Monday, July 17, 2017

Sydney Disneyland Park - Collaboration with WDW Magic Imagineering Forums

This post is a little different from normal because this project is not solely my work.

Instead, this is a collaboration with a group on the Imagineering Forum, who decided to collaboratively design a new resort. Though I was not heavily involved with coming up with the concept, I shared some ideas as it went along and then offered to make a park plan for them once it was all done.

That is this post. This thread on the forum most succinctly describes the concept and all the individual attractions they designed along the way:

But since my process of turning their concept into a map changed a few things, I am going to give a brief text walk through to supplement what they have there. 

This is a traditional castle style park to start off the resort but there are some different lands here than other Magic Kingdom parks.

Instead of Main Street, there is Fantasia Gardens. Fantasia to some extent is an overarching concept in this park.

The entrance to the park is actually through a "concert hall" where the score is playing, leading us into the world of the film. The town square analogue is a roman forum, echoing the Greco-Roman scenes of Fantasia, but there are references to all of the segments around. Ahead, the path splits to two gardens on either side of the main corridor. And at the center of the park is a small lagoon with a continuous fountain show to the sounds of Fantasia, with an organic Fantasia themed castle beyond with a stage at the base.

Going clockwise, the first land is Pacific Wharf, based on a turn of the century San Francisco.

The Tower of Terror with an original ghostly story is the icon, sitting on a cliff over the waters edge, and city spreads out below it. It includes a Fisherman's Wharf area at the north of the land, with a walk through Museum of the Weird and some unique food options, a Chinatown area with an exciting dark ride and restaurant, a Barbary Coast street area with unique retail and a saloon, and a wild Lombard Street coaster that takes you on a street race just as an earthquake starts to hit the city. The force perspective streetscape with Lomdard Street winding down the middle forms a back berm to the land. The train around the park also passing through the scenes of this coaster.

A ferryboat makes a loop around the last portion of this land, Convict Island, and then drops you off on its dock. Based on the idea of Alcatraz, the island is an explorable play area with a lot of escape themed games and challenges. A cable car also runs through the middle of the land, and an abaondoned cable car by the wharf side barn has been turned into a taco car.

Next is Frontierland, which is a large land with a couple of different zones.

Starting at the hub is New Orleans, which includes a Princess and the Frog dark ride, Tianas Palace restaurant, and plenty of themed retail. A paddleboat sits along the river, marking the end of New Orleans and the start of a more rustic bayou section of the land, where there is a new large Splash Mountain that is pretty unique. The attraction is divided on two sides of small river, with the load and final scenes on the path side, and the mountain and main showbuilding on a island. The flume takes us under the river to start and end the ride. The actual exterior of both sections is redesigned to fit a more bayou theme instead of the red clay Georgia look of the original, so that it fits adjacent to New Orleans. There is also an adjacent nature trail area that passes through a fort and looks out to the body of water.

The last area of the land is a frontier mining town, where a small collection of buildings sit in the rocky landscape. The land includes Big Thunder Railroad, canoes that loop the island with Splash Mountain, a saloon, a ship walkthrough, a train station, and more dining and retail. The biggest attraction is a new Western River Expedition which is actually not a boat ride. The suspended conveyance mining equipment of an abandoned mine has been turned into a hanging gondala system that is now used to transport people into the hills of the mine, right across the train tracks. Guests load into the hanging cars and are carried right into the showbuilding and a trip through the spirit of the old west.

Adventureland is next, and it is a smaller land compared to the rest in the park.

There are two areas, a Pirates fort and a Polynesian Village. The Spanish fort entrance to the Pirates ride includes a table service resturant and a lounge in the caves below the fort. There is also a kids play area with a pirates ship adjacent to the fort, which has a Peter Pan theme to transition to Storybookland just across the path.

The Polynesian Village area includes a Lilo and Stitch treehouse, a large Tiki Room dark ride with the traditional theater show as the preshow, dining and retail including Dole Whips, and a Moana themed show along the river. A force perspective volcano sits above the stage where a live presentation of the story of the show takes place a few times a day. Part of the show can take place on boats in the water as well.

Storybookland is the parallel to Fantasyland and has many similar attractions. It's the largest land in the park as well. 

