Disney's Flash Mountain

Rohit Khare (khare@www10.w3.org)
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 15:26:02 -0500

> >From snopes@netcom.com (snopes)
> Organization San Fernando Valley Folklore Society
> Date Sat, 11 Jan 1997 16:49:39 GMT
> Newsgroups
> Message-ID <snopesE3us2r.KE3@netcom.com>
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> Los Angeles Times
> January 11, 1997
> While critics have worked themselves into a lather denouncing
> Disneyland's cleanup of lusty swashbucklers on its Pirates of the
> Caribbean attraction, it appears that a park insider has pulled off the
> ultimate in politically incorrect pranks.
> More than a dozen photographs of women baring their breasts on the
> park's Splash Mountain log ride have appeared on sites across the
> in recent months--leading some cheeky cyber-fans to christen the
> attraction "Flash Mountain."
> The photos were captured by a special video camera mounted inside the
> ride that snaps souvenir photos of each log and its crew of up to eight
> riders as they plunge down Splash Mountain's watery, five-story drop.
> Through the years, uninhibited adventurers of both sexes have flashed
> more than a smile to the camera in the hopes of walking away with an
> R-rated memento from the G-rated Magic Kingdom.
> Such spicy images usually are intercepted and destroyed by Disneyland
> employees, who edit the digital pictures before they can be turned into $
> 9.95 souvenir 8-by-10s.
> But park officials say the topless photos now circulating on the
> Internet were likely swiped by an employee who proceeded to launch them
> into cyberspace.
> An internal investigation last year failed to turn up the culprit,
> according to Disneyland spokesman Tom Brocato. He says park management
> since has tightened security procedures and added more oversight to the
> editing process.
> "This is obviously something we don't condone," Brocato said. "We've
> put additional controls in place to keep it from happening again."
> Opened in the Anaheim park's Critter Country in 1989, Splash Mountain
> is a log flume themed on Disney's movie classic "Song of the South."
> Critters such as Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear cavort and sing
> "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" while riders hang on for a white-knuckle adventure
> through the faux swamps and rapids.
> But the real thrill for some riders is the chance to perform for the
> camera. Park veterans know precisely where it's located and can time
> gestures and expressions accordingly.
> The high jinks aren't unique to Splash Mountain or Disneyland. Parks
> nationwide have equipped their thrill rides with cameras, and most screen
> their souvenir photos for off-color activity.
> "People view it as an opportunity to do something outrageous," said
> Cincinnati-based theme park consultant Dennis Speigel. "It's the ultimate
> form of show and tell."
> Brocato said the purloined pictures first surfaced on the Internet
> spring. But like other information hatched in cyberspace, copies have
> proliferated and taken on a life of their own.
> One popular Web site now promotes the photos in serial form--posting a
> new one every so often to keep voyeuristic Net surfers coming back for
> more.
> He failed to answer e-mail requests for an interview.
> Disney's inability to control a freewheeling, sometimes bawdy forum
> like the Internet stands in stark contrast to its plans to sanitize its
> classic Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. The audio-animatronic
> will soon be depicted lusting after food, rather than village maidens.
> Legal experts say the Flash Mountain caper is a good example of how
> Internet is straining traditional definitions of copyright, publicity and
> privacy rights.
> The Walt Disney Co. owns the images and could seek to have charges
> filed against those posting them on Web sites and electronic bulletin
> boards. But Brocato says the company hasn't bothered because it's clearly
> a prank and no one appears to be exploiting the pictures for money.
> Likewise, the topless riders might be stunned to learn that they've
> become one of the most eye-popping attractions to hit Disneyland since
> Indiana Jones Adventure.
> But winning a case against the park for violating their privacy would
> be a tremendous undertaking, particularly since the riders appear to have
> willingly exposed themselves in public, said Maureen Dorney, a Palo Alto
> attorney specializing in Internet law.
> "In this day and age, people really need to think about this sort of
> conduct," Dorney said. "The public domain gets really public when images
> can be broadcast globally through the Internet."
> But theme park veterans say the specter of ending up on someone's home
> page isn't likely to discourage exhibitionist patrons. In fact, it could
> encourage a few, says consultant Speigel, president of International
> Park Services.
> "This has been going on since parks first started installing these
> cameras in the 1970s," he said. "The technology may change, but human
> nature won't."
> ----- End of forwarded message from glen mccready -----
> --
> Benjamin R. Cline Large Furry Mammal benji@haven.boston.ma.us
> "all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals" -- The Charge of the