Saturday, February 5, 2011

Guest Feature - Explorers World

I've got a fantastic guest feature to present to IdealBuildout readers this week: an original park design by Pascal Schyns, who has gone beyond site-planning and created his own concept art for the park!  I'll let Pascal's words and images speak for themselves:


a fan project by Pascal Schyns

Disney’s Explorers World is a fantasy theme park I’ve imagined as a third gate for Disneyland Paris. The main theme of the park is Exploration but seen through the eyes of great writers and film directors from the XIXth century.

To give the park a more European identity, I searched for inspiration in the books written by Jules Verne (that, of course, already inspired great attractions for Disneyland Paris and Tokyo DisneySEA) but also in the Adventures of Tintin from Hergé. As many kids in Europe (and all around the World), I’ve grown up reading the adventures of the young journalist and it gave me the taste for Discovery.

For more information on the project, you can follow this link
If you have a comment, you can email me:


Storyline of the Park

The story begins with the foundation of the S.E.A (Society of Explorers & Adventurers) by three great explorers and friends: Harrison Hightower III, Henry Mystic and John Harrington. They wanted to share the results of their research with the rest of the world. The strange disappearance of Hightower in his New York’s residence in 1933 was a real tragedy for the S.E.A. It really affected John Mystic that decided to live enclosed in his manor with his monkey Albert only.
Harrington’s reaction was different. He reunited 7 adventurers, coming from different places. Each of those adventurers has once made a significant discovery that interested Harrington for some reason… that he never told! Harrington mysteriously disappeared in his museum before he explained the adventurers why he chose them. So, a new adventure began for the newly founded Explorer’s Club, to discover what Harrington was planning for them…

Colombus Town
Colombus Town is a small city where explorers and adventurers come to prepare their next expedition. The city is divided into five quarters.

Piazza Vienna is inspired by the old cities of Europe like Walt Disney discovered them when he was travelling through Europe by train in 1935. At the end of the plaza, guests will find an impressive building: Le Théâtre Fantastique de Robert-Houdin. In this theater, guests will enjoy a classic magic show based on the “tours” created by the French illusionist, Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin.

In Little Italy, guests will enjoy warmness and fragrance from Toscana or, they can prefer the exotism of Chinatown. In Pueblo Havana, music is everywhere. It makes the old cars body to vibrate and resonates on the colorful walls. The last quarter is American Waterfront, a harbor where fishermen can sell their catch. Here, guests can eat a Fish & Chips or take the boat to get to their next adventure.


Mystery Bay
Mystery Bay received its name after a series of mysterious disappearances. The first part of the land is Mystery Point, where is situated Mystery Museum. Mystery Museum is a dark ride similar to Mystic Manor. The story takes guests through the corridors of Harrington’s museum. He disappeared after he received a Peruvian mummy: Rascar Capac. Legend says that anyone crossing the eyes of Rascar Capac will be cursed and pursued by the mummy.
The other part of the land is Aviator’s Bay. This is where the Sidney Bros built up their airfield. The hangars have been turned into a restaurant: Aviator’s Last Chance Café. At the end of the landing strip is Donald Duck’s Air Patrol School, a junior coaster similar to Goofy’s Barnstormer.


Arctic Mountain 
Many expeditions have tried to reach the top of Arctic Mountain, but no one ever succeeded. In fact, many legends say that a creature lives in those mountains preventing anyone to profane them. Ignoring the myth, Yüri Velikovsky, Natalya’s father, built an observatory on Wayra Mountain. But when Natalya got there, her father was missing and the observatory was devastated…
Quechua Expedition will take guests through the mountain where they’ll meet Tawapaca, the Snow Monster. When leaving the Observatory, guests can explore the Ice Caverns, a playground for kids. Then they arrive at Wolf Peak River Run, a rafting attraction. The wolf shaped mountain even “screams” when the wind blows strong enough.

