Friday, January 15, 2021

Parallel Animal Kingdom

 Here's an alternate universe drawing of Animal Kingdom that incorporates a number of the early ideas which did not make it into the final, real world park.



   This is the original entry to the park minus the Rainforest Cafe.


   The Island sees the return of the park encircling Riverboats, including the animated scenes and sights that were originally conceptualized.   The Tree of Life Theater gets a different show that is more of a thesis statement for the park, rather than focused on just one area (bugs).

   Now things begin to change quite a bit, though Restaurantosaurus and the Boneyard remain the same.   The Excavator D-ticket mini-mountain mine cart coaster is at the center of the land.   Countdown to Extinction is much more ambitious here, reflecting the earliest drawings of an indoor-outdoor dinosaur safari experience.   As always, I shift the attraction's setting out of the present day and give the attraction's exterior, storyline and vehicles a 1930s-50s retrofit.  The Dino Institute building sports a Flemish Renaissance-revival facade, new queue displays and pre-shows.

   A new E-ticket flume ride is added, this time it is a watery journey past megafauna from the Pleistocene Ice Age of 20,000 years ago: giant sloths, dire wolves, Irish deer, sabre-tooth cats, glyptodonts, and, of course, wooly mammoths and mastodons are among the sights to be seen.   Final plunge into an ice floe lake.


    This area is a kid-aimed catch-all land; a home for Disney's assorted animal characters.   Parks should also strive to create some of their own characters, such as Figment or the Country Bears, and as seen below in an early WDI concept layout, there was a mystery attraction labeled "Pagoo's Adventure."   I'm interpreting this as an animated panda character created for the park (well before Kung Fu Panda) and including it in this plan.  The area also incorporates some elements from Camp Minnie-Mickey (M&G pavilions and Willow Theater) as well as the Theater in the Wild currently housing a Nemo musical. 


Around the lagoon there is seating for a World of Color -style fountain nighttime spectacular themed to the animal world.  

   This is a transplant of the extinct area from DCA.  It has the 3-D show formerly housed in the Tree of Life's roots.

   In reality, Animal Kingdom's master plan was built around two big safari rides.  The African one got built.  The Asian one got canceled late in the design, leaving Animal Kingdom with a very large, cut-off area.  In this parallel universe  the original Tiger River Run was built as planned, featuring many species of live Asiatic animals free-roaming through seemingly barrier-free habitats among temple ruins and lush vegetation.   Rafts are coupled for the long, slow-moving animal viewing segment, then decouple for a thrilling, whitewater finale through a clearcut forest (Kali River Rapids).  

  Instead of Conservation Station, this park gets a new area based on animals and cultures of the South American rainforests.   Accessible only via the Wildlife Express which serves as themed visual element for the Tiger River Run in Asia.   A colorful Brazilian town awaits travelers as they disembark the train.   There is a soarin' ride here, gliding over various natural wonders of South America, as well as a thrilling E-ticket darkride featuring a more fictionalized storyline and some of the intimidating aspects of the South American ecosystems, such as jaguars, tarantulas and a giant anaconda in audio-animatronic form.  Live creatures could be on display in fence-less habitats in the attractions' queues.


  Here, a new theater-in-the-round is located where the Harambe Marketplace was recently built.   The musical show here could remain based on The Lion King, or it could be inspired by authentic East African culture, as in the Heartbeat of Africa show planned for EPCOT back in the day.  There's also a new dining venue where the current LK Theater is.   


   Kilimanjaro Safaris returns to something closer to its original incarnation.  It loses all the changes over the years that have brought in a lot of visible fencing and man-made structures, such as the Wild Africa Trek, Wild Dog paddock and Zebra paddock.   It regains a storyline and the final chapter of chasing poachers through the flooded canyon.  In the northern section I contoured the flood control canal to simulate a natural river and open up vistas to a very large Elephant Savanna.  What more awe-inspiring sight could the park provide than a vast expanse of 'wild' savanna with 20-30 Elephants moving freely and naturally in the distance.

   Also, just as in World Showcase, I think each of the three Continent lands at Animal Kingdom (Asia, Africa, Amazonia) ought to be staffed on show with cultural representatives from Africa, India/Nepal and South America. 


   Here is an expanded version of the famous, never-built land.  As seen in the art below, one would enter the land by crossing a bridge and passing through a thick, dark forest before emerging into a plaza featuring the Mother Goose shop.  To the left, over the Billy Goat Bridge, is the Loch Ness Landing village area where the Monster makes periodic appearances.  Here the main dining/drinking facilities are located.  Going further into the dark side of the land is the landmark suspended coaster, Dragon's Tower, in which bats carry cauldrons through indoor showscenes and over melted castle ruins, culminating with a scorching encounter with a fire-breathing 100ft AA dragon in his treasure lair.  


The two other planned attractions - Quest for the Unicorn interactive maze and Fantasia Gardens family boat ride - are shown here.  I expanded the land to add three more original attractions.   There is a mythical creature aerial spinner with various winged creatures to ride (e.g., griffins, gargoyles, phoenix).   There is a domed, seamless CircleVision-style special effects theatrical attraction, hosted by an AA Merlin and his animal companion (in a role similar to Timekeeper/Nine-Eye).  And there is an atmospheric indoor boatride, The Swan Queen, which would be a ticket-level up from Fantasia Gardens, with a PotC-scale drop.





NerdmanReturns said...

Wow, I’m loving this so far. I hope Part 2 will include Beastly Kingdom.

Any chance you’ll do one of these Parallel Parks based on early concepts for other parks, like say EPCOT or Hollywood Studios?

Anonymous said...

Really enjoying all these parallel universes. The expansion of Tiger River Run and creation of child-centric lands as well as Amazonia are brilliant. Can't wait to see what the 2nd half brings! Thank you for bringing some joy amid this awful time, you won't believe how glad I am to see your posts! I hope PU Epcot will be next!

SWW said...

^Thank you for saying that. I'm glad they're appreciated.

Anonymous said...

This is really nice and I’m looking forward to seeing your part 2. One flaw I see in this plan is having the only way to get to Amazonia could end up either overloading the train or causing that area to be under utilized.

I was thinking one way to open up that area north of Asia would be to add another gate there, then have a path between the train and the bird show. A new resort could be built across western way and a skyliner station could be added there.

SWW said...

^I like the idea, save for the Skyliner, which I feel is a major eyesore (poles and wires), perspective-killer and illusion-wrecker at WDW. (I was glad to see the original skyways at MK and DL go extinct). I'd use monorails or boats for that resort instead.

Kyle Cormier said...

Hey are you doing more Parallel Parks maybe for Hollywood Studios or Epcot or are you making something else after the Animal Kingdom Parallel Park

SWW said...

^Not sure yet, so I can't give a hint.

Kyle Cormier said...

but those are great ideas right SWW

NerdmanReturns said...

This is honestly perfection!