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End of Wild Ride for Disney's Mr. Toad?

Toad's Wild Ride
Fans show their support for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride on the Internet at www.math.miami.edu/~jam/toad/toadin.html  

September 1, 1998
Web posted at: 1:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida (AP) -- Despite hundreds of pleading postcards and letters mailed to Disney officials, Mr. Toad appears to be roadkill.

A yearlong Internet and mail campaign to persuade Walt Disney World to keep Mr. Toad's Wild Ride apparently wasn't enough. Or so say Mr. Toad's champions, who claim the ride will be closed forever September 8 and replaced with a Winnie the Pooh attraction. While a Disney spokesman would not confirm or deny any rumors, a company official said an announcement about the ride was expected this week.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, based on Kenneth Grahame's classic children's book "The Wind in the Willows" and the subsequent 1949 Disney movie, follows J. Thaddeus Toad on a disjointed, cartoonish ride in a stolen motorcar. The lights go out after the car crashes, sending the passengers to hell, which is inhabited by giggling red devils and a maniacal Satan with a pitchfork.

"It's a nice break from the happy, singing flowers, not that those things don't have a place in Disney," said Jef Moskot, 26, who runs a Mr. Toad Web site (www.savetoad.com). "He's not the bland Disney hero with two funny sidekicks. He's nuts. He steals cars, but he's still the good guy."

Mr. Toad lives on at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Copyright 1998   The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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