In May, the anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens up at Disneyland. There’s a rumor going around that there will be a series of films titled Star Wars that are based on the rides in Galaxy’s Edge... actually, we’ve just been informed that Galaxy’s Edge is based on a bunch of independent movies titled Star Wars. Who knew?
Joking aside, Galaxy’s Edge is launching soon and it will be massive. The hype around this new crowd-pleaser makes people wonder about Disneyland’s relationship with movies. In fact, it’s fun to think about which of their attractions should be adapted. Here are some Disney theme park rides that need to be turned into movies!
8 The Matterhorn Bobsleds
It’s quite possible that Matterhorn Bobsleds is the bumpiest and most painful ride of all time. We’re pretty sure the intended effect is for people to come off the ride feeling like they’ve been scared by a Yeti, not tackled by one.
The Matterhorn is so scary that it can easily be turned into a horror film. The ride’s simple concept revolves around a small band of explorers, who are using bobsleds in order to travel up and down the mountains of Switzerland. Unfortunately, the explorers come face to face with a Yeti.
A film adaptation of Matterhorn Bobsleds kind of writes itself. Imagine an action-horror movie in the vein of Predator, but, in this case, it would be a Yeti picking off smart Swedish people instead of an alien hunting beefy soldiers. Just imagine the tagline. “The next name in horror: Matterhorn.” That one is for free Disney. The next one will cost you.
7 The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Has anyone ever noticed how many trains there are in Disneyland? Rumor has it that an alternative name for Disneyland was TrainWorld: USA... okay, so that’s not true. The point is that the best train ride at Disneyland is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
It’s safe to say that Disney is due for a successful Western after The Lone Ranger underperformed at the box-office. This would make for an interesting take on the genre, because, believe it or not, Big Thunder Mountain’s story contains some supernatural elements. The official storyline takes place in the 1800s and revolves around a cursed mountain. Miners from a local town attempt to strip the mountain of its resources, but they end up meeting their horrible fate instead.
Adding some spooky elements to a film adaptation could make for a really unique Western. Also, it's safe to say that most people didn’t know that this is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad’s storyline and they’ll never look at the ride the same way again.
6 Space Mountain
Actually, we retract our last statement. Has anyone ever noticed how many mountains there are in Disneyland?MountainLand: America was actually Disneyland’s original name.
Joking aside, Space Mountain is undeniably one of the most popular attractions at Disney theme parks.
One could say it’s the most “big kid”-oriented ride at Disneyland. What sets Space Mountain apart from the rest of the rides is that it doesn’t have a pre-existing storyline. All we know is that guests are in a rocket ship that flies through space.
Space Mountain’s blank slate offers a lot of great storytelling possibilities. The movie could either be a light-hearted space adventure or something more thoughtful, like Interstellar. Screenwriter Max Landis had actually written a draft for a potential screen adaptation a few years ago, but it was ultimately scrapped. Either way, people can’t get enough of space movies. A well-made Space Mountain adaptation would be a hit.
5 It’s A Small World
It’s A Small World should obviously be a horror film. Imagine being stuck on that ride with all the lights out? Child’s Play has nothing on It’s A Small World. Alternatively, they could take an It’s A Small World adaptation in the opposite direction, opting for a children's movie instead.
It might even make for a cool animated movie. The attraction doesn’t have a central narrative, but its theme of peace and unity is timeless. It could be really fun to see a potential story of a child travelling across the world, learning about different cultures. What would be the movie’s central conflict, though? Maybe killer robot dolls that speak different languages! Okay, we’ll drop the horror angle. It’s A Small World has the potential to be an awesome family-friendly movie.
4 Tower of Terror
Yes, there’s already a classic 1997 Tower of Terror adaptation starring America’s sweetheart Steve Guttenberg. No one’s asking for anybody to remake perfection. We also know that Tower of Terror is now defunct at pretty much every Disney park throughout the world.
However, that doesn’t mean the ride wouldn’t make a great movie. The best part of Tower of Terror is that it already has a compelling storyline. It essentially plays out like a long-lost Twilight Zone episode: A few guests unknowingly check into a haunted hotel and end up getting transported into the Twilight Zone.
The ride’s 1930s aesthetic would look gorgeously spooky on the big screen. Considering the fact that Jordon Peele recently rebooted The Twilight Zone, whose to say he won’t use Tower of Terror as the basis for a new episode?
3 Journey To The Center Of The Earth
Remember the Journey to the Center of the Earth films with Brendan Fraser and The Rock? It’s incredible that Tokyo Disney had the audacity not to include animatronics of Brendan Fraser or The Rock in their Journey to the Center of the Earth ride. Still, that’s probably because those movies had been made by a different studio. Also, the novel is registered in the public domain.
Tokyo Disney’s ride is a wondrous thing to behold. The structure is massive, and it does a great job convincing guests that they really are travelling inside the earth’s core. There are beautiful neon caves and giant monsters lurking around the corners. Journey to the Center of the Earth has been adapted into countless films, but it would be really fun to see an adaptation that captures the high octane adventure of Tokyo Disney’s attraction.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if Autopia was made into a super-realistic driving simulation? Imagine going too fast and a cop pulling someone over. Ultimately, it would cause stress-inducing traffic that gave everyone road rage. The ride’s line should be like the DMV and make all the guests wait for six hours in misery.
We think our joke has gone on long enough, so let's move on: there's endless potential for an Autopia movie. It can be animated or live action. The most important aspect to retain in a potential adaptation is the ride’s sense of childlike wonder. After all, a child views driving as something exhilarating. When adults think of driving, they think of a ten-hour commute on the 605 freeway (that's a California joke).
1 The Haunted Mansion
Even though 2003’s Haunted Mansion is the scariest movie this side of The Exorcist, it’s safe to say that another adaptation is in order. The Haunted Mansion is one of Disneyland’s most classic attractions and it deserves a movie as successful as the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
The ride’s set design is practically movie quality already. Rumor has it that director Guillermo Del Toro has been trying to get a Haunted Mansion film off of the ground for years. This needs to happen. Like, now.