Monday, March 13, 2017

Disneyland Paris Park Plan v2

Just over 2 years ago, I posted an expansion plan for Disneyland Park Park, where I proposed a few major hypothetical changes to the already great park. And now today I have a version 2.0 that improves on that design.

In the original post, I discussed how much I love the existing park. I was only there a day, but that day left an impression. Frontierland has one of the best overall stories and themes of any land I've been to, Fantasyland is by far the most beautiful example of the type, Main Street is impeccably detailed and lifelike, Adventureland has one of my favorite exploratory areas, and the original Discoveryland aesthetic and concept is just the best ever. More discussion about why the park is great in the original post.

So with an expansion plan like this, the idea is not really to fix the existing park, but to add more to it that hopefully complements whats already there. There are really only a few places that this park can expand, so this plan is a little similar to the previous one. A few of the additions from last time are retained, and the rest of them are replaced with a new idea. So now we will talk a walk through the park, pointing out my proposals.

Just like last time, Main Street is completely unchanged. No way to improve that. Special plug for the great Arcades. Go explore those if your there.

The main area of Frontierland is also unchanged. Its great that the land has recently gotten some attention with the refurb of Big Thunder Railroad and the Rivers of America.

The area farther along the River, by the existing theater, is the first area I changed. When I visited, this area was completely empty because there really was no draw, so I feel like it could benefit from some permanent additions.

My proposal is an American National Park setting, similar in a way to the Camp Woodchuck additions to Tokyo Disneyland, but as a whole land that specifically features the Country Bears. The Bears own and operate the park as a vacation retreat for all their animal friends, so this land can thematically include the large catalog of animal based Disney properties. The setting and style is decisively North American with architecture based on the Yellowstone Lodge style.

The rustic redwood camp setting transitions as we pass through a denser forest just past the Big Thunder load building. Straight ahead through the brush is a sprawling fort in front the gentle stream. The fort, which is based on the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail from DCA, is accessed to the left, where there is also the existing canoe dock, themed to fit in the land. The fort top offers the best view over the river and the land below.

Crossing the stream leads to the rest of the land. To the left is a version of Junkyard Jamboree, nestled along the river. The vehicles are ranger jeeps that have been repurposed into the thrilling attraction. Adjacent is the existing theater, where animal specific themed shows are presented. Something like Forest of Enchantment with a bit of a Country Bear National Park plot frame would be perfect for the area. The Cowboy Cookout building remains but is redressed as the rustic Camp Mess Hall and the interior and menu are adjusted to match. And finally, next to the train station, is the main attraction, a mid-scale musical dark ride. The building through the trees is a Park Lodge where we set off on a tour of the National Park, guides by the Country Bears themselves. This would be a musical adventure through a world of animals and plants, reflecting the adventure of the great outdoors. This is the same attraction I proposed for DCA.

The next change is up in the expansion area of Adventureland. Again, the main part of Adventureland is unchanged, except the Indiana Jones coaster is removed in favor of my proposed Indiana Jones ride in the Studios park. Replacing this and the expansion pad are two attractions, completing the loop back to the Pirates area. This area is all themed as an African jungle as opposed to the Caribbean and Arabian areas in the rest of the land.

The first is a concept for an indoor replacement for the Jungle Cruise idea. Last time, I tried an actual indoor Jungle Cruise, but I don't think that really works. So instead, here I am suggesting an indoor jeep exploration attraction that uses the Test Track/Radiator Springs ride system. That would allow for both slow attraction show scenes, passing similar gags as the Jungle Cruise, and more fast paced and rough exploration moments through the dangers of the jungle. It would be entirely indoors, unlike the other versions of this system. The load is in an open cave facing out into the land. Additionally, the train would look into the jungle for a quick moment on the back side of the show building, seeing the jeeps pass by.

The other attraction is a Tarzan themed family coaster, something lacking from this park. The two existing coasters are pretty intense, so I felt like something tamed down but still fun would be a good option. The entrance is at the base of a second fake treehouse for the land, this one much smaller, not explorable, and directly based on the ship built treehouse from Tarzan. Ship wreck fragments surround the area, as well as a series of canvas tents, left over from the events of the movie. We load on the upper level of the main tent, and then swiftly speed into the show building. First there are a series of show scenes through the world of Tarzan, Jane, and Turk, and then the coaster portion, which is mostly outside.

