Top 5: Long Lost Friends Not at Long Lost Friends Week
Back at the original announcement, towards the end of 2012, for Limited Time Magic for Disney Parks, guests were given several examples of possibilities. One of the more anticipated of those limited time opportunities was “Long Lost Friends” week. A chance to meet some of the characters that rarely if ever make an appearance at any of the parks these days. It’s always know that you’ll be able to find Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and the rest of the main stays, as well as the latest film characters, like a Wreck-It Ralph, but what happens to the costumes of past film stars, or the characters that aren’t as popular as a Goofy anymore? Well, they either get tossed in the garbage, stored away in some Disney vault, or get redesigned for a week long event for Limited Time Magic. This past week at the Magic Kingdom, guests were able to meet the Three Little Pigs and the Wolf, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, many of the stars from Robin Hood, Ludwig von Drake, and Scrooge McDuck.
I love this concept and the costumes that were brought out of the vault and redesigned. Truthfully, we could see more forgotten costumed characters throughout the year, but it hasn’t been announced yet. That being said, I am somewhat disappointed we didn’t get to see more characters, especially some that are really long forgotten, or some that would have a great merchandising benefit for Disney. So what characters do I wish they would bring back for Long Lost Friends week? Well, here are my top 5:
5-Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Classic characters that have been around since Walt Disney’s foray into animation are usually seen at the park on a frequent basis. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy. They can all be seen daily and are obviously some of the more popular characters in the park. However, certain classic characters can’t be seen which includes the nephews of a certain Donald Duck. Huey, Dewey, and Louie have been three small ducklings that have lasted past some of the former forgotten classic characters. (Yeah, I’m talking to you Clarabelle Cow!) A very popular trio during the 1940s and 1950s, they were as much a part of the Donald Duck shorts and Donald himself was, and offered some of the best mischief around as far as Disney cartoon shorts were concerned. The trio also made a comeback during the 1980s with Duck Tales and even lasted into the 1990s with the Disney Afternoon show Quack Pack. To me, this would have been a pick because my grandmother and mother remember seeing the cartoon shorts, while I remember them more from their Duck Tales and Quack Pack years. It could be a multi-generational love affair with the three lovable nephews of Donald Duck.
4-Dopey and Grumpy. When I think of what the term Long Lost Friends means for the Disney company, I think of some of the characters created over half of a century ago. When I think of long ago, I think back to the original full length Disney film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Here, I see a huge missed opportunity. Snow White merchandise, as well as other princess merchandies, has always sold like hotcakes, but so does the merchandise for the Dwarfs. Dopey and Grumpy, specifically, still sell tons of merchandise. They even outsell some of the current film merchandise. So why not introduce those characters into this Limited Time offering? On top of that, you have a brand new attraction, featuring the Dwarfs, opening in New Fantasyland in the near future. Not only would these characters boost merchandise sales, but would also build anticipation for the upcoming roller coaster attraction at the Magic Kingdom.
3-Pete. The original villain. Pete has been the bad guy since the 1920s. He also had a comeback in the 1990s on Goof Troop as well as in several cartoon shorts, either theatrical or House of Mouse oriented, since the 2000s. He is recognized by multiple generations, and could be a crowd pleaser. Of course, he could appear with Mickey too, giving these two old nemesis something to fight over. Who can get the longest meet and greet line.
2-Darkwing Duck and Launchpad McQuack. This one might be for my own well being, but with recent DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the old Disney Afternoon series, as well as an introduction of “retro” merchandise of the characters, this one seemed to touch my heart. As a boy growing up in the late ’80s and early ’90s, there wasn’t a cartoon character cooler, funnier, and more enjoyable than Darkwing Duck. Launchpad also had a stint in Duck Tales before being introduced into the Darkwing series. The two played off as an amazing duo. Darkwing being the straight man and Launchpad being the comedian. It played off of classics like Abbot and Costello or Laurel and Hardy. The show was for a generation who are now bringing their children to the parks and introducing them to the things they loved. Why not let someone in the late 20s now introduce their 7 year old to their favorite cartoon when they were growing up? It could also help if they ever wanted to reboot Darkwing Duck. (Fingers crossed!)
1-Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. This, out of any of the aforementioned characters, blows my mind. Oswald, after decades of not being a Disney character, returned a few years ago to the creator of the character, and they have been playing that up. Epic Mickey was released and people wondered about who this old cartoon was. He was then introduced into Buena Vista Street at the Disneyland resort, plush dolls were being sold at Disney stores, t-shirts seem to be at places like Lucky Brand or Target, and Epic Mickey 2 just hit store shelves right before Christmas. As a company trying to push this long lost friend back into the public eye, why wouldn’t you use the most perfect avenue to do it. I guess I find it strange that he hasn’t been introduced as a meet and greet character in any of the Disney parks at all since coming back to the company. Put Oswald on Main Street U.S.A. with Mickey Mouse and let them play off of the Epic Mickey franchise.
Well, that’s my top 5, but what characters would you like to see if they ever choose to do another Long Lost Friends week? What do you think of my choices? Leave your comments, keep the discussion going, and I will see you all soon.
Posted on January 24, 2013, in Articles and tagged and Louie, Darkwing Duck, Dewey, Disney Parks, Disneyland, Dopey, Grumpy, Huey, Josh Taylor, Launchpad McQuack, Limited Time Magic, Long Lost Friends, Magic Kingdom, meet and greet, Modern Mouse Radio, Oswald, Pete, snow white, Top 5, Walt Disney, Walt Disney World. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.