Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sydney Summer: Adventureland

Part 2: Theme Park Overviews
Part 3: The Resort Outside the Parks
Part 4: Main Street and Fantasyland

Adventureland is a linear pathway land with a general rule that the pathway is the defined border between civilization and dense vegetation, just like the two American Adventurelands. Through linear, the path has a gentle curve so that you cannot see all the way down. Vegetation constantly obscures the view, so that you want to keep going and see more of the mysterious land. 

Not much is visible from the Hub. Large bamboo gates frame a view through the canopy towards a impressive thatched Tiki temple, the first real icon of Adventureland. This first area is predominately Polynesian in design. The icon temple is a close replica of the Magic Kingdom Tiki Room and holds a table service restaurant that revives the original concept of the attraction. Inside is a simulated exterior tropical terrace where guests dine among a musical flock of birds, tikis, and Polynesian spirits. It is a highly atmospheric restaurant with periodic restaurant wide entertainment segments and songs. The restaurant shares a kitchen with the Crystal Palace mentioned in the last post as well as the Cast Dining location. Retail buildings around the restaurant are less evidently Tiki and begin to show a blend of materials and styles that will progress across the land. They have a more assembled aesthetic, as if these buildings grew over time to support the temple/terrace.

Looking to the left, all that you see is the deepness of the jungle, highlighted by the 95’ tall treehouse. There are multiple layers of movement through the jungle, starting with guests walking on the ground along the explorer paths, guests walking through the treehouse, and the coaster car weaving through the brush in the back of the land. This movement is important to draw guests farther back in Adventureland. Now a descriptive walk along this path.

The left side of the path is built up, made of a series of facades hiding one continuous building. Continuing the Polynesian design, the first sets of buildings are small and hold retail and a shooting gallery. The shooting gallery is a highly interactive infrared shooting range with a tropical and tiki scene. Across in the jungle are entrance pathways to the Tropical Explorer Caves, which is the substitute for Tom Sawyer Island. The double level cave system ties into the treehouse and includes interactive scenes such as a lost treasure cave, an endless mine, and a mysterious tiki temple. Back out by the path are the Liki Tikis, which is a small water play area.

The next area transitions to a romanticized African village, though it much less realistic than the Animal Kingdom aesthetic. The much larger and urban buildings on the left hold retail and a large two level counter service location. The dining location serves Asian, Africa, and Caribbean staples and takes over the whole second floor of this African section to provide sweeping views into the jungle.

Across the path are two attractions that share a story, that of an exploration outpost in the deep jungle staffed by a inexperienced group of adventurers in training. The grand treehouse has multiple winding levels among the branches, including a kitchen on the ground floor, an apartment for the students midway up, and a lookout and office on the top. At the base of the treehouse is the Jungle Trek Steamtrain, a former transportation train which the explorers have turned into a thrilling trip through the jungle. 

The queues pass through the student’s storage and classroom areas on the ground floor and then lead up to the second floor for loading. Each faux steam vehicle seats 36. After loading, the train turns left and goes up an incline built into the rocky cliff, which acts as a visual berm. The medium thrill coaster weaves through the rockwork and vegetation and passes a series of scenes of animatronic animals, including an elephant pool where the train narrowly misses getting sprayed. The track is approximately 2400’ in length, putting it right between a Barnstormer level coaster and a Big Thunder style coaster. It has 3 brake runs, plus a lift hill and loading station, so it has 5 block zones, and 4 cars on the track at any time.

Past the African area, the architecture begins to transition to Caribbean as we near the fortress town. The showbuilding for Peter Pans Flight behind the Caribbean facades is hidden as a high stone fortress wall. These buildings continue the Adventureland specific retail. Around the corner of vegetation is the icon tower of the Caribbean fortress and the entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean. A unique element of the fortress fa├žade is the flume drop and runout emerging from a large gated opening in the stone wall where boats periodically splash down.

