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Disneyland Article
Disneyland Ride Review Pinocchios Daring Journey Is A Little Wooden

ID:TMS-3264
Source:Orange County Register
Author:Mark Eades
Dateline:November 9, 2015
Posted:November 20, 2015
Pinocchio's Daring Journey
Pinocchio's Daring Journey
 
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It's time to take a ride on Pinocchio's Daring Journey at Disneyland, which is based on Walt Disney's second animated feature film, "Pinocchio," which was based on the children's novel "The Adventures of Pinocchio" by Carlo Collodi.

This attraction appeared in 1983, occupying the space that once held the Fantasyland Theater. Above the entrance there is a small figure of Pinocchio on a stage. Passing beneath the sign, you enter the queue. On the wall is a sign extolling "The Great Stromboli Marionette Show, Starring Pinocchio."

After passing this, it is time to hop aboard a ride vehicle that looks like it could have been carved by the character of Geppetto from the movie "Pinocchio." The characters of Cleo the fish and Figaro the cat are carved into the sides of the car.

The first scene you see shows Pinocchio as a marionette onstage as part of Stomboli's puppet show, singing "Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee, an actor's life for me."

In the next scene, you hear an evil laugh from Stromboli, who says "You are working for me," to which Jiminy Cricket pops up and warns you to "watch out."

Now the ride turns a little lighter as the car ventures out to Pleasure Island with boys riding a Ferris wheel and merry-go-round while fiber optic fireworks explode all around.

At the end of this scene you spy Honest John the fox and his buddy, Gideon the cat, who had persuaded Pinocchio to run away and join up with Stromboli.

Your ride turns darker as the "hee-haw" sounds of donkeys are heard and we see the character of Lampwick, the boy, turning into a donkey.

A coachman cracks a whip as you see boys, now donkeys, being forced into cages to be sent to parts unknown.

Pinocchio is starting to turn into a donkey when Jiminy Cricket pops up again and points your car toward the ocean. Seagulls fly overhead as suddenly Monstro the whale pops up in front of you, threatening to swallow the car.

A quick turn and we see Geppetto holding a lantern, searching for his lost wooden marionette boy.

But soon, your car enters Pinocchio Village, where the wishing star can be seen in the sky. The Blue Fairy appears in Pinocchio's bedroom in Geppetto's cottage and turns Pinocchio into a real boy before disappearing into a field of pixie dust.

Everyone is happy: Geppetto, Pinocchio, Figaro the cat, Cleo the fish and Jiminy Cricket. You hear the song "When You Wish Upon a Star" as your car rides through Geppetto's Workshop, where all the toys he carved have come to life. Before reaching the end of your ride you see a painting on the wall of the Blue Fairy with the words "When you wish upon a star, all your dreams come true."

A former Disney Imagineer's review

Part of judging the success of a Disneyland attraction is the length of the line to get onto it. Unfortunately, Pinocchio's Daring Journey rarely has much of a line.

While the film's story and songs have become a part of the Disney lexicon, the attraction has not come close to the same timeless quality.

Granted, the story line, while classic, is very dark - making it harder to translate into a successful ride experience. And that is what is missing from this attraction - an experience.

The jumps from scene to scene frequently don't connect as well as they could, and there are portions of the film, like the section on Pleasure Island, that I think could have been a lot more exciting.

The whole sequence from the film of being swallowed by Monstro the whale is nowhere to be found - another story bit that could have been exploited as a great ride experience, much less being inside the whale.

The best attractions at Disneyland are those that are more than just a ride, and more than just a telling of a story. They need to make you feel as if you have experienced a trip to some imaginary location.

While Pinocchio's Daring Journey tries to tell a literal story, it ultimately falls short due to that approach - and it has been that way since it debuted as part of the new Fantasyland.

If only the attraction's designers had taken a page from other classic dark rides in Fantasyland - such as Mister Toad's Wild Ride, Alice in Wonderland or Peter Pan's Flight, which make the enveloping experience part of each adventure - then it would truly become a daring journey, instead of a dark and rather boring ride in a car.

I give this attraction a grade of D, for "Does need improvement."
 

 
 
Attractions Referenced

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Peter Pan's Flight
Pinocchio's Daring Journey
 
Restaurants Referenced

 
Parades Referenced

 
 
 
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