The Orlando Sentinel

Letters to the editor

November 25, 1997

Wild about Mr. Toad

I AM a frequent visitor to your area, the unique and wonderful Orlando. I am quite upset to hear that Disney may upset Toad to put in Pooh. Bother! I say OK to Pooh, but leave Toad going "merrily on his way" as he always has.

Seems to me as if the Disney people are going "nowhere in particular" with this one. If I may quote Walt: "Here in Florida, we have something special we never enjoyed at Disneyland: the blessing of size. There's enough land here to hold all the ideas and plans we can possibly imagine."

Enough said.

Brad Grant

Time to panic

SEVERAL WEEKS ago we received a frantic message on our answering machine to call our son who is currently attending the University of Central Florida. Immediately the "parent panic" caught hold of my husband and me as we fumbled through the numbers on our phone, anticipating the gruesome possibilities of illness, accidents or test failures.

When we finally heard his voice, its tone foreshadowed that his news was of epic proportions. "What's the matter? Are you all right?" And then came his horrible response.

"They're going to close Mr. Toad."

Certainly this was worse than we possibly could have imagined. The Magic Kingdom -- to which we had made a yearly pilgrimage (all right, maybe tri-annually) -- was actually considering removing an important source of sustenance for our son. After he paid for tuition, board and books, his next purchase was his Florida-resident, all-year Disney pass. It preceded food, even pizza.

I recall hundreds of serpentine rides through Toad Hall, the three of us crammed into one of the crazy toadmobiles with our son actually thinking he was driving. Often, years later, in the passenger seat of his real car, I would experience those fleeting moments of deja vu, longing to return to the safety of Toad Hall and the repetitious strains of "Merrily, merrily, merrily ... ."

It would be a shame if all the future 20-year-olds and their parents are deprived of such memories. If there is room for Twilight Tower of Terror and the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, another place should be made for akinder, gentler ride featuring a big orange bear. However, don't replace a ride that is perfect for younger and, as it turns out, older children.

Mr. Toad deserves a better fate than to be a victim of a Pooh-per scooper.

Sandy Melillo

All content ©1997 Orlando Sentinel. Republished with permission.