In January 2014 Disney made Marvel fans happy, or maybe Marvel made Disney fans happy, when the companies teamed up to release the first issue of the Disney Kingdoms mini-imprint: The Seekers of the Weird, based off of Walt Disney Imagineering original ideas and concept art for the Museum of the Weird, an unbuilt walkthrough add on to Disney's fan favorite attraction, the Haunted Mansion. After the five issue series wrapped up Kingdoms launched their second story: Figment, the origin of not only the lovable purple dragon from EPCOT's Journey Into Imagination, but also his human creator, Dreamfinder.
While both series continue to sell out each issue Disney hasn't yet announced another addition to the line for when Figment wraps up this October. But don't worry guys... I got this for you...
5. Ellen's Energy Adventure - What happens when Ellen Degeneres has a fever dream while watching tv? Well she goes time travelling with Bill Nye, that's what. You might think I'm lying but this is indeed a real, and one of the best attractions at EPCOT.
The Ride - As part of EPCOT's "edu-tainment" Disney thought "how can we make learning about fossil fuels fun"? So obviously that involves pulling together two of the most likable people in history and making them talk about energy with cameos from Jamie Lee Curtis and Alex Trebek. Also there's dinosaur animatronics, and the entire thing takes half an hour indoors where it's air conditioned. Which is great after Drinking Around The World.
The Pitch - Almost the same as the ride. Seriously. Ellen and Bill Nye get sent back in time and have to find a way back to the present day. That's all I got because that's all you need, that and a writer and artist who can handle a crazy adventure while capturing the likeness of Nye and Degeneres. For that we turn to none other than the team of Andy Hartnell and Nick Bradshaw. Hartnell can knock out a fun globe spanning adventure as shown in Danger Girl and Bradshaw is no stranger to both licensed properties and celebrity comic book caricature with his work on Dynamites Ash Vs. The Army of Darkness books.
4. Big Thunder Mountain - Back in 2013 television network, ABC ordered pilot episode for a project based off of the Frontierland roller coaster. Then everyone promptly forgot about it, except me apparently.
The Ride: When gold is found under a mountain outside a small southwestern town (Rainbow Ridge, Tumbleweed or Thunder Mesa depending on which Disney park you're at) in the 1800's, it seems like the towns luck is about to turn around as people start becoming rich overnight. What they didn't count on though was the fact that the mountain was sacred Indian ground and upon removing the gold from the mountains a series of disasters strike the town. With the town deserted and restless spirits taking control of the trains it's no wonder it's considered to be the "wildest ride in the wilderness".
The Pitch: When newspaper reporter Marc Baxter heads to Big Thunder Mountain to cover the gold rush and subsequent battle for land between two neighboring towns, a massive earthquake strikes, wreaking the mountains vengeance. Hopping aboard a haunted train with his Indian guide and the warring factions of Rainbow Ridge and Tumbleweed, Baxter starts a madcap supernatural western adventure that could only be told by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Culley Hamner, who's no stranger to the southwest with his work on DC Comics Blue Beetle.
3. Jungle Cruise - Since it's debut, the self touting "World Famouse Jungle Cruise" has become a self fulfilling prophesy, with a version of the ride at every park except for Disneyland Paris (the sometimes cold climate of France doesn't lend it's self to sitting on a boat), it's truly one of the most beloved attractions Disney has ever offered.
The Ride - Embarking from an Amazonian port, your boat helmed by an ever resourceful Skipper takes you on a journey through not just one but four of the worlds most exciting jungle locales: The Amazon, The Congo, The Nile and the Mekong. While seeing animatronic hippos pop out of the water might be the draw for some, what makes this a must do is the schtick comedy and bad puns that come from an ever changing and evolving script the Skippers memorize or ad-lib. No two Skippers or rides will be the same, and a fair amount of rider participation is always there to keep you engrossed.
The Comic - Following along with Archaeologist Dr. Albert Falls on his worldwide adventure to chart the most dangerous rivers in the world we see the unreliable narrator to the fullest extent. As the jungle expedition turns in to a bigger and bigger fish story with each new issue as we read through his travel journals in caption form and see what actually happens in panel. With references and jokes lifted straight from the attraction script, there'll be enough here for fans of the Jungle Cruise as well as something to hook adventurerers of all ages. A fun script with hints of real danger is no change of pace for Daredevil writer Mark Waid, and coupled with the expressive but dark art of Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Karl Moline there would be enough edge to make sure you turn around and wave good bye to everyone at the docks, you probably won't be seeing them again.
