July 31, 2017

From the Jungle Cruise to Western River Expedition

One of the first generation of Imagineers, Marc Davis has placed his stamp on many classic beloved attractions at Disneyland and consequently, Walt Disney WorldThis sweet little piece of concept art for the Jungle Cruise reveals how skilled the artist was at conveying emotion and adventure in a fairly simple pen and watercolor piece. 

This investment in the park was one of many that would come to fruition, including the now extinct America Sings. One beloved project did not make it off the drawing boards.

Marc's masterpiece, Western River Expedition, much to his dismay, was never built in Florida's Magic Kingdom. History suggests public outcry over no Pirates of the Caribbean and an extremely overextended budget contributed to its cancellation. Of course part of the overall Thunder Mesa complex did make it to the park much later, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and it became a beloved instant classic. So did a piece of it at EPCOT Center's World of Motion and even a slice showed up decades later in the design of Disneyland Paris

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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