Soon I make the pilgrimage to the promised land, or what most of you might know of as Disneyland, the first of the Disney theme park legacy. Whenever I make such a trip, I always think about which of the attractions (rides) I am the most excited to experience yet again. From roller coasters, to dark rides, to 3D shows, all of the attractions Disney has to offer (in all their parks) take us to worlds that, in my opinion, deserve some kind of cinematic tribute. So let’s grab our park maps, and take a look at some of the stories that I believe deserve to make it from the Main Street hub to the big screen.
Journey into Imagination
I was beyond lucky to have seen this dark ride in its original, non-god awfully altered version. In fact, Journey into Imagination is without a doubt the most beautiful ride I’ve ever been on, and those memories, though only fuzzy at this point, still stand the test of time. Featuring the intelligent Dreamfinder and his lovable sidekick Figment, the ride took us into the familiar land of our imagination, but displayed it on an epic scale. That large scope is what allows for Imagination to stay relevant to many Disney fans, and also gives it the possibility to be brought to life cinematically. It’d be awesome to see this quirky pair go off on grand adventures, particularly ones focused on the sections of the imagination that are featured in the ride. Maybe they go into famous literature for sight, or have to help someone keep their imagination. Either way, I’m a sucker for this nostalgic duo, so count me in regardless.
Carousel of Progress/Horizons
Another ride I was lucky to see in person that is now sadly gone is Horizons, the mostly unofficial sequel ride to Carousel of Progress. It took guests through the various ways people could live in the future, whether underwater or in high-tech farmlands. What made the ride special was that you could chose the ending, via a button of your vehicle, and then a movie was shown that corresponded with the ending you chose for your future. Though the ride was more an educational one than a plot filled experience, both attractions do allow for a possible film adaptation. It would be cool to see multiple generations of a family throughout history and explore them as their future incarnations–maybe film it in a sort of Boyhood-like way, but with the added benefit of makeup and special effects. You never know, it could allow Disney to enter the specialty market, and maybe even snatch up some awards.
If anyone were to ask me what is one attraction I miss more than anything, it would be Tomorrowland’s Timekeeper. Starring the immortal and beloved Robin Williams, this attraction took place inside a 360 degree theater, with no seats, and starred an animatronic robot (who is the title character/voiced by Williams) and another smaller robot named 9-Eyes (
Get it…. 9…. 360? Puns, so many puns.) The plot of the show revolved around time travel, and discovering the famous people that would help shape both Science Fiction and the future overall. So, in keeping with the theme, what if Disney adapted the attraction into an entire time shifting feature length adventure? They could cast a similar comedic talent (though no one can truly replace Robin)–maybe someone like Simon Pegg, who could voice a robot related to the original TimeKeeper, and go on a similar educational, yet fun, exploration of the past and beyond. Either way, it would bring back all the feels–all of them.
Haunted Mansion/Phantom Manor
Yeah, I’ve already talked ad nauseam over my thirst for a PROPER Haunted Mansion movie. With news a few months back of Ryan Gosling’s involvement in Del Toro’s production, I have hopes that my favorite Disneyland classic will get its just desserts. But there is also a little part of me that would love to see Disneyland Paris’s version of the ride, Phantom Manor, get a cinematic adaptation. Maybe if handled correctly, the first film could spawn a franchise, and the sequel could be the plot of Paris’s Manor. In case you don’t know, the European incarnation of the attraction has a completely different storyline than either of the American versions of the ride, one that focuses on a more Phantom of the Opera type tale, but with a western twist, along with an even bigger role for the Bride character. So come on, Del Toro, don’t let me down with this possible haunting good time!
Any one of my friends knows at this point that whenever I bring up Disneyland or Disney World, I will by default gush about my love of Fantasmic. This nighttime show features Mickey Mouse battling Disney villains, including Maleficent, Jafar and The Evil Queen, among many others. So now that Disney is clearly taking some leaps and bounds with their brand (coughDESCENDANTScough) I feel making a Fantasmic movie is not that far a stretch. Maybe this could even bring back the 2D animation department at the company, or at least have Disney get themselves into high gear with using the animation program they did in Paper Man. Sorry Kingdom Hearts, this is the epic mash-up battle I wanna see on the big screen.
So which Disney attraction do you wanna see on the big screen? And please don’t say Pirates, cause we all know we don’t need yet another one of those movies. Comment with something creative–heck, tell us how a Test Track movie would work. Tell us all your Disney park feels!