It's been a while, so I guess the time has come to dust off the blog and post something. As mentioned earlier, as a companion to Yesterlands 2018 I had drawn another version of a Neverlands Park comprised (mainly) of the concepts that have been teased - but never built - for the various parks around the world. These cancelled lands and attractions tend to be the juiciest (and often most expensive), so this will be fun one to explore and steadily reveal. As usual, I've tweaked, altered or expanded all the never-built concepts to fit my vision for this particular organic park.
Hope you enjoyed this drawing and imagining of a Neverlands park. You'll note that next to the Yesterlands Park of a few posts back, they were designed to compliment each other, and there is minimal thematic overlap (e.g. that had Real World Futurism, this has Sci-Fi Fantasy), so they could both theoretically be part of the same multi-park resort.
LONDON SQUARE: This urban entry land is designed to bring to life the madcap, winding streets of Victorian London. Such a land concept was part of Michael Jackson's never-built theme park, and London-based sub-areas have been part of unrealized proposals for Anaheim (World Holiday Land) and Shanghai (a World Bazaar of international locales for the entry land). The three-to-five story building facades are a smorgasbord of styles as seen in the world's Alpha City at the turn of the 20th Century.
Unlike most entry lands, this one has several significant attractions in addition to transport (hansom cabs), streetmosphere, dining and retail (e.g. Harrods). It makes use of the upper levels, as cities must, to fit all this in. For example, reflecting London's elite gentlemen's' clubs would be the 2nd floor East India Club, themed to the Raj. Specialty Shops can also be two stories, with ornate wrought-iron open elevators. Within a foreboding aristocratic Townhouse, is the early version of the Haunted Mansion which was a walkthrough featuring things like rotating bookcase passages and secret floor elevators (see art above). This attraction would mirror the walkthrough version of Pirates found in Treasure Cove. Double-decker, red electric trams ply the roadways.
The newest never-built attraction in the world may be the cancelled theater for the MK. That finds a place here, re-themed to a West End stage - with all the interior and exterior detail and ornament of the grand theaters of old. Off of the World Gardens hub is a recreation of Cherry Tree Lane, which might house the never-built Tony Baxter Mary Poppins darkride. On the opposite side of the land are two attractions that were proposed for EPCOT Center: a Charles Dickens rotating animatronics theater (like Carousel of Progress) and the elaborate Thames River Cruise. I think it is important to include enriching, sophisticated attractions and design (e.g., authentic recreation of historic structures) such as these in the parks I draw.
London's two most recognizable landmarks might be St. Paul's Cathedral and the Elizabeth Tower (aka Big Ben). The latter forms a neo-gothic entry gate structure, which does not try to recreate Westminster Palace - which would be awkwardly scaled - but is its own landmark structure inspired by it (complete with Little Ben). A forced perspective St. Paul's is a roof element over the Poppins show-buildings, so the quintessential Victorian London vista (above) may be had from various points within the park.
SCI-FI CITY: This land is inspired by the ambitious plans for Tokyo's Tomorrowland, which went through several iterations and was nearly greenlit. I believe it was cancelled due to the already extreme expenditures associated with the building of TDS. While Magic Kingdom's New Tomorrowland only covered the front third of that land and featured only one dedicated original attraction, the Tokyo version would have re-imagined the land from stem to stern, as a fantastical, kinetic spaceport.
The only attraction here not linked to the Tokyo project is the Robot Battle Arena: one of several proposed replacements for Anaheim's Carousel of Progress/America Sings. I believe this was to be a SFX theatrical experience centered on android gladiators.
The Tokyo never-built attractions are numerous and big: The northern half of the land is CraterTown, which is full on unusual space rock formations and even more unusual denizens. A giant crashed spaceship houses alien dining, retail and a Space Biker Bar. Lunar Rovers is a go-carts-Flying Tires-Aquatopia hybrid, where drivers control their own ATVs (trackless) to explore an alien landscape. Rockitbike Racers involves riding side-by-side hoverbikes in a high-speed drag race on an elevated track over and throughout the land.
Space Mountain's replacement is the Cybermid - which was to have been a Rock n' Rollercoaster re-theme involving a launch into the Computer Mainframe (precursor to Tron?). At the center of the land is an Astro-Orbitor, unbuilt in Tokyo. Sci-Fi City Zoo was likely going to be an indoor attraction, but here I've imagined it more like an actual zoo setting, with creatures (AAs) from distant planets on display in humorous vignettes and extraterrestrial habitats.
The final attraction is UFO Encounter (see art above), of which little is known, but appeared to have been some kind of vertical free-fall dark ride on the scale of Tower of Terror.
