Five Academy Awards.
A theatrical incarnation which won two Olivier Awards and a Tony.
A follow-up docudrama starring Tom Hanks as Uncle Walt himself.
Legions of Disney fanatics who consider the 1964 film to be the absolute height of the Disney movie canon.
I could go on, and on, and on, and on…
How is there NOT a “Mary Poppins” attraction at Walt Disney World?
Alright, I get it. We already have a “flying over London” kinda deal in Fantasyland (Peter Pan’s Flight) and Mary herself can already be seen appearing in the UK pavilion at Epcot or on Main Street, U.S.A. Also, plenty of Disney “top tiers” are sans representation on the attractions list – Bambi and Lady and the Tramp, being just a few. I’d even concede that much of today’s kids have never seen the film – an issue which should be remedied by the good parents of America! But the possibilities and angles for just such a ride are limitless: the unparalleled score, the variety of settings, the flying, the funny moments! Can you imagine what the real Imagineers could do with this film considering the recent advances in Audio-animitronics face and character movement technology?
And let’s be honest here — no other Disney film with the exception of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs deserves more attention than Poppins, so I always felt its exclusion from the ride lineup was somewhat standout-ish and curious.
So in response to this oversight, I’ve always imagined this solution in my mind’s eye: as one would stroll through the UK pavilion, around the corner from The Tea Caddy and down the existing English street, the path would morph into Cherry Tree Lane. Chalk pavement pictures would be at your feet, Admiral Boom’s home would intimidatingly exist on your left…and then, just up ahead, would be #17.
As you enter the home, the queue to a great new attraction awaits; and like the Peter Pan’s Flight interactive queue, we stroll through the home of the Banks family – the foyer, the kitchen, the drawing room…and, of course, the nursery. The ride itself? Oh, I don’t know…maybe our ride vehicles are carousel horses or umbrellas in which we must hold onto for dear life, but one would imagine flying high over London with the chimneysweeps, through the chalk drawing of the English countryside with Bert, and definitely bouncing on the ceiling with Uncle Albert. I’m not sure what the overarching story would be — I’d leave that up to the Imagineers to decide – but I know pure magic could be created.
So, what do you think? Would a Mary Poppins ride be feasible? Popular? Magical? I’m interested in your thoughts!
To learn more about Rich and read his recent posts for WDW Radio, visit his author page by clicking the link on his name at the top of this post.