It's just this little chromium switch, here... (derspatchel) wrote,
It's just this little chromium switch, here...

Semper Absurda

Disney World's version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, despite being incredibly fun and totally nuts and hellbound and stuff, was closed in 1998. That was sad. The Disneyland version remains open and while it's a fun ride and you still end up in Hell, the ride is just not the same as the twin-tracked monstrosity that Florida had to offer.

I especially miss the damn thing because I first rode it as an easily-scared 6-year-old, back in 1981. That trip was traumatic enough; I'd already screamed my way out of the Haunted Mansion and had to leave via the chicken exit (that was cool cause you got to see some backstage stuff if memory serves me correctly; though honestly as a screaming 6-year-old I probably wasn't in the best mindset to appreciate it fully) and I'm sure I was embarassing my parents enough by later freaking out about a silly Mr. Toad ride.

However I soldiered forth and rode the thing, probably bribed by future promises of ice cream or something, but this time, instead of being freaked out, I came out with a huge grin and I wanted to ride again. This time maybe on the other side?

The thing was, the ride was insane. There were jokes galore and it was lit up in freaky-deaky colors and my favorite part, as I am sure I told everybody who'd listen for months on end, was where you crashed through a bar and headed for the bartender who was twirling mugs of beer, and he ducked down BUT THE BEER KEPT TWIRLING! For some reason that sight gag was the one I liked the best. I can't explain it, folks. I do know that in later years I appreciated the ending more -- you know. Where you end up in HELL.

That damn ride had some big-ass lasting impressions on me. I have weird memories of recreating the ride with wooden blocks once I got home from Florida. Somewhere in one of my parents' basements or attics, if they haven't already thrown them out yet, is a set of wooden blocks that have words like "SHIRE ? NOT SO SHIRE" scrawled on them as well as drawings of the statue in Toad Hall and stuff.

With that in mind, I see that someone after my own heart is putting his CG skills to good use and coming up with a full-fledged CG rendering of the ol' beloved Florida ride. This, I say, is very cool and far more productive than sitting around the park in green T-Shirts telling kids that "Mr. Disney is killing Toad!" (You know who you are.)

The fellow's only got the entry hall and loading area down (with a great panorama outside showing the old 20,000 Leagues area as well) but damn it is looking great. The kind of black-lit decorations used in Mr. Toad go very well with computer graphics, and while the ride-through may feel a bit ... too smooth, I'm sure the finished product from looks alone will be enough to evoke happy memories in many a Toad-fan. I know I was getting tinges of "Oh, yeah!" just from looking at the hallway banners alone.

Excellent stuff.

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