Watch Out For These 5 Offensive Pre-Shows at Disney Theme Parks

Last summer, Disney shockingly altered the pre-show to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith to remove a crude hand gesture by the band’s lead singer.

Now that it’s safe to enjoy the underwear-sponsored attraction and its family-friendly Aerosmith songs about steamy love-making in a roller coaster, Disney can finally turn its attention to the remaining offensive pre-shows around Walt Disney World.

Ellen Minus Ellen

Just three years before Stephen Tyler flashed an obscene gesture during a backstage pass epiphany, Ellen Degeneres became the new host of Ellen’s Energy Adventure. This decision sparked outrage and controversy at the time.

And I think we all know why.

It’s Offensive Because…

The solemn, empty pews of the Church of Energy were doing just fine without a sense of humor, thank you very much. #radokscreensforever

How to Fix It

There’s a great comic strip out there called Garfield Minus Garfield, which takes actual panels from everyone’s favorite wisecracking cat and digitally removes everyone’s favorite wisecracking cat.

The result is a sad tale about a lonely man named Jon and his inevitable descent into madness.

What if Disney were to do the same thing with the Ellen pre-show — only they leave the cats and remove the wisecracking person? Would we still see a lonely man’s descent into madness?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…

Bill Nye in Ellen's Energy Adventure preshow

Bill Nye the Feline Guy

Pit Droid Fever

Star Tours II: The Adventures Continue replaced the original Star Tours several years ago. Instead of a canonically confused trip to the Death Star after the events of Return of the Jedi, the new storyline was set before A New Hope, but after Revenge of the Sith — effectively turning the new ride into a prequel.

The pre-show video depicts your Star Speeder 1000 awaiting you in a cavernous hanger, maintained by several quirky little robots known as pit droids.

Pit Droids in the Star Tours Pre-Show

If you can’t spot the inevitable joke being staged here, you have no career in comedy.

It’s Offensive Because…

Perhaps you missed the word “prequel” up there.

Jar Jar Binks in the Phantom Menace

As in this.

Young Greedo and Kitster in the Phantom Menace

And this.

Two-headed pod race announcers in the Phantom Menace

And let’s not forget this.

Pit Droids are from The Phantom Menace, which according to WebMD is the source of nearly all PTSD symptoms occurring in middle-aged men who stalk Jawas and/or write about the canonically confused storylines of theme park attractions.

How to Fix It

Just like in Phantom Menace, Disney should add some cringe-inducing, tone-deaf dialogue to other characters in the Star Tours pre-show, so that the pit droids actually seem decent by comparison.

Aly San San from Star Tours Preshow

“I’ll try spinning! That’s a good trick!”

Extinct Fashion Sense

Countdown to Extinction (now Dinosaur) opened in 1998 and quickly became one of Animal Kingdom’s biggest hits. You know who else had big hits that year? The Spice Girls, the Backstreet Boys, and Elton John.

The pre-show features uptight chairman Dr. Marsh scolding her rebellious paleontologist Dr. Grant Seeker for his reckless endangerment of Dino Institute guests.

Dinosaur's Dr Marsh and Dr Grant Seeker

It’s Offensive Because…

She should have been scolding him for that tie. But in fairness to him, the 90s were the decade of legalizing pants suits in the Senate. And who wouldn’t want to rebel against that?

Every fashion choice these two make is an assault on our good taste. Say what you will about Seeker’s tie, but least it’s partially obscuring that denim shirt.

And Dr. Marsh, you’re a fine looking woman, but girl, that hairstyle is doing you no favors. And that brooch looks like it should be mounted on the Staff of Ra.

How to Fix It

In a perfect world… reshoot the entire preshow with Stacy London and Clinton Kelly.

“Today that bare shoulder bones approach is about to become extinct! In a breathtaking blend of fashion and technology, we have created… the Time Pullover.”

But since a reshoot does not digitally alter anything, why don’t we mix things up and give him the brooch and her the tie? She gets to show her playful side, and he can accessorize without patterns overwhelming his solids.

Dinosaur's Dr Marsh and Dr Grant Seeker Reversed

And after Labor Day, we’ll need to digitally add some color to that lab coat.

On-Screen Animal Deaths

The preshow for the Kilimanjaro Safari plays on overhead monitors in the queue as we wait to board our truck. Here Warden Wilson Matua sets the stage for some good old-fashioned Disney fun by highlighting the evils of animal poaching.

It’s Offensive Because…

During one portion of the video, we are treated to the soulless eyes of a dead rhinoceros, a rotting elephant carcass, and the skinned hide of a cheetah. I once saw a child break down in tears when her mom pointed out the cute rhinos, and the kid looked up just in time to hear the gunshot and witness the poor animal lying dead in the dirt.

Warden Wilson Matua in the Kilimanjaro Safari

You’re a cruel, cruel man Warden Matua

How to Fix It

The same way we fix all the other horrors.

By pretending they don’t exist.

Give your kid some beef jerky and some dinosaur chicken nuggets and tell them that animals never die. The silly warden is only pretending.

Ostrich with its head in the sand

And maybe the pre-show could include a nature shot of an ostrich with its head in the sand.

Steve’s Job

This is Steve.

Stressed out at Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor

Steve works for Walt Disney World. It is Steve’s job to personally monitor every text sent to the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor hotline. Steve then applies his skills as a former stand-up comic to select the best jokes and feed them to the Monster hosts during the next showing.

It’s Offensive Because…

Steve is suffering a mental breakdown.

How many chickens have crossed the road in Steve’s world? A billion chickens. It is a never-ending chicken nightmare.

Do you know why Seven-Eight-Nine? Steve does. Steve thinks about eating a lot of things these days. Like the business end of a 12-gauge shotgun.

Given any cross-section of humanity, Steve can tell you how many of them it takes to screw in a lightbulb. For instance, it takes zero Laugh Floor Cast Members to screw in a lightbulb. Because in Steve’s world, there is only darkness.

How to Fix It

The same way they solved it in Aliens.

Corporal Hicks saying "Nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

Nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

 

Shane was raised on a steady diet of EPCOT Center and Kenner action figures. Parkeology is the happy result. He is the creator along with his friend Ted of the WDW47 Challenge — featured by such media giants as CNN, ABC, FoxNews, and the in-flight magazine for Norwegian Air. With his brother Tristan, Shane is the author of the adventure fantasy novels Arabian Heist and Johnny Shipwreck. He currently resides in the Swiss Family Treehouse.

3 thoughts on “Watch Out For These 5 Offensive Pre-Shows at Disney Theme Parks

  1. The best pre-show wtf moment was for the old Monster Sound Show, when David Letterman said that if we didn’t follow the rules, “security guards in mouse suits will come out and beat you senseless.”

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