Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Illustrative - Park formerly known as WDSP

About a year ago I shared a plan for re-working WDSP into a unique, non-Studio park: here

This is my illustrative version of that plan:

I also took the opportunity today to illustrate how I think the Paris version of Tower of Terror could have some changes/additions made to its exterior to improve its visual impact on this park.

WDW's Tower of Terror - a contender for best attraction ever built - featured two drop shafts.  This fact, along with the roof cupolas and the long approach down Sunset Blvd, gave the attraction a soaring verticality.  It was an awe-inspiring sight:
However, when subsequent towers were designed for Anaheim, Tokyo & Paris, a third elevator shaft was added.  While this improved capacity, it also made the younger towers much wider and block-ier.  In addition, the new style invented for the California and Paris towers (some kind of Aztec/Moorish-deco)did away with the spires, chimneys & parapets (and much of the ornamentation) of the original, further reducing verticality - leaving the 'tower' looking more like a squat, blocky mid-rise:

Since general park-wide visuals/aesthetics are of paramount importance in my design philosophy, for this new park, I imagined a large crown segment being added to the Tower (along with some additional towers, chimneys and ornament) in order to greatly increase its vertical impact from all points within the park.   Also by adding a Mayan-deco crown, a style being applied to skyscrapers during the pre-War period, the very tall attraction would more easily blend in if seen from the Adventure Bay area, or even from Big Thunder Mtn.  

Alright, here is the "improved" Tower for this park (based off an elevation found on the excellent site):

This side-by-side shows the impact of the crown and adornments to what is currently there:


ImaginationJohhhny said...

Awesome like always! I think tot does look blocky, but the improved version is personally a little wierd. i would do somewhat of the same ornaments, but i would centralize them in the middle of the building sturcture to make it look a little more natural! Ayways i would really appreciate it if you would tell me what program you use to draw these!

megatron_85 said...

still planning on pdf files?

Alwax said...

Really love the focus on TOT here. While the more modern iterations are still great, they simply don't have the same amazing impact as the original. Such a large part of that impact is the for boding nature of the structure and the anticipation that builds as you approach. I think these changes would certainly help a lot. I was always a little bummed that much like Haunted Mansion before it, of the four versions two have the same facade. It'd be great to see a different design for each one. This certainly gets my vote. and I love that you considered distant sight lines. Though one of the big problems for me is that the building looks a little lame from behind. This isn't too much of a problem in DCA and DHS, because they border the berm. But the ride is poorly placed in Paris. I guess it's just another of the many faults with WDS. Maybe someday we'll see a DCA style makeover, though I doubt it.

Also, not sure if I mentioned when you originally posted this, but I LOVE the idea of a Castlevania themed land. I think it has so much potential. I'd love to see something of this style and scale attempted.

Top marks.

Mike said...

While never seeing WDW's Tower of Terror in person I always thought via photos that it is one of the best looking styles of "park-itecture" in any theme park. It is dark and foreboding which seems to tell the story before you even enter the ride. It is visually striking.

The newer versions are hideous and definitely have the look of "budget cuts" written all over it. I do like your improved version of the Paris tower over what was actually built. It looks more like a tower and not some suburban office park mid-rise.

I agree with Alwax in that each TOT should have different facades thus creating its own identity in their respective parks.

ProjectTurtle said...

What a sight to see the WDSP ToT I have never imagined disney producing such an unattractive...attraction. Though the thought of a 3 chamber ToT is a line saver the unappealing sight might not attract guest to wait. But looking at WDW ToT brightens me day. I have been to all WDW Parks and Disney Studios in florida has two of my favorite rides the Rockin Roller Coaster and The Hollywood Tower of Terror!!! Still looking to see what program u use and was it the same for the new mach up version of the WDSP ToT thnx in advance

Pascal Schyns said...

About the Paris version of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, you have to keep in mind it's already the highest building in Marne-la-Vallée!
I agree with Mike, WDW's TOT really put you in the story at the time you look at it. But concerning DLP, the TOT can be seen from every town around (look for Serris, Chessy or Magny on Google Maps and launch Street View). The TOT in Paris couldn't be "park-itectured" because it had to be part of the "global" architecture of Val d'Europe. Also, you won't find this kind of Aztec-Deco architecture in France. It's "exotic" enough to intrigate the European audience.
What's more, the Tower has reached the maximum height authorized in France. If WDI wanted it to be higher, they would had to signalize it with a flashlight at the top... not a really 1930's detail ;)
I really like the crown you've designed, it adds some great "cachet" to the TOT. But the real problem with Paris version is the location in the middle in the park... totally inappropriate.

