In 1956 a small Indian Village opened as one of the last outposts of civilization down past Frounterland on the Rivers of America, but left in 1971 when some bears started moving in and putting on a show for guests in 1972. Those Bears would be joined by a whole mess of other critters in 1989 riding some logs down Chickapin Hill and everyone had a great time singing and rollickin’ until 2001 when a little bit of Pooh moved in and evicted those singing bears. Of course we are now in Critter Country!Now that you know a little bit of the history of Indian Village/Bear County/Critter Country, you should know that one piece of history has stayed from that 1956 move west those indians made, the Briar Patch.This little shop, known as the Indian Trading Post until 1989, is one of the truly untouched pieces of history in the park. Next time you head down to that dead end with one of the most Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah attractions or see that little bear chasing after some honey, take a moment to stop in and see one of the few buildings that has been around since the early days. Now we move on to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. This dark ride moved into the former home of the Country Bear Playhouse in 2003. While I am not the biggest Pooh fan, I do have to say it’s a cute attraction for families. But of course, we are looking at a few of the Diamonds and here we have three! The first of which just so happens to be your entrance into the queue for the attraction. The quaint little covered bridge you cross is the same that has been there since the days of the Country Bears.Once inside the ride, we have two more Country Bear Diamonds. The first is the very well known addition of Max, Buff, and Melvin, the singing mounted heads from The Country Bear Jamboree, near the end of the attraction. These are not actually the ones from the attraction but the static ones that used to be on display in the Mile Long Bar outside attraction’s exit.But the lesser known, mostly because it is by far one of the most random Diamonds on this list, is the Winnie the Pooh figure in the Heffalumps and Woozles scene is actually using the same mechanics that used to bring Teddi Berra down from the ceiling in one of the theaters for The Country Bear Jamboree. Now from the most random Diamond to my most favorite, we move to Splash Mountain!Splash Mountain, as most of you may know, has a long history of stories associated with its creation ranging from Michael Eisner wanting it to be called Splash after the 1984 Touchstone hit film to the reusing of most of the audio-animatronics from the America Sings attraction.
While there has never been a full list of what and where the different AA’s from America Sings ended up, one of the most famous stories that I have heard from a few different sources has to do with the Blossom-nose Murphy, aka the drunk goose from the Gay 90’s scene.It seems the Imagineers had no problem with the concept of drunk boating in 1988 because who should they happen to put behind the wheel of the Zip-a-Dee Lady but old Blossom-nose himself!Since we are on the topic of toons, next stop is Mickey’s Toontown!
Our main correspondent for Walt Disney World and the Orlando area and a heck of a paleontologist if he does say so himself.