As long as there have been rumors for a Fifth Gate for Walt Disney Word, there has been this idea of the Villains Park, aka Shadowlands, Dark Kingdom, etc. Having never come across a scrap of concept art (or word from an insider) for such a park, I have to wonder if this concept has ever been anything more than an internet myth. I know (with jealous wonder) that there are thousands upon thousands of pieces of artwork, models and park/attraction/land concepts locked away in WDI’s Morgue that have never been part of public knowledge or discourse, so perhaps it is a real concept.
My approach to this idea was to look at typical Disneyland-style park and take the flip (or dark) side of each land, i.e., Toontown Fair becomes an evil circus, Tomorrowland becomes a dark techno-metropolis, the iconic princess castle is replaced with a wicked witch's castle, etc.
The opening land and in-park resort hotel are inspired by the Haunted Mansion, Addams Family, Munsters and other 19th & early 20th century tropes of the haunted house/horror-genre. Imagine staying in a super-sized version of the Haunted Mansion as your Disney resort.
Rather than a narrow main boulevard as the opening land's design, I've opted for a rolling cemetery, dotted with ancient dead oak trees and overgrown mausoleums: a morbid version of DAK’s Oasis. At night, a light show allows spirits to rise skyward from the grave.
A “ghost train” encircles the park, with plenty of surprises.
|Artwork by http://karolcia12.deviantart.com/|
Ravenhearst Manor (placeholder name) is a new “haunted mansion” designed to terrify more than amuse.
Whenever playing the game, I’ve always imagined exploring the all the rooms of the Clue mansion: the billiard room, the conservatory, etc. Here there is a guided, interactive walking mystery adventure, where small groups try discover whodunit. Colonel Mustard with the Wrench in the Kitchen?
The eastern section of this first land land pays homage to Frontierland. Thunderhawk Hills is a coaster with next-gen fx giving life to wrathful Native American spirits.
The centerpiece of the park is very large, craggy mountain. Set into the front of this mountain, guarded by a labyrinth of spiny thickets, is Maleficent’s castle, which is fully explorable (Disney heroes & heroines locked in the dungeons). It marks the land of Disney villains, with a signature & lengthy flume ride featuring an alliance of baddies.
The fantastic “Twisted Princesses” artwork by Jeffrey Thomas is the inspiration for a dark ride based on such a concept.
|Art by http://jeftoonportfolio.blogspot.com/2009/02/twisted-princess.html|
There is an exploration trail and an Ursula spinner (intense). A dark ride based on Epic Mickey (in which the setting, Wasteland, has some similarities with this Dark Kingdom) is the final attraction in land.
Tomorrowland has become Dystopia - a towering, grimy, neon, nature-less city based on those of Bladerunner, Aliens, Fifth Element, etc.. Skybridges, metros, blinking holographic billboards make this an overwhelming and chaotic place.
There is a next-generation Laser Tag-like experience that emulates the battles of James Cameron’s ‘Aliens’: as a Colonial Marine, you are equipped a gun, flak jacket, helmet, etc., and then go hunting… or get hunted.
The land features a number of big, original E-ticket attractions (coaster, scoop, EMV shooter) that explore various dark sci-fi adventures: out of control cyborgs, pan-galactic warfare, and a ride alongside the future’s version of Hell’s Angels:
For me, clowns, carnivals & circuses have always been a source of terror. Here, the evil traveling, tented circus takes everything that scared me as a child and amplifies it. There is an elaborate AA freakshow, a large rickety Ferris wheel and other spinners.
Psycho Circus is a dark ride featuring crazed clowns. Tunnel of Terror is a twisted version of the classic fairground Tunnel of Love.
Adventureland is represented by Cutthroat Cove, a dark pirate port. There is a Captain Hook dark ride to transition from the animated Fantasyland and another elaborate dark ride inspired by the nicely-designed-but-canceled Armada of the Damned game set in the PotC universe.
There would also be a walkthrough of Blackbeard's Queen Anne’s Revenge from the forthcoming film.
The final land is based on the DragonDale (non-animated, high fantasy land) mythos that I’ve proposed for many of my parks across the globe. It incorporates the darker elements of that world, including an AA prison for evil creatures, a Dragon coaster, goblin mine coaster and flume ride:
Your thoughts - please leave a comment, start a discussion, ask a question, and have a Merry Christmas!