Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Worlds of MARVEL Park

This is a bluesky concept for a theme park set in the worlds of the MCU. I wanted to dive into the iconic locations and worlds of the universe of films, leading to this possibly rather large and ambitious concept.

The park is formed of a central indoor entry land, 4 large primary lands (Phase 1), 2 medium lands (Phase 2), 4 small lands (Phase 3), and a connection train system, plus infrastructure to expand to a few more small/medium lands if needed. It is hard to represent the totality of the MCU and its characters in a limited amount of lands and themes, but I have tried to find a space for just about everyone and a concept for the park that would explain every character being included somewhere.

In each land, a set storyline goes on through the day that guests can experience to whatever level they are interested. Characters can be interacted with, and assistance can be offered to the super heroes guests will meet. Many characters can be found in each land, and some are possibly found in multiple lands in different forms. 

This was a quick bluesky study without a set location or as much of the technical factors I normally try to include. Instead this was all about getting an idea down that I had been thinking about for a long time but was never sure how to wrap my head around. I love how it turned out, and hope you do too. The text is very important to understanding the concept of the design, so please read below! 

Marvel Logo

The Marvel Studios logo is represented as a pair of monumental signs that guests pass between on their way to the entry plaza and main entry gates. 

The Watcher’s Realm

The exterior entry plaza area of the park is considered the realm of the Watcher from What If... The entirety of the highly geometric plaza resembles an expanding prism, formed of triangular patterns and shapes that fold up from the ground to form side walls that partially enclose the plaza, almost like a crater or a valley. A similarly pattered lightweight canopy is above, partially perforated and partially open to the sky. Digital screens fit into many of the prismatic faces to reveal looks into other realities, shown as highlight reel clips from across the MCU, to set the exciting tone of the park. Water fountains are located the the center of the plaza and along the edges, with water rushing down the sidewall faces into the pools. There are 4 framed gateways through the prism and into the park. The inner pair are entrances, the outer pair are exit only. Inside the entrance gateways are the main turnstiles and the transition to the first land, which is entirely indoors. 

Each land of the park takes place in its own little What If bubble, ranging from minor changes to what really happened in the main MCU story to significant reimaginings of what could have happened in a totally different reality.


From the realm of the Watcher, guests step into the first of the many universes and stories they can explore across the park, one that is able to serve as an access point to the entirety of the MCU: The TVA. 

This main entry land is the multiversal regulatory world as seen in Loki and is set in the period just as Kang is taking full control. The fully indoor land starts with a tall grand entry hall that is like a Main Street, with retail and dining on both sides. As the TVA likes to collect items from various branches in the timeline, they should have plenty of items from across the MCU available for purchase. The hall ends at the iconic main atrium from Loki, with the guest pathway continuing on the upper level ring around the atrium that is open to a level below. Beyond, the paths continue to the main gathering lobby for timedoor portal travelers. There are 4 portal hallways branching off this lobby, to the 4 first lands of the park. Farther on, at the end of the hall, is the giant Kang statue, serving as the entrance to the main attraction of the land and park. 

Avengers: War of the Multiverse - The headliner E++ ticket attraction of the park, located in the headquarter of the TVA. Every hero from the multiversal saga makes an appearance in battle against Kang who is intent on conquering all realities. The queue leads from the grand hall of the TVA, where the Kang statue has appeared, through the offices and eventually into a portal to the Void. The preshow is set in the Citadel at the End of Time, where a message from He Who Remains sets up the story and guests can look out the windows over the fractured timeline. The attraction is a "mega" kuka dark ride, seating 8 guests in a cab that maneuvers in all dimensions through the set and screen attraction that throws guests into the most epic battle across all reality. 

The indoor land also includes an indoor meet and greet with rotating popular or new characters, staged as if they are variants being brought in for investigation. There are also 2 special event portal halls that are intended to be used to showcase stories or characters that don’t have another place in the park for limited time special runs. There could be a timedoor portal into Bloodstone Manor for Halloween for instance, or a portal to the setting of each new movie while it is in theaters. 

The main portal hallways lead to the 4 primary lands of the park, which I think are the 4 biggest and most iconic locations from the MCU.  

