March 2, 2015

Animal Kingdom's Unrealized Jungle River Cruise

Disney's Animal Kingdom has the potential to become my favorite park at Walt Disney World.  I am often blown away by its lush beauty, serene environment and thrilling attractions- especially when they are in full operating order. Deep down inside, I think a park of this magnitude and high maintenance requirements will never be built again.

The history of the park fascinates me, and long time readers of this blog know I've written an extensive multi-part history of its fascinating development and haphazard growth. (Six parts beginning here.) The comprehensive look- filled with concept art and more- would made Joe Rohde proud. At least I think I did he and his team justice.

The list of unbuilt attractions is almost unrivaled in Disney fan circles given the relatively short length of time the park has been open. It really is unfortunate as some of the Imagineers' most intriguing projects have never seen the light of day. 

Prior to it's debut, work was on the drawing boards for a real life Jungle Cruise through the Asia section of the park. A piece for that attraction is seen at the top of the post. It is one thing to go to the Magic Kingdom and see tons of Audio-Animatronic creatures, and its another altogether to take a cruise past very real and very unpredictable animals. Truly wild. 

The challenges of a theme park with a zoo built in continue to create more challenges for the Imagineers- including finding its own audience for the place. Sometimes that hurdle results in less than instantly fitting choices. 

Of course, the fan community already knows James Cameron's Pandora is coming to they park. Will the rumored boar ride fall into the "never built" category?

Regardless of the attraction choices, will the World of Avatar, a trip into Pandora, thrill me and keep the love coming? I have to admit that even though I was not a fan of the idea initially, the latest concept art and video is pretty interesting...

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

No comments: