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The Iconic Disney Parks Ride That Could Have Featured John Travolta

Disney's theme parks might be commercial juggernauts with sneaky ways to make you spend more money. Still, they do make a huge effort to make the experience as pleasant to your inner child — as well as, you know, actual children — as possible. The parks are full of fantasy and whimsy inspired by everything under Disney's corporate umbrella and then some, from classic rides to the various hidden Mickeys on the premises. They're also constantly evolving, as evidenced by the bygone attractions you'll sadly never get to experience. As such, these extravagant entertainment properties have become such a big deal that there are even official Disney characters that only exist in the parks.

When you step into a Disney park attraction, you might encounter beloved characters and experience physics-defying thrills — but you might also bump into a real-life celebrity. In fact, had the stars been aligned differently, you might have seen John Travolta himself. In fact, there's one iconic Disney Parks ride that could have featured John Travolta. 

John Travolta almost starred in a safety briefing for the Soarin' Around the World ride

On December 26, a former member of Walt Disney Imagineering, Jim Clark, revealed in a since-deleted tweet (via Cinema Blend) that John Travolta almost starred in the safety briefing video of Soarin', a flight motion simulator ride that was first designed for Disney's California Adventure Park and has since been replicated in other locations. Unfortunately, two problems undermined this noble endeavor: Travolta was extremely busy, and he was also sporting a small beard that apparently factored in the decision, somehow. "Two months before DCA opened, we still hadn't shot the preshow," Clark wrote. "John Travolta was interested, but his movie's schedule was making it difficult, plus he had this little beard. Our little team was invited to a screening of Emperor's New Groove, and we were all laughing at Kronk."

One can't help but wonder what might have been if a freshly shaven Travolta would have made it to the shoot, which simulates a flight over an 80-foot dome screen. For one, he's a licensed pilot, and therefore a natural fit (via Business Jet Traveler). This was also in 2001, which means the actor was years out from his turn in Pulp Fiction. Can you imagine a cooler cat to prepare the audiences for takeoff?

Fortunately, the Imagineers did manage to find a replacement. The reason Clark mentions Kronk, the beloved sidekick of The Emperor's New Groove, is that his team ended up hiring Kronk's voice actor, Patrick Warburton for Soarin'. His charismatic performance in the safety video has become rather iconic among theme park enthusiasts.