TVA Portal Stations

These are the transition points between the lands of the park and are set back in the TVA. There are 4 stations, plus space for 2 more expansion station at the top of the park. They each include an atrium at the node of 3 portal hallways that move guests from one world to another. They are also connected with a "high speed" TVA timerail underground train. 

What if all the Infinity Stones were located on Xandar while Thanos was searching for them? 

This land is the busy downtown of the Utopian alien planet from The Guardians of the Galaxy series. The land is set in an alternate universe during the pre Infinity War (~2018) period when Thanos was collecting the Infinity Stones, but before he was complete. However, all the remaining stones he needs have found their way to Xandar at the same time, setting up a perfect opportunity for him. The land features many large futuristic buildings set around a central fountain plaza, and an accessible second level wraps around much of the land, connecting the upper floors of buildings. At the center of the land is an iconic circular tower building, with an observation deck and restaurant hovering over the land. 

Avengers: The Thanos Kingdom - A Spider-Man style EMV media dark ride that puts guests in the middle of Thanos’ attack on the planet in search of the final stones. Guests board vehicles in the Nova Corps security office for an evac off the planet, but become trapped when the full forces of Thanos descend. The Guardians lead the fight, but call in the support of the rest of the Avengers, who arrive in a portals like moment to ultimately hold Thanos off from completing his gauntlet, for now. 

Guardians of the Galaxy: World Tour - An indoor dark coaster where the Guardians attempt to give a tour of the city but actually go on a wild joyride flight around the planet of Xandar and the surrounding nebulas. The queue passes the Milano and goes through the work bays of the landing pad before boarding personal flight crafts for a wild launch into space. 

Meet the Marvels - A suspended dark ride that features the full Marvels team out on a mission to address a disturbance in a nearby galaxy. The suspended spaceship vehicles take guests on an exciting mission into space to save a Skrull research ship from what they think is a black hole, but is actually a Celestial intent on destruction. Captain Marvel leads the team as they rescue the ship and return back to the safety of Xandar. 

The Collector's Gallery - An animatronics show theater, where the weird and wonderful collection pieces of the Collector are put on display for a show of their unique talents. This is meant to be a traveling galley exhibit of his most notable pieces, now on Xandar for a limited and exclusive run. 

Nova Flight - A jetpack style spinner, located at the center of the land, elevated on the second level above a cascading fountain waterfall. 

The land also includes an overlook table service in the central tower, an alien kitchen quick service, an indoor Guardians meet and greet that includes Baby Groot, an indoor rotating heroes meet and greet, retail, and multiple full sized space ships scattered around the land. Starlord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, Mantis, Yondu and the Ravengers, Captain Marvel, Ms Marvel, Monica, Rambeau as Photon, Nebula, The Collector, and the Nova Corps can be found in the land. 

Avengers Base
What if Ultron escaped Sokovia and rebuilt an army to try to destroy humanity again? 

This land is the upstate New York base of the Avengers team, featured in films throughout the MCU. The land takes place pre Civil War (~2016) in an alternate universe where Ultron escaped from the battle of Sokovia by uploading into a rogue sentry droid and over time rebuilt an army to take on the Avengers again. Now, Ultron is poised to return. The large land is build around the main Avengers building, with a quinjet pad raised above a water feature to the left and a hangar bay building to the right with multiple ships and vehicles on display. Various support, training, and manufacturing buildings fill in the rest of the campus. 

Avengers: Ultron Invasion - A Flight of Passage style flight simulator where Ultron returns with his army to exact revenge. The queue begins from inside the Avengers building and leads into the atrium of a planetary watch control center where sensors are picking up a possible urgent threat. Preshow rooms show Tony Stark discovering it is Ultron and sending us to a bay of emergency response pods to protect us during the battle. But once we launch and the attraction begins, our vehicles malfunction from interference from Ultron, sending us into an action packed flight right through the middle of the battle, featuring the classic Avengers team. 

