Friday, October 26, 2012

Illustrated Attraction Plan - Tangled

Here is another illustrated ride layout in a similar format to the previous one.  This ride is based on an idea submitted by an IdealBuildout reader.  Phil’s idea was for a Tangled sub-area at MK, anchored by two level Kuka-based dark ride.  Here is his mock-up:

 I had already drawn a conceptual theme park plan that included a Tangled-dedicated land, here, so I decided to adapt Phil’s ride to that location, instead of the MK.  After reading his description, I thought it best to drop the Kuka arm from my version, because I didn’t think the ride required that kind of powerful multi-directional motion.  Since the ride vehicles were to be Floating Lanterns and the ride a mild, family E-ticket, I felt that vehicle needed 270 degree horizontal rotation as well as gentle, pneumatic vertical lift of about 3-5ft.  I also felt the ride only needed to be one level since there were no major drops that couldn’t be achieved with screens and movement of the vehicles’ lifts.  

My illustrated ride layout:

Some reference imagery:

The Queue
The experience begins in a verdant forest.  The front of the showbuilding is hidden by extensive rockwork and trees with a waterfall tumbling down the front into a pool.  Soon visitors reach a clearing where a near-scale Tower sits.  Standby lines circle the tower’s base, while the fastpass line moves directly into the caverns.  Taking a cue from the new Mermaid queue, the indoor, cavern features “mini-games with Pascal. Successfully completing mini-games would illuminate a starburst above on the ceiling.”  Phil continues, “Behind the load station would be a mural of the Kingdom with floating lantern projections drifting in the sky above it.  Ride vehicles would be "floating" lit lanterns that flicker throughout the ride. Each lantern would seat 4 guests.”

The Ride
The lanterns float into the Greenwood, where an AA Flynn Rider stands next to his WANTED poster, lamenting how they never get his nose right. A horse neigh would sound and he tells riders "Gotta run!” Vehicles then pass an AA Mother Gothel calling Rapunzel to let down her hair.

The lanterns then would entirely face left and pneumatically rise. A screen shows Rapunzel's hair, Mother Gothel climbing, followed by Flynn, who motions for you to keep it a secret.
The lanterns move into the Tower chambers, where an AA Rapunzel and Pascal paint the walls.  The vehicles move through the tower interior with quick scenes of Rapunzel singing, Gothel singing and, finally, Rapunzel confronting a tied up Flynn.

The lanterns then turn backwards to exit the tower, pneumatically lowering in sync, as another screen-room simulates returning to the forest level.

In the forest, Rapunzel swings around the tree in celebration and Flynn rolls his eyes. The lanterns will then head towards the open doors of the Snuggly Duckling.  The Duckling is filled with AA ruffians, putting on the large production number "I Have a Dream". Also present are the Stabbington Brothers, eyeing Flynn and cracking their knuckles. Maximus' neigh will sound behind us as the lanterns approach the hidden passageway. 

In the underground escape tunnel begins in a keg room then enters a cavern that has an opening to the tower clearing and forest beyond and castle in far distance (scrim).

The lanterns re-enter sunlight in the very large quarry/dam/canyon room.  We see Flynn and Maximus fighting along with the Stabbington Brothers. Rapunzel swings across a ravine using her hair.  It becomes clear that the dam is about to burst (water sprays out of it) and the canyon collapse.  A boulder almost slams into the turning ride-vehicle, at which point an on-ride photo is snapped.

The excitement of the quarry is followed by a mellower moment at a nighttime campfire with Flynn & Rapunzel.  But nearby Gothel discourages Rapunzel and the Stabbington Brothers prepare to grab Flynn.  

Back in the tower, events unfold in a magic mirror as Rapunzel and Gothel look on (screen): “The world is a cruel place.” Flynn is hurt. A sunburst in the mirror and Rapunzel gasps, exclaiming she is the lost princess.  The lanterns enter the main Tower room where a short-haired Rapunzel weeps over a dying Flynn.  She sings the healing incantation as sunbursts light up all around them.   A harrowed Gothel can be seen falling out the window, as we hear Flynn's recovering voice.

The lanterns enter a royal chamber where we see Maximus standing proud with a bag of apples and Rapunzel and Flynn embracing the King and Queen.  The lanterns exit the castle balcony and enter the Grand Finale of the attraction where "I See the Light" plays and a super-detailed miniature of the castle, the city & the boat-filled bay are laid out before & below them (in perspective: closer boats are larger).  It is evening and glowing lanterns, fiber-optics and projected lanterns surround the gently rising/lowering/rotating vehicles to create a mesmerizing effect.  

In the denoument scene, lanterns pass a city wall covered with posters that say MARRIED with drawings of Flynn and Rapunzel, his nose wrong on all of them. The lanterns turn one last time to see the drunk Short Thug (AA) waving goodbye.

The unloading area would again be a carved stone castle veranda that exits into a cavern cellar retail area and on-ride photo pick-up.  The exit path features a wooden bridge crossing a stream.



