Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Why don't you take me along?

   Well hey there folks,

   Today we're going to look at one of the residents of Splash Mountain who doesn't appear content with his current residence.While we'll be focused on the version of this character at Disneyland, he does appear in the Tokyo Disneyland version as well. (He does not appear at all in Walt Disney World)

   The Hitchhiking Alligator appears off to the left side of the trough at Disneyland right after a small spillway near the end of the "How Do You Do" section of scenes on level one of the show building. The logs pick up quite the amount of speed in this part of the ride, and literally glide past him within a few seconds time. It's clear that he's flagging us down, even though we don't get much time to stop and chat.

   What makes the version in Disneyland unique in comparison to the Tokyo Disneyland version of the character (who is passed at a much slower speed I might add; the layouts for each ride are different to some extent; especially Disneyland's) is that he sings an exclusive version of "How Do You Do" written just for him... well, actually, you really can't call it "How Do You Do" since he never actually sings those words, but it's to the tune of the theme playing in this scene. Bellow are the lyrics to his song, "Why don't you take me along?"

I’m looking for a ride along the water,
Take me along, I really think you ought’er,
The sun’s shining down, it’s only gettin’ hotter,
Why don’t you take me along?

I’ve had enough of this tiny old swamp!
I’ve got to find a new pond to stomp!
I’ll come along, say hello to me,
Riding right behind you is where I’ll be! 

Take me along, nothin’ could be greater,
I’ll find a way, sooner or later,
You’d better make room for this Alligator,
You might as well take me along! 

A Happier Place is where I’m bound,
I’ll find a way; I’ll see you around,
A friendly look'n face is what I’m looking for,
So just slow down and I’ll hop on board! 

I’m gonna find another way to get there,
You might as well take me along!
Why don’t you take me along? 

I’m looking for someone to show the way there,
I’m headed for; I only wish I knew where,
I’m gonna find another way to get there,
Why don’t you take me along?
You might as well take me along! 

You’ve got some room so save me a seat,
I’ll sit with your friends but I won’t over-eat!
Take me along an’ leave it to me,
Wherever you take me is where I’ll be! 

Why don’t you take me along?
You might as well take me along! 

I wanna be a laugh’n Alligator!
I wanna be a smiling Crocodile!
I wanna be a friend to all the critters,
You might as well take me along!
How could you ever go wrong?
So why don’t you take me along?

Take a listen to the Hitchhiking Alligator in this full loop from the unreleased ride-through mix that was put together back in 2000:

   While this Hitchhiker clearly seems to have good intentions, lyrics like "I'll sit with your friends but I won't over eat" would be enough to make anyone question picking him up; even if they do provide a good chuckle. Can you imagine if he ever decided to hop aboard one of the passing logs, and you turned around only to see his smiling face with bits of your friends hanging out of his toothy grin? For a brief time in early 2015 after a routine refurbishment, there was an issue with our scaly pal. One of the maintenance workers incorrectly replaced his torso, leading to this hilarious fail video in which we see the Audio Annimatronic struggling in it's odd looking predicament:

   How did this happen? I mean, a backwards torso sticks out worse then a sore thumb... which I'm sure this Hitchhiker has from all these years of trying to flag down a log.

   The maintenance workers did get around to fixing him. They sure do like storing things around him too, which are normally out of view at trough-eye-level.

   At Tokyo Disneyland, his counterpart merely waves and calls out to you in Japanese. He also appears in the upper level "Laugh'n Place" scenes that don't exist in Disneyland, where the entire Laugh'n Place is on the lower level of the show building.

   Next time you pass him by, listen closely, and you'll be sure to hear him calling out for a lift as you zip past him.

(Updated May 9th, 2015)


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