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Fame & Fortune
The following is an account, arranged chronologically, of most of the
press the Save Toad movement got. Some stories have just disappeared into
the ether and I know of a few of them I haven't linked in yet, but I
think this gives you a pretty good idea.
Such a pity that we didn't get the Big Time press we needed until Toad's
fate was sealed...
When the press questioned Disney about us, they denied any outcry over the
closing of The Ride, which, they added, was just a rumor anyway.
This proved to be an extremely successful way of dealing with us. It's
disarming, it makes people disbelieve us, and, more importantly, it makes
for a much less interesting news story.
In fact, by denying everything, there is no story. Some people are
protesting, Disney has no response. There's no conflict, just some loons
who are protesting something that doesn't exist. And the press isn't
interested enough to actually investigate, since this is not a very sexy
Disney just silently waited us out.
Is Mr. Toad about to drive out of Disney?
- Mr. Toad makes front page news in the October 22, 1997 edition of The
Orlando Sentinel. The gauntlet is thrown down.
Toad or Pooh? Celebrities Take Sides
- From the October 24, 1997 Orlando Sentinel article. Includes
conclusive proof that Hootie is pure evil (but you knew that already).
Is it over for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride?
- Online and print coverage of the Save Mr. Toad cause in the
Atlanta-Journal Constitution's November 2, 1997 Sunday edition.
Web site vows to save Toad
- Online and print coverage of the Save Mr. Toad cause in the
November 7, 1997 Friday Extra edition of The Tampa Tribune.
Keep Mr. Toad
- Toad supporter Rich Rotondo of Little Falls, NJ voices his support for
Toad Hall with a letter to the editor, published both online and in
print in the November 9, 1997 Sunday edition of The Orlando Sentinel.
Mr. Toad Outrage
- Print coverage of the Save Mr. Toad cause in the November 10, 1997
edition of The Orlando Sentinel.
Showdown in the Mouse House
- The best (and most entertaining) article to take a look at Team Toad's
efforts so far. Published in the November 19-25, 1997 edition of City
Link Magazine. Note that Disney admits the ride is very popular and
well-liked, but they just don't care.
Cool Site of the Day
- Selected as TUTIC's ("That's Useful, This Is Cool!") Cool Site of the
Day for November 24, 1997.
Wild about Mr. Toad / Time to Panic
- Two different Letters to the Editor in support Mr. Toad's Wild
Ride in the same day (November 24, 1997)! Thanks to Brad Grant of San
Francisco and Sandy Melillo of Fort Lauderdale.
Warts and All, Fans Stand Up for Their Toad
- The Toad cause receives online coverage in the December 5, 1997
edition of Wired News, but unfortunately they confuse Disneyland with
Walt Disney World several times.
Disney ride's fan not ready to kiss Mr. Toad goodbye
- This article ran on the front page of the Miami Herald on
December 6, 1997. It was originally accompanied by a ridiculous
picture of JT with a rubber toad on his head. A version of this article
went out over the AP wire and appeared in several other newspapers and
on television and radio stations all over the place.
- The Cause is mentioned in the December 8, 1997 issue of the Tampa
Tribune. We're sort of in the middle of this guy's column, so don't think
you're in the wrong place.
The Mining Company's Guide to Theme Parks
- A nice write-up in the December 11, 1997 issue of The Mining Company's
Guide to Theme Parks, featuring a nice plug for our site.
Best bets on the Net
- The Save Mr. Toad's Wild Ride web page is declared a "best bet" by
Ed Stansel's Web Watch in the December 12, 1997 edition of the Florida
Hopping Mad: UM student leads Toady revolt to save Wild Ride at Disney
- This article was featured on the front page of the Accent Section of
the December 13, 1997 edition of the Palm Beach Post. It also featured a
picture of JT wearing one of the fine Save Mr. Toad's Wild Ride t-shirts
(and not a rubber toad in sight).
Warts and All
- RockDaily.com picks the Save Toad cause as the Cause of the Day for
December 18, 1997.