Hulk on the Rampage - A tunnel simulator that takes guests along on a Hulk solo mission to respond to a distress beacon from a crashed alien spaceship. Guests board a ground transport in the hangar bay building, load onto a plane, and fly to the crash site where Hulk is already investigating. The crash turns out to be a Kree surprise attack, but Hulk easily takes care of the threat as our vehicle weaves through the destruction, trying to escape. 

Avengers Training Grounds - A trackless dark ride tour through the training halls of the Avengers team, led by Black Widow and Hawkeye. The fast paced tour takes us through the high tech training bays, where we see the duo fight off holograms, robots, and more in a simulated mission. 

Stark Tech Showcase - A shooting dark ride based on a showcase of the newest inventions of Tony Stark, where guests get to shoot with wrist action at a variety of physical and screen targets. The shooting scenes include a collection of well known Stark inventions as well as his newest creations. 

Avengers Assemble - A carousel formed of various Avengers vehicles and suits, including motorcycles, Iron Man walkers, jeeps, and more. 

The land also includes an assembly bay quick service, a Stark Dining Room table service that is located on level 2 of the main building and looks down over the land, an indoor rotating Avengers meet and greet, an indoor rotating heroes meet and greet, and retail. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, War Machine, Wanda, Falcon, Vision, Maria Hill, and Nick Fury can be found in this land.

What if Hela wasn't evil? 

This land is the core city of the Realm of Asguard from the Thor series. This is an alternate universe set right after the Avengers (~2013) where Thor has returned Loki to Asgard to be under the supervision of their sister Hela, who is not evil and was not banished. This is an idyllic and all-powerful version of Asgard. The land is made up of the gardens and town buildings at the base of the the Royal Palace of Valaskjalf, the iconic center of the realm. Boats pass through a large moat/lagoon in front of the main entrance to the grand halls. 

Avengers: Revenge of the Gods - An indoor dark ride coaster where guests witness the Avengers try to hold off the ruthless powers of a group of rival Gods, intent on destroying Asgard and restoring the balance of power. In this Gringotts like indoor dark ride coaster, guests board chariots to travel with Thor to a celebration of his return, but trouble soon strikes and he is forced to call in the assistance of his new Avengers team to fight off the forces led by Ares, who is jealous of Thor's success. With the assistance of his new teammates, all turns out well in Asgard, and guests arrive at the massive party to celebrate Thor for his heroics on earth. 

The Halls of Valhalla - A trackless boat dark ride through the royal Palace of the city, starting with the impressive and grand above ground halls and continuing to the underground caverns and dungeons below, where the most fearsome and dangerous enemies of the realm are kept. This is a Shanghai Pirates style trackless boat ride that explores the detailed sets and immersive screens along the trip through the Palace. Once in the dark and dangerous dungeons, guest come across the cell of the Enchantress, who attempts at lure us to free her by sending us into a vision of the destroyed dungeons, but Thor arrives to snap us free from the vision and send us back to the upper worlds of the Palace. 

Asgardian Players Theater - A stunt show theater where the mighty tales of Thor and the other heroes are presented by the best actors of the realm. This is done in the style of the dramatic theatrical presentations from the films, but with added fights, stunts, special effects, and more. 

Mystic Goat Roundup - A Mater's style whip flat ride set in the holding yard for a pack of mystical goats. 

The land also includes a Grand Banquet Hall table service, a food hall quick service, an indoor Thor meet and greet, an indoor rotating hero meet and greet, and retail. Thor, Odin, Hela, Loki, Valkyrie, Lady Sif, Heimdall, and Jane Foster can be found in this land. 

What if Wakanda wasn't a secret from the world? 

This land is the city center and mountain range of the futuristic Kingdom of Wakanda from the Black Panther series. The land is set pre Age of Ultron (~2014) in an alternate universe where Wakanda didn’t keep itself hidden from the rest of the world and Black Panther was able to join the Avengers shortly after the battle of New York. The land is formed of a mountain range with stunning waterfalls and the Panther Mountain on one side of a river and the urban downtown area of Birnin Zana on the other. The modern downtown features a central tower structure and a marketplace of winding streets. 
Avengers: Worldwide Threat - A slot car dark ride set in Shuri’s labs where her tech allows guests to take part in a worldwide car chase along with the Avengers. Using the Test Track ride system, the ride recreates the remote driver simulator pods from the first film so guests can assist in a worldwide Avengers operation. A coordinated attack is being staged by the Masters of Evil on SHIELD security locations around the world, and the Avengers must split up to take it on. We are called in to provide backup vehicles wherever we are needed, so along the ride, we jump from location to location to assist the heroes and ultimately assist in the successful mission. 

