Monday, June 22, 2015

Disney Animated Movie Representation at the Disney Parks: Part 3

21. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh/Winnie the Pooh (2011)

OK, so I decided to combine these two movies, even though they are far apart in terms of release dates. Both movies contain the same characters, so there's no point to covering them twice. Winnie the Pooh is one of the more popular Disney characters and the Disney Parks tend to give him and the other characters a lot of love. Disney apparently found that they didn't have a big enough representation for Winnie the Pooh at the Magic Kingdom, so they destroyed Mr. Toad's Wild Ride to make way for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Less distressing is the fact that the Winnie the Pooh ride took over Country Bear Jamboree in Disneyland. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the Country Bear Jamboree, but it doesn't affect me as much since the only park I visit is Disney World. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a dark ride that follows the 1977 movie's plot, with a little added nod to Mr. Toad in the Disney World version. The ride can also be found at Hong Kong Disneyland. Winnie the Pooh is the second most requested character meet and greet at the Disney Parks (the first being Mickey), proving his staying power in the parks. Tigger, Eeyore, and sometimes Piglet can also be seen wandering the parks. Another dark ride based on Winnie the Pooh can be found at Tokyo Disneyland, this time called Pooh's Hunny Hunt. Pooh's Hunny Hunt operates on a trackless ride system and has much more advanced audio-animitronics than the ones in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Opened in 2000, it remains one of the most popular rides at Tokyo Disneyland. Disneyland Paris has a show dedicated to the bear, called Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Too! Pooh's popularity also finds him in various parades, finale shows, and inside many of the shops inside the parks.

22. The Rescuers/Rescuers Down Under

The Rescuers was a popular film at the time of its release, but that hasn't translated to many appearances at the Disney parks. Its sequel, which I decided to combine, even though they have some different characters, Rescuers Down Under has almost no representation at the parks. Bernard and Bianca are meet and greet characters at Tokyo Disneyland. They, along with Evinrude and Orville have appeared at one point or another as meet and greet characters at Disney World and Disneyland, though they have all since disappeared completely. Orville used to host a pre-show at Disneyland's World Premiere Circle-Vision film, "All Because Man Wanted to Fly". The only representation I could find for Rescuers Down Under was its soundtrack being played at the Fountain of Nations in Epcot. At least its something! I'm actually a little surprised that Jake wasn't at lease a meet and greet character back in the early 90's, though the movie was basically snuffed out by being sandwiched between The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

23. The Fox and the Hound

Sadly there is no representation for The Fox and the Hound at the Disney Parks. Disney was planning on putting a Fox and the Hound dark ride in Disneyland inside Critter Country, but the idea apparently didn't pan out. That, or the movie wasn't popular enough to warrant a ride.You can find vinylmation figures of Tod and Copper at the park stores and some plushes, but that is about as close as Disney will get to representing Fox and the Hound at its parks.

24. The Black Cauldron

During the release of The Black Cauldron in 1985, Taran and Princess Eilonwy were walk-around characters, though disappeared soon after. Gurgi had his own fast service restaurant when the film released called Gurgi's Munchings and Crunchings, though its name was changed in 1993. The last appearance by a Black Cauldron character was the Horned King at Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour in Tokyo Disneyland. Guests would walkthrough the castle and at the end face off against the Horned King, with one guest uttering the magic words to defeat him. The attraction unfortunately closed in 2006, thus killing the last representation that The Black Cauldron had in the Disney Parks. I don't really blame them, The Black Cauldron was one of Disney's biggest flops, and if a movie doesn't do well, it won't be represented at the parks, because its all about popularity and characters that will make Disney money. The Black Cauldron doesn't make money, it's just loved by the few who like to see something different from Disney.

25.  The Great Mouse Detective

The Great Mouse Detective is another Disney gem that doesn't get the respect it deserves. In typical Disney fashion, they have decided to completely bury this film at the parks, only allowing Basil and Ratigan to appear as walk-around characters for the 80's before retiring them. I know, not popular, not profitable, so unfortunately you won't see any representation for this film anywhere.

26. Oliver & Company

Oliver & Company is another one that was represented at the parks for a short time after the film was released, but has since disappeared. The film even had a float in one of Disney World's parades to help promote the film in 1988. Dodger, Georgette, Tito, Oliver, and Jenny were all walk-around characters in the various parks until the mid-90's. The funny thing is that the characters made an appearance at Hong Kong Disneyland's opening in 2005.

27. The Little Mermaid

OK, so this is where the representation will go way back up again. The Little Mermaid was the beginning of Disney's Renaissance, and has remained a very popular film, especially with little girls. Ariel in her mermaid form is a difficult meet and greet, seeing as she can't exactly walk around, so Disney World and Tokyo DisneySea have Ariel's Grotto, where guests can visit with the mermaid and get pictures taken with her. In her human form she is at various princess meet and greets at Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. Ariel can also be seen at various live shows, such as Fantasmic!, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and Mermaid Lagoon Theater. Ariel also makes cameos in Peter Pan's Flight among the other mermaids, and in It's a Small World at Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland. Ariel also makes an apperance in animated form in Mickey's PhilharMagic. The Little Mermaid has its own dark ride called The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure at Disney California Adventure. Ariel, Ursula, Flounder, and Sebastian can be found all over the place at the Disney Parks, and it would take many pages to list them all, but I just wanted to hit the main ones.

28. Beauty and the Beast

Belle is a meet and greet character at all the parks, mostly part of the princess meet and greets. Belle and Beast can also be seen in the various Disney parades, inside shops, live shows, and just about anywhere else you can think of. This is another incredibly popular Princess movie, and Disney loves to push it at the parks. Belle can be seen at Disneyland's Fantasy Faire telling the story of Beauty and the Beast with the help of Lumiere, Mr. Smythe, and Mr. Jones. Beauty and the Beast: Live is a shortened Broadway version of Beauty and the Beast at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Disney World. Beast makes appearances around the parks, mostly in meet and greets, but also in live shows and parades. All the characters can be seen in New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, where there is a little corner dedicated to the movie. There's the Be Our Guest restaurant, Gaston's Tavern, Bonjour! Village Gifts, and even Beast's Castle set against a mountain.

29. Aladdin

Aladdin has its own ride, The Magic Carpet's of Aladdin, a ride that exists in Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland. It is the same ride as Dumbo the Flying Elephant, so you know exactly what to expect. There's also a camel in front of the ride that every once in a while will spit water at guests passing by. Aladdin and Jasmine are meet-able characters at each of the parks and remain quite popular. Genie, Abu, and Jafar also makes appearances, though not as much as the two main characters. Aladdin can be seen in It's a Small World in Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland. Aladdin has a Broadway-style show at Disney California Adventure which is, like Beauty and the Beast, a shortened version. Jafar makes appearances more during Halloween and at the various villain celebrations in the parks.

30. The Lion King

The Lion King also gets a lot of love at the parks, even more with Disney's Animal Kingdom. The main attractions are Festival of The Lion King, a live Broadway show using puppetry, which takes place at Animal Kingdom and Hong Kong Disneyland, and Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable, a short video about the dangers of pollution and not protecting our Earth. A former attraction that was pretty popular was The Legend of the Lion King, which told the story of The Lion King, but was all audio-animitronic. It was replaced by Mickey's PhilharMagic in 2002, which also includes characters from The Lion King. Timon and Pumbaa have their own restaurant called the Hakuna Matata Restaurant at Disneyland Paris. The Lion King has no meet and greets, instead having the characters in live shows and parades. Most of The Lion King's representation comes from Animal Kingdom, where there is heavy merchandising for all its characters.

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