I enjoy imagining and drawing riffs on the Castle park template. And out of the scores of them I've drawn, this is one of the larger examples. The on-show park area of this park is larger than any of the existing castle parks at buildout. Here I've gathered Best Practice elements among the existing castle parks (e.g. Paris' hotel at the gate and indoor main street arcade; WDW's long-distance, lake-front approach and (former) rolling, river-encircled hub, etc.). This park's setting would be a large, idyllic resort property with plenty of water and natural acreage. A few parks and several unique resort hotels would be connected via monorails, boats and esplanade paths, as the plan shows:
OLMSTEAD PARK AND THE GRAND VICTORIAN
The Dan Goozee mural below inspired me to create a Frederick Law Olmstead-style park outside of the theme park. Like a Boston Common or Central Park, the very large park (only a portion is visible in this plan) would have picnic lawns, fountains, band shells, rowboat ponds, wildlife areas, etc.
The Fantasia Gardens park and the hotel are heavily-inspired by Paris, though somewhat unique in layout and design. There is a Victorian monorail station & water ferry dock to match the hotel.
MAIN STREET USA
As noted, in this super-sized castle park, Main Street gets extended by an extra block added to the typical two. This extra space allowed me to explore some very cool early concepts for the land. I was inspired by the early Dale Hennesy & Harper Goff artwork for a suburban street with Victorian mansions, including one very spooky, dilapidated one... I also placed a church on this street - an essential element of any turn-of-the-century American townscape.
A large, non-haunted Victorian mansion houses "Walt's" the park's signature dining venue, which could be either a museum-like decor dedicated to Disney's life or follow a more fictionalized path, in which "Walt Disney" becomes a character and this his house of secrets, magic and wonders (a la Kingdom Keepers).
As always, this Main Street features all the little non-commercial things that made it interesting and special to begin with (and that the Company has seen fit to do away with in favor of generic merch space). The west side houses a two story Grand Arcade with a glass & iron roof. It could feature some exhibits and nods to the original Edison Square concept.
Approaching from the Hub, the land is marked by Roaring Falls and the ropes course that goes with it. The land's entrance and center features the traditional exotic jungle and early 20th Century Pulp/Adventurer vibe. The center of the land is filled with scattered ruins of an ancient temple complex reclaimed by the rainforest. Around and through these ruins, an E-ticket terrain-following launch coaster traverses, mostly below path grade. The coaster would enter temples for certain show scenes or animal AA interactions before launching forward or falling backward (akin to HKDL's grizzly mountain). The land has a shooting gallery appropriate to the theme and an Explorers Club restaurant modeled on WDW's Adventurers Club interior decor.
The land's 2nd distinct geographic area is an Arabian cityscape where Aladdin finally gets a long overdue darkride. The last geographic areas transitions away from the tropics and the desert to the location of a lost Byzantine city for a new version of the Indiana Jones Adventure EMV ride.
For this park I took a different tack for the typical central castle and fantasyland. Rather than use the typical French/German-inspired chateau and fairytale area behind it, I decided to have the main castle modeled on Hampton Court Palace with its Tudor style, red brick and octagonal towers. It would still be theatricized somewhat for a theme park setting. Behind it is a dense, urban London square with a trio of darkrides set in the Edwardian Period: Mary Poppins (the unbuilt Tony Baxter ride), Peter Pan (tweaked & upgraded version of the classic) & Mr. Toad (the Magic Kingdom's extinct dual track version).
There would be a Puppet or Pantomime Theater that could feature non-film-based comedic short plays. Dining and retail venues befit this London setting: a regal restaurant, a traditional public house, a Dalmatian furrier, etc...
This land is dedicated to Machine Age exploration & adventure and may be reached via the indoor Grand Arcade of Main Street. The first visual landmark would be a large, explorable Airship preparing for departure. The Lost World Dino Cruise has guests boarding tramp steamers for a voyage through a primeval jungle of giant animatronic beasts. Climactic and frightening SFX show scenes take place inside the smoking landmark volcano and caverns.
The next area is a romanticized version of Monterey's Cannery Row or the San Francisco industrial waterfront of the late 1800s. Here is a Fireworks Factory restaurant and an 'Around the World in 80 Days' suspended darkride.
Deep in the land one arrives at Captain Nemo's Base, a sub-area featuring an explorable Nautilus submarine (as in DLP), a table service restaurant that takes place in a Victorian "undersea" aquarium, and a unique version of TDS's dry-for-wet ride.
Leaving the cityscape of London Square behind, one transitions to the village facades, green countryside and forest that makes up the 2nd half of what one could consider 'greater fantasyland'. Some of the attractions are familiar (e.g., SDMT, Labyrinth, teacups). Others offer a new ride system for an existing IP (e.g., a Frozen traditional darkride; a more elaborate LPS ride for Little Mermaid, as drawn by Helen McCarthy below). The music and characters of 'Robin Hood' are applied to the popular whip flatride.
