What attractions should Disney design?

JustinSpace imagines pitching the concept for "it’s a small world" to an executive today:

Things are slow at WDI so they hold an open call for ideas.
You pitch your epic attraction about world peace; it’s a boat ride.
"We’ll have dolls representing all the cultures of the earth singing and dancing!"
What’s the story?
"There isn’t one," you say.
What are the "wow" moments?
"There aren’t any. Well, the whole thing is sort-of just wow."
So how much will this cost? 
"Around 40 million."
Thank you, NEXT.

The post gets right to the heart of what made the Disney experience great in the past and some things current management may want to consider as they look forward to the next 10-15 years and WDWs 50th Anniversary. (Hint: Turtle Talk with Crush and Expedition Everest are on the right track (although some parts of Everest show a desire to cut costs and sacrifice show, which I’m not happy about).)

To JustinSpace’s excellent post I would add that "it’s a small world", "Pirates of the Caribbean", "Country Bears", and most of what we think of as Classic Disney Attractions, while not movie based, all had the benefit of design by Imagineers who had their roots in animation. The above three all by Marc Davis. While we’ll never see the likes of Marc Davis again, John Lasseter believes that merging the talents of Walt Disney Feature Animation, Pixar, and Walt Disney Imagineering is important to the future of the Walt Disney Company. Does anyone disagree?

I really hope someone over at Disney Corporate is reading the Imagineering Rebirth blog and learning some lessons.

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2 thoughts on “What attractions should Disney design?

  1. Barry

    I do think the continued success of “IASW”, Pirates, the Haunted Mansion and others are owed to a couple other factors:

    1) The original music that’s played in the ride and closely associated with them. “It’s a Small World After All”, while cloying and syrupy (not treacly!) is so full of naive optimism you can’t help but hum along. 50,000 times. And “Yo Ho Yo Ho a Pirate’s Life for Me” and “Grim Grinning Ghosts” keep the rides self-identified beyond the parks…

    2) The rides still rely heavily on nostalgia, and nostalgia for nostalgia as each generation takes its kids on the rides, tells them what a great ride it was when they were a kid and their parents took them on it, and so on and so on. And it’s self-perpetuating. It’s a symbol of nostalgia for the youth of of everyone, of the country, of a time when rides that are fairly simple and nonsophisticated (by our standards) were technological marvels back then. And our collective consciosness remembers that, and treasures it.

    I wonder if your commenters can pretend to be Imagineers and think up a concept for a “IASW/POTC/HM”-type ride that might have flown back then, and would still be popular today….

  2. Jonathan

    I think disney should design a “Cars” ride by Mission:Space in Epcot. The Building horizons would be demolished for the construction of the new ride. you would ride Lightning Mcqueen around a race track(sort of like test track) And then wander through Radiator Springs. then you finally end in radiator springs station and leave. When you exit , you travel through the actual Radiator Springs and you can shop if desired. All of the characters shops would be a store, or at least a prop. This is my ride pitch for a new ride design for disney.

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