One of the reasons we love theme parks is because they let us experience our favorite movies in more visceral ways, making us part of the action, not simply witness it. But some of our favorite films have never been given that experience. While we’ve been able to feel like we have flown through a galaxy far, far, away and gone Under the Sea, for some reason Walt Disney World has never seen fit to create theme park attractions for some of it’s most popular and entertaining films. Here are some rides we’d love to experience at Walt Disney World at some point in the future.
I won’t be super critical of Disney for not yet creating a Moana ride, the film itself isn’t even two years old yet. However, the movie is glorious and it has the perfect theme park attraction idea built into it. A flume ride that lets guests become voyagers like Moana.
I see this as a sort of cross between the Jungle Cruise and Kali River Rapids. It’s something that is heavily themed after Moana that shows us the characters and animals that we remember from the movie, but it’s also a bit more thrill ride than dark ride. Moana’s quest was a dangerous one and whether or not this ride simply followed the story of the film or not, it should have some “dangerous” elements. Perhaps the ride is a sort of sequel to the movie where we travel with Moana in search of Maui’s newest island, though we may hit a storm or two on the way.
The only question is where you would put this ride. In a perfect world, it would be the centerpiece of a new World Showcase pavilion dedicated to Polynesian culture. Which is also a thing that needs to exist, unless Walt Disney World wants to attach an attraction to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, but that seems like a crowd disaster waiting to happen.
The Lion King: Pridelands Journey
How in the world is it that one of the most successful Disney animated films of all time doesn’t have its own ride? The Lion King is certainly no stranger to the Disney Parks, having been given various shows and parade floats over the years. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is about to get a new Hakuna Matata Dance Party event, but the movie needs a ride.
I envision this one to be something like Radiator Springs Racers at Disney’s California Adventure. It’s essentially just a dark ride, a ride vehicle takes you through the world of The Lion King, but like the Cars-themed attraction, it would be something on a pretty massive scale. It’s got to be big in order to feel like you’re getting across the majesty of The Pridelands. You’d meet animatronic versions of all the Lion King characters. If you wanted to put in an exciting element like Radiator Springs Racers does, end it with an escape from a stampede.
This is a ride for the Africa portion of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, of course.
Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders
Aladdin is something of a unique case, as technically the movie has a ride at the Magic Kingdom, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. However, this movie deserves more than a ride that is basically just a Dumbo’s Flying Elephants knockoff.
The Cave of Wonders would be a nice place to set an Aladdin-based ride. The location was barely explored in the movie, and so a ride could do just about anything with it. What other interesting and unique objects are hidden inside it, and what could they do? The ride vehicles would be flying carpets, of course. The basic structure would be something along the lines of Indiana Jones Adventure or Dinosaur, making you feel like you’ve truly entered the cave and combining minor thrills with a well-developed atmosphere and scenery that looks like you’re inside the cave in the same way Indiana Jones makes you feel like you’re inside a temple.
The Magic Kingdom‘s Fantasyland seems like the most logical place for this. Yeah, I don’t know where you put it either, but this is a list of dream projects.
Coco’s Land of the Dead Adventure
The Land of the Dead from Pixar’s Coco was a visually stunning place in the film. It could look all the more amazing if it were “real.” A Coco themed ride could take guests to the land of the dead
Normally, the spirits are invisible to us, however, via the use of special (3D) glasses, they will become visible. We can see and “interact” with ancestors who have passed on. Imagine a motion simulator ride like Star Tours, but one that enveloped you even more. Instead of simply seeing a 3D image in front of you, you could see it around and possibly above you. The buildings of the land of the dead could stretch out into the sky.
There would be some sort of story of course, but would it really matter what it was if you could see all this?
The Mexico pavilion at Epcot is the obvious place for this ride.
Up With Carl And Russell
This ride practically creates itself. Up saw widower Carl strap enough helium balloons to his house to fly away, so let’s go with him, shall we?
I see this ride as a modified version of Soarin’ Around the World with a bit of Pixar flair. Not that I’m suggesting we replace Soarin’, because that would be nuts, but the ride mechanics could be the same, and when and if Soarin’ ever is due for a refresh, this would be a great way to do it. Guests are suspended above the theater where a large screen is placed in front of them that shows where you’re traveling to. If we wanted to the up the ante we could add 3D glasses and make the experience feel like you’re more inside the world.
The location inside Walt Disney World for this one is a little less obvious, but with Pixar becoming a larger part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it could certainly work there.
Tangled: Flynn’s Escape
This one is a sentimental favorite, as Tangled is a particular favorite Disney movie of mine, and I wish it was used more in the parks.
This could be a simple dark ride, but maybe something akin to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, something with decent speed to it and fun twists and turns. Flynn Rider has been found by the Stabbington Brothers who want revenge for what happened to them in the movie. You go along for the ride as Flynn, riding Maximus, attempts to get away from them. Of course, Rapunzel comes in and saves the day. The events of this ride would take place after the Tangled: Before Ever After film, giving Rapunzel a reason to have her long hair and do cool stuff with it.
This is probably another Fantasyland ride, but Rapunzel is originally a German fairy tale, so a World Showcase location isn’t out of the question.