Ancestral Falls - A flume dark ride along the river and through the falls that guides guests into a story about the history and legend of the Black Panther. The boat ride passes through the waterfalls and caves before journeying to the serene ancestral planes. Guests then return to the land of Wakanda, where we are challenged by Black Panther to show our courage by traveling to the peak of the Panther Mountain, which leads to an indoor flume fall of the way back down.

Vibranium Extractor - A launch coaster that flies through the vibranium mines and the surrounding forest. The queue leads through the upper levels of the extraction facility before boarding high speed passenger carts that race through the indoor mines and back out to the surface. 

Energy Disk - A Disk-O flat ride that sits on the second level of the land, themed as an energy generator for the city. The rotating disk slides back and forth with the far end cantilevered over the pathway below. 

The land also includes a table service with prime views of the falls at Panther Mountain, a street market quick service, an indoor Black Panther meet and greet, an indoor rotating heroes meet and greet, and retail. Black Panther, Shuri, Nakia, Okoye, Ramonda, Mbaku, and the Dora Milaje can be found in the land. 

What if Ant-Man was on Team Stark and Spider-Man was on Team Cap in Civil War? 

This land is the New York neighborhood of Queens from the Spiderman series. The land is set post Civil War (~2017) in an alternate universe where Ant-Man and Spider-Man switched places on the teams in Civil War. That leads to Scott Lang not being under house arrest, so he is able to move to New York City to be closer to the Avengers, and Peter Parker back in Queens under watch of the government and not under Iron Mans mentorship, so he has to figure out how to be a local hero by himself. The land is a low rise urban city with a large elevated train track bridge that runs through the middle. 

A Swinging Spider-Man Adventure - A swinging dark ride where guests find Peter Parkers secret headquarters in the Queens Science Center and join him on an adventure across the city. This is a unique ride system that simulates a swinging action through a series of streetscape scenes and video domes. In this universe, Doc Ock and the Green Goblin have teamed up to wipe out the superheroes that they see as a treat to their operations, and today coming after Spider-Man. Guests follow along as Spider-Man attempts to first evade the villains and then trap them in webs high above the city. 

Ant-Man Nanocoaster - An indoor spinning coaster that uses Ant-Man's shrinking powers for a fun shrinking trip through the Quantum Realm. The queue starts in the X-Con Security offices, but then leads into a backroom for a preshow where guests are shrunk and invited into the relocated Pym Labs. The coaster is a family indoor spinning coaster that launches guests into a Quantum Tunnel and through the wonderful and weird world of the Quantum Realm. 

Super Hero Hall of Fame - An omnimover dark ride that takes guests through a kitschy presentation on the history of super heroes and the a celebration of the favorite supers of New York City. This is a lighthearted attraction with a musical theme, intentionally cheesy and fun, though inaccurate to the reality of the Avengers that are included. 

The land also includes an Americana Diner quick service, an indoor Spider-Man meet and greet in the Science Center, an indoor rotating heroes meet and greet, and retail. Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Ned Leeds, MJ, Wasp, and other New York based heroes can be found in the land. 

What if the Fantastic Four were founding members of the Avengers? 

This land is the central Manhattan district of New York, featured in a variety of films in the MCU. This land is set post Civil War (~2016) in an alternate universe where the Fantastic Four were founding members of the Avengers and the primary team leaders instead of Tony Stark and Captain America. The land is an urban landscape of busy downtown streets with low to midrise buildings on every street. At the center is a Flatiron building and behind is a new Baxter Building, while the Sanctum Sanctorum is a block away. Matt Murdock's office can be found among the storefronts. 

