Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Variations on a Theme

***UPDATED(see below) ***



The imminent opening of Shanghai DL underscores the limitless possibilities of the castle-park format.  It can be fun drawing various interpolations of this concept, as well as seeing what others have come up with.  The following Illustrative is my edited interpretation of Vipraa’s dream Texas Disney Resort flagship park, the write-up for which can be found here.

This park concept has taken some inspiration from Shanghai DL, though it retains a more traditional Hub & Spoke layout.  The SDL influences include (i) a Treasure Cove area with similar content as Shanghai's; (ii) a Fantasyland boat ride that travels through the center of that land as well as below the Rose Garden plaza behind the Castle; (iii) a Broadway-scale theater in the entry land (separate ticket required?); (iv) wavy, bulbous glass curtains covering the Tomorrow-based land buildings.

I've imagined topography playing a much more dramatic role than in existing parks (which are limited by water-table).  For example, the Crystal Canyon Runaway Mine Train takes place mostly well below the pathway 'grade' level in a deep artificial canyon.   Similarly, in Fantasyland West, the pathway gradually rises (as the Spaceport pathway descends) so by the rime you enter Spaceport from Fantasyland you are on the 2nd level (the Expo’s 2nd level, StarGazer’s 2nd level, etc. can all be accessed from this skybridge) while the parade route passes below (parade floats would have a max. height req. or need to mechanically transform to make it past the overpasses).

The big question is what should go in the Sixth Land pad...



***

Now to answer that question.  I settled on a kitsch "Fifties America" in order to give the park another nostalgic American area with original attractions created specifically for the land.

From the hub, one crosses a bridge and passes under a googie land marquee.  On the right is a Mel's Drive-thru type burger joint with metallic arches and neon signage.  

Taking up most of the land are two intertwined automobile-based attractions.  They also share a mountain-clad showbuilding for individual show scenes.  Road Trip, USA is basically Autopia with much more to see.  Drivers control (do a degree) their small 1950s cars (electric but feigned as gas-powered) and pass numerous stylized roadside tourist attractions such as Carslbad Caverns, Mt. Rushmore, dinosaur road-side stands, drive-thru redwood, the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota... you get the idea. 

Rock n' Roll Drag Racers is something akin to Radiator Springs Racers, but without the toon element.  It has a 1950s rock soundtrack, indoor show-scenes and a high-speed race finale.

If Car Culture is one part of the land, 1950s sci-fi is the other.  The major E-ticket ride is hidden behind a crashed UFO flying saucer, where government agents have descended on the town to investigate.   This original attraction might include giant Atomic Ants, Martian Invaders and other monster staples of the time period.  

The town green by the train station reflects the somewhat disapproving older section of town - still enjoying trains and gazebo bands versus newfangled cars and rock n' roll: