Western River Expedition...

Started by lil-shawn, June 06, 2009, 02:40:18 PM

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Hey guy´s i found this great idea on micechat.com. i think the storyline is great
and would fit perfectly in our frontierland, about the music am not so sure, it should be
something who will be used just for the ride.
if they would build this version, just with the boats from pirates of the caribbean, and
this one big drop it would be cool and a people eater. also disney could make
a nice movie about the whole frntierland story with all 3 rides in it!
I know its a lot to read but it its worth...

QuoteWestern River Expedition

Our adventure into the old southwest begins at the northern tip of Frontierland, a small mountainous region marked by an abandoned portside mining town known as Rainbow Ridge. Once known for its rich sources of gold and silver, Rainbow Ridge has since gone to bust, due to a sudden shortage of precious resources, the result of a catastrophic earthquake. The Big Thunder Mining Company on the southern side of the river has been abandoned due to ghost sightings, many of the hotels and general stores of the city have been boarded up due to lack of customers, and the old Western River Shipping Company has been closed down for good...or has it?

Located deep within the heart of Thunder Mesa rests the rotting remains of the Western River Shipping Company, the one-time king of all waterways in the American west. Thunder Mesa known for its abundance in underground canals and waterfalls was the ideal place to set up shop for the shipping company, resulting in its foundation in 1839, and its sudden closure in 1869. After nearly thirty years of operation, the extremely successful trading company closed its doors to the public, its only customers being the rats and bats that lurked within the caverns. Like Big Thunder Mountain, Thunder Mesa now looms high over the river bend, a sad reminder to the residents of Rainbow Ridge of the glory days that had been swallowed by the sands of time.

Just around the corner of Thunder Mesa rests the city of Dry Gulch which has never been better! Both gold and oil have been found in the surrounding desert, and with all of those pioneers trailing on through, the city seems to be getting bigger and bigger! Once a part of the Western River Shipping Company, Dry Gulch depended on Rainbow Ridge for its valuable resources and goods; now that Rainbow Ridge is dead, Dry Gulch is completely self-dependent, relying on nobody for resources. Since life is all-around better in Dry Gulch, it has often been rumored that residents of Rainbow Ridge sneak into Thunder Mesa, board an old W.R.S.C. boat, and paddle their way through the underground channels to make new lives in Dry Gulch, which is just what we're going to do.

Walking past the Fisherman's Shack restaurant, we proceed directly onto the path that sends us into the heart of the mesa. Along the way we find abandoned windmills rotting among the dense foliage, a grim reminder of the past. Signs along the path point the way to the mesa's entrance, which appears to be the large mouth of a cavern. A large makeshift sign hangs above the cavern's entrance reading, "WESTERN RIVER EXPEDITION." Well this sign is just so darn exciting that we just have to go inside and check it out...which we do. The networks of caverns that compose the queue are dazzling. Beautiful waterfalls pour out into peaceful streams; a slight fog fills the air, the all-natural smell of chlorinated water dances about our noses, while well-placed black lights make the whole scene magical. Green and blue lights have also been placed in certain areas of the cavern, helping enforce the idea that we have entered Rainbow Caverns, Thunder Mesa's pride and joy. Every so often a small geyser will erupt from the earth and push itself up towards the sky, showcasing a multitude of colors in the process. Old mining supplies fill the caverns, embedded in rocks, left among the pools of water, or all together just abandoned. Rusted treadmills once used to carry gold through the mountain continue to run, their only occupants being small rocks that have fallen onto it from over time. Winding through the cavern a bit more we find ourselves outside of the cavern and into an outdoor canyon set in perpetual twilight. We have come across the ruins of the W.R.S.C., a rotting wooden fortress thrashed by the years. A peaceful river flows along the structure, presumably the river once used to ship cargo downriver. Every so often a wooden boat called a bateaux floats down the river, full of happy passengers. Wanting to discover how to get on our own bateaux we run straight for the shipping building, which is just full of western artifacts. Inside we find black and white photographs of gold miners and loggers along with proud pioneers trailing down the plains. Music from the attraction itself (Many of which are songs from the musical Oklahoma) play in quaint tunes while we meander through the queue. Trophies of deer, moose, buffalo, and bears hang along the walls, many of which hang behind the doors of the former river captain's office. It seems as if the office has become host to a family of runaway bandits, their stolen loot and weaponry placed carelessly around the room. Never the less we continue through the boathouse and eventually make our way down a set of creaking stairs that empty us out into the load area where our bateaux awaits us. With the help of a friendly cowboy or cowgirl, we board our bateaux (Three to a row, four rows) and take off into the starry night for the adventure of a lifetime. Turning a corner past several oddly shaped cacti, our bateaux is hoisted up onto a cargo ramp and past Hoot Gibson, a reoccurring talking owl. Hoot cheerfully gives us the safety spiel:

