Jonnyboycavia Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Jonnyboycavia Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

5 Ways Disney Pays Tribute to Old Attractions

Jonnyboycavia Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Jonnyboycavia Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

From Space Mountain to Pirates of the Caribbean, there are a lot of iconic rides at Disney theme parks—but there are even more that have come and gone, sometimes in a matter of months. If you have sharp eyes, however, you can spot references to rides of yore in current attractions. Here are a few to look for the next time you visit.


BigFatPanda via YouTube

As part of the new Fantasyland update at the Magic Kingdom, Disney installed a new roller coaster called the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This meant that "Snow White's Scary Adventures," the other ride based on its first hit movie, had to go. Fans of the original can still catch a glimpse of some key figures from the old ride, though—the vultures from “Scary Adventures” are now perched in the sky right before your train car plunges down into a mine shaft. After you’ve survived your tumultuous trek through the mine, watch for Snow White and the dwarfs celebrating in the cottage. The dwarf animatronics were also borrowed from the original ride. Finally, Imagineers had one more trick up their sleeves for paying homage to another past attraction: the ride's weather vane is a squid, which is a little nod to the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride.


SecondStarFilms via YouTube

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride came to an end at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando on September 7, 1998. Opting to capitalize on the popularity of Winnie the Pooh, or perhaps just feeling that Wind in the Willows characters were no longer in vogue, Disney decided to replace Toad, Badger, and Moley with Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore. But if you sneak a quick glance behind you just after the ride starts, you’ll see an interesting set of framed pictures on the wall and floor: Toad handing the deed over to Owl and several other snaps of characters mingling.


Jonnyboyca via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Country Bears buffs may remember a talking trio of taxidermied heads named Melvin the Moose, Buff the Buffalo, and Max the Deer. They still chatter away at the Country Bear Jamboree attraction in the Magic Kingdom, but the Disneyland counterpart was replaced by the Winnie the Pooh ride in 2001. (Pooh seems to shove everyone aside.) Though the Country Bears themselves got the ouster, Melvin, Buff, and Max stayed put. If you turn around after exiting the Heffalumps and Woozles scene in Disneyland’s "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" ride, you can still see the trio hanging out. Sadly, they no longer talk.


Disneyland via YouTube

The Matterhorn at Disneyland went through a major overhaul in 2015, but that doesn’t mean that everything in the ride is new. In a scene Imagineers refer to as the “Hoard” scene, riders can see the collection of things the Abominable Snowman has found on the mountain over the years—including buckets from the Skyway that closed in 1994.


Long before Disneyland had Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, it was home to Rainbow Caverns Mine Train (also called Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland). After it opened in 1960, guests boarded miniature trains to take a tour of roaring falls, howling coyotes, animatronic bears diving for fish, and hawks protecting their nests. The ride's novelty eventually lost its luster, so Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster opened in its place in 1979. You can still spot Rainbow Ridge, the Old West town featured in the original ride, as part of the Big Thunder scenery. Though it went through a refurbishment in 2013, many of the original props and signs still remain.

Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort via Getty Images
Big Questions
How Did the Super Bowl's 'I'm Going to Disney World' Slogan Originate?
Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort via Getty Images
Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort via Getty Images

It’s a Super Bowl tradition as recognizable as catchy commercials, lengthy halftime shows, and mounds of leftover guacamole, but how did the famous "I'm going to Disney World" and "I'm going to Disneyland" slogans make their way to (almost) every big game since 1987?

The idea for the slogan itself can be credited to Jane Eisner, the wife of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. In 2015, he recounted the story behind the tagline to Sports Illustrated:

"In January 1987, we were launching Disneyland’s Star Tours, an attraction based on Star Wars. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, my wife, Jane, and I had dinner with George Lucas, as well as Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, who had just become the first people to fly around the world without stopping. It was late and the conversation hit a lull as we waited for our food. So I asked Dick and Jeana, 'Well, now that you’ve accomplished the pinnacle of your aspirations, what could you possibly do next?' Rutan responded, without hesitation, 'I’m going to Disneyland.' And of course I go, 'Wow, that’s cool! You made the right choice.' But my wife interjects: 'You know, that’s a good slogan.'"

Around this time, the NFL playoffs were well underway, with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos set to face each other at Super Bowl XXI. What better time to unveil this new marketing slogan than at the biggest TV event of the year? Once Eisner decided on a time and place to debut the phrase, the teams’ two quarterbacks, Phil Simms and John Elway, both received identical offers: $75,000 for the winner to say "I’m going to Disney World" and "I’m going to Disneyland" to a Disney camera as they ran off the field after the game. This would then be used in a commercial with Disney World or Disneyland being shown depending on where it aired. (This is then oftentimes followed by an actual trip to a Disney park within the next few days, where the spokesperson takes part in a parade in his team's honor). 

Simms was hesitant at first, but once he heard Elway agreed to it, he was on board. The NFL also signed off on Disney’s plan, so now it was up to the company to find a way to get their cameras on the field before all-out madness could erupt. Tom Elrod, Disney’s president of marketing and entertainment in 1987, told Sports Illustrated:

"We wanted it to be authentic, but that meant being the first camera on the field, in the most frenetic environment you could possibly imagine. We’d be competing with broadcast crews and journalists and hangers-on and teammates, just to have some guy look into a camera and say, 'I’m going to Disney World.' It’s wild if you think about it. That first year, I don’t think anyone thought that was achievable."

It’s a good thing the reluctant Simms changed his tune about Disney’s offer, because his Giants beat Elway’s Broncos 39-20. Not only was Simms awarded his first Super Bowl win and the game’s MVP award, he also got a cool $75,000 for uttering two simple sentences (though he had to say both sentences three times each, just to be sure). 

The tradition has carried on ever since, except in 2005 for Super Bowl XXXIX and in 2016 for Super Bowl 50, when no commercials aired (though Super Bowl 50's winning quarterback, Peyton Manning, went to Disneyland anyway).

The slogan now extends beyond football, having been uttered by everyone from NBA players to Olympians and American Idol contestants. And even if they don't wind up in a commercial, chances are a championship team will still be greeted by a Disney park parade, like the one thrown for the Chicago Cubs in 2016. 

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at

Watch a Screenplay Go from Script to Screen in This Clip From Inside Out

If a movie were a person, its script would be the skeleton. The essentials—narrative, protagonists, dialogue, etc.—are all there, but they need to be fleshed out to fully come to life. Enter characters (either played by actors or animated), music, and special effects, and suddenly simple words on a page have transformed into a motion picture.

In the new Pixar-produced video below, which was first spotted by Gizmodo, you can compare the screenplay of 2015's Inside Out with the theatrical version released in theaters. The text scrolls down the screen's bottom half as a corresponding scene from the film progresses, allowing viewers to juxtapose what they're watching with what they're reading. This way, aspiring screenwriters and Pixar fans alike can see firsthand how a movie moves from a bare-bones script to a fully realized film.

[h/t Gizmodo]


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