SWW said...

Megatron, not at the moment,

Alwax, I feel the same way about ToTs, castles, mansions... basically everything. Each ought to have its own distinctness at various locales. The very plain rear of this TOT would be a major concern for this new layout, with so much of the park lying behind it. So, while not shown, there would be significant adornments added to the backside (should probably do a side/rear elevation to show this). I too think the "Transylvania" milieu (Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, etc.) really lends itself to theme parks.

Johnny & Turtle, for these I used ArtRage Studio Pro.

Mike, looking at the various towers it strikes me that the first was function following form (architecture) to a degree and the others were a bit more form following function (designed around the newly engineered layout). Tokyo addresses this by going really heavy on the exterior embellishments and pitching the roof. That's what I've done here, but even more drastic with the empty crown adding 40% more to the overall height.

Pascal, I had a feeling there would be some regulation involving a blinking aircraft beacon. That would be a concern.

As far as TOT already being the tallest building/and visible to the towns in the Marne... to me that is an additional argument for giving it this kind of adjustment. The crown beautifies (IMO) the building for all those who can see it. An analogy: what if the Eiffel Tower had been cut off at 2/3 it's intended size because of concerns over height. It would still be visible from all over Paris, but would be an inelegant stump. When allowed to go up to a a natural, tapering crown, it becomes a much more beautiful monument.

megatron_85 said...

you are gonna post the parks that you done

Anonymous said...


I feel the same way regarding the TOTs...WDW has the most evocative, TDS the most architecturally stunning, whereas the other two are just...bleh. The squat, earthbound appearance of the WDS and DCA towers is a particular shame when one considers that the particular architectural style in which they are repesented on some of the best looking skyscrapers of all time.

Of course, as someone else mentioned, the problem at WDS is not just that the TOT is ugly...but is positioned very awkwardly in context to the rest of the park. Some layouts I would like better:

1. A WDW-style Sunset Blvd extending straight out from Studio 1, with the TOT as a climax.

2. An extension of Hollywood Blvd. extending straight out from Studio 1, with either a Carthay Circle or Hyperion equivalent as the climax; plus the area to the left of the entrance being rethemed to Sunset Blvd, with the TOT being located where RNRC is today.

As for the look of the TOT, I like this unused concept for WDW (link below):

- Tasman

Joey Aramaki said...

The new ToT concept looks sort of strange to me. I don't really care for the design. How exactly is the ride going to be enhanced by this?

Anonymous said...

^^^ He's not trying to enhance the ride...he's trying to enhance the ugly building that it's in, without replacing the existing facade.

- Tasman.

SWW said...

Thank you, Tasman.

Joey, the idea is to make the building look like a soaring Art Deco tower. Those skyscrapers of the early 1900s were tall & thin and featured tapering, decorative crowns:

To me, having a blocky building with a crown that is wider than the main shaft (necessary here for the elevator motors) has no historical precedent for the time period being presented, and therefore doesn't make much visual sense. Adding a tapering crown brings to mind those types of classical hotels:

kermitdefrog said...

I remember Disney's Forgotten Portal stirring up quite a bit of controversey among your folowers. Do you have any plans to rework the park? Are you posting any new ideas like Paris DisneySea, the Middle Earth park, DisneySky, EPCOT's Future World, the mega park, and all those other Disneylands around the world?

SWW said...

^ Not re-working this particular iteration - I am pretty happy with it - but in the future I may look at a different rescue-plan for WDSP.

The next posting should be a new park. Working on an illustrative for the Middle Earth but may save that for The Hobbit release in December. Got some interesting stuff lined up for the coming months.

ImaginationJohhhny said...

HEY YEAH, I AM IN DISNEyLAND! THe tower of terror looks so scary,purple, big, and intimidating! carlsand is awesome, same think with the gorgeous world of color!

Pastor_of_Muppets said...

Great work, as usual. Let's see Thieves' Dominion nex!