"Hoot, hoot! Howdy partners! For a safe voyage, be sure to keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the boat at all times, keeping an eye on all small children! Oh yes, and no flash pictures please...you don't want to start any stampedes now do you?"

At the top of the ramp we are dropped off somewhere in a pine forest at daybreak. Oversized novels rest along the banks of the river, depicting pictures of such western heroes as Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill, and Davy Crockett, the novels eventually giving way to the forest. "Oh What a Beautiful Morning," the opening number from "Oklahoma!" begins to play as we are introduced to the American frontier as it appeared in the days of covered wagons and pioneers. Hoot's voice can be heard from behind us:

"You know those clouds remind me of the old west. Wouldn't it be great if we could actually get back to the old west? You know, I can almost hear those old cowboys singing around the campfire now."

Sure enough the clouds in the early morning sky resemble cowboys, buffalo, horses, cattle, and guitars. Up ahead we find a guitar-playing cowboy a top his horse and singing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" to a trio of cattle that surround him. Across the river another trio of cattle moo in harmony with the song from behind a fence, several singing birds resting a top their heads. Further down the river we find a trio of coyotes howling in tune with the music, a pair of rattlesnakes shaking their tales to the music, and several humorously shaped cacti joining in on the song. Rounding a corner past a peaceful waterfall encircled by jumping fish, we are greeted by a large brown bear that emerges from the water, attempting to sing, only emitting a series of horrid groans and roars. Across the river two horrified coyotes plug their ears closed with their claws to drown out the noise of the tone-deaf bear. The forest soon changes into a rocky canyon, where once again we are greeted by Hoot Gibson whom sits a top a gnarled tree branch.

"Although the wilderness may seem beautiful, it could be a pretty dangerous place too! You never know, when a band of banditos may attack!"

Across from Hoot rest two vultures resting above a pile of steer bones, their heads turning in sync with our bateaux. Directly up ahead we find that a mariachi band...I mean a band of banditos are in the process of holding up a stagecoach crossing a bridge that spans the river. These banditos disguised by masks (As are their horses) play a new song, a demented guitar version of "We'll Meet Again" which is sung by the leader of the baddies. The frightened passengers of the stagecoach watch in horror as the armed bandits rob them of all their valuables. Luckily for us, our boat passes through without any trouble and takes us out of any danger...or so we think. Wild music can be heard in the distance as Hoot appears once again on another tree branch calling out to us:

"Uh oh, looks like you're heading on a direct course into Dry Gulch, the roughest territory in these parts! I'd mosey on back if I were you!"

