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Jungle Cruise Update

raven24

Well-Known Member
Literally not one piece of merch with the talking skull on it. SMH. How have they not just made a mini replica of it? I know for Disneyland’s 50th they made some huge limited Edition ones. I’d be cool with just a small replica
The talking skull is my favorite part of the ride. I haven’t bought a piece of Disneyland merchandise in years, but I’d buy a replica of the talking skull.

Disney is all about milking their IPs for money... Pirates is obviously one of the most popular rides, and yet nothing. A perfect opportunity wasted. Maybe we’ll get some stuff for DL’s 75th, but I wouldn’t count on it. Can’t count on Disney for anything nowadays, except disappointment and mediocre offerings in the park that don’t interest me lol.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
I have to wonder if Carmen Smith thought about these things when getting off Splash Mountain with her family in the past. I’m guessing no and that they all just stepped off the log smiling and slightly soaked.

She didn't. If she even took her kids to Disneyland to begin with. We have no idea who this Imagineer is, what her background is, where she came from and what she worked on previously. She just appeared suddenly as the apparent authority on all things Representative.

I mean really, we're all on a Disneyland theme park forum talking about Disneyland rides for the past decade or more. And have any of us ever heard of Carmen Smith before? I haven't. She looks nice, she has a pleasant smile.

But who the heck is she and why should I care? Does she build good amusement park rides? That's all I really care about when discussing Imagineers.

So show us what you got Carmen!

as did 99.9999999999999% of those that have ridden it...though they might not have been smiling due to being very soaked.

99.999999999% of the people that rode Splash Mountain since 1989 were either smiling or frowning based on how wet they got, or didn't get. None of them were upset at the way the singing chickens were portrayed and represented the singing chicken community. Because they knew they were just robot singing chickens. In a log ride. At an amusement park. So who the heck cares?
 
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SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
She didn't. If she even took her kids to Disneyland to begin with. We have no idea who this Imagineer is, what her background is, where she came from and what she worked on previously. She just appeared suddenly as the apparent authority on all things Representative.

I mean really, we're all on a Disneyland theme park forum talking about Disneyland rides for the past decade or more. And have any of us ever heard of Carmen Smith before? I haven't. She looks nice, she has a pleasant smile.

But who the heck is she and why should I care? Does she build good amusement park rides? That's all I really care about when discussing Imagineers.

So show us what you got Carmen!

It's interesting, isn't it? Especially when Carmen is speaking about attractions that have defined Disneyland for generations.

The two biggest names I saw in the Disney Parks Blog article when they announced the Splash change are Charita Carter (Senior Creative Producer) and Carmen Smith (Creative Development and Inclusive Strategies Executive). I just spent 15 minutes reading up on both of them- because before 2020 I hadn't heard of either of them.

From Charita's Linkedin she has 24 years at WDI-

1614156028038.png


It's an impressive work history- and with 24 years at WDI she probably knows a thing or two about developing attractions for Disneyland. Except, the only attraction credit I could find was for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, a ride that opened less then two years ago and while it looks fun- has yet to cement itself as a classic. I imagine she's been involved in a fair amount of projects at WDI during her time there- I'm curious how many of them were for Disneyland proper, which is a different beast to tackle then the rest of the Disney Parks portfolio due to it's unique history and age.

Let's compare that to Tony's impact on Disneyland 24 years into his WDI career. He started at Disneyland in 1965 or so, though he didn't start at WDI until a few years later. But, this would put Splash Mountain's open 24 years into his Disney career so it's a fair comparison. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, New Fantasyland, Captain Eo, Star Tours, then Splash in '89. And that's just for Disneyland, he also was integral in developing perhaps Epcot's most beloved attraction- Journey Into Imagination. WDI is definitely a different beast now then it was in the '70s and '80s, but it's an interesting comparison.

Now let's look at Carmen Smith's WDI Linkedin summary-

1614156563739.png



She says she's responsible for developing a diverse pipeline of product and themed experiences- but doesn't list which ones those are. And as you said- before last year no one had heard of her, though she has supported a few charities and other very worthwhile causes. She's an accomplished and inspirational women, I'm just not sure how she became a spokesperson for multiple major new projects that involve altering beloved classics. She lists creative product development as a primary area of focus, I just wish we could learn more about what creative product she's developed in the past.
 

el_super

Well-Known Member
Other than "flash mountain", I've never heard of Splash having a troubling history until now. I get that it's tied to a troubling movie but the actual ride, nada. Doesn't mean it didn't exist, just never heard about it.

