There’s no denying it: Disney is a master when it comes to storytelling. From animated classics to live action musicals and wild adventures, Disney films rank among some of our favorites. So it’s no surprise that the attractions at Walt Disney World are just as detailed, exciting, and entertaining.Sometimes films inspire attractions such as Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo, and (more recently), Avatar’s Flight of Passage. But every so often, we get an attraction that inspires a movie (we’re looking at you, Pirates of the Caribbean). With a recent announcement from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson about the upcoming Jungle Cruise film, now seems like a perfect time to show you the attractions we’d like to see turned into films (not to mention Amanda just got back from Disney and she’s going through withdrawal).
The Haunted Mansion
Now some of you may argue with me and point out that this attraction has already been made into a feature film and I would (begrudgingly) agree with you. In 2003, Disney released both Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion (and there was much rejoicing in my house since those are my two favorite rides in Walt Disney World). While Pirates took off and is somehow still going strong, The Haunted Mansion was less than stellar. Maybe it was the choice to make Eddie Murphy the leading man. Or perhaps it was the choice to replace the creepiness with comedy. Either way, The Haunted Mansion sucked. The attraction is dark and creepy and dripping with Gothic storytelling. With 999 happy haunts, there’s got to be some characters to meet and stories to tell and with a backdrop like the Gracey Mansion, I know we can do better than Eddie Murphy.
Journey Into Imagination
One of the lesser known characters from the Walt Disney World Resort is actually the mascot of Epcot and the center of his own ride: Figment! Originally created by The Dreamfinder in the original Journey Into Imagination attraction in the 1980s. He’s a purple dragon that encourages Guests to use their imaginations and while the new updated attraction is a bit childish and kitschy at times, the original story of Figment and Dreamfinder is perfect for a full length film! Filled with steampunk style, the adventures and stories that can be told are endless (just use your imagination!). There is actually a series of comic books from Marvel that tell the story of a young Dreamfinder and Figment. It seems like it’s just asking to be made into a whimsical and exciting story for those who love Figment and for those who are still waiting to fall in love with the little guy!
This is another example of an attraction inspiring a movie and then the movie inspiring the ride (similar to Pirates). Originally, this ride was called Countdown to Extinction. Then, in 2000, the film Dinosaur came out and (for whatever reason), Disney changed the awesome name of Countdown to Extinction to just simply Dinosaur. In the ride, Guests are transported back to the end of the Cretaceous period to help a paleontologist bring back an Iguanodon (don’t ask why… that’s irrelevant). What could go wrong? It a fun ride that lurches you around a series of dinosaurs–some friendly and some ready to eat you whole–all while dodging meteorites, roaming the darkness, and counting down to the moment when the giant asteroid hits, killing most life on Earth. If a two minute ride can get your heart pumping, why not a full length film as well?
The Tower of Terror
This is another attraction that has technically been made into a film for the Disney Channel. The TV movie starred Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst and expanded on the story told to Guests on the ride: in 1939, a group of guests at the Hollywood Tower Hotel were caught in a storm and transported into the Twilight Zone. It’s a fast paced thrill ride that already has such a deep, spooky story to go along with it. If writers could come up with a kid friendly film for the Disney Channel (that was even better than the blockbuster that Haunted Mansion was supposed to be), just imagine how creepy a full length feature film could be, especially if they tap into themes found in The Twilight Zone.
One of Disney’s newer attractions, Expedition Everest is a roller coaster that is filled with twists and turns and even some surprises (don’t worry… I won’t spoil anything). Guests are transported to Nepal where they take part in a trek up into the Himalayas in search for the elusive Yeti. The attention to detail on this attraction is mind boggling and with the exciting energy of the roller coaster, it could offer a fun adventure for movie goers. Everyone loves an adventure and exotic locations, throw in a supernatural entity and it’s sure to be a good time!
What Disney attractions would you like to see made into movies? Are you excited for The Rock’s Jungle Cruise film? Let us know in the comments!
Amanda Woomer-Limpert is a writer/editor for the Geekiverse and a former Disney cast member. While she is still going through Disney withdrawal, she’s counting down to her next Disney trip… only 130 days!
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