The other change to Adventureland is less of a change and more of a return to the original: The Pizza Outpost once again gets talking animatronic birds in the dining rooms, creating a facsimile of the Tiki Room.

Fantasyland has a few additions. The Frozen subland to the north that I proposed last time remains (attraction post here!) as well as the addition of a meet ans greet center in the open spots on the east side of the castle. Around the corner from Small World are two new dark rides.

I has a lot of internal debate for the theme of the first, using the plot across the parade path. But my decision came by realizing I should maintain the geographic distribution of Fantasyland. If you have not noticed, all the existing buildings are grouped by region, which makes a lot of sense for architectural consistency. British Tudor area to the far west, Germany on the west of the castle courtyard, France to the east, Scandinavia with my Frozen addition to the north, and Italian on the far east side, where my addition is. The Pizzeria Bella Notte is definitely a group of Italian styles. Unfortunately, there are no Italian Disney IPs. So I adapted to Mediterranean and decided to propose a Hercules dark ride. That's a property that is under utilized in the parks, so I decided it would be a great idea. The facade would be a Greek Marketplace, attempting to echo the Italian style across in any way possible. Inside is a very traditional musical dark ride, guided by the Muses.

And finally, I am proposing another dark ride in the expansion area outside the berm, anchored by a tall and spindly green beanstalk spanning over the train track. This is obviously a dark ride for the future film Gigantic. This film is based in Spain, also a Mediterranean locale, so I am hoping this could be a complementary style to the area. The entrance path leads under the stalk and the train track to a small village facade and the attraction inside. This would be a much larger dark ride, potentially trackless, through the world of the film. Since it is not out yet and we don't know much, that's as specific as I can be.

The last land, Discoveryland, might have the most changes, but again, not to change the original vision, but to restore it. The concept of the future as imagined by the past is such a cool and unique idea, but like all Tomorrowlands, it is too easy to melt away. I proposed Star Wars for the Studios park intentionally so that I could remove it from this park and go back to the Jules Verne inspired idea.

So first, Buzz Lightyear is removed because it clashes theme and style and replaced by a Time Machine inspired dark ride, using the same Omnimover track. The idea would be to present a fun and colorful journey through some significant times and settings of Europe.

Next, inside the Videopolis, a dark ride is added to align with the theme of the Cafe Hyperion. The bulk of the theater is converted to show space and there is a bit of an addition to the north, all holding a suspended dark ride telling the story of Around the World in 80 Days. Part of the theater remains as the seating for the restaurant, and the balloons load and float along above the seating before starting the adventure.

Space Mountain becomes its original concept and the Autopia is unchanged. Across the land, the current Les Mysteres du Nautilus walk through, which was fantastic but seemed unpopular, becomes the queue to a new attraction. The attraction is a Circumotion Theater attraction by Falcon’s Treehouse, which is a theater in the round simulator under a domed projection screen. Guests load into one of the two Nemo designed observation submarines for an exciting trip to the bottom of the sea. Above, we have a fantastic view into the wonder of the ocean before our required squid attack that jostles us around.

Last, the far east expansion area across the train track is used for another sub land that's a bit different from the rest of the land. Space travel is a common Tomrrowland/Discoveryland theme, but not exploring another planet, so I thought that could be an interesting area.

The existing simulator attraction, currently Star Tours, becomes the launch station of a fictional Verne inspired space agency. Maintaining the style of the rest of the land but a bit more modern, the simulator attraction launches us from Discoveryland straight to a base on Mars, which is the rest of the land. The exit of the ride takes us into a the interior of a futuristic but still Verne inspired base. This is a bit of a fantasy version of how we would travel to and live on Mars, so it matches the adventurous spirit and fun of the rest of the land. There is also a second entrance to the land behind Space Mountain.

Outside the domed buildings is the main area of the land, an enclosed red and rocky valley. Outside in the valley is a Jetpack spinner, like the one in Shanghai and a couple other buildings built into the landscape of the planet. The other main building across the valley is the entrance to the main new attraction, a rover attraction on the surface of Mars. The attraction would use a similar system to the EMVs of Indiana Jones, so that it could travel up and down elevations, drive over rough terrain, and have a relatively hidden track ahead. It would be a completely different vehicle modeled on real Mars rovers. The trip would start simple with exploration across the rough terrain, then journey into a lava tube and down into a undiscovered cave. Since this is a fantasy take on the concept, we ultimately encounter what appears to be an alien civilization underneath the planet.

