Exploring The History (And Future) Of Alien Franchise At Disney
4. Alien Encounter
Knowing that Eisner still very much had Aliens on the brain, a young group of Imagineers saw an opportunity.
The Tomorrowland section of the parks housed a very very-dated ride called Mission to Mars, and Eisner was eager to find a replacement for it. The Mars ride was more-or-less a show, in a uniquely circular room, in which the chairs all curved around a central tube. These plucky Imagineers pitched a complete revamp of the theater, that would result in a sci-fi/horror attraction.
Guests would be brought into the theater as participants at a Weyland-Yutani Corporation exhibit, when the Xenomorph would be put on display in the central tube. The Xenomorph would break out of the tube as the lights went out, and wreak havoc. This effect would be achieved through groundbreaking sound-work and special effects, making captive audiences feel as though the Xenomorph was truly right behind them, even drooling on them!
Alas, this was not to be. Some veteran Imagineers once again took a stand, even getting George Lucas to step in and help convince Eisner that this was not a fit.
The ride ultimately opened, with an entirely new, non-trademarked alien as its central threat, with zero connection to the storied franchise. It was closed soon after though. Seems people didn't like the idea of a terrifying dark ride being within throwing distance of It's a Small World.