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Characters That Kids Might Not Know These Days

There are many theme park attractions themed around old movies or cartoon characters that kids these days might not have seen or know about.

From Jorge Arnoldson
Posted October 5, 2010 at 8:23 PM
It's 2010, and the youngsters have probably seen movies such as "Toy Story 3" (more aimed at the teenagers and adults that loved the first two), "Despicable Me", "Alpha and Omega", and many others. But, many theme park companies (especially Disney) have still kept or introduced attractions that are based on older movie franchises. These rides include the Gran Fiesta Tour: Starring the Three Caballeros, Feivel's Playland, Kim Possible, and a handful more. "The Three Caballeros" came out in 1945, and "Kim Possible" got cancelled two years before the interactive experience came out.

So, tell me your thoughts on all this stuff. Also, be sure to check out my Theme Park Apprentice Season 2 submission, which is to be continued.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted October 6, 2010 at 3:13 AM
Way to work in the plug for the Apprentice.

From Hermione Potter
Posted October 6, 2010 at 6:09 AM
My cousins (4, 5, and 6) have never seen a classic mickey mouse cartoon - Disney channel hasn't played them in years. The only way that kids today know who Mickey and friends are is from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Also? The reason Woody Woodpecker doesn't come out for meet and greets anymore is no one had any clue who he was (Universal), so now Dora, Diego, and Jimmy Neutron are there.

The entire Jimmy Neutron ride is full of characters from shows kids today have never seen, yet kids still like them. I think they learn everything in reverse of how we did - they see the ride or show and then their parents show them stuff when they get home so they see how amazing rugrats are :)

From Derek Potter
Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:53 AM
As long as a themed ride has immersion and a high quality, the theme itself is fairly irrelevant. Case in point, Dudley Do Right and Popeye at IOA. Very few under the age of 25 have ever even heard of these characters outside of the rides, yet those attractions are highly rated and very popular.

In terms of popularity, the theme itself means nothing if the quality of the attraction isn't good. Harry Potter succeeded partially because of his brand, but it also succeeded because of the Universal brand and their reputation for delivering high quality attractions. If a Six Flags park rolled out a Harry Potter land, there wouldn't have been nearly as much fanfare because it wouldn't have been on the scale of Universal. If Universal rolled out a ride themed to some long forgotten cultural relic, it still would be popular and highly rated because it's done well.

From Victoria Jurkowski
Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:17 PM
The only one that bothers me is Gadget's Go Coaster at disneyland. The roger rabbit ride has characters from the same time but its a dark ride that tells a story, so the characters arent lost. the go coaster just mentions gadget once and no one knows who she is anymore. and it could easily be rethemed with just a name change and a different voiceover.

From Carrie Hood
Posted October 7, 2010 at 3:52 PM
I had just commented last week to my husband about this, we where down in Orlando for our yearly visit. We where taking a break in the smoking area between Toon Lagoon and JP, when I commented that eventually they'll have to update. Most of these kids now days have no clue who any of these cartoon characters featured in the land are. This became obvious when we heard a little girl comment to her mother "Who's Heathcliff?". My heart nearly stopped then I slowly looked around myself and realized it was true. Kid's don't know these characters anymore and I was suddenly very sad, mostly because cartoons anymore simply aren't the same (read: nearly as good) as what most of us grew up with but that's an entire other kettle of fish!

But it's a valid question, what will happen when these rides get a re-theme? What's your personal suggestion for some of them?

From Derek Potter
Posted October 8, 2010 at 4:20 PM
Personally I wish they would bring back some of these cartoons. Today's cartoons pale in comparison to the ones from 20-25 years ago

From Anthony Murphy
Posted October 10, 2010 at 9:22 PM
This is actually the point of Disney releasing things out of the vault. Every ten years or so, they rerelease a classic so that a new generation can be introduced to these wonderful characters. I know Disney gets alot of grief for doing that, but it seems to do the trick!

Consider the Princesses:

Snow White 1937
Cinderella 1950
Sleeping Beauty 1959
Ariel 1989
Jasmine 1992
Belle 1994
Tiana 2009
Rapunzel 2010

From Hermione Potter
Posted October 11, 2010 at 6:01 PM
I thought the point of the vault was so the movies never went on sale? Because Disney didn't want snow white in the bargain bin or something? I remember reading an article about it somewhere a few years ago, I can't seem to find it now though. It's true though that you never see the classics for less then $20. :(

From Derek Potter
Posted October 12, 2010 at 9:42 AM
That's also part of it. The Disney vault limits release of their classics so as to limit supply. It creates a buyer's "sense of urgency", while also preventing clearance sales and the movie from being "devalued". The every ten year thing maximizes demand, as there is a new generation of kids who hypothetically do not own or have never seen the movie. It's quite the combination of psychology and business sense.

