April 13, 2021

Selling Splash Mountain to McDonalds

From the Disney pitchbook, or as I call it,  "How to Sell A Corporate Sponsorship of Splash Mountain to McDonalds". The beautiful little piece of concept art for Disneyland's version of the wettest ride in the wilderness was used by the business side of the house to get the hamburger behemoth to open up their wallets and sponsor the sure to be popular log ride. 

The musical Audio-Animatronic Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah classic has it all! A long and at times relaxing thrill ride for most of the family, classic characters, a sweet storyline, and one very memorable piece of Americana- a beloved Disney song from the controversial movie Song of the South. 

Imagineer Tony Baxter and his team created one of the most loved attractions ever and one with the longest lines at any Disney park. Taking figures from the closed America Sings attraction designed by Marc Davis, the end result remains a fan favorite for almost 40 years!

What will the newer Imagineers do to this classic as they transform it into a tribute to Princess and the Frog? The heroine Tiana is a charming and determined young woman in midst of a compelling story. But troubles come to the surface quickly when talking about the changes in detail. The villain will certainly ramp up the freight factor. The animal characters are in an entirely different artistic style than their predecessors. The film's music is classic New Orleans but without one instantly iconic song on the wide scale appeal level of Zip

Will this be another Frozen Ever After or a forced entry changeout a la Twilight Zone Tower of Terror to Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout? Let's hope not. 

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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