This version of Pirates of the Caribbean features an original storyline and the absence of Jack Sparrow or any other film references but still heavily takes reference from the classic. It has a medium thrill outdoor flume drop finale, a unique element to the Pirates attraction lineup. We will now walk through the ride in plan.

The entrances to both queues are inside the main gate to the fortress. The standby queue winds through the halls of the dark building before rejoining the fastpass queue to travel down a darkened passage towards the loading area. The queues emerge under an archway to find themselves back outside the fortress at twilight, by the bay. Boats are being loaded just ahead, giving guests a first view at their journey, but the queues turn right and start up a gently sloping ramp. There is a split off from the queues just before this point for disabled guests to access the disabled loading area. It has a slide track switch that loads and unloads on the left side of the track. The two queues double back north and continue up a ramp, then crossing over the track to the right side of the water. They then slope back down to ground level, where a cast member distributes guests to a row. Three boats load at a time, with 4 rows in each. On average each boat holds 16 or more guests. The interior segment of the standby queue is 950’ long and the fastpass queue is 525’ long. The standby can be expanded outdoors with temporary stantions behind the fortress tower.

Once loaded, the boats float forward and under the guest bridge towards a peaceful but empty Caribbean village scene. Turning right, the boat engages a ramp and begins a steady climb up though the darkness. On the ascent, the window in the wall to the left reveals a miniature diorama view over the bay at sunset. However peaceful, a storm is on the horizon and a menacing Pirate ship is on the town’s edge. We suddenly hear cannon fire after passing the opening and the scream of the pirates attack. We arrive in the Town Square at the top of the hill, in the early stages of battle. We turn and find the town well where we meet the first pirate: the captain. Atop the well edge, he is loudly interrogating a group of cowering citizens about the whereabouts of the fortress armory and its treasure. The highly articulated figure is one of the feature characters of the ride. Across the water in a projected window high up the building face, a housewife yells back at him while attempting to hide behind the interior shutter doors, just spurring on his interrogation. The boat floats through the rest of the town as the pirate attack grows. We pass scenes with both physical characters in the forefront and projected scenes in the background to increase the depth of the relatively small show space. Many of the classic pirate poses and situations are found here, though the town is not on fire. Finally, we see on a projected balcony that the Captain has gotten his information and directs his pirate crew to the right, so we follow, and splash down a gentle slope to the ground floor.

We settle in the lagoon and turn to see the full sized pirate ship in mid battle with the fortress, cannon fire coming from both directions. The projected crew on deck adds more life to the gently rocking ship. We float forward and through a large gated opening into the fortress. A left spur turn leads to maintenance, but we turn right and into the darkness of the fortress. A large projection on our left looks into the barracks, where we see soldiers frantically gearing up for battle, except for the animatronic solider who was supposed to be on guard, who is hunched over his rifle, thoroughly asleep. Straight ahead is one of the big special effects of the ride. As we near the solid stone wall, we hear canon fire and then suddenly the wall opens up in a cloud of smoke and fire, showing us the projection surface behind where we see the pirates rushing by. This is achieved with smoke and lighting effects concealing a quick slide panel, which resets in the darkness between boats. Around the corner, we discover that the pirates have indeed found the armory. We see pirates looting the mounds of treasure and weapons around the room, as well as the classic prisoner scene. The captain sits upon a throne of gold, ordering his crew to load the ship but be careful. Boats may backup here because of the next effect, so this figure is another very detailed and advanced animatronic. Ahead, we pass piles of weapons, specifically a stack of gun powder barrels. A clumsy pirate trying to load treasure knocks over a torch, lighting a trail of gunpowder. The projected spark trail leads across the waterway, which is the return from the maintenance bay, where a projection shows it headed right for a barrel of explosive gun powder. The captain yells for his crew to escape just as we turn the corner and find a dead end.

