Winnie the Pooh was once quoted as saying, “Nobody can be uncheered by a balloon.” Pooh is a wise bear—balloons almost always bring cheer to their recipients. And Imagineers at Walt Disney World are experts in bringing cheer, fun and fantasy to the over 20 million Guests who visit the Magic Kingdom each and every year. And what do you get when you mix Pooh’s wisdom with the ingenuity and creativity of Disney Imagineers? Well, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction at Fantasyland, of course! And if you’re a fan of Disney World and of the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood, you’re in for a real treat when you experience this “hunny” of an attraction! Here are a few super cool things about this fun ride.
7. It is very popular among Guests.
While this fun ride aboard an oversized “hunny” pot is the furthest thing from a thrill ride, it is quite popular among Guests at Magic Kingdom. If you visit the park during peak seasons and wait in the stand-by queue, you’ll have a lot of time to make new friends.
6. Its predecessor raised some eyebrows.
Before The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction had a home at Disney World, the space it now takes up was occupied by a different attraction—Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. The ride was based on Disney’s adaptation of The Wind in the Willows. Like the Winnie the Pooh attraction, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was one aboard a vehicle on a track that took Guests through scenes with characters from one of Disney’s classic films. But to some Guests, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride had some questionable parts to it, especially for an attraction at a family theme park where scores of children visited. That’s because one of the scenes in the attraction depicted a train wreck and a subsequent journey through Hell. This seemed fairly dark in the eyes of some Guests. They felt that such a scene wasn’t appropriate for children—especially at the most “magical” (happy, fun, fantastical) place on earth.
5. Its creation was steeped in controversy.
Though the story of Winnie the Pooh is a very happy one, there were thousands and thousands of Disney World fans who didn’t have any desire for the attraction it inspired to come to Magic Kingdom—at least not if it meant closing their beloved Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. And those fans were not quiet about their disapproval of Disney’s decision to send Mr. Toad back to the swamp. On the contrary, huge protests took place. Fans initiated writing campaigns and letters poured into Disney World’s mailbox, detailing Guests’ sadness (and sometimes anger) over the opening day attraction being closed forever. Some fans even went so far as to design T-shirts with various slogans slamming Disney’s decision. (Really?!) Despite fans’ efforts, Mr. Toad’s final ride took place on September 7, 1998, and renovation began to transform Mr. Toad’s stomping grounds into the Hundred Acre Wood. Nine short months later, the Winnie the Pooh attraction opened to Guests.
4. The controversy doesn’t seem to have stopped Pooh’s success.
The Winnie the Pooh attraction is very near and dear to the hearts of many of the millions of Guests who visit Magic Kingdom every year. Just walk past the queue for the attraction, especially during heavily attended times of the year, and you can see how popular and successful the journey through the Hundred Acre Wood is!
3. It’s like touring a storybook.
Disney did a beautiful job of giving the Silly Old Bear and his best friend Christopher Robin a larger audience with its adaptation of A.A. Milne’s classic tales from the Hundred Acre Wood. And this attraction gives even more life to the sweet stories of Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore and all the beloved characters from the feature film. As you go through the ride, you see scenes from Disney’s film, such as “A Blustery Day,” “A Bounce with Tigger,” “A Rainy Place,” “Heffalumps and Woozles” and more. It’s very much like taking a ride through a vibrant storybook!
2. The queue is an attraction in itself.
The stand-by queue includes several interactive activities for Guests to enjoy while they wait. Explore Rabbit’s garden and play hide and seek with gophers. Crawl through a tunnel, draw shapes in overflowing hunny on the hunny wall and even knock on Piglet’s front door! Take Note: following Disney’s phased reopening, the queue interactive items are currently closed to reduce the risk of high-touch areas.
1. There’s an Easter egg hidden inside.
You have to look quickly to find these Disney “Easter eggs,” but just as you enter Owl’s house in the ride, look to your left, and you will see a picture of Mr. Toad (from the previous attraction) handing over the deed to the coveted spot in Fantasyland to Owl. There’s also a picture to the right—on the floor—of Moley from Wind in the Willows standing with Winnie the Pooh. Blink and you’ll miss them!