The 15 Greatest Theme Park Rides We’ll Never See
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
It takes a lot of work to come up with just the right theme park ride, and that means that a lot of ideas were thrown around that didn’t make the cut. Here are some of the rides that came close to existence but, in the end, wound up on the cutting room floor. While some are destined to remain in obscurity forever (Godzilla Bullet Train, we are looking at you), there’s a chance that some might see the light of day. Which ones would you ride?
Lost Indiana Jones Ride
At one time, there were plans to build two Indiana Jones rides at Disneyland, one came to fruition and is the classic Jeep ride we know today. The other would have been the “ore car simulator” roller coaster ride in a mine car that would have been part of a greater area known as the Lost Expedition Complex. While the ride never happened at Disneyland, a similar ride exists at Disneyland Paris.
Illustration courtey of Disneyland
The Hauntington Hotel Ghosbusters Ride
Fans of Ghostbusters are getting ready to welcome another film this summer, so maybe there’s another chance that this ride will come to fruition. Six Flags once had plans for the Hauntington Hotel, a ride based on the films but it was never built.
Illustration via 2600 Connection
Before there was the Hollywood Tower of Terror, there was Hotel Mel. Instead of partnering with “The Twilight Zone” for its haunted attraction, Disney was working with Mel Brooks on a similar iteration of the ride. Although, with Brooks the experience wasn’t nearly as scary. Guests would be traveling on golf carts and auditioning for roles in one of his movies and then a bunch of gags would take place around the “hotel.”
Islands of Adventure was first envisioned as Cartoon World and, in Cartoon World, there were plans for Batman Island with a Batman interactive dark ride, Batjets and a Batman and Robin show at the Gotham Opera House.
Illustration courtesy of The Goddard Group
Godzilla Bullet Train
Epcot’s Japan Pavilion missed out on the Godzilla Bullet Train (it’s probably for the best), a ride featuring the giant monster gobbling up a roller coaster after a scenic journey through the country.
Rock Candy Mountain
This is one of the more delicious attractions that didn’t get made at Disneyland. It was a proposed train ride through a mountain made of rock candy, licorice, lollipops, candy canes and more – so basically a ride through the real life version of Candyland. Yum!
The Enchanted Snow Palace
This ride was rejected years ago but it may have a second chance on reality and make a comeback as a ride based on the movie “Frozen.” The original concept for the ride was a sailboat journey (think Jungle cruise in the freezing cold) around the Arctic, with animatronic polar bears and giant walruses as well as the palace of the Snow Queen.
Herbie the Love Bug
An attraction for “Herbie the Love Bug” was conceived in the 1970s. Guests would ride in their own Herbie car and have a series of misadventures like riding too close to a cliff, going under another car and driving through a mine shaft.
Rainbow Road to Oz
Walt Disney had a great affinity for the “Wizard of Oz” so it was only natural that an Oz ride would be in the works around the live-action film “Rainbow Road to Oz.” But, unfortunately, just like some of the greatest theme park rides that never existed, so too are there great films that never were completed. And that is the case for the “Rainbow Road to Oz.” After the movie was scrapped, a ride would have been the next best thing, but as it was to be a part of the failed Rock Candy Mountain the Rainbow Road to Oz ended up being scrapped, too.
Epcot in the West
Who knows how many proposed rides landed in extinction when Epcot was scrapped in the West, but there was a proposal for one such area. When Disney World was a huge hit and began to outshine its original counterpart, Disney drew up plans for an Epcot in the West. It never happened because it’s $3 billion price tag was unfeasible.
Illustration courtesy of Disney
Rocky the Flying Squirrel Coaster
Rocky the Flying Squirrel almost got his own ride in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Toon Lagoon is made up mostly of water rides but, originally, plans called for a Rocky the Flying Squirrel family roller coaster.
Apollo 13 roller Coaster
Plans for a Universal Studios Orlando expansion in the mid-90s included a recreation of the Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building in which guests would board Apollo 13-like lunar landing pods and ride around the moon but the ride couldn’t be built fastest enough for Universal’s needs, so the plans were dropped.
Jurassic Park Helicoptours
The Jurassic Park movies have been conceptualized in a number of different rides but one of the coolest ones that didn’t make it into reality was Helicoptours, where a simulated ride similar to Disney’s Soarin’ would take guests on a ride over and around Jurrassic Park.
Image via Orlando United
Mount Fuji Roller Coaster
Mount Fuji rollercoaster was supposed to be Florida’s version of the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland but a rumored conflict with Epcot sponsor Kodak (think Fuji Film) put the project on the back burner.
Industrial Revolution Roller Coaster
Neither Disney’s America, a Disney park planned in West Virgina with an early America theme, nor the proposed park’s Industrial Revolution Roller Coaster came to life. The roller coaster would have been a rollicking adventure through a turn-of-the-century steel mill while trying to avoid a vat of molten steel. Fun.
Illustration courtesy of Disney
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