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Encanto Casita

An eclectic home residing in a misty rainforest; otherworldly rooms with fantastic sights and sounds; shimmering, magical energy radiating out from an enchanted source, and sending music flowing down every hallway... Surely, the idea of an enchanted home brought to life with color, music, and mayhem brings an image to your mind... but which image likely depends on whether you're thinking Animation or Imagineering...

Welcome back to our "What If...?" miniseries, where we "Blue Sky" brainstorm a just-crazy-enough-to-be-possible Imagineering idea. Already, we've wondered "What if Rock 'n' Roller Coaster entered The Twilight Zone?" and "What if Alien Encounter was reborn at Universal's Jurassic Park?" Today, we'll look into the not-so-far-fetched possibility that one of Disney's 60th Feature Animation film could be just the Trojan horse Imagineers need to sneak one of the best Disney dark rides in the world into the U.S. parks... 

The Problem

Image: Disney

Look, Disney Parks have their fair share of haunted houses. A stately white plantation home on the edge of the French Quarter at Disneyland; the wind-swept, coastal, red brick New England manors at Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland; even the rotting ruins of a gold miser's possessed homestead in Paris. Each is a classic, beloved by generations. But one of Disney's "Haunted Mansions" is unlike any other.

Deep in Hong Kong Disneyland resides Mystic Point – a remote rainforest estate somewhere in Papua New Gineau – where the elaborately enchanting home of Lord Henry Mystic awaits. Opened in 2013, the Hong Kong exclusive E-Ticket is considered one of the greatest dark rides ever created... and anyone who'd "stepped inside" via our in-depth Modern Marvels: Mystic Manor feature knows why.

Image: Disney

After a kindly introduction from the gracious Lord Mystic, guests board "Mystic Magneto-Electric Carriages" (that is, trackless ride vehicles) that whisk them into the retired adventurer's cataloguing room to get a glimpse of his newest and most treasured acquisition: a magical musical box whose enchanted tunes are said to grant life to the lifeless. Of course, one tap by Lord Mystic's curious monkey companion Albert opens the box, releasing waves of sparkling "music dust" that race through the home, awakening Mystic's artifacts from around the globe. Mystic Manor ends with guests witnessing the house literally tearing itself apart... until Albert manages to trap the music, close the box, and restore peace to the home at last. 

Image: Disney

For fans of Walt Disney Imagineering, Mystic Manor is a Mecca; a must-see masterpiece that's made all the more magnificent for being found only at the most remote (and frankly, most easily overlooked) Disney Resort on the planet. So it's easy to imagine why – since its opening! – fans have rallied to have Mystic Manor copied-and-pasted to their home parks. Fans insist it would fit perfectly in Disney California Adventure's Grizzly Peak (simply swapping Mystic's retirement place from a jungle to California's redwood forests), Magic Kingdom's Adventureland, or even in Animal Kingdom (where, for example, it could replace Rafiki's Planet Watch entirely). 

But as any Disney Parks fan will tell you, it's been a long, long time since any U.S. Disney Park opened a major ride without a blockbuster movie tie-in. Mystic Manor might be one of the greatest rides in the world, but without Disney, Pixar, Marvel, or Star Wars attached? Forget it...

Don't misunderstand: most Imagineering fans (including us!) would do anything have to Mystic Manor brought to the United States with its S.E.A.-faring story intact. It's an absolute masterpiece that shouldn't be changed. But realisticallyif it seems unlikely that the American parks stand a chance of getting Mystic Manor without an IP-based rewrite, how could we capture the spirit, excitement, music, and magic of the ride... with a Disney property? 

The Proposal

Image: Disney

In 2021, Disney released their 60th Feature Animated film – Encanto. Set in the rainforests of Columbia, Encanto tells of the family Madrigal, wherein each child for generations has been given a "gift," bestowed and maintained by a magical candle. Each member of the enchanted Madrigals uses his or her gift to build and protect the village that's grown around their enchanted, musical Casita (a mystical, living house that practically serves as a member of the family) where glowing doors act as portals into magical realms corresponding to each person's talent.

So imagine, if you will, a journey into La Casita Encantada! On the next page, we'll sketch out a "Blue Sky" idea for bringing Mystic Manor to life... in a new way...

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Comments

Epcot Needs South American Representation. Colombia, Encanto's Setting, Is In South America. A Colombia Pavilion Would Fit Nicely At The African Area Between China And Germany. AK Already Has Africa. The Queue Would Be A Rainforest With A Central Area Featuring The River Where 2 Certain Plot Relevant Events Happen. The Vehicles Could Be Palm, Liana, And Flowering Vine Themed, Seeing That Isabella Uses Vines To Swing Around Like Tarzan Or Rapunzel. And In Her Song, A Tree Raises Her And Mirabel Up Into the Sky, Along With A Liana That Raises Mirabel. They NEED An Arepa Con Queso Place If They Do This.

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