The Mystic Adventures of Doctor Strange - A kuka dark ride that transports guests through the magical and bizarre world of the mirror dimension. The queue passes through the grand halls and galleries of the Sanctum before loading onto an enchanted antique bench. The Forbidden Journey like attraction flies along on an adventure with the Sorcerer Supreme as he takes on an evil version of Loki who is intent on capturing Doctor Strange in an illusion dimension and replacing him in the real world. 

Fantastic Four Flight - A interactive cabin simulator where guests fly along with the Fantastic Four on a test run for a new ultra fast vehicle, but accidentally run across their biggest enemy, Doctor Doom. The modified Smugglers Run attraction lets guests "fly" the ship along side the team's vehicle for the first half of the trip from New York to the European HQ in London, but then once Doctor Doom intercepts our vehicle and holds us hostage, autopilot is engaged. The battle continues inside his converted warehouse lair, where the Fantastic Four team comes to rescue us and fly us back to the safety of New York. 

Powers of Kamar-Taj - An indoor effects show that invites guests through a portal from the Sanctum to the hidden land of Kamar-Taj for a demonstration by the sorcerers in training, overseen by Doctor Strange. Guests walk right through an open portal into the training courtyard of the school, and observe a show that is part magic, part combat, and part special effects. 

The land also includes a cafe quick service, an indoor Fantastic Four meet and greet, an indoor rotating heroes meet and greet, park space, and retail. The Fantastic Four, Doctor Strange, Wong, the Ancient One, Daredevil, and other New York based heroes can be found in the land. 

What if Wanda's also grew up with a love of  80's blockbuster movies?

This land is the town of Westview from WandaVision. The land is set during the culmination of Wanda’s take over of the town (~2023), leading to different areas of the town to be taking place in different eras and genres of the show. This is an alternate version of Westview however where Wanda also grew up with a love of 80's movies in addition to sitcoms of the past, from romantic comedies to action adventure blockbusters. Half of the land is formed of a neighborhood street that holds both Wanda’s house and Agatha’s house and the other half is the city downtown which includes the movie theater, town plaza, and the Halloween carnival from the show on the rear streets.  The neighborhood zone is set in the 50s, the town square is set in the 70s, and the rear streets with the Halloween carnival is set in the 90s. 

WandaVision The Movie - An omnimover dark ride that takes guests into Wanda’s final stage of her takeover of the town in the style of the movies she grew up with. The Haunted Mansion style attraction begins with a step through the decades to tell the story of WandaVision but then transitions to a new exciting story in the present day where Agatha and Wanda face off for control of Westview, in the varied styles of 80's feature films. 

Trick or Treat Twirl - A teacups style flat ride in the Halloween festival area of the town, where the cups are pumpkin shaped candy buckets. 

The land also includes a holiday themed town café quick service, an indoor meet and greet with 50s Wanda and Vision inside their house, a Westview sign photo op, and retail. Wanda, Vision, Agatha Harkness, and Monica Rambeau can be found in the land. 

What if Moon Knight, Black Knight, and Blade teamed up to fight a supernatural threat? 

This land is made up of the city streets of downtown London as featured in Moon Knight and The Eternals. The land is set post Moon Knight and Blade (~2026) in an alternate universe where the heroes Moon Knight, Blade, and Black Knight have temporarily teamed up to fight a dark supernatural force that is threatening the city, forming the Midnight Sons for the first time. The land is formed of a city block with a large Egyptian art museum and plaza at the corner, complete with an obelisk, plus a small square at the rear of the land.

The Knights of London - A trackless dark ride where guests dive into the dark streets of London along with the Midnight Sons. The scaled down Rise of the Resistance style attraction features all the members of the team, in all their forms, as they chase down the kind of supernatural threat only they can handle: Dracula. He has been drawn to the city to take back a Transylvanian artifact that is newly on display at the museum, and the heroes must form a super group to drive him away before the darkness of the night ends. 

Flight of Horus - A classic spinner flat ride inside the Egyptian museum front gallery, with themed vehicles that resemble Egyptian falcons. 

The land also includes a pub quick service, an indoor Mr. Knight meet and greet, and retail. All forms of Steven Grant/Moon Knight, Black Knight, Blade, Sersi, Kingo, Ikaris, and Phastos can be found in this land. 

