Which Disney Ride Would Walt Love Best?
The Walt Disney Company lost its founder nearly 45 years ago. Since then, Imagineers have endeavored to keep his memory alive.
These creators have built any number of E-ticket attractions that their boss would have enjoyed.
However, I’ve always wondered something that I’ll try to answer today.
Which Disney ride would Walt have loved the best?
Frozen Ever After
A couple of these selections would appeal to Walt Disney’s ego and Hollywood sensibilities.
For example, I suspect the man would take tremendous satisfaction in knowing that his animation studio still produces blockbusters.
More than 75 years after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney once again captivated audiences with a film based on a timeless fairytale.
Who wouldn’t take pride in that? Also, the last ride that Walt worked on before his death was Pirates of the Caribbean.
Imagine the glee he’d feel in surveying a more modern take on the boat ride system he’d invented during the 1960s!
Indiana Jones Adventure
Walt Disney treasured innovation. He found it imperative as a means of advancing the theme park industry.
Before that, the illustrator had similarly dominated Hollywood thanks to his attempting projects others deemed impossible.
As such, he’d relish the opportunity to hop aboard one of the best modern dark rides.
Imagineers invented an entirely new technology specifically for Indiana Jones Adventure. It adds bumps and bounces and other immersive techniques.
Guests totally buy into the idea that they’re exploring a Forbidden Temple alongside a special guest, Dr. Henry Jones Junior, aka Indiana.
Disney would admire the enhanced presentation of the same ride premise he introduced with Snow White’s Scary Adventures.
If scientists unfroze Walt Disney’s head and brought him back to life tomorrow, I don’t think any attraction would make him prouder.
Disney famously desired live animals for Jungle Cruise when it opened in 1955. Imagineers managed to talk him down, but that was the plan.
The first time the founder entered Disney’s Animal Kingdom, he would take such pride in the combination theme park and zoo.
Then, he’d swell up even more as he boarded the oversized jeep and rode around the various animal habitats.
A man who died in the 1960s couldn’t imagine a theme park where tamed animals play together each day. It still seems impossible now, much less then.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
I mentioned Snow White’s Scary Adventures a moment ago. It’s applicable here, too.
The Magic Kingdom version closed permanently in 2012, as park officials had other plans for the space.
Imagineers constructed a new roller coaster here, but it utilized some elements of the previous ride.
Disney kept some of the old Audio-Animatronics but updated them with new technology.
The result of these changes would have left Uncle Walt breathless.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train combines a roller coaster with a dark ride, twin experiences that mesh together as well as peanut butter and chocolate.
Plus, I suspect that the inventor would have loved that the ride ends with a poison apple, proving that his story had stood the test of time.
Once upon a time, Walt Disney dreamt of bringing the London skyline to life. He further fantasized about lifting them into the sky and telling a story.
In truth, it was Disney’s favorite story, the one about Neverland. But the core concept centered on scooping guests up and flying them around.
You get it, right? The same description applies to Soarin’, which elevates the concept…and the rider.
A brilliant Imagineer developed a new ride system based on a children’s toy. I’m confident that Walt Disney would have loved that.
The filmmaker also would have admired the breathtaking shots of famous landmarks and especially nature and wildlife.
Soarin’ would have been right in Disney’s wheelhouse.
I’ve employed two rules in collating this list.
The first one is that the attraction must be child-friendly, as Uncle Walt wanted a place where parents could bring their families.
The other is that Walt Disney couldn’t have worked on the ride, which has ruled out Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion.
Well, here’s where I cheat. Technically, Walt Disney not only knew about the plans for Space Mountain but pitched the ride concept.
The entrepreneur wanted a space-age version of the ever-popular Matterhorn Bobsleds.
However, I think some sort of statute of limitations should come into play here. Disney died in 1966, while Space Mountain didn’t open until 1975.
Imagineers waited that long for the technology to catch up with their vision for the roller coaster. And I suspect that Walt Disney would have adored it.
After all, Uncle Walt adored outer space attractions. The sensory deprivation sensation on Space Mountain would have blown his mind.
I’ve listed two boat rides here because I know how dear they were to Walt. Disneyland launched with Jungle Cruise and others of the kind.
Then, he spent his dying days strapped to pulleys so that he could experience Pirates of the Caribbean the way that guests would.
Think about how proud he’d be to ride Splash Mountain for the first time.
This attraction marries four of Disney’s favorite ideas. It employs Audio-Animatronics, the ones he’d invented just a few years before his death.
Then, there’s the boat ride aspect combined with the dark ride implementation.
Finally, Splash Mountain features arguably the best music of any theme park attraction ever.
Splash Mountain doubles as a Master class in Imagineering and a demonstrating of Uncle Walt’s enduring legacy.
Toy Story Mania!
Think of this experience occurring in several parts. First, cast members must explain to Walt Disney what Toy Story is.
Then, they’d show him the movie, which features computer animation. During Walt’s life, computers took up entire floors of buildings.
What would he say when he learned that people could use desktop/laptop ones to “draw” an entire movie?
Once he got past that modern marvel, he’d love the gaming elements, almost immediately appreciating the family-friendly nature of them.
Now, I suspect that someone who died before the creation of Pong would suuuuuuuck at Toy Story Mania!, but he’d love it just the same.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
The other rides on this list would impress the company’s founder. However, I suspect that one would tower above the rest.
After all, it started with a mouse, right?
If anything, I suspect Uncle Walt would wonder why Disney waited until 2020 to build a Mickey/Minnie Mouse ride.
Still, the creator would forget any lingering questions the moment he boarded his trackless ride cart and entered a cartoon for the first time.
You must remember that Disney drew pictures more than a century ago. He went into the illustration business during the 1920s.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway would represent the culmination of his entire career. It’d also bring him closer to his creations than ever before.
Yes, everything on this list would thrill him, but only one ride would feel like the culmination of his entire career. It’s the one Walt Disney would love the best.