 This dead end is a high speed lift up to the highest point of the ride. We hear and sense the explosion behind us from lighting and smoke effects as well as a projection in front of us, propelling us up quickly into the darkness. At the top, we slowly float forward on flat water and sit for a moment. The lift quickly returns for the next boat. In the darkness, we softly hear “dead men tell no tales” repeated once or twice. Suddenly we slide forward and down the flume drop. The drop is 46’ tall and 130’ long for an approximate angle of 22 degree. This is almost the same as the drops in the existing Pirates rides, and much shallower that the 47 degrees of Splash Mountain. So it is a large drop, but not an overly thrilling drop. The splashdown and runout is 6’ below ground level and bordered by high stone walls, so most of the minimal splash is contained. The boat floats through the exterior jungle, through a cave and then back into the showbuilding through a dark cavern. Lining the shore of the water is a mountain of treasure and a pirate skeleton suggesting the worst happened to the pirate crew. However, as we turn out of the cave, we see the pirate ship again, though damaged and almost ghostly. Aboard the ship a projection of the ragged crew, led by the captain, who boldly exclaims “dead men tell no tales” before singing the chorus “yo ho, yo ho, a pirates life for me” to the crew. We float through a cave and find ourselves back in the town we began at and slowly continue back to unload. We unload to the left, and exit out a giftshop by the flume runout. The total track is approximately 2300’ long.

More retail and restrooms complete the north side of the building, leading into Fantasyland. Across the path is a snack location that has Dole Whips and Ice Cream.

The entertainment of the land includes a small group of drummers that perform near the Tiki area, a streetsmosphere Adventurers in Training interactive comedy show near the treehouse, and a Pirates Tutorial show by the Fortress. The Adventurers in Training show somewhat replaces the comedic Jungle Cruise element by letting the students at the outpost show off their other talents while they try to recruit new explorers. Character meet and greets are limited to what would thematically fit, such as Lilo and Stitch near the Polynesian area and Tarzan around the Africa area. This doesn’t contradict that character plan I stated last post, because this is just temporary presence in the land, not a permanent attraction.

The backstage elements include the bus stop mentioned last time that is shared with Main Street and the access tower for fireworks, which is just behind the counter service location and noted on the program diagram in green. There is a Coaster maintenance and storage building behind the rockwork by the treehouse. It sits above the caves and paths. The main Central Shops are just behind the land. The large building is the reason for the high rockwork berm around the coaster.

Whew that’s a lot to talk about for Adventureland. I really love the Adventureland concept and hope this is a suitable take for a new park. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Thanks!

Next time we will cross the Hub and go to Discoveryland. Be back in two weeks. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sydney Summer: Main Street and Fantasyland

Now time for the interesting walk throughs to begin! At the end of the Disney District lies the premier park of the resort, Disneyland Park. We are going to walk through it land by land and I will be providing descriptive text on the content, detail, and architectural design as we go. Drawings will be interspersed. So we begin.

The District street opens up to a wide entrance plaza with two bag checks that lead to the main entry gate pavilions. To the far left and right are pitched roof guest service buildings that house the main guest relations desk, wheelchair and evc rentals, and lockers. The design aesthetic from the District begins to transform into midcentury modern vernacular. The classic floral Mickey greets guests and splits them left and right to the entry tunnels. Since there is no train, this is not a train station, but an equally iconic civic structure (maybe a library?) for the city of Main Street, featuring a clock tower. The poster lined tunnels compress and enclose your view, heightening the anticipation as guests enter Town Square and Main Street.

This Main Street is very similar to the existing model. Not much need to change a successful version of a entry corridor. This Main Street is based in the late 1920's, like in Paris and has a bit more of an urban feel. The building scale is similar to other versions, but everything is a little bit tighter and denser due to the compressed nature of the park. The street width is 25' gutter to gutter or about 50' average building to building. The Magic Kingdom is 32' and 62' respectively, so it is tight, but proportional to the scale of the park.

Town square includes a flag pole plaza at the center, City Hall to the right, and Exposition Hall and the Fire Station to the left. These are all grand civic structures of plaster and brick. City Hall holds the guest services of the park and the Fire Station is retail and Photopass. Inside the Exposition Hall is a meet and greet center, including a small outdoor garden for rotating characters. From here, a small fleet of Main Street Vehicles travel up and down the street to add movement and character to the land.

