ByJenika Enoch, writer at
I love movies, music, and art. I'm a certified graphic designer and love to be creative as much as humanly possible. @icemyeyes
Jenika Enoch

Creativity is still alive and well in Hollywood, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of stories out there that have taken inspiration from an outside source. In the past 10 years or so, we have seen a massive influx of film adaptations from books, video games, board games, and even theme park rides. Yes, you read that correctly. I did say theme park rides and one specific set of theme parks is responsible for this wave of inspiration.

Yep, Pirates was a ride first!
Yep, Pirates was a ride first!

Although a majority of rides inside Disney theme parks such as Disneyland and Walt Disney World are based off of movies, there are more that have actually inspired movies than you probably remember. Not every movie based on a Disney theme park ride has been a massive blockbuster, but that doesn't mean it never happened. Check out these seven movies that were inspired by Disney rides.

7. The Country Bears (2002)

Inspired By: Country Bear Jamboree

Although the attraction closed its doors inside Disneyland in 2001, it is still currently operating at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. The 2002 film adaptation was far from a hit, but we can forgive them seeing how this was only their second attraction to film attempt. Basically, if you want another Muppets-like movie for the kids, this might be your best shot.

6. The Haunted Mansion (2003)

Inspired By: Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion is a Disney Parks staple as it exists in multiple variations at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. Originally opening in Disneyland in 1969, the attraction has been spooking guests for decades. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the film adaptation starring Eddie Murphy. Between a predictable premise and simply not doing the ride justice in any way, the production basically fell flat on its face with viewers and critics alike.

5. Escape From Tomorrow (2013)

Inspired By: Spaceship Earth

Escape From Tomorrow was an extremely strange movie to begin with. Filmed undercover inside the Walt Disney World resort, it faced some legal issues upon its initial release. However, the inspiration for the "cat flu" storyline and what exactly is inside the famous Spaceship Earth attraction inside Epcot are long Disney Parks tales. If you don't believe me, or the filmmakers, just do some Google research on the Disney Parks cat population.

4. Tower of Terror (1997)

Inspired By: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

This served as the first attraction to film adaptation put forward by Disney. Inspired by the Tower of Terror ride that originally opened at Walt Disney World in 1994, this TV movie centered around two people set to free the spirits of five remaining spirits from an elevator accident in 1939. For what it is, this is probably one of the more decent adaptations we have seen so far. Plus, you get to see a young version of Kirsten Dunst.

3. Tomorrowland (2015)

Inspired By: Tomorrowland as a whole

No specific ride specifically inspired Tomorrowland, but the futuristic lands existing in every Disney theme park around the globe served as inspiration for this story. With the overall land centered around technology, space travel, and the future, it made sense to give us this magical transportation into the future. Unfortunately, the movie didn't do such a good job at taking us there. The idea was great, but many viewers didn't feel that it was executed properly.

2. Mission to Mars (2002)

Inspired By: Mission to Mars

Although the Mission to Mars attractions closed at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in the early 90s, the idea of space travel wasn't forgotten. You could argue that the movie inspired the future Epcot attraction, Mission: Space. After all, Mission: Space is hosted by the film's star, Gary Sinise. The movie itself is pretty basic and serves as a generic early 2000s family film, but if you were a fan of the Mission to Mars rides you probably would enjoy it.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Inspired By: Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean originally opened inside Disneyland in 1967 and has subsequently opened at Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. To say the film adaptation was a complete success is still putting it lightly. The introduction of Captain Jack Sparrow and this entire film franchise has resonated with audiences and generated billions of dollars in both box office income and merchandise. The rides inside the theme parks were even upgraded to feature Capt. Jack Sparrow animatronic figures. Johnny Depp was even nominated for an Oscar in 2004 for his portrayal of the pirate captain. Unlike the rest of the movies on this list, we aren't quite finished with Pirates just yet. The fifth instalment, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, is set to hit theaters on May 26, 2017.

Are there any other Disney Parks attractions you'd like to see turn into a movie? Let me know in the comments!


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