Friday, November 4, 2011

Disney's Night Kingdom


Museum of Antiquities: 


Here's a quick view of the in-progress massing model I'm working on for this park.  This shows how I envision part of the old-fashioned brick Light Factory area:

Here's a massing study of the western half of Rock n Roll City.  I tried to add some mid-century details like rooftop water tanks & vintage billboards.   Note the city skyline facades on the Rock n Rollercoaster showbuilding facing the land (with a Tron-world obelisk facing the Tron land):

Street view of Rocknroll City, showing effect of deep skyscraper facades.  Maybe this time next year this blog will feature virtual fly-throughs of all the imagined theme parks...


This park plan began with a request by Mike from Holland, who had an idea for a Disney theme park that was only open after sundown and closed just before sunrise:
I found Mike’s overall idea of a nocturnal theme park to be quite original, so I was happy to develop the concept further:

The park’s opening land is based on an imaginary Light Bulb Factory of the early 20th Century: lots of brickwork with multiple tidy buildings and a thin, 100 foot clocktower.  I imagined the Factory owner to be an eccentric inventor like the Phineas T. Flagg character developed for the Baltimore Power Plant project or EPCOT’s Dreamfinder.   There is a restaurant based on Thomas Edison and an omnimover tour (same tone as World of Motion) through the factory.  There is also a Peoplemover-like elevated rail (maglev) that takes guests around the park.   

This might be the only park where the central icon can be ethereal rather than physical.  The centerpiece of the Night Kingdom is the Beacon of Light (similar to the Tribute in Light done in NYC).  Its high-powered lamps sit sunken on a peninsula in the center of the Lake of Shine (a special effects & fountain-laden body of water) because to view the beam properly, visitors need to be somewhat distant from it and have darkness around it.  

If you look at the park plan from a distance, its core resembles a lightbulb.

I always like the idea of an ominous old museum, particularly what goes on after-hours (i.e., Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil T. Frankweiler, etc.), but there is no direct connection here to the Night at the Museum movies.   The period is circa 1950 and the Museum’s brick fa├žade eases the transition from the Factory.  The major ride is an EMV Through Time adventure.  There is a 4-D presentation (like CineMagique, but based on History, not Cinema).   I also like the idea of an elaborate, walking scavenger hunt (Sorcerers of the MK) through the halls of the museum that trigger various FX (like  a T-Rex skeleton coming to life, animal dioramas moving, etc).  There are gardens and lagoon show viewing in front of the giant Museum building.

Continuing the transition, this area is representative of New York/L.A./Detroit during the Golden Age of Rock n Roll.  Finally, a land where Rock n’ Rollercoaster naturally fits.  There is a new muppet production featuring their Electric Mayhem band.  I also like the idea of magician-based restaurant, so I put one here.  Great Music Ride could feature audio animatronic versions of The Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix, Elvis & Justin Bieber. 

If there was ever a park that could host a Tron land, it would be one that is only open at night.  LightJets sits above the queue building for LightCycle Racers – a tandem, motorbike version of Radiator Springs Racers on an elevated track.   Below this elevated track is the LightRunners course, which is a Tron version of Autopia.  The End of the Line Club could host the popular ElecTronica dance parties that take place at DCA.

This area is focused on the night sky: astronomy & space exploration.  There is a Star Tours-like simulator, but based more in reality with an original storyline.  There is a special FX show that features a high-tech planetarium as well as exhibit areas.

 Continuing the smooth transitions, moving clockwise, visitors would reach the human colony of HellsGate II on Pandora.   Entering the compound, guests are surrounded by Samson gunships and the large Valkyrie transatmospheric shuttle.  There is an Avatar training play zone.   The major ride here (and of the park) is a Kuka E-ticket (similar to Harry Potter) that puts riders into the battle between the Navi and the humans.   I would hope the forthcoming land at Animal Kingdom focuses on the animals/nature side of Avatar, lest it impinge on the park’s overall thematic coherence, but in this park it doesn’t hurt the park’s theme to give weight to the Earthling-Navi conflict.

The second half of this land is the Bioluminescent Forest of Pandora – the area of nature and natives.  In the giant, broken stump of Home Tree (the land takes place after the events of the film), the Navi have returned and put on a mystical show of their culture around a re-growing tree in the center.   There is a spinner (swings) and many paths to explore through the illuminated forests, with interactive elements (like the sea-fan plants and moss that lights up as you walk on it).  The major ride in this area is an omni-simulator in the Floating Mountains that gives riders the impression of flying like a Banshee.

I think a park that is only open at night needs to take advantage of the horror/monster genre, so this land is a 19th Century European castle town.  Ghosthunters is a steampunk-ish laser tag-like game.  Lycan River is like a jungle cruise (combining dread with humor) but with monsters.  There is a haunted maze as well as an original haunted house omnimover (because what park couldn’t use one?), sitting atop a butte.  Jekyll & Hyde’s is inspired by the original themed restaurant (West Village).

This land is based on an idealized Christmas, both urban (London) and rural (Village).  The coaster would be drawn by Reindeer around a snowy, pine woods environment.


