Disney Parks recently announced that Splash Mountain will be re-themed after the beloved Disney animated film, The Princess and the Frog.
But now, some are calling for a re-theme of yet another popular Disneyland attraction — Pinocchio‘s Daring Journey. If you’ve never had the chance to ride this attraction, the official description reads:
Relive the classic adventures of the wooden puppet who dreamed of becoming a real boy.
Hop aboard a woodcarver’s cart at the Stromboli Puppet Theatre, where Pinocchio is singing and dancing in a festive marionette show.
Escape the clutches of the nefarious puppet-master Stromboli, with help from the kindhearted Blue Fairy. Follow the boy puppet as he ventures to ominous Pleasure Island, against the warnings of his loyal friend, Jiminy Cricket.
When they make their escape to the sea, a new danger awaits: mighty Monstro the Whale! Will Pinocchio find his way back to his maker Gepetto—and become a real boy?
One Inside the Magic reader recently commented on an article calling for a re-theme of the popular Disneyland attraction, writing:
To the Inside the Magic staff. I want to let you know that Pinocchio’s
Daring Journey is my least favorite ride as it makes me feel very
uncomfortable as it’s the most disturbing ride partly due to scary
clowns that some of the people don’t like but also mainly because of
the child slavery and child abuse scenes involving Pinocchio being
caged up and then 2 donkey boys sold into slavery in cages has made me
I would like to ask the Disneyland staff to consider replacing
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey Ride with a different Disneyland ride as
it’s not the happiest place to be on which is a ride that’s not family
Please Disneyland company, replace Pinocchio’s ride with something
else, like Cinderella or maybe Beauty and the Beast ride, child
slavery in the Pinocchio ride is a very sensitive subject for
Another comment echoed these thoughts, which reads:
I don’t know if you’re aware of this but how about child
slavery that’s featured on Pinocchio’s Daring Journey ride. I have
nightmares with that ride featuring child abuse, scary scenes and
donkey boy slavery being caged up. There’s also scary clowns on that
ride many people get scared of.
Is the Pinocchio ride going to be replaced in the future with a
different Disney ride? I hope so because the Pinocchio ride isn’t the
happiest place to be in Disneyland.
This comment from another Inside the Magic reader suggested a re-theme to Aladdin or Wreck-it Ralph, writing:
What about the Child Slavery featured in Pinocchio’s Daring Journey ride.
To the inside the magic staff, when I went on Pinocchio’s Daring Journey Ride, I was shocked and surprised to see a depiction of child slavery and animal cruelty on the Pinocchio ride involving 2 donkey boys in cages.
Will Pinocchio’s Daring Journey Ride be updated to remove the cages from 2 donkey boys? Or will the Pinocchio ride be replaced by the Aladdin ride or Wreck-it-Ralph ride?
Please let me know because I get very sensitive to child slavery images and I don’t want to see child slavery depicted on the Pinocchio ride anymore.
Some have even taken to Twitter recently asking for Disney to replace Pinocchio’s Daring Journey with Princess Tiana, referencing the recent announcement of the re-theme of Splash Mountain with The Princess and the Frog.
Can we put Tiana in Pinocchio’s Daring Journey as well? #1983 pic.twitter.com/v1W2IGBqAA
— Devin SoCal Distancing Flanigan (@DevinFlanigan) July 15, 2020
One Twitter user, R.J. Crowther Jr., points out that the Disneyland attraction focuses on the “dark heart of the story”, the reasoning to why some are calling for a re-theme. However, R.J. later clarified the point, which acknowledges that some may love classic Disney attractions and still recognize that they can have a darker history:
Yes! Note the sad and frightened human eyes of the carousel donkeys. And there's a donkey Lampwick in a cage repeatedly crying "Mama!" The imagineers who built Pinocchio's Daring Journey certainly embraced the dark heart of the story. pic.twitter.com/BekudSM0nZ
— R. J. Crowther Jr. (@RJCrowtherJr) July 18, 2020
I absolutely love Pinocchio's Daring Journey! It's one of my favorite dark rides, based on one of the greatest animated movies. I was merely pointing out that the imagineers perfectly captured the grim imagery of the film & original novel. They also captured the light & hope. 😊
— R. J. Crowther Jr. (@RJCrowtherJr) August 12, 2020
Note that R.J. pointed out last month that Pinocchio’s Daring Journey is “one of the greatest dark rides ever!” R.J. is actually on the side of preserving the attraction.
— R. J. Crowther Jr. (@RJCrowtherJr) July 18, 2020
In case some of you aren’t aware of the Splash Mountain re-theme, below is the official announcement from Disney Parks:
Today we are thrilled to share a first glimpse of a project Imagineers have been working on since last year. Splash Mountain – at both Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom park in Florida – will soon be completely reimagined. The theme is inspired by an all-time favorite animated Disney film, “The Princess and the Frog.” We pick up this story after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.
Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important. It’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou. In 1966, Walt himself opened New Orleans Square when it became the first new “land” added to Disneyland park, so it feels natural to link the story and the incredible music of “The Princess and the Frog” to our parks.
What do you think? Should Disney re-theme Pinocchio’s Daring Journey? Let us know in the comments below.
If you want to visit Disneyland or Walt Disney World on your next family vacation, but aren’t sure where to begin planning, then don’t hesitate to reach out to our friends over at the Authorized Disney Vacation Planners at Academy Travel for a free quote.