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Imagineer Brandon

Well-Known Member
How Genesis Gardens Almost Came to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I was hoping to make contact with Josh Taylor, who wrote the original article from 2012 about Genesis Gardens (see https://www.wdwradio.com/2012/08/the-world-that-never-was-genesis-gardens/), but it appears he works for Disney now (and doesn’t use his previous email addresses.

Animal Kingdom was the fourth (and most recent) theme park designed for Walt Disney World. The chief imagineer who was responsible for Animal Kingdom is Joe Rohde, who recently retired from Disney Imagineering. Rohde was very focused on the entrance area of the park. He wanted something that would set the tone from the initial moment the guests are at the park. One of the entrance ways that was considered was “Genesis Gardens.” Ultimately , Disney chose “Oasis” (which is still the same today). The article writer says that this is because it was less “offensive” than “Genesis Gardens.” To me, “offensive” sounds rather negative; admittedly not all WDW park goers see the Book of Genesis as God’s Word, but that does not mean that they would necessarily be turned-off (or worse, avoid the park altogether) by such a name or theme.

Genesis Gardens would have had a large Noah’s Ark with animal displays inside of it (to show how animals were saved once and still need to be saved). Interestingly, that’s basically what Ark Encounter in Kentucky decided to do for their park. The land would also have helped to reveal the other lands that lay behind. Genesis Gardens would have been a very lush and tropical land like the Garden of Eden that is described in Genesis. The music for the land would have been songs from the band Genesis as well as their singer/drummer Phil Collins. Okay maybe I made-up that last point!



As it stands, Oasis is not all that exciting of an entrance land. The three times I have been to Animal Kingdom, I have basically walked right through it to get to the “wienie” (basically a park landmark that beckons guests to come to it) of the Tree of Life. Genesis Gardens will be used in my Bible World project as sort of a testament as to what Disney could have brought to Animal Kingdom.
as an irreligious person, i think the "genesis gardens" idea is a really compelling use of famous literature from a secular angle as well.


Miracle Kingdom Attractions

Below is the initial list of Miracle Kingdom attractions. This list will get more filled-in as I decide what attractions should take the place of the existing ones.
  • Main Street Nazareth
  • Old Testament Land
    • Garden of Eden Cruise
    • Adam & Eve Family Treehouse
    • Jacob’s Ladder (currently: Aladdin’s Magic Carpets)
    • Noah of the Flood (currently: Pirates of the Caribbean) Post
    • Jonah Splash Post
    • Big Thunder on Mount Sinai Trailroad
    • The Haunted Palace (with the Ten Plagues) Post
    • The Hall of Prophets
    • Great Moments in Salvation History (presented by The Muppets)
    • Scriptural Donkey Jamboree
  • Gospel-Land
    • Nativity Manger Train (currently: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train)
    • The Many Miracles of Jesus Christ (currently: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh)
    • Jesus’ Flight to Heaven (currently: Peter Pan’s Flight)
    • its a small world (at Pentecost)
    • King of the Universe Castle
    • Under the River ~ Baptism of Jesus
    • Resurrection Carousel
    • The Last Supper Cup Spin
  • Apostolic Age Land
    • Apocalypse Mountain [note: The Book of Revelation is also known by the name Apocalypse]
    • Carousel of Progress: in the Early Church
    • The Saint’s Sin Blaster (with Buzz Lightyear)
    • Joy Floor (with Monsters Inc.)
With your permission - over the summer I'd really like the opportunity to try a hand-drawn map for this

It won't be at the Sistine Chapel level by any means, but this park just seems visually stunning and deserves to be realized!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
With your permission - over the summer I'd really like the opportunity to try a hand-drawn map for this

It won't be at the Sistine Chapel level by any means, but this park just seems visually stunning and deserves to be realized!
Thanks for the offer! I would be grateful for your help with that! I’ve only had a little experience with drawing maps, so it’s easy to put it on the back burner.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Roll-the-Rock Coaster starring TobyMac

Bible: Matthew 28:1-11, Mark 16:1-11, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18

