Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pooh & Friends - Disneyland's Best Meet & Greet

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh dark ride in Disneyland's Critter Country is a favorite target of Disneyland regulars who contribute to forums and discussion boards.  The ride seems to be loathed for a number of reasons but here are the main ones.  1) It replaced the legacy attraction Country Bear Jamboree (which no one seemed to go to anymore by the time it closed).  2) It's a dark ride that comes up short on a high impact wow factor for something being relatively new.  3) As characters go, Pooh and friends do not seem to be in the same category as the some of the other classic Disney characters - a second tier so to speak, as Pooh was acquired by Disney rather than created by Disney and 4) There is a version of the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Japan that puts this one to shame.

All that being said, as I've blogged about before, I like the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  I enjoy it's color.  It's a feast of the eyes.  And I like it because there is usually very little wait to get on which is always a good thing.  A nice ride, stress free, and no wait, it all adds up to a winner for me.  The ride wouldn't be nearly as controversial if it sat somewhere in Fantasyland where it belongs, but it's not Pooh's fault for being in the wrong spot, off by itself, and next to the powerhouse Splash Mountain attraction.

But sitting in the middle of the Pooh ride, Splash Mountain, and the Pooh Corner retail and candy store is something that should not be overlooked or taken for granted - the Winnie the Pooh & Friends Meet and Greet.  Now I'm not really a M&G kind of guy.  Only on occasion am I in the park with small children but the Pooh meet & greet, anytime, with or without kids, is a reason to smile as Pooh, Tigger, Eyore, and the rest of the pals from the hundred acre wood interact with kids (of all ages).  The line can be a little long but doesn't come anywhere close to princess or Mickey lines for waiting.  And I have to say of all the photos I have of children in my family getting pictures with characters, the Pooh meet & greet pictures are easily the best.  So if the lines for meet & greet's frustrate you, take a walk over to Critter Country and visit a bear, a tiger, and a sad-sack donkey, they'll be glad to see you.  They really will.

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