An Ill Wind in the Willows
- A detailed report of the December 7 Toad In, featured in the December
18-24, 1997 edition of the Orlando Weekly.
Mr. Toad Needs Your Help!
- The Save Toad cause is highlighted in the January/February 1998 issue
of the New Horizons newsletter. New Horizons also named the Save Toad
site January's Site of the Month.
Users wild over Disney ride
- National coverage for the Save Toad cause on c|net's News.Com on
January 8, 1998.
Paddekampanje mot Disney
- International recognition for Team Toad on Scandinavia Online, the
largest online service in Norway, on January 20, 1998. The article was
the top story on the front page all day, but since none of us could figure
out how to get past the first page, this little blurb is all we have.
We have since come up with a rough translation of the blurb. Kinda
ruins the magic if you ask me, but there it is.
Resident goes into cyberspace to save Disney's Mr. Toad ride
- From Norway to my backyard, local paper the Kendall Gazette ran this
article on the front page of their February 5-11, 1998 edition.
Wish upon the Net...
- National coverage in the March 1998 issue Yahoo! Internet Life
magazine (the real world magazine, not the web site). It's not entirely
accurate, but it is in color.
Save-the-Toadies Launch Amphibious Assault
- A durn fine article in the April 17-23, 1998 edition of the Orlando
Business Journal. So, they spelled the last name wrong, but at least they
were consistent. AND they printed the cool Motormania logo.
- Wired News ran this little ditty on May 1, 1998 and I almost missed it!
Save Mr. Toad
- This Letter to the Editor was penned by Daniel Mart of Mountain View,
California and was printed in the May 14, 1998 edition of the Palo Alto
Fox News Story on Toad Protest - 3.5M (MPEG)
- Fox News finally reports on us! This report aired on May
17, 1998, a few hours after the Toad In. It also made it to at least one
other Fox affiliate that we know of.
Toad on Local News Station - 2.1M (MPEG)
- An e-mail of mine is read over the air on a local news station on May
22, 1998. They asked what you'd do if you won the Powerball Lottery and I
submitted my opinion. Their reaction is kinda funny.
Net aflame with Disney protests
- c|net's News.Com reports on us (along with our Save
the Enchanted Tiki Room friends) on June 1, 1998.
Talking parrots, not chicken salad
- Wired News screws up again in this article about our friends trying to
the Enchanted Tiki Room in Disneyland. The Iago and Zazu update of
the Tiki Room was made to the Disney World version of the Tiki
Room, not the Disneyland version. The author makes light of the
fact that, at the time, there were "only" 338 signatures on the online
petition, without any idea of how long the site has been up. (There's
been more than 200 new signatures in the last couple of days, by the way.)
There was a quote attributed to a Disney official spokesperson...probably
about the Tiki Room, but the article said it was about Pooh. When some
people wrote Wired to clear this up, they just removed the line entirely.
Oh well. This story ran on June 2, 1998. (Just page down past that
stuff about rental erotica.)
Mountain View Speaks Out - 1.1M (QuickTime, video/audio)
Mountain View Speaks Out - 416K (QuickTime, audio only)
- Daniel Mart submitted this letter which was read on KMVT teevee on
July 6, 1998. The video is not very interesting (just white letters on a
blue background), so the audio-only option is a good one if your pipe is
small. If you are really concerned about bandwidth, this is an extended
version of the letter Daniel got published in the Palo Alto Daily news,
which you can see here. (Sorry about
the audio fuzzing out in the middle, the source tape was bad.)
Net protest can't save Mr. Toad
- More national coverage for the Save Toad cause on c|net's News.Com on
August 28, 1998. Too little, too late, but we're not going down quietly!
Mr. Toad Appears To Be Roadkill
This is the Big Time press coverage we needed months ago. This AP story
is from September 1, 1998. Note that less than a week before they planned
on closing the ride, Disney is still not being forthcoming to the press or
End of Wild Ride for Disney's Mr. Toad?
- The Big Time press continues to snowball in this CNN article from
September 1, 1998.
Toad Story on CNN - 366K (QuickTime)
- CNN also runs a little blurb on their teevee news network September 1,
1998. In case you can't read the text, it says "Protest campaign fails to
save 'Mr. Toad's Wild Ride' at Walt Disney World". Our failure is
broadcast nationwide. The picture quality ain't so great because it's
optimized for file size, but you get the idea.
End of the Road, Toad
- Still more Big Time press in this September 3, 1998 blurb in USA
Fans Are Hopping Mad as Toad's 27-Year Ride Ends
- Yet another article about the closing of the Wild Ride in the
September 3, 1998 edition of the Washington Post. Folks do love that
"hopping mad" pun, don't they? Now that Disney has announced The Ride is
closing, it's easy to get press...too late!
Mickey Mouse Cleans House
- This E! Online article from September 5, 1998 also mentions the demise
of the Submarine Voyage in Disneyland. It's all so sad.
- The Fox newscast on September 6, 1998, the day before Toad Hall
closed. It's got a clip of me and my goofball voice and explains that
there's going to be a protest and everyone is invited. Not bad.
NPR Story on the Toad Campaign - 442K (QuickTime, audio only)
- This story played on September 7's NPR Morning Edition. Hear what my
voice sounds like after getting almost no sleep and doing almost nothing
but interviews when awake. It also features Mr. Toad himself. Note that
while it is in QuickTime (over 75% more efficient than a .wav file), there
is no picture, because this is only radio.
Requiem for Mr. Toad
- Mr. Toad is given his due on almost two full pages of the Palm Beach
Post on September 7, 1998 -- the day of the Last Wild Ride. I wrote the
major article here and supplied most of the pictures.
- The Orlando ABC affiliate (ha!) reports on the Toad closing and the
controversy. This report takes place on September 7, 1998, before The
Ride is closed down for good. It's preceded by some stuff about future
rides. The final line is entertainingly ironic. Again, it features my
The Orlando ABC affiliate's story on September 7, 1998, after The Ride is
closed down. It's got better protest footage and is followed by a report
on the Submarine Voyage closing in Disneyland. It's also got some
Disney suit claiming that they are "enhancing the value" by closing The
Ride. (Hmmm.) And it's got me. You've been warned.
Central Florida News 13 (a 24 news station) made this report on September
7, 1998. The report was repeated many times during the day. It's got
some different footage and doesn't focus as much on the protestors, but
we are still represented and the bit is pretty good.
The Fox news story on September 7, 1998. It mostly reuses their stock
footage of The Ride and our protest, but it also mentions the closing of
the Submarine Voyage, complete with a clip of Walt and Nixon together at
the opening of the Voyage. Happily, this clip does not feature me!
Fans don't go gentle on that last wild ride
- Front page coverage of the final Toad In in the September 8,
1998 edition of the Orlando Sentinel. I dig the wacky quote about Rock
Have the weasels won?
- A good editorial written about the Toad situation in the September 8,
1998 edition of the Cape Cod Times. I certainly approve of the title.
Mr. Toad squashed in the name of Pooh
- A columnist vents after he learns of Toad's demise in the September
18, 1998 issue of the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Save Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
- Hey, check it out! I'm quoted in the same magazine JD Salinger
used to publish in! It's a great article too, in the September 21, 1998
edition of the New Yorker. Cool.
The Week in TV Sports
- Toad's demise also get mentioned in the September 21, 1998 issue of Sports
Illustrated, of all places.
Beam Me Up
- Disney's feel-good spin on The Ride's closing in the thoroughly
unbiased Spring issue of Disney Magazine.
Winnie Pooh Poohed
- Our more final than final Toad In (which took place the day of the
grand opening of the Pooh ride) goes out on the June 18, 1999 Associated
Know of a Toad story we're missing?
Well sir, let
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author. The contents and links have not been reviewed or approved by the
University of Miami.