Dinosaurs Valley
When paleontologist Elliot Doyle discovered Ararankha Valley, he was just digging for bones and fossils. He couldn’t imagine he would discover living dinosaurs. Doyle turned his digging site into a ranch to observe the behavior of the different dinosaurs living in the valley.

The main attraction of the area is an expedition to the Lost Valley where guests will discover dinosaurs. It’s supposed to be safe, but you never know when a starving T-Rex will chase you in the middle of a prehistoric forest… The Skullstone Ranch proposes other activities to entertain and discover the world of dinosaurs, like the Boneyard. There’s also Cretaceous Theater, where guests can enjoy a show similar to BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs.
On the other part of the land is Monte Cayampaxi, a volcano where guests can make a Journey to the Center of the Earth… They’re invited to descend into an old diamond mine that was discovered by Eva Schneider, a diamond huntress. At the deepest point of the mine, they will discover Gaia’s Heart, a giant diamond that irradiates light and energy.

Legend of Atlantis
It took only one night and one day to make Atlantis island to disappear. However, the Atlantis civilization survived. Atlantis people had built commercial counters all around the world, even in South America. When the continent was flooded, people from the counters decided to merge with locals, sharing their knowledge in math, physics…

Jean Renaud was once a member of Captain Nemo’s crew. Nemo entrusted him with a mission of exploring new seas on board a lighter and faster version of the Nautilus: the Calypso. During a mission, a war ship attacked Renaud. He escaped and found refuge in a submarine cavern. He realized then that the cavern was the ruin of an antic Atlantis Counter.

The main adventure of this land is a special version of 20’000 Leagues Under the Sea. Guests will come aboard a small submarine and travel through the giant tunnels that used to connect the different counters with the City of Atlantis. But the Leviathan is still protecting the city!
The other attraction of the land takes place in an antic library. But instead of books, Atlantis people used holographic sphere to memorize the history of their civilization. Fate of Atlantis will take guests into an immersive reconstitution of the last hours of the mythic city.

Amazonia Secrets
For years, it has been impossible to get into the deep jungle of Amazonia Secrets. Snakes, spiders and diseases prevent anyone to reach the center of the forest where is hidden the Fountain of Youth. The botanist Pablo Alvarez entered the forest to find a plant that had the capacity of reversing the effect of age. Many times, during his quest, he went close to his own death but a mysterious animal rescued him each time…

European guests will finally experiment the so long awaited Indiana Jones Adventure. The famous archeologist has succeeded to break the secret of an Inca pyramid: the Yllapa’s Tomb. Yllapa, an Inca divinity was protected by Rascar Capac, the Guardian of Thunder. Indy found a way to prevent the curse and sent the mummy to his long time friend John Harrington. It’s time for guests to come aboard the vehicles and help Indy finding the Hand of Wiracocha, a legendary weapon capable of launching lightnings.

Another big adventure is waiting for guests to get in. Marsupilami’s Jungle Ride is a flume ride that will take them chasing the poacher Bring M. Backalive. Backalive has captured some of the most rare species on the planet. Only one animal was missing to his collection: the Marsupilami, until he captured one of the Marsupilami’s kids. But the fantastic animal is following him very closely to get its young back.

Guests follow the Marsupilami on the top of Tlaloc’s Temple, the protective God of the Jungle. Once the creature and its kid are reunited, Tlaloc take his revenge on the poacher and send him back to the river. Problem is that guests’ boat is swept along… time for a big wet drop!
Amazonia Secrets gave me the occasion to “re-visit” two classic Disney attractions that are missing to Disneyland Paris. In Jungle Cruise: Wet Safari guests get into small boats for an expedition along the Palombian Rivers. Onboard they can use water cannons to push back the most aggressive creatures of the jungle. This addition of interactivity could make the attraction more interesting for an international audience that doesn’t necessarily speak French or English.

