If I Were a Disney Imagineer:
So, just in case I would ever be so lucky as to be consulted for my ideas for new attractions at the Disney Parks, I thought it might be a good idea to get them on paper. What follows is my vision for a ride based on the original Rescuers movie and I hope that the picture I paint with my description is clearer and more vivid than the crude sketches I did to accompany this article.
The entrance would have you in the halls of The United Nations Building where you would appear to become smaller and smaller as you progress through the line and make your way down to the basement. You’d eventually catch glimpses of the proceedings at The Rescue Aid Society and soon you’d have to choose your experience.
If you choose the Air-boat Swamp option, you would exit onto a path overgrown with plant life. It’s dark and misty as you’d make your way towards a dock with frogs, owls and crickets serenading your walk. Fireflies twinkle over the dark water and splashes of alligators can be heard in the distance. You and your party would board your leaf boat and Evinrude’s wings would begin to buzz as he warmed up for your departure into the swamp. You’d slowly leave the dock and your search for Penny would begin.
You’d move quietly past the shore where other small swamp creatures gather on the porches of their little shacks. They’d rock on porch swings, chop wood in the yard, and strum banjos as your boat tried to slip quietly by. Then the swamp would opens up and you’d see an old riverboat in the distance. You’d hear Madame Medusa shouting at Brutus and Nero to go find Penny because she’d have run away again. Evinrude would then duck your air-boat in behind some swamp grass as the 2 large gators swam by. When you emerged back into the open water, you’d see Penny and her teddy being carried across the deck of the old river boat as the little girl protested her capture.
As your leaf glided past the rear of the riverboat, the lights from inside would cast an eerie glow over your air-boat. Evinrude would suddenly thrust your leaf boat into the mangroves again as you heard Madame Medusa ordering Snoops to get Penny ready to retrieve the diamond. They’d then emerge on Madame Medusa’s water car and zip past you spraying you as they do. Evinrude would spring into action and follow them at top speed, twisting and turning the little leaf to keep up.
Just when you’d think you’d lost them and your leaf slowed to a crawl again with Evinrude struggling to catch his breath, a current would begin to pull your leaf. As you came around a bend overhung with large trees, you’d hear rushing water and you’d soon drop down onto a dark, eerie cave. At the end you’d see Penny struggling to get back into a bucket to be lifted up to the top of the well, the diamond in her hand. The water would begin to rise and you are sucked through another cave just as Penny is lifted towards the top. When you emerged from the cave back into the swamp, chaos would have broken out as the little swamp animals battle Madame Medusa and her entourage.
As you slip back into the overgrowth you’d catch glimpses of a celebration as the little creatures sang and danced in their hillbilly fashion and you’d learn Penny had been adopted upon her return home.
If, on the other hand, you were to choose the Albatross Air option, your line would move back up though the UN building to the roof where you’d hear the bustling noise of the streets of New York below while the high-rise skyline, with its twinkling windows, surrounded you.
You’d board your own personal “Orville” and strap into your sardine can seats. Once everyone was secure, Orville would plod along towards the edge of the building huffing and puffing as he went before he nose dived over the edge of the roof. He pull up just in time and begin to twist and turn in order to avoid the cabs and pedestrians on the streets. He’d drop again down the stairs to the subway, and commuters would scream and duck for cover as he tried to regain control once again. He’d turn sharply to avoid a brick wall and you’d find yourself on the subway tracks. As you glided through the tunnel a light would appear behind you and Orville would do his best to speed up, twisting out of the way at the next station, just in time.
You head back out onto the streets of New York, as he finally gained altitude while you soar over the city and past the Statue of Liberty. You’d dive under the Brooklyn Bridge and circle out over open water before gliding to a stop near the dock in the swamp.
The Rescuers provides ample options for what could be a very thrilling and interactive adventure for all ages. With the diversity of the swamp and the city that the story provides, I think that an attraction based on this movie could become another classic favorite and revisit the story telling type of attractions that Disney became famous for.
What do you think, would you ride?