The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a dark ride based upon the film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, itself based on the Winnie-the-Pooh books by A. A. Milne. The attraction exists in slightly different forms at the Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland, and Hong Kong Disneyland. Pooh's Hunny Hunt, located in Tokyo Disneyland, is an entirely different "E-ticket class" attraction, featuring full audio animatronics and an innovative 'trackless' ride system.
After the rise in popularity of Walt Disney's film adaptation of Winnie the Pooh, Disney Imagineers made plans in the late 1970s for a Winnie the Pooh attraction at Disneyland's soon-to-be renovated Fantasyland. However in 1983, when the renovated Fantasyland reopened, a Winnie the Pooh attraction was notably absent.
Following the success of the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, plans were made for a new section of the park located behind Fantasyland. Called Mickey's Toontown, this section of the park would recreate the Toontown that was seen in the film. One of the rides that would have gone on the east side of this land was a Winnie the Pooh dark ride in which guests would ride in "spinnable" honey pots (much like the Mad Hatter teacup ride in Fantasyland) through what was conceptualized as the best scenes from the three Winnie the Pooh featurettes. The ride fell through before it could be made, though, and the space that this ride was to have taken up and vehicle design of this ride were worked into Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin.
An original plan from the mid-1990s placed an indoor and outdoor light boat ride featuring a Winnie the Pooh theme at Disneyland. This plan was shelved by 1999. So, a new dark ride was planned. However, Disneyland is the only resort of all five Disney Resorts to have little room for expansion. The solution to open this attraction in the park was to utilize a current attraction, replacing it with this new ride.
Fantasyland was ruled out because it contained the least amount of available space and because of the age of its buildings; park managers anticipated that the attraction would be popular and decided to place it in an area that could better accommodate the crowds. Critter Country, a small parcel between New Orleans Square and Frontierland was ultimately chosen, since Winnie the Pooh already had his own greeting area in that land. The area already featured two popular attractions, Splash Mountain and Country Bear Jamboree, the latter being the first attraction to open in the land (then Bear Country) in 1972.
Imagineers chose to replace the Country Bear Jamboree with Pooh due to its lack of popularity. This required major excavation for space and leveling for the ride. When news of the former attraction's demise broke, many fans were once more upset at the loss of another classic attraction and again sought to change the park managers' minds. However, management decided to continue as planned.
The budget for the attraction was set at a reported $30,000,000, most of it dedicated to reformatting the Country Bear Jamboree show building. When it finally opened in 2003, it received large promotions by park management and lines were somewhat long at first, but quickly dropped off.
Its turnover rate with guests was low compared to older dark rides in Fantasyland with shorter wait times than comparable Fantasyland attractions, even on busy days. Those critical of this ride point to these shorter wait times as evidence that the ride is not as well liked as other classic dark rides. Advocates, on the other hand, claim that the discrepancy in wait times is due solely to the ride's out-of-the-way placement. In either case, out of the four versions of this attraction found at various Disney parks, this one is considered the least popular in terms of attendance.
Some Disneyland enthusiast websites are generally critical of the attraction, consider it cheap as well as an unhappy example of how some managers have considered newer attractions more important than older, less popular ones. However, for a younger guest or those without strong memories of a by-gone show, the ride is considered a fun addition to the park.
Ride-throughEditUpon leaving the outdoor load area, the ride vehicles arrive indoors into the Hundred Acre Wood where Pooh is again trying to get the honey with the balloon. With Eeyore and the other characters is Gopher who appears out of his hole to greet the guests. The ride vehicles move into the rain scene, moved from the second to last scene in Florida's to the second scene in California's. Most of the things at this point are identical to Florida's version. The ride vehicles move into the shortened Tigger scene, before moving to Pooh's bedroom where a similar part to that in Florida's version concurs.
The ride vehicles move into the Heffalump and Woozles dream sequence where the woozles with jack-in-the-box necks watch the guests. A pink Tigger pins Pooh to the floor near some honey. Some of the effects at this part of the ride are similar to Florida's. Another Pooh bobs up and down in a balloon suspended above a swirling whirlpool of honey. The mechanism was the one which once lowered "Teddi Barra" from the ceiling in Country Bear Jamboree, the Audio-Animatronic theater presentation previously housed in the show building.
As the ride vehicles leave this scene, a subtle tribute to Country Bear Jamboree is suspended above the archway. The trophy heads of Max the buck, Buff the buffalo and Melvin the moose, audio-animatronics from Country Bear Jamboree, can be spotted if you look up and backwards while leaving the Heffalump/Woozle room. The heads (once believed to have been taken from theatre 2 of the Country Bear Playhouse) are actually the static (non-animatronic) ones from the Mile Long Bar that once resided across from the Playhouse. The vehicles enter the start of the finale scene where Pooh is enjoying a smackerel of honey. The Heffalumps can be seen flying off into Pooh's dreamland, prior to several of Pooh's friends tell him to wake up. Proceeding on, the ride passes Pooh's bed, before moving on to show Pooh's friends (this time all sculpted figures with movement) celebrating his birthday. As the vehicles move to the load area, several of the gifts Pooh received for his party are shown, and are moved back as the vehicles continue until they finally reach the load area.
- Winnie the Pooh - Jim Cummings
- Piglet - Steve Schatzberg in the Walt Disney World and Hong Kong Disneyland versions, John Fiedler in the Disneyland version
- Tigger - Paul Winchell in the Walt Disney World and Hong Kong Disneyland versions, Jim Cummings in the Disneyland version
- Roo - Nikita Hopkins
- Eeyore - Gregg Berger in the Walt Disney World and Hong Kong Disneyland versions, Peter Cullen in the Disneyland version
- Rabbit - Ken Sansom
- Kanga - Tress MacNeille
- Owl - Andre Stojka
- Gopher - Michael Gough
- Narrator - Peter Renaday (Disneyland version)
- Magic Kingdom attraction and entertainment history
- List of current Disneyland attractions
- Hong Kong Disneyland attraction and entertainment history
- List of Disney attractions using Audio-Animatronics