The area's landmark E-ticket is a Splash Mountain-scale flume inspired by The Black Cauldron. The queue and pre-show (featuring an AA Henwen and Dallben) take place in the Caer Dallben farmstead. After experiencing numerous AA- and FX-laden showscenes and minor drops, the boats climb to the heights of the Horned King's castle for the final plummet.
Note that the towers and parapets of Horned King's castle align with the park's central axis, as does the lower-massed Tudor Court Palace. When viewed from Main Street or town square, this would play a trick on the eye of these two being a single tall, unusual, castle.
This park’s version hearkens back to the original theme of the land: Real World, Optimistic, Techno-Futurism. No movie tie-ins, characters or alien creatures. Everything is grounded in a plausible future for mankind. The aesthetic is sleek, curvy & monumental. Space Mountain - of the same scale as Magic Kingdom’s but with updated fx, soundtrack, etc. - dominates the vista at the end of the land. Water features, flowerbeds and a hidden railroad tunnel front it. At the exit/entry areas there is a homage to the MK’s waterfall pylons. Nearby is the Peoplemover plinth, and above that on the 3rd level is a spire-centered version of the Jetpacks – feet would dangle much further off the ground level than in Shanghai.
Horizons was, to me, a lightning-in-the-bottle classic on the same level as Haunted Mansion and PotC and epitomized the spirit of Tomorrowland/Future World. Here it is re-born with upgrades (e.g., to film footage, simulator finale tech) but keeping the general experience intact. Other attractions could include an new take on the old Adventures thru Inner Space concept (maybe making it a nanotech shooter omnimover), a seamless CircleVision experience and an interactive walkthrough experience that would draw from CommuniCore, House of the Future, TransCenter, etc.
STAR WARS OUTPOST
This is yet another unique planet and unique set of rides for a Star Wars land. This time the locale is Malastare Spaceport with a unique flora, flauna and geology marked by crystalline rockwork formations.
I considered the idea of Star Tours being accessible from both Tomorrowland and the Outpost (queue/exit & 2-3 sims for each direction) with one-way flights ending up in the other locale. Sort of like the Hogwarts Express. There are story problems with this idea as Tomorrowland and Star Wars exist within very different universes, times & tones, so maybe-not. The layout allows for this idea, however.
The center of this land features a bazaar marketplace with numerous shops and quick service dining. A billowing crystal canopy partially covers it. One (of two) E tickets in the land is a Radiator Springs Racers-style ride where landspeeders or podracers experience indoor show-scenes (e.g., an AA Hutt Clan gangster and his protocol translator attempting pre-race bribery) before exploding into a high speed outdoor race to the finish line.
A crashed Blockade Runner, approx full-scale, dominates one side of the land and marks – and serves as queue for – a major ride where visitors choose to be on the side of the Sith or the Jedi. Kuka vehicles, which seem ideal for getting thrown around by a force-weilding Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Yoda or Emperor, take teams of Rebel or Imperial volunteers to face down their enemies.
My take on this tropical, coastal themed area was to divide the main draw – PotC - into both a kid-friendly, stylized (see art below), musical darkride (C/D-ticket) as well an epic E+ motion-based boat ride that would be more intense & feature more scare/jump-moments (e.g., a sudden shark attack that rocks the boat sideways) than a typical PotC attraction. Both rides would present a unique sequence of settings, characters & events, with some familiar elements as well.
The land has an indoor stunt theater and four explore zones: Swiss Family Treehouse, Skull Island, a pirate ship, and the ruins of a Mayan temple. The interactive map/treasure hunt game from MK’s Adventureland would make use of these areas (and other nooks of the land). Most lands in the park would benefit from a similar type of exploration/engagment feature.
This supersized version of Frontierland combines some familiar elements with some never-built ride concepts. From the hub, guests enter a forest with an Indian camp before crossing a bridge into the explorable Fort Hancock. Beyond, there is an extensive townscape filled with lots of small, individual artisan shops and places to wet one’s whistle, as one might find in a Western town: a gun shop, leather shop, blacksmith, general store, woodworker, miracle medicines wagon, etc. There is a vaudeville theater and riverboat dock in town.
Outside of town is Canyon Country where one would find Lil’ Thunder Mountain kiddie coaster (see art below), the loading station to island-based Big Thunder and the massive Western River Expedition mesa. The queue to this PotC-like musical ride winds along the Riverside going behind waterfalls.
The area that transitions to Treasure Cove has a Spanish Southwest/Mexican influence. The rivers stay busy with two paddlewheelers (stern and side-wheeled), keelboats, rafts to Tom Sawyer Island and Davy Crockett Canoes accessible on the Island. The final ride brings back an old concept for Disneyland: a horse simulator (see art above). Real horses could make appearances in the corral outside the building. I imagine legendary characters of the Old West (Zorro, Tonto, Lone Ranger, Annie Oakley, etc.) could make cameos in the simulated bounty hunt within mini dome simulators. The footage would be slot-machine style (like Star Tours 2), with many variations on the experience.
This land (and all lands) could feature live streetmosphere situations – e.g., a bank robbery, a speech by a Railroad Baron, a stagecoach arrival, Zorro jumping from roof to roof, as used to happen in Disneyland, etc.