What theme park shows should Disney make for its streaming service?

March 28, 2018, 2:29 PM · Disney CEO Bob Iger has said that the company is planning to launch its own Netflix-style streaming television service within the next few years. With a massive library of films and television shows, Disney should have no problem filling this service with more than enough entertainment to satisfy its subscribers once it launches.

But for how long? We binge-watching TV fans can be insatiable. Many of us have watched most, if not all, of Disney's movies multiple times already, and some of us have plowed through the Mouse's TV archive, as well. Disney fans are going to want to watch some fresh productions made exclusively for Disney's streaming service, as well as having access to Disney's archive of filmed entertainment.

And a Twitter user has an outstanding idea for what one of those original series might be.

I love it! (The reference, if you didn't get it.) I 100 times would rather watch this take on Pirates of the Caribbean than sit though one more Johnny Depp film. But what other theme park-inspired concepts could Disney develop for its streaming service? Let's let our imaginations run wild, shall we?

As for another Breaking Bad-inspired series, might I suggest...

Hightower: Featuring the ongoing battle between Harrison Hightower and his allies in the Society of Explorers and Adventurers, and the more forward-thinking members who try to stop their exploitation of native peoples and natural resources.

Here's another scripted series idea, inspired by Disney's theme parks...

Main Street USA: A whimsical and inspiring family dramedy about a turn-of-the-20th-century community in Missouri. (I'd use the Carousel of Progress family as the launch point for this show.)

And for some reality show concepts...

Project Imagination: A reality show around Walt Disney Imagineering's annual Imaginations competition for aspiring theme park designers.

The Most Magical Race on Earth: An Amazing Race-style family competition through the world's Disney theme parks.

It's a Small World IRL: Profiling amazing and inspirational children from around the world.

I'd love to hear some more ideas. What theme park-inspired concepts do you have for a Disney streaming television channel?

Replies (32)

March 28, 2018 at 2:38 PM ·

The utilidoors fascinate people, so a documentary series profiling regular cast members behind the scenes is a must.

March 28, 2018 at 2:39 PM ·

Haunted Mansion show!!! About the legend of the Bride. Or a spin off of the Phantom Manor perhaps!

March 28, 2018 at 2:43 PM ·

I love Chad’s idea. IF it was a Vanderpump Rules-style reality show revealing the real/shady side of working for the Mouse. I don’t miss those days. Filthy.

March 28, 2018 at 4:00 PM ·

Chad H and 66.87.128.147, do you really want to see Cinderella backstage smoking a cigarette? I have. Never-would-Disney-ever. What goes on backstage needs to stay backstage.

March 28, 2018 at 4:08 PM ·

I still like my idea from a couple of years ago. ;-)

"WestDisneyWorld: a group of Disney animatronics, led by the Goofslinger, rebel against their overlord Imagineers and take revenge on the world."

March 28, 2018 at 4:27 PM ·

"Coup de Gracey"--Weekly anthology show about doomed souls and how each eventually retires to a delightfully unlivable sanctuary.

"The Great Sithish Baking Show"--Contestant chefs from around the world are challenged to create Star Wars-themed meals and snacks. On a strict time limit. Yesterday! Please?!

"The Hall of Precedents"--a Ken Burns-style photodocumentary about the great inventions through history.

"Little Orphan Animatronic"--My proposal for a title for the "Red Head Pirate" show above.

"Niles: Voyager"--A former Attractions Host comments engagingly on current theme park development.

"The Skeleton Dance"--Aging Disney properties are continually resurrected and remade to maintain copyright.

"Starskye and Hutt"--Mismatched buddy cops solve interplanetary crimes in a galaxy far, far away.

“Toonton Abbey”—Residents of Toonton worry that the property will fall to the aggressions of Arendell. Tensions rise when J. Thaddeus signs over the deed to an owl.


March 28, 2018 at 4:27 PM ·

Game of Thrones style tv show where every land at MK is a land in Game of Thrones. Get the dragons, evil queens and heroes in a row to fight for the throne in Cinderella Castle.

WestWorld in Epcot, no more underpaid staff but robots. But the Disney company aren't out of the problems because a robot uprising is at hand.

The Haunted Mansion, Eddie Murphy...oh wait scap that one.

March 28, 2018 at 4:57 PM ·

Steve B - absolutely. It is real. It is what happens with these people who are paid to play make believe for other people’s benefit. It isn’t a show that would be forced on anyone, not in my mind. But if people are so “Cinderella’ed” up that they cannot handle it as something real, then maybe they should reconsider how they spend their vacation $.

