Gone But Not Forgotten-Disney Relics and Nods That Make Our Hearts Soar!
I’m not sure how all of you are holding up, but I seriously miss the Disney parks. I’m pretty much at the point where I close my eyes at night and see Cinderella Castle, smell Main Street U.S.A. and am actually looking forward to the zillion hour wait for Peter Pan’s Flight. Disney has so much in the works for us, it can be both exciting and overwhelming! The longer I am a Disney fan, the more emotional the journey becomes. In the few years I have been a fan girl, I have seen the Great Movie Ride close it’s doors, the refurb of Pirates of the Caribbean, and most of Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora come to life. While all of these transformations have been exciting, there are times that call for a little old school Disney. Imagineers are known for sprinkling magical breadcrumbs throughout refurbished or replaced attractions from their predecessor or other locations throughout the parks. When they finally ‘open up the gates’ as Anna and Elsa would say, be sure to check out these gems of Disney past on your new favorite attractions.
Mr. Toad’s Stamp of Approval
While Mr. Toad was slightly before my time, I have heard folklore of a time before the Honeypots! The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is one of my all time favorite rides, and the queue is one I never mind standing in and exploring. It’s true that Mr. Toad may have had a bit of a darker theme but Winnie and his thunderstorm dream can get a little dicey as well. As different and unique as these attractions and stories are from one another, they both take you on an adventure you won’t be forgetting anytime soon. That’s probably why you will see a picture of Owl and Mr. Toad in Owl’s house wherein Mr. Toad is handing Owl the deed to Toad Hall – talk about your stamp of approval! This image is enough to make the Disney sentimental in all of us shed a tear or two.
The Vultures Are Always Watching…
I absolutely love the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and not only because Snow White is my favorite Disney princess of all time… the animatronics, gorgeous colors, and nearly exact replica of the Dwarfs cottage at the end of the ride make this a pretty perfect attraction. Having said that, Snow White’s Scary Adventures was a spooky dark ride akin to the Haunted Mansion I wouldn’t mind having back in the Magic Kingdom. If you’re like me and love Snow White’s current representation in the parks but still misses a bit of that old, creepy magic, you need but to look up! The vultures that appeared in Snow White Scary Adventure made their way to The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and can be seen as you travel up the first lift hill.
20,000 Journeys Under the Sea!
Before there was Ariel’s Grotto and The Journey of the Little Mermaid, there was a little attraction some of you may remember called 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This ride was so popular that there are an extraordinary amount of relics and nods to the former attraction that were left behind for us to enjoy in our clam shells. Some of these things, like the squid located in a DVC sales center right outside the attraction is a nod to the squid in the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea film. Not only are both of these attractions water themed, they both actually take you under the sea! As legend has it, cast members gathered some of the water in bottles upon the transition from 20,000 Leagues to The Little Mermaid and have added it to the water in Prince Eric’s Castle for an extra piece of Disney history/magic! But perhaps my favorite nugget is the configuration of the Nautilus Submarine that is hidden around the rockwork in the current Under the Sea journey. Be sure to check out some fun hidden Mickeys in the same area, too!
For all of you old school MGM fans out there, you may recognize the spitting camels outside of The Magic Carpets of Aladdin from a different piece of Disney history. They were actually used in a parade called Aladdin’s Royal Caravan, and were even briefly homed in the entrance of the Soundstage Restaurant before making their current residence as the figurehead for the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. But beware how close you get to these seemingly harmless little guys – they actually do spit!
Walt Disney World may appear to be a sea of constant change, but at the end of the day, the dedication and respect Imagineers have for the fans can be seen in the little details we continue to enjoy on our new favorite attractions. The Disney details go beyond hidden Mickeys and elaborate queues; the magic is maintained by keeping pieces of our favorites, our tried and true relics from previous attractions sustained by the lifeforce of their successors. From Mr. Toad and Pooh Bear to Snow White, the Little Mermaid, and the camels from Aladdin, there is always a piece of Disney history we can pack in our hearts and bring home with us to cherish and pass down to generations long after our vacation ends.