Remember the ’90s? It was a golden age where almost anything was possible, including a Michael Jackson Peter Pan theme park. Jackson commissioned a Disneyland-like theme park that was entirely devoted to Peter Pan, and several designs were drawn up, but the idea eventually faded away. More details on the Michael Jackson Peter Pan theme park are below.
It’s safe to say that the late Michael Jackson had an obsession with the story of Peter Pan. He named his sprawling home Neverland Ranch, and for a while he very much wanted to play Peter Pan in the film that would eventually become Steven Spielberg’s Hook. Jackson was hoping for a film that remained true to the original Peter Pan story, and when he learned that Spielberg was making something much different – a film about an adult Peter Pan who forget his childhood adventures – Jackson passed (unless you want to believe the wild and almost certainly apocryphal tory that Spielberg actually turned Jackson down, which lead to Jackson hiring a “witch doctor” to put a curse on the director).
But that’s not all: Jackson went so far as to try to have a Disney-sized theme park built that would bring the world of Peter Pan to live. Disney and More has the story, along with some surprisingly great concept art that show the park could’ve been rather magical if it had all worked out. Per Disney and More, in 1997, Jackson and Prince Al-Waleed, Disneyland Paris’ biggest private stock-holder, created a company called Kingdom Entertainment. Jackson then asked Landmark if they could design a Peter Pan/Neverland theme park – not just for Jackson personally, but for anyone to attend.
Landmark got to work, and drew up designs that included an entrance that resembled London, and then guests would jump on a ride that “flew” them to the jungles and lagoons of Neverland. Per Disney and More, “[G]uests would have sat on a platform which would have turned down on a 50 degrees angle, a bit less than on the “flying” coasters, and the movie would have been projected on a huge Omnimax dome located under the platform, giving to the guests the illusion of flying over London and Neverland.”
The park contained plenty of boat rides, roller coasters and even a stage for a live show. Head over to Disney and More to see a wealth of imagery, all of which points to a neat-looking theme park. But what happened? Why did this Michael Jackson Peter Pan theme park never get off the ground? Jackson and Prince Al-Waleed eventually ended their association, and everyone seemingly decided at once that the cost to built the park would be astronomical.
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