Universal has responded to a question about potential changes coming to the Dr. Seuss land featured at the Universal Orlando Resort theme park Islands of Adventure. This comes on the heels of several Dr. Seuss books that will no longer be published due to “hurtful and wrong” portrayals.
For context, some books from the Dr. Seuss family of children’s books (And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer) will no longer be sold or published. Dr. Seuss Enterprises shared the news this week.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises issued the following statement on certain books that they have stopped publishing and selling:
To that end, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, working with a panel of experts, including educators, reviewed our catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication and licensing of the following titles: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer. These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.
Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families.
Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure theme park has an entire land dedicated to the world of Dr. Seuss called Seuss Landing. This land is home to the very popular Grinchmas celebrations every holiday season at Universal Orlando Resort. The theme park land features a merchandise shop called the Mulberry Street Store (the theme of the store coming from one of the books in question, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street), as well as a play area themed after If I Ran the Zoo, another book that will no longer be published or sold.
On Twitter reporter Ashley Carter, @AshleyLCarter1, shared the following:
Seuss Landing in Universal’s Islands of Adventure features a play area themed after If I Ran the Zoo, one of the Dr. Seuss books that will no longer be published. I reached out to Universal Orlando about whether that decision would impact this area. Universal sent this statement:
“Seuss Landing Continues to be very popular with our guests and we value our relationship with Seuss Enterprises. We’ve removed the books from out shelves as they have asked as we’ll be evaluating our in-park experience too. But out guests can plan on continuing to be able to enjoy their favorite experiences at Seuss Landing.”
Seuss Landing in Universal's Islands of Adventure features a play area themed after If I Ran the Zoo, one of the Dr. Seuss books that will no longer be published. I reached out to Universal Orlando about whether that decision would impact this area. Universal sent this statement: pic.twitter.com/unzNHgUuwE
— Ashley Carter (@AshleyLCarter1) March 2, 2021
As Universal stated, the books that are sold in the gift shops found inside of Seuss Landing have been removed in compliance with Seuss Enterprises, and the theme park resort is evaluating the “in-park experience.” At this time, none of the areas of Seuss Landing have been closed yet, although it would not be surprising for Universal Orlando Resort to decide to change the themes of the gift shop and children’s play area that are themed after two of the books being pulled from shelves.
We have seen Disney make changes to some attractions within their theme parks that they felt are racially insensitive and no longer reflect the values of the company, such as Splash Mountain, which will be themed to The Princess and the Frog, and some scenes of Jungle Cruise, which will be reimagined to be more inclusive.
“We create experiences that make people feel welcomed, seen and heard, and let them know that their stories are important,” said Carmen Smith, executive creative development and inclusion strategies for Walt Disney Imagineering, regarding the changes coming to Splash Mountain and Jungle Cruise at the Disney Parks.
It is possible that Universal could do the same and update parts of Seuss Landing as Disney has done across its theme parks.
Do you think Seuss Landing should be Changed? Let us know in the comments below.