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October 27, 2008

More Dolphins At Disney

In September I blogged about the Mythical Dolphins that can be found all around Walt Disney World. I asked you to let me know if you knew of others!

Two more mythological dolphins have been spotted at Disney World. The first can be found at Downtown Disney next to Disney's Wonderful World of Memories shop. This one was brought to my attention by Jeff. Thanks, Jeff!

Dolphins at Downtown Disney

Dolphins at Downtown Disney

Dolphins at Downtown Disney


By the way, this shop has been closed and a new shop, Disney's Design-a-Tee sponsored by Hanes, will be opening soon.


 Disney's Design-a-Tee sponsored by Hanes


The second spotting was pointed out to me by someone at the recent All Ears Haunted Mansion Meet & Greet. Someone casually told me of its location, but I don't remember who. So whoever you are, thank you.

This second set of dolphins can be found in a fountain at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort, near the DVC information podium.


Dolphins at Saratoga Springs Resort

Dolphins at Saratoga Springs Resort

A number of my readers have written and told me that these dolphins are not the mammal, but rather the dolphin-fish (mahi-mahi). And I do agree that these creatures resemble a fish much more than they do Flipper. But nowhere in my research did I ever come across the word "fish" when reading about mythological dolphins.

Take a look at the Neptune Fountain in the Italy Pavilion.

Dolphin at Neptune Fountain in Italy

The proportions are correct for a dolphin-mammal, not a dolphin-fish.

And of all the creatures in the sea, why would the ancients pick the dolphin-fish to worship. There's nothing remotely special about it. On the other hand, the dolphin-mammal, is a noteworthy creature. It's intelligent, large, and playful.

I think the ancients had vivid imaginations. After all, it was these same people who looked up into the stars and formed all sorts of imaginative animals, objects, and people out of little specks of light.

September 22, 2008

Dolphins at Walt Disney World

On several occasions, while driving along World Drive with out-of-town friends or family, we pass by the Dolphin resort. Invariably someone says, "That doesn't look like Flipper." Well, it's not supposed to look like a "real" dolphin. It's a representation of a mythological dolphin. Architect Michael Graves selected both the dolphin and swan because they represent both a contemporary and mythological symbol for water. And just for the record, these dolphins stand 56 feet high and weigh approximately 60,000 pounds.


Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Dolphin


For thousands of years, tales of dolphins, whales, and porpoises have found their way into worldwide mythology. Collectively these creatures are known as cetacea and their popularity may stem from their large size and playful qualities. In addition, numerous legends tell of these animals coming to the aid of fishermen and sailors.


Mythology Dolphins


But the Dolphin Resort isn't the only place you can find these mythological creatures at Walt Disney World. I found several others. Probably the next best example is the Neptune Fountain in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot.

Neptune Fountain Italy Epcot


The Greeks called their "God of the Sea" Poseidon and he was usually accompanied by his trident and one or more dolphins, who were his messengers. When Rome adopted the Greek gods as their own, they often changed little more than their name. This statue is a good example.

But this imposing fountain isn't the only place that you can find dolphins in the Italy Pavilion. Take a look at the door handles on the Il Bel Cristallo shop.


Il Bel Cristallo shop Dolphin handles


In the United Kingdom Pavilion, there is a small fountain located in front of the restrooms. On top of this fountain is another dolphin.


Dolphin.jpg


United Kingdom Pavilion Fountain


And it wasn't just the western cultures that embraced the dolphin. In Hindu mythology, Ganga, the deity of the Ganges River is associated with the dolphin, who heralds her descent from the heavens.

Nagoya Castle in Japan is adorned with golden dolphins or Kinshachi. These creatures were a symbol of the feudal lord's authority. In the Japan Pavilion in Epcot, you can see copies of these dolphins atop the blue tiled roof of its castle.

Japan Pavilion


When entering the Yacht Club Resort, guests come face to face with an ancient globe of the world.


Ancient Globe Yacht Club Resort


Look closely and you'll see the earth is supported by a pair of dolphins.


Ancient Globe Yacht Club Resort


Also, if you carefully examine this globe you'll find a hidden Mickey next to another dolphin.


Hidden Mickey Ancient Globe Yacht Club Resort


If you travel to Disney's Hollywood Studios, you can find another collection of mythical dolphins, this time on the Mermaid Fountain.


Mermaid Fountain Hollywood Studios


This fountain is from the Disney movie "Splash" starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. Look beneath the fountain and you'll find four dolphins.


Splash Statue Hollywood Studios


These are the dolphins I've found around Walt Disney World. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more. If you find some, let me know where and I'll check it out. I'm sure there are more within the Dolphin Resort, but I'm not going to include those in my search since this would be too obvious a place to look for them.

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About Dolphins

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The “World” According to Jack in the Dolphins category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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