Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Disneyland Resort Phased Expansion Plan Part 8 - Phase 4 of the Parks

This post presents the fourth and final phase of expansion for the Disneyland Resort.

It's a relatively small phase, because in the overall plan, the 3rd gate is now open and would be getting its first big additions during this phase. The original two parks are mostly built out and the focus has moved on. But I've still got a few ideas.

For Disneyland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland are finally completed.

Tomorrowland gets its last attraction in the Carousel building. Horizons: Living in the Future is a modern reimagining of the original and completes the mature, scientific, and optimistic tone of the land. The attraction is a multilevel suspended dark ride that follows a trip across the universe, starting in a futuristic earth society, traveling to a space station, and then through the stars to visit an outpost on an alien planet. The structure of the plot is that we follow members of an extended family as we jump from location to location (calling back a little to the single family idea of Carousel of Progress).

The PeopleMover also finally returns in this phase, now that the track has been adjusted in the previous phase. It loads and unloads in the second floor of the SpacePort area, or the Starcade. It follows the old path from here, but includes passing through the new showscene built for the Autopia.

Fantasyland fills the final expansion plot opened up by the rerouting of the Autopia and the Monorail and also replaces Peter Pan's Flight with a new dark ride.

To replace Peter Pan, which moved to a new larger showbuilding, there is a new Cinderella dark ride. My reasoning for this is that it is one of the very few classic films that has no representation, but it is also is not a huge story that would need a huge attraction, which is important because this is such a small space. The dark ride would be a very traditional small scale ride through the events of the film.

On the east side of Fantasyland, the new land is filled with two attractions: a new theater for Fantasyland, and a Mary Poppins dark ride.

First, the theater. This might be an unexpected move, but I really like the idea and the implementation of high quality Fantasyland shows. The current Mickey and the Magical Map and its sister shows in Paris and Hong Kong are impressive quality for a theme park, add some diversity of experience to a ride heavy park and land, and allow for even more films and properties to be represented in the park. Those are all pluses for me. The downside of theater's in the parks is their capacity, because at most they serve maybe a third of the guests that an attraction would. But I don't think that is a problem in a park so full of rides and capacity.

This specific theater is a copy of the theater in Disney Studios Paris, so I know that it is of sufficient size for a good quality show. The exterior theming is similar to Small World, creating a defined area with the colorful geometric style.

Next to this theater is a dark ride for Mary Poppins. So I know that last week I mentioned that Mary Poppins would go in the 3rd gate, but the situation of the site forced my decision. Originally, this was going to be an attraction for Gigantic. But I quickly found two issues. First, I thought that Gigantic was Western Europe in setting, so would fit Fantasyland well. I was wrong, it is set in Spain, which has totally different architectural possibilities. Second, the Monorail has to travel over the showbuilding for this attraction, and it is pretty low, so it will have to limit the height of some scenes. That limitation didn't make sense for a story about literal giants. So the switch was made, and this became Mary Poppins.

This attraction would be similar to the one I proposed for Magic Kingdom and would be based on a Carousel ride vehicle that unravels and passes through a series of musical scenes. In this case, it is actually able to load and unload under an outdoor Victorian Garden Carousel canopy. The carousel then passes through a tunnel and into the magical park, where we first meet Mary and Bert in a shorter scene under the Monorail track. Then into the larger and higher portion of the building, built inside the loop of the track, where the main show scenes occur.

That completes Disneyland, or at least for now.

Over at Disney's California Adventure, there are only two more additions.

First, in Hollywood, the Animation Tour building is replaced with a huge trackless dark ride about Mickey and his journey through Disney animation. Basically Philharmagic as an attraction. This is a huge building, so could make a great ride while maintaining the retail that fronts the street. I know that a trackless Mickey ride is rumored and probably coming soon, and I think this would be a cool concept.

Last, Pixar Studios is completed with the area based on the Incredibles. Placed at the end of the two streets in the subland is the downtown square of Metroville. To the left is the city hall, a classically Greek Revival building, but the real icon is at the center, where the recently downed Omnidroid sits crashed in a small pond, occasionally smoking. We have entered the city just after the events of the first movie, on the day that the family is being celebrated with a ceremony in City Hall, which we are attending. But before the ceremony, the Incredibles are called into action and we are invited to join them for the day.

I have previously developed this attraction as a trackless dark ride, but since I just put that in for the Mickey ride, I wanted to try something different. Therefore, I decided to call back to one of the original Incredibles concepts, a Kuka dark ride. I thought that would bring some variety to the experiences of the park and create cool possibilites for this story. We can fly through the city, be lifted in the air by Mr. Incredible, caught by Mrs. Incredible, run with Dash, and float with Violet.

The Incredibles are called into battle when the Underminer and Bomb Voyage team up to take down the city. It all escalates however when they find out that a second Omnidroid is headed to the city, sent by Syndrome as an insurance policy.

The exterior of the land is completed with some additional retail, and the Incredibles family would meet out in front of the downed Omnidroid.

And that's it for California Adventure, which I hope I made a more cohesive park with the addition of the ideological structure.

But of course this is not the end.

First, tomorrow (hopefully) I will be back with a part two to this, a recap and analysis of the changes I proposed for the resort. This is going to be very interesting for me and I hope you because this was developed in real time. I had no idea what the next phase would bring each week, so I now want to look back and evaluate what I designed.

And then the third gate is still in progress. I will be trying to give occasional updates about that as we go until the final plan is done later this year.

In the mean time, I am going to start developing a few of the the attractions I proposed in this plan in more detail. That means full attraction plans and designs, maybe some elevations and perspectives, maybe even some more videos!

Let me know in the comments below what attractions you want to see more about soon!


  1. I get what you're saying about Gigantic and I agree that the architecture would not fit, but I would like to point out that Spain actually is in Western Europe.

    1. Yes completely true. Once I wrote that, I knew that someone would comment on my phrasing but didn't think to change it. By Western Europe, I really meant the traditional fairy tale settings of North West Europe: France and Germany (and I guess England and Switzerland) where the rest of the Fantasyland is roughly set.

      Thanks for the comment.