March 26, 2021

Art Surfaces for Disneyland Paris Log Ride

Disneyland Paris' Frontierland is the best incarnation of the land since the original in Anaheim in the early 1960s. But it was going to get even better! How? Imagine riding in a log down a slippery flume! Sounds like Splash Mountain- but it wasn't. The concept art showing that long empty plot of land out in Frontierland really was set aside for a log ride attraction at Disneyland Paris! The Imagineers had plans. Again, the art is unclear on the story, but was it for the beloved and iconic Splash Mountain? The answer is a solid... maybe but probably not. In a park where attention to theme reigned, a more likely scenario is one true to frontier life the wilderness. One without cartoon characters- be it rabbits and foxes, country critters, or silly old bears.

The great big Cowboy Cookout restaurant.
More than enough nearby space to hold a few new epic attractions!

This piece at top is entitled "Trapper's Cabin- Frontierland". Take a closer look, and you'll see passengers floating by on the flume.  The mountain is certainly added for effect, but the environment says classic Frontierland. 

Why was this never built? Financial woes plagued the resort due to overbuilding of the hotels and a decent amount of overages on the castle park itself. That money problem continued when the woefully ugly but legally required Walt Disney Studios Paris came into being. Right financial pal move, wrong end result for sure. That theme park made California Adventure look like Tokyo Disneysea!

So for now, the huge chunk of land in the most beautiful Magic Kingdom of all sits waiting next to the hastily designed kids area. It was once called Pocohontas Indian Village. Now it is the not very imaginatively named "Frontierland Playground". (There's one more never built attraction for Frontierland, a full blown stunt show! Read about it and see the art here.)

(Art and photograph copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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