Thursday, October 05, 2006
Save Tom Sawyer's Island
Miceage.com has a spectacular scoop: Disneyland’s Burbank braintrust is planning to close Tom Sawyer’s Island and turn it into another Pirates of the Caribbean-themed attraction. Some of the reasons given are the success of the movies, the arrival of a Pirates threequel in May and the fact that their research shows that kids know Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow and they’ve never heard of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Betsy Thatcher.
That’s a shame, isn't it?
Disneyland is Americana. The place has its ephemera and catches onto passing fads, but it’s the traditional, timeless attractions, from the Barbershop Quartets to the Mark Twain riverboat-- to underappreciated Tom Sawyer's Island-- that keep the place above all others.
In this case, trading literature for pop culture (especially when a youth classic is weighed against a movie series that declines in quality and imagination with each installment) is a mistake that will only lead the park down the EuroDisney slide.
Besides, the boys in Burbank already have a dumping ground for bright ideas, just past the ticket booths in what used to be the parking lot and is now called California Adventure. Movie-themed and Pixar-related attractions are the highlights of the pop flop. Find a place for the ancillary Pirates there.
We wish Hollywood Thoughts would come out hibernation and weigh in on this one.
Canoeing around Tom Sawyer's Island on a recent Disneyland visit