Walt Disney always said Disneyland is not a museum. That notion has since applied to all subsequent Disney parks. In many ways this viewpoint is what has let the resort grow and expand. However this also means the death of beloved attractions. That’s why I’m proposing “The Florida Project”. A permanent multi-story exhibition that showcases the many lost relics of WDW history.
The perfect building to house the museum would be the former Disney Quest Building in Disney Springs. NBA Experience is the currently planned replacement; however, I think that would make more sense as an expansion to the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The five stories of the soon to be abandoned Disney Quest building would offer ample room to showcase props and audio-animatronics from Disney past. Here’s a quick rundown of what could be there:
Floor 1: Walt Disney World – Day One
The first exhibit located just beyond the entrance would be a look into what was present on Opening Day of Walt Disney World. The first floor would also feature a small theater for a looping introduction film on the museum; however, it would be large enough that special events could be held there possibly for future D23 events. Finally a gift shop near the exit would become a place to buy merchandise based on extinct attractions. Nobody can pass up the chance to own a plush toy of Skippy from ExtraTERROResterial Alien Encounter.
Floor 2: Food Court and Character Meet and Greet
Assuming the WDW Museum would require a few hours to tour, visitors would ultimately require somewhere to eat. Multiple dining rooms would allow guests to dine in a certain time period in WDW history. Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake will be sold by the slice in a Mickey’s Birthdayland Dining Room, along with Mickey balloons with classic logos printed. Nearby would also be a Meet and Greet room that would have rare character encounters. Think Roger Rabbit, Uncle Scrooge, etc.
Floor 3: Epcot Center
Epcot today may hold the record as the most changed park in WDW. The Epcot Center floor consists of multiple smaller rooms, each exploring long gone rides and shows. Ideally each room would have working animatronics from the past. The Kitchen Kabaret room would have a working performance of the Hamm & Eggz song. However since many may not even exist (Disney tends to mine them for parts in other attractions) reproductions could also be used.
Floor 4: Tomorrowland Yesterday and Hollywood Land
One of the most changed aspects of the Magic Kingdom has been the constantly evolving Tomorrowland. The fourth floor would cover several lost attractions including The Timekeeper and Delta Dreamflight. The other half of the floor would feature a look at the History of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Floor 5: VR Vault
Touted by many as the future of entertainment, Virtual Reality will be the key to replicating fan favorite extinct attractions. Unless ride-through videos of extinct attractions exist outside of some amazing efforts taken by fans, the VR Vault would offer CG reproductions of rides and shows, and would take advantage of the source audio tracks only Imagineering would have access to.
What would you want to see at a Walt Disney World Museum? Let me know in the comments!
(Photos from the personal collection of Kendall Foreman.)
To learn more about Zack 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.