Top 5: Disney Park Attractions That Could Be Television Shows

Recent news broke that there has been a pitch to make a television series based on the famous Disneyland/Magic Kingdom attraction, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Details aren’t really known beyond the initial headline, but we can assume this will likely be a period show about the wild west. Disney has done a decent job with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, however failed to deliver any goods when it came to a Country Bears film or Haunted Mansion film. Will the Big Thunder show be a hit or a miss? We won’t know until it hits the air, if it even makes it to television, but the concept got me thinking about what other park attractions could be potential television series. Here is my list of top 5 Disney park attractions that could become hit television shows.

#5-Liberty Belle Riverboat/Mark Twain Riverboat. I was initially going to give this one to the Sailing Ship Columbia, but we already have our pirate franchise at Disney. Instead I felt that there would be a great drama to be told on a riverboat. If you look back at the turn of the 20th century, lots of money was made as boats travelled up and down the Mississipi river. Gambling, theater shows, and various forms of entertainment took place on the river. Travelling along hte Mississippi was seen as something of an upper class activity while the people who worked on the boats were seen more as a lower class. The interaction between the two classes, various “celebrities” that could come aboard, and the drama that could be strictly held on the boat would make for great television. Seeing a period television show set to the 1890s along the river would be something fun and different that we haven’t seen on the screen.

#4-Kilimanjaro Safaris. Taking the natural landscapes, the broad appeal of animals, and a drama show about the real dangers of animals attacking, poachers, and problems withing the safari workers could make for great television. Would this show last more than one season? Realistically….no. We love seeing animals, but we like seeing them on YouTube in one minute clips, not for 30 minutes to an hour on television, and Africa, despite its mystique and beauty, may be too foreign for American television audiences. However, I’d love to see situations where elephants are running across the landscapes and poachers are being chased by the crew at Kilimanjaro.

#3-Carousel of Progress. The advancement of man is fascinating to me. How far we have come in the past 100 years is amazing. Imagine a day and age without radio, television, computers, airplanes, etc….Now think of how cool it would be to see those inventions when they first came out and how much they really changed society. Could we follow a family over the course of several decades? Absolutely. A single season could play out as several years, highlighting special events in family member’s lives and the celebration of new inventions along the way. The show could be comedic and dramatic all at once. Something similar to the references they make in the Back to the Future trilogy but on a grander, elongated scale.

#2-Star Tours. Star Wars, now owned by Disney as of last month, could make for great television and there have been talks of a television show previously. Keeping with the action/adventure/humor/love story/space saga that is Star Wars, Star Tours the tv show could be a big hit. Because of the broad possibilities and the chance to make every episode a bit more different because the Star Wars universe is so big, this show could last a while and still pack a punch after many seasons. This show could start as a show about the Star Tours company and it’s employess, but could take us to several different planets and on several different adventures per season.

#1-Buena Vista Street. I had a real struggle with my number 1 spot. I wanted to initially give this spot to Main Street USA, but I think the time period that revolves around Buena Vista Street is more exciting to contemporary television audiences. 1920s Hollywood is a special place. It’s partially made up, partially real, and a big mix of everything. This drama television show can show us the glitz and glamour of the golden age of Hollywood, animation, and movie stars and starlets. It can also show us edgier stories like the goverments abolishment of alcohol and the speakeasy bars that sprouted up because of prohibition. We can see the switch from silent films to sound films like in “The Artist” (One of my favorite films of the last few years.) There is such a story to tell here and nobody has even tried to do it on television. It’s a gamble, but I think this concept could work much better than a wild west show about Big Thunder. I would watch it. Would you?

What Disney park attractions would you turn into a television series? What kind of show would it be? Leave your comments below and I look forward to the next Top 5 post.

Josh Taylor
Twitter: @ModernMouseJosh


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Posted on November 16, 2012, in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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