Down Main Street, the buildings begin to diversify in scale, represented program, and detail. This is the true city, so not all the buildings are as ornate as the Town Square. They are a mix of material and quality and include a wide variety of residents, from flower shops to magic shops, and of course private residences above, which can be heard and assumed from the street. Rich detail and the illusion of life is important to the believeability of this street (this is hyper true for this entire park). The building to the right is the main Emporium, hidden behind the series of individual facades and stores. The merchandise is mixed to reflect the character of the stores. There is an enclosed crowd control alley behind the stores for use during heavy traffic on Main Street that is lightly but convincingly themed.

The building to the left is retail in the west half, dining in the east half. This retail is broken up into individual specialty stores, including an art gallery. The dining is a combination Bakery and Creamery and would sell a variety of items, including coffee, bakery goods, sandwiches, ice cream, and candy. This location covers all the food of Main Street. It also includes a second floor dining room with a porch looking out to the castle. A matching porch on the other side of the street is used for special events. The dining location shares a kitchen with the Plaza Inn just around the corner. This is a traditional counter service location and includes an outdoor umbrella filled seating area. On the other side of the Hub is the Crystal Palace, a buffet style restaurant under a glass greenhouse pavilion, transitioning to Adventureland. The kitchen for this location also serves an adjacent dining location in Adventureland (The Tiki Room) and a large cast cafeteria.

The Hub itself is very spacious and oversized in order to hold the majority of a day's guests. A grass lines moat splits the inner and outer rings on the west side. The east side instead has a pathway in place of the moat and a step down waterfall feature outside that, flowing into the main moat lagoon of the castle. Of course, Partners is at the center.

The iconic castle at the end of the hub is a new design for Rapunzel, based on the concept art for the castle and city in the film. This is the piece I was most inspired by; its a great piece but I was unable to find out who the artist is. This was the mood I was striving for for the castle and Fantasyland.

The castle is 123' - 6"tall from park level and is flanked by two 72' tall turret towers, connected to the castle by tall sweeping walls. The form is roughly reminiscent of the other castles, but has unique details like the cruciform plan, tall transcept, Rapunzel inspired highest turret, and its dark red and tan color scheme. It is original but of the same language and scale to the worldwide collection. The stage in front of the castle is simple and without permanent set. Smaller turrets to the far left and right hold lighting and show equipment, the control booth is in a Main Street facade, and there are retractable lighting towers build into the stage and surrounding Hub areas. No permanent visibility issues with ugly lighting equipment out all day. I wanted to avoid the problem of the castle being inaccessible during shows, so to either side of the stage are ramps going both up and down. The up ramp leads to the main door to the castle and would be closed during shows. The down ramps lead to a path along the edge of the water and access to the basement level of the castle.

Inside the castle is a grand hall and atrium dome with a mosaic of the story of Rapunzel. An open stairway from the basement level leads up into the banner filled hall. The heavy stone walls and wood buttressing defines a grand and regal space that is larger than any other castle interior, since this is the only program inside. The visible second floor balcony is inaccessible and is only used for shows but still adds depth and complexity to the space. The basement level includes a walk through attraction that features interactive multimedia mosaics and murals representing the various Disney princesses. Somewhat like the Sleeping Beauty walkthrough, this respectfully and gracefully depicts each princesses story in a gallery setting. Through the other side of the castle is Fantasyland.

The primary land specific entertainment on Main Street is the Dapper Dans singing quartet and a small group of Citizens of Main Street that perform like the Citizens of Hollywood at DHS. A daily parade and the nightly fireworks also take place here, but I will discuss those later in an entertainment specific post.

