While I’m sure more attractions didn’t make it past the idea stage; some publically-known concepts were never built and launched as Walt Disney World attractions. Here’s a list of what we could find that was once an idea for a Walt Disney World attraction, but was either reallocated, consolidated or repurposed in another way.
“Almost” Walt Disney World Attractions: Magic Kingdom
Bald Mountain: Designed as a log flume ride, this “almost” attraction would have been very similar to Splash Mountain, with the story would featuring villains.
Cinderella Dark Ride: In the original plans for New Fantasyland, the space used by the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was initially planned to house a Cinderella dark ride and a Cinderella meet and greet.
Fire Mountain: Planned for Adventureland, this “almost” attraction had seats that acted normally until the ride was about to start. Then the seats rotated and folded so the riders were in a flying position. This attraction made it all the way to testing but the idea collapsed and was never built.
Matterhorn Bobsleds: The Original Magic Kingdom plans included a space between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland with the intention to build a clone of the Matterhorn Bobsleds from Disneyland in California.
Nostromo: Originally based on the film Alien, the idea was scrapped as an attraction based on an R-rated horror film was deemed too frightening for the Magic Kingdom.
Western River Expansion: Designed similar to a Pirates of the Caribbean-style ride through the Wild West and was planned to sit in Walt Disney’s Riverfront Square. Today, that’s where Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is located.
“Almost” Walt Disney World Attractions: Epcot
Bobsled Ride: Modeled after Disneyland’s Matterhorn this was to become part of the Switzerland pavilion. Which, if you’ve visited Epcot today, the Switzerland pavilion was never built.
Godzilla Bullet Train Ride: Inspired by Mt. Fuji and Bullet Trains, this ride would be an encounter with Godzilla while on a bullet train racing through Tokyo Bay. Originally planned for the Japan Pavilion, the design actually inspired the existing Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom today.
Jr. Autopia: The Disneyland attraction would be added next to the new Test Track for a new Transportation pavilion. The concept was planned as a response to Test Track’s high rider height requirements.
Rhine River Cruise Ride: Featuring Germany’s most famous rivers, this would have been a slow boat cruise through the sights and sounds of Germany. The ride entrance and the building that would have housed it are still visible at the Germany pavilion today.
Simulated Bullet Train Ride: A twisted on Disney’s CircleVision 360 show to be located in the Japan Pavilion with guests standing aboard a vibrating recreation of the passenger compartment of a Japanese bullet train.
Thames River Cruise Ride: Designed as part of the UK pavilion, this full-scale water ride would visit key London landmarks.
The Incredible Journey Within: An omnimover ride which “shrunk” guests to tour the human body. The idea was scrapped due to maintenance costs.
Time Racers: Can you imagine Epcot with you Spaceship Earth? This ride as a high-tech thrill ride about fast-forwarding through history that was to replace Spaceship Earth.
Venezuela Pavilion: Obviously this world showcase pavilion was never built, but it was to feature a gondola style ride with a large waterfall.
“Almost” Walt Disney World Attractions: Hollywood Studios
Baby Herman’s Runaway Baby Buggy: Based on Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s Baby Herman, riders would board giant baby carriages, going through scenes of the Roger Rabbit cartoon Tummy Trouble.
Benny the Cab Ride: Based on Who Framed Roger Rabbit that eventually became Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin at both Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland.
Dick Tracy’s Crime Stoppers: A ride through the streets of Chicago based on the 1990 film Dick Tracy.
The Great Muppet Movie Ride: A Muppet-style tour through movie history and might possibly been part of the planned Muppets themed area called Muppet Studios, accompanied by Jim Henson’s Muppet Vision 3D.
Hotel Mel: A comedic dark ride based on the humor of Mel Brooks.
Gyser Mountain: Designed to be a drop tower and roller coaster combo this may have spurred Twightlight Zone’s Tower of Terror.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: A dark ride based on Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.
The Rocketeer: A flying jetpack-themed rollercoaster based on The Rocketeer.
Toontown Trolley: A flight simulator ride surrounded by animated screens to take guests on a wild trolley ride through Toon Town with Roger Rabbit.
Silent Film Stunt Show: Experience with a Buster Keaton type character accidentally causing a series of slapstick disasters that lead to the soundstage collapsing around guests. Rejected for Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.
Villain Ride: A 3D adventure where guests were menaced by Disney’s most famous fiends before Disney heroes finally come to the rescue.
“Almost” Walt Disney World Attractions: Animal Kingdom
Dragon Tower: A dragon-themed roller coaster planned for Beastly Kingdom. Laid-off Imagineers took the idea to Universal, where it became Dueling Dragons.
Dinorama Junior Dinosaur Dark Ride: A junior version of DINOSAUR, planned for Dinorama.
Enhanced DINOSAUR: DINOSAUR was originally planned to have Ankylosaurus-shaped vehicles that would have traveled through prehistoric swamps and jungles.
Fantasia Gardens: A boat ride designed for Beastly Kingdom featuring the mythical animals in Fantasia.
Tarzan Rainforest Roller Coaster: A Tarzan-themed inverted coaster through the rainforest that would go in Africa.
The Excavator: A wooden runaway mine car roller coaster through an abandoned dinosaur dig, planned for Dinoland USA. Replaced by Primeval Whirl due to budget cuts.
The Tree of Life Carousel: Instead of The Tree of Life, this double-decker carousel would have been the park’s iconic symbol.
Quest for the Unicorn: A hedge maze planned for Beastly Kingdom. Laid-off Imagineers took the idea to Universal, where it became The Quest of the Unicorn.
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