Rhine River Cruise: Epcot Center's Cancelled Attractions Part 16

Epcot Center's Cancelled Attractions

Rhine River Cruise Rough Layout Epcot Disney World

Welcome back to Epcot Center's Cancelled attractions. If you missed any previous articles in this series be sure to check here. Today we are talking about one of the most famous canceled attractions from Epcot Center, the Rhine River Cruise, the canceled boat ride from the Germany Pavilion in World Showcase.

Now there are a lot of rumors about this attraction, and most are inaccurate so let us put them to bed. First of all, no the show building for this ride was not built.

As you can see in the rough diagram above, the Germany building appears to be missing an L shaped section of the building. That is where the ride was supposed to go, the rest of the building was always intended for shops and restaurants just as it currently features. The show building was never fully built, unlike Meet the World in Japan where the building was built but the attraction was not installed.

Now as you can see I have included the load and unload inside the building. It is believed that these were partially built when the park opened, with the intention of the rest of the ride being built at a later date, and images have leaked online suggesting this is the case. Whatever was there has long been dismantled and the area is now merely backstage space.

As for the content of what would have been in the ride, we don't know a lot. All of the publicly released concept art for this attraction is of the loading station, showing the ride vehicles for this attraction with one-sided viewing on a boat ride style attraction.

Descriptions of the show scenes describe miniature looks at the famous landmarks of Germany, suggesting it would not have featured massive show scenes but instead scenes relying heavily on forced perspective to make up for a relatively small show building, and it would only be located on one floor rather than two.

For comparison, the Malestrom/ Frozen Ever After building is about the size of the entire building for the Germany Pavilion, including the Biergarten restaurant. This would have been a smaller scale boat ride, something Disney had not really built at the time. It is more in line with Navi River Journey in Disney's Animal Kingdom in terms of scale, but would not have had screens and cutting edge technology to make up for a small footprint. 

It may have been more similar to a classic Fantasyland style dark ride in the form of a boat ride, which is unlike anything we have ever seen in a Disney Park.

This, had it been built, would have been the second boat ride without any drops in Epcot Center's World Showcase. It and El Rio Del Tiempo (which has since been rethemed to the Three Caballeros) would have been two very similar concepts for rides. Both were boat rides without large amounts of practical sets, and you have to wonder which would have turned out to be more popular. Also, it is fun to speculate what IP this ride would almost inevitably have been rethemed to by today.

Thanks for reading. If you missed any of the past entries in this series check here. Also, be sure to come back every Tuesday through the start of 2020 for the final articles in this series, which will end with a very special 25th article. There are still 10 articles left, so come back every Tuesday for the latest, including next week's look at the Original Space Attraction.