So there you have it: a park for night owls.   Comments are always appreciated.


Anonymous said...


The transitions between the park are jsut perfect. Mike did a great job designing it but made it really superb.
But on the original map you see a harbour like area, is that area also feautured on your map?


Magic Lamp said...

Wow, what an original concept. I've always wondered why theme parks never really explore the nightlife, especially when having the opportunity to create new attractions based on light. Also, with the absence of sunlight, dark rides may just as well be done under the night sky, given there isn't too much light around in the first place.

Props to Mike for coming up with the idea and for you to give it that Savage treatment.

SWW said...


Mike's original layout, names and attraction roster differed significantly from what I ended up drawing. The harbour area you mention was a Key West land with a PotC attraction, which I dropped in favor of the Tron-based land (because I thought the latter lends itself better to a night-time environment).

Another example, is in the center of the park he had the Theatron - a Times Sq-like broadway theater. I moved this to the parks periphery for backstage access for shows and created the Beacon central icon.

ML, An outdoor dark-ride would be something to explore here.

Anonymous said...

Kew-West sounds interesting,

But that TRON area fits perfectly in this park.

Anonymous said...

OMG !! I love it (sorry for my english : I'm french !!) First, the concept is brilliant and innovative !! But the drawing ... OH MY GOD !! This drawing is the best you've done. Everything is justified, everything is interesting, it's incredible. This is definitely my favorite park of all. I particularly like Rock'N'Roll City for its bright lights and amazing architecture. A real city to the glory of music in which to write very well Rock'n'Roller Coaster. In France, we have a very poor Walt Disney Studio Park, with this attraction and her horrible decor. I dream to have such a really attention to detail in our French park and turn the immondise we call Backlot, a true scene dedicated to the dream. I can imagine the different light contrast of this wonderful park that you drew.

I am a big fan of your site and I hope you will continue to make us dream as you made ​​today. Thank you very much.

A French Fan.

Anonymous said...

You two make a great team, because of mike's design and your amazing drawing!

Anonymous said...

What about Disney Studios Brazil?
Lands will have like 15 lands:
Hollywood Blvd
Maroon Studios
Sunset Blvd
Backlot Lot
Pixar Place
Streets of America
Animation Courtyard / Toon Studio
Buena Vista Street
Marvel Studios
Muppet Studios
Echo Lake
Wild Wild West Lot
Sci-Fi Backlot
Avatar Land

Anonymous said...

everything is perfect,

but Justin Bieber, please don';)

megatron_85 said...


Anonymous said...

SWW: What are you gonna do your next idea this time?
A.Warner Bros. Movie World California
B.Walt Disney Studios Brazil
C.Disneyland New Jersey
D.Tokyo Disney Studios

Anonymous said...

This park is getting better and better, when is the 3D model finished?

SWW said...

A full, detailed 3-D model would take ages... I'll probably do a couple more areas of the park (roughly, like the above) and post them this week.

And thanks for the above comments. Positive response is always motivation to share more fun stuff, so if you are enjoying what you are seeing here, please take a second to drop a note each posting.

Anonymous said...

well you could try to make a full 3-D model, it's a real challenge for you, but you'll probably achieve it

comics101 said...

You just had to inlude JBeebs...

This park is so unique and amazing and I love everything about it...particularly Rock'n'Roll city. Perhaps RnR features different musicians/light sequences randomly, creaing a unique experience everytime? Tronland would be awesome, and Yuletide Britain was just sucha brilliant idea! You've done it again, and I can't wait to see what you cook up next!

Oh, and YES PLEASE to the park flythroughs! That would be INCREDIBLE!

comics101 said...

Also, I'm just curious, is there anyway you could repost Universal Studios Fl? I semi-remember the plans, but I'd love to give your ideal makeover of the park another look. It seems to have dissapeared! lol

Anonymous said...

Will more parks be getting models? Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add that I myself am quite fond of Justin Bieber

SWW said...

Anon, 3-D models work really well for any geometric-based parts of the parks (as demonstrated above). However, the problem I am finding - and it's a big one - is that this tool can't readily be used create non-geometric, "organic" attractions/areas or land topography... by this I mean the many real or fake hills/mountains/plateaus/cliffs & other character-rockwork which make up a very big part of all my site plans.

If anyone has any tips on how to create analog topography (e.g. mountains) with geometric 3-D drawing tools, I'd love to hear them.

Comics, I agree RnR should not be linked solely to Aerosmith. I reposted the USF plan. I've read some interesting rumors that the next Harry Potter phase will involve a train from Hogsmeade (in IOA) to Diagon Alley (in USF), possibly taking up Jaws and featuring two new Potter e-tickets (one being some kind of Gringots coaster)... Hopefully an announcement will be made soon.

comics101 said...

^^Thanks so much. That is an interesting rumor...I can't imagine them getting rid of Jaws though (at least I hope not lol). I would hope Disaster would go before Jaws, and isn't there a plot for expansion behind MIB? Idk. Either way, I do hope for a HP expansion.