One of the magical things about Disney World is that it has an abundance of attractions, every one of them being different (except for the numerous Dumbo rides they have now). But the cool thing is that only about half of these attractions are based on actual Disney movies. The others are original ideas that speak for themselves, such as Space Mountain, Spaceship Earth, Pirates of the Caribbean and a segment from the Magic Kingdom known as Tomorrowland.
Many of these original attractions have turned into movies based on the attractions. A few of these movies include (but are not limited to):
- Tomorrowland (Attraction opened in 1955; movie released in 2015)
- The Country Bears (Based on "Country Bear Jamboree" attraction opened in 1971; movie released in 2002)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (Attraction opened in 1967; first movie released in 2003)
- Tower of Terror (Attraction opened in 1994; movie released in 1997; based on Twilight Zone episode from 1939)
- Mission to Mars (Attraction opened in 1975, closed in 1993; movie released in 2000)
- The Haunted Mansion (Attraction opened in 1971; movie released in 2003)
These movies were rather hit & miss at the Box office. Pirates of the Caribbean was one of those ones that was clearly a hit. Many could also argue that Tomorrowland should be considered a hit. The others, unfortunately, did not do so well.
But that is not the point!!! After a recent trip to Disney World myself, I got to thinking about what other Disney World attractions could also become Disney movies. So here is what I came up with for eight Disney World attractions that could possibly be turned into Disney movies.
1. Space Mountain
Now I know that Tomorrowland just opened, and Space Mountain is in the Tomorrowland section of The Magic Kingdom, but why not make it into a movie? Disney clearly has the money, and space movies have finally gone back to selling in the Box Office again.
The ride is a fun and fast thrill ride where you are "shot into space." You ride on the coaster inside of the mountain-shaped dome with a space-like interior. It's actually one of my favorite rides there. It's seriously cool and a lot of fun.
Now, I have two ideas for this movie and how it could come about:
1. It serves as its own solo movie about space exploration. It would consist around humans trying to travel space at new found speeds. Sort of like what a Star Trek prequel would look like. Or....
2. A sequel to Tomorrowland. Now I honestly have not seen Tomorrowland yet, but I do know a bit about it. If Disney decides to do a sequel, there's actually a safe bet that Space Mountain will be tied in as a major part, maybe even as a subtitle to it, such as Tomorrowland 2: Space Mountain or some variation of that.
2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Another big coaster at Disney could actually turn out to be another big movie. It is not one of Disney World's most famous attractions, but it could turn out to be an enjoyable movie if made the right way.
The ride itself is mostly outdoors with a couple parts indoors, such as inside a cavern or a wooden building. It has a Western theme, taking place in a mining town. You ride on a fast moving train across an the old town, complete with wild animals, abandoned shacks, cacti, geysers and gun fights. It is fast moving, fun and really well decorated.
It could actually be made into a good movie, if done right. Most audiences aren't big into Westerns anymore, but this could be the movie to change it back. If you put in a big name celebrity (like Tomorrowland did with George Clooney) and a solid plot surrounding a dying town trying to survive the harsh conditions of the West, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad may turn into the next Pirates of the Caribbean. If done right and marketed right, it may end up as an enormous success.
3. Expedition Everest
This is one of my favorite rides I've ever been on, and in 2011 it earned the world record for being the most expensive roller coaster in the world. It is one of Disney World's most recent attractions and is located in the Animal Kingdom.
The ride takes you on a journey up Mount Everest, but once you come across a part of the track that has been ripped apart, things start to get fun and scary. The cart suddenly rolls backwards through the mountain into the lair of the Yeti. It's then a fast-paced escape from the mountain with many different sightings of the animatronic Yeti that seems to follow you as you go along. It's fast, it's clever, it's big and it's simply awesome.
The movie could take a similar plot to the ride itself. It would surround a team that decides to take an expedition up Mount Everest to reach the top, even though many people warn them not to because of the Yeti. Thinking it's a myth, the team continues the journey until they find themselves face-to-face with the beast itself. The rest of the movie would follow them trying to escape the mountain and the grasp of the enormous beast that lies within. That, my friends, could make one awesome summer blockbuster.
5. Spaceship Earth
Yes, another space-themed one. Spaceship Earth is the actual name for the giant globe or "golf ball" at Epcot.
It is a slow 15-minute ride inside of the globe that takes you on a journey through the progression of technology and communication in human history. It starts back with the cavemen, and travels through history up to modern times to show how far humanity has progressed over the ages. It's actually a very inspiring ride that I often enjoy.
