Many of Disney's most famous theme park attractions are based on movies produced by the company's animation studio - from opening day Disneyland attractions such as Peter Pan's Flight to recent additions such as the Magic Kingdom's Under The Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid.

On other occasions, Disney has partnered with other studios, striking licensing agreements that enable it to base attractions on their movies. The most famous example is probably Star Tours, developed in partnership with Lucasfilm during the 1980s (Disney, of course, went on to acquire Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012).

It's a safe bet that at any one time Disney's Imagineers are working on at least a dozen attraction concepts based on well-known movies. Right now, we're aware of at least five that have either been greenlighted or are close to being so. Let's take a look at what they are!

5. Tron: Legacy


It's long been rumored that a Tron-themed ride could be on its way to Disneyland's Tomorrowland, but those plans currently seem to be parked or forgotten altogether. Instead, Shanghai Disneyalnd will be the first park to host an attraction based on the franchise, which was rebooted in 2010 with Tron: Legacy.

The ride itself, dubbed Tron Lightcycle Power Run, is expected to be a motorbike-style roller coaster with several launch sections. We're expecting it to include more than one circuit, enabling two lightcycles to "duel" with each other just as they do in the movies. Look for it to open alongside the rest of the Chinese park in late 2015 or 2016.

4. Star Wars / Return of the Jedi

Millennium Falcon

Disneyland's Tomorrowland has long been rumored to be in line for a major overhaul - one that would see see a host of Star Wars-themed attractions introduced. However, according to rumors propagated by Micechat, the park could now be in line for something more ambitious: a whole land dedicated to Star Wars, repacing the Big Thunder Ranch and Mickey's Toontown. Take this rumor with a hefty pinch of salt, for now, as it seems that the plans are far from set in stone.


Star Wars Speeder Bike

More ambitious is a rumored speeder bike ride through the forests of Endor, based on scenes in Return of the Jedi. This could find its way into Disneyland (somewhere), as well as into the long-rumored Star Wars Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It would be an expensive proposition, though, so we'll have to wait and see whether Disney's money men give it the go-ahead.

3. Avatar

Pandora banshee artwork

Construction work is already underway on Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom, which will draw inspiration from James Cameron's Avatar and its upcoming sequels. The headline ride will be a flight simulator that places guests on the back of a banshee, the graceful creatures that feature prominently in the first movie.

Pandora boat ride artwork

The second ride in the area will be a boat ride through the forests of Pandora, complete with bioluminescent plantlife and animatronic creatures.

Pandora artwork

The land itself is set to be dynamic and interactive. It's clear from Disney's concept art that lighting will play a very important role in Pandora's theming. This could go as far as "ripple effects" built into the sidewalk, as well as glow-in-the-dark plants (Disney plans to open Animal Kingdom late into the evening once Pandora opens).



Bring on the sci fi and adventure....Frozen ride is horrid idea....hate toon based ipr

Star wars land is coming to Disney world, they have already started the process to starting it by shutting down rides and attractions like back lot tour and honey I shrunk the kids play area.

Quite a few new rides I agree with. Mist I don't. Avatar land pass, Star Wars land pass, Tron land pas. But Frozen ride go for it Disney. Current ride blows. didn't like it. Hope to see sime MAJOR upgrades in the next few years #disneysince83

You are missing the point with the current ride in Norway. World Showcase is represented by actual, REAL COUNTRIES, not fictional cartoon ones. It's bad enough that the Disney animated characters have infiltrated their respective countries, but to now have a "fake" country represented (when the ride REALLY belongs in new Fantasyland, at least, if not DHS) is an insult to the countries and cultures that paid to sponsor/staff the pavillions. No way is it a good idea to cash in on this soon-to-pass fad! #WDWSINCE72

You forget the "Ratatouille" ride set to open this summer in Disneyland Paris!

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