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Pride Mountain

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Pride Mountain

Because "The Lion King" deserves its own ride!


Okay, I know this is going to raise a lot of questions about my social life, but you have to understand that I’ve been ill, out of college and bored at home for the best part of a week.


Anyway!… (Long post ahead warning)


See, I loved “The Lion King”. I thought it was pretty much Disney’s greatest success in the animated film scene. It really captured my imagination as a kid.

Rather disappointingly though, they have never really translated this piece of awesomnery (That is totally a word..) into their theme parks!

I mean, we get a few models, character meets and a restaurant… Where’s the interaction there?!


Well, since they’ve insisted on wasting this perfect opportunity, I took it upon myself to do their job for them… Well, up to the end of the brainstorm session anyway. I kinda lack the ability to construct hundred foot mountains.


Right, so onto the ride. I love Indiana Jones Adventure. The EMV ride system is just pure genius. So I’m going to steal that idea, and expand on it. Then there’s Tower of Terror. Also great. But how to mix the two and still manage to incorporate the Lion King theme…


An outdoor Safari themed EMV ride system, which drives around Pride Rock amidst the action of the film before a performing a dramatic freefall finale.


But enough talk, more visuals. So you know what I’m talking about and wont get too bored…



This is the layout. As you can see, the ride path is light green which darkens in places where the route goes underground in tunnels.

The brown splat shape is in fact the mountain in plan view. The grey blocky section on the rear of it is an extra ride space warehouse type structure.


But wait.. EMV vehicles can't do that. They can only run indoors, out of the weather!?



..So it'll need a more advanced version. Something stronger, more powerful and better in the computer-frazzling rain...

For purely aesthetic reasons, the car has a canvas ‘roof’ like real safari cars. I know this would block the passenger view, so it’d probably have to loose that.. Bah, I didn’t think it through.


Okay, the basics and structures are there, now for the ride experience. This will be long, cause I’ve been lame enough to plot each little detail. So if you don’t fancy doing a whole lot of reading, just scroll down quickly and pick up the illustrated bits.


Tourist Centre

The ride starts in the “Pride Rock Safari” tourist centre where the indoor queue weaves amongst various safari related items (Mounted skulls. Photographs, etc). Eventually you reach the main loading room where Safari trucks travel single-file between two raised platforms, one for ride staff, and one for boarding guests. The trucks are loaded with twelve guests arranged in three rows of four. These trucks are the EMV ride vehicles.


Once everyone is seated and secured (Lap seatbelt), the truck drive slowly out the station and down a small exit ramp onto the plains of the park. As the vehicle descends the ramp the four pneumatic actuators are raised and the ride program reset.


The plains

The start of the journey has the vehicle meandering gently along a dirt track, accompanied by a cheesy tourist information video (Ride safety spiel) and a faint version of the film’s “This Land” musical score.


Guests are driven towards a flimsy-looking river crossing where the first display of the ride’s powerful movement system is given. The truck jostles and bounces over the small bridge before continuing past a couple of animatronic Giraffes and gently off towards the base of Pride Rock.


The Tour Path

The truck slows briefly to allow guests to regard the information board and journey ahead (Revealing the sight of various vehicles darting in and out of the rockwork overhead) before crawling forwards and driving up onto a wooden road. This road laces around the mountain just below the main plateau and through the first major scene, a lion cave where the animatronic felines gaze at the truck with a yawn as it trundles by. The truck stops briefly for this scene and then pulls away to continue along the track.


End of the road

The truck follows this road steadily as it leads across a decorative waterfall structure. The benefit of the weather-resistant EMV vehicles means that the guests can be splashed occasionally by the dripping rockwork. A small corner leads the truck into a second cave, this time occupied by a group of more intimidating figures, Scar (the films villain) and his posse of hyena henchmen.

As the truck tries to creep by unnoticed, Scar is overheard talking about his evil plans to overthrow the monarchy, setting the story for the rest of the ride. Suddenly the vehicle jolts to the left, narrowly avoiding a fearsome hyena animatronic who’s suddenly taken an interest in the tourists. The truck pulls away quickly and re-routes off the track to get the guests out of trouble, scurrying around the edge of a crumbling rock path to a more frantic audio exert from the film’s “King of Pride Rock” song. The wooden tour path ends abruptly and a moment of sudden airtime is felt as the truck leaps off the safety of the man-made track and onto the raw rockwork beneath. A sharp hairpin turn to the left keeps the truck from falling off the mountain (Although the crashed wreck in the bushes below suggests previous guides were less fortunate) and into a very dark and misty cave.


The Plateau

The truck slows down again and slinks into the darkness, turning down the tourist audio so the “driver” can concentrate. As things get a little too dark, the vehicle’s high beams are clicked on, throwing light around the little room and revealing a horrifying scene of a dozen or so hyenas preparing to attack.

