It's practically a sitcom trope at this point that every sitcom has to do a special episode that takes place at either Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Basically every hit sitcom of the last 30 years that has aired on ABC (which is owned by Disney) has done an episode at one theme park or the other. However, there have been rare cases where non-ABC shows visited the happiest place on earth. Blossom did back in the 90s and it turns out that there was very nearly a Walt Disney World episode of Friends, but the plot the writers came up with a bit too adult for the House of Mouse.
Appearing on Australia's Tim and Jess, Kevin S. Bright, one of the original producers of Friends, revealed that then Disney CEO Michael Eisner was actually the one that pitched the idea of using Walt Disney World as a backdrop for an episode. And while there was a feeling early on that Friends might be a bit too adult for Disney, everybody was apparently assured it would be fine and the team should just go ahead and come up with whatever they wanted. What they came up with was an episode where Joey gets a job as a cast member, and ends up sleeping with Cinderella. Bright explains...
The cast goes down there to see him. And before they get there, Joey has a date with the girl in the Disney parade that plays Cinderella. They go back to his place, they have sex, and she realizes it's midnight. She's got to get that costume back or they're gonna dock pay from her. So, she's in a hurry, she gathers up her clothing, Joey doesn't even know her name.
It seems Cinderella left behind her bra, and so we get a play on the Cinderella story where I guess Joey tries to get every woman in the theme park to try on a bra so that he can figure out who he slept with. It's not too shocking why Disney, while they had initially implied that anything would be fine, apparently decided this was maybe not the right fit for the Disney image.
At the same time, this also does sound like a potentially hilarious episode of Friends. Joey's summer job at the park was apparently going to be as a giant light bulb in the Main Street Electrical Parade and that's just a costume I want to see. That part of the idea was probably a bit more in line with what Disney was thinking when they pitched the idea of Friends coming to Walt Disney World in the first place. Although, the rest of the idea is pretty much par for the course when it comes to Friends so I'm not sure what Michael Eisner thought he was going to get.
This is an episode we never got to see, but fans of Friends can now relive all their favorite episodes that we did get thanks to Friends: The Reunion which is now streaming on HBO Max.