BEASTLY KINGDOMME: This land is an interpretation & expansion of the famous never-built area of Animal Kingdom. This version features a much larger fantasy-medieval retail and dining area - The Village. Here is the Loch Ness Landing restaurant, where the Scottish beast would occasionally and fleetingly appear in the nearby lake. There is also an aerial carousel featuring mythical flying creatures. Quest for the Unicorn is an elaborate hedge maze leading to a natural castle and waterfall grotto below. In the northwest, the setting changes to mythical Greece for the Fantasia Gardens C-ticket family boat ride based on scenes from the animated feature.
The E-ticket of the land is Dragon's Tower, which I've made bigger and better, with melted and ruinous fortress ramparts and spires built into a towering mountainscape. Through the long and elaborate queue, it becomes clear that this castle, ruled over by a malevolent, Smaug-like dragon, is also populated by his minions, the Orcs. Orcs are present in AA form and were the builders of the crude and ramshackle transport system that is the coaster track.
The plaza before the attraction features the Stone Henge-like circle as depicted in the above art.
This is a suspended gigacoaster, something you rarely see in the parks I draw, because I'm a big believer in creating a highly-theatrical and believable environs, which a giant naked coaster track tends to undermine. So every "orc-built" pylon would be themed to the hilt (it's nice having an unlimited budget), something like what I've illustrated below. I believe the original Dragon's Tower story involved greedy bats enlisting guests to get into cauldrons (coaster vehicles) for a mission to steal the treasure from under the fire-breathing dragon and almost becoming toast in the process. Giant Bats - complete with flapping wings and smelling a bit burnt by the end - would disguise the coaster chassis-track mounting, as in the art above.
WORLD GARDENS: The smallest "land" of Neverlands is the central plaza. It is based on an unused concept for Hong Kong in which the park's centerpiece was to have been a castle version of It's a Small World:
Laying in front of the park's centerpiece are manicured, rolling gardens - like MK's original hub - with lots of benches, flowerbeds and shade trees. This is an area for relaxing respite. Having a main, off-hub restaurant is somewhat standard, and here I've included one that continues the Mary Blair styling of IASW (something like this was rumored for Tokyo's New Fantasyland 1.0).
ADVENTURELAND: This is probably my favorite land archetype, so it was nice to be able to create a super-sized version. Like the existing areas, this land offers a globe-trotting experience, with its disparate locales connected by a feeling of old-fashioned, pith-helmeted exoticism.
From the park's center, the first area reached is an Arabian Bazaar with a long, suspended Magic Carpet darkride through the stories of the Middle East (based on an early plan for EPCOT's World Showcase). The Bazaar transitions eastward towards the Orient with a large restaurant based on a Chinese Fireworks Factory (Anaheim Discovery Bay). The path then arrives at an area based on EPCOT's unbuilt Africa section with a musical theater and treehouse. The approach from Treasure Cove is through dense jungle to a Base Camp where explorers may dare to enter Fire Mountain, a morphing indoor coaster proposed for the MK.
The land's center is occupied by a terrain-following, launched, mine coaster that takes its name from DAK's unbuilt attraction but its scale from the larger E-ticket dinocoaster planned for an early version of HKDL's Adventureland. The coaster speeds above and below the land's paths and includes indoor scenes featuring AA dinos or their fossils. Another major dining venue is the Fuselage Grill, based on a concept by legend George McGinnis for Tokyo Disneyland - it was built of salvaged parts of crashed aircraft.
As was originally the plan for DAK's Asia, a huge part of the land (and park) is devoted to Tiger River Run. On an excursion that might last longer than twenty minutes, large rafts ply through the ruins-strewn wilds of India, inhabited by hundreds of real animals - all appearing to be free-roaming (barriers hidden by berms or rockwork). For the attraction's finale, the dual-rafts detach go up a lift and enter a dangerous ancient temple for a thrilling white-water experience through deep jungle, culminating in a drop back down to the slowly moving river for debarkment.
TREASURE COVE: This is a land-type that was finally built in Shanghai, but conceived earlier for Hong Kong. The great Eddie Sotto's Laffite Island proposal forms the centerpiece of the land. You can learn about that project in great detail on his site here:. The Island is an interactive playground reached via numerous bridges or by a tunnel accessed through the old Mausoleum. Human-powered Canoes circle the island (something conceptualized but never built in Hong Kong).
The land's largest landmark and weenie is Skull Mountain, also never-built in Hong Kong. It's a Splash Mountain-esque version of the classic AA-based PotC attraction, culminating in a 50-60 final drop into the lagoon. In an attached building is a table-service entertainment dining venue (i.e. Biergarten) with a facade of the sterns of salvaged ships.
One of the most interesting ideas for Shanghai was a very ambitious lagoon stunt show featuring tall ships battling. As seen in the art above, the viewing area and backdrop is disguised as a coastal town built into granite pinnacles.
On the far side of the land is the Village Area featuring retail, dining and a shooting gallery (never-built in Paris). The original form of the legendary Pirates ride was a walkthrough - this version has advanced, integrated effects and it anchors the area in the form of a Caribbean fort.