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? 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mansions - Theme Park

This park began with a request from Mike V. of The Netherlands.  I like that Mike thinks outside-the-box (he also sparked the Night Kingdom park I designed and posted here last year), and while his idea was only lightly developed over a few sentences, at its core was something unique: Five mansions forming a cul-de-sac, each home to a disparate & eccentric character.  By exploring each mansion, the visitor would be able to enter the wider world of that character.  This is sort of Jumanji-like and brings back memories that both Mike & I had of exploring unique houses or gardens and imagining the wider, fantastic worlds around or within them.  From a designer standpoint, I initially thought it would be impractical to have five castle-sized mansions around a central hub - and difficult to space distinct lands hidden behind each one – and on top of that add a looping river - but after some toil, I think the design I created works:


Since this mansion is in the 12 o'clock position, I imagined the park gates, entry street, and central hub in a similar theme: idealized, historic western European styles: beaux-arts, 2nd Empire, Art Nouveau, marble facades, mansard roofs, heavy iron streetlamps, etc.  The mansion could be inspired by the Palais du Luxemboug (as with all others, in a scaled-down, forced-perspective way).  This - and each - mansion would be fully explorable & interactive and multi-leveled, telling an interwoven tale of mystery & adventure, with many secrets/details to discover upon repeat visits.  The northern side of the House continues the Tuileries/Parisian setting: formal gardens, grand facades and a large fountain.  The circuitous river (with a steamer stop in each land) becomes the Seine in this land, with an upper & lower embankment.  Across the Seine are structures inspired by – but not duplicating  (I don’t think actual landmarks ought to be replicated in miniature here, but serve as inspiration for homages) Notre Dame (on the Ile de la Cite) and the Louvre.  The former would house a Hunchback darkride and the latter an interactive mystery adventure involving the works of art within (i.e., Da Vinci Code).   A sub-land leaves the city behind and moves into the forested outskirts where fairy tales are brought to life in both dark (a haunted castle omnimover) and light (a slow-moving storybook river cruise) ways.  Dining & retail facilities are located throughout (e.g., a museum cafĂ© in the Louvre, a Parisian bistro, etc.).


Moving counter-clockwise, the next mansion is that of a retired secret agent, containing an array of hidden passages, a training course, communications & weapons rooms, etc.  The house and land are based on a historic & romanticized Constantinople/Istanbul.  Like Paris, the specific time varies by attraction but it all pre-dates the era of Postmodernism (1949).   The mansion itself would be set in a later phase of the era (1920s-40s) with technology such as two-way radio, telephone, early film projector, etc.), whereas the Abdul Aboubil Amir musical darkride would be during the Crimean War of the 1870s.  The dominant feature across Bosphorus (river) recalls (but again, does not re-create) the famed Hagia Sophia (housing a cultural darkride) and Galata Tower complex (housing an indoor darkcoaster).   Spice markets and a narrow ‘Theives Alley’ offer unique retail opportunities.  The Orient Express train is preparing to depart on an elevated train station (this would house an interactive adventure featuring a train simulator (circlevision)).


 This is the only land & mansion set in the present, or to be exact, the near-future.  I was inspired by the curvy Tony Stark’s house in ‘Iron Man’ when I imagined the mansion (there is a helipad for a semi-futuristic helicopter to rest on).  The house belongs to a biologist, who searches for interesting life in the rainforests, under the seas and in the center of the earth.  While the Volcano and JTTCOTE may seem to recall the Victorian Steampunk of TDS, this version would be set, again, in the near-future, with different queue, ride vehicles, set dressings, etc.   Also in the caldera is a submarine research base (simulator).  The rainforest portion of the land is home to a terrain-following jungle coaster located (queue and load area is an abandoned research station).  There is an extensive, outdoor jungle EMV ride.  A sea base (inspired by The Living Seas) leads to an E-ticket undersea ride involving hungry sharks. 


The land the right of the entrance is reached by the Sea Captain’s Mansion.  The house could be assembled (or repaired) from parts of salvaged ships, with docks nearby.  Passing through, one overlooks an 18th century port, with elements of both the New England and The Caribbean.  Legends of the Sea is POTC in scale but focuses on wider oceanic tales (sirens, Moby Dick, etc.) rather than pirates.  Buccaneer references can be found in the Dead Man’s Diamond Mine coaster (Big Thunder Scale) and the live, stunt battles that take place on the lagoon (with cannon fire exchanged between the island fort and the ship).   A decrepit lighthouse on a rocky mount houses a free-fall ride. 


The final mansion is set upon an elevated ridge and reflects the Tibetan monestary-style.  It is home to an Explorer who’s favored locale is Asia, from the Himilayas to the South China Sea.   A new, expanded version of Expedition Everest dominates the Himalayan sub-area.  A jungle river rapids ride is built into the foothills of Everest.  Moving downriver the architecture and landscape reflect the transition to a romanticized historic Southeast Asia of Burma & Rangoon.  An Indy-type ride takes place in Angkor-Wat style ruins.  There is an animal exploration trail (akin to Maharajah Jungle Trek, but set in Thailand).  Finally, there is a floating marketplace for a unique retail experience.

Size Comparison with Anaheim DL:


Alright.  I hope you enjoyed this, conceptual park plan No. 112.

On a technical note, I've gotten some notes that a lot of the older plan images are down.  I'm aware, and eventually they should be back up.