There are many backstage functions around Main Street. Behind City Hall is an office building and cast support center as well as a covered parking area for the Main Street Vehicles. There is a second office building on the north side, adjacent to the Exposition Hall, also housing the character break room. The large building south of the street is the entertainment center for the resort, which includes dressing rooms, storage, and rehearsal space for all the characters and shows of the park. A very small parade storage building is built adjacent to it, large enough for 5 or 6 floats total. Last, the previously mentioned bus stop is to the south of the cast cafeteria area and includes cast break rooms and support areas. There are also some backstage functions built into the castle for the fireworks show, but I will go over those later.

On to Fantasyland.

Entered primarily through the castle, Fantasyland is set in the quaint medieval village of Rapunzel's city. The village opens up towards the Regal Carousel, which features horses from all the medieval setting Princess movies. In front of the Carousel is the Sword in the Stone and retail fills the buildings on either side. The architecture throughout the land is much more rustic fantasy based, with strong use of stone, wood, and thatched roof. It starts closely tied to the world of Tangled near the castle but then fades and melds into a generic village setting for each other property. This is definitely more Disneyland Fantasyland than Magic Kingdom Fantasyland, including more trees and beds to break up the concrete wasteland and more attempted thematic variety.

The building on the right hold Peter Pan's Flight and is a transition to Adventureland. This is a modern update of the classic, featuring higher capacity vehicles, modern effects, and more animated figures. It enters on the Fantasyland side, just across from the Carousel but exits to the right, just between the two lands and in sight of Adventureland because the attraction ends with the escape from Hook and unloads in the pirate setting of Neverland. In-ride thematic transition.

The building straight ahead is anchored by the spinning Dumbo and the colorful circus inspired towers and awning. The Dumbos sit up on a pedestal surrounded by a hedge wall and spin above a water feature. This is the single attraction with a slightly different design aesthetic, but it is a much toned down from other deceptions of the circus, so it may be able to fit. The rest of this building is a large counter service location, the Snugly Duckling. This location features a second floor dining room to increase the capacity. and is richly detailed like its film namesake. It transitions east into New York Harbor, so its urban size is necessary to blend the transition.

The left building across from the Snugly Duckling holds a classic dark ride based on Tangled, like the one I have proposed for the Magic Kingdom. This is a two level dark ride through the story and songs of the movie. A snack location at the north corner of the building serves specialty items and drinks.

Farther north is a Wonderland mini land in Fantasyland that includes a glass roof covered Mad Tea Party ride. Around the spinner is a small garden that includes a Tea Party Table meet and greet. The high walls of the Queen of Hearts castle is just beyond. Inside the castle is a large retail area and an atrium leading into the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall buffet location. This shares a kitchen with a location in New York Harbor. Also in this building is a LPS dark ride based on the Alice story and another larger retail location.

I guess this is a good time to mention the character presence in the parks. I have mentioned it before, but I decided to limit IPs to only Fantasyland in this park to preserve the integrity of the other lands. Because each land is so small, I believe they must be richly detailed and themed to be as effective as a larger land, and the inclusion of characters that may or may not fit begins to weaken this. I want the DisneySea approach. Hyper realistic and themed lands that envelop you and transport you to another world. Throwing a Tarzan coaster in Adventureland and a Nemo simulator is Discoveryland would hurt that (poor Storm Rider at DisneySea....). So characters are only in Fantasyland. I choose the small set I did based on popularity and classicism. Peter Pan was always in because I see that as the perfect Fantasyland attraction. Tangled made sense because of the castle tie in and box office success. And Alice has alot of design potential.

Characters are the primary entertainment here in Fantasyland. Any Fantasyland style character would be appropriate here. Likely the most popular few princesses, the characters associated with the rides, and an assortment of other popular ones like Pooh would have regular hours. I would hope this could operate like Disneyland with roaming characters.

The backstage elements of the land include a bus stop adjacent to the Queen of Hearts Kitchen, and some infrastructure related to the fireworks show. There is a tunnel that travels underneath the land for transportation of fireworks and cast members. It is accessed at the north side of the Alice attraction building and leads under the three dark rides with access to the castle and to roof access towers for fireworks setup. I will talk about this more later.