The vehicle leans back with the screech of tyres and accelerates at full speed to escape, reaching the ride’s top (Horizontal..) speed of 35mph before bursting out of the mist and onto rocky outcrop of the Pride Rock Plateau.

Unfortunately, the tip of this platform of reached pretty quickly at such a speed, and guests are treated to a terrifying handbrake turn that keeps them from plummeting the 50ft drop onto the roof of the tourist centre. The vehicle rocks and steadies for a moment before the gearbox is heard grinding back into action and it heads back down the mountain.



This is a sorta cut-out view of the warehouse section at the rear of the mountain, showing what’d be inside it. Hopefully it doesn’t look too confusing and you can fill in the gaps with your imagination…


Caves of Destiny

Not really wanting to chance taking the same path back through the hyena caves, the tour is forced to delve deeper into the mountain structure through a small opening on the left. The vehicle bounced and rattles violently over the rocky terrain, ducking to avoid the tangled mess of thorns of shrubbery hanging from the ceiling. The pace slows down again as the vehicle enters a larger room where an animatronic Simba is seen staring into the twilight sky (all projected). His father’s ghostly apparition reminds his of his family duty before swirling away in a blast of compressed air towards the truck. The lights go out and the vehicle trundles deeper into the darkness.

A few more twisted and rough turns in the darkness follow, scaring riders with the sound of dripping dark caves and the occasional twinkle of a bat’s eyes.



The second half of the warehouse area, leading back into the main mountain structure..


Be Prepared

The vehicles banks around the corner and bursts into the ride’s largest and most elaborate show rooms. A massive open cave of fire and lava, guarded wall-to-wall by hyenas and littered with thousands of elephant bones.

Jets of steam and fire erupt around the truck and it desperately tries to navigate the rocky cavern, the famous “Be Prepared” sound echoing around the interior. Cackling hyenas grin down at you, mocking your powerless descent as the vehicle skids and bumps down the spine of a particularly large skeleton structure and lands with a jolt at the foot of Scar’s (Audio Animatronic figure) throne.

After interrupting Scar’s war speech so rudely he’s not looking so pleased with the tour groups arrival. He crouches to swipe at riders (which the car tilts heavily to one side to avoid) and the truck screeches back into action, accelerating quickly into a steamy opening ahead


The eruption

Unfortunately for the tour, this opening leads absolutely nowhere. The truck crashes (Simulated, of course. The car’s hood will be fitted with it’s own animation system which will crumble it in time with the impact) into the rocky wall ahead and bounces back into the centre of a tiny circular room, engine stalling and headlight smashed out of action. Riders hear the desperate attempts to restart the engine whirring ahead of them whilst from behind them, low growls and cruel laughter suggests the evil community is stalking them from the previous room.

Suddenly, the room glows red from the floor up, steam and smoke billows from various cracks in the walls and the animals behind can be heard reluctantly backing away. Tension is held for a moment longer with the gradual swelling of a deep rumbling sound as clamps secretly secure the ride vehicle to the platform of a powerful lift mechanism.

With a blast of light, noise, heated air and smoke effects the vehicle is forced upwards on a simulated blast of volcanic activity. The ride vehicles motion system will still be in action, rocking and bumping violently about as if the rock it was riding were grinding against the walls of the vertical chute.

About 60ft up, the view ahead is opened to the daylight through a vertical cut on the face of the mountain, showing guests just how high and fast they are rising.



A profile cut-away view of the mountain and the secret ride system that gives the attraction its ass-whooping finale.


The fall

The elevator slows down quickly, floating riders out their seats before steadying at the last open window of the mountain, roughly around the 160ft mark. The ride vehicle tilts forwards for a moment, cruelly forcing guests to observe the view below, then slowly reclines as the elevator starts moving again, lifting the riders into the very top room of Pride Rock. Ahead on a large screen projection, Scar and Simba fight atop the mountain and finally re-enact the dramatic kicking throw scene of the film. Simultaneously to Scar being thrown off the rock, the elevator system releases and the ride vehicle crashes back down the shaft in a 175ft freefall…


King of Pride Rock

The bottom of the shaft this time is entirely in the dark except for a projected video clip ahead of Scar limping away defeated. Also feeling pretty battered and worn from the adventure, the ride vehicle finally clatters into life and splutters onwards to the sound of A dragging exhaust pipe…

The tour descends out the cave and into the final show scene, a whole host of animatronic figures bowing respectfully to a proud Simba watching over his prize pride lands with the dramatic main film score playing all around.


Please take all litter with you…

The vehicle creeps around a corner and right back into the tourist centre from where you started your journey. You exit through a different room to that which you boarded the ride, leaving behind a rather worn and tattered looking jeep. The ride vehicles crawls out of sight, reset themselves to their original state and proceed back into the loading room to begin the next journey.

