When you think of the dogs of Disney World, which one enters your mind first? Pluto? Sure, he’s Mickey’s best friend and one of the Fab Five. Goofy? Absolutely! Goofy is another Fab Five character and is deservedly iconic. He even boasts his own attractions! Pete? Okay, well I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Pete is a cat. (I had NO IDEA until my kids started watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! I always thought he was a dog! Was that just me??) But what about those other dogs that are working just as hard in Walt Disney World who never get the attention of the Plutos or Goofys of the world? Don’t they deserve some attention, appreciation, or, dare I say it, a little bit of gratitude? They’ve been right there for years, entertaining you, your children, and your children’s children with little to no fanfare at all! I think it’s time to give them the notice that they deserve! Here are the Underappreciated Dogs of Disney World.
Dog from Living With the Land – Before Soarin’ came flying into The Land Pavilion in Epcot’s Future World, Living With The Land was one of Epcot’s prime attractions. Guests would wait in long lines to see the history of agriculture and farming on our planet and couldn’t wait to catch a glimpse of the newest food growing technology like hydroponics and fish farming. In one scene along this boat ride’s journey, a small farmhouse can be seen with a happy dog sitting on the porch. This poor little guy has been there literally working his tail off since 1982, entertaining the young and old alike with almost no mention or appreciation. IN FACT, in the hours of extensive research that I did for this blog post (okay…a few Google searches), I wasn’t even able to find a name for The Land Pavilion’s man’s best friend! Please, next time you’re cruising by the farmhouse on Living With The Land, take a picture, a selfie (NO SELFIE STICKS!) or even just give a little nod to our hard-working friend in the background!
Nana from Peter Pan’s Flight – If you’ve been to the Magic Kingdom or to Disneyland, you have more than likely experienced the wait times of Peter Pan’s Flight (spoilers ahead if not!) Guests frequently wait 90 minutes to ride this classic attraction and honestly, it’s not surprising at all why they do. Flying over the streets of London at night and squaring off against Captain Hook are memories that are etched into my brain from my first ever trip, and I look forward to riding this one again and again! I especially love when you first fly out of Wendy’s window and look down below and see the Darling’s faithful dog, Nana, looking up from the yard as you pass by! If you haven’t noticed her before (and chances are, with downtown London ahead of you, you haven’t), please give her a wave the next time you fly out of the Darling family’s window. She’s been there since 1971 and she’s working pretty hard. She’ll appreciate it!
Prison dog from Pirates of the Caribbean – The classic attraction that inspired a movie that inspired a renovated attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean is almost as much a part of American culture as baseball or Coca-Cola. Since 1973 (1967 in Disneyland), the swashbuckling pirates have been looting, drinking, and setting fires all over this attraction, delighting guests and making sure we don’t forget a certain song. One scene in particular has become iconic with the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, however. I don’t know about you, but whenever I think about Pirates, the first thing that pops into my head is the poor pirates locked in a cell pleading for the prison’s dog to come a little bit closer so they can take the keys from his mouth and remove themselves from their perpetual prison. This dog was kind of famous AND appreciated for years and almost didn’t even make my list. But then a little film called Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl came along and ruined it for our canine friend. Johnny Depp not only completely steals the scene in the movie from the dog, but also drops the line “You can keep doing that forever. The dog is NEVER going to move.” With that, the prison dog is now an afterthought in a fantastic attraction. He’s now undervalued, underappreciated, and maybe even unloved.
Dog from Carousel of Progress – The dog that currently goes by the name Rover has been working at Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress for generations. Sure, he’s had some changes over the years. At one point he was white, then he was light brown, and then later he was dark brown. Much like Diddy and Prince, he’s had several name changes over the years: he’s been Buster, Sport, Queenie, and even π (okay, maybe I made that last one up). But through all the changes and over all the years, he has remained an integral part of the Carousel of Progress experience. The problem is, what do you talk about after walking out of the COP theater? Raise your hand if it’s Cousin Orville in the bathtub. Okay, now raise your hand if you don’t talk about anything, you just keep singing, “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day” over and over again! Unfortunately, Rover is once again forgotten by the time you’re in line for the Peoplemover. Please, next time you’re in MK, throw Rover a bone, and remember how hard he’s been working since the 1964 World’s Fair!
Walt Disney World does a lot of things right in it’s parks. There are fantastic attractions, amazing shows, wonderful restaurants, and mind-blowingly great fireworks and parades. And while we all are constantly reminded to “remember, it all started with a mouse”, I hope you will now remember that it’s not only Pluto and Goofy who are pulling their weight in the Magic Kingdom. All Disney dogs deserve a little bit of gratitude and recognition. So next time you spot an Underappreciated Dog of Disney World, tell him “Good Boy” from Phil at Ear To There Travel. He’ll appreciate it!
Thank you again for reading and I hope you really enjoyed my virtual tour of such a silly Disney subject. If you have an underappreciated dog that I didn’t mention (now I have Sara McLachlan’s song and commercial stuck in my head! “I will remember you”), please comment on this page, send me a Facebook message HERE, a tweet HERE, or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again, and please enjoy the rest of your stay here at Ear To There Travel.