Why Isn’t There A Bambi Ride At Disneyland?

Why isn’t there a Bambi ride at Disneyland? This thought just recently occurred to me. I mean, it’s Bambi! It’s all classic and stuff. Is there something I’m missing?

I have not seen Bambi as an adult. In fact, the sum total of my recollection of Bambi is:

1) Bambi’s mother gets shot

2) There’s a big forest fire that Bambi runs away from

If that’s not enough for a Disneyland ride, I don’t know what is.

It’s like all of the great dark rides put together. You start out in your ride vehicle–let’s say a 4-seater Thumper, Flower, or Faline, the little doe friend. Or alternating Thumpers and Flowers and Falines. It’s an idyllic day as you pull away from the loading station, and you turn right and leave reality behind, totally immersed in the flora and fauna of a beautiful forest. Your small critter friends dance around and sing (I don’t know what they’re singing, but surely there’s a catchy song from the movie. Or they could get Alan Menken to write a new one). Of course your /Thumper/Flower/Faline ride vehicle skids over an icy patch (hee hee!) while your other woodland friends slide and play.

Oh, maybe your Thumper/Flower/Faline even turns in a complete circle like Bambi does when his legs go all splayed out in the movie! There’s an interesting element!

Then it’s time to move to the next room. You know something bad is probably coming because it’s kind of dark and the snow is all around and Alan Menken’s music has stopped playing. And sure enough…


It’s the sound of the gun. Now that this point I’m a little torn on my ride design. Option #1 is to have the entire room go red, like we’re all encased by the blood of Bambi’s now-late mother. OR, we can go all realistic and have the deer suddenly step in front of your Thumper/Flower/Faline vehicle and roll onto the Thumper/Flower/Faline’s windshield.

I call this the more realistic option because there’s nothing quite like experiencing hitting a deer on the road and having it roll up and over your car. I mean, I have never actually HIT a deer, but back when I lived in Michigan they continually stressed that if you see a deer and cannot brake in time, JUST HIT THE DEER, DON’T SWERVE OFF TO THE SIDE OR ANYTHING, JUST HIT THE DEER. Which seems a bit callous, but a little more understandable when you find out that you are much less likely to damage yourself if you hit the deer than if you try to avoid it and hit something else.

Okay, okay, maybe the Bambi ride isn’t the best place to address deer-driving safety. So you hear the giant crack, and to appease modern sentiments, you don’t actually see the carcass of Bambi’s dearly-beloved, it’s just implied. Like the movie. Then you go through a darkish room that represents Bambi’s mourning, and also brings out his brooding side, making him grow his hair out to cover half of his face while piercing his ear with a paper clip, and Alan Menken’s music gets replaced with some Morrissey.

What about “Every Day Is Like Sunday?” Too much?

Also, some blacklights would be super-cool at this point.

Then we don’t linger there too long before we get to another happy pastoral scene with Bambi’s deadbeat dad stepping up to do the parenting. We see the animals growing up and everyone falls in love. Faline has, of course, grown into a fine young doe with some sleazeball deer after her. Bambi and Sleazeball duke it out in a real Showcase Showdown which of course Bambi wins.

But then! Forest fire! Crank up the heat in that room like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and import the burning buildings tech from Pirates of the Caribbean. Throw in some crackling for good measure. Maybe crank up the Morrissey for a bit? Of course your Thumper/Flower/Faline vehicle speeds the hell up because dude, it’s a fire, and that adds to the effect. You think you’re out of the clear until you hear…

Barking dogs! The dogs which have cornered the now-grown Faline! (I’m getting this whole plot thing from Wikipedia, btw). Fortunately, Bambi, along with you in your Thumper/Flower/Faline vehicle, vanquish the dogs and save the doe. The ride ends with the scene of a fully-grown Bambi and Faline and their new baby twins.


You know, the Wikipedia entry really is fascinating. Although it contains some genius lines like:

Disney wanted to show man being killed in the fire to prove to Bambi that man was not invincible.[6] However, the scene was cut for unknown reasons.

Unknown reasons? Perhaps because some man being burned to death in a fire is disturbing and gross, even if he is the guy who shot Bambi’s mother?

So why DON’T they have a Bambi ride? I mean, the idea is solid (Disney, you are hereby given permission to use the above idea to create your new ride, “Bambi’s Adventures Of Happiness, Grief, and Terror”). Is it because of the space? Because although it might initially seem like a good candidate for Fantasyland, it clearly belongs in Critter Country, perhaps right next to Pooh.

If you can figure out a way to make it real fire, that would be very cool too.

8 responses to “Why Isn’t There A Bambi Ride At Disneyland?

  1. Carissa August 29, 2012 at 9:33 am

    lmao, I would totally ride that. Maybe not take the kids, though until they are brooding teenagers who want to pierce their lips and dye their hair black. Oh yeah, and right on about the Morrisey or The Smiths, either one would do.

    • Shelby August 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      I thought “Girlfriend in a Coma” was a bit TOO depressing for a Bambi ride.

      • Carissa August 29, 2012 at 9:32 pm

        I think it could work if there was then a little side story about how Faline gets hit by a Hummer driven by a Texan (only for added affect), and winds up at the large animal specialist vet where she is in fact in a coma….and then she gets her leg set and forever walks with a limp or something. Of course this would have to be before the twins were born and everything. Maybe they could roll this into a subplot of how everyone should be treated equally, limp or not….Morrisey could write a new song about it. Again, I would totally ride this ride.

  2. Brenda O August 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    It would be great to hear of any original plans for possible Bambi rides, and where your ideas line up – I’m sure in many areas! it seems hard to believe that Walt would have completely overlooked that doesn’t it? I am almost positive that we have ridden in a Faline boat on The Storybook Canal Boats. Which get’s me to thinking have you covered that classic ride yet??

  3. freestuff August 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Bambi’s mother does not get shot!!! Sure, there’s a loud gunshot-ish sound and then, you know, she doesn’t follow Bambi back home but I have always believed that she just went on vacation. She was kind of sick of Bambi’s dad not pulling his weight with the kid so she had a mom’s day (month?? year??) out so they could bond. Right?? She’s not dead. That’s an ugly rumor.

  4. Emma July 10, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Would definitely ride this (although the deer on the windshield is a bit too much for me). Never thought she was on vacation cause’ I love the sad realism of her dying due to her being shot by the hunter (am I heartless? I guess I just like the lesson.)

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