Imagineering Awesome: Scat Cat’s Beats

This post is part of the Imagineering Awesome series

This is the fifth post in the Imagineering Awesome series … so if you’ve missed any of the previous posts, click on the link at right.

Today’s post is brought to us by Mrs. Banks of Mrs. Banks Goes to Convention, and it’s a swinging time, man!

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“Cause a cat’s the only cat who knows where it’s at!” So what else could there be for a ride?

In my Fantasyland, you would approach a grand Parisian apartment, with tall French doors and topiary pots, and step inside the mansion of Madame Adelaide Bonfamille, from Disney’s 1970 movie, The Aristocats.

The queuing area would progress through her house, through the lounge room with a grand piano as the kittens, Marie, Berlioz and Toulouse, practice their ‘scales and arpeggio’s’ – which of course would be playing as background music.

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Eventually, the queue would pass to the kitchen of the house, where we discover the scheming Edgar listening in through the speaking tube, and we can hear the voice of Madame instructing her lawyer to leave everything to the kittens in her will.

We board the vehicles – somewhat like the Finding Nemo clam shells, they are big woven baskets like the ones in the movie. And then we are off with Edgar on a bouncy basket ride through the Parisian country side.

Aristocats baskets

But these ‘baskets’ are special. The ride vehicles would be like the Pooh’s hunny pots used in Tokyo Disneyland. They will be trackless, following an LPS, and they have inbuilt suspension systems – like a tame version of the ‘Dinosaur’ ride vehicles. This allows the vehicles to bump up and down on the countryside lanes and to roll back and forth as we rush down the river when Duchess falls in the water.

Of course as we travel through the countryside we meet Roquefort the mouse, Frou Frou the horse, Amelia and Abigail Gabble the geese and of course Thomas O’Malley (full name: Abraham de Lacy Giuseppe Casey Thomas O’Malley)!

And that’s when things get fun, and we follow Thomas back to his “penthouse pad” and meet Scat Cat and his friends where we all sing “Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat,” and at this point the trackless ‘baskets’ go nuts! There are 12 – 16 of them in a large open room, all spinning and dashing about, just missing each other and the walls and the musicians by inches. All the band is there, with their instruments, playing away, and the baskets seem to “dance” around the room.

Then it is time to return to Paris.

We all know at this point, Disney would typically rush to the end of the movie, cutting out all the action in between. So suddenly, there we are: back in the Parisian mansion, and Madame is instructing her lawyer to change her will and set up a charity home for all of Paris’ stray cats.

Of course, we skip the bit where Thomas is taken to the vet to have his old jatz crackers whipped off. Thomas and Duchess are posing proudly, the kittens are prancing, and in the corner is a slightly bouncing trunk addressed to Timbuktu – presumably containing Edgar.

Aristocats

After departing one’s car, the exit would spill out into the compulsory gift shop where you can purchase plush toys and other goodies of all three kittens!

So the trick with the trackless ride system is that the ‘baskets” can go slightly different routes every time and move in a seemingly random fashion when dancing on the roof tops so every time you get on the ride – it is different!

The journey would include both animatronics and animation – in fact if you wanted to make it really flashy, the animation would be in 3D, and then when in the dancing room, all kinds of instruments – like the horns – could jump out at you.

This would be a winner of ride, cause “ev’rybody digs a swingin’ cat!”

What do you think? Do you want to make a swing through Paris? 

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