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Fun Find Friday


August 5, 2016

Location: Frontierland, Magic Kingdom

Today we are going to be taking a look at one of the greatest Disney attractions that was never built: Western River Expedition. While we've talked about the history of the almost made attraction in the past, let's do a quick recap!

When the Magic Kingdom first opened up in 1971, Imagineers believed guests on the East coast would be more interested in the wild west than an attraction like Pirates of the Caribbean due to the fact that guests could find a presence of pirates and the Caribbean throughout most of Florida. When the park first opened up, guests complained that Pirates of the Caribbean wasn't found in the new park. Due to this, money that was being saved for the Western River Expedition was put on the shelf.

The amazing thing about the Western River Expedition was the fact that the attraction would practically be three attractions in one. The main portion would be a water ride similar to Splash Mountain. Here guests would travel through a mountain town known as Thunder Mesa as they saw cowboys, Indians, and lots of adventure. In addition to the water ride, a roller coaster (in the form of a train) would accompany the attraction while retelling the same story from a different vantage point. The Walt Disney World railroad would pass by at one point as well offering a third vantage point for the story at hand.

While the attraction never became a reality, portions of the attraction were placed in various rides such as Phantom Manor, Living with the Land, Splash Mountain, and of course, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Due to the fact that the train portion of the attraction was nearly duplicated in the form of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, there are several nods to the Western River Expedition found at the classic mountain attraction.

 This brings us to today's Fun Find! While walking in the queue for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, take a look at the crates scattered around:

Western River Explosives

Here you can find Western River Explosives, a nice nod to the attraction that almost was!


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