Recently Disney’s Alice in Wonderland surpassed the last Batman film, the Dark Knight, in worldwide box office totals. The Tim Burton creation is, according to an article at JimHillmedia.com, very popular with guests visiting Disneyland and Walt Disney World, who are increasingly asking if Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter character will be making appearances. The answer is that this hasn’t happened yet as Disney didn’t know quite how big of a blockbuster they had on their hands. Now there are talks of annual screenings of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, along with appearances of a cast member dressed up as Depp’s orange haired Mad Hatter.
Only apparently Disney doesn’t know how to fit Depp’s Mad Hatter into Disneyland as Disneyland already has two rides, and several characters, based on Disney’s 1951 classic animated feature, Alice in Wonderland. Back in August of ’09 I wrote an article about how a Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland overlay could perhaps be added, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2067199/will_tim_burtons_alice_in_wonderland.html?cat=40, but apparently the powers that be are considering putting Depp’s Mad Hatter character in Disney California Adventure, rather than in Disneyland itself.
Disney California Adventure (formerly called Disney’s California Adventure) is sort of Disneyland neglected twin park which was partially built with off-the-shelf amusement park rides which can be found anywhere, but which is receiving a substantial facelift as a new Little Mermaid Ride and Carsland will be added soon.
The 2009 Deppization of the Mad Hatter involves red hair and heavy face make up. The 1951 animated Mad Hatter looks much tamer by comparison and a face character looking like the 1951 Mad Hatter makes regular appearances in the park. Even the chesire cat is different in the two films as the 2009 version of the Chesire cat is bluish cat with a devilish grin and heavy english accent, while the 1951 rendering is much more pinkish and less menacing. Apparently if the two versions of characters from Alice in Wonderland actually met in Disneyland there would a rift in the spacetime continuum and reality as we know it would breakdown.
I for one hope that the reporting at JimHillmedia.com is incorrect, ;-), and that Disney does decide to make use of Tim Burton’s newest creation for special events in Disneyland. But how could two Alices exist at the same time? Interestingly, the plot of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland involves character in Wonderland questioning whether Alice is the “right Alice.” Here a couple scenarios whereby this paradox could be resolved:
Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
In both versions of Alice a tea party with the Mad Hatter is one of the most interesting and whimsical scenes in the movie. Disneyland and Walt Disney World already have rides based on this scene, the Mad Hatter’s Teacups, which allow guests to spin around in oversized teacups. But could the idea of a “mad tea party” be extended for special events? Possibly so, the parade route corridor in Fantasyland in Disneyland is normally lined with vendors selling churros, popcorn, and even bratwurst in the former Videopolis section of the park. Quite possibly a large seating area, perhaps where the Princess Fantasy Faire is located, could be transformed into a large area with tables set with teapots, teacups and backgrounds from the film where kids could have tea with the Mad Hatter, Alice, the March Hare and the Dormouse. Of course these would be Tim Burton’s version of characters, which guests have yet to see in person in the park.
Presumably the buffer between the Alice in Wonderland ride, and the Princess Fantasy Fair area would be big enough so that guests would understand that Tim Burton’s characters are separate from the 1951 versions. Though why Disney is so concerned about keeping the characters from coming into close proximity with each other is a mystery. As the Disney/Tim Burton live action version of Alice in Wonderland DVD just went on sale, no doubt more guests will be asking for the characters to make an appearance in the parks.
Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups Makeover
The Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups ride in Disneyland and Disney World is modestly themed to look like the oversized teacups from the 1951 Alice film. It would be relatively easy to overlay this ride with characters from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, as well as to have a meet and greet area for the new Mad Hatter. Would guests be confused, or delighted to see the new characters on a seasonal basis? I suspect the later.
It will be interesting to see how the new, and increasingly popular, Alice in Wonderland is integrated into Disney parks worldwide. As for a sequel, JimHillMedia.com has ruled that out, but could Alice be taking another trip down the rabbit hole in the future, or rather could a character from Wonderland be traveling up the rabbit hole? More on that later. :-)