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Friday, September 10, 2010

Pretty Good Sure as You're Born

Today, I thought that I would talk about one of my favorite attractions at the Magic Kingdom, Splash Mountain.

Splash Mountain, like most other Disney rides, originated at Disneyland. The ride opened on July 17, 1989 in California. Three years later on October 2, 1992, the Magic Kingdom Found it's laughing place in Frontierland. Of course, to do this, the land had to go through many drastic changes. The before and after pictures are shocking, it is hard to even recognize the old Frontierland compared to today. The funny thing is, the ride isn't even set in the old west. It is set in the deep south, which I guess you could say is a frontier of another kind.

The 11 minute long ride culminates in a 52 foot plunge into Br'er Rabbits Brier Patch. Most people have been on the ride several times, have seen all the great animatronics (including a multi-million dollar one of a hopping Br'er Rabbit) mostly taken from the defunct show, America sings. However, most people do not know the fantastic story behind the ride.

Br'er Rabbit is tired of the monotony of his home and decides to take off. Along the way, two rascally villains follow him, hoping to get something good to eat. Several times they catch him, and each time Br'er Rabbit uses his brains to get out of the trouble. When it looks like Br'er Rabbit is about to meet his doom, he convinces Br'er Fox to throw him down the mountain into the Brier patch to kill him and get back at him for all the times he made a fool of him. So, not knowing that the Rabbit lives in the patch, Br'er Fox flings him down the mountain. The ride ends in the final scene with a 40 foot tall showboat welcoming Br'er Rabbit back home to the toon of Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, and Br'er Rabbit telling everyone that passes by that there is no place like home.

So, where did this story come from? Most of us have seen that music video of Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah where animated birds and animals come to life and sing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah with several children with an old man following behind trying to catch up. What most of us have not seen is the movie that this was taken from. Well, this clip came from the best Disney movie that was never released, Song of the South. Song of the South tells about the tradition of stories and song in the Deep south narrated by Uncle Remus himself. Uncle Remus was replaced by Br'er Frog in order to keep out any racial context. This movie was not released though due to 'racial context', although it is not that bad. I encourage everyone reading this to take an hour and a half to google the movie and watch it online. It is a fine movie with a lot of soul.

Anyway, so there you have it. Splash Mountain, one of the most popular rides at the Magic Kingdom, which almost no one knows the story behind.

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