Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Yesterland: The Theme Park

Disney giveth, and Disney taketh away...

For this next park design, I thought it would be a fun exercise to create a Yesterland Park, comprised only of extinct attractions.  Missed by many (and often wished to return from the dead), these lost rides, shows, shops & eateries now have a permanent place to reside posthumously... on IdealBuildout.

I set a few guidelines for this exercise: 
Guideline I: Attractions included may be globally extinct (Nature’s Wonderland), locally extinct (Carousel of Progress) or not-really-extinct-but-significantly-altered (Sinbad’s Seven Voyages)
Guideline II: The layout & scale of the attraction should be same/similar.
Guideline III: The exteriors will often be altered/improved to fit the new, highly-themed wider environment. 

The aim is to make this a fresh new park but with the DNA made up only of Lost Disney, drawn from all the properties worldwide... a Frankenstein park in time for Halloween:


Right off the bat, I think I stretched rule one, because I wanted the quintessential park-encircling RR, but was unsure if any had gone extinct.  Maybe the engines/passenger cars themselves have been retired).  Maybe a DL expert can chime in.   I also added the recently-deceased Carnation Plaza Gardens from DL.  From MK, come many features that once made that park a crown jewel:  One-of-kind retail like Liberty Square’s Old World Antiques and the House of Magic; small-scale attractions like Main Street Cinema, Swan Boats and the Penny Arcade; and the greenery of the Flower Market and the shade-tree-filled Central Plaza.


Working clockwise, Adventureland begins with an Arabian sub-area.  This draws from Paris’ original Bazaar – a very artfully-executed indoor retail environment which was converted into a restaurant.  DL’s Aladdin’s Oasis dinner theater gets a new, dedicated showspace.  The anchor attraction is Sinbad’s Seven Voyages, which was darker and edgier than the kid-friendly, musical Storybook version that TDS installed circa 2006.  Also in this Arabian section is the small date palm orchard which recently gave way to Carpets at TDS.

The northern stretch of Adventureland would feature the typical array of eclectic, exotic buildings, housing Pleasure Island’s extinct Adventures Club and lost retail.  In the center of the land is a version of WDW’s Treasure Island (a pirate-themed hideout), which became Discovery Island (a small zoo) and then closed.   On the island would rest DL’s converted Swiss Family Treehouse.  Around the island would motor Animal Kingdom’s shuttered Safari (Discovery) Riverboats, passing sites such as a fire-spewing dragon cave, African geysers and the AA iguanodon. 

The southwestern sub-area represents East African savanna environment with a new Pride Rock exterior housing the MK’s lost Legend of the Lion King puppet musical, while the far western section represents West African rainforest environment for the lost Tarzan show presented at DLP (and similar version at DAK).


 One enters the land from the hub moving down the thoroughfare of a Frontier boomtown.  Here are lost, authentic shops and a music hall featuring the old Vaudeville show removed from Magic Kingdom.  Keelboats (ex. DL, MK) & Canoes (ex. DLP, MK) make their way around DL’s non-PotC Tom Sawyer Island, featuring Fort Wilderness and the burning Settler’s Cabin.  Also on the island is the shuttered Aunt Polly’s Dockside Inn (MK) for light meals.  Small lost features like the Dixieland Bandstand and Woodcarvers Hut return here.   An experience that would be unique in today’s theme park environment is the return of the Rainbow Ridge Pack Mules, which shares real estate with the land’s anchor ride: Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland.  A sub-area, DL’s Bear Country (pre-Critter/Pooh) makes a return here, as well.


The castle is based on Tokyo’s because it houses the lost Castle Mystery Tour walkthrough.  Interesting & sadly, the two FL darkrides that have been killed off were among the best of this category (ride-wise): the MK’s larger, dueling version of Mr. Toad and the original, child-traumatizing version of Snow White’s Scary Adventures (before its wings were clipped and it was two minutes of a witch popping out of the darkness).  DHS’s Hunchback – A Musical Adventure gets a dedicated, themed theater.  In the center of the land is the lagoon housing the Chicken of the Sea (Hook’s Ship) and Skull Rock from DL.  Also built around the lagoon are DL’s Triton’s Garden and MK’s Playful Spot. 


An improved version of the MK’s late TTF makes an appearance in this park, with a more rural western half housing a petting zoo, the Barnstormer and Donald’s Boat.  The eastern half is a small town Main Street housing a theater (MickeyMouseRevue, ex. MK, Tokyo), train station, and some character houses.


I considered including the extinct Alien Encounter & Star Tours v.1, but most of the lost Tomorrow-based attractions are science fact-based, not SciFi, so the land takes that real-world, near-future direction.  The land’s entrance is marked by the Magic Kingdom’s waterfall pylons and the architecture is Saarinen/EPCOT-style.  Three huge, dearly-missed (by me) pavilions from EPCOT form a ring around the Starjets pedestal.  DL’s Carousel of Progress, MK’s If You Had Wings & EPCOT’s BodyWars get new showbuildings.  The DL Peoplemover makes for a familiar sight, and, appropriately, shares some show-space with World of Motion.

