Thursday, September 8, 2016

Disneyland Resort Wrap Up

So yesterday, I gave you the last part of my plan for the existing Disneyland Resort expansion.

Today is a recap and my personal analysis of my results. I would love to hear your opinion in the comments too.

So first, the recap of the plans.

I know that because I split all the work between 4 phases, each phase was a little lighter on content than you are used my opinion each phase was still more than is probably realistic for the real life development of the parks, at least at the pace they have been at for the last few years. But now that it is all done, I present the park plans to you with all the changes noted, as if it was all to happen at once, like my previous plans.

Presented this way, it really is alot of change happening to the two parks.

Disneyland majorly renovates or replaces 8 rides, adds 10 brand new attractions, 1 restaurant, and makes significant changes to 3 lands.

Disney's California Adventure gets an all new theme and organization that defines the experience of the lands, adds 19 new attractions, 4 restaurants, renovates basically every land, and  adds 3 completely new themed areas.

If you break it down on a Ticket scale, based on my personal value judgement, Disneyland gets 6 E and D Tickets and 11 C and B tickets. And California Adventure gets 8 E and D Tickets, and 11 C and B Tickets. Both pretty balanced.

A lot of change in a relatively small and already built out resort.

I also have the additions diagrammed by the phases, which I think is really interesting to look at. Red is Phase 1, Orange is 2, Light Blue is 3, Dark Blue is 4.

There's some interesting geographical organization that was not entirely intentional but makes sense.

It is much harder to close down large potions of Disneyland for renovation, so the phases and projects jump around to keep a whole land from closing down. It also spreads the capacity around the existing park.

The phases at California Adventure on the other hand are focused on completely renovating a specific land, which is necessary because in nearly every case, the exterior land is heavily renovated. So it makes sense to rework a whole land at a time to fit the new structure. Plus, the last two phase focus on expanding into new land, so makes sense for it to all happen at once.

As for the analysis of the results, there is one clear fault that I fought with the whole time but I think many successes.

The problem I discovered is just how improbable it is to claim the ability to predict what would be built a whole 20 years from now. I found it comical to be proposing an Incredibles attraction to be built in 2035, or 31 years after the movie came out. It is easy to give a list of Disney films right now that should go in the parks, but hard to know if those same films have the longevity to be built long term. Its even more challenging to know that there will definitely be many films in the next 15-20 years that are popular enough to go in the parks, maybe even a dozen or two based on their recent success. Facing this challenge makes me understand why some times we wait years for attractions, or never see an attraction for a specific popular movie. Investing resources but most importantly real estate to a new attraction requires faith that it is going to be popular and worthwhile.

So that fault caused a little bit of second guessing and alot of acceptance of the fact that this plan really isn't that realistic in that regard.

Additionally, I never managed to fit in a a few of my original goals.

First, I had originally thought that I could fit at least one more dark ride into Fantasyland and had some thoughts about that, but that didn't work out. I decided to go large on the relocated Peter Pan to justify the move instead of trying to fit one more attraction.

Second, it slightly disappoints me that I didnt really touch the left side of Disneyland at all. Thats because there is not alot of room and the existing attractions are all pretty great. I see now that I could have done a lot to Critter Country, but I just completely ignored it. Its the forgotten land. In real life too. Spent 4 days at Disneyland and never made it into Critter Country.

And last, the big planning move that I tried very hard to implement was a bridge and underpass in Fantasyland, at the parade route, so that guest traffic flow could continue under the parade. This was the most unpleasent, crowded, and likely dangerous place in the parks in my experience, as guests pile into the narrow path by the Tea Cups, waiting to cross the route. I worked on this for days, but the space just isn't there.

Still, even with these faults that I can see, I think I was relatively successful at implementing the main goals. Adding capacity to both parks, adding more Disney films represented, adding more variety of themed environments, and adding a real theme and organization to California Adventure.

Personally, I think my additions to Disneyland are good and in the spirit of the park, but I am more proud of my proposals for California Adventure. The theme and organization was a tough challenge to crack, but I am happy with my result.

Plus, I have some favorite attraction concepts in these two parks. I really like my development of Tomorrowland and the northern expansion for Fantasyland at Disneyland. And frankly, just about everything at California Adventure. I will definitely be revisiting many of these attractions soon.

So now that I have shared my thoughts, what do you think?

What attraction or land is your favorite that you want to see more?

What would you have done differently in your plan for the parks?

What do you want to see next, from this park or any park I have designed before?

Thanks for reading, and I would love to respond to your comments, so leave one below!


  1. Hi!!! I love your Disneyland Resort plan. It's great.
    It's truth what you said about what IPs should be introduced in the parks and waht not. It's pretty difficult to decide, there are many IPs which I think will last forever like Mulan, Aladdin or Pocahontas that have no representation while others less famous like Toad have their own atracttion.

    However your work is still being very good. I think Disneyland can't allow very much because of it's small size

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      Yes it is true that some IPs, even if popular, are hard to fit into the parks just because of their settings. With at least 2 of the ones you mentioned, I am planning to get them into the 3rd gate at least.

      But yes, Disneyland is small and does not have alot of room for drastic growth, so adding every single IP is difficult if not impossible. I try to do the best I can though.

  2. Overall I really enjoyed your plans for both parks and I'm very excited to see what you do for the Third Gate.

    Also, I'm pleasantly surprised by your inclusion of Horizons. It's a ride I feel they should one day bring back to Epcot. I actually have a mini-addon plan like the ones I showed you for New Fantasyland about how I would add Horizons, but not necessarily get ride of Mission Space. Link to image of mini-plan here: