One of Walt Disney World’s monorail trains has undergone a radical makeover.
The familiar, single-striped paint job has been replaced by the image of a motorcycle set against a blue background on the front cab — with a shimmering trail of light that extends the length of the train.
The flashy ad display, which debuted earlier this month, is part of the Walt Disney Co.’s early marketing campaign for Tron: Legacy, the big-budget sequel to the 1982 cult classic that will serve as the company’s winter-holiday movie release later this year.
It’s also the first time Disney World has wrapped any of its monorail trains — one of the resort’s most widely recognized symbols — with advertising that promotes something beyond the theme parks.
And it has proved astonishingly polarizing.
Though many Disney fans have been gushing over the sleek look, many others are criticizing the company in online fan forums for turning one of Disney World’s most universally recognized symbols into a 200-foot advertisement.
Some fans have even taken their displeasure to Disney’s company-run theme-park blog.
“Never thought I’d see the day that Disney would bus-wrap their monorails to advertise for a movie,” one commenter wrote. “What’s next, billboards on Cinderella Castle?” added another.
The backlash underscores the balancing act that faces Disney as it searches for new and more ways to use its theme parks to promote its movies, television shows and time shares without antagonizing its uniquely passionate — and vocal — fan base.
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