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BWW Blog: “Dream It, Do It!” - Disney Attractions That Could Work As Broadway Musicals

Personally, I think that the company could get some great inspiration from the attractions they have in their theme parks around the world.

Throughout the years, there have been several successful musicals produced by the Disney Theatrical Group. Shows like Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Frozen (RIP) have enchanted the Great White Way. The Lion King has even run for over twenty years, being seen by millions of people around the world. Most of these shows have been quite successful, which hopefully means that Disney will be producing more musicals after the coronavirus has ended.

So what shows should Disney create? Personally, I think that the company could get some great inspiration from the attractions they have in their theme parks around the world. These attractions are a mix of things - Rides, shows, and even recorded and live performances. Each has a unique storyline that can be brought to the stage as a musical, with one already being a full production in Orlando!

While this list is in a "Top 10" style like a listicle, the only reason the attractions are in this particular order is that they are in the order in which I came up with the ideas. And no, I will not be including the Ratatouille attraction from the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, France. I'm just not a fan of the current TikTok trend and think that the movie itself is already so good that it needs no adaptations. Let's jump right into it!

Haunted Mansion

When thinking about Disney attractions that could work as musicals, The Haunted Mansion was the first one I thought of. Who wouldn't want a fun show about 999 "Happy Haunts" and their celebrations beyond the grave? I can already imagine the ghostly costumes being similar to those of The Addams Family musical with lots of white and silver. Illusions like Pepper's Ghost that are used on the attraction could also be used in the show to make the show even more magical and mysterious. Of course, there would have to be some more plot development as there is not really a lot of conflict on the ride. The character of Constance Hatchaway, the murderous bride in the attic, could become the focal point, with the audience following her journey as she meets her husbands and plots their deaths. Other iconic characters like Madame Leota and the Hitchhiking Ghosts would definitely have to make appearances as well!

Phantom Manor

Phantom Manor is the Haunted Mansion of Disneyland Paris in France, but with a twist. Instead of being a dark story that leads to a fun rave in a graveyard, the ride takes guests on a journey through the tragic life of Melanie Ravenswood, a bride left at the altar and haunted by a mysterious ghost known as "The Phantom". The storyline is loosely based off of the original Phantom of the Opera book, which also inspired the musical of the same title. The Phantom Manor musical would truly be a tragic tale of love and loss, with audiences following a young Melanie as she falls in love and has her heart broken. I would love to see a show with a Victorian setting, emphasizing the gorgeous architecture in the set design and the classic fashion in the costumes. Melanie would be a soprano, as proven by her singing in the attraction, and the Phantom would be a bass, because of course the villain has a deep contrast with the protagonist (Yes, Patrick Page, I'm looking at you). A musical based off of my favorite Disney attraction of all time would truly be a wonderful thing.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Did you know that there's a movie based on the Tower of Terror starring a young Kirsten Dunst? You're probably already familiar with the attraction, a brilliantly-themed drop tower inspired by the hit show The Twilight Zone from the 1960s. The ride tells the story of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, a place that used to be where the elite of Hollywood would go to spend the night, until one night lightning struck an elevator and guests were sent to the Twilight Zone *insert spooky music*. A musical based on the terrifying attraction could be about what the Hollywood Tower Hotel was like during its glamorous days. Act I could end with the iconic lightning strike and the elevator crashing as the curtain falls. Act II would be a closer look at the characters exploring the Twilight Zone (also known as The Fifth Dimension) and trying to find a way back to October 31st, 1939. As an added bonus, ushers could be dressed as bellhops, welcoming audience members into the "hotel" and helping them find their seats.


If you know what Maelstrom the attraction was, you might think that I'm crazy for thinking it would work as a musical. For those unfamiliar with it, Maelstrom was a log flume attraction in the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT in Florida. The ride was a journey through Norway with polar bears and magical trolls - Literally a tourism advertisement for the country. Maelstrom closed in 2014 and was replaced by Frozen Ever After in 2016. But even if it would just be an advertisement for Norway, a musical based on Maelstrom could be a gorgeous production. The story could revolve around a group of people traveling to Norway to find the "Spirit of Norway", encountering Vikings, trolls, polar bears, and even the great god Odin on their journey. It would be a bonus if the songs were based on Norwegian folk songs, maybe even with some Norwegian thrown in as an added bonus.

