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Disney Confessional: Can Someone Explain This New Ride Character?

Disney Confessional: Someone Explain This New Ride Character Disney Confesssional Header Tiana Character

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. To be honest. I have not had any terribly outrageous Disney feelings recently that would warrant an emergency Disney Confessional to get off my chest. This is, until now. I’m not going to fluff about too much here, as I think it’s best to just dive right into the problem and crowd-source myself some therapy to make peace with the situation. Full disclosure: this thought process is the product of several weeks of being extremely ill with many sleepless nights; some element of my own mania might require forgiving. Alright, here goes.

We’ve all been keenly watching the footage of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in the lead-up to its opening later this month in the Magic Kingdom. Most of you know by now that I can’t wait and have already fallen in love with this attraction back when it was just a dream on a concept artist’s page. However, I do have one burning question that becomes more and more prevalent the more I see of the new ride. No, it’s not a gripe about Splash Mountain. I loved it, but we will all survive the change. And no, it’s not a problem with a hole in the storyline or a lack of a villain to create a dramatic effect. I have enough of my own problems; I am not in any desperate need to adopt more from characters in a Disney ride.

No, instead, my issue is focused on one of the animatronics in the already famous log ride that steals my attention every time it comes onto the screen, and not in a good way. Amidst the new state-of-the-art audio-animatronics, boasting smooth movement and life-like features with every flick of the wrist, there lies one weird-looking subpar character that no part of me understands. It’s this guy, the little joker in the middle:

Disney Confessional: Someone Explain This New Ride Character Disney-Confessional-Tiana-Character

Of course, before Disney revealed the full POV, I had seen a few stills of this little dude (I’ve affectionately named him Crazy Eyes), hoping that when given a little movement, his weird face would seem less, well, creepy. No such luck. The small amount of disjointed movement that he has while pretending to drum the backbone of the scene’s musical centerpiece is janky and weird. The drumming isn’t even in time or in any way connected to the music it is supposed to be playing.

And I’m just going to get this part out now: why are his eyes rolled so far into the back of his head? Why? What is he even looking at? People want a villain in this attraction, but I’ve already found one: it’s Crazy Eyes. Take a look at the clip below. Don’t worry; I’ve queued it up so you can be at the perfect spot to pause it right after and not have many spoilers if you are that way inclined. Pay close attention to the eyes!

Now, let me tell you what I think is going to happen here. Someone in our brilliant DIS Community is going to be so clever that they can tell me where this animatronic (that looks like it’s from the 80s) has come from, citing some nostalgic throwback to an older attraction. He might even be from the original MK Splash Mountain somewhere; being a Disneyland native, I have no clue. If so, that is great, but it still won’t explain the state of how Crazy Eyes is being used now.

It looks like they were running out of time, and someone ran to the broom closet, pulled out this series of older characters, and propped them all up in this corner together so that things could get a move on. And if it weren’t for how extraordinary the rest of the attraction looks, I likely wouldn’t have even noticed! However, as it stands, in every single POV I have seen (and believe me, I’ve watched them all; if you’ve made one, I’ve likely seen it), every time, this guy stands out to me and looks… rather insane. And not in a you’re-a-bit-crazy-but-I-like-you way. No, it’s like the sociopathic schoolyard bully who smiles at you before trying to roll you for your lunch money way.

Even if the character has emotional ties to the park from some previous station, are you telling me that no one could improve the timing of that drumming? It’s worse than the first generation of “it’s a small world” dolls that weren’t even remotely close to the drumming sound effect that bellowed around them, and they even fixed those years ago! How has the newest and arguably most technologically advanced ride allowed this scene to go through? Every virtual ride through, the emotional immersion is strong. The captivating beauty of the ride is undeniably appealing until we arrive at Crazy Eyes and his gang of Jamboree rejects.

Can someone out there better versed in Walt Disney World animatronics shed some light on this little dude? Where did Crazy Eyes come from, and why is he making an untimely appearance in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure? I need answers and a drink.

Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.

Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.


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