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Unbuilt Magic Kingdom Concepts

Unbuilt Magic Kingdom Concepts


Walt Dated World Presents:

Walt Deleted World

The Magic Kingdom

Adventureland

 Marc Davis designed this scene that would've utilized a "Pepper's Ghost" effect for Walt Disney World's version of Pirates of the Caribbean but it was never used.  Florida's abbreviated version of Disneyland's classic ride is often called the "Cliff Notes" or "Reader's Digest" version of the attraction.  It was not supposed to be built in Florida but was added due to guest demand.

Walt Disney World Pirate special effect

Frontierland

 One of the most famous of the unbuilt attractions was Thunder Mesa/Western River Expedition.  At one point it was such a sure thing that a postcard featuring the concept artwork was released and an Audio-Animatronic owl talked about it in the postshow of the Walt Disney Story film.  It was also shown as coming soon in park guides and on maps.  Walt Disney World was originally planned to not include a Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride.  The reasoning for this is that pirates were not "exotic" for Florida.  The Western River Expedition was designed to be a show-stopper similar to Disneyland's Pirates but with a cowboy theme.  Many Disney sites have the full story about the development and fate of this area of Frontierland and how it turned into Big Thunder Mountain.  

Thunder Mesa postcard

Early park maps also clearly showed that Thunder Mesa/Western River Expedition would be coming soon.

Thunder Mesa map

Pre-production artwork for the Western River Expedition was created by Marc Davis.
Walt Disney World Western River Expedition concept art

Walt Disney World Western River Marc Davis artwork

Does this scene below look familiar?  It may have inspired the train robbery scene and the stage coach scene in World of Motion.

Walt Disney World Western River Expedition robbery scene

Liberty Square

 The figures for the Haunted Mansions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World were constructed at the same time.  The figure below is known as the "Hatbox Ghost".  A second head would appear in his box and then vanish.  He was removed from the Disneyland version of the ride after only a few months and never appeared at the Florida Haunted Mansion.  According to the Fall, 1999 issue of The "E" Ticket, Imagineer Wayne Jackson (who built the figures in 1969) remembers: "We built two of them.  One for California and one for Florida, but we only installed the one at Disneyland, just prior to opening.  After a few months, we decided to change it out, because the gag wasn't as successful as we had hoped."  The Hatbox Ghost was finally installed at Disneyland again in 2015.

Hatbox Ghost

Fantasyland

 When Walt Disney World was first being planned, Fantasyland was going to have a completely different set of dark rides.  Instead of Snow White's Scary Adventures, guests would travel through Sleeping Beauty's story.  In place of flying with Peter Pan, guests would've flown along on a Jolly Holiday with Mary Poppins.  Mr. Toad's Wild Ride would've been replaced with a crazy Ichabod Crane Headless Horseman ride.  Marc Davis made designs for a snow-themed ride in the late 1970s.  It was to be a boat ride in Fantasyland and was also considered at one point for Disneyland.  It definitely appears to have influenced the design of Elsa from "Frozen", who now has her own ride at the Norway pavilion in Epcot.  
Walt Disney World Marc Davis snow ride

Tomorrowland

 Originally called Space Port, Space Mountain was originally designed for Disneyland but was built at Walt Disney World first.  Early concept paintings showed the tracks on the outside of the building.  The picture below appeared in early guide books.  Prior to getting a Buck Rogers-inspired rehab, Tomorrowland was scheduled to be remade similar to Disneyland Paris's Discoveryland and was even going to be renamed the same as the French park.  This idea fell by the wayside due to budget cuts.  Other Disney sites online have the story about this concept.  

Space Mountain concept artwork



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