Monday, January 30, 2017

Updates for Future Projects

For the post this week, I ran a quick poll on Twitter to ask what you wanted me to write about. (Go follow me on Twitter if you don't already so you can vote next time!)

Out of four choices, the leading answers were an update on future projects and a guide on how I make my design posts. The other choices were another environmental design essay, which will be coming soon anyway, and some kind of top list, which also may be coming eventually.

So this week, updates on future projects, and next month the process guide!

So what I am going to give you right now is the lineup of what I'm working on, what I will be working on soon, and what I hope to do in the upcoming year. Plus feel free to give suggestions on what you want to see in the comments. Be specific and creative! Maybe I'll be inspired!

As I write this, I just today finished a major project that I've talked about over and over for months, my third gate design for the Disneyland Resort. The park is centered on the Disney created Society of Explorers and Adventurers, and is thematically and organizationally a cross between World Showcase and DisneySEA. The park has 11 lands based on real world locations across the continents, each expressing some form of adventure and exploration. Each also ties to a single IP that exemplifies some aspect of the corresponding real world culture. This was a challenge but at this point I like the result. That will be up next month, giving me some time to step back from it and review the results. Look for that the second week of February.

The next major thing that I am starting to work on is updates and revisions to most of the existing park plans that I have put up over the last two years. Just as I did with the Paris Studios Plan a few months back, I want to see what can be improved upon. In some cases, I'll update for what's happened in the real world, some of it will be edits based on popular taste, and a lot of it will be just me wanting to try some alternative choices. These will definitely not be as drastic as the Paris Studios version 2 revision, because I am fairly happy with all of the version 1 designs came out, unlike the Paris Studios version 1. But still, new versions of those old plans coming soon.

In the same vein of these updates, I want to try to do some alternate reality plans within these parks, where I try some alternates to what has actually been done in the parks. The two that come to mind are a different Fantasyland Expansion, and Beastly Kingdom instead of Avatar. But I am sure there will be others that come up.

And along with these new versions of real park plans, I am going to try to do a round of super realistic, what could actually happen in real life in the near future style plans, tied to an attempt at setting up a budget for the expansion. Basically, if I was making the decisions right now, but still had to stick to the a real budget and timetable.

As for new parks, I am entirely out of parks that I can design expansion/updates for that I have actually visited. That's somewhat of a rule of mine, so that I can best understand the way the park works and how it can benefit from changes. I broke that rule for Paris Studios, and I think that partially led to the issues with version 1. However, I might break that rule again and start working on Universal Orlando park because I am pretty familiar with it already. So that might happen, but it will take some time. Possibly mid to late 2017. Maybe I'll visit by then too.

There's also the possibility that I'll start up another original resort and park, but don't count on it soon. There's a specific international destination and park concept that I worked on years ago, struggled with before I had more experience, and have continued to think about, so I might get back to that if inspiration hits. If I go down this path with any success, I'll let you know.

Moving down from the park and resort scale, I'm going to do some more detailed plans for specific lands. These would be more involved and hopefully include more visual information than just a plan that better explains the vision I have. The one I most want to work on is my concept for Tomorrowland at Disneyland since I like the concept I have and it most needs a refresh. I want to get down the to elevations, the details, the materials, and the experience of the land in a way that an aerial map will never show. If there's any lands that I have done that you want more information about, suggest it. If it's a land that I have compelling ideas about, I might do it.

Next, I of course want to continue to do attraction plans. These are particularly fun yet challenging, and some of the projects that I love the results of most. The Indiana Jones project I recently posted is probably now my all time favorite attraction I've done. I currently have at least 10 attraction plans down on my list to work on soon. Without spoiling all of them, since some are in the project you haven't see yet, it includes Peter Pan's Flight in the Disneyland plan, Spiderman from the Paris Studios plan, the Animation ride for California Adventure, and Mission: Mars at Disneyland. Again, let me know if there are any specific rides you want to see more on. If it's something that I have ideas about, I'll add it to the list.

And finally, more essays and text posts like the one you are reading. I know they don't do as well and don't get the same view and comment numbers, but they serve an important function. They allow me to expand on some of the theoretical and technical ideas behind the designs and they also allow me to bring you smaller posts between the major design posts. It keeps me from disappearing for a whole month between main design posts.

So that means I want to write more environmental design posts where I analyze and explain the different design tricks that make the parks work. Future topics include music, water, and transportation, plus an analysis of the physical forms of theme park lands. And like I mentioned at the top, I also want to write some top lists, but something more theoretical than a generic list of my favorite 10 rides of something. I want to do more thoughtful analysis of the best of various theme park things, plus comment on what I personally favor. Subjects like top immersive lands, top entertainment elements, top restaurants by food and theme, and even top bad rides that need to be improved.

So that is basically the expanded form of the sticky note I have running, listing what I want to work on soon. No guarantees on order or when something will come, because its all too dependent on inspiration and time.

But suggestions and comments will steer me to prioritize what you want to see. And with suggestions, the more specific and creative you can be, the better and more likely I will do it.

So leave a comment, follow on Twitter so you can catch future polls, and check back next month for that Third Gate post!


  1. Can you make an Tokyo Disneyland Map like you do the Paris Studios Map that you made please.

    1. Haven't been there, so I'm a little reluctant, but I'll think about it and add it to my potential future project list! Thanks.

  2. Sounds great! I would personally love to see a guide showing how you create park plans, from concept design to the finished map.

    Side note, but do you think you could design a second gate for Hong Kong? Theme is totally up to you, but I was wondering whether an EASTCOT (updated version of the unbuilt WESTCOT) might work well.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions. I hadn't really thought about a Hong Kong second gate, but that's definitely something I could do, so I'll put it on the list! EASTCOT sounds interesting too.

  3. what day the third project of disneyland is going to be on and what Beastly Kingdom project day is going to be on also.

    1. Third Gate is next week. Those other suggestions are not things I am currently working on, so no expected date.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. after the third gate project what's next i hope it much be an Fantasyland Expansion or Beastly Kingdom.

  6. Oh yeah and hope a frozen themed land layout from Tokyo DisneySEA.