And thats all for this week. Please ask any questions about these two lands in the comment section below and check back in two weeks for a post about Adventureland!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sydney Summer: The Resort Outside the Parks

Now that we have looked at a quick overview of the total resort and parks, we are going to begin going indepth with specific areas of Disneyland Sydney over the rest of the summer and fall. This week covers most aspects of the resort that are outside the parks.

This is going to be a lot of information, all the kind of stuff that I think about when designing but don't really show up in the final plans. Hope it's interesting. At least if its not, next time it's about the theme parks and will include attraction plans and elevations.

The Transit Hub

For a viable resort, transportation to and from the resort are key elements. It's easy to ignore since its not that exciting, but it could be disastrous to the resorts operations. So I have put a lot of thought into how it works here. So were going to start with how you get to the resort and where you go when your there. The below diagram shows all public vehicular traffic, with each type labeled by color. You may need to zoom in.

Exits from both directions of A4 and southbound A40 converge and lead toward the transit hub building. The ramps take the cars up 30' from road level to a new artificial ground level. This whole public space and Transit Hub is a plateau above the off property roads and on property backstage area so that backstage access roads can travel below with ease. The majority of cars here will go straight and into the deck, through one of the 5 gates, and then find a spot in the 7 floor garage. Cars circulate by way of two sets of ramps, one for traffic going up, one for traffic going down. The deck would fill starting from the entrance floor, floor 4, and distribute cars equally above and below as guided by cast members and a digital tracking system that marks open spaces. Each floor has four aisles of 45 degree angled parking. Additionally, on floors 4-6, the aisle on the east side of the ramps would be for handicap parking. The floors are color coded and numbered for ease of guest use. Based on rough math, this deck has 2290 spaces, equaling an estimated capacity of 9160 guests based on an average of 4 guests per car. This is likely not enough capacity for the resort, so there would have to be a secondary off site parking location that guests would be bused to and from.

Below is a plan of the entrance floor and a standard upper floor. The orange dashed lines show the entrance path through the ticketing gates, leading to either the up ramp, down ramp, or one of the 5 rows on the first floor. On the upper floor, cars come up the ramp, turn left and go down one of the 4 rows. They can also go around to the disabled parking row on the east side. If there are no spots on the floor, they continue up by the up ramp to the next floor. To exit the cars go down the down ramp, shown by the green dashed line and continue circling around back to the entrance floor and out the north east corner.

Once parked, guests walk to the east in the deck along the walkways on the north and south sides. On the east side are elevator lobbies and directions that guests should travel to floor 6. Guests must go up to a sky bridge that crosses over the main exit roadway and the bus hub. Here the architecture is most displayed. Spanning the full length of the Transit Hub and garage and as wide as the sky bridge is a impressive space frame canopy structure that defines a large double height space. It wraps over the building, shading a portion of the top parking floor and creating an icon entrance wall on the west side that cars enter through that is covered with a perforated metal screen. In the sky bridge, a flowing and kinetic hanging art piece directs guests forward where the double height space opens up to be the top of a 6 story atrium. A full height glass wall ahead looks out to the Disney District and the Disneyland Park. Guests take elevators down to the ground floor, and exit the Hub.

At the end of their day, guests exit the deck by either going down or up back to floor 4 and then exit out the north east corner of the garage. Cars turn right onto the main exit roadway of the resort, the one that passes right through the middle of the Hub, which leads to on ramps to A4 going both directions.

Cars that are headed to the Disneyland Hotel turn left before entering the transit hub, drive around the building, and then arrive at the porte-cochere. After unloading, they circle back to the right and enter a dedicated smaller parking deck. This has 6 floors, with entry still of floor 4, however hotel guests do not occupy the lowest floor. This deck has 300 spaces for the hotel, which is estimated at 1200 guests. The exit from this garage leads both back to the porte cochere and then directly to the main exit road. Valet parking is available and very necessary at the hotel because of the small size of the deck. There are 680 rooms in the hotel, so less than half will be able to park on site. The rest will drop off their car at the porte cochere where it will be driven to an off site parking facility. The car enters the deck, exits on floor 2, which is the level of the adjacent backstage, and then exits the property by way of the backstage road to the north of the hotel.

