Imagineering Awesome: Bringing the Dragons Back

This post is part of the Imagineering Awesome series

Welcome to the second post in the Imagineering Awesome series on Mouse on the Mind! You can access all of the posts by clicking on the link at right. (Click it for more awesome, imaginative content than you can shake a stick at!)

Today’s post is brought to us by Emma, who writes for A Pinch of Pixie Dust, and she really blew my mind with this. It’s not something I ever would have come up with on my own, but reading her ideas and feeling her excitement … I’m pretty excited for this attraction, too …


Mulan and ShangOne of the things that stands out in my memory from childhood trips to Walt Disney World is the Mulan Parade at MGM (excuse me, Disney’s Hollywood Studios). Does anybody else remember this? The movie had just come out, which made it all the more exciting. The costumes, the music, Mulan and Shang waving from atop their float – I just loved it.

It was a sad day when the parade went away, and nothing new came to represent Mulan in the parks. I know you can meet Mulan in Epcot, but the movie is such a fabulous Disney classic, it really deserves more than just a character greeting.

So today we’re going to imagine how the Disney Parks could pay a better homage to the powerful, the pleasurable, the indestructible…no wait, that’s Mushu…I mean MULAN, of course!!

My Park of choice would not be Hollywood Studios, nor would it be Epcot. I want to see more of Mulan at Animal Kingdom! I feel like, of all the Parks, AK is the one most in need of a bigger presence from some classic Disney personalities, and I think Mulan would be a great fit. Animal Kingdom Park even has an Asia! How is Mulan not there already?

Also, there are some fabulous animals in the Mulan movie. I think Khan definitely has to be right up there for most epic Disney horse of all time. He rides over a cliff in a waterfall made of snow. That’s just awesome. Then of course there’s Cri Kee, possibly the most adorable cricket ever with a hilarious attitude. He’s even lucky!


But, I suppose, a horse and a cricket do not a menagerie make. So for my dream Mulan attraction, I think it’d be best to focus on the more mythological creatures.

The original logo for Animal Kingdom featured a dragon, but the plans to build a “Beastly Kingdom” full of legendary creatures at AK somehow fell by the wayside. I think the dragons of Chinese legends and, of course, the incorrigible Mushu, would be the perfect way to bring some of those ideas back to life.

So. We’ve got Mulan, and we’ve got dragons. The next question is: what type of attraction should it be? A slow ride? A fast ride? A stage production??

It’s so hard to decide, but I have to say I would really love to see a Mulan show. There are so many elements from the movie that would come to life so beautifully in a live production: the scenery, the songs, the outfits. And there are two stages in/near Asia where you could put it: the Caravan Stage (currently home to Flights of Wonder) or the Theater in the Wild (currently home to Finding Nemo the Musical).

Although…I guess I would be sorry to see either of those two go. So maybe we can build the Mulan show its own stage somewhere in Asia. With air conditioning and some totally gorgeous design. I want the curtain to be painted just like the ink drawings at the beginning of the movie, all those graceful swirly clouds. I bet we could find room for that in our imaginary unlimited budget. 😉

mulan-mushu-dragonAs for the show itself, I would like to see some classic movie moments but maybe some new characters as well. I’d make Mulan the narrator, but Mushu would have to be a central character; he’d be pretty offended if we asked anyone else. Just imagine what his dragon friends would be like! Instead of “I’ll make a man out of you,” it could be “I’ll make a dragon out of you!” There would be some educational bits too, so the audience could learn about the tradition and history of dragons in China.

Disney Imagineers have done such gorgeous things with the Lion King and Beauty and the Beast and Finding Nemo on stage… I can only imagine what kind of breathtaking spectacles they’d create with Mulan and DRAGONS!

Would you like to see more Mulan in the parks? And how would you imagine an attraction dedicated to her movie? Let us know in the comments. 🙂

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