The last time Song of the South was released to theaters was 1986. I remember a bit of a stir then, has had happened at other precious releases, with various groups calling for a boycott of the problematic movie.

After the 1986 release two very contradictory outcomes occured: Disney soft-banned the film from being rereleased to theaters or home video, and then also approved a ride based on the characters.

I do remember some press releases trying to prove how Splash Mountain wasn't going to be as racist as the movie, and this article from the LA Times in 1987 would seem to suggest I am remembering right:

The amusement park plans to break ground this summer on “Splash Mountain,” a ride featuring characters from Disney’s “Song of the South.” The ride will serenade customers with a rousing version of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah"--the Academy Award-winning movie theme--as they float along a man-made river, watching Br’er Rabbit outwitting Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear in scenes taken from the animated portions of the film.
The movie has sparked controversy since its premier in 1946 because of its depiction in live-action scenes of relationships between slaves and plantation owners in the pre-Civil War South. But Disney officials say they do not expect the ride to provoke criticism because it uses only the animated animal characters.​



Could you imagine an explanation like that today? The ride can't be racist because we've removed all the black characters?
 

raven24

Well-Known Member
The last time Song of the South was released to theaters was 1986. I remember a bit of a stir then, has had happened at other precious releases, with various groups calling for a boycott of the problematic movie.

After the 1986 release two very contradictory outcomes occured: Disney soft-banned the film from being rereleased to theaters or home video, and then also approved a ride based on the characters.

I do remember some press releases trying to prove how Splash Mountain wasn't going to be as racist as the movie, and this article from the LA Times in 1987 would seem to suggest I am remembering right:

The amusement park plans to break ground this summer on “Splash Mountain,” a ride featuring characters from Disney’s “Song of the South.” The ride will serenade customers with a rousing version of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah"--the Academy Award-winning movie theme--as they float along a man-made river, watching Br’er Rabbit outwitting Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear in scenes taken from the animated portions of the film.
The movie has sparked controversy since its premier in 1946 because of its depiction in live-action scenes of relationships between slaves and plantation owners in the pre-Civil War South. But Disney officials say they do not expect the ride to provoke criticism because it uses only the animated animal characters.​



Could you imagine an explanation like that today? The ride can't be racist because we've removed all the black characters?
Disney did the same thing with their 1999 film adaptation of Tarzan. The original Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs is painstakingly racist, particularly the depiction of the African natives and their relationship an interactions with Tarzan. Disney made sure not to include a single black person in the film.
 

el_super

Well-Known Member
Disney did the same thing with their 1999 film adaptation of Tarzan. The original Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs is painstakingly racist, particularly the depiction of the African natives and their relationship an interactions with Tarzan. Disney made sure not to include a single black person in the film.

Yeah... it was an older definition of racism that led to Tarzan being created at the studio. I think that's part of what some people (and yeah I would even include myself in this) are having a hard time understanding: the socially accepted definition of racism, and how to address it, has shifted. What was consider an acceptable solution in the 1980s and even up to the 1990s, of sweeping it under the rug and pretending it isn't an issue, doesn't work any longer.

They knew there were issues with the Song of the South when they were designing Splash Mountain, and they tried to work around them in a very 1980s fashion. They removed rather than address and correct: they removed Uncle Remus. They replaced the tar baby. They removed the title of the film and didn't make any connection to the story taking place in the South. In the 1980s, that would have been considered enough, maybe even above and beyond, in the fight against racism. But now as those sands have shifted again, it's not enough.

Disney ignored the problem for a long time, because ignoring it was socially acceptable. Now that they can't ignore the problem any longer, they are going to have to play catch up, in a pretty dramatic fashion.
 

FerretAfros

Well-Known Member
It's interesting, isn't it? Especially when Carmen is speaking about attractions that have defined Disneyland for generations.