Behind the castle, there are a few attractions in a castle courtyard village setting. There is a large Fantasia dark ride with the Sorcerer's Apprentice, a carousel with Fantasia animals, Dumbo, and an enchanted dining room restaurant. A small Peter Pan area is along the path, with a restaurant and a larger form of the attraction that exits out on the Adventureland side by the play area.

A forest themed area is on the north side of the land, and in the heavily wooded natural areas there is a Tangled trackless dark ride, a trackless Aquatopia style canal boats ride, a princess meet and greet chateau, a Mr. Toads Wild Ride attraction, and a Casey Jr. Train that travels around the land and passes through a few attractions. There is also a unique train station that is inside the Seven Dwarfs Mine, which Casey Jr. also passes through. Last is Belle's village, which is the entrance to a Beauty and the Beast carousel show that retells the movie.

The last area is a London town square with a large Mary Poppins dark ride, a Mary Poppins themed tea cups style ride, and retail and dining.

The Shadowlands is the partner to Storybookland and is the home of the Villains of the park.

It also has a London area, a Forest area, and a Village area, directly paralleling the adjacent land. The London area is a much darker and rougher and treeless street that includes a Cruela de Vil dark ride. The Village area includes a Villains meet and greet, a dark ride through the Villains Academy, and a pair of restaurants, Gaston's Tavern nearby to Belle's Village and Ratigan's Pub by the main square.

The Forest area features an abandoned castle at the base of a mountain that the Villains have taken over. A boat ride initially starts calm but then becomes a fast paced coaster as we try to escape Chernabog who lives at the top of the mountain.

Last is Tomorrowland, which is fairly traditional.

From the Hub, the path leads to the main plaza, with the Rocket Jets raised at the center and the Peoplemover running along the edges. The plaza is raised on the second level of the land with an organic vegetated landscape below. On the edges of the plaza is a large theater space with futuristic themed shows, Space Mountain, a robotics restaurant, and a Time Machine themed theater show. Straight behind the Rocket Jets and the Plaza is the main attraction inspired by Horizons. Starting in a domed theater preshow, the attraction takes us into the possibilities of the future.

Off the plaza and along the path to the north, there is also a restaurant and a Big Hero 6 dark ride. Across the path is the transportation hub, which includes the train station and a new electric form of the Autopia that winds its way through the trees and along the lower level under the plaza.

Other notes:

The parade route goes from the gate in Shadowlands, down to the hub, around the lagoon, then up through Frontierland and towards Adventureland, and ending at the gate between Adventureland and Fantasyland.

The park could have a standard night time fireworks/projections/fountains show at the hub. There's plenty of place for fountains in this version, so the show could be heavy on that effect. Something like World of Color in the central lagoon plus castle projections and low level fireworks. I tried to give plenty of viewing space in the center of the park, so hopefully it would be realistic.

There is so much more detail and thoughts in the forum post that I linked above, including detail about most of the attractions, so go read that if you are interested. It's long, but adds more to this design.

I am really happy with this plan and think there's some great ideas in it from everyone at WDWMagic. So thanks to them for the good ideas, and thanks for reading!

Let me know what you like and what you think about this somewhat different Magic Kingdom style park!

Also, I am thinking about returning to the Walt Disney World parks for some posts in the near future now that we have heard about all the additions coming soon. I am thinking about doing realistic 50th anniversary parks plus my idealized versions of the parks that include all the new stuff coming. Let me know if that is something you want to see!


  1. Well we know TRON is coming to the Magic Kingdom & EPCOT is going to had new attractions like Guardians, Inside Out & Ratatouille & new attractions maybe for Mexico, China & the U.K. and i think an new World Showcase land of Brazil will be coming to the park and i think that will be the things you may put in to your idealized versions of the parks of WDW, oh Hey Imagineerland i had new idealized park plans for you to put on your blogspot in 2017/18 year. Here is a list i put in the 2017/18 year plan

    Disneyland Canada Resort: Another international Disney Park that is similar like you do on your Disneyland Sydney project but just little bit bigger about almost the size of Tokyo Disney Resort with 2 theme parks: Disneyland & Disney's Adventure Kingdom, 2 or 3 hotels & an great & big Retail Center called The Marketplace, dining, shopping & entertainment for the whole family & also more new international Disney Parks & Resorts in United Kingdom, Singapore & Dubai.

