World’s most anticipated theme park rides that were never built

Theme park rides and roller-coasters are designed to excite and delight, but some plans to impress thrillseekers have been so ambitious, they could never quite get off the ground.

As Disney and Universal prepare to launch new attractions in 2021 — including a whole Marvel’s Avengers Campus attraction at Disney California Adventure — here are some of the ride ideas that were scrapped due to conflict, or were so wild in conception, they never ended up seeing the light of day.

The Sun has rounded up some of the best ones, with realistic 3D rendering created by the site Best Kid Stuff.


The failed Horizons attraction at Disney was almost a NASA ride. Picture: Best Kid StuffSource:Supplied

The failed Disney Horizons attraction, which was originally at Epcot but closed in 1999, was nearly turned into a NASA-themed space ride.

Visitor would be able to hang from overhead rails with space jetpack replicas of NASA’s Manned Manoeuvring Unit.

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Passengers would then do an almost 2km “space walk” using the pack to explore the Horizons building.

However, the idea was scrapped due to the complicated track design, and visitor capacity wouldn’t be able to meet the demand.


A Batman vs Penguin ride was nearly built in the 90s. Picture: Best Kid StuffSource:Supplied

Following the popularity of Danny DeVito’s Penguin in the 1992 film Batman, Universal began plans for a themed ride.

The concept featured two duelling roller-coasters, which allowed guests to pick whether they would be the hero or the villain.

They would ride on the BatWing or PingWing, emerging from their underground lairs before flying through Gotham City.

The ride was scrapped due to conflicts between Universal and Warner Bros. The designs are similar to the former Harry Potter Duelling Dragons ride, which is now a new Hagrid-themed ride.


Joker’s Madhouse never saw the light of day. Picture: Best Kid StuffSource:Supplied

Another DC ride which was nearly built at Universal was Joker’s Madhouse.

Passengers would ride a rollercoaster that began through a huge Joker face before travelling through his warehouse.

The ride would be a psychedelic trip through Gotham before getting to a “dead end” where the track appeared to break off.

Intended to be part of the Island of Adventure, attraction never went ahead due to Universal’s collaboration with Marvel instead.


Universal’s Spider-Man ride was meant to be a Superman ride. Picture: Best Kid StuffSource:Supplied

Currently at Universal is the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, located at Islands of Adventure.

However, Islands of Adventure was originally planned to be a DC attraction, not a Marvel one.

The current Spider-Man ride was originally designed to be a Superman ride, with many designs simply shifted – instead of the Marvel Daily Bugle, it is the Daily Planet.

On the ride, passengers would sit in an 18-person pod, looking through the Daily Planet telecopter, before being attacked by Lex Luther.


Fantasia Gardens never got off the ground at Disney’s planned Beastly Kingdom. Picture: Best Kid StuffSource:Supplied

One of Disney’s biggest plans that was scrapped was the Beastly Kingdom, which was meant to be part of the Animal Kingdom land.

This included a ride based on Fantasia, called Fantasia Gardens back in the 1960s, and nearly replaced the swan boats at Magic Kingdom.

However, it was never created due to the land never being designed.

Instead of the Beastly Kingdom is the Pandora: The World of Avatar attraction.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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