From Bobby Miller
Posted October 11, 2010 at 7:27 PM
Hermione, what Anthony says is almost correct because the ten year wait is now an industry wide thing. A number of years back I was looking to buy a copy of my all time favorite sy-fy movie The Forbidden Planet that I loved from the 50's but could not find one. It was the first sy-fy movie in color, the rest were in black and white if you kids know what that is, lol.

It had been on tv a number of times but then disappeared. I remember sending a letter to the company trying to find out why it disappeared and was told it was put back in the vault and would not be released again for ten years.

I totally forgot about that movie and then one day about 10 years ago, guess what, the movie came out on DVD and I snapped up a copy. So if you see something around and then it disappears off tv, that's the reason. And guess what, I just saw an updated copy with extras that I'll have to buy.

And Derek, I totally agree with you about the older cartoons, the garbage that my grandson Zachary watches these days looks like a 6 year old drew it and where is the plot, I'll take the Road Runner anyday "beep-beep."

Bobby, formally known as Bob & Robert!!!!!!!

From Joshua Counsil
Posted October 12, 2010 at 2:40 PM
I think Zombieland put it best...

Little Rock: Who's Bill Murray?
Tallahassee: I've never hit a kid before. I mean, that's like asking who Gandhi is.
Little Rock: Who's Gandhi?

From Javier Suarez
Posted October 12, 2010 at 6:08 PM
One thing I'll never understand is the resurgent popularity of the Little Mermaid. A girl gives away her voice in order to win a guy. Talk about a terrible metaphor for children.

From luis gonzalez
Posted October 13, 2010 at 9:11 AM
i think people love the little mermaid because of all the T&A. clam shells never looked so good!

WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Flavio de Souza
Posted October 13, 2010 at 10:16 AM
I never saw the picture related to Mr. Toad ride, but it was my favorite ride at WDW Fantasyland when I was a child. As far as I know it still exists in Disneyland.

I really would like to see a 3D remake of it, followed by a new dark ride, based on the new position technology used in the POOH ride at Tokio DL and to be used in the Ratatouile ride in DL Paris.

From Scott B
Posted October 13, 2010 at 12:18 PM
Splash Mountain to me is the big one. My oldest child is three, so I haven't had to explain who these characters are...yet. But that doesn't prevent anyone from the loving that ride. Hell, I have never even seen the Song of the South either (or at least can't remember seeing it) and I love that ride to no end.

From Nick Markham
Posted October 13, 2010 at 3:35 PM
Technically, I don't think splash Mountain is entirely based on Song of the South, it just has characters in common if I am correct.

From Thomas Crain
Posted October 13, 2010 at 3:55 PM
Splash Mountain uses the same characters, music, and plot-lines as the animated segments of 'Song of the South.'

It seems that when it comes to their television animation, Disney keeps missing the popularity wave. Kim Possible hit an all-time popularity high when fans demanded the (absolutely fantastic) final season, yet the World Showcase adventure didn't appear until long after the finale.

I shudder to think of the potential fun we'll miss if Disney waits too long to do something with 'Phineas and Ferb.'

As to the topic at hand, I never realized how much of a presence Bill Nye the Science Guy has at Walt Disney World.

From Victoria Jurkowski
Posted October 13, 2010 at 7:50 PM
splash mountain requires no explaination. if the ride is done right it can tell the story, and the characters wont be lost on new generations. the ride can actually help keep the story alive. but if the ride does nothing in way of telling a story, the characters become lost. thats the main reason rides based on characters need to tell some sort of story, otherwise they might become outdated.

From Tiffany J. L. Alfonso
Posted October 22, 2010 at 6:37 PM
Other than Splash Mountain at the MK, here's an attraction that includes cartoon series that kids might have not seen or known of: Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast at USF. Kids know that Spongebob Squarepants and his undersea pals are still growing strong (as well as the Fairly OddParents being revived in 2008 and still running), but they seem to overlook the host of the ride, the old-school Rugrats, and Hey Arnold! I remember seeing them all as a child, but I got a feeling that kids in today's generation might not know who that little baby in the blue shirt (Tommy Pickles) is.

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