Ta Lo
What if the Mandarin couldn't get through the bamboo forest and the battle of Ta Lo was avoided? 

This land is the hidden pocket dimension of Ta Lo from Shang Chi. This is set post Shang Chi (~2024) in an alternate universe where the Battle of Ta Lo was avoided because The Mandarin was trapped outside of the land when the path through the bamboo forest opened up. The land contains the village as well as the mystical gardens, all backed by a rock work cliff side. The land includes the village plaza with surrounding buildings, the elevated main ceremonial hall, a bamboo forest clearing for live training shows, and the explorable gardens and caves beyond.

Dragon Forest Expedition - A boat dark ride that takes guests on a tour of the gardens and forests in search of the magical creatures that inhabit the land. The Jungle Cruise style attraction loads outside and begins with an outdoor portion that passes scenic views and amazing creatures before turning into the caves to find the Great Protector Dragon. Inside the show building, we encounter Shang Chi, training in the woods, who joins us in search of the Dragon. The Great Protector is found in its remote cave, and then boats return to the village dock.

Lion Guard Run - An outdoor kids coaster that runs along the rock cliff and through the gardens, and featuring an appearance by one of the giant Shishi lions.

The land also includes a garden quick service, an indoor meet and greet with Shang Chi and Xu Xialing, explorable caves, and retail. Shang Chi, Xu Xialing, Katy, Trevor Slattery, and Ying Nan can be found in this land. 

Camp Lehigh
What if Captain America returned to the US for a recruiting tour in the middle of the fight against Hydra? 

This land is the WWII training camp as featured in Captain America: The First Avenger. The entire land is set in the past (~1943), during the peak of war and Captain America’s involvement with the USO, and in an alternate universe where Steve Rodgers is brought back to the camp for a recruitment tour event midway through his battle with Hydra. The main area of the land is the central service yard that appeared in Endgame, bordered by a truck depot building, the main camp gate, and the ammunitions bunker that will soon house a SHIELD facility. 

Captain America Training Run - An Indiana Jones style EMV dark ride where guests board jeeps for a fast paced adventure on the off-road training track. Mid run, the camp undergoes a surprise from Hydra and Red Skull, leading to Captain America arriving to save the day and get us safely back to camp. 

Ropes Drill - A ropes course in the woods at the rear of the camp, where guests can undergo a series of elevated challenges as they train to be the next American hero. 

The land also features a mess hall quick service, an outdoor USO rally stage, an indoor meet and greet with USO Captain America, and retail. Captain America, Bucky Barnes, Peggy Carter, and Howard Stark can be found in this land. 

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Pirate Island - Resort Concept

After a couple months work, I finally have a new site plan project ready to share. I shared this design on my twitter over the last few weeks, but now I have it all assembled into a post here. It's a long one, but I hope you read through to the bottom.

This project began with the idea to create a boutique scale resort fully themed to just one immersive story, partially inspired by the Starcruiser concept, and to do it with a franchise that could support an expansive adventure and many locations and stories. It was also a bit of a what if scenario for me and I decided to pick a property that didn't get its chance during its peak for a true top tier themed entertainment experience. I also wanted something I was a big fan of so that I would enjoy working on it. A big piece of inspiration that kicked off this project was a video that went distwitter viral of an attraction at Puy de Fou Spain. 

It started thoughts about just how cool a pirate based themed experience could be, especially if expanded to a whole park. These elements came together to form one idea that just stuck in my head. A park that is entirely set in the world of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, but expanded to tell new stories in a new way. 

So now, a brand new resort concept, one that I put a lot of time and effort into and one that I am really happy with the result. Welcome to PIRATE ISLANDS.

This is a hypothetical boutique resort that puts guests into the world of pirates during their heyday. It wasn't designed with any specific location in mind, but could be located somewhere in the Caribbean near a vacation hotspot as a destination themed resort. The site plan below shows the full resort that hugs a hypothetical coastline and bay. 

It includes a theme park with 4 lands, a retail, dining, and entertainment town on the bay, 4 hotels of different scales and themes, a parking and transit area, and a park services area. One part of the concept is to embrace varied levels of optional immersion, ranging from day guests that just want to experience a day of attractions, to overnight guests that stay in themed hotels, to roleplay experience guests that live a multi-day resort-wide story.

