From sailing with pirates in the Caribbean to spinning through the cosmos with space rangers, Disney parks have long been turning our favorite films into enchanting, immersive, and thrilling rides. But, with Disney’s treasure trove of animated adventures, there are still countless stories that haven’t yet made it from the screen to rides.
This got my imagination gears grinding. Which films are just begging to be transformed into captivating theme park attractions? Which worlds could we explore, which characters could join us, and what adventures could we experience? In this article, we’ll dive into some Disney and Pixar favorites that are ripe for adaptation, and dream up the rides that could transport us straight into their wonderful worlds.
So, buckle up and get ready to envision what it would be like to swing through the jungle with Tarzan, zoom through the neon skyline of San Fransokyo, or embark on a daring chase through Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood and Little John!
- Coco’s Land of the Dead Celebration
- Big Hero 6 Flight Training
- Brave’s Archery Quest
- Tangled’s Lantern Festival
- Mulan’s Warrior Journey
- Mary Poppins Magical Holiday
- The Princess Diaries Royal Prep School
- Tarzan’s Jungle Swing
- The Rescuers Down Under Australian Adventure
- The Aristocats’ Parisian Adventure
- Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest Run
Coco’s Land of the Dead Celebration
Disney Pixar’s Coco takes us on an incredible journey into the Land of the Dead, a vibrant world filled with lively music and colorful celebrations. Inspired by the Day of the Dead festival, this film is an extraordinary tribute to Mexican culture and traditions.
Our proposed ride, Coco’s Land of the Dead Celebration, would be a vibrant, music-filled dark ride that carries you through the heart of this extraordinary realm. Picture yourself boarding a traditional Mexican marigold petal boat, which symbolizes the path that spirits follow to reach the Land of the Living during the Day of the Dead.
As the ride begins, the scenes from Miguel’s hometown, Santa Cecilia, transition into the mesmerizing Land of the Dead, a breathtaking cityscape teeming with whimsical spirit animals, skeletal citizens, and towering buildings that defy gravity. Using advanced projection mapping and animatronics, the ride would capture the film’s vivid color palette and architectural wonders.
You’d journey through the city, witnessing the joyous celebrations, hearing the melodic tunes of Ernesto de la Cruz, and finally arriving at the grand Sunrise Spectacular. Here, you’d participate in Miguel’s emotional reunion with his great-grandmother, Coco, filled with heartfelt songs and love for family. This ride wouldn’t just entertain—it would carry the poignant message of Coco: remembering our loved ones keeps their spirit alive. It would be a wonderful addition to any Disney park, captivating audiences with its color, music, and emotion.
Big Hero 6 Flight Training
“Are you satisfied with your care?” Baymax, the lovable healthcare companion from Big Hero 6, resonates with us all. But who hasn’t dreamed of soaring through the skies of San Fransokyo with Hiro and Baymax? Our next ride, Big Hero 6 Flight Training, is all about making that dream come true.
Think of it as a simulator ride, not dissimilar to Soarin’ or Flight of Passage, but with an adrenaline-pumping twist. You’d be stepping into Hiro’s garage-turned-lab, where you’ll see a plethora of Hiro’s inventions, Baymax’s charging station, and a flight suit that awaits you.
As you mount the seats designed to resemble Baymax in his superhero armor, your journey begins with Hiro’s voice guiding you through the flight training procedure. Equipped with wind effects, motion, and multi-sensory features, the ride would take you swooping, diving, and soaring around San Fransokyo’s skyline.
You’d dodge obstacles, evade Yokai’s microbots, and ultimately, help save the day. It’s not just about the thrill of flight – this ride lets you step into the shoes of a hero and experience the adventure firsthand. It would be a thrill ride that speaks to our inner superheroes.
Brave’s Archery Quest
Brave’s Merida is a princess unlike any other – a fiery redhead with impeccable archery skills. With Brave’s Archery Quest, guests get a chance to step into Merida’s shoes (or should we say, her archery boots) and embark on a thrilling, interactive adventure.