The two biggest names I saw in the Disney Parks Blog article when they announced the Splash change are Charita Carter (Senior Creative Producer) and Carmen Smith (Creative Development and Inclusive Strategies Executive). I just spent 15 minutes reading up on both of them- because before 2020 I hadn't heard of either of them.

From Charita's Linkedin she has 24 years at WDI-

View attachment 534912

It's an impressive work history- and with 24 years at WDI she probably knows a thing or two about developing attractions for Disneyland. Except, the only attraction credit I could find was for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, a ride that opened less then two years ago and while it looks fun- has yet to cement itself as a classic. I imagine she's been involved in a fair amount of projects at WDI during her time there- I'm curious how many of them were for Disneyland proper, which is a different beast to tackle then the rest of the Disney Parks portfolio due to it's unique history and age.

Let's compare that to Tony's impact on Disneyland 24 years into his WDI career. He started at Disneyland in 1965 or so, though he didn't start at WDI until a few years later. But, this would put Splash Mountain's open 24 years into his Disney career so it's a fair comparison. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, New Fantasyland, Captain Eo, Star Tours, then Splash in '89. And that's just for Disneyland, he also was integral in developing perhaps Epcot's most beloved attraction- Journey Into Imagination. WDI is definitely a different beast now then it was in the '70s and '80s, but it's an interesting comparison.

Now let's look at Carmen Smith's WDI Linkedin summary-

View attachment 534913


She says she's responsible for developing a diverse pipeline of product and themed experiences- but doesn't list which ones those are. And as you said- before last year no one had heard of her, though she has supported a few charities and other very worthwhile causes. She's an accomplished and inspirational women, I'm just not sure how she became a spokesperson for multiple major new projects that involve altering beloved classics. She lists creative product development as a primary area of focus, I just wish we could learn more about what creative product she's developed in the past.
Charita's resume is strong and reflects someone who has grown and evolved in the industry, whether she is a household name or not. It's a little concerning that she started in accounting and finance, rather than a creative or technical field (reminiscent of Eisner's much-maligned Strategic Planning group), but she's clearly been around long enough to have a pretty solid understanding of the design process.

Carmen's resume, on the other hand, is more difficult to decipher. Given the terminology, I almost have to wonder if she's in the part of WDI that used to be Consumer Products. Phases like "creative product," "editorial participation," and "global marketplace" just don't seem to fit with the typical jargon of the design and construction industry. Consumer Products was merged into Imagineering about 3 years ago, so there's a large group of employees who have spent their careers managing vendor contracts and product licensing, rather than design. At the very least, she seems to have a more corporate/business-oriented background than what you'd typically associate with WDI. I don't doubt that she's quite accomplished at what she does, but it doesn't seem like she necessarily has a lot of experience with designing theme park attractions, experiences, and environments.

Could you imagine an explanation like that today? The ride can't be racist because we've removed all the black characters?
Isn't that pretty much what they're doing with the Jungle Cruise? Removing outdated depictions of black characters, in favor of cute animals?
 

el_super

Well-Known Member
Isn't that pretty much what they're doing with the Jungle Cruise? Removing outdated depictions of black characters, in favor of cute animals?

Yeah, pretty much. I feel I can acknowledge that bumping Jungle Cruise up to a 1980s model of race relations, is still better than keeping it in 1964, even if there is still more that can be done.

Edit to add: we haven't really completely seen what the changes entail, so maybe there will be more to it than that.
 

Professortango1

Well-Known Member
I already know what you said. And what you said about the movies did not sound completely true. It was popular for when people get the chance to see it online or in a printed disc. Same thing for Disney Sing Along Songs when they see the songs in the videos. And it only seemed less popular because people never got the chance to see it and don't know the movie well, because of Disney's bad bosses' current actions. That's all I mean. Not saying Princess and the Frog is not popular.

Newer stuff is generally always more popular than older stuff. Also, Song of the South is a pretty bland film. Outside of James Baskett's performance and the animated sequences, the film never did well with critics nor audiences. Disney's thinking behind Splash Mountain was kind of brilliant. Let's transform the property to be focused on the most successful elements of it and solely market those moments. It worked in the 90's, as I had all the Brer Rabbit books and Sing-A-Long tapes and had plush.

