Welcome to the twelfth 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.
Today’s post is from Katy, who runs the Sassagoula Steamboat Company. I think this would cement The Land’s status as EPCOT’s most popular pavilion in Future World, and I am in favor of anything that gets more of the Duck family into the Parks.
So I’m taking this topic and heading straight back to my pre-teen/teen years. All the way back to good ole’ 1997 and the arrival of what I feel is one of the more overlooked Disney films of my generation, Hercules.
I will just preface this by saying, I am a HUGE Hercules fan. Always have been. It saddens me that more people don’t agree. I have to imagine that the time period in my life that this film debuted may have a lot to do with it. Still sort of a kid but just becoming a teen, getting into those years where it was no longer cool to like Disney movies but secretly replaying them over and over in your bedroom singing your heart out to the songs. If I had been 30 when this movie came out, it might not have struck such a chord.
But regardless of all of that, I love it and still love it. I think it has some really solid music, not the best of that time period but still enjoyable, fun and emotional. Also there are several show stopping characters that you can’t help but love. Hades, to name one. This movie would not rank where it does with me if it weren’t for James Woods and the character of Hades. I even enjoy the different animation styles with the sharp lines that were used in this film that weren’t quite like films before it.
That is why when Melissa asked me to come up with an idea for an attraction that I would want to see in the Parks based on a Disney, Pixar, or Star Wars film, it didn’t take me long to realize exactly which film I would be choosing. And I know exactly where I want to put it.
So she said I had unlimited money in which to complete this new attraction so naturally I am not only going for an attraction but I am going for an entire new pavilion in my favorite place in all of Walt Disney World. Of course I am talking about Epcot, and the new pavilion would be none other than the country of Greece.
A Greek pavilion could stand alone without Hercules for sure. What better idea for a pavilion than one as beautiful and rich in culture as Greece? And that’s not even the half of it because the food offerings could be an attraction on their own! But since I am building this new pavilion and the point was to base it on a film, let’s get back to Hercules.
My first thought initially was a dark ride. But let’s take it a step further and create a dark ride on steroids. I need a massive show building in which to create this world that is Hercules. Instead of a leisurely boat ride through popular scenes in the movie or a chariot ride through the busy streets of Thebes, I want to fly. And I want to fly on my very own Pegasus!
Seriously people, love the movie or hate it, how freakin’ cool would it be to soar to Mount Olympus while “Go the Distance” is powerfully piped in or down into the dark depths of the Underworld to meet Hades only to narrowly escape the sharp fangs of Cerberus? The scenery in this movie would make for some pretty amazing dark ride sets.
I can picture it now, gigantic Titans towering over you in the last battle scene! Lightning bolts whizzing past your head! Until finally entering the peace and serenity of Mount Olympus where your family is waiting to welcome you home.
Oh! And don’t forget to pick up a pair of Air-Hercs or your very own Hercules action figure at the strategically-placed merchandise location after your ride.
A little too fast or scary for the kiddos? Not to worry. Outside of the attraction would be a large training arena where the smaller kids could train with Phil to become heroes. It could basically be a massive playground with obstacle courses, different events to participate and compete in and crafts where kids could make their own medals or armor. Parents, you could drop your kids off, and they would be entertained for hours while you head for the next margarita stand!
Greek mythology is just so interesting and there is so much that could be done with it in a pavilion like Greece. So we all know that the Disney film is a stretch from the actual stories about these characters from mythology. But even with using this film, there could be opportunities to have legit museum-type corners of the pavilion that offer some actual history of Greek mythology. Think like how they use the Stave Church in Norway or the Japanese castle exhibits in Japan. Using that to teach some history about the culture along with some elements of the Disney film could please children and parents alike.
Are you feeling the Hercules love?