Very good question! On this front, I’d have to go with Riverfront Square that was planned for St. Louis, which was the original ‘East Coast’ park planned by Walt and team circa 1963.
The entrance to the park would have been similar to Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A., with one side of the street based on Old St. Louis, and the other based on Old New Orleans. Disney planned to utilize the Audio-Animatronic technology that had recently been developed by his company for the New York World’s Fair. The top floor of the park would have housed a banquet hall, restaurant, lounge, and bar, overlooking the Mississippi River, in addition to having concession stands and shops throughout the park.
Plans show a ‘Caribbean pirate’s lair’ and Blue Bayou boat ride, as well as a haunted house attraction with clear markings for the dual elevator system used at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion as focal points of the park, as well as the following attractions:
- Lewis & Clark Adventure, a ride based on the travels of Lewis & Clark expeditions.
- A ride based on folk legend Mike Fink
- A ride based on folk legend Davy Crocket
- An attraction based on the Meramec Caverns of Missouri
- Two Circarama theaters, with at least one of which would show a film about St. Louis
- A bird room (presumably similar to the Enchanted Tiki Room)
- An explorable pirate ship
I think the tone of this park would have been interesting, mashing up two future ‘Disney classics’ (Pirates and HM) in some form with rides celebrating both real history (Lewis and Clark) and mythic Americana - could have been very unique and distinctive and many opportunities for good illusions and thematic areas.
What fires my imagination is the promise of a attraction based on Meramec Caverns, a popular tourist attraction.
Meramec Caverns is the collective name for a 4.6-mile (7.4 km) cavern system in the Ozarks, near Stanton, Missouri. The caverns were formed from the erosion of large limestone deposits over millions of years. Pre-Columbian Native American artifacts have been found in the caverns. The caverns were used to extract saltpeter to manufacture gunpowder in the 18th century, and the Civil War saw the caves themselves used as a staging area to make the powder by the Union Army.
A dark ride or boat ride through cave replicas with narration and some eerie/mysterious special effects as only Disney could do would have been very neat indeed, but scant evidence exists to say what was planned for that particular attraction.