The Mitchell Kingdom

Posted March 10, 2004 at 6:15pm

Now that former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine) is chairman of the Disney board, expect to see some Congressionally influenced changes at the company’s theme parks.

When you enter through the gate and proceed down what was once Main Street, look for lobbyists opening shops on what will be renamed K Street.

The day-long entrance passes will be redesigned and modeled after Congressional credentials. A three-day pass will be called a Member’s pass; two-day passes will be named for staffers, and one day will get you a press pass.

Make sure you catch the the latest in Disney live entertainment with Denny Hastert’s Country Jamboree.

Forget the Hall of Presidents. Check out the new Hall of Senate Majority Leaders.

Space Mountain will be renamed Appropriations Mountain — a wild ride through the dark tunnels that only cardinals can navigate. You must have friends in high places to enter.

Instead of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, expect to see Sen. Edwards’ Wild Ride.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves will continue to roam the parks, but they will be played by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and members of her inner circle. The full cast has not been announced because no one wants to be Dopey.

The 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride will be drained and reconstructed as 20,000 Square Feet Under the Capitol, but beware of construction delays.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, what used to be the big attraction in Frontierland, will be renamed Judiciary Mountain. Step aboard and you’ll get whipped around, dragged through the mud and subjected to a twist at every corner.

The Haunted Mansion will get a makeover. Coming soon: The Haunted House Chamber, featuring the ghosts of failed legislation and State of the Union proposals never heard from again.

It’s a Small World will get a new theme: Children from around the world will portray famous peace plans.

Watch for special screenings of the classic Disney film “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” on the hour — every hour — with post-show commentary provided by Gerry Adams.

The Tea Cups ride will remain, but it will be redecorated to reflect interest groups and lobbyists trying to pull people in every direction.

Watch for Mitchell to boot the Robinsons out of their innovative home in Adventureland to create space for the Diaz-Balart Family Treehouse.

Instead of Micky and Minnie Mouse posing for pictures with children, watch for the Characters of Congress — Speaker Tip O’Neill (D-Mass.), Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.) and Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).

Say goodbye to Pluto and Donald Duck. Say hello to Ernie the Elephant and Doug the Donkey.

The Pirates of the Caribbean will be reworked to feature a new gang of merry thugs, err, former notable figures: Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.), Speaker Jim Wright (D-Texas), Rep. Jim Traficant (D-Ohio) and Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.).

A technological showcase: Tomorrowland, where every vote is counted.

Also in Tomorrowland, listen to Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) regale visitors with stories from Congresses past in The Carousel of Congress.

New attraction: rides in black Lincoln Town Cars, complete with dashboard lights and sirens.

A bit pricey, but for an extra couple of dollars, you see Disney World from the sky on Tom DeLay’s Helicopter Rides.

The New Jungle Cruise — a dangerous and treacherous ride through the BCRA marsh, the 527 alligator pit and the FEC lion’s den.