Greatest Rides NEVER Made 2

Another showcase of cancelled WDW rides
May 24, 2010
"The Greatest Rides NEVER Made" seemed to have garnered a great reception from the RetroJunkies. So I'm going to satistfy their craving with a sequel article to my article trilogy. So with out further ado...



Switzerland Pavilion

Park it was to have been built: Epcot
Reason for cancellation: Disney being unable to secure funding from Switzerland

Throughout the '80s and '90s, Disney tried multiple times to add new countries to World Showcase. Among these cancelled proposals was the Switzerland Pavilion. This new country was to have fully displayed the culture of the Switzerland. But judging by the concept art, the attraction that dominated the pavilion was a clone of Disneyland's Matterhorn Bobsleds.

My Thoughts

A clone of Matterhorn Bobsleds, that would've been interesting. Not only that, it would have completely blown Expedition Everest out of the planet. (I think Everest is an overrated ride)

Hotel Mel

Park it was to have been built: Disney's Hollywood Studios
Reason for cancellation: Mel Brooks dropping out of the project
What was eventually built: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror[/align]

(NOTE: After I submitted the first article, I found out that Baby Herman's Runaway Baby Buggy and Toontown Trolley were actually supposed to have been built where Rock n Roller Coaster is currently located. Tower of Terror was concieved the same time the two rides were also concieved.)

In 1989, Disney's Hollywood Studios (then the Disney-MGM Studios) opened to huge crowds and critical acclaim. The only problem, the theme park portion of the studio park was too small. Michael Eisner soon told the Imagineers to come up with ideas for new attractions. Within months, Imagineers came up with rides for the park's Sunset Blvd expansion. Along with Roger Rabbit's Hollywood (which would have contained Benny the Cab, Toontown Trolley, and Baby Herman's Runaway Baby Buggy), they also came up with an early version of the ride that would become The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Mel Brooks was a huge fan of Disneyland, so when Disney approched him with an offer to create a theme park ride, he quickly jumped at the opprotunity. The premise was that Mel Brooks was filming a movie in an abandoned hotel. He's warned by his crew that the hotel is haunted, but being that he's Mel Brooks, he films there anyway. Riders play the role of tourists who are taking a tour of Brooks' latest comedy. The whole ride is a dark ride which has riders experiencing the ride on magic studio golf carts. Though the Imagineers had trouble coming up with a coherent story line, the ride would have had typical gags you'd see in a Mel Brooks film (i.e. a men's room where Dracula has trouble shaving and Frankenstein using the Mummy's bandages as toilet paper), as well as a cameo of a Blazing Saddles/Robin Hood Men in Tights character (Take a guess who it is). Along with story issues, another reason the ride was cancelled was that Mel Brooks left the development team to write, direct, and produce "Life Stinks" for MGM. Instead of fully cancelling the ride, Imagineers took the abandoned hotel concept and turned it into a freefall ride known as "The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror"

My Thoughts

Tower of Terror is a great ride, but a Mel Brooks ride? Man it would hysterically funny (maybe even funnier than Muppet Vision 3D). Sure it wouldn't have been have the occasional Mel Brooks' vulgar humor, but he would have definitely come up with a way to make up for that.

Thunder Mesa Mine Train

Park it was to have been built: Magic Kingdom
Reason for cancellation: Budget constraints

As you probably remember, I mentioned that along with the Western River Expedition, a mine train roller coaster was to have also been in Thunder Mesa. Well, not only was it a precursor to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, there were some proposed elements that predated Expedition Everest. The story was that guests were about to taken on a tour of the Thunder Mesa Mine, on a train pulled by a wheezy old Johnny engine. The engine operator tells riders that in there is a bottomless pit somewhere in the mine. Just as he/she finishes describing this, the train detatches itself from the engine and, through a switching mechanism, enters the mine. After speeding backwards in the caverns, the operator of the johnny engine soon saves the riders from the bottomless pit. Originally planned to be a secondary ride in Thunder Mesa, plans were soon changed to make the coaster a stand alone ride. These plans were cancelled in 1974. They were soon revived and the result was a roller coaster that wasn't as elaborate: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
My Thoughts

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a classic but is kind of lacking in story (though there is a backstory, it isn't really told in theming or a preshow). This ride had an interesting plotline and would have had a really thrilling backwards section (possibly even more thrilling than Batman & Robin the Chiller's backwards section and definitely more thrilling than Expedition Everest's backwards section)

Soviet Union Pavilion

Park it was to have been built: Epcot
Reason for cancellation: Collapse of the U.S.S.R

Though the U.S. was scared shitless of the U.S.S.R in the '80s, that didn't stop the country from becoming the most requested World Showcase pavilion. The highlight of the pavilion was to have been a huge replica of St. Basil's Cathedral, home to "Russia-Bells of Change", a theatrical experience about Russia's history. Unfortunately, soon after the plans were announced, the Soviet Union collapsed. Russia's economy soon went down the toliet, and the atrocities commited by the communist regime were revealed.

My Thoughts

I've always wondered what a Russian pavilion at Epcot would look like. Now I'm wondering how the history of Russia would be told with a communist gov't controlling it. What would they allow or not allow to be said in the film?

Great Moments at the Movies

Park it was to have been built: Epcot
Reason for cancellation: Michael Eisner expanding the idea into the Disney-MGM Studios theme park

Before Disney's Hollywood Studios was announced, it started out as a concept for a new pavilion in Epcot's Future World (how movie making fits in Future World is beyond me). The main ride inside the pavilion was more or less what would eventually become the Great Movie Ride. When the Imagineers presented the idea to then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner, he was impressed. So impressed, he commisioned the Imagineers to expand the idea from a simple ride to an entire theme park. Thus the Disney-MGM Studios was born.

My Thoughts

Of all the proposals I'll mention in this trilogy, this is the only one I'm glad never got built. Had it been built, Disney-MGM Studios wouldn't exist. And that wouldn't be a good thing for you Tower of Terror fans.

The Excavator

Park it was to have been built: Disney's Animal Kingdom
Reason for cancellation: Budget constraints

Ever notice that paleontology dig site themed play area in Dinoland USA? A wooden roller coaster was to have accompanied it. The backstory to the ride was that it was once used to transport dinosaur bones and fossils to the Dino Institute (the same institute from Countdown the Extinction (aka.DINOSAUR)), until is was converted into a roller coaster by the Institute grad students. Riders were to have seen dinosaur sculptures made from used auto parts, as well as "real" dinosaur skeletons. This project was as elaborate as Beastly Kingdom, and if suffered the same fate. Now that (the extremely overhyped and undergood) Expedition Everest serves as Animal Kingdom's E-ticket roller coaster, the chances of this ride being built are very slim.

My Thoughts

Without a doubt, the dinosaur section of Animal Kingdom is my favorite area of the park. But this coaster would blow the barely themed Premival Whirl out of the planet. Mainly because of the fact that Excavator would have had actual Disney quality theming instead of theming that even Six Flags would be embarrassed to have on their rides.

Well, hope you like the article. The third and final part is just a while away!!!

Concept art courtesy of Jim Hill Media & The Neverland Files
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