Monday, June 7, 2010

My Sticky Little Fingers

Back in 2005 as part of "The Happiest Celebration on Earth", several new attractions were unveiled at Walt Disney World Resort in conjunction with a global salute to the 50th anniversary of California's Disneyland.  I thought this sounded like a great idea, and I, like many Disney fans, immediately started speculating on what attractions would arrive.  Here’s what we ended up getting, as described by Disney at the time:

"Soarin' -- Direct from Disneyland, Florida guests can now experience the wonderful Soarin' Over California that has been wowing audiences at Disney's California Adventure park. Located in The Land pavilion, the attraction simulates hang gliding by lifting riders forty feet into the air on a motion base, with their feet dangling, and gently moving them in synch with projected images of famous California landmarks.

Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show -- Imported from Disneyland Paris, this ambitious new stadium show focuses on car and motorcycle stunts and includes copious explosions and death-defying moments.

Cinderellabration – Brought to us from Tokyo Disneyland, The show picks up the story of Cinderella after the royal wedding depicted in the classic Disney animated feature, Cinderella, bringing to life the coronation of Cinderella and the festive celebration that follows."

I love Soarin’.  Even if I think they should’ve changed to be Soarin’ over Florida, or the United States, or the world, it’s still a great ride, and I’m glad we have it.  Cinderellabration and Light, Motors, Action!?  Not so much.  Is that really the best they could do?  They didn’t think they had anything better to offer?  Let me tell you, these attractions are not what I would have chosen.  If I could get my sticky little fingers on any Disney attractions worldwide and bring them to Walt Disney World, here’s what I’d steal:

10. Pinocchio's Daring Journey (Disneyland) – I’m a sucker for dark rides, and this one is really cute. You join Pinocchio on his adventures as he leaves the quiet streets of Geppetto's village to experience the excitement of Pleasure Island and the terrors of the belly of Monstro the whale.

9. Matterhorn Bobsleds (Disneyland) – I seriously debated whether or not to include this ride.  I really like it a lot, but there is something special about the connection of this ride to the original park.  To be honest, I’m actually okay with this ride only being available at Disneyland.

8. Enchanted Tiki Room (Disneyland) -- or the The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents Aloha e Komo Mai!, featuring Stitch from Lilo and Stitch from Tokyo Disneyland; I don’t care.  Just get the one out that we have now.  I don’t want to hear Gloria Estefan songs in the Magic Kingdom; it just doesn’t seem to fit.

7. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (Disneyland) – I really miss this ride.  Barmaids and hellfire on a Disney ride?  Awesome!

6. Monster’s Inc Ride and Go Seek (Tokyo Disneyland) -- Based on the 2001 Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation Studios film Monsters, Inc., this dark ride (I love dark rides, can you tell?) takes place after the film, and involves your family in a game of “Flashlight Tag” over the course of the ride.

5. Pirates of the Caribbean (Disneyland) – Yeah, I know we have one, but theirs is better.  For starters, ours is 8:30 minutes, the Disneyland version is 15:30.  And they have the Blue Bayou Restaurant in the ride.  How cool is that!  And the Blue Bayou serves Monte Cristo sandwiches.  Mmmm, Monte Cristos….

4. Crush’s Coaster (Walt Disney Studios, Disneyland Paris) -- Guests enter the Toon Backlot of Toon Studio and stumble upon the beached sound stage and film set of Disney-Pixar's Finding Nemo, where Crush and his other sea turtle friends invite guests to climb aboard their shells for a ride through memorable scenes from the movie, a sunken submarine, and the spiraling, churning East Australian Current itself.

3. Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin (Disneyland) -- Guests board a yellow cartoon cab named Lenny, who is the twin of Benny the Cab. Once guests reach a scene of Roger Rabbit and his taxi cab friend, Benny, spinning out in a puddle of "DIP" spilled by Judge Doom's weasel gang, the Toon Patrol, the steering wheel of the cab becomes active, and the car can then spin around, much like Fantasyland's Mad Tea Party. The rest of the attraction features many scenes and characters from the film, such as Roger's wife and co-star, Jessica Rabbit and Baby Herman.

2. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye (Disneyland) -- This is a dark ride motion simulator attraction based on the Indiana Jones films. Guests accompany intrepid archeologist Indy on a quest for the Jewel of Power through a dangerous lost temple, then board military troop transport vehicles for a turbulent high speed adventure.

1. Journey to the Center of the Earth (Tokyo DisneySea) -- Riders travel through mysterious caverns to the Earth's core as scientists aboard vehicles designed by Captain Nemo. After traveling through Nemo's labs inside Mt. Prometheus, guests board "Terravators" to the facility's base station one half mile below. The riders then board steam-powered mine vehicles that travel through pre-drilled tunnels into the heart of the Earth. The ride begins through a cavern of colorful glowing crystals before entering the giant Mushroom Forest, which is inhabited by strange insect and amphibian-like life-forms. Before the car can proceed further, an earthquake causes a cave-in of the tunnel ahead, forcing the car off its planned route and down a side branch filled with giant egg-like sacks. The car emerges on the shore of the Subterranean Sea, and is nearly struck by lightning from the electrified gas clouds. The finale comes when the riders are forced into the fiery heart of an active volcano, where the riders come face-to-face with the giant lava monster that calls the Center of the Earth its home, before escaping back to the surface on the wave of an eruption.

I know that a lot of argument has been made against the homogenization of the Disney parks, and many people want there to be rides unique to the individual parks.  I understand that, but how many of us are seriously ever going to be able to visit Tokyo Disneyland, or even Disneyland Paris?  These are fabulous attractions that Disney has already gone to the trouble and expense to build, so why not duplicate them for Florida guests?

But enough about me.  Are there any Disney attractions around the globe that you would like to see pop up in Florida?  Or are you against the premise entirely?  Let me know over at! 

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