    Tokyo DisneySea with an Frozen themed land they had announced.

    Disney's Hollywood Studios next land after Toy Story Land & Star Wars Land replaces Animation Courtyard into Disney Junior Playland, this land will be themed to Disney Junior shows like Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake & the Neverland Pirates, Henry Hugglemonster & Mickey & the Roadster Racers. Why i put an Disney Junior land well here why because i know that DHS does not many kids rides or attractions.

    Walt Disney World Resort's Fifth Gate Park maybe like an DisneySea Type Theme Park.

    Hong Kong Disneyland Second Gate Park maybe like Disney's Hollywood Adventure, or even Hong Kong DisneySea.

    Shanghai Disneyland

    That's all for now TRF i Hope you love it and also post me in the comments to tell me that how that you might feel about some park plans be for 2018.

  2. Great post, TRF! Love this concept. I love the hub and spokes plan and how it is utilized with 4 semi-major weenies as focal points seen from the center of the park. Also love the San Fransisco Wharf land. I would love to explore this park. Excellent work!

    1. Thanks! The group at WDWMagic forums put together a really good concept with a lot of great ideas, so I have to give them a lot of credit for this. But I was able to turn the ideas into a pretty realistic and interesting park I think.

      And I agree, I love the idea for Pacific Wharf. That's where I would spend my time I think.

  3. It's always a pleasure to see your work and progress, and to see another unique variation on the quintessential theme park: the Disney Castle park.

    I appreciate the challenge of taking ideas at varying stages of development and piecing them together into a properly-scaled, accessible concept site plan. You rose to the occasion. I think the best part is the vertical layering: placing Autopia below Tomorrowland grade with peoplemover above and Casey Jr. below Fantasyland grade with boats at water-level below that. Among the many aspects I like are the entirely original Wharf land and the 'skyway' suspended ore carts version of WRE - a natural ride system for the late 1800s.

    It also shows the power of collaboration, and I'm tempted to do an illustrative paint-over of the plan.

    1. Thanks as always. This was definitely a challenge. Having to decipher and translate the ideas of dozens of others into one idea was something that I didn't expect to be so difficult to get started with. Took a lot of staring at an empty page and rereading their descriptions to really understand what the overall idea was. But I really enjoyed the result, and good practice for how collaborative design really is in the real world.

      There really were a lot of great ideas in their original work. The Pacific Wharf concept is also one of my favorites so I worked a lot on that. Also a bunch of original attractions and concepts that flipped the expectations for the traditional lands. Really interesting stuff that I don't think I would have ever done myself.

      I'm sure the people at WDWMagic would love to see more imagery of their project. They are pretty ambitious with this actually. They are planning to work out a whole little resort (2 parks, a few hotels, retail zone) and I'm trying to give some realistic planning guidance as they go. So I'm sure they would welcome any contribution.

  4. What cities would be best for further big resorts? I was thinking about Seoul, an Indian city (Delhi, Mumbai), Rio, and Houston.
    Seoul, will be competitive due to Everland, a new Universal (with the Wizarding World, and Nintendo), and rumors about Fox, Paramount, and MGM doing something there.
    India has 1.2 billion people.
    There is money here and a potential market in Houston and the rest of the huge, population 26 million state.

    At Disneyland, I think a new ride needs built in Frontierland between Big thunder and the River. Pinocchio needs torn out. Snow White, Dumbo, and the Casey Jr all need redone. Toontown needs a Mickey ride. The Carousel and Magic Eye Theaters need something done to them. I was thinking Iron Man and Tron, two good IPs to use. We all know Marvel is not going anywhere and Disney just built a TRON ride in Shanghai and is building it in Florida, with the studio committed to a reboot.

    I would redo Hollywood Land. I would put the PhilharMagic in the Muppet theater, redo the Monsters Inc. façade, add an Incredible ride, turn Disney Junior and some of the forest behind it into a Great Movie Ride, add the Rock and Roller Coaster, and restore the Twilight Zone to the Tower. On that lot behind the Tower I would add a Spider-Man dark ride, an Avengers coaster, and a Guardians EMV. I would stop Pixar Pier and build a new Donald Duck shoot the flumes ride. Some of the old, abandoned plans were great.