Disney Attractions Inspired By Other Theme Parks

InnKpr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There have been discussions before on other parks around the globe which have obvious Disney inspiration (sometimes blatant knock-offs) found within their rides and themes...
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...But on the other side of the coin, I was wondering how many of Disney's rides, lands, and attractions were heavily inspired by other parks.
Imagination and creativity comes from all directions.

I got to thinking about this after recently watching a POV video of Tokyo Disneyland's new BATB trackless dark ride. There's no doubt this attraction (although leaning on it's own story as the main source) took some inspiration from Efteling's trackless ride, Symbolica, complete with the grand staircase pre-show and ballroom dancing finale.

Symbolica:
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Yet those elements were also heavily present in the BATB movie, so you can't really say who inspired whom in this case.

One attraction we know for certain that Disney used for inspiration is Timber Mountain log ride (originally Calico Log Ride) at Knott's Berry Farm in California. Opened in 1969 as a pioneer in themed "mountain" log attractions, this set the stage for Splash decades later.
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Another one that comes to mind is RNRC. While the ride concept itself took a page from King's Dominion and Kings Island amusement parks, the name "Rock 'n Roller Coaster" was inspired, literally in whole, by the name of a ride at the (closed) Opryland park in Nashville.
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As for the RNRC concept, it seems to come heavily from the Outer Limits indoor launch attractions which opened at the Kings Island / Dominion parks back in 1996.
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Those are just a few that come to mind, but are there any other obvious ones that I'm missing? It's always interesting to see how various competitors within the industry use one another to improve, build upon, and deliver constantly evolving products.
 

ppet

Well-Known Member
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I rode the flight of fear at Kings Island the day it opened. It was a great ride. There are two areas where Disney really improved the concept. First was theming, The over all concept for RnRRC is must better in execution than the outer limits approach, although for a seasonal theme park it wasn't bad. Secondly The ride at WDW is much smoother IMHO. This makes it a more enjoyable ride.
 

InnKpr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Another one, and this may be coincidental, but I'm curious if the Casa Bonita themed restaurants (originating in the late 60's) gave inspiration for Epcot's Mexico pavilion interior. Only a couple of these still in operation. The one in Denver is so popular that it made a large presence on an episode of South Park.
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Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
I'm guessing there's been some back-and-forth influencing between Disney and Efteling over the years, but I don't know of any specific attractions that may have influenced each other.

Tivoli in Copenhagen also supposedly influenced Disneyland. Not any specific design motifs, but the high emphasis on general cleanliness, exotic environments, and well-maintained aesthetics.
 

celluloid

Well-Known Member
The Movie Studio turned Tourist Attraction business model is a major one.

Big Thunder definitely has some inspiration from different mine train themed dark rides including one that is now at Knoebles.
 

InnKpr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm guessing there's been some back-and-forth influencing between Disney and Efteling over the years, but I don't know of any specific attractions that may have influenced each other.
Spookslot looks as if it took heavy inspiration from HM, even borderline copied for the pre-show room elements. At least the ceiling part, and added to it.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Tales of the Okefenokee at Six Flags Over Georgia --> Splash Mountain

Allegedly, Tony Baxter rode it a few times while in the pre-design.
Tales of the Okefenokee closed in 1980, years before Baxter claims to have had his aha moment. The similarities also end at water ride based on Br’et Rabbit. There is a connection in Bob Baranick who worked on Monster Plantation and Splash Mountain.
 

FeelsSoGoodToBeBad

Active Member
I rode the flight of fear at Kings Island the day it opened. It was a great ride. There are two areas where Disney really improved the concept. First was theming, The over all concept for RnRRC is must better in execution than the outer limits approach, although for a seasonal theme park it wasn't bad. Secondly The ride at WDW is much smoother IMHO. This makes it a more enjoyable ride.
Glad to hear it is smoother. I, too, rode the original at KI and it is the only time I've gotten neck pain from a metal roller coaster. I have been afraid to ride RnRC because of that experience, despite my DH and DD LOVING that ride. Now I'm gonna have to give it a go. Thanks for the perspective!
 

ppet

Well-Known Member
Glad to hear it is smoother. I, too, rode the original at KI and it is the only time I've gotten neck pain from a metal roller coaster. I have been afraid to ride RnRC because of that experience, despite my DH and DD LOVING that ride. Now I'm gonna have to give it a go. Thanks for the perspective!
My wife doesn't ride the one at KI any more either, It causes her neck to ache. She has never had that problem on RnRRC. Just keep your head back at take off.
 

InnKpr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Here's an interesting writeup on what seems to be the originator of simulated ride experiences.

"At the Buffalo World's Fair, Thompson and Dundy showcased several attractions including Thompson's latest idea, an electricity-powered ride called A Trip to the Moon. The ride was inspired by Jules Verne's 1865 book, 'From the Earth to the Moon'. A Trip to the Moon became the runaway hit of the exposition.

Passengers entered a spaceship called the Airship Luna, appropriately named as luna means moon in Spanish. They fastened their seatbelts, and rode the Airship Luna all the way to the moon, where they landed with a thump. Complete with simulated rocking motions, sound effects and changing backdrop scenery that gradually showed the Earth getting smaller through the plane's windows and asteroids whizzing by, the ride was exceptionally realistic. Once on the moon, the ship's pilot invited the passengers to walk around the Mars-like terrain and scenery. For good measure, oddly-dressed midgets as well as a giant were cast as moon people. Passengers then returned to the ship and made their way back to Earth. Thompson had the imagination to create all of this before planes even existed. It would still be three years before the Wright brothers took their historic flight at Kitty Hawk in December of 1903."

Even though Walt himself was born a month after this attraction closed, it makes one wonder if its history sparked the idea for his Flight To The Moon attraction at DL decades later. (Considering if he even knew of its existence.)
 

N2dru

Well-Known Member
Monster Plantation / Mansion is such an underrated dark ride.
So true..It is a great ride with interesting storytelling. It's said to have inspired Tony Baxter when it was Tales of the Okefonokee. Yes, it closed in 1980 but by that time he had ridden it several times. It's still a popular ride at the park.
 
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1HAPPYGHOSTHOST

Well-Known Member
Outside of WDW, one of the best themed roller coasters I've ever ridden is The Blazing Fury at Dollywood. As was mention in another thread, it would be great to see TWDC come up with some ORIGINAL themes for a ride instead of slapping some IP on a "whatever" ride.
This is clearly not a roller coaster but a dark ride in the same vein of Calico Mine Train at Knott's Berry Farm.
 

InnKpr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So true..It is a great ride with interesting storytelling. It's said to have inspired Tony Baxter when it was Tales of the Okefonokee. Yes, it closed in 1980 but by that time he had ridden it several times. It's still a popular ride at the park.
If I remember correctly, and @lazyboy97o might have knowledge of this too, but didn't SFOG used to have a Jungle Cruise style ride before Thunder River came along? That was prior to my first visit, but I remember hearing or reading something about it.

Now I'm feeling nostalgic for SFOG of yesteryear. I need to go dig out my autographed photo of Buford The Buzzard, which I have somewhere.
 
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