Every few years, amazing concept art is released, based on a rumored Villain park, Disney’s Dark Kingdom. The rumor of the park has been around for a long time. Imagineers credit the formation of the idea with the opening of Cinderella’s Castle Mystery Tour, at Tokyo Disneyland, in 1986.
The walk through attraction was the first Villain spotlight seen at the parks. It highlighted Chernabog, Lady Tremaine, Stromboli, Maleficent, The Evil Queen, and The Horned King in an attempt to “kill” the park guests. The ride was closed in 2006 because it was deemed too frightening, but its popularity spurred rumors that Disney was planning on opening a theme park based on the Disney Villains.
This rumor was bolstered when early plans for the space that currently holds the Ariel Meet and Greet and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh were discovered. One of the original rides suggested for this space was Villain Mountain. It was a flume ride, much like Splash Mountain, that featured multiple Disney Villains, ending with a pop out of Chernabog, and a downhill splash. Although it was just a concept, it made theme park goers hopeful that Disney did in fact have plans for a villain theme park.
Then, when Disney’s California Adventure opened its attraction, Blue Sky Cellar, plans were unveiled for a possible redo of the California Screamin’ Roller Coaster, based on the Disney Villains. The plan was to make the ride the center of an area of the park called Villain Village. Again, the plans never got to come to fruition, but it showed fans that Villains were on Disney’s mind.
The urban legend of the Dark Kingdom isn’t something Disney has completely ignored. In fact, the plans for Villain Mountain were edited to create Expedition Everest, and Disney Villain’s After Hours has become an extremely popular ticketed event at the parks. If Disney decides to open up a new park someday, the popularity of the original Disney Villains may make Disney’s Dark Kingdom a reality.