I can’t claim to be an expert on much. I love music and studied it. Sports have been a life-long passion. Disney Parks and travel in general are probably what I read most about. But, an expert? That seems too high of praise for those particular subjects. Now, not to sound arrogant, I do consider myself an expert in one area. Judging names that other people make up for things. I’m fondly known around my house as the best judge of names this side of the Mississippi (please don’t ask my wife about this, she wouldn’t know). While particularly good at judging mascots of sports teams, my expertise on the subject does reach to Disney Parks.
I should specify, I’m not an expert at judging all names. Mainly just the bad ones. Once this post proves to be a smashing success and reaches millions of people, the sequel will likely be about Disney’s best names (basically a 5,000 Pulitzer Price piece on how perfect the name Splash Mountain turned out to be) but today we’ll just cover the bad ones.
Disney has largely done well naming attractions, entertainment, restaurants, and theme parks. There have been duds though, especially lately. Instead of making this a top-10 list of worst names, we’ll just take a sample of ones that I dislike and I will rate them based on some rigorous criteria. That criteria is divided into the categories as follows…
- Length – Names should be fairly short. Someone says, “Hey, where you going?” No one wants to respond with more than 3 words. 4 words is fine. 5 words is bad. 6 words is right out. The shorter the name the better.
- Literal name – I’m a huge proponent of literal names. Hall of Presidents is really nice because it’s literally a hall of presidents (sure, not the actual presidents but that’s just semantics).
- Wordplay – Anytime you can fit a quick pun into the name then it’s probably nice. Possibly the best use of wordplay in a title is a loose pun that isn’t exactly a joke but instead bordering on a joke and still literal. Wordplay can walk a fine line because it can violate the first 2 (and the last) categories. Proceed with caution here.
- Capitalization and punctuation – This can ruin titles. Don’t do something extra, it looks stupid.
- Does this sound stupid or does it sound awesome – Self explanatory. More points for being more awesome.
All categories are out of 10, 10 being the best score. Another way of putting this is that the lower the score the worse name it is. Let’s get started, I’m going to jump around pretty randomly and if you haven’t figured it out yet this is all a big joke. Here we go!
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid (Magic Kingdom)
We’ll start with something a little mellow. This is mostly a case of being too long.
- Length – This is a classic case of not deciding on one title and just having two titles. Neither of these names are that bad, there’s just one too many of them. I never want to say this title out loud. I can barely say 5 words in a row, much less 8. Way too many words – 0 points
- Literal name – The second title does pretty well, the ride literally tells the journey of the Little Mermaid. First one is fine too. Good job – 9 points
- Wordplay – The ride’s concept is to take guests under the sea for a while so that can fall under the literal name or wordplay category. This isn’t a very fun title and lacks creativity – 4 points
- Capitalization and punctuation – There’s a dash but it is mostly harmless. Not much wrong here – 7 points
- Does this sound stupid or does this sound awesome? This doesn’t exactly sound stupid, it’s more just too many words and a mouthful. There is no creativity. This sounds slightly more stupid than it does awesome – 4 points
- Overall Score – 24/50 points
Frostbite Freddy’s Frozen Freshments (Blizzard Beach)
You were trying way too hard…
- Length – The length category is an interesting one in that it isn’t always about the words. Four two-syllable words in a row makes this a real mouthful to say and too long. 3 points
- Literal name – This place does sell frozen refreshments so I’ll give it a few points. But, we run into a problem. Frostbite Freddy’s sacrifices the literal in favor of alliteration. Instead of your friends thinking that you are going to go get a frozen refreshment they think you are going to get a frozen fresh mint and are left utterly confused. 3 points
- Wordplay – I guess alliterations will fall under this category but as I stated above they take this one too far. A couple of points for trying something. 2 points
- Capitalization and punctuation – They did fine here except they used a word that isn’t real at the end. Not exactly capitalization or punctuation but it keeps it from a perfect 10. 8 points
- Does this sound stupid or does this sound awesome? This looks and sounds fine until the end. It’s kind of like eating really cheap sushi and then you have that one extra piece you shouldn’t have. Put down that last California Roll and just put a “Re” before “Freshments”. 4 points
- Overall Score – 20/50 points
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! (DCA)
This is the attraction name that inspired this blog post.
- Length – Running into the two name thing again. I don’t know why Disney feels the need to add the name of a franchise before the title of the attraction. If this was just Mission: Breakout it would probably be fine but that’s not memorable enough to say on its own. Pretty long, but not terrible – 3 points
- Literal name – I guess the attraction’s title states what you are supposed to do on this attraction. But the question remains, breakout of what? This isn’t really what I have in mind for a literal name but it’s not terrible. 5 points
- Wordplay – Not that I can tell. 0 points
- Capitalization and punctuation – What in the world were they thinking. There’s a dash, colon,and exclamation point all in 2 words. Not to mention the last word is capitalized. What were they thinking? 0 points
- Does this sound stupid or does this sound awesome? It sounds way better than it looks. Again, Mission: Breakout isn’t a terrible name (albeit not a good one) but the whole package is disappointing. 3 points
- Overall score – 11/50 points
DINOSAUR (Animal Kingdom)
Don’t name attractions after movies that everyone forgets about.