But, people 5-10 years older than me don't have that attachment. The families visiting the part today don't know or care about Song of the South. They do know Princess and the Frog. Sure, some of it is due to access to the IP, but its also quality and newness. Most people know Princess and the Frog more than Ichabod and Mr Toad despite the film not being restricted and being shown regularly shown on the Disney channel throughout the years.

I always maintain that if Song of the South was good, Disney would have released it and dealt with the issues. Dumbo is far worse with racism and they pushed through that. The only difference is audiences like Dumbo whereas Song of the South wasn't worth the negative PR.
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
I hope the new Splash Mountain won't remove everything from the original attraction. There's some iconic scenes that just should remain like the showboat. The final splash to Zip a Dee Doo Dah will be forever missed.
 

AnonymousStitch

New Member
Also, Song of the South is a pretty bland film.
Only in your opinion, not fact. There are many fans who reveal otherwise.
Newer stuff is generally always more popular than older stuff. Also, Song of the South is a pretty bland film. Outside of James Baskett's performance and the animated sequences, the film never did well with critics nor audiences. Disney's thinking behind Splash Mountain was kind of brilliant. Let's transform the property to be focused on the most successful elements of it and solely market those moments. It worked in the 90's, as I had all the Brer Rabbit books and Sing-A-Long tapes and had plush.
Only in your opinion it is Bland, not fact. There are those who said otherwise. If it did not do well, it wouldn't have won a great award. You call that not well?
But, people 5-10 years older than me don't have that attachment. The families visiting the part today don't know or care about Song of the South. They do know Princess and the Frog. Sure, some of it is due to access to the IP, but its also quality and newness. Most people know Princess and the Frog more than Ichabod and Mr Toad despite the film not being restricted and being shown regularly shown on the Disney channel throughout the years.
None of what you say is full truth. There are so people who do care. We seen it in comments or other sources. The only reason others don't know Song of the south is because they never seen and don't know the true nature, and because Disney, mainly the current bosses, are not showing it in public foolishly. Already it is causing a riot, when people are demanding it.
I always maintain that if Song of the South was good, Disney would have released it and dealt with the issues. Dumbo is far worse with racism and they pushed through that. The only difference is audiences like Dumbo whereas Song of the South wasn't worth the negative PR.
Those films are not racist, only by a troll and blind hater's tongue.

Besides, since the riot of the lack of the film not appearing, the PC/Cancel Culture, the re-themes, and the firing of actors , like Gina who spoke some truth as many said, those might lead to some changes on the next shareholders next month who would, as well as cancelations.

I don't want to talk about this anymore.
 

AnonymousStitch

New Member
I hope the new Splash Mountain won't remove everything from the original attraction. There's some iconic scenes that just should remain like the showboat. The final splash to Zip a Dee Doo Dah will be forever missed.
I wouldn't bet on any changes soon, because since nothing has happened, nor any real reports, and because of the possibilities of Shareholder's meeting next month, things might changed or reconsidered aside from other possible news. You never know. But I'm not getting my hopes on anything.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
It's interesting, isn't it? Especially when Carmen is speaking about attractions that have defined Disneyland for generations.

The two biggest names I saw in the Disney Parks Blog article when they announced the Splash change are Charita Carter (Senior Creative Producer) and Carmen Smith (Creative Development and Inclusive Strategies Executive). I just spent 15 minutes reading up on both of them- because before 2020 I hadn't heard of either of them.

From Charita's Linkedin she has 24 years at WDI-

View attachment 534912

It's an impressive work history- and with 24 years at WDI she probably knows a thing or two about developing attractions for Disneyland. Except, the only attraction credit I could find was for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, a ride that opened less then two years ago and while it looks fun- has yet to cement itself as a classic. I imagine she's been involved in a fair amount of projects at WDI during her time there- I'm curious how many of them were for Disneyland proper, which is a different beast to tackle then the rest of the Disney Parks portfolio due to it's unique history and age.

Let's compare that to Tony's impact on Disneyland 24 years into his WDI career. He started at Disneyland in 1965 or so, though he didn't start at WDI until a few years later. But, this would put Splash Mountain's open 24 years into his Disney career so it's a fair comparison. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, New Fantasyland, Captain Eo, Star Tours, then Splash in '89. And that's just for Disneyland, he also was integral in developing perhaps Epcot's most beloved attraction- Journey Into Imagination. WDI is definitely a different beast now then it was in the '70s and '80s, but it's an interesting comparison.

