We’re deep into the summer days at Disney Parks, somewhere between the openings and returns that late spring brought and the D23 Expo in September. What better time to start a series about ridiculous concepts that would fill a void inside of select Disney Parks? The time is now for silly, hopefully entertaining, conjecture. In this post, I’ll come up with a few wild ideas that I’d like to see implemented into the Disney Parks.
One of my favorite podcasts (The Bill Simmons Podcast) has a segment called Half Baked Ideas, where Kevin Wildes comes on the show and gives Bill some weird ideas that help fill a void. They aren’t fully fleshed out, hence half-baked, but they are, at the very least, interesting. Now we’re going to apply that concept to Disney Parks. At first blush these ideas I give will be goofy but if they were just a little more detailed then they’d turn into a good concept! Striking the right balance between genius and dumb is something Wandering in Disney will always strive for.
I’ll try to keep these ideas from being anymore than half baked. They can’t be fully finished or then it’s just an idea. But, I must admit that I’ve been thinking about this for a few days while trying to write it so some one or two might be ready for consumption. Let’s get to it!
The Big Bear Bites Snack Stand in California Adventure
California Adventure has some issues. We aren’t shy about those issues here on this website. A smaller issue that the park has in relation to Disneyland across the Esplanade is the lack of distinguished snacks. Want to give a park some more character? Give it a signature snack that is unique to the park. It sounds silly but Dole Whip, Churros, Citrus Swirl and any Mickey shaped snack says otherwise.
So, how do we add that to California Adventure? First, we have to pick out a location. Cars Land is already covered with the Cozy Cones. Let’s go to the next best area in DCA – Grizzly Peak. The land has a below-average counter-service restaurant and not much else in the way of food. Stick Big Bear Bites in the back walkway by Grizzly River Run to spread the crowds around. Heck, stick it in a cave and put Fozzie and Big Al back there too!
How do we make the snacks signature and fully Instagram-able? Easy, we make everything bear related. Bears are adorable and just the coolest! Bear shaped pretzels, bear shaped mugs, all bear everything! The marquee item though will be the soft serve ice cream because soft serve is delicious. How do we make them bear related? We name each flavor after a bear based on the color, obviously. Here’s what I’ve got:
- Chocolate – Grizzly Bear
- Vanilla – Polar Bear
- Chocolate/Vanilla swirl – Panda Bear
- Lemon – Golden Bear
- Honey – Pooh Bear
- Blueberry – Baloo Bear
Big Bear Bites is a winner. I’d stroll up there, order a bear pretzel, a Panda Bear and a big, frosty glass of bear (beer) and be king of the world. Then hop over to the next door Bear Necessities for any essential I forgot to bring!
The Muppets Take Magic Kingdom
I’m a longtime defender of the Muppets even though Disney has never quite known how to use them since acquiring the franchise almost 20 years ago. One of the single best uses of them in that span was the show in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom called The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History. Sadly, the show ended just prior to the Covid shutdown and hasn’t really been brought back since. This half baked idea changes that and then some!
Magic Kingdom is hurting on the entertainment front. There are wonderful animatronic shows but not any actual live shows (parades don’t count). The Muppets could singlehandedly change that. We start in Liberty Square by bringing back Great Moments in American History. Instead of stopping there, we just add a Muppets show to every land.
We get a reenactment of Muppet Treasure Island in Adventureland, maybe the finale shootout scene from The Muppet Movie in Frontierland, a reenactment of a classic fairytale in Fantasyland and Pigs in Space (much like Bruno, we don’t talk about Muppets from Space) in Tomorrowland. I would be all for all of these running all of the time but that’s probably not feasible for a variety of reasons. So, we break it down to where each land gets a couple of hours of the Muppets performing their various show before moving on to the next land. They could even hop in the Electric Mayhem van to get to and from places!
Some guests will just pop in for one show while superfans can follow the Muppets around as they perform all day long. We’re adding some live energy and character to the entire park while not taking up any room. I’m so excited about this one that I’m just going to repeat the title. The Muppets Take Magic Kingdom!
The On-Stage Tour in Hollywood Studios
What is Hollywood Studios missing? Yes, a little bit of everything. More specifically, it could use more rides, shade and in-park transportation. We can’t possibly address all of these problems in one swoop, right? Think again! Ladies and gentlemen, the On-Stage Tour!
Paying homage to the Backlot Tour that came before it, the On-Stage Tour is a simple means of transportation from land to land. It could be a train or a tram or any other cool way of getting around. I don’t know, this cake is still gooey! What I do know is this is a way to try to help the jarring transitions from one land to another while giving guests a seat to cool off in.
The On-Stage Tour will have a stop in each land. Guests will board and exit wherever they please. In between lands the story will change with the help of narration and a few character actors. Traveling from Hollywood Land to Toy Story Land? Guess what, you’ve entered the Twilight Zone again and they shrunk you down to the size of a toy. What about from Toy Story Land to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? Storm Troopers come on the vehicle and try to shoot the Green Army Men. Luckily, they miss and the toys escape safely. From Galaxy’s Edge to Grand Avenue? Well, I already mentioned Pigs in Space once in this blog post…
You get the picture. It’s an easy means of transportation when you’re hot and tired but keeps the story alive. The On-Stage Tour brings back a little bit of the cheesiness and character that parks need more of. Is this idea about 100 times more expensive than the other two? Yuuup! But we’ll sort that out during the other half of the baking.
What is your favorite half baked idea? Let us know in the comments below! Planning a Disney trip? Check out our Travel Guides to help get you there! If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney please subscribe to the blog via email or WordPress and like our social media pages. You can find all of those things on the right side of this page. Thank you very much for reading, we appreciate it!
Categories: Weird Stuff