This ride would combine the best elements of a dark ride and an interactive game. Guests would board a vehicle designed to resemble Angus, Merida’s faithful Clydesdale. Equipped with a mock bow and arrow, they’re tasked with breaking the witch’s spell.
As the ride moves through a stunning representation of the Scottish highlands, complete with lush landscapes and ancient stone circles, guests would aim their arrows at various targets. Hitting the targets would reveal parts of the story, helping Merida lift the spell and restore peace in her kingdom.
The journey would climax with a face-off against Mor’du, the demon bear. This ride is not just about scoring points; it’s about bravery, skill, and determination, giving guests a taste of Merida’s adventurous spirit.
Tangled’s Lantern Festival
For those seeking a softer experience, Tangled’s Lantern Festival could be your dream come true. Inspired by one of the most visually stunning scenes in Disney’s Tangled, this boat ride would captivate guests with its beauty and tranquillity.
You’d start the ride by boarding a boat resembling the one from the iconic “I See the Light” scene. As you glide along the gentle waters, you’d watch the kingdom of Corona come alive with lanterns.
The ride would utilize projection technology to create the effect of countless lanterns illuminating the sky, rising from the buildings around you, and then moving overhead. An instrumental version of “I See the Light” would play in the background, enhancing the magical atmosphere.
As the ride reaches its climax, guests would find themselves in the heart of the lantern release scene. Surrounded by floating lanterns and reflections on the water, it would be a sight to behold. Tangled’s Lantern Festival would be a testament to Disney’s ability to create enchanting and unforgettable experiences.
Mulan’s Warrior Journey
Mulan has been inspiring generations with her courage, wisdom, and heart. It’s about time she gets her own ride – Mulan’s Warrior Journey. This thrilling dark ride would take guests right into the heart of the Huns’ invasion, helping Mulan save China.
The ride would start in Mulan’s village, where guests board a vehicle designed like Khan, Mulan’s faithful horse. As they journey towards the battlefield, they’d pass through the training camp with Shang, the snow-covered mountains, and eventually, the Imperial City.
The use of animatronics, projection mapping, and special effects would create realistic battle scenes, where guests help Mulan defeat the Huns using an interactive element built into the ride vehicle. It’s not about fighting; it’s about outsmarting the enemy and saving the day.
With an empowering narrative and immersive design, Mulan’s Warrior Journey would leave guests with a sense of accomplishment and a deeper understanding of Mulan’s bravery and intelligence.
Mary Poppins Magical Holiday
How can anyone forget the magical carousel ride from Mary Poppins? We’d take that idea and make it even more enchanting. The Mary Poppins Carousel Journey is more than just a merry-go-round; it’s a ticket to a whimsical, song-filled adventure.
The ride starts innocently enough as guests mount beautifully crafted carousel horses. But as the carousel starts spinning, the magic begins. With a little help from Mary Poppins herself, the horses leap off the carousel and into a trackless dark ride.
Guests would be whisked away into various scenes from the movie. They’d gallop through the chalk-drawing park, float in the “upside-down” room, and dance with the chimney sweeps on London’s rooftops. The ride would utilize audio-animatronics, large-scale set pieces, and interactive elements for a fully immersive experience.
Ending back at the carousel, guests would leave with the tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” in their hearts and a big smile on their faces.
The Princess Diaries Royal Prep School
Who hasn’t fantasized about suddenly discovering they’re royalty? With The Princess Diaries Royal Prep School, guests get a taste of royal training, transforming from everyday individuals to regal royalty under the watchful eye of Queen Clarisse Renaldi.
Guests enter a beautifully designed replica of the Genovian Royal Palace where they’re welcomed by Queen Clarisse (an animatronic figure). She introduces guests to their “royal training,” which includes etiquette lessons, a waltzing tutorial, and even a fun, lighthearted segment about royal wave and posture.
The experience is peppered with humor, as well as important lessons about confidence, kindness, and responsibility. The attraction blends interactive elements with digital media and animatronics, keeping guests engaged and entertained throughout the session.