Now let's look at Carmen Smith's WDI Linkedin summary-

View attachment 534913


She says she's responsible for developing a diverse pipeline of product and themed experiences- but doesn't list which ones those are. And as you said- before last year no one had heard of her, though she has supported a few charities and other very worthwhile causes. She's an accomplished and inspirational women, I'm just not sure how she became a spokesperson for multiple major new projects that involve altering beloved classics. She lists creative product development as a primary area of focus, I just wish we could learn more about what creative product she's developed in the past.

Wow! Some great investigative work there and some interesting facts behind these two Imagineers we've never heard of before.

For Ms. Carter, it seems she started at WDI in the 2000's as an accountant, and her accounting career took her into the 2010's before she was promoted to several different jobs with "Producer" in the titles. I'm reminded of the fabulous Jennifer Coolidge from For Your Consideration, when she is asked what exactly a Producer does, and she responds with... "Snacks". 🤣


As for Ms. Smith, that's a resume that is even more nebulous than Ms. Carter's. But it certainly has very impressive words. Lots of words. Important words. Executive class words. Words with meaning and impact.

But how she has impacted the building of high quality rides at amusement parks since 2010 is... still not really known or explained.

That might be a problem coming from an "Imagineer" that no one has ever heard of before. :oops:
 
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TP2000

Well-Known Member
The last time Song of the South was released to theaters was 1986. I remember a bit of a stir then, has had happened at other precious releases, with various groups calling for a boycott of the problematic movie.

After the 1986 release two very contradictory outcomes occured: Disney soft-banned the film from being rereleased to theaters or home video, and then also approved a ride based on the characters.

I do remember some press releases trying to prove how Splash Mountain wasn't going to be as racist as the movie, and this article from the LA Times in 1987 would seem to suggest I am remembering right:

The amusement park plans to break ground this summer on “Splash Mountain,” a ride featuring characters from Disney’s “Song of the South.” The ride will serenade customers with a rousing version of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah"--the Academy Award-winning movie theme--as they float along a man-made river, watching Br’er Rabbit outwitting Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear in scenes taken from the animated portions of the film.
The movie has sparked controversy since its premier in 1946 because of its depiction in live-action scenes of relationships between slaves and plantation owners in the pre-Civil War South. But Disney officials say they do not expect the ride to provoke criticism because it uses only the animated animal characters.​



Could you imagine an explanation like that today? The ride can't be racist because we've removed all the black characters?

Not to mention that LA Times article from 1987 was factually incorrect.

The Song Of The South stories, as told by Uncle Remus, were published from 1881 to 1918 and were set in the Reconstruction South, not the "pre-Civil War South" as the LA Times incorrectly claimed. Uncle Remus is a Freed Man, not a slave.

I make fun of the LA Times in the 21st century because it's so painfully obvious they don't have good editors any more. Or any editors at all. But I guess that was also a problem for them in the 1980's. No wonder their readership collapsed and they had to move to El Segundo. :D

But that I dared to mention that fact will probably mean I'm a horrible racist and Pro Singing Chicken. Or something. I can never quite keep up with what I'm for or against when it comes to the singing chickens.
 

raven24

Well-Known Member
Not to mention that LA Times article from 1987 was factually incorrect.

The Song Of The South stories, as told by Uncle Remus, were published from 1881 to 1918 and were set in the Reconstruction South, not the "pre-Civil War South" as the LA Times incorrectly claimed. Uncle Remus is a Freed Man, not a slave.

I make fun of the LA Times in the 21st century because it's so painfully obvious they don't have good editors any more. Or any editors at all. But I guess that was also a problem for them in the 1980's. No wonder their readership collapsed and they had to move to El Segundo. :D

But that I dared to mention that fact will probably mean I'm a horrible racist and Pro Singing Chicken. Or something. I can never quite keep up with what I'm for or against when it comes to the singing chickens.
Whether the stories take place in pre or post Civil War, they’re still problematic.
 

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