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It is the opinion of those at the Save Mr. Toad web
site that the reasons noted for the closing of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride in
Walt Disney World are total poop.
We will now address the following comments...
"The Ride was outdated."
We would like to point out that many attractions in Walt Disney World,
including Pirates of the Caribbean, It's a Small World, and Space
Mountain, have not been upgraded significantly since the early seventies,
yet still rank among the most beloved and famous attractions in the world.
Age is not directly linked to entertainment value.
If Disney considered the Wild Ride to be outdated, we would not have
opposed an upgrade, as has been done to the Disneyland version of Mr.
Also, if Toad's technology (of painted flats in a blacklit environment)
was so outdated, then why is it being used in the brand new Buzz Lightyear
"The Ride was too scary for young children."
Then why has Disney has recently opened such rides as The Twilight Zone
Tower of Terror and, just down the path from where Toad Hall used to
stand, The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, which is described by
Disney as "the most frightening thriller of all Magic Kingdom
Why was the family-friendly World of Motion attraction in EPCOT recently
gutted to be replaced by Test Track thrill ride, the longest and fastest
Disney thrill ride ever?
"Winnie the Pooh is more popular than Mr. Toad and his friends."
If the Wind in the Willows characters had been so vigorously marketed by
Disney, they would be at least as popular, if not moreso. As it stands,
there is absolutely no Mr. Toad merchandise available from Disney (other
than the home video), but recently Disney customers received an entire
catalog devoted to Winnie the Pooh. They can't complain about poor sales
of Mr. Toad merchandise if they don't offer any.
In a recent investigation run by Team Toad, approximately 90% of all
Disney Store employees surveyed did not even know who Mr. Toad is. Many
of them flatly denied that he was a Disney character at all, even when the
evidence of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and The Wind in the Willows video was
brought before them. Some even recommended trying the Warner Bros. store,
apparently confusing Mr. Toad with Michigan J. Frog, the singing frog from
the WB television commercials.
It should also be noted that Splash Mountain is one of the most popular
attractions (as well as being one of the more recently constructed), and
the film it is based on, The Song of the South, is not even
available on video in the United States. Mr. Toad usually appears on US
television every year around Halloween, and more frequently on the
Disney Channel. Also, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad was
recently released on video and is doing tremendous business.
"Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was a slow-loading, low volume attraction."
By all accounts, the new Pooh ride is much less efficient than Toad.
The only logical explanation for shutting down Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is
pure greed. The Ride was efficient and very popular, even though it was
denied the upgrade that the Disneyland version received. There is plenty
of room within the Magic Kingdom to build a Pooh ride, without detracting
from the customers' parkgoing experience.
Disney is simply cutting corners by gutting an existing ride to make way
for a ride that they think will move more product. The customer has
nothing to gain from the destruction of the Wild Ride. This is not what
people have come to expect from a company that makes its money by
capturing the imagination of children of all ages.
Their intent is best summed up by the words of Disney spokesman Craig
Dezern: "People get emotionally attached to the park, and that's what
you're seeing played out here."
Truly pathetic. These words are an insult to everything Walt Disney World
was designed to be and has come to mean to its many dedicated fans all
over the world. If people were not emotionally attached to the park,
Disney would not be doing its job. To complain about the very reason for
the park's existence and its previous success is nothing short of moronic.
The Save Mr. Toad site was not created with the intent to kill the Winnie
the Pooh project, but merely to suggest that there are other available
places within the park and that nothing is worth the cost of removing a
child's favorite ride forever.
We are not alone in our strong feelings for Mr.Toad. In a recent on-line
poll run by the Orlando Sentinel, when asked "Will you miss Mr. Toad's
Wild Ride?", 9 out of 10 people said "Yes". Mr. Toad has also scored
decisive victories in several other recent online polls.
Please do what you can to let Disney know how unhappy you are with their
despicable behavior. Write and call those Disney officials and let them
know how you feel about this issue. Download the banner and put it on
your own web site and include our URL
(http://www.math.miami.edu/~jam/toad/proj.html) in your signature
file to show your support for the Mr. Toad.
And finally, you could let us know how you feel, and we would have used
your comments on our Electronic Toad Hall
page...but that's closed now.
Thank you for your support.
The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the
author. The contents and links have not been reviewed or approved by the
University of Miami.