Guests leave through the Tourist Centre gift shop (ride gift shop…) and on-ride photo collection point.



Yup, so that’s my idea. I congratulate anyone who decided to hear me out. It must have been painfully long


One more thing. I recently obtained an audio mixing program, and have been itching to use it. So I created the ride’s main audio. It’s pretty basic, cause I had to rely on existing sounds and musical scores, but hopefully it’ll make sense. I’ve attached it to this post in a zip file along with the ride show scene timings.


(deep breath)


So…. Does anyone else think that the Imagineers should do more with this prime opportunity? I know a certain Paris park that is just perfect for a nice, big, unique attraction




Ride Audio

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Actually, what you SHOULD do is submit it to ride design company that is not Disney since Disney doesn't accept any outside submissions. Work for a company for a few years, and then use that experience to get a job at Disney, if that's what you still wanted to do.


There are many other independant studios that do ride and theming design work which might actually be impressed with this. Or at very least LOOK at it, which is not something that Disney would even do.


Looks great, man! You've got talent and I hope you get to put it to good use someday.



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Actually, what you SHOULD do is submit it to ride design company that is not Disney since Disney doesn't accept any outside submissions. Work for a company for a few years, and then use that experience to get a job at Disney, if that's what you still wanted to do.


There are many other independant studios that do ride and theming design work which might actually be impressed with this. Or at very least LOOK at it, which is not something that Disney would even do.


Looks great, man! You've got talent and I hope you get to put it to good use someday.




i agree

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I don't even know where to start in congratulating you for this wonderful project, but it is absolutely amazing. No one would ever take all of that time out and create sketches and audio. It is something that I would definitely ride, and all I can say is, if you enjoy doing this, get all of this stuff patented, and then get a job. A lot of companies would want some one like you. I would love to see any other rides you have come up with or come up with in the future.


Doug *Absolutely shocked* Stanton

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This is an incredible ride design! You obviously put a lot of effort into this creative process.


I wish Disneyland would bulldoze the outdated Submarine attraction and build your idea in its place.


Nice Job! What a great post!


If Disney had more Imaginers like you, their creative success would be beyond belief.


You came up with a truely unique and amazing ride concept.


Once you graduate from college, do us all a favor and become a Disney Imaginer! We will be grateful for it!

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Wow...this easily looks nicer than most stuff Disney has done recently. But whatever you do, do NOT submit it to them, or it will immediatley go into the trash since they don't accept any unsolicited ideas. Too bad I probably won't ever get to ride this ride, as it looks really, really awesome!



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Ok, OK, OK, I've thought about this, and the only flaw you have in this is your eruption chamber, and its not how you do the chamber, but its how would you keep the cars flowing without backing up and waiting a in a huge line, or stopping frequntly. Obviously you would stop the cars at specific locations so trains could smoothly go into the chamber and not back up. Even Indiana Jones has specific waiting points for cars to go through before they hit the boulder, ect, and it would the basic idea, except this is on a grander scale.

So basically, how you handle the capacity thing? DO you think your design would allow for well flowing ride with only 1 eruption chamber? Or do you think you would need 2 different chamber? Or what? Ellaborate


Also, I think this would be a perfect edition for the animal kingdom, even though they already use this ride system, but they also use the same ride systems for a bunch of stuff at Disneyland resort, so you can argue that point across.

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As a mass disney fan I must say Holy crap..in a hand basket !


You've combined the ideals of The Lion King, Tower of Terror, Soarin, Dinosaur and so many others like Test track, Indiana jones, Journey to the center of the earth! to a huge level. I can't begin to say how awsome it is.


Oh and those trucks remind me of a mix between the Safari ride at Animal Kingdom trucks, The Rhino Rally trucks and the Indy/Dino trucks.


Which hints that Vekoma can help build it LMAO!

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Wow, I am so amazed! This beats out all of Disney's ideas for rides in the past! I agree with BelizeIt, they should take out the Submarine lagoon and build this ride. The only problem is that it wouldn't fit with the land. It would have to be in Adventureland.


^^ I also think that would be a problem. But also, there is many parts in the ride where you stop.


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Creative, professional, brilliant...


That ride isn't even good enough for any park including Disney. If Dinosaur and the Kilimanjaro safaris weren't at AK, that would be a great addition.


Keep up the art! I haven't seen talent like that in like... never mind, I never have seen talent like that.


All I can say is wow... let's see some more stuff!

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^ I don' think he's what they're looking for. See, it says here....

We are searching for outstanding talent, and we are especially hopeful that talented women and minority students will participate.

I don't think it falls under the "outstanding" catagory, oh no, he's gone above and beyond with this idea.

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