Monday, August 22, 2016

Disneyland Resort Phased Expansion Plan Part 7 - Phase 3 of California Adventure

As promised, I now have the other half of my phase 3 expansion plan for California Adventure.

In the previous phase for this park, I proposed the addition of a Marvel backlot area in Hollywood, developed a Route 66 themed area that leads from Buena Vista Street to Paradise Pier, and replaced Pacific Wharf with a Beach town aquarium area. All these moves were to solidify the new thematic concept of the park, that it celebrates the ideals of California: Adventure, Life, and Creation.

At this point, Adventure is fully developed in Grizzly Peak National Park, and Life is developed with the series of areas that follow Route 66 across the state, from the desert to the beach. So this third (and the next fourth) phase continues to develop Creation, specifically with the development of a Pixar Place land to the south of Tower of Terror.

I have strong feelings about the placement of Pixar in this park and this specific location. First, I definitely believe that many Pixar films are of high enough quality to be in the parks. And should be in the parks as soon as possible, so even waiting until my 3rd phase might have been a mistake.

But the placement of these films in the parks is usually difficult because Pixar films create diverse, unusual, and detailed worlds that are difficult to shoehorn into existing spaces. A few films could fit other places, but many are so unique that there needs to be a different solution. Therefore, I agree that the best solution for Pixar is to create a Pixar specific land that can bring together these diverse worlds.

Next, in order to create this kind of combined land, it seems like the overall land needs to carry a Pixar Studios theme, relating it to the creative brand of the studio to relate the diverse worlds. That potentially fits in perfect with my designation of the Hollywood area as the spirit of Californian Creation. What better example of Californian Creation and Innovation than Pixar Studios.

Last, as for its placement in the park, I think it is obvious that it should go in this area in the south expansion plot because it would then be right next to both A Bugs Land and Carsland. That would allow both of these lands to be annexed into the new Pixar Studios subland of Hollywood. In my view, this works out so perfectly, that I am shocked it is not whats going to actually happen, at least if the rumors of this plot for Marvel are true.

So, on to my plan for Pixar Studios. I analyzed the list of Pixar films to judge their popularity, the potential of the themed environment and attractions created from the property, the potential for it to be located somewhere else in the resort in the future, and if it is already present in the existing parks. After this analysis, I decided to add Monsters Inc, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille to the existing Bugs Life and Cars areas. Toy Story and Finding Nemo are already present, The Good Dinosaur and Brave are not popular enough, and I have plans to fit WALL-E, UP, Inside Out, and Coco in other locations (3rd gate).

In this phase, I am adding Monsters Inc and Ratatouille, saving The Incredibles for the fourth phase.

I developed the new area with a roundabout in the center, with 5 streets branching off to the 5 properties in the land. At the center of the roundabout is a statue of the Pixar lamp and ball. The surrounding buildings use the Pixar brick and black steel, and then this style fades into the surrounding worlds of the films. The largest new world is Monstropolis, which is on the east side and accessible from the path by the Tower of Terror. This pathway would be the primary access from Hollywood land proper. The path would pass under a Pixar Studios gate and the Red Car Trolley backstage barn would be relocated across the path.

The Monstropolis area is highlighted by the Monsters Inc factory building with city facades forming the streets around it. Inside the factory building is the often rumored Door Coaster dark ride. The queue pases through the lobby, into a scare floor, and then loads in a door maintence bay. The first half is a dark ride as Mike and Sulley play hide and seek with Boo, and the second half is the low thrill suspended coaster through the door warehouse. The city street buildings outside in the land hold a counter service food location, retail, and a meet and greet with Mike and Sulley. The street would continue south to the Incredibles area in the future.

The Ratatouille area is much smaller and fits in where the current Luigi attraction is. The area is a single building with a Parisian courtyard and fountain. Inside on the left is a table service Remy's Restaurant on two floors. To the right, at an alley, is the entrance to the small attraction for this area, a cooking demonstration with Remy, similar to Turtle Talk and the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. The interactive digital show presents Remy teaching us how to cook and answering questions about Paris. The scale issue is solved by setting it up as Linguini filming Remy and projecting it on a big screen for us to see. Similar to Honey I Shrunk the Audience, the projected setting is true scale and is meant to be real life on stage, not on stage.

One of the spurs off the central round about connects to the road leading into Cars Land and another leads directly to A Bugs Land. A Bugs Land is slightly reconfigured with Heimlich's Chew Chew Train removed. the rear entrance from Hollywood completely removed, and the entrances on the Cars Land side slightly moved. The path from the Route 66 area also has a Pixar gate.

In the corner between the Cars Land and Bugs Land roads is a small meet and greet pavilion, formed of two semi circular covered pavilions. These would hold various Pixar characters that don't already have a place in the land.

As mentioned before, the south area of this expansion plot is to be used for an Incredibles area in the next phase.

I'll be back with the last part of the current resort expansion in two weeks, and, at some point, a post detailing the start of my planning for the third gate.

Thanks for reading and leave a comment below if you liked this Pixar expansion. 


  1. I like your plans for California Adventure. It's a park which I really don't like mostly because I found it senseless for a california outsider.

    I think that the way you have solved the issue with Pixar IP's is quite smart. You are gathering all together but at the same time not together. Nevertheless I preffer WDSP way: they make mini-lands which are more isolated from each other. For example, if I'm in Paris I'd rather not see the Monster Inc. factory. This coul be solved very easely, for example you can bring a wall that would fit thematically which each land and the a tunnel or something like that.

    Congratulations for your great work!!! I really enjoy watching it.

    1. It's funny that you say it was useless for a California outsider, because its original state was kinda useless for California insiders too. They complained that it was just a cheap recreation of the world they actually live in. Yeah, it really didn't make much sense.

      That isolation is definitely a good idea, and in this plan most of the areas are fairly separated. Cars Land and Bugs Land are super isolated. The future Incredibles area will be pretty isolated. That view down the street from Monstropolis to Pars is the main issue. Good thought, thanks for pointing it out. May change that for the next post.


  2. I like the new ideas. The Monsters, Inc. coaster is a grand concept. However, in the bigger story for the land, how would you explain humans visiting Monstropolis? I would say Brave is popular to some extent since Merida is an official Disney Princess and I think a dark ride or show could me made out it. Personally, I would keep the Heimlich train in memory of Joe Ranft.

    1. The Monsters Inc concept is something that has nearly happened in real life for Hollywood Studios and DCA, and I hope it actually does at some point. Seems perfect for a ride!

      As for why humans are in Monstropolis, its easy to just say that the monster world is no longer afraid of humans, so has welcomed us in. But I don't get too caught up with setting up complete logic for why we are in a land because it can get pretty complicated and ultimately reduces to some kind of tour or event that we have been invited to. Only real way to explain thousands of people entering and exploring a foreign environment. I prefer to just allow us to be in a location naturally and then set up plot in the individual attractions. So in this case, the Monsters Inc. Factory has invited us to a game of hide and seek.

      Brave may be more popular than I suggested, but I can't justify taking space that a more deserving film needs in such a tight resort. If space was no issue, then yeah it might make a good ride, but I just think there are better properties right now.

      Heimlich Chew Chew Train had to be removed to allow for the path into Pixar Place. Logistically, it is necessary to this plan and any plan that accesses this back plot unfortunately.