2. Hotel Mel - Going more with the Seekers Of The Weird "Attraction That Could Have Been" vibe, is what have been a more comedic ride than we have right now at Disney Hollywood Studios. This would have definitely stood out at the mor thrill ride heavy park we have today, and it would all be thanks to the brains behind it: Mel Brooks.
The Ride - Being a Disneyland fan, Brooks lept at the chance when Disney Imagineering asked if he would want to work with them on an attraction at (as it was known at the time) Disney MGM Studios. The Studios, then as well as now, was not only all about movies and their impact on culture but also how they're made, which can be seen from the park it's self. Upon walking into Disney's Hollywood studios you discover yourself on a bustling Hollywood street in the 1940's. But as you walk further into the park a subtle change takes place, you're no longer walking down the street but you are on a studio lot. Hotel Mel would play into this as you join Brooks as he starts filming his latest movie at an abandoned hotel. As the ride progressed you would learn that the hotel was actually haunted, and soon you start to see ghosts and monsters. But all this would be done in the typical Mel Brooks style with gags and jokes, like Dracula trying to shave in the bathroom mirror but accidentally cutting himself since he has no reflection. Or Frankenstein trapped in the bathroom with no toilet paper but with some of the Mummies bandages that he stole from the next stall over.
Sadly Hotel Mel didn't happen as Brooks dropped out of the project to start work on a film, but Imagineer's like the idea of a haunted hotel which gave us the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror we have today.
The Comic - Well first we keep the general idea, Mel Brooks starts filming his new movie at an abandoned hotel that turns out to be haunted. We then let the man go from there, as this is a book that Brooks would have to have a hand in himself. But unlike the the typical comics we get from Marvel or Disney (or even the ones pitched here), this would be more of a collection of quick gags and short stories, each one done by a different indie artist. Would it sell like hotcakes? Probably not, but would it be a helluva lot of fun? You bet.
1. Captain EO - What do you get when you combine the greatest pop star of all time with the filmakers behind Apocalypse Now and Star Wars and the push of the worlds most recognized creator of family content? Well if you just look at all those factors, you might think a disaster. But in actuality, it turns out to be one of the most in your face 3D experiences in the galaxy.
The Ride - For years Michael Jackson wanted to work with Disney, and he finally got the chance in 1986 when Disney approached him as well as Director Francis Ford Coppola and Executive Producer George Lucas to create a 4D movie musical experience. So while not a ride per-se, the attraction involved viewers watching a 3d film while the auditorium was set up with live effects to create a more immersive experience.
Telling the story of a ragtag band of space adventurers that crash land on a hostile planet while on a mission to deliver a gift to the Supreme Leader, the 20 minute film is 80's-er than anything you've probably ever seen.
While the film disappeared from Walt Disney World in 1996 to make way for the 'Honey I Shrunk The Audience' 4d film, after Jackson's death in 2009 fan outcry brought the movie back for a limited engagement (which as of this articles posting has been four years). But at Captain EO's core is what makes not only a fan favorite Disney attraction but the same things people love about properties like Star Wars, Firefly and Farscape. A lived in world with likable characters and crazy out there ideas, just with more singing and dancing.
The Comic - The continuing adventures of EO's crew as they bring light to the darkest reaches of space. It would be the guilty pleasure miniseries of the year, with each issue coming with a download code for a free Michael Jackson song of course. The book would need a fair amount of camp but also some respect for what it's based off of, and Jeff Parker has proven he can do that with his writing on Batman '66. For art we need someone with an out there style that can capture aliens and robots and strange creatures while still making them relatable and grounded, someone like Fiona Staples would make this a must see book.
Honorable Mention - it's a small world - It's the Disney attraction everyone knows, and as grown inducing as it is, it is a must do at Disney World. But how do you make it into a comic? Only Eric Powell would know for sure.
About the Author
When not spending his time doing stuff for Bagged And Bored, Chris works towards his dream of becoming a modified shovel racer. Let him know his dream is dead: firstname.lastname@example.org