Tuesday, November 2, 2010

List Mania: Disney Movies That Should Be Attractions

Recently, the WDW News Today Podcast covered their top 10 Disney movies that should have attractions, but don’t.  Here at AI, we love lists, love stealing ideas, and we love offering our unqualified opinion, so here’s our list.

First, a couple of ground rules I set for myself…

A) The movie must be one that I consider a “classic” Disney film.  By this I mean that 20 years from now it will still be remembered (and knowing Disney, still being re-issued for purchase).  Prince of Persia might make a good attraction, but I doubt we’ll be talking about it in 20 years (at least not in the good way).  Call me cynical if you want.

B) This list only applies to Walt Disney World.  The movie might have an attraction in Disneyland, but for the purposes of this list, it does not exist.  I did not include movies that already have attractions, even if I believe they deserve much better attractions (ie. Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland, The Lion King, etc.).  I lumped stage shows in as existing attractions, but not character meet-and-greets.

C) I must have a specific type of attraction in mind.  I can’t say that Hannah Montana: The Movie would make a great attraction without stating what kind of attraction it should be.  Actually, come to think of it, there is no way I can ever say that Hannah Montana: The Movie would make a great attraction.  Let’s just all agree to block that movie from our collective memories and move on.

Now, on to the list:

10. Sleeping Beauty (1959) – The last of the old-style animation classics, this movie is filled with artistic set pieces, memorable characters, and action that could easily translate into the classic dark ride format.  In fact, this is probably more easily turned into an attraction than Snow White, suffering only in release chronology.

9.  Super Mario Bros. (1993) – Reviewing the Disney film library, I was surprised to see this movie listed.  I certainly don’t consider this movie a classic in any way.  In fact, like most people, this is one of the few blights on the Brothers Mario record.  However, the concept of turning Nintendo properties into attractions is very, well, attractive.  I’m sure there are all kinds of legal roadblocks to doing this, but I see this as the next big wave of attraction tie-ins.

8.  Mary Poppins (1964) – Certainly the most famous of Disney’s live action movies, this movie gives us a variety of locales and the kind of episodic story that fits perfectly into the dark ride format.  The movie that basically built a good portion of Disneyland certainly deserves a larger park presence than much more forgettable fare (I’m looking at you, Chronicles of Narnia).

7.  Pinocchio (1940) – The movie that gave us Jiminy Cricket, Monstro, Pleasure Island, and donkey boys needs to have a Fantasyland dark ride.

6.  WALL-E (2008) – A dystopian landscape, space travel, mass manipulation, robot love… how does this movie not have a coaster already.  In all seriousness, I could see this as a high-speed coaster or EMV attraction recreating some of the more memorable scenes.  Plus, it would be a chance to include Michael Crawford singing Put On Your Sunday Clothes in the attraction, and that’s always fun.  (Uh oh, I think I just let my Broadway fandom leak into this blog.  Please ignore…)

5.  20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) – Disney’s classic action movie still holds up today.  I’m sure someone at WDI could come up with something using this movie as an attraction.

4.  The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) – I’m already breaking my “classic movie” rule here, but I would love to see Kuzcotopia as a water ride, or even Yzma’s secret lab entrance as a coaster.  Many possibilities here, and surprisingly, the movie still holds up to viewings now.

3.  The Incredibles (2004) – This movie provides great characters, exciting action, and enough fantastic settings to fill 10 Little Mermaid show buildings.  However, I think that this movie would do even better as a thrill attraction.  The music alone makes me want to go fast.  In fact, I think some consideration should be given to re-theming Rock-N-Roller Coaster as the… (building suspense)… Incredicoaster!  Thank you, thank you very much.

2.  Up (2009) – This movie already has an attraction built in basically.  How easy would it be to take the Peter Pan ride system and create an Up dark ride.  Just replace the pirate ship with a blimp, and you’re already half way there.

1.  Tron (1982) – Even without the new movie coming out soon, this movie could easily support several different types of attractions: dark ride, coaster, simulator, EMV, 4D movie, whatever.  Unless they called it Tron’s Great Escape, how could this possibly fail?


  1. I like your list except for one thing:

    Leave Peter Pan alone!

  2. I'd would love to see a Wall-E attraction of any kind! It's Pixar's finest work, IMO.

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