Replacing “Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith” in Bible World is “Roll the Rock Coaster starring TobyMac.” Outside the attraction building (where the giant electric guitar is found at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster) is the large rock that had been rolled away from the tomb. There are also two angels in dazzling white clothes. Entering the queue, quests find themselves in a budding garden in spring time. The pre-show (similar in style to the Aerosmith one in Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster–mixture of set piece and projection) is the Upper Room where the Apostles have locked themselves in for fear that they would face a similar death as Jesus. The mood of the Apostles is depressed. Some of the women disciples have been carefully let-in. They tell the Apostles that they are on the way to Jesus’ tomb to finish off the burial rituals and that they will return when they are finished there. After the women leave, the Apostles share their desires that Jesus was still alive and working miracles. When guests leave the pre-show, they are on a path that leads to a rock tomb in the background. Cast members assist the guests to rows for boarding Resurrection trains, which look sleek and metallic with a different color for each train–dark green, dark blue, dark red, and yukon gold (a brownish gold).

The American Christian rapper and singer TobyMac provides the soundtrack for the attraction. Guests will get one of four of his greatest hits:

After guests board the Resurrection train and are securely fastened, the train moves out of the loading station and pauses. The countdown marks the moment when the Resurrection occurred. As an aside, scientific analysis of The Shroud of Turin, a cloth that many Christians believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus, suggests that the image was produced by a several billion watt burst of light (something similar in strength to the Big Bang; see, for example the last 7 minutes of the presentation below). That burst is more than enough to launch the train from 0 to 57 mph in 2.8 seconds! The “light” is also used to capture an on-ride picture. Everything else within sight of the riders has turned to white and sparkles with LED lights.


The roller coaster has the same three inversions as the current iteration. The 2-dimensional sets on the ride tell the story of the purported events of the Easter Sunday: the women finding the tomb empty only to go tell the Apostles, the tradition that Jesus’ first appearance was to his mother Mary, Peter and John running to the tomb and encountering the rolled-up burial clothes, Mary Magdalene thinking he was the gardener only to find out that it is him, and then running back to the Disciples. As the Resurrection trains break at the end of the ride, one last scene with Audio Animatronics shows the resurrected Jesus appearing to the joyful but incredulous Apostles and saying “Peace be with you.”

At the unloading station, guests disembark, check out their on-ride photos and enter the gift shop where they can purchase mementos from their own “roll the rock” experience.

As you have seen, the Roll the Rock Coaster will continue to thrill guests like its predecessor while telling a well-known story–the greatest story ever told!
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Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Exodus Land was always planned to be a part of Bible World, but it took a group project (as part of a competition) to give some special attention to it. The group project was a revisioning of the Magic Kingdom as The Great Movie Ride park. I was tasked with creating a land for The Ten Commandments (starring Charlton Heston). Although we switched plans to do a Finding Nemo park in Sydney, Australia instead, I kept my write-up to incorporate into the blog here.

Land Overview
The entire Exodus land in Bible World is based on the 1956 movie The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston. Hence, the land is also nicknamed “Ten Commandments Land.” It is located on the left side of Miracle Kingdom (formerly the Magic Kingdom), although the exact land area will be determined at a later stage. What follows is the listing of the attractions and food for the land.

Red Sea Walk-Through

This might be the most famous scene from the movie…now recreated in theme park form! As guests leave the shoreline, they walk past a statue of Moses who is striking the ground with his staff. In sort of the reverse of the water effects at Poseidon’s Fury at Universal’s Island of Adventures, guests walk between two walls of water. As in the movie, the sea bottom has some boulders scattered about.

The Plagues of Egypt dark ride
The plagues are seen in the movie. Guests can experience these scenes from the movie through an Omnimover ride. For more details, check out:

Golden Calf spinner ride
Bible: Exodus 32

Moses has gone up Mount Sinai to be with God and await his message. As the wait becomes many days (and even weeks), the Hebrews grow impatient and lose faith. Dathan is the new leader and he instructs the group to construct a golden calf as an idol. The priest Aaron aids in the gold plating. A person (Lilia) is ordered to be sacrificed followed by revelry and other sinfulness.

Guests are thrust into this movie scene where they will experience for themselves the people’s celebrative energy (without the evilness of their actions). The golden calf shimmers without blinding or giving off heat. At night, colored lighting helps to produce the shimmering effect. The middle eastern music is upbeat (and picks up tempo during the ride) and features the sounds of trumpets, tambourines, drums, and flutes/piccolos. Remnants of the things that were used to forge the golden calf–metallic jewelry, chalices (and vessels of alcohol), and plates (and half-eaten food, especially meats)–are seen throughout the queue. Guests climb aboard smaller versions of the calf, although they are silver in color (with differing colored jewel accents). Each of the 16 ride vehicles can hold 4 guests (2 rows of 2), with the guests in the front row controlling the pitch of the vehicle (much like the familiar Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride). The ride lasts 90 seconds.


