For me, one of the key problems with DCA - that I've tried to address here - is that it was built with little regard to sight-lines & visual intrusions. I believe theme parks can be considered "great" when they successfully transport the visitor to an extraordinary place. In order to do this, the first and most important task is to block from sight & mind the real world of cheap hotels, power lines, commercial buildings, etc.
The biggest issue regarding DCA for me was how to handle Paradise Pier. I don’t care much for the lightly-themed carny rides and hip-modern puns, signage & architecture of the original Pier, and I really don't like the lack of a berm which allows for many outside visual intrusions, particularly the Paradise Pier Hotel and Grand Californian DVC addition, in the Pier's wide vistas. However, after studying many close-ups of the fully Victorian-ized Pier model (in the Bluesky Cellar), as well as the fine execution of the revamped sections (e.g., Midway Mania), I've come to believe that if given the full-budget treatment, the Idealized Turn-of-the-Century Boardwalk could work within a Tier I theme park. It could - and should - be the equivalent of Main Street, U.S.A., but a waterfront midway.
You will note in my drawing that all the Victorian components are here: the new wooden buildings housing the queues for the carousel, ferris wheel and coaster, the new parachute drop, the new facades for the Pavilion area – all based on the model below (I understand that most of this much-needed placemaking has, unfortunately, been cut from the budget):
|Photo from David Wallace's stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/david-wallace/sets/72157610368139836/with/3066890584/|
Now, what to do about the outside intrusions. One way to address is to build a berm. Another is to build a thematically-appropriate hotel (e.g. MiraCosta in Tokyo DisneySea). Here, in place of the razed Paradise Pier Hotel, I've added an expansive turn-of-the-century beach resort (based on those like the Del Coronado), with turrets and parapets that complement that which is within the park:
I did a quick photoshopping of the before & after view:
Unfortunately, at the Grand Californian, Disney built a very pedestrian (IMO) extension to the beautifully-designed original building right up to the border of (and now looming over) the Paradise Garden area. In my idealized vision, this DVC expansion never came to pass. That area is given over to a major E-ticket dark ride, inspired by attractions like Mystic Manor & Haunted Mansion, which explores Gustav Tinkerschmidt’s mysterious, frightening & humorous funhouse & sideshow:
The next big issue was what to do about Carsland. Part of me wanted to do something different with that land, because (i) Radiator Springs and the types of rock formations being built right now are not part of the California landscape (more AZ/UT), and (ii) it is limiting to theme an entire land to a single film franchise that has only indirect connections to CA (Pixar, Rt 66, etc.). However, after seeing the extraordinary rockwork that has been done so far in that area, and realizing it can be fun to draw some areas that will actually be built, I decided to keep it (although I renamed it). The only change is that I added the Drive-In Theatre restaurant that was cut from the plan:
Buena Vista Street is drawn as planned:
I drew the Grizzly Peak section of Golden State as depicted in the Disney Mountains book (i.e., Condor Flats has been incorporated and given a 1950s National Park/Forest overlay. I would hope some AA bears could be added to Grizzly River, similar to the HKDL peak:
Hollywood sees some major changes. The land is fully themed to the Golden Age Tinseltown of the 1940s, rather than revealing the set-like backsides of facades. Monsters Inc and the adjacent unused show building are combined into a lengthy omnimover that takes riders past AA scenes of various genre classics (not repeating those films that are featured in the Great Movie Ride). The Hyperion Theatre gets an indoor queue/lobby and a Pueblo Deco facade to complement the Tower of Terror:
The final themed zone replaces Bugsland and takes up the remaining sliver of unused land. I was inspired by the La Brea Tar Pits to do a land on prehistoric California. I’m a big fan of natural history museums, and that’s basically what this land is. The Discovery Center is exactly that, with Deco architecture inspired by L.A.’s Griffith Observatory:
The major E-ticket in this area is an ice-age themed flume, with AA dire wolves, imperial mammoths and Shasta ground sloths that once inhabited California’s central valley:
So there you have it. I think the above would be a worthy second gate to Disneyland. Please take a minute to leave a comment. Cheers!