The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
(June 4, 1999 - present)
History and photos of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride in Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
When the Magic Kingdom theme park opened on October 1, 1971, one of its original attractions in Fantasyland was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
Based on the story The Wind in the Willows, and portions of Disney's 1949 animated film, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was a dark ride that took guests merrily on a trip to "nowhere in particular." Guests would board an antique motor car and ride past familiar scenes in the animated film, including Toad Hall, Winkie's Pub, the streets of London, a courthouse, and the English countryside. Eventually we would be chased by the police and end up crashing into the front of an approaching locomotive steam train. The ride vehicles would then ride through Hell and pass by many demons and then a large devil. The motor cars would then return to the loading station.
While Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was a great dark ride, what made it unique was that it involved two separate ride tracks, giving the ride two slightly different experiences. The two tracks shared some of the larger scenes, but each ride track had some of its own unique sights. Part of the fun was seeing the other motor cars driving around in the attraction.
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was a classic part of Fantasyland and the Magic Kingdom. When Disney announced its upcoming closure, fans of the ride protested the closing inside of the park. People would march in front of the ride and hold signs protesting its closing, but it didn't do any good. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride closed for good on September 7, 1998. Its replacement would open nine months later.
On June 4, 1999, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh opened in the Magic Kingdom.
Themed from scenes in Disney's 1977 animated film, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the Fantasyland dark ride takes guests through several of the more memorable moments in the film. Riders board honey pot cars and begin their adventure through the Hundred Acre Woods. These are not ordinary ride vehicles. The honey pot cars are more like miniature versions of the Enhanced Motion Vehicles (EMVs) found at thrilling Disney attractions such as Dinosaur in Disney's Animal Kingdom and Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye in Disneyland. Fortunately for the younger guests, these honey pot EMVs aren't anywhere nearly as intense as the ride vehicles in the more thrilling rides. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a ride that can be enjoyed by nearly everybody in the entire family.
WARNING --- SPOILERS!
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh begins with the ride vehicles passing large pages from an oversized Winnie the Pooh story book. The ride vehicles then enter the Hundred Acre Woods and see that it's a very windy day. This scene is from Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. As most of the characters hang on and try not to be blown away by the wind, Winnie the Pooh is trying to use a balloon to reach a beehive in a nearby tree, like in the story Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree.
The ride vehicles then pass through Owl's house as it sways back and forth in the wind. If you look to the left, there's a painting of Mr. Toad handing the deed to Owl. This is a small tribute to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, the ride that used to occupy this building in Fantasyland.
After passing through another page in the story book, now it's night in the Hundred Acre Woods and Tigger asks us to go bouncing with him. "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers" plays as our honey pot ride vehicles gently "bounce" through the woods with Tigger. At the end of the scene Tigger finds Winnie the Pooh. He warns Pooh about Heffalumps and Woozles, and that they steal honey.
Pooh falls asleep and we see his astral form drift away from his body. Now we're in Pooh's nightmare, and sure enough, there are Heffalumps and Woozles everywhere. It's a bit of a funhouse atmosphere as we see the crazy creatures and hear the song, "Heffalumps and Woozles." The scene ends with a ferocious thunderstorm that wakes Pooh from his nightmare.
Unfortunately, the rain is real (as in the story in the ride; there is no real rain in the building), and it's even washing the words away from the next giant page in the story book. The Hundred Acre Woods is now flooded. The song "The Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down" plays as our honey pot ride vehicles feel like they're wading and drifting with the flow of the water. Around the bend we see that Piglet is in trouble. The gang reaches out to save him before he falls over a waterfall.
Thankfully the storm ends and the water recedes. We pass through another page in the giant story book and see a surprise birthday party for Winnie the Pooh. But he's not sitting at the table. Around the corner we see that Pooh is eating a ton of honey. The ride vehicles then pass by the final pages in the story book before returning to the loading station. An instrumental version of the song "Winnie the Pooh" plays as we disembark from the ride vehicle and exit through a gift shop.
END OF SPOILERS!
Even though The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh replaced a classic Magic Kingdom attraction, this is still a very good ride that is a hit with the theme park visitors. Wait times commonly exceed 45 minutes, and Disney's FASTPASS system was added to the line queue.
Over the years, the ride itself has remained identical to its original experience in June of 1999. Apart from adding the FASTPASS system in 2001, the biggest change that happened to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was in early 2011 when it received a new entrance and an expanded (and interactive) line queue themed to the Hundred Acre Woods. Some of the new theming was from the recently closed Pooh's Playful Spot playground right across the path in Fantasyland.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh continues to be a very popular ride today. Go on the ride early in the morning or late at night if you want to avoid the crowds. Otherwise, use the FASTPASS system or be prepared to wait around 45 minutes or so to enjoy this ride. This is a fun and high quality ride that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
|FASTPASS||The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a FASTPASS attraction.|
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