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Four Popular Disney Attractions That Are Scheduled to Become Hollywood Blockbusters
Billions of people visit Disneyland and Walt Disney World every single year, experiencing the magic of their favorite attractions and making memories along the way. Since Walt planned and built Disneyland, the Disney theme parks have been about making fantasy a reality-- taking movie moments and making guests a part of them in real life. Popular attractions such as Peter Pan's Flight, Journey of the Little Mermaid, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant were on the silver screen long before they found their place as rides in the theme parks.
Alternatively, attractions that originated solely from the creativity of the Imagineers for the parks became so popular that Disney decided to bring them to life in the movies. The biggest success of these ventures was the immensely popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise-- an idea that would have never existed if it weren't for the popularity of the ride.
Own the Tower of Terror on DVD
Trial and Error
While certainly the most popular and successful, Pirates of the Caribbean was not the only (or the first) attraction that Disney attempted to bring to Hollywood. Amongst a much longer list, some of the following attractions already exist in movie form:
- Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, released on VHS, may have been Disney's first attempt at telling an attraction's story through film. The movie is available in it's entirety on Youtube-- try to watch it and let us know in the comments how far you got before you turned it off.
- Tower of Terror came in the form of a 1997 direct to TV supernatural thriller. Starring Steve Guttenburg and Kirsten Dunst, most of the film was actually shot on location at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios.
- The Country Bears, released several years later, followed the antics of the costumed bears made popular in Country Bear Jamboree. Critics panned the film, calling it a cheesy and bad attempt at a spin-off on a theme park ride.
- The Haunted Mansion, featuring Eddie Murphy, was a flop to most critics and fans. While the classic attraction has a mix of scary and funny elements, most viewers thought the movie lacked both.
Check Out the Trailer for "The Country Bears"
We Keep Moving Forward
Walt Disney is famous for saying "we keep moving forward," and the branch of the Disney company responsible for moviemaking has decided to do just that. After years of backlash and negative critical reviews concerning turning theme park rides into movies, Disney finally hit gold with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
In the wake of such a success, executives at Disney entertainment decided to try their hand once again at turning some of the most classic attractions at Walt Disney World and Disneyland into Hollywood blockbusters. There are some amazing ventures on the horizon-- let's take a look at what's coming soon to a theater near you:
The Haunted Mansion (Take Two)
Guillermo del Toro's Darker Take
At the 2010 San Diego Comic Con, Disney shocked a packed room with an important announcement: famous movie producer Guillermo del Toro would be taking the helm of a brand new movie involving the grim grinning ghosts of the classic Haunted Mansion. An obsessed fan of the Mansion since childhood, the adult del Toro now has a room in his private home decked out in the style of the ghoulish estate-- from the iconic gargoyles looming above to the watchful eyes on the wallpaper covering the walls.
When considering the perfect person to take the reins of a new Haunted Mansion film, Disney knew they needed to look no further than Guillermo del Toro. Having built a repertoire of chilling films that could still be enjoyed by most of the family, del Toro is the obvious choice to take the film in a completely different direction than the 2003 flop starring Eddie Murphy.
An Old Friend Returns
Of most interest to Mansion fans is del Toro's promise that the Hatbox Ghost will be featured front and center in his adaption. While not known to some modern audiences, the Hatbox Ghost is an infamous character that previously resided in the attic of the Disneyland Mansion-- but only for a few days.
When the Haunted Mansion first opened, this ghastly specter was supposed to coincide with the beating heart of the attic's Bride. Every time the heart beat, the ghost's head would disappear and reappear inside a box clutched in his hands. When guests rode through the attraction for the first time, it became clear that the effect didn't work-- and Imagineers promptly removed it, never to return. Rumors are, however, that the Hatbox Ghost will make his triumphant return for Disneyland's 60th anniversary... stay tuned!
Haunted Mansion does not yet have a release date.
Walt's World Comes Alive
If there was one subject Walt Disney talked about the most, it was the future and progress. When he finalized his plans for Disneyland, it was no surprise that Walt wanted to include a land called Tomorrowland-- a place where guests could dream about the future with every visit. On May 22, Walt's vision of Tomorrowland will come alive in a movie of the same name... but it may not be what you expect.
Although early trailers for the movie have revealed spaceships and a futuristic world, they reveal a surprising item is the central focus of Tomorrowland: a pin. It looks exactly like a Disney trading pin that you could pick up at one of the parks, but this pin is not used for trading. Simply touching it sends the holder into a brand new reality, likely to a place called Tomorrowland.
Lindelof Brings Disney Magic to Science Fiction
Damon Lindelof (famous for his work on LOST) will produce Tomorrowland, but don't expect the movie to be another science fiction movie about aliens battling humans in space. While little beyond the trailer has been revealed, some filming took place at Disneyland attraction It's a Small World and the Carousel of Progress in Walt Disney World-- so there's more than meets the eye to this film.
Since Walt Disney Imagineering was involved in the movie's script and story, Tomorrowland is poised to become one of the most amazing movies that has ever come from the theme parks.
Take a Peek into Tomorrowland
The Disney Duo
When considering the list of famous actors involved in Disney films, perhaps no duo is more well known than Toy Story's Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. While moviegoers have gotten used to the sound of their voices over the years in the animated Pixar films, Disney has announced that we'll be seeing the pair together for the first time in live action film in the future.
Known for their various roles in comedy movies, Disney could think of no two people better than Hanks and Allen to star in a movie based upon the classic attraction Jungle Cruise. For years, the skippers of the Jungle Cruise have made guests laugh (or roll their eyes) at the cheesy jokes accompanying a journey through the jungle filled with animatronic animals.
Rumored to be a live action comedy, Jungle Cruise will likely feature Hanks and Allen teaming on an adventure through the jungle-- and don't be surprised if an iconic riverboat shows up along the way.
Jungle Cruise has been in "development hell" since 2007-- a term that movie producers use when a film continues to be developed without a stated end point. No filming dates have yet to be announced.
Starbucks Magic Kingdom Mug
An Entire World to Discover
Remember how it felt to experience all of the Avengers together on screen for the first time? Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, the Black Widow and Hawkeye-- all joining together in the same film to fight evil as a unified force.
Now take that same concept and apply it to every single attraction in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Imagine the characters of all those worlds, coming to life within the park and meeting each other to fight some sort of unknown evil. Peter Pan feeding Captain Hook to a crocodile in the waters of the Jungle Cruise, the Country Bears climbing Splash Mountain... the list goes on and on.
If you're able to picture a movie that's essentially Night at the Museum at Walt Disney World, you've just pictured the idea behind Magic Kingdom. Every single character from the park is eligible to make an appearance; every attraction having the potential to take a center stage role.
Producer Jon Favreau is currently hard at work on a live action adaption of The Jungle Book (opening October 2015), but plans to start production on Magic Kingdom soon after that project wraps up. Favreau promises Disney fans that he won't screw up their favorite Park characters and attractions-- and that he has a very strong idea for the story. Oh, and there's a little company called Pixar helping to come up with the script.