Once upon a time, in a mid-century world, innovator and visionary leader Walt Disney re-imagined many well-known children’s stories into animated feature films, which were later transformed into amusement park rides. To celebrate Disney’s achievements, we’re taking a look at the Top 10 Disney rides that are also movies.
# 10: Cars Land – More than just a single ride, Cars Land is a themed area of the Disneyland Resort that is inspired by the 2006 Disney-Pixar movie “Cars.” Cars Land opened in June 2012 with three attractions: Radiator Springs Racers, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, and Luigi’s Flying Tires.
#9: Snow White’s Scary Adventures – Snow White’s Scary Adventures is an indoor suspended ride that takes guests though scenes of the 1937 animated classic film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
#8: Star Tours – Star Tours is a motion simulator ride based on the immensely successful “Star Wars” movies. Star Tours is the first Disney attraction that’s based on a non-Disney produced film. With the new update in 2012, it is now one of the top rides in the parks.
#7: Mad Tea Party – The Mad Tea Party is a spinning tea cup ride that was inspired by the Unbirthday Party scene in Disney’s 1951 animated classic, “Alice in Wonderland.” During the first two years of the ride’s operation, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups did not have brakes. With nothing to limit how fast the tea cups could spin, the ride quickly gained notoriety for its ability to make guests sick from the rapid spinning motion.
#6: The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – Based on the 1992 animated movie, “Aladdin,” The Magic Carpets of Aladdin ride is a lot like the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride, expect instead of controlling flying elephants, guests control flying carpets.
#5: Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Based on the 1941 animated film, Dumbo the Flying Elephant is an above ground carousel-style ride that has sixteen ride vehicles, each resembling Dumbo, that are connected to a rotating center hub. The ride opened in October 1955 in Disneyland, just three short months after the park officially opened.
#4: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride is based on the 1977 full-length animated film of the same name. While plans for the ride were originally discussed in the late ’70s, the ride didn’t officially open until 22 years later, in June 1999.
#3: The Haunted Mansion – The Haunted Mansion attraction features a walk-through queue and a motorized ride through the haunted dwelling. In 2003, the ride was adapted into the much less-than-successful film, “The Haunted Mansion,” starring Eddie Murphy. I would have included the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror on this list too, but that movie was so bad few people inside of Disney even know it was made.
#2: Peter Pan’s Flight – Peter Pan’s Flight is an indoor suspended ride that guides guests though various scenes of the 1953 animated film “Peter Pan.” The ride’s artwork, story, staging, and musical score are all based on the popular movie.
#1: Pirates of the Caribbean – Pirates of the Caribbean is an indoor log flume ride that takes park guests through an immersive, animontric adventure featuring pillaging pirates, cannon blasts, and burning buildings. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride existed well before the movies were created (the ride began in 1967, to be exact). In 2003, Disney adapted the popular ride into a wildly successful film franchise. In 2006, characters from the movies (Jack Sparrow, Hector Barbossa, and Davy Jones) were added to the ride.
Which of these movie themed Disney attractions is your favorite? Did we miss any?
Big thanks to Edwin, who is a writer and content specialist for USdish, where you can get your favorite Disney movies.