- Length – We’re good here. 10 points
- Literal name – There are dinos on the ride but that doesn’t really tell you what’s going on. 2 points
- Wordplay – None to be found. Incredibly dull especially considering the wonderful name the attraction used to have – Countdown to Extinction. 0 points
- Capitalization and punctuation – For some reason it’s in all caps? I have no idea why and that’s pretty dumb. 3 points
- Does this sound stupid or does this sound awesome? DINOSAUR lucks out here because this doesn’t sound bad. The word dinosaur is awesome because dinosaurs are awesome. 8 points
- Overall score – 23/50 points
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration (DHS)
A terrible name for a terrible show.
- Length – ELEVEN WORDS!! -2 points
- Literal name – Words 7-10 of this title accurately describe what is happening. Words 1-6 and 11 do not. 7 points
- Wordplay – Does just stating one of the song titles in the name of the show count as wordplay? Not really. 2 points
- Capitalization and punctuation – Just that colon that is used correctly, although they didn’t need the first 6 words in the title before the colon. 8 points
- Does this sound stupid or does this sound awesome? It didn’t sound stupid, I just fell asleep before the entire title was said. 5 points
- Overall score – 20/50 points
The next two I’m on the fence on.
- Length – Great job. 10 points
- Literal name – Here’s the issue… I have no idea what Schmoozies is referring to. All I can come up with is that it sounds like Smoothies, which is what Schmoozies sells. Is there anything more to it? Maybe I’m missing something. Naming a place because that word sounds like what you sell isn’t a great idea. My name is Andrew (a common and, hopefully, decent name). Shmandrew is a dumb name. Also, we run into the complicated equation of having Award Wieners next door. This is a ridiculous name but I kind of like it. Maybe Schmoozies is the same? But, it’s not literal at all. 0 points?
- Wordplay – I have no idea. I don’t think there’s anything here. 0 points?
- Capitalization and punctuation – Great job! 10 points
- Does this sound stupid or does this sound awesome? Schmoozies is way more fun to say than it is to hear. Still it’s not bad to hear and may bring a smile to someone’s face. We’ll go right down the middle – 5 points
- Overall Score – 25/50 points
My most controversial pick?
- Length – 10 points
- Literal name – I’ll give this one point because they are jamming on their trash cans. 1 point
- Wordplay – I mean, yeah. This is all they were going for. It’s guys dressed up as janitors, jamming musically on their trash cans. Just because I hate saying “Yeah, I saw the JAMMitors perform a quick set” doesn’t mean that this is full on wordplay. 10 points
- Capitalization and punctuation – And herein lies the problem. Why are those first four letters capitalized? Do they really think I’m so stupid that they need to shot the word jam at me so that I hear the pun? And why are there 2 m’s? The word jam doesn’t have 2 m’s. Janitor doesn’t have 2 n’s. As if I didn’t catch on to the pun with the shouting, they had to add an extra M just to make sure I caught it. Are they referring to the word ‘jamming’? So many questions. 0 points
- Does this sound stupid or does this sound awesome? The first time it’s a little bit funny. Then it’s pretty stupid. 3 points
- Overall Score – 24/50
Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party (Magic Kingdom)
- Length – Not including the ampersand, this is 9 words. So, it’s 10 words. 0 points
- Literal name – Oh boy, do they ever tell you what this is. They are a “sit down and watch it” from covering all of the options in which you could see this street party. This is not the literal I have in mind. Instead it is just 4 fragmented sentences telling you what is happening. I guess this category should have been called Literal and concise name. I’ll give it 3 points for being way too literal.
- Wordplay – It’s so literal that there is no room for wordplay. 0 points
- Capitalization and punctuation – Three exclamation points and none are at the end of the title. Also, why the ampersand or having the word ‘and’ in this title at all. They could have fit in another exclamation point if they had just put the word ‘it’ instead of the ampersand. This is a pretty big mess but I’ll give it a ‘I feel sorry for you’ point. 1 point
- Does this sound stupid or does this sound awesome? It sounds very stupid. 0 points
- Overall score – 4/50 points
There you have it, our winner in today’s round of Disney’s Dumb Names is the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party. Congratulations.
What Disney attraction/entertainment/restaurant names do you dislike? Let us know in the comments! Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney. If you enjoy our content please subscribe to the blog (via WordPress or email) and like our social media pages. You can find all of those things on the right side of this page. Have a great day!