The same problem is encountered with the Enchanted Tiki Room. The show would be adapted so that each parrot would be speaking a particular language (English, French, Spanish and German). The storyline would remain close to the original version of the show. The parrots have decided to take the place of the Sorcerer during the Ceremony of Tlaloc. But as they’re not talking the same language, they misspell the incantation and make Ek Chuah, the Spirit of Death, to rise among the livings. The parrots will have to work together to prevent the demon from taking the guests’ souls into to the other world and make the source of Tlaloc to flow again.

Heart of Adventures

Heart of Adventures is a mysterious island that can’t be found on any map. The only sign that a man ever came to this place is a B-17 crashed at the top of a giant tree, but nobody really knows how it came here. The place looked ideal for the Explorer’s Club to establish its headquarters.

Most of the installations were made using parts of the plane. The cabin was transformed into a conference room, and the plane’s motors were used as winches to make the elevators move. But the most interesting place is situated under the tree, in the center of its roots. The Adventurers transformed the place into a war room where they could share and analyze the items they’ve found on their expeditions. A special host welcomes guests as they’re entering the war room. Timekeeper has been reprogrammed by Natalya years ago and now helps the Adventurers to find what is the link between the different discoveries they made.
But the Android would appreciate some help from his visitors. Guests can use interactive touch screens to resolve enigmas, puzzles and more games. They can also receive some special missions from Timekeeper like go searching for a particular inscription somewhere in the park, a digital card registering the guest’s progress.

Close Encounter Night Show
Night has come and the semi-darkness covers the park. Before leaving, guests are invited to join the west of Heart of Adventures and face the Observatory. One by one, all the buildings of Explorers World have their lights turned off, except for the Observatory. The dome of the building slowly turns on itself, revealing a strange lightboard.

For minutes, nothing happens, until a short musical sequence resonates, accompanied by a coordinated color sequence displayed on the lightboard. The sequence is repeated faster and faster when a new sound is heard, coming from the other side of the mountain. Five luminous spaceships appear and take a stand around the island. The musical sequence is played again and each ship answers to it playing a single note.

Slowly, a large shadow rises behind Wayra Mountain. The Mothership has received the message. A musical dialogue starts between the Observatory and the Mothership. This dialogue quickly becomes a symphony as the other ships join the conversation. Music steps up, getting wilder and wilder until it reaches its apogee in a dazzling luminous halo. The park is silent again; guests have just the time to see some luminous points going back to the stars…



"RandySavage" said...

Allow me to be the first to say, Bravo!, Pascal.

The inter-connectivity may be my favorite part... linking the Three S.E.A. founders, to the Seven Explorers and the islands each represent, and even tying in Indiana Jones as the man who sent the cursed mummy to Harrington!

And turning the entire park into a canvas for a scavenger/treasure hunt (without the animated tv characters that EPCOT has), centered on the Explorers' tree HQ is brilliant.


And thanks for writing this in English, which is vastly better than my French. I do have some questions. For example, what is the "commercial counter" that the Atlanteans use?

Andrew said...

This is one of the best "original" ideas I have ever seen. I especially love that there are very little staple Disney characters, because original stories are always the greatest (just look at the classic Disney attractions).

The best part in my eyes is the Dinosaur section. Having seen the Walking with Dinosaurs stage show here in Scotland, I have always wanted some real animatronic type dinosaurs wandering around that section of Animal Kingdom.

Terrific Work!

PS I haven't been on this site for a wee while. Been busy with university work. However I had a glance at your other buildouts Randy, and they are awesome. I liked that DAK has an evening entertainment show that transforms it into a full day experience. Having non-animal attractions at the entrance ie BK it could mean Disney could still shut half the park (animal end) after 5pm but still provide fun well into the night.

megatron_85 said...

Great Idea, Pascal

thelastking said...

This is almost too perfect. The lands are unique and filed with eye-catching land marks, the back story works very well, and the concept art is some of the best I have ever seen when it comes to armchair Imagineering. If they where to build this in Disney Paris it might single handedly fix all troubles that resort has. You’re a very creative person, thanks for sharing this park with us.