BTW - Cinderella smoking is the PG version of what I have seen. And I still love Disney parks.

March 28, 2018 at 5:21 PM ·

I have plenty of ideas for the streaming service and Disney's TV.

Pirates of the Caribbean spin-off series, Haunted Mansion animated show, etc. Those are based on Disney's theme park rides

March 28, 2018 at 5:22 PM ·

Once Upon A Time was botched. Not sure they can pull it off. Good shows need to be true to the material. Disney is in a SJW phase. Wrinkle In Time and The Last Jedi is ruined.

March 28, 2018 at 5:28 PM ·

Will those are hilarious!

March 28, 2018 at 5:29 PM ·

Other than the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, I can't think of a single thing Disney has made based off a theme park attraction that I actually enjoyed.

March 28, 2018 at 5:53 PM ·

Why Hasn't Disney used the KIngdom Keepers that use all the parks and a lot of the characters.

March 28, 2018 at 6:00 PM ·

There was the Big Thunder project that was shelved a couple of years ago. I believe there was an actual pilot.

In addition to their vast library, for original series I can see a Disney trivia based game show or an animation based reality competition series.

March 28, 2018 at 7:38 PM ·

I'd like to see a Tomorrowland series, based on the movie and the Before Tomorrowland book.

March 28, 2018 at 9:05 PM ·

I was thinking a similar theme for an It's A Small World show but use little people not children. It seems every other network has a show with LPs so this could be Disney's chance to get in the game! Although the band wagon might have already passed a few years ago.

Also definitely yes to a Haunted Mansion show and spinoffs and animated series! Guillermo Del Toro promised a new job Eddie Murphy live action movie at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con but almost 8 years later and no dice. We really need to get a new not so corny version of this story! Until then I'll continue to watch Eddie while I cry! Haha

March 29, 2018 at 4:58 AM ·

In the early years of the Disney Channel I loved watching Vault Disney and Quack Attack. The early Disney stuff is still very entertaining

March 29, 2018 at 6:27 AM ·

Game of Magic Thrones: Between the Kingdoms of Magic a war is rising. The Queen in the Castle has to fight for the magic throne form the evil in the other lands.

Tower of Terror, but done as the Love Boat. Every week new guests will find frighteningly fun and love in the haunted hotel.

The C-Team, it's like the A-Team but with the customer service team. If no castmember can help you, just call the C- Team!

Late Night Talk Show with the Talking Trashcan.

The adventures of Figment and Dreamfinder, a new animated series that is going to be so successful the ride will get an overhaul and will become amazing again.

A sitcom using the set of Carousel of progress. This seemingly happy family will struggle with new gadgets and progress but the love for each other will concur the new dishwasher and the home-computer.

Space Mountain, a gritty sci-fi series about a mountain that holds space!The space captain and his crew will find the edge of space...every episode.

Fire Hoof, the gripping story about a man and it's horse. The horse walks the parade and the man collect his "accidents" while bringing joy to the world.

Water-parks-watch, a real life, Baywatch like, show about the life guards at the Disney Waterparks and hotels. Lots of slow motion camera action.

Rescue Team, a Thunderbird's like show where a team of heroes with different vehicles who safe guests from defunct rides like a broken Splash Mountain or Monorail.

G.U.A.R.D.S. The guardians of the World use their super powers and super metal detectors to keep terrorists and mass murders from entering the world.

Mister Robot like show about data mining and manipulation for endless profit of the team that sold you the Magic Band.

Parking lot ponies, the real life show about the exciting life of the parking lot workers.

So you think you can cook, a cooking program showing the amazing menus the chefs come up with at the self service restaurants and the staff they hire.
(Also watch Cup Cake the decoration show).

There also needs to be a 24 hour Tell Sell like canal showing off all the amazing souvenirs they have a hard time to sell in the park and shove them off with a discount.

Lip Sync Battle, the best non live singing performers battle it out every week for a huge price, a contract for the next year.

Suits, no it's not a show about the board of directors (although that would be fun), no this is about the character performers. The show is called Sweat and Foam about performers busting their balls to make it to the top.

The apprentice, Disney Edition. Do you have what it takes to be the new CEO of the Walt Disney Company? You are fired!

March 29, 2018 at 5:11 AM ·

With the success of Netflix's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' (a franchise that is BEGGING for a theme park/dark ride footprint -- or it's own island at IOA) I would suggest turning the YA book series 'Kingdom Keepers' into a multi-episode production.

March 29, 2018 at 6:25 AM ·

I am a theater lover, and loathe the idea of streaming, as I see it as a potential diminishment of good films in theaters. An example is how Paramount is selling off films to Netflix, and Netflix does not release films in theaters. At least Amazon released its films in theaters. One of my kids forced us to get Netflix, and my fears remain. I am afraid Disney will back off releasing classing films on blu-ray and 4K in favor of their service (where is 20,000 Leagues?). Now I will get off my soapbox.

I would hope they would have classic programs like The Wonderful World of Disney, Disneyland, and the classic shorts, obviously. In keeping with the spirit of the post, why not a weekly journey into the parks segment with some comedian going into a separate park? With all the water parks and such, that would be a series in and of itself. Another would be Backstage Disney that shows underneath the parks and what happens once the parks close.

Now back to my soapbox. I am not sure I would be willing to subscribe to another service unless they show a willingness to support theatrical and physical copy releases. I know I am one person, but that is how I feel. If the programs are great, I am sure that will affect my decision. Each year I see Disney as a company sliding ever so slightly away from the customer is always first. I do think they could easily turn this around with a different management approach. Companies used to send managers to Disney to learn how to best achieve top level customer service. I wonder if they still do?

March 29, 2018 at 7:53 AM ·

A show based on the novel series Kingdom Keepers!
(you know, those books about kids stuck on Disney Parks while the rides come alive? I only ever read one book of the series, but it was pretty good).

March 29, 2018 at 8:19 AM ·

OT, I would watch all of those shows. I'm picturing the Trash Can sitting at a desk while various celebrities, ride vehicles, solar panels and recycling bins take turns on the couch.

March 29, 2018 at 8:45 AM ·

Great idea Luke Fouyer!

March 29, 2018 at 8:50 AM ·

>>>Chad H and 66.87.128.147, do you really want to see Cinderella backstage smoking a cigarette? I have. Never-would-Disney-ever. What goes on backstage needs to stay backstage.

I agree that character actors would be out of bounds, but there are plenty of other staff who it would be interesting to follow.

March 29, 2018 at 9:18 AM ·

Kingdom Keepers adaptation would be perfect for the streaming service. Shoot at night at Disney World and Disneyland and reinvent some classic Disney characters for new people. This would be perfect. Also, Bridge to Neverland would be a great book to adapt.

March 29, 2018 at 9:24 AM ·

Just read the other comments above my previous one, and discovered I came late to the party

March 29, 2018 at 12:12 PM ·

I thinking a night in the museum style show where the attractions get up at night.

March 30, 2018 at 9:37 AM ·

There are some great ideas here (both in the article and in the comments), but my favorite, by far, is the PUSH the Trash Can talk show. I would love to see attractions highlighted in various ways. Space Mountain/Mission to Mars related to actual space travel footage, Country Bear Jamboree compared to other bluegrass/country videos of similar variety shows, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride interspersed with "Mr. X" Goofy driving clips as well as "Dad, Can I Borrow the Car?", Big Thunder mixed with old west stories (both real and legend). And, of course, Haunted Mansion clips mixed with actual (well, "actual" should be in quotes there -- while I do believe in ghosts, I agree that most videos are bunk) paranormal activity.

I'd love to see new documentaries about the creation of different shows and attractions, as well.

But, seriously, the PUSH talk show beats every single one of my suggestions.

March 30, 2018 at 11:08 AM ·

I had some ideas, but then I read James Trexon's idea of WestDisneyWorld. The best idea has already been written!

March 30, 2018 at 11:10 AM ·

Oh JC, you're fighting a losing battle on that one!

March 30, 2018 at 4:15 PM ·

While a lot of these are funny I think Robert had the best idea yet — a series that revolves the exploits of the the members of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.) seems like a no-brainer.

Or maybe based on unbuilt Disney theme park lands. For example: “The Chronicles of Discovery Bay” or “The Beastly Kingdom.”

One of my favorite interpretation of Alice in Wonderland was the 2009 Canadian miniseries (Syfy) “Alice” because it cleverly reimagined it as a modern science fiction fantasy. I would like to see Disney do a series like that. For example, I know the film “AI” was loosely based on Pinocchio but I think it could be done again, this time more closely adhering the main elements of the story.

April 2, 2018 at 8:56 AM ·

As much fun as some of these things sound, I'll echo the sentiments of a previous poster: All it would take to make me a subscriber to a Disney streaming service would be access to the great old VAULT DISNEY treasure trove, particularly WALT DISNEY PRESENTS and programs like DISNEYLAND USA. The DVDs are terrific but making these shows available to a newer, larger audience only makes great marketing sense. Now to put that BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD movie back in production...

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