As the training concludes, guests are “knighted” in a special ceremony and exit the attraction with a newfound appreciation for their inner royalty, much like Mia Thermopolis.
Tarzan’s Jungle Swing
Tarzan’s Jungle Swing offers an exhilarating, adrenaline-pumping adventure. Here, guests swing from vine to vine in the heart of the jungle, recreating Tarzan’s iconic mode of transport.
Guests are strapped into harnesses that are attached to a “vine” (a strong steel cable), and with the push of a button, they are propelled forward, swinging in a broad arc that gives them a stunning view of the jungle below. This would utilize cutting-edge ride system technology to mimic the sensation of swinging from vine to vine.
Every swing takes guests to a new scene from the movie, like Tarzan and Jane’s thrilling baboon chase or the epic showdown against Clayton. These scenes would be represented with large-scale set pieces, animatronics, and 4D effects.
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just a fan of the movie, Tarzan’s Jungle Swing offers an immersive, exciting experience that brings out the wild side in everyone.
The Rescuers Down Under Australian Adventure
Embark on a thrilling hang glider ride across the breathtaking landscapes of the Australian Outback with The Rescuers Down Under Australian Adventure. This ride combines stunning visuals, high-speed thrills, and the adventurous spirit of the classic film.
Guests board a “hang glider,” suspended from an overhead track. As the ride begins, they’re swiftly “lifted” into the air, their legs dangling freely, perfectly emulating the sensation of hang gliding. 4D elements like wind, heat, and scents bring the Australian Outback to life, enhancing the immersion.
The ride recreates the film’s exhilarating flying scenes, taking guests over vast deserts, rugged mountains, dense forests, and more. It’s not just a visual spectacle – the ride tells the story of Bernard and Bianca’s heroic mission, with key scenes brought to life through animatronics and projections.
The Rescuers Down Under Australian Adventure is a true celebration of the film’s adventurous spirit, an unforgettable journey across the Australian wilderness.
The Aristocats’ Parisian Adventure
The Aristocats’ Parisian Adventure is a slow-moving dark ride that transports guests to the romantic city of Paris, where they follow the jazzy escapades of Duchess, Thomas O’Malley, and their kittens.
Guests board charming little “baskets,” reminiscent of the one Duchess and her kittens are carried in during the movie. As the ride begins, they are whisked off through the jazz-filled alleys of Paris, recreated with meticulous detail.
This ride features catchy tunes from the movie, stunning set pieces, and animatronic characters that bring the story to life. Guests are part of the adventure, navigating through the busy streets of Paris, evading Edgar, and ultimately finding their way back home.
The Aristocats’ Parisian Adventure is a charming, leisurely ride perfect for all ages, and captures the romance, music, and humor of the beloved film.
Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest Run
Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest Run is an adventurous dark ride that takes guests through Sherwood Forest’s thrilling escapades alongside the iconic characters Robin Hood and Little John.
Guests board “wooden carts,” as they set off on a winding track that zigzags through Sherwood Forest. The ride incorporates physical sets, projections, and animatronics to retell Robin Hood’s story in a visually striking way.
Guests experience key events from the film, from Robin Hood’s daring heists to his close calls with the Sheriff of Nottingham. The climax of the ride is an exciting chase sequence that leads to a triumphant return to Sherwood Forest.
Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest Run is a fun, engaging ride that brings the excitement and adventure of the classic film to life.
And there you have it, our dream list of Disney movies that we think are practically begging for their own rides. From serene boat rides under starlit skies with Lady and the Tramp, to thrilling archery quests with the indomitable Merida, each of these imagined rides brings the magic, adventure, and heartfelt storytelling of these cherished films to vivid life.
While for now, these rides remain the stuff of dreams, who can say what the future holds? After all, Disney has always been the place where dreams come true. So, here’s to the hope that one day we might just find ourselves soaring over San Fransokyo with Baymax, traversing the vibrant Land of the Dead with Miguel, or even training with the legendary demigod Hercules himself. Until then, we’ll keep the Disney magic alive in our hearts, and our imaginations spinning with the possibilities.