Ignoring this bit of advice our bateaux continue on towards the music, floating directly into the territory of Dry Gulch. The farmers of Dry Gulch have had a successful season for crops while the cowboys of Dry Gulch have just come in from a big cattle drive, resulting in a humongous hoedown all throughout the town. "The Farmer and the Cowman," the big show-stopping number from "Oklahoma!" plays wildly throughout the town, accompanying a plethora of dancing showgirls, cowboys, farmers, and Indians. The first thing to greet us as we sail into Dry Gulch being a selection of showgirls singing and dancing a top an overturned Conestoga wagon, two drunken farmers cheering them on from the side. Several cowboys leaning against the side of a hotel fire their guns into the air while singing and hollering, one of their comrades firing guns from a top his horse...on top of a nearby saloon. Various townspeople watch on angrily, while cowboys and farmers cheer him on. Unfortunately, the owner of the saloon angrily levels the aim of his shotgun at the rooftop cowboy, hoping to rid of the nuisance. Further along we find a green-faced apothecary drinking his own potions, an Indian nose-to-nose with a wooden Indian, two farmers and a horse drinking moonshine from a massive barrel, two blushing cowboys watching a beautiful saloon girl sing a top a piano, a band consisting of an Indian chief on the banjo, a farmer on the corn jug, and a little boy on the washboard. Other sights include a cowboy taking his picture with a stuffed bear, an old woman dancing wildly about the town with several young girls, a smiling undertaker raising the prices of his sales, the town's drunken sheriff sleeping with his horse outside the jail, a peculiar lump tunneling its way from underneath the jail, and a farmer singing in the mud with a donkey and a pig. Gunshots fill the air as the bateaux sail right into the middle of a bank robbery. The music continues as some no-good outlaws fire Colt45's and shotguns from behind fallen safes and furniture, the town's police force returning fire from across the way. Often times a window from a nearby building will open up and reveal an angry woman leveling her own shotgun at the gunfighters, telling them to get along and be friends so that she can sleep. The bateaux round a corner and leave Dry Gulch behind following the sound of pounding drums and passing several red rock buttes that compose the Painted Desert. Bubbling mud pots welcome us to an Indian village where several Indians are performing a rain dance ceremony. Medicine men shake gourds, the chief pounds a drum, a trio of coyotes howl up into the nearly night sky, the village women sway in time with the music, while the village men dance in a circle far away a top a flat butte, already being pounded with an entourage of rain. "What Makes the Red Man Red" plays in an instrumental form paying a silent tribute to one of Walt's most cherished classics.

Although the rain dance wasn't all that successful, it did cause one thing to happen, that one thing being thunder and lightning. Lightning strikes from the sky and brutally attacks a nearby tree, sparking a massive forest fire in which we sail through. Flames completely encircle our bateaux and poor Hoot Gibson who can be found on a nearby tree attempting to blow the growing flames around him. Several of these flames make out the shapes of monsters and demons, their crackling noises sounding very similar to demonic laughter. Up ahead the same exact banditos from the beginning of the ride appear pointing their guns at us. Their leader glares upon us and gives us two choices:

"Well looks like you've got yourselves into some trouble mi amigos. Perhaps if you give us some kind of payment we can help you back to shore? No? Well then it's down the falls you go, adios!"

With that there is a loud crunching sound followed by a six story plunge down the side of Thunder Mesa and into the Rivers of America below.

After rounding a corner built into the Rivers of America, the bateaux turn back towards the mountain and renter through a small cave. Inside "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" plays once more, this time in a grand musical number. Several cowboys, farmers, showgirls, cowgirls, farm girls, children, Indians, and other assorted western folk have gathered around a steam train to bid farewell to the banditos whom have been captured and stuffed in a cattle car. Almost everyone here joins hands, even the train engineer whom holds hands with a small child being hoisted into the air. Across from the train a line of various western locals join hands and sway in time with the music, bidding us farewell. The bateaux drift out of the scene and pass underneath Hoot Gibson whom appears one last time, waving to us with his wing:

"And with that I bid you farewell, adios so to speak. Just do come back soon, you all hear?"

Passing past several more oversized novels depicting western culture, the boats pull back into the moonlit canyon and drop us off, allowing us to exit Thunder Mesa through the Western River Shipping Company gift shop, which sells everything related to the attraction, including a picture which was taken of us as we plummeted down the final drop.


Ah, this is probably the best atraction that was never built!

It was designed by Marc Davis (one of the greatest imagineers) as the alternative to Pirates of the Caribbean for WDW. The construction was delayed for after the park opening because of budget constraints, but once WDW opened the people complained about the absence of POTC, so Pirates got built instead, and then despite several attemps to get WRE built, it never came to be. Very sad story when you read about it....

Big Thunder Mountains comes directly from Davis' idea (originally the mountain was designed to help hide the WRE attracion building).

The name of Thunder Mesa in our Frontierland also come from Davis' concept, and some of the scenes in our Phantom Manor are also taken from WRE.

You never know, maybe some day it will get built...