A "PC" Change At Disney?


January 26, 2003, 09:32 PM
We recently went to the Disney Animal Kingdom Park. We went on the safari ride and we noticed that at the poachers' camp site, all the poachers' rifles were gone, and even the person playing the park ranger was unarmed (he just had a radio in his hand).

We seemed to recall that when we visited the Animal Kingdom a few years ago, both the poachers and the park ranger appeared to be armed with AK-type "toy" weapons.

Now, these firearms seem to have disappeared.:confused:

Are we correct, or is it just our imagination?

Has anyone else noticed these possible "PC" changes?:what:

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January 26, 2003, 09:48 PM
I don't know about now, but they did have AKs when it first opened. I haven't been back since.

January 26, 2003, 10:32 PM
Not only have they unarmed that ride but the Pirates of the Caribbean has been changed... No more pirates chasing women...

Sure glad my kids are grown and no longer have to go there.

Here in Cali we have Knott's Berry Farm and they still do wild west shows complete with guns, train robbery and they sell cork guns. Grandkids (when that day comes) will be taken there.

January 26, 2003, 10:40 PM

Jungle Cruise Guns...Fired

Ryan "Leaky Tiki"
March 28, 2001

Saturday night, March 24, 2001 will become one of the dates well remembered in modern Disneyland history. It was on this night that a boat full of skippers took the journey to the Hippo Pool to fire the last shots on the World Famous Jungle Cruise, signaling the end of a long era for the attraction.

As the boat worked its way out to the patch of blowing bubbles and wiggling ears, skippers commented on the importance of the guns in creating the show. All took a moment to reflect on how such a seemingly simple little element was about to become an extremely symbolic loss.

For many, the guns were more than just a prop, they provided an essential piece of the attraction that will not be forgotten. "That day there was something else taken away from the World Famous Jungle Cruise and that was a little bit of each skipper that ever worked on the Jungle, because removing the guns is like taking away a piece of history," remarked Skipper Adam.

Maynard, who was on hand for the event, reflected, "As a story teller I find that the gun is important to the Jungle Cruise because people who can't speak English can understand that part of the ride. That is why I will sing a song because they get into it."

When Maynard first interviewed for a job at the Magic Kingdom, he requested a job on the Jungle Cruise, when he was told there were no openings, he said thank you and goodbye. A few days later Maynard joined the Disneyland Cast as a Jungle Cruise Skipper. He knew that this was one attraction where Cast Members could become living parts of the show. A show that not only had to entertain American audiences, but foreign Guests who needed more than just the spiel to understand what was going on.

Show was once seen as such an important aspect of Disneyland, that it is included to this day in the four cornerstone elements that all Cast Members are taught when they join the Disney family. Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency reads a card the new hires are given. Many skippers that night wondered where exactly on their cards the decision to remove the Jungle Cruise guns came from.

Once parting words were completed the boat had made its way to fire the last shots. First a Lead for the evening fired three shots, he then handed the gun over to Maynard. Skipper Adam recounts the story: "Maynard shot the last 3 shots. The boat was quiet and as I was sitting there a tear ran down my face because I had just watched Maynard, the man that I saw as an 8th grader, who gave me the reason to be a Jungle Cruise skipper, fire the last shots ever." The boat returned to the dock in silence.

"As everyone got out of the boat I stayed back and as Maynard walked by me he put his hand on my shoulder and I just felt a little better then. When Maynard was leaving I told him what an honor it was for me to be on the last boat and to see him take the last shot. I knew as I walked away from the Jungle Cruise that night that I would never in my life forget the day that they took the guns away."

January 26, 2003, 10:43 PM
Poor ol' Walt has probably worn out his coffin from spinning so much.

Disney has turned into a wretched shadow of its former self...but that's what happens when you let silly liberals run a company. I'd buy the stock dirt-cheap but can't stomach the thought of helping them revive their sick dreams.

January 26, 2003, 10:46 PM

First they took away the wench-chasing pirates. Now, they've stopped shooting the hippos.

Disneyland officials, who say they're only keeping up with today's sensibilities, have quietly disarmed the skippers of the Jungle Cruise, raising eyebrows among fans of one of the park's oldest, most cherished attractions.

No more do the wisecracking skippers reach for their Smith&Wessons and fire a few blanks at hippopotamuses emerging from the river bottom. These days, they don't even try to scare the mechanical creatures with a few haphazard gunshots towards the sky.

The guns were yanked at the Anaheim park earlier this year and now the hippos are just another passing attraction during an African-themed cruise. "It's sad to see the tradition go," said former skipper Mike DeForest, who once spent his summer breaks from college guiding visitors through the jungle. "What's next, disarming the Pirates of the Caribbean?"

The hippos may have a second lease on life, but the cruise is still filled with plenty of politically incorrect characters, like the "natives" with painted faces preparing to attack the tourists.

Disneyland has always struggled to strike a balance between fantasy and political reality. Controversy about guns, the treatment of animals, racial and gender stereotypes have prompted Disneyland to tweak attractions.

Indeed, after the fatal shootings of 14 students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado, park officials removed violent video games.

This year, they stopped peddling muskets and antique-style guns - once a Frontierland store staple. They also removed the rifles from Tom Sawyer Island. And, in a much-publicised rehabilitation of Pirates of the Caribbean in 1997, the ride's famous "chase" scenes now depict swashbucklers pursuing trays of food rather than frightened maidens.