Pascal said...

Many thanks for your comments. I've made this project just for fun but I've tried to use some of the project management tools and methods I've learnt during my formation as an engineer (I just got my diploma :D ).

This is a real pleasure to share my fan project with you. What's more, writing it in English was a good exercise. But there's of course some expressions that are difficult to translate. "Comptoir commercial" is a city built by a population in another country in order to trade and exchange with locals. That's what Romans did, building new cities in Egypt or Gaul. I don't know what would be the correct word in English.
I took this idea to explain that Renaud had not discovered Atlantis but a city built up by Atlantis people in South America.
Atlantis Empire map
I was inspired by this map that shows the theorical influence of Atlantis on the antic world.

I would like to have your opinion on the night show idea. What do you think about a show based on Close Encounters of the Third Kind and its integration in this park?

Anonymous said...

Randy, you better make Walt Disney Studios Japan at Tokyo Disneyland Resort. Here's my lands ideas:
(Added mountains had Hollywood sign)
Hollywood Blvd:
The Great Movie Ride
Red Car Line Trolley

Buena Vista Street:
One Man's Dream
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit ride
Walt Disney Theatre
Mickey Mouse dark ride

Streets of America:
Backlot Studio Tour
Dick Tracy's CrimeStoppers
Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure

Sunset Blvd:
The Twlight Zone: Tower of Terror
Walt Disney's World of Color
Superstar Limo
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

Animation Courtyard:
The Magic of Disney Animation
Mickey's Hollywood Tours
Disney Junior - Live on Stage!
Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular
Stitch LIVE!

Echo Lake:
Star Wars Dark Ride
Indiana Jones Stunt Show
Monsters Sound Show
Superstar Television

Maroon Studios / Toontown:
Baby Herman's Runaway Baby Buggy
The Toontown Transit
Toontown Tower Hotel
Benny the Cab
RollerCoaster Rabbit

Pixar Place / Carsland:
Toy Story Dark Ride
UP Ride
Monsters Inc. Coaster
Finding Nemo Simulator Ride
Radiator Springs Racers
Luigi's Roamin' Tires
Tow Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
Crush's Coaster
Ratatouille ride

Toy Story Playland:
Toy Soldier Parachute Drop
Slinky Dog Zig Zag Spin
RC Racer

So what are you think, Randy?

RandySavage said...

^ There will be a Studios park similar to that in 3-5 weeks, so best to leave all the studios comments, suggestions & requests on that post or on the previous MGM Studios post.

Back to the topic,


Thanks for the clarification. I think the best English translation for what you mean would be an Atlantean Colony or Outpost (rather than the main city/continent) - which would make sense and is a concept I've touched on in a number of parks I've drawn.

Regarding, the night show, I still haven't seen "Close Encounters", but what you've described looks like it would be very compelling.

comics101 said...

This may be the most original park I've ever seen that that rivals Tokyo Disney Sea and Disney's Animal Kingdom in detail and originality! Your park is absolutly wonderful and I can only imagine how breathtaking it'd be if it were to actually be built. I love everything about it!

comics101 said...

Oh, and your concept art is awesome too! Haha thanks for sharing!!

Sam said...

Wooo............... "picks jaw up from the floor"

stitch101 said...

Excellent job, Pascal. I love it how you gave the park a story that connects it all together without it feeling too forced.

Colin said...

maybe you could change marsepulami into the emperor's new groove.

great park!

Pascal Schyns said...

Nope. The backstory takes place during 1930's & 1940's whereas Incas lived from XIII to XVI century.
So, the only place you could find Kuzco is in the museum with Rascar Capac's mummy ;)

But thanks for your comment!! i'm glad you liked the park's idea :)

Colin said...

I got the idea because of the fountain of youth.. It reminded me of Kuzco's palace