Cars such as taxis that enter the resort just to drop off enter the same as all traffic, turn left, and then immediately pull into a drop off lot adjacent to the parking deck. I unfortunately could not get it any closer, but it is much lower priority that some of the other transportation methods, so I decided this location was suitable. Guests walk through the parking deck to reach the resort. Cars travel around the deck and exit the normal way.

Buses are also extremely important to the operations of the Transit Hub. They enter the site from all 3 directions like cars, turn left to travel around the parking deck like hotel guests, and then turn right into the bus hub. There are 5 stops on either side that serve multiple different public and private lines. The stops on the east side serve the Disney owned buses which include the off site parking buses and dedicated airport line buses. The west side includes Sydney public transportation buses and other private lines. Guests on the east side enter into the atrium space directly from the bus stops, take elevators down, and enter the District. Guests on the west side must use the sky bridge, so take elevators up to floor 6 and then cross over and down. The Disneyland Hotel also has a bus stop to be served by airport line buses.To the west of the parking garage are two surface lots specifically for bus parking, like group tour buses.

Last, the resort takes advantage of public transportation options. The most unique is the Sydney ferry system. A new stop is build adjacent to the Disney District that serves both existing lines and a new direct Downtown to Disneyland Sydney line. In the southwest corner of the diagram is the other public option, the Sydney light rail. That existing station is expanded and connected to the resort by a private half mile walking path and bridge, or about a 12 minute walk.

Backstage Operations

The main backstage complex of the resort is to the north of the Transit Hub, separated from the two parks. The main gate from Robert Street leads to a small complex that has the main receiving building, the cast center building, and a few small department offices. Remember this whole backstage area is 30' below the adjacent public areas. Trucks make their deliveries to the receiving building or to the hotel ahead before exiting at the east end of the backstage road. High level managers and executives park in the bottom floor of the hotel parking deck. Cast park off site and are bused to a station built on the north side of the cast center. All costuming storage and cleaning is offsite at the same location as the parking. There are more storage and operations buildings there too. Other backstage buildings are distributed around the edges of the resort.

This north complex is connected to the rest of the resort by way of hidden roads under the Transit Hub. A tunnel leads from just adjacent to the hotel parking deck south under the bus hub and then splits off to the two parks. Off of this tunnel are a series of storage rooms under the bus hub. The tunnel begins at real ground level because of the previously mentioned 30' rise but gradually slopes down 18' under the transit hub. It does this because the backstage road has to travel under the pathway to Hollywood Adventure Park. The backstage road then slopes back up to ground level past the path, which is shown on the diagram. The backstage road to Hollywood Adventure likewise slopes back up underneath the A4 roadway. These roads loop around both resorts and access the remaining backstage buildings. To the south of Disneyland Park is an entertainment building, merchandising warehouse, security and fire building, cast dining center, and the main central shops building. On the north side is a helipad, two warehouses, and a large receiving dock so that goods do not have to come only by truck.

Because of the extreme separation of the main cast center and the two parks, I have included a cast transit system in the plan for the rest. I image a fleet of small buses would transport cast members from the cast center in the north backstage complex direct to the parks. There are three stops built into each park, spread out around the perimeters. There would also be some cast support spaces at each of the stops.

There are more backstage operation details that are more related to the specifics of the parks, so I will share those when discussing the appropriate land. 

The Disneyland Hotel

The shape of the site immediately suggested the shape and placement of a feature hotel on the north side of the bay, which I decided to make the Disneyland Hotel. Architecturally, it is modern like the original Disneyland Hotel, with dominant use of glass, concrete, and colored metal panel for accents. There are three towers, the Fantasy Tower, the Adventure Tower, and the Discovery Tower from west to east. Each are 10 floors from park ground level, but there are no rooms on floor 1 and floors 2-4 are singled loaded with rooms only on the south side.