I’ve been working on this park on and off for just about exactly a year. One reason it went so slow was my decision to mock up a model of the entire resort to give an idea of the style and scale. I also developed the site with a probably overkill level of detail, including grading the entire site and including a topo layer on the site plan. Plus I added details such as benches, umbrellas, transformers, and compactors just to give it some realism.

Now, lets take a trip through the resort, area by area and land by land, starting at the entrance to the site and then on to the excitement and adventures of the main park and hotels.


The site entrance road leads directly to a 2500 space parking lot, split in half with a walking path in between, leading to the main entrance. A transit area includes a large bus hub, ride-share loop, and valet loop. 

All arriving guests walk towards an arched passageway under a crumbling stone wall bridge, which acts as the visual separation from the outside transit world and the interior themed world of the resort. The Spanish colonial entry building is straight ahead, and moves guests through a large breezeway passage through security and past guest services. Guests emerge onto the main plaza green of Port Royal Town.


The public retail and entertainment component of the site is themed as the bayfront square of a Spanish Caribbean town. It wraps around 2 sides of a bay, bordered by the hotel on the backside and the park on the opposite side. The streets are filled with inviting retail and dining spaces, all with views out to the beach and the docks. The 4-6 story themed hotel acts as a backdrop to the town and appears to be a collection of different buildings, all with a great view over town. 

The ornate governor's mansion hotel sits on a hill on the other side of town. The massive fort is located across the bay, protecting the town and acting as the entrance and the visual draw to the main theme park. The town comes to life with musicians and characters throughout the day, acting mostly as a entertainment and relaxation area for most guests, but the start of a story for those who want to explore.



This is the moderate level hotel of the resort and the largest at 400 rooms, and continues the Spanish colonial style of the town. The lobby is a large pitched roof hall that is a level above the town square and looks over it, with stairs spilling down to it. This hotel uses self parking in the large adjacent deck and amenities include a pool, a top floor lounge, and direct access to the restaurants on the ground level. All hotels benefit from expanded park hours and experiences.



The smaller mansion hotel is a more exclusive experience at 60 rooms total and is a more luxury experience. Themed as the most high profile residence of the town, the hotel sits on a hill above the rest of the resort, with most rooms overlooking the bay. Guests drop off at the private drive circle and then cars are valet parked at the main hotel deck. Amenities include a fine dining restaurant in the glass atrium lobby, spa services, and exclusive line access to the park.


The third hotel is in the actual fort inside the park and holds 100 rooms. All rooms are themed as navy officer lodging spaces and are on the top 2 levels so they can look out over the bay, the town, or the garrison. The hotel also has its own private drop off loop and uses valet parking, taking guests into the large events hall lobby. Elevated passageways lead over to the main fort where the top levels are exclusive to the hotel while lower levels are in the park. This is a more story focused hotel and allows guests to get more involved in the exploration of the fort. Amenities include direct park access, a mess hall dining room, and special views of the nightly battle show on the bay, where the fort itself is attacked.


The last hotel is the ultimate interactive experience and lets guests live a 2 night pirate adventure. It is also based in the fort, and is limited to 40 rooms. This is a roleplay and highly active experience. More on this after describing the park.


Now, we turn to the actual park. The formal park is divided into 4 main lands, each different settings and realms of piracy to discover. This is an highly themed experiential park, so the park is the star, but there are plenty of rides as well.


The first land is the fort and the surrounding garrison at the entrance of the park. This is the active Spanish Navy fort that protects the town and is home to the best pirate hunting ships and crews of the Spanish fleet. 

The main fort building is multipurpose, holding the 2 hotels previously mentioned plus 2 attractions and a dining location. It is actually a big show building with a multilevel park area and hotel on top, hidden as a huge rock covered stone building. Through the main gate, guests are on level 2 of the fort and can go left or straight to the bayside garrison, or right to take stairs up to the main activities yard of the fort on level 3, where there publicly explorable areas. Level 3 also includes a counter service restaurant and a walk through Maritime Gallery museum exploring the history of the navy and piracy in the Caribbean. Levels 4 and up are the private hotels with more explorable spaces and great views of the bay. 

