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Monday, September 21, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream- Various Controversies over in Disneyland

Recently, whether it was do towards the emergence of Disney fan boards or radical Disney "Purists" there have been outcries for some things happening at Disneyland. This most notably can be found in the enhances at various rides throughout the park that have been labled to be "controversial". Are they? Have they done any damage? Well, let's take a look and see!

First, let's start with it's a small world. At various times during the attraction's history, the facade was painted different colors. It went from white and gold to shades of blue to a bright multi-color pattern and finally back to white and gold.

In 1997, it's a small world holiday debuted. The ride was decorated with Christmas decorations inside and outside, with a fantastic array of lights on the exterior. The "children" also add "Jingle Bells" and "Deck the Halls" to their repitore. This has been more popular then the original ride that it has been coming back year after year. For many, it's the only time they ride the ride.

The real controversial additions came in 2009, when Disney characters were added. For all of 2008, it's a small world was shut while the flumes were replaced. Contrary to what Al Lutz may have said, they were not replaced due to overweight guests (like he should talk... sorry for that;). The flumes needed replacement after years of wear and tear. In conjunction with this, Disneyland took a page out of Hong Kong Disneyland's book and added in a few Disney characters in their respective countries (Snow White in Germany, Pinnochio in Italy, etc.). The rainforest scene was also to be relocated to allow for a scene detecated to America. This caused some people to go up in arms, and some people still hate this today. Why? Well, it's supposedly ruins the "theme" of the ride. Um... it still shows how people from all over the world are connected, and what better way for kids to understand this then to see thier favorite Disney charatcers (who are hardly noticable) to help them understand. It actually looks as if the dolls are dressed in Alice or Cinderella's clothing.

Haunted Mansion did a few changes in recent years as well. In 2001, Haunted Mansion Holiday opened. The change over was orgiginally going to be about A Christmas Carlol, but was not fesible. So they looked for another character to celebrate Christmas in the Mansion, and The Nightmare Before Christmas' Jack Skellington won that. So every year around Halloween, the ride is decorated and new characters are added. It is so popular, that Fastpass is utilized during this time.

Another changeover happened in the Attic. In 2006, after a refurbihment, a new scene was added in the attic. The old bride was taken out, and the widow Constance Hatchaway was put in. Her story is a simple, but gruesome tale: Constance married rich men for their money, then killd them and got their money. This is a far cry from the original story, where the bride was murdered by Captain Gore who was actually a Pirate.

In 2001, The Country Bear Jamboree closed after 30 years of being in the park due to low popularity. It was going to be replaced by a new darkride, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. When the latter attraction opened up in 2003, it was critized for being cheap. But to this day kids really love it. Not to mention the outdoor theme area is a really great atmosphere to start the ride, better then the attractions in Fanatsyland.

Pirates of the Caribbean has gone through a few modifications due to politcal correctness in the past. The women now chase the pirates with brooms, the "pooped pirate" who was holding underweard while looking for a lady, and a few other scenes were deleated and/or changed. But that's small compared to what was instore for the boat ride. With the success of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Disney was going to make 2 more sequels. And they also decided to add some aspects from the movie into the classic attraction that inspired the movie. And when I mean "aspects", I mean the "c" word that Purists hate to hear... gulp... characters.

Pirates was closed for a few months. The infamous Cursed Aztec Gold was added to the grotto scene and so was an impressive projection of the ghostly Dvay Jones in a waterfall. Barbossa now helmed the Wicked Wench, and was attacking the port. And of course, Captain Jack Sparrow made several appearances in the ride, first hiding behind a maniquin, then hiding in a barrel, then celebrating at the end with his treasure.

Some people saw this revamp as trashing the original ride. Others saw it as making the story odd. But most people, including myself, saw it as a great improvement to an already flawless ride. Will it remain? Only time will tell...

So, what do you think?

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