The entry lobby and public spaces are located on floor 3 and 4 while service areas for the hotel are located below with access to the backstage complex by way of a tunnel under the porte cochere area. The lobby features a three floor atrium with a glass dome and a grand modern staircase. The public areas around the lobby include a counter service location, retail, and a fine dining restaurant in the semicircular protrusion, looking out to the District and park. There is also a rec center including both an indoor and outdoor pool on the 5th floor. There is a large event center built into the bottom floors of the east end of the Discovery Tower with additional backstage service areas.

The west two towers include standard rooms and luxury suites while the Discovery Tower is split between family suites and standard rooms. By my counts, the Fantasy Tower holds 202 standard rooms and 9 suites, the Adventure Tower holds 183 standard rooms, and the Discovery Tower holds 136 standard rooms and 150 family suites. That totals 680 rooms in the hotel, which I estimate to be a max capacity of about 3800 guests with every room full and a rough average of 2800 guests.

I left the rest of the north shore of the bay unoccupied with the assumption that private good neighbor hotels could be built there in the future. There would be a Disney operated ferry line that connected these hotels to the Disney District.

The elevation drawing shows the main architectural features of the building: a concrete clad base topped by glass curtain wall with a series of metal panel arch extrusions adding depth and variety to the facade. The extruded arches feature color on the inside and outside faces as well as color on the spandrels between floors. The far left and right rooms inside these arches have a french balcony. The decision for a mostly glass facade was to attempt to minimize the visibility of the building from the parks. Of course it will always be visible, but a reflective facade helps the large building fade into the sky when viewed from the rest of the resort.

The Disney District

The next thing to cover before the parks is the Disney District. This area is meant to act as a second Main Street to the small resort, increasing the retail and dining options outside the parks while also forming a slow transition from the Transit Hub to the parks. Just outside of the Transit Hub atrium is a large icon fountain with a globe similar to TDS. To the left is the pathway to the hotel, to the right is the path to Hollywood Adventure, and straight is the main corridor of the District. Because Australia drives on the left instead of the right, the normal arrangement of program is flipped. Food and specialty retail is on the left to be visited when you are entering, and the main retail is on the right while exiting.

The north side is a complex of four interconnected buildings, each with two levels, that hold a variety of food options of all scales and prices, specialty retail locations, and other late night entertainment choices. The buildings are all connected on the second level by open air bridges. There would be a mix of private and Disney operated tenants in this area. The Disney owned locations include a version of the Boathouse adjacent to the ferry dock, a themed entertainment dining experience, a themed club, and a live music club. The eastmost building also houses the central kitchens for the entire resort. These four buildings have underground access to the rest of backstage via a tunnel to the road under the Transit Hub. The diagram below is a rough outline of a possible program distribution, showing the different retail and dining options of the District.

The south building is one large World of Disney store, hidden behind multiple facades and branded as a series of unique stores. Inside is a massive two story retail environment for guests to finish all shopping needs as they exit the park.

The architecture of the entire District is international modern, blending vernacular modern language with international details to create a complex that feels like it was slowly assembled by a diverse group of people. It shouldn't be clean and consistent modern, but it shouldn't be so complex and themed that it requires a backstory. Just a design mood that this Disney District has a history and has character worth being explored.

There, that covers most everything I wanted to mention about the areas outside the parks. That means next time, in two weeks, we are going to start the more interesting part: a land by land walk through of the two theme parks, complete with 5 attraction plans, multiple elevations, and hopefully (if I have time to make them) some other graphics and logos.

So since were going to be hitting some big posts in the coming weeks and months, I really want to reach the biggest audience possible. I would really appreciate it if you comment, retweet, share, favorite, anything you can to help spread the posts coming up. Really appreciate you all reading and hope you enjoy the posts!