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)


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Welcome Aboard!

   Well hey there folks!

   Welcome to the first post'n here on Doo-Dah Landing, a blog all about Splash Mountain! For the longest time, I've wanted a place to share my love of this water-borne journey with the world. There ain't ever been a Splash Mountain themed blog before, and that makes us the first! There are plenty of blogs for the Haunted Mansion, and an awful lot of posts on other blogs cover'n Pirates of the Caribbean, but not a whole lot of attention is shown to Splash Mountain, at least in a collective manner and fashion. The information is all over the place, but never in one place at a time!

   After opening up Strange & Frightening Sounds about five years ago (can you believe it's already been that long?) I built up a huge fan base of fellow Haunted Mansion lovers. Yet as much as I love the Haunted Mansion, that subject has been cover so often online that it's a challenge to come up with anything new to talk about. (Future posts on the S&FS Blog will include a look at the carpets and floors of the Haunted Mansion, and further comparison and contrast topics; not the most interesting of trivial things)

   So the main question is this: Why a blog entirely about Splash Mountain?

   There's so much to cover that hasn't been talked about online regarding Splash Mountain! It's one of only three attractions that I'd recognize as being in imagineering's collection of story, song, and audio-annimatronics driven ride-through extravaganzas. (The other two being Mansion and Pirates) Sure, Spaceship Earth or It's a Small World have plenty of audio-annimatronics characters and are ride through attractions; one of which even fits into the song category; but they just don't fit the bill in one way or another that Splash, Mansion and Pirates all do. There's so much going on, and everything happening is somewhat unique in it's own way; The music is catchy, and adds to the experience; (more so in Splash than the other two, actually) There's a story being told that can be analyzed thoroughly; The details are paramount!

   So why not? I love Splash Mountain, as do plenty of other folks! So I've been told, it's the most popular attraction at each resort it's ever been installed at, (Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Tokyo Disneyland respectively) providing a most satisfactual experience for all! It's thrilling in a way the other two attractions previously mentioned are defiantly not; and that alone adds to the fun an excitement of experiencing and witnessing Br'er Rabbit's journey to the Laugh'n Place over and over again!

   So, on this 67th anniversary of Song of the South, (the film the ride is based on) I'd like to welcome you all aboard! Please keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside the blog at all times! And be sure to watch your kids! Let's have a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah good time here at Doo-Dah Landing!