Meetable Characters: Thumper and Miss Bunny
Shows: World Of Color (Little April Showers), Disney California Adventure, Paradise Pier (2010)
P.W.'s Design For More
This is the first time we’ve included Disneyland adjacent Disney California Adventure and I think we will continue to do so in the future and perhaps even go back and update previous entries to reflect as such which also means we may delete this sentence altogether once said changes are put into effect. This is the kind of self-aware, postmodern transparency you get at A Waltz Through Disney.
While we stated that Bambi has zero presence at Disneyland, that isn’t completely accurate. Bambi does make the tiniest of appearances in the form of Flower and Faline – two boats in the fleet of the Storybook Land Canal Boats. For inquiring minds, the other boats are Cinderella, Daisy, Aurora, Alice, Flora, Fauna, Belle, Merryweather, Ariel, Wendy, Show White, and Tinker Bell. I normally wouldn’t consider any of the other themed boats as actual representation but desperate times call for desperate measures.
I do have a few ideas of how to infuse some Bambi into Disneyland though (of the realistic and unrealistic nature).
Realistic: How about just a little, life-sized Flower statuette poking his head out of any random flower bed in Fantasyland? Heck, why not Bambi and Thumper too? Even a topiary would be nice – anything to let guests know that Bambi does indeed reside in Fantasyland.
Aside from the costumed characters, I’m not a big fan of animated movies having too much of a presence outside the realm of either Fantasyland or Toontown but I feel the white-tailed deer (same species as Bambi!) that can be found along the backwaters of Frontierland’s Rivers of America provides an excellent opportunity for some subtle and naturalistic Bambi-fication. Wouldn’t it be a nice tip of the antlers if they placed a butterfly on the tail of one of the younger deer in a way that evokes the iconic image from Bambi? I for one would think it’d be a very nice gesture.
Unrealistic: How about a Bambi themed shooting gallery tucked into the Pinocchio corner of Fantasyland? Just think of all the different animals you could shoot with your kids. Or, is it too redundant with the Frontierland Shooting Arcade right around the corner? If so, just include Bambi’s mom with the Frontierland version. That would be a more than fitting tribute to the late and nameless matriarch of the forest!
This is really boring and I can’t imagine a scenario where Disneyland would need or want this but how about Flower’s Flower Shop or Eau de Flower – a Disney themed perfumery. Actually, New Orleans Square does have Mlle. Antoinette’s Parfumerie where guests can create their own custom-made scents. I know this much, Eau de Flower sounds A LOT better than Stinkerbell’s. Or, how about Thumper’s Greens – a vegetarian themed restaurant or food stand/cart. All of these: GREAT ideas by any measure!
I also feel a Bambi dark ride could work. Sure, it wouldn’t be among the best but I bet it’d be at the same level, if not better, as Pinocchio’s Daring Journey. It could be called Bambi’s Seasonal Strife. You would have the atmospheres of the densely wooded forest and the open meadow, the seasons could change from the rainstorms of spring, to the oranges of autumn and then to the frozen ponds of winter, all the various animal species could make appearances, you could narrowly avoid the gunshots from Man and then you could reach the climax of a raging forest fire. Or, if you’d prefer a more modern take on the Disneyland dark ride, they could make Man’s Rifle Rampage – much in the same vein as Tomorrowland’s Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. I’m not even kidding, both of these could be a really neat rides!