For Disneyland officials, it's all part of the attractions' evolving story lines. Although there were no protests outside the park by animal rights and gun activists, Disney still wanted to be progressive.

"The fact of the matter is, we have to be responsive to what our guests tell us," a spokesman said. "At the end of the day, they come here to experience what they want to experience, not stuff they might find out of place or out of date ... Anecdotes, jokes and actions that were funny or exciting then may not resonate now."

At Walt Disney World in Florida, the guns disappeared about the same time its newest park, Animal Kingdom, opened in 1998. Officials decided it didn't seem right to have one park promoting wildlife and at the same time have employees at another shooting a wild animal.

Jamie O'Boyle, a cultural analyst from Philadelphia who has studied Disneyland, said the changes are more about becoming mainstream than political correctness.

"As society's views change, the social message changes," Mr O'Boyle said. "New generations grow up with new ideas. This is the way society evolves its norms, and Disney has to reflect that."

six 4 sure
January 26, 2003, 11:03 PM
The pirate chasing the wench was still there when I was at Disney Land last April unless I was seeing thing. Also spent an hour at the "rifle range" that shot (light?) at different targets.


January 26, 2003, 11:15 PM
Poor ol' Walt has probably worn out his coffin from spinning so much.

Didn't he have himself cryogenically frozen like a Popsicle, to be brought back to life someday?

If it happened, he'd die again after seeing what his world has become.

January 26, 2003, 11:33 PM
The pirates haven't been chasing wenches for quite some time, but when we were there this past summer, the wenches were still being auctioned off ("We want the redhead!!"). Plenty of guns being "used" in the priate ride as well. And the Indians were still armed...

Lots of toy guns and the like for sale, but my son wanted to go to the shooting gallery instead. So we did, great fun. Seems to me those are the first things they'd remove if the conspiricy was real.

January 27, 2003, 12:13 AM
Disney is an enemy of freedom ... period!

(poor Walt is probably spining in his grave :( )

January 27, 2003, 01:53 AM
I have been to a number of theme parks over the last few yrs. I recall the jungle ride and did NOT go on it for that reason. Was on a Safari type ride and going to help Game Warden deal with poachers. When asked by driver if I was game I said "Only if I get the gun" :) Same with JAWS ride. When he grabbed the shotgun I suggested he dirive and I would shoot. He never hit the shark and blew up the fuel pumps. Idiot. :)

January 27, 2003, 09:50 AM
Last I heard Disney was getting rid of the pirate ride altogether. Really made my older sister mad (it was her favorite ride) and bothered the rest of the family too. So they just changed the inside? That still sucks, but I guess its better than losin it all together.

So now your supposed to go on the jungle cruise an face headhunters and hippos with an unarmed guide?An the poachers appartently are running down animals and clubbing them? Is the game warden a flying tiger crouching ranger super ninja? :mad:

There has also been people pushing for them to get rid of the guns in frontier land. They sell toy flintlock pistols and rifles in that part of the park, also in fort wilderness (camp area, and one of the resorts). Also in frontier land is tom sawyers island, where they have a fort complete with 2 rifles in the tower that are hooked up to loudspeakers. They're situated where you can't point them at anything but the wall an some trees, but I gues they have to go too :cuss: Haven't heard if Disney has/is going to cave on this one too.

What a shame. :banghead:

January 27, 2003, 09:58 AM
When we were at Disney's Animal Kingdom in late 99, the female ranger guarding the poachers had an MP-40 and I saw a few welded up Mak 90s. I was surprised to say the least.

Gary H
January 27, 2003, 11:38 AM
They are just modernizing the rides. The updates simply recognize more time tested methods of accomplishing the same goals. Now, the pirates just buy the women gifts and take them out to dinner. Also, the adventure rides are protected by laser guided munitions.

January 27, 2003, 11:59 AM

Flying V
January 27, 2003, 12:32 PM
I have done my best to avoid giving Disney money since they attempted to deprive Peggy Lee payments due for the video release of "Lady and the Tramp" in the late 80s. Their continued bribery of Congress to extend copyrights in perpetuity also fails to endear them to me. Disney as an institution is vile and beneath contempt.

January 27, 2003, 12:39 PM
Not one red cent from my pocket will ever go to Disney or a Disney owned company like Miramax. I hope they go bankrupt.
My .02 cents!

January 27, 2003, 12:42 PM
Animal Kingdom has got to be the flop of the century.
I was advised not to waste time by going there but, we wasted a half day there anyway. I am truly amazed that Disney has not given it the blade by now.

All of the animals were hidden, asleep during the day.

The "valley" that the tourists are crammed into to walk around the "Tree of Life" or whatever the he** you call it was the most claustraphobic situation I have ever been in. People crammed together trying to go different ways with no way out.

The food was lousy.

You wait an hour to ride a train to a destination where, alas, all that is there is some photo posters of animals. What a drip.
Wait another hour to ride back.

Hotter than he** and black asphalt everywhere.

Do Not Go There

January 27, 2003, 08:08 PM
So now instead of carrying a gun to get the poachers, the Game Warden carries a radio so he can call other guys.....with guns....to intercept the poachers.

Is this what I am gathering? :rolleyes:

January 27, 2003, 09:29 PM
I'm with Mauserlady...Knott's is still cool because of the train robbery. I remember riding the train when I was 4. I thought the robbery was so neat.

I haven't been to Disneyland since 1998. Don't know if I'll go back. I really hope they don't violate Pirates of the Caribbean any more than they already have. 'Twas my favorite ride (now it's Indiana Jones)

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