This final land is built in a retro-future, Neo-Victorian style (riveted iron, glass, polished stone) and houses extinct attractions that fit in this environment.  The original, pre-Mission 2 Space Mountain: de la Terre a la Lune, with its emphasis on the Verne story is the land’s landmark & anchor.  Also from Paris is the Visionarium.  A natural Verne-ian neighbor is MK’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, elaborate sub ride.  I recall reading that Dreamfinder evolved from Discovery Bay’s Professor Marvel, so EPCOT’s Journey into Imagination finds a home here (with a new exterior, perhaps 1900 wrought iron glass pyramids).  Lastly, I added Adventures Thru Inner Space, which seemingly modern in the 1970s seems ripe to be converted into a Neo-Victorian styling.


There it is… hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane via my illustrative plan.  The new park is light on big thrill E-tickets, which rarely go extinct, but heavy on slower-moving, longer, atmospheric, AA-based rides (Nature’s Wonderland, Horizons, etc.) - quite telling of the evolution of the Tier I theme park.  Does assembling a nostalgia park out of lost rides create something on par with what the current approach? 


Felipe Zahtariam said...

This is an excellent park! I really like the way you improved/updated the layout of old atractions, to fit on a better/updated park. :D

megatron_85 said...

the world misses them so much

Anonymous said...

Can you do a park for the unbuilt Disney attractions

SWW said...

That could be a follow-up. Neverland: The Theme Park, featuring exclusively well-known, but never built, concepts.

What lands would you put there? 1920s Main St? Beastly Kingdomme? Discovery Bay? Which rides?

comics101 said...

This is phenomenal! Wow. For some reason I never thought to use a DL-layout for an extinct attractions park, but looking at it now it seems like a "duh" move. I think it's because whenever extinct attraction parks come up on sites like WDWmagic, they seem so unrealistic and are usually seriously discussed as a fifth gate for WDW.
Honestly, I could see this park existing today, assuming all rides would be modern incarnations of the classics.
This park really has the old-school charm of classic EPCOT Center.
My only complaints: A lack of Hollywoodland (would have loved to seen a return of Superstar TV and the Monster Soundshow, maybe also a new version of Animation, or classic Star Tours?).
I'm also missing me some Kitchen Kabaret...a tour through Retro-ville simply cannot be complete without a little "Veggie Fruit Fruit"...Ole!

comics101 said...

Oooh! Just read your "Neverland" idea!
Hmm...this is difficult ahaha. I think 1920's Main Street with Crimestoppers is a given...

Hmm...honestly it almost seems to me you've pretty well covered a lot of the never built attractions in other site plans already...I can't come up with anything I haven't already seen here. Could be fun to see the new layout, but maybe it wouldn't be the most original idea...idk.

ProjectTurtle said...

Nostalgia will be missed

SWW said...

I wish I had thought of a Hollywoodland with those types of attractions (Monster Sound, Star Tours, original Animation, etc)! Dang.

You're right in that I've covered every Never-built attraction that I know of over the scores of plans.

comics101 said...

This is extremely off topic, but I was wondering if I could get your opinion on Carsland at DHS...it just seems like such a wasted opportunity to me, not because the attraction and land are bad, but because the ride layout and design seem perfect for a Star Wars Pod Racers ride right behind Star Tours and Blot Express...
I do get the money thing, but I can't imagine Carsland would be that big a pull from HP part 2 over at Uni...I'm not sure. If it happens, it will be interesting to see how the area differs from DCA (assuming they don't just build RSR).
Anywho...haha sorry to ramble and repeat what thousands of fans across the internet have already stated ahahaha.

SWW said...

My first choice would always be for something never before done.

And, all things being equal, I tend to prefer attractions based on live-action over animation because I can relate and fit into those photo-real worlds a lot easier (e.g. Swiss Family Treehouse vs. Tarzan Treehouse).

So there is a long list of things I would like to see at DHS before Carsland.

That said, I think Carsland, if it comes, will still be a major positive for the park and fits in with the Studio-based land concept that seems to be the long-term plan (assuming it will connect with an expanded Pixar Place).

I like your idea for a major non-simulator Star Wars ride, but I would avoid pod-racing for a couple reasons, the big one being Star Tours covers it. I like it when the attractions expand on characters' worlds (like Indiana Jones Adventure does), so maybe an original Star Wars storyline on a new, red-rocked planet, but with some familiar faces & tech...

Anonymous said...

actually, theres a great website on things like that that is actually called Yesterland. It is hosted by some guy named Werner Weiss. Also, the trains have been changed around a bit. You also forgot the viewfinder train, and the "old" monorail

B.J. said...

Very nice! I especially like the inclusion of World of Motion and Horizons! One issue with your otherwise amazing illustration is that the labels are very difficult to read in a lot of places, and it also runs over the top of the key, completely obscuring some entries.

Anonymous said...

Where is the next post

Amaru said...

Interesting idea! Unfortunatley I'm too young to miss any of these attractions.:(

Anonymous said...

Where are you, SWW

SWW said...

I'm here. Thanks for the comments. Anon, I used the excellent Yesterland site as a resource for this.

BJ, you and some others have mentioned the obscuring issues. It stems from the paintover process. I will keep it in mind going forward.

Amaru, you're lucky to have a new baseline.

There will be another post (attraction layout) later in Oct.

Lonnie said...

Hey Sam. Yet another great one. But what about a few things like the original Tahitian Terrace and Big Game Shooting Gallery for Adventureland. Maybe even something like WDW's River Country could make a return as a 2nd gate. And as for smaller details, what about things like MK Space Mountain queue from the RCA years, that was an attraction in itself :). Thanks. Peace.