The movie could follow a person who gets caught in a time loop (or some other time travel thing) and travels across the history of time to see its progression. They would then come back out to save their own time by following what history needs him or her to repeat. Or, you know, something like that. It would be adventurous, inspirational, and partially educational. Besides, its about time for Disney to finally dive into time travel movies anyways.
6. DinoLand U.S.A.
With Jurassic World being a huge hit, it may be safe to say that dinosaur movies may be making a comeback. I mean really, who doesn't love some CGI dinosaur action?!
DinoLand U.S.A. is a segment of the Animal Kingdom (much like how Tomorrowland is a segment of the Magic Kingdom) that is very kid friendly. There is a smaller dinosaur spinning ride, a ride based on the Dinosaur movie from 2000, a few small dinosaur play areas where you can dig up fossils, and a bunch of dinosaur stores. It's actually a pretty fun place to go into, as long as you watch for wandering dinosaurs. You don't want to be eaten.
The movie could be anything, really, as long as there are dinosaurs. It could be like Jurassic Park, where a dinosaur theme park is built and it goes horribly wrong. It could take you back to the time of the dinosaurs and show the dinosaurs that live in what is now the U.S.A. and the dinosaurs would act like Americans today as a comedy. Or, it could even by like a zombie apocalypse movie but with dinosaurs instead of zombies, to show what happens to America when the dinosaurs suddenly come back and take over. Any of them could work, and I would still go see it because, well, dinosaurs!!!!
7. Animal Kingdom
Now why not do a movie based on an entire Disney park?! The Animal Kingdom is Disney World's most recent park and is actually a pretty neat place.
While most of the Animal Kingdom works like the other Disney parks, with attractions and rides and everything, a lot of it is basically a giant zoo. There are all sorts of animal attractions across the park, including birds, reptiles, fake dinosaurs and (my personal favorite) howler monkeys. At the center of the entire park is The Tree of Life from The Lion King. It has several different sections to it, including DinoLand U.S.A., Africa, Asia, Discovery Island and an area dedicated completely to Rafiki that is basically just another zoo. It's a big park filled with lots of nature. But I mainly go to it just for the Expedition Everest ride.
The movie could be a nature movie where someone or a group of people find more about the world. Maybe they could be factory owners or something. They then go on a journey through nature to find the truth about the Animal Kingdom and how we share this Earth. Of course, it may have some hippie elements to it, but it hopefully wouldn't go too far. It may work like the Lorax to help protect our world for the others that live along side us, to both serve as a message and to be entertaining. It all depends on how far Disney is willing to go to get their message across.
This one may be the hardest to do, but it might also be the coolest. It would certainly be a hit for many audiences, though, because it could connect to children and anyone who grew up watching Disney movies.
Fantasyland is a segment in the Magic Kingdom where most of Disney's magical movies come together, such as Tangled, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Dumbo, etc.. There are many different variations of Fantasyland that not only exist in Disney World, but in five other Disneyland parks as well. It is one of the coolest places to check out in Disney World because of how detailed it is, especially with the recent additions to it, including Rapunzel's tower and the Beast's castle.
But the movie is what we are here to talk about. Fantasyland could serve as a connection between most of, if not all of, Disney's fantasy classics. It could connect the world of Cinderella to the worlds of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Pocahontas, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White & the Seven Dwarves, Tangled, Frozen, The Princess and the Frog, Dumbo, Bambi, Pinocchio, Robin Hood, The Fox and the Hound, Hercules, The Sword in the Stone, Lady and the Tramp, The Jungle Book, The Rescuers, 101 Dalmations, The Emperor's New Groove, Aladdin, Mulan, the Lion King and, yes, even the world of Mickey Mouse.
It could serve as the ultimate Disney movie, uniting all of the different worlds and bringing them together, much like many of Disney's video games try to do (like Infinity and Kingdom Hearts). There are already movies coming out combining different movies like The Avengers and Justice League, but why leave teaming up movies to only the superheroes? Disney is an enormous company, and if they could make a team-up movie bringing together many of the other Disney films, it would be simply magical. It would change everything about Disney and would help Disney rise even farther to the top.
Having trouble imagining it? Do you remember the Land of Far Far Away from Shrek 2? It would be a bit like that, but mixed with the Pixar Theory to tie the worlds into one enormous cinematic event.
Also, I refuse to acknowledge any ideas of making an "its a small world" movie. That song already gets stuck in my head enough. I don't want it to be the next "Let it Go" and I don't think you do either.
So what do you think? Could any of these movies work? Or should Disney stop trying to turn these attractions into something that they're not? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading! :D