Last, there is a final time travel show scene for the train, transitioning from the Discoveryland aesthetic back to Main Street.

And back to Main Street, and that is everything I have!

So that is my second version of Disneyland Paris Park. I think it is an improvement from the last version and I am glad that I got to try some things out.

Let me know what you think with a comment! And follow me on Twitter to keep up with progress. I tweeted a few quick polls during designing this to get quick feedback, so follow so you can catch those next time!

Not sure what will be next up for either the text post later this month or next months design post, but maybe I'll let you know soon.


  1. Fantastic work! I think the idea of a jungle jeep ride is very interesting, and I've been saying that Disney had needed an "80 days" ride for years. I really liked your Martian sub-land, and I think it might work well in other Tomorrowlands, too (Cloud-City inspired Jupiter or Venus colony?). Anyway, I do have one question... I couldn't help but notice your tweets regarding the backstory for the new Wilderness Lodge Villas and seemingly backstories in general, but I didn't understand... can you help clarify your rules for backstories in and outside of parks? Thanks!

    1. Cool thought about there being other outer space lands in other parks. I only recently realized that the Tomorrowlands are relatively earth bound, and that other planets could be a really interesting alternate style. Would be interesting to change over a whole Tomorrowland to outer space.

      Oh yeah, those tweets. I didn't think I explained it the best since twitter is so limiting. Wish I had more than 140 characters sometimes.

      So the original posters point was that Imagineering has recently started to go overboard with the story, with a lot of background information that overwhelms the experience. I don't necessarily disagree that there is a lot of background info that is overwhelming. So no argument there.

      But my point was that I don't think it is the fault of Imagineering for developing background info but on the the internet, like the Parks Blog, that put that background info into the spotlight. And that it probably is not a problem for most guests who don't read up about these now well known backstories.

      Background story by its name is supposed to be in the background and not highlighted. To put together a truly immersive design, it makes sense to me that you should understand the story of what and why you are making just so it all makes sense. So I have no doubt that Imagineering projects since the beginning have developed some level of complicated backstory, even if unofficial. Think about the Haunted Mansion and how many weird unnoficial and official stories there are that were made during the creation process about literally everything in the attraction.

      The problem is when that backstory that isn't meant to be known is published front page of the parks blog or in a youtube video. Then what would be an acceptable level of vague and inconsequential backstory seems like way way too much mainstream info.

      And even then, unless you are big into those media sources, you really don't even know about it all. Which is like 90% at least of guests.

      So that was my point. Story is good to inform design. But Story is bad when you have to make sure everyone knows about it.

  2. i think an Fantasyland Expansion, and Beastly Kingdom then maybe Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea or even an Disneyland in Canada similar what you do on the Sydney Disneyland project for this project i think an Canadian Disneyland Resort project needs maybe an Disneyland park similar in Florida, Tokyo and Paris, also an resort needs is maybe 2 or 3 hotels & resorts and an entertainment and retail center.

  3. So overall I thought this was a great plan, and I have few problems with it. Though part of me kinda wishes you could have somehow fit a re-imagined version of the Timekeeper show in Discoveryland.

    1. I definitely thought about it, but decided that since there's a dark ride track there now, I should stick with that form. But it could totally be like a live action version of the Timekeeper story with the characters and tone just as a dark ride. I think that could be cool.

  4. Pinocchio's an Italian Disney IP

    1. Yeah so technically the original story of Pinocchio is definitely Italian, set in the central Tuscany region. But oddly, the Disney film draws from some different European aesthetics and specifically features Bavarian-ish architecture. I did some research and some suggest that the film is set in the northern alpine areas of Italy, on the border of Austria, explaining the merging of styles.

      Anyway, the story of Pinocchio is Italian, but the style of the building is a bit closer to Germany that the tuscan style of Italy. So that's why I explained it like that. I know its a little weird.

  5. i say what next project your doing next

    1. I don't always want to ruin the surprise of the next project, but I will say that next month's post is for both a land and an attraction at Disneyland.

  6. So it's an Fantasyland Expansion, then Beastly Kingdom project then an Canadian Disneyland Resort or an Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySEA Project i hope.

  7. Remember when you said about more new international Disney Parks & Resorts you might put in London, Singapore, Dubai, somewhere in New England, and/or somewhere in South America, well after park plans for 2017 can you make 4 new international Disney Parks & Resorts in United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore and Dubai in your 2018 Future Projects please.