The Miami Herald

Disney ride's fan not ready to kiss Mr. Toad goodbye

By Phil Long
Herald Staff Writer

Saturday, December 6, 1997
Front Page

Some activists protest nuclear generators in space. Others, the mistreatment of Haitian refugees. On Sunday, a Miami man and his friends will invade Walt Disney World in a battle to spare the life of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

For Jeff Moskot, 26, it's a fight to keep Mr. Toad from being replaced by something from Winnie-the-Pooh.

At noon Sunday, in front of Mr. Toad's ride, Moskot and 25 or so of his friends will don "Save Mr. Toad" T-shirts and hand out postcards that park visitors can mail to Disney execs.

Disney folks are taking it all in stride and with a smile.

"It's always a challenge to keep the right balance, to retain the magic for our loyal guests and keep the experience new and exciting for our first-time visitors," said Diane Ledder, manage of public affairs.

Although a Pooh attraction is under discussion, no decision has been made, Ledder said.

The ride snakes through the life of Mr. Toad, a featured creature in Kenneth Grahame's early 1900s novel, Wind in the Willows.

In the ride, Mr. Toad "borrows" a car he doesn't know how to drive and crashes his way through town. He hits a truck full of chickens and slams into a jail, releasing weasels. He ends up hits by a train and winds up in a hellish hereafter populated by red demons. It's the closest thing to a scary ride that little kids have, Moskot protested.

"When they go ripping a classic out, that's just not right," said Moskot, a University of Miami computer expert.

Moskot's battle is on-line. The Save Mr. Toad Web site can be found at:
All content ©1997 The Miami Herald. Republished with permission.