Big Thunder on Mount Sinai roller coaster
Bible: Exodus 19:16-25

Having warned the Hebrews to prepare for the third day, Moses ascends Mount Sinai. On the third day, there are peals of lightning with thunder that shakes the mountain and its base. At first the mountain is surrounded with a dark cloud, but later on the air is filled with smoke and a sound like a trumpeting shofar.

These scenes are recreated in the runaway mine train style coaster.

Meal of Freedom
This restaurant memorializes the scene from the movie where the Hebrews eat the passover meal so that they get spared that night. Now called a seder meal, Jews celebrate this meal annually on the day of Passover. Some Christians also celebrate a seder meal close to the date of Holy Thursday.

There are three main dining rooms, with one room’s meal starting every 30 minutes. The host cast member explains the seder meal’s food items and their significance: karpas (parsley or celery in salt water, maror (horseradish), chazeret (romaine lettuce or endive), charoset (apples or dried fruit with spices), beitzah (roasted egg), zeroah (roasted lamb shank bone), matzoh (unleavened bread), and wine (or grape juice for those under 21). Ritual elements are also explained while leaving some time for parties to converse at their tables. The room resets for the next meal–90 minutes after the previous one.

Food in Flight
This quick service establishment provides the two foods that the Israelites ate for 40 years in the desert–manna and quail. The manna is a type of bread with a hint of honey in it. The quail wings come in different flavors (similar to chicken wings).
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The Great Gonzo

Well-Known Member
Hey that actually gives me an idea.

You can have daycare at the park, all you'd have to do is tie kids to crosses. They'd be easy to watch and unable to runaway. And with the bad ones you can use the old methods of getting them up there.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The Last Supper Cup Spin

Bible: Matthew 26:36-27:48, Mark 15:23, John 19:28-30, Psalms 115-118

In Bible World, The Mad Tea Party teacups ride is transformed into The Last Supper Cup Spin in Gospel-land. When Jesus celebrated the Last Supper on what is called Holy Thursday, he celebrated a Jewish seder meal for Passover. Traditionally there are four cups that are drunk from at such a seder meal (see, for example, https://tomperna.org/2015/04/02/the-four-cups-the-last-supper-and-the-cup-of-consummation/).

The first 3–the Cup of Sanctification (“kiddush”), the Cup of Proclamation (“haggadah”), and the Cup of Blessing (“berekah”)--were all drunk by Jesus at the Last Supper. Although the 4th cup called the Cup of Praise (“hallel”) was not drunk by Jesus at the Last Supper, Dr. Scott Hahn and other Biblical experts say that Jesus drunk of it on the Cross in the form of a sponge filled with vinegar.
The ride system remains the same–6 cups in each of the 3 turntables. Each turntable contains 2 of each of the kiddush/haggadah/berekah cups. At the center is the hallel cup with Jesus’ words “I thirst” on one side and “It is finished” on the other. The music for the ride is the Hallel Psalms (115-118).

With a little re-theming, the popular Magic Kingdom flat ride will give Bible World guests a chance to spin with this important event in Jesus’ earthly life.



Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I've updated my links on page 1 to make it easier to find things. The update also helped me to take inventory on the project. I've designed a lot, but there's also a long ways to go!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
King of the Universe Castle
The title of Jesus as King is alluded to in various passages in the Bible. In the Catholic Church, a feast of Jesus King of the Universe is celebrated on the last Sunday of the liturgical year in late November or early December. King Jesus rules from Heaven. Sometimes Heaven is thought of as a castle or a mansion, so it’s fitting that the main park icon would be associated with Heaven.

Cinderella’s Castle would be transformed at Miracle Kingdom in several ways. The blue accents on the Castle would become gold–a main color associated with Christ and His Kingship. The rest of the stonework would take on an Ivory color, which is sometimes associated with natural light. The 6 mosaics in the Castle would be re-themed to key moments in Jesus’ ministry: His Birth, the start of His Public Ministry, His Death, His Resurrection, His Ascension, and His Heavenly Coronation.

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