Journey Into Imagination

When I say that there should be a musical based on the Journey Into Imagination, I'm not talking about Journey Into YOUR Imagination. I'm almost not talking about the current attraction, Journey Into Imagination With Figment. I'm talking about the original ride that opened in Future World of Epcot in 1983, created by Tony Baxter and Steve Kirk. The other two iterations of the attraction are abominations that should not be spoken of. Anyway, I'm getting off topic. A musical based on Journey Into Imagination would follow a wise old man named Dreamfinder and his "Figment of Imagination" that takes the form of a dragon named Figment. The two would go through a dream and show the audience the importance of imagination through fun adventures and magical songs. Of course, the iconic song "One Little Spark" would make an appearance, with a beautiful reprise at the end of the musical.

Finding Nemo - The Musical

I'm honestly shocked that "Finding Nemo - The Musical" has not been transferred from Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida to the Great White Way. The show is already a fantastic production with gorgeous puppets for the different characters and fantastic songs. The composers of the show are Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the duo known for hits like Frozen and the not-so-Disney The Book of Mormon. Finding Nemo's Broadway musical would have to be made longer as its current runtime is forty minutes, but the Lopez songwriting duo have experience with this (see: Frozen).

Captain EO

If you're a fan of Michael Jackson, then you might be familiar with Captain EO, a 3D-film that was shown in the Disney theme parks in the '80s and '90s (and again in 2010 after Jackson's untimely death). The mini-movie tells the story of Captain EO, a man with musical powers who travels to deliver a gift to the Supreme Leader and enchants her subjects with song and dance. Even though the film was only seventeen minutes long, there is definitely enough material to stretch it out to a Broadway-length production. Two songs, "We Are Here to Change the World" and "Another Part of Me", written and performed for the film by Jackson himself, would be nicely complemented by other songs by the "King of Pop" if his estate would approve of them being used. Who knows, maybe Anjelica Huston could make a return as the Supreme Leader

Rivers of Light

Rivers of Light was a short-lived nighttime show at Disney's Animal Kingdom that took place on the water. Actors would travel around in boats in silence as a narrator told tales of nature. There were appearances by Animal Spirit guides, magical storytellers, and other creatures. Having a show on Broadway that tells the story of Nature would be a great way to raise awareness about climate change while also bringing more recognition to Shaman traditions. I was lucky enough to see some of the Rivers of Light costumes up close during a backstage tour in Orlando and the details were absolutely incredible. They could definitely work on a Broadway stage, as the designers made them knowing that guests would only be able to see the actors from afar on the water. The animals and spirit guides could be puppets like they were in the show, dancing around not only on stage but through the aisles as well.

Expedition Everest

So I want to see a giant Yeti puppet on stage. Sue me. King Kong might not have been the best musical on Broadway, but the puppet was absolutely stunning, and I would have paid just to see it walk around on stage for 2 hours. Can you imagine what Disney could do with a budget and some Imagineering? Just picture it - The first scene being an introduction to the legend of the Yeti, with the puppet looming in the background. Then more characters are introduced. A group of adventurers (members of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers, if you know you know) traveling to Mount Everest to prove that the Yeti exists. A Sherpa who will try to keep the explorers away from the monster at all costs. And of course, the Yeti himself, a hulking monster defending his mountain. Expedition Everest could be a musical just as thrilling as the attraction it would be based off of.

Snow White's Scary Adventures

Now you might be asking yourself, "Why does she want a musical based on the ride and not the movie?". Well, curious reader, the answer is quite simple. Snow White the movie is a classic tale of a beautiful young girl whose evil stepmother attempts to murder her in order to be the "fairest of them all". In the attraction, the guest takes on the role of Snow White going on her "scary adventures" as she encounters the Evil Queen. Imagine a musical where the set is made up of looming trees with glowing eyes in the dark. Actors would go into the audience, hunting for the girl with "lips red as blood, hair dark as night, and skin white as snow". Instead of Snow White, the title character, being the star of the show, it would be the Evil Queen herself, a woman who would take the audience on a journey through her life before and after Snow White became a part of it.

Unfortunately, the Disney Theatrical Group is unlikely to produce any new musicals in the near future. With Broadway shut down and theme parks closed around the world, the Disney company will probably put most of their money into their popular streaming service, Disney+. But after a recovery period of a few years, we will hopefully see some new Disney musicals take on the Great White Way, joining Aladdin and The Lion King in New York City and beyond.

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