Saturday, June 29, 2019

Islands of Adventure 2019

With the opening of the acclaimed new Hagrid coaster, I took another look at Islands of Adventure and drew a plan of a personal, idealized vision for the park:


PORT OF ENTRY: I'd like to see the return of the Island Skipper Tours to the central lagoon.

SEUSS LANDING: Here I added a Jungle of Nool family boat attraction that follows the story of Horton Hears a Who.  Maybe it could incorporate some songs from the musical.

ATLANTIS: This reshaped version of Lost Continent is the most radical change for the park.  It takes the current aesthetic of Mythos/Poseidon's Fury/Shop and makes that the style of the area.  All traces of the Sinbad area are gone).   

Poseidon's Fury is no more.   While elements of the exterior, queue and pre-show could be kept & re-purposed, the new attraction is a major E-ticket darkride with thrill elements.  The top of the show-building is fully-themed to temple ruins.  Inside, 1930s pulp adventurers (Kong's Eighth Wonder Expedition Co.) are here to guide guests in jeeps to the ancient Gateway of Atlantis.  

 A heavily-themed topsin ride is added to give the land a 2nd attraction.

WIZARDING WORLD: The major changes seen on this plan are all about completely disguising attraction & backstage buildings.  As seen below, Hogwarts School's northern half is added to complete the recreation and disguise the showbuilding.  Rockwork is used on the top of the western building that is visible from Port of Entry/Jurasssic Park.

For the new Hagrid Coaster, the drop building treatment in my drawing is changed from painted trees to rockwork and moss-covered abbey ruins.     

JURASSIC PARK: I've not included the upcoming coaster because rumors are making it out to be naked gigacoaster, which may undermine the idea of visiting the actual Isla Nublar versus an amusement park.  I like the Visitor Center ensconced in a lot of trees.  Velociraptor Encounter gets a new location.  The clutter of boardwalk-style games booths is gone.

TOON LAGOON: The theater is removed for a Scobby-Doo themed haunted house interactive darkride.

MARVEL SUPERHERO ISLAND: The Fearfall is replaced by an Ironman shooter omnimover as imagined by concept artist Phil Saunders for a Marvel park in the Middle East:


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Star Wars Era Begins

I've drawn a lot of variations on the DL plan over the years, but this one marks the first incorporating the monumental Galaxy's Edge and the truncated Rivers of America.  I jumped the gun a little and will likely have to make some alterations once it opens, but this plan - based on the model and latest aerial photos - provides an illustration of how the northwest section of the park will look going forward.  

With Star Wars in the bag, one can look at the rest of the park and imagine what changes one would like to see take place next.  For me, these typically always come down to five key areas:

1. Replace the English Pooh in the Western-set Critter Country
2. Create a 2nd Main Street to ease the bottleneck.
3. Re-do Tomorrowland, stem-to-stern.
4. Replace the tented Fantasyland theater.
5. Re-imagine or Re-develop the Northeast Corner (Subs & Autopia)

MAIN STREET & LIBERTY SQUARE: I added a small indoor arcade and Liberty Square, inspired by Colonial America, to serve as a secondary egress route that this higher capacity park could use.  All the Americana-based exibits at the Opera House would become part of new attraction.  The Opera House would then become home to more expansive museum on the history of the park & Imagineering, featuring ongoing displays of models & artwork.

NEW TOMORROWLAND: Now that space fantasy has its own land, I've imagined a Tomorrowland that revives the real world, techno-optimistic futurism that it was its original theme.   A new version of Horizons would take up the CoP building.  Star Tours gets re-themed.   Buzz goes away, replaced by a Plus Ultra Society Headquarters.   New Peoplemover.  New restaurant extending out toward the Hub.


FANTASYLAND: A version of Maurice's Cottage goes on the footprint of the old Skyway building and houses a meet & greet.   The Theater is removed for a LPS darkride based on Tangled.  Its queue winds through a forest to the hidden valley of the tower.   Train Station gets relocated to Toontown.


SHADOWLAND: An evil version of Fantasyland.  Ramshackle medieval facades front an E-ticket, similar to Shanghai Pirates in scope, that features all the Villains coming together - a ride concept rumored for years.   Other features include an Ursula-themed spider flat-ride, castle ruins to explore and a pub where all the villains hang out, similar to that of 'Shrek'.  A new covered theater for live stage shows is added.
CRITTER COUNTRY & FRONTIERLAND: I included another take on a Country Bears Coaster (there was one in my last DL plan) - similar in scale to SDMT.  It features several indoor and outdoor musical scenes and many AA bears and critters.  A western Vaudeville show returns to the Diamond Horseshoe, and TSI loses its Pirates overlay.

GALAXY'S EDGE: Not a lot to add that hasn't been analyzed in detail as we approach opening day.  There have been some very impressive lands added to existing theme parks in the current era (e.g., Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, Pandora, New Fantasyland, Carsland), but this one looks to top them all.  The model alone is an intricate work of art, and I appreciate how the land's central visual motif was inspired by Frontierland's petrified tree.  Here's hoping it can deliver on the huge expectations.  I left the expansion section as is, for now.  Connecting it to a modified or replaced Toontown could be part of a drawing at some point.