Universal Orlando Resort may be best known for its edge-of-your-seat thrills, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything at its theme parks for those who may not be old enough to measure up to riding those more intense attractions. One great place at Universal Studios Florida for younger children to go is Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone, which is filled with a variety of child-friendly rides, shows, and even elaborate play areas such as “Fivel’s Playland.” Drawing inspiration Universal’s 1991 animated feature “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West,” this area makes its young visitors feel like their the size of a mouse as they climb and slide through larger-than-life Western props. The film’s star, Fievel Mousekewitz, can even be seen standing at the area’s main entrance welcoming visitors to the “movie set,” but the clapboard he is holding seems to indicate that, in addition to being an actor, he has now become a movie director as well.
Fievel first appeared on the silver screen in 1986’s “An American Tail,” a collaboration between director Don Bluth and producer Steven Spielberg that told the story of the young immigrant mouse’s quest to be reunited with his family in 1880s New York after becoming separated from them during their voyage to America. It’s sequel, however, saw Fievel and his family leave the big city in favor of the wide open spaces of the Wild West, eventually teaming up with the legendary canine sheriff Wylie Burp to foil the scheme of the villainous Cat R. Waul. While “Fievel Goes West,” which was directed by Phil Nibbleink and Simon Wells, did not attain the same level of critical or box office success as it Bluth-directed predecessor, the film still has its fans and the playground it inspired has provided a great place for Universal Studio’s Florida to have fun and blow off a little steam for the past 25 years. However, with Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone rumored to be the future site of Universal’s upcoming Nintendo-themed land, it may not be too long until Fievel will have to pack up his playland and ride off into the sunset.