Wednesday, July 13, 2016

SDL - Expansion Plan

Before getting to the latest buildout I've drawn for Shanghai, you may enjoy this stand-out presentation that PJ Butler created for the charrette:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5arqx7dm7gqdvy0/Charrette%20Proposal.pdf?dl=0

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My goals for this version were to try out some new concepts based on both recent and forthcoming blockbusters, add some very big thrills (simultaneously giving the park huge rockwork berm 'mountains' and structures to help insulate it), and inject a significant amount of unique, original content.






Mickey Avenue  This area sees a new square and a Flemish brownstone apartment complex added.  It is where the core characters can meet & greet in their various themed flats.  This allows the removal of the current Meet Mickey tent in the Tomorrowland expansion pad.

Adventure Isle  The small expansion pad is used to add to the Arbori mythology present throughout the land.  I used a similar concept in the DHS plan several posts down: the general idea is to disguise a thrilling flatride (e.g. a Topspin) as an ancient, stone machine or temple.  This one could be disguised as a threshing device and/or a temple to the Arbori God of the Harvest.

Treasure Cove  The areas currently used as picnic lawns are leveled and turned into an elaborate expansion of the ramshackle pirate town.   Here the emphasis is on non-PotC-movie content in order to underscore the land's broader theme (Golden Age of Piracy versus the specific PotC-only filmic world).  I'm thinking it could include a musket range (shootin' gallery) as conceptualized for DLP, Long John Silver's tavern/eatery and an interactive, indoor walkthrough inspired by the original pirate concept for Disneyland (Rogue's Gallery).  


Fantasyland  The third picnic lawn gets turned into a landmark (larger, taller, higher-capacity than DLP's) Old Windmill (Ferris Wheel).  Another flatride is placed in the northern, forested part of the land: Mater's Jamboree whip ride re-themed to fit the Tangled sub-area.  The major addition to the land is marked by an enormous beanstalk which rivals the castle and Roaring Mountain in height and size.  The stalk conceals a showbuilding housing a mixed media attraction based on the forthcoming animated feature.  The giant beanstalk is also used to obscure the next door theater building.



Tomorrowland  The areas currently occupied by Meet Mickey and the Marvel exhibit would be replaced by permanent facilities (ride, dining, exhibit) reflecting real-world, techno-optimistic futurism (since not many of the land's current attractions focus on Original TL's core principle).  When it came to giving this park a Haunted Mansion, I thought I'd put it in Tomorrowland.  That idea morphed into an attraction that is thrill/horror, but not really a version of the humorous and musical HM - this is more of a distant cousin to Tower of Terror.  I imagined a vertical drop darkride that would look like a mix of Gaudi's never-built hotel for NYC and the mysterious abandoned spacecraft from 'Alien.'  The research base and gantry around it are the sleek, metallic, human architecture as seen in the rest of TL, but the ship itself would be very different: an unsettling and Alien-esque bio-mechanical design.  The TL research team that entered the Derelict (nod to Zoolander) ship never returned.



Gardens of Imagination  There is an addition of an elevated railway station.
 

Zootopia  In place of the rumored and possibly-underway Toy Story Land is a new mini-land themed to the smash movie.  The aforementioned elevated train takes visitors on a trip similar to the one seen at the beginning of the film (as well as adding to Tomorrowland's visual interest).  The el train is similar in scale to the one at DisneySea.  It travels on the inside of the parade loop so as not to interfere and also provide cover for parade viewers.  Zootopia the land is enveloped by a long, splash-mountain-scale flume ride that traverses condensed versions of three of the major city environs seen in the movie: Rainforest District, Tundra Town, Sahara Square.  The icy pinnacles of Tundra Town house (in addition to queue/boarding for the flume below) a restaurant based on Mr. Big (upper level).  The train station is in the central desert district.  The rainforest district also features a giant swing spinner themed to a rainforest tree and its vines and lianas. 
 
 

The Lost City: Byzantium  The final and largest addition is an original land based on the Byzantine Empire, a distinctive civilization that bridged the Classical and Medieval Eras, and Eastern & Western worlds.  Re-creating things like Byzantium, both accurately & theatrically, is a primary way in which theme parks can educate and enrich whilst entertaining a mass audience.  I've used the example of TDS's Lost River Delta before, which immerses visitors in (seemingly authentic and well-researched) Mayan art and architecture while taking them on a fun, pulp fiction adventure.  The same can be said for any really-well recreated historic, natural or literary environment.  Visitors to this lost city will experience the buildings, art and culture of a great and ancient civilization they may have known little about hitherto, while simultaneously enjoying adrenaline-pumping coasters and state-of-the-art SFX attractions.


The enormous mountain range forms an "L"-shaped backdrop around the land, hiding both the Pirates showbuilding and the backstage/outside world.  The backstage parade route is altered to go around the new land. 

I see two possible ways to theme the land.  The more challenging would be to set the time period in the ancient empire, circa 800-1000AD.  Another route would be to follow the template set by Adventure Isle and make it a 1920s-30s expedition (League of Adventurers) uncovering a lost and ruined archaelogical site: rather than the tropics of the Pacific islands, this a Caucasus Mountains-set Byzantine outpost.  The latter gives the benefit of making it easier to integrate necessary technologies more believably throughout the land. 

In addition to the mountain peaks, the major landmarks include a large domed structure partly inspired by the Hagia Sofia - which serves as the impressive queue and pre-show to the very elaborate mountain coaster that travels to the far edges of the land - as well as a mountaintop tower.  A number of other attractions, dining and retail facilities round out the land.  


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I'll be saving the hotel for a future post.