From the files of Disney “Did-You-Know?’ here is something else you can add to the list of “things you never knew you never knew!”

It is always fascinating to discover ideas, dreams, and concepts that are part of the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. This one is a concept that never came into existence, but who knows? Someday it just might.

The United Kingdom Pavilion in Epcot is a great place to visit. During the 1980’s, Imagineers began playing with an idea that would add a boat ride attraction to the pavilion. The thinking revolved around a Thames River Ride. The ride would have taken guests by and through some of the sights of Old London town. Big Ben, The Tower of London, and even the Houses of Parliament would be places guests would get to see.

thames-river-ride-at-epcotThe relaxing, easy flowing, log flume styled ride would be part entertainment and part educational as it was originally designed. The picture with this post is created by Harper Goff, a Disney Imagineer, and as you can see – pictures guests traveling under a night-time sky past some of the landmarks mentioned.

Although this idea never became a reality, it reminds us of the way that dreams and visions sometimes journey through our own lives. Any idea, any dream, any vision, any desire has a beginning and from that moment on begins a journey. The trip can be fast or slow, straight or winding, it can sometimes stall, sometimes gain momentum, and other times flow into another stream of ideas and thoughts, which might even lead to bigger dreams. The thing to remember is to always keep moving forward. Dreams and visions are often discovered as we ride the currents that keep our lives in motion.

Although I love the idea of this type of attraction, I am certain that costs, perceived needs, and lack of sponsorship are the reasons that this boat ride never got too far away from the dock. But think of the other ideas and concepts this dream might have inspired. We may never know, but again we are reminded that sometimes the things that mean the most and impact us the most are often discovered on the journey toward something else. The key is to make sure that we keep our eyes open and don’t miss a moment of the world that is unfolding before us.

(Research for this article draws from The Walt Disney World That Never Was by Christopher Smith – Theme Park Press)



This article is by author Jeff Dixon. Jeff has written a series of novels set in and around Walt Disney World entitled, The Key to the Kingdom, Unlocking the Kingdom, Storming the Kingdom, and as mentioned and linked above Terror in the Kingdom. He is also the author of The Disney Driven Life. The book that draws life lessons and leadership principles from the history and life of Walt Disney. Some know Jeff as Dixon On Disney – and he resources and comments on Disney history, attractions, and news. He is a researcher that draws heavily on the incredible works of Disney historians and biographers with an attempt to understand and apply the life lessons that are uncovered. He is also a storyteller that transports readers into a world beyond their imagination.