Shortly after genius Walt Disney had purchased almost 30,000 acres of land in Florida for his new endeavor endearingly called, “The Florida Project,” he was quoted as saying that “there’s enough land (there) to hold all the ideas and plans we could possibly imagine.” It was almost as if he could see years into the future. At nearly 50 years old, the four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida only account for about 1,100 acres of that land, and they are home to over 40 rides and more than 50 non-ride attractions. There are also character encounters, animal encounters and more. But since there’s so much land left on which to build, it’s fun to dream about new experiences that could be created. Here are 10 Disney films that should have attractions inspired by them.
10. Cinderella (1950)
No matter when you visit Walt Disney World, there are always scores of little girls dressed as their favorite princesses—and many of them seem to prefer one of the classic princesses, Cinderella. We have Cinderella’s beautiful castle that serves as Magic Kingdom’s icon and houses the Bibbidi-Bobbidi Boutique as well as Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant. But the castle isn’t an immersive or interactive attraction. Parts of the plot of Cinderella would make for the perfect ride. What little girl wouldn’t love an attraction that centered around one of the most beloved Disney princesses of all time? The queue for this ride could wind through parts of the chateau in which Cinderella lived and was forced to be a servant to her stepmother and two stepsisters. All through the queue, we would be reminded of Cinderella’s daily duties inside her own home. But as we get closer to the loading area, the queue would begin to take on a brighter tone. The Fairy Godmother would appear out of nowhere, much like the mirror that transforms inside the “Enchanted Tales with Belle” attraction in Fantasyland. And then, as we take our turn to enjoy the experience, we climb aboard a sparkling white carriage, identical to the one Cinderella rode in, and we are whisked away for a nighttime ride through the villages of the kingdom on our way to the ball. The end of the ride would have us unloading just inside the castle where the ball is already in full swing.
9. Mary Poppins (1964)
This feature film that mixed live action with animation offers many opportunities for creating a Walt Disney World attraction. Take your pick! How about an attraction that allows Guests to enjoy a tea party on the ceiling like Mary Poppins, Bert, Jane and Michael have with the eccentric Uncle Albert who had his giggle box turned over. It would be fun to design an attraction that began on a merry-go-round. But then, thanks to the magic of Disney Imagineering, the carousel horses upon which Guests are riding would break free from their poles on the carousel. There’s even attraction potential in the scenes with the chimney sweeps dancing on the rooftops. I wonder what that attraction would look like.
8. WALL-E (2008)
Everyone loves WALL-E, the cute little robot who has been left on planet earth and tasked with cleaning up humanity’s mess. He doesn’t speak, but through sounds and movements, WALL-E made us fall in love with him and cheer for him throughout the film. Perhaps Disney Imagineering could design and build an attraction that uses first-person perspective simulation, as well as flight simulation, to create a 3D experience for Guests in which we get to see what WALL-E does in a typical day. The flight simulation would come in on that day when WALL-E and EVE are transported to the BNL ship where humans are awaiting news that they can return to Earth. Surely audio-animatronics would play a role in this attraction, and perhaps the same simulation technology used in the Star Tours attraction, Soarin’ attraction or Flight of Passage attraction. Yes, it would be yet another simulation attraction, but those seem to do very well at Disney World. After all, it’ll cost you one FastPass+ selection or an hour or more in the queue to experience any of them.
7. Aladdin (1992)
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin ride at Magic Kingdom was inspired by this movie, and although it’s fun to ride, especially if you’re visiting the parks with little ones, it’s still not an immersive attraction. Perhaps Imagineers could re-imagine this attraction. Rather than it being just a ride that goes round and round for two minutes as Guests move the carpet up and down, it could be an attraction in which Guests are truly aboard a magic carpet that moves in many directions. Perhaps it takes Guests over Agrabah. Maybe it comes together as a combination of the kind of aerial track used in Peter Pan’s Flight, the slight feel of a coaster (drops and sharp turns) sprinkled with some of that wonderful simulation technology.