room reserved for contest winners. The room was first meant for Walt Disney himself, but it was left unfinished after his death in 1966. It was finally opened as a luxury room in 2007. Cinderella is a staple throughout all the Disney Parks, showing up as a character, and being seen in most shops. Her voice can also be heard during the Stitch's Great Escape! ride.

12. Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland has two major rides in the Disney Parks. Alice in Wonderland is a dark ride that appears at Disneyland, and like many of the other movie dark rides goes through the general plot of the movie. It is interesting how many of Disneyland's rides didn't make it over to Disney World. It's good for Disney that they don't copy it completely, otherwise there would be no reason to visit Disneyland. The other major ride is the Mad Tea Party, though it goes by different names in each of its incarnations. It is one of the rare rides that appears at every single Disney Park in the world, and like Dumbo the Flying Elephant, it's a pretty simple ride. You sit in a teacup and it spins around in circles while the ride as a whole spins. You've ridden this type of ride many other times at other parks, but the fact that its at Disney makes it fun. I'm not down on either Dumbo or the Mad Tea Party; they are wonderful rides that are fun for kids and offer more excitement than many of the dark rides. The various characters of Alice and Wonderland can be seen around the parks and haven't lost their appeal after all these years.

13. Peter Pan

Peter Pan has probably one of the most popular rides in all of the Disney Parks: Peter Pan's Flight. It's just another dark ride going through the plot of the film, but for some reason it's just so cool! Try to ride it without a Fastpass, I dare you. Peter Pan's Flight is at every park except for Hong Kong Disneyland. Peter Pan and its characters are still immensely popular to this day, so it isn't rare to see the characters walking around the park. The Art of Animation attraction once had a short called Back to Neverland, which saw Robin Williams being turned into an animated lost boy who explores Neverland with Peter and the gang. Peter Pan and the other characters can also be seen in Dream Along with Mickey at the Magic Kingdom, and Mickey's PhilharMagic at the Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland.

14. Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp is one with only a couple representations in the park. You can see Tramp and Lady at the Pop Century Resort in the 1950's area (that's where my wife and I stayed), and at Tony's Town Square Restaurant at Disney World's Magic Kingdom. You can see various items inside shops, but unfortunately Lady and the Tramp isn't one of the movies that Disney seems to care too much about having in the parks.

15. Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty also has her own castle, but in Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. The Disneyland version is, of course, the oldest of the castles and also employs forced perception to look taller. The castle had a lot of wasted space in the upper floors, so Walt challenged the Imagineers to create something special for the guests. Visitors were allowed to walk through the upper area of the castle, which housed dioramas that depicted the story of Sleeping Beauty. The walkthrough abruptly ended in 2001, which many think has to do with the September 11th attacks (I guess it has a lot of unlit and un-monitered hallways). The walkthrough opened once again in 2008, with much more features, so Disney probably wanted to just give it a face-lift. Other than the castles, Sleeping Beauty and the other characters from the movie, namely Maleficent, make regular appearances around the park.

16. One Hundred and One Dalmatians

Surprisingly, there isn't a lot of love for One Hundred and One Dalmatians at the Disney Parks. Cruella De Vil's character can be seen at meet and greets at the various parks, though more often at Disneyland Paris. She also makes appearances during Halloween. Pongo and Perdita make an appearance at Disney's All-Star Movies Resort, and Pongo is a main part of the Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom interactive game in Disney World.



17. The Sword in the Stone

The literal sword in the stone makes an appearance at every single park in front of their carousels. While not on the map as an attraction, the sword is actually part of a show. Each day, Merlin picks a child to try and pull the sword out of the stone. Each kid becomes the ruler of Fantasyland after pulling the sword out. A fun inclusion for The Sword in the Stone, though that's where it ends. Turns out that it's not a very popular Disney film.

18. The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book surprisingly has very little representation at the parks. You can see Baloo and King Louie walking around Animal Kingdom, and an over-sized statue of Baloo at Disney's Pop Century Resort at Disney World. Hong Kong Disneyland has a cameo of Baloo and Mowgli inside their version of It's a Small World, but that's about it. The movie is also represented in the various shops, but not very prominently. Animal Kingdom once had a show based around The Jungle Book when the park opened in 1998, but it was replaced by a Tarzan show after only a year of operation. I feel like there is a lot of opportunity, especially in Animal Kingdom, to have a ride based on The Jungle Book, or some sort of presentation. Besides The Lion King, it's arguably Disney most well loved animal-centric story.

19. The Aristocats

Marie appears to be the favorite of all the cats, as she is a meet-able character at Disney World and Tokyo Disney World. Toulouse and Berloiz eventually became meet-able characters in 2013. Marie also has a ton of merchandise in the stores, but nothing close to Frozen levels. Marie can also be found in It's a Small World in Hong Kong Disneyland. No love for Thomas O'Malley or Duchess it seems.

20. Robin Hood

Robin Hood is pretty rare in the parks. As you can tell, the representation for the last couple of movies hasn't been the greatest. It really doesn't get better until The Little Mermaid, so get used to it. Robin Hood himself is a very seldom character to meet and greet at both Disneyland and Disney World. They do, however, dust him and Friar Tuck, Prince John, and the Sheriff of Nottingham off for special "Long Lost Friends Weeks". I'm guessing that's where they take all the characters that they don't use anymore and let them wander around the parks, hoping a child will notice them.

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