Three Disney Rides That Could Be Movies

Earlier this week, Disney announced that Guillermo del Toro would be helming a film version of its classic theme park attraction The Haunted Mansion (no, you’re not crazy; they already tried it once with Eddie Murphy back in 2003). This marks Disney’s latest attempt to turn one of its theme park attractions into a movie franchise, with previous attempts meeting varying levels of success (Pirates of the Caribbean yes, Country Bear Jamboree no).

In light of that news and because I spent my middle school years visiting Walt Disney World on a weekly basis, I decided to come up with three pitches for new movies or even movie franchises that could be built around classic Disney theme park attractions. Now most of the rides in Disney’s theme parks are based on films, so this list is based only on rides or attractions with no ties to pre-existing films.

The Hall of Presidents

The Ride: One of the original opening day attractions in the Magic Kingdom back in 1971, The Hall of Presidents features Audio-Animatronic figures of every US President. The leaders of the free world come to life on stage and offer their timeless wisdom to the crowd of bored children who would rather be on Splash Mountain.

The Pitch: Night at the Museum meets 1776. A wax museum with figures of all the presidents comes to life at night and personalities clash. Bill Clinton and JFK set out to crash a sorority slumber party. George W. Bush keeps calling FDR “Hot Wheels” and pushing him perilously fast through the hallways. William Henry Harrison dies in the first five minutes. Plenty of opportunities for stunt casting (your suggestions are welcome below).

It’s A Small World

The Ride: A musical boat ride through all the countries of the world, united by the spirit of unity and the desire to crush the remaining sanity of parents with their endless, repetitive melody.

The Pitch: High School Musical set in the United Nations. When the new Secretary General takes office, he decides to use his background in musical theater to resolve the world’s problems and demands that all UN speeches be delivered in the form of a song. The magic of music begins to loosen up those uptight UN delegates as world peace and spontaneous choreography begin to break out everywhere. The love ballad duet between the Israeli and Iranian delegations is truly a show-stopper.


The Ride: Located in the Norway pavilion at EPCOT, this ride takes visitors on a journey through Norwegian mythology, complete with vikings and angry trolls.

The Pitch: Pirates of the Caribbean with vikings. Granted, Disney already owns Marvel and thus owns the upcoming Thor movie which deals heavily in Norse mythology but there’s an opportunity to go more of a whimsical adventure route with this type of material. Johnny Depp would of course play the womanizing drunk viking.