The garrison areas outside the fort are where the enlisted live, work, and train. These buildings are more aged than those out in the village, and a large cliffside borders the far side of the land. The boardwalk is to the right, where two full sized ships are moored on the docks. One, The Commodore, is an explorable attraction that shows life aboard a ship. 

There are 3 more attractions in the land. First, down by the docks, Adventures of the Caribbean is the classic pirates boat ride. Guest boats float along the cliffs on the bay and into the caves before emerging back out to the village under attack by pirates. The large boat ride takes place on level 1 of the fort building and takes large boats through caves, the town and fort under attack, and finally right between two ships in battle before a peaceful return to the garrison. 

Second, in the middle of the garrison is The Training Gallery which is a shooting dark ride, combining digital and practical effects as guests perfect their aim in a series of pirate inspired training scenes, such as a mock up of a ships deck. 

Last, the signature attraction of the park is The Royal Navy Experience, a massive sailing simulator, inspired by the ILM volume system. Guests board a full scale sailing ship in dock, which then pulls away and into a 270 degree volume. This is a huge, and possible unrealistically complicated attraction idea. There are 2 theaters, and each ship holds 100+ guests at a time for a 30 minute sailing adventure, culminating in a pirate attack on the ship. Guests enter the dock building on the bay, with the ship they appear to be boarding just behind it. 

The queue leads through passageways into a huge showbuilding behind the rockwork cliffs. Guests board and are seated on the lower level for departure, as the giant ship vehicle on a slight motion base slides out from the dock set and into the show space, screens on all sides and water below.

Once sailing, guests can go to the top deck for the true experience, but soon, a small second pirate ship ambushes, with a live captain character aboard. The second ship slides out from a hidden dock. The pirates demand a surrender to keep them from boarding and taking the ship, but the Navy ship fights back instead, firing cannons and causing visible damage to the other ship. After a brief battle, the Navy ship gains speed and outruns the pirate ship. The Navy crew celebrates with the guests and then returns to the port to unload, actually sliding backwards into the dock.

The fort and garrison land includes various retail locations, mostly themed to Navy merch and Spanish items, plus confiscated pirate memorabilia. There is a large mess hall counter service location as well as various snack stalls. The land also includes characters and entertainment to interact with, such as Spanish navy officers, nervous new recruits, and citizens of the port town.


The next land is an entirely indoor land that acts as a geographic transition as guests navigate the park. Guests walk through the world of the ocean floor, surrounded by shipwrecks, coral, and the spirits of pirates lost to the depths. From the fort, the land is accessed through two tunnels in the rocky cliffs surrounding the garrison. The tunnels are meant to lead to docks on the other side of the island, but flooding meant these lead only directly to the world of the sea below. The tunnels have a gentle slope down to bring guests 1 floor below the main park level so that the passageway can go underneath the service rounds that surround the large single building land.

The tunnels open up into a valley of coral and decaying ships deep in the dark ocean. This is where all sunk pirate ships end up, one way or another. Projections, lighting, and hidden aquarium tanks extend the view and create the illusion of being underwater. The land holds 5 attractions. They include the Ship Graveyard aquarium, where tanks hide among the wreckage, and two flat rides made of seaweed and pirate ship pieces, called the Jolly Rodger, a chain swing, and the Sunken Ship, a carousel.

The first of the two big attractions here is Journey to the Wreckage, a modified flight of passage system where guests dive through the wonder and terrors of the ocean, encountering amazing creatures and an undead pirate crew that we must escape from.

The other big attraction is Revenge of the Depth, a kuka dark ride where we are put right in the middle of a battle between the ghostly spirits of Davy Jones' crew and a recently sunk ship, full of new souls to enlist.

The land also includes a counter service location set in a coral cave and retail that is mostly made up of sunken treasures. A cave on the far side of the land leads back up to dry land.



The cave system emerges to an inlet on a completely new island, an island this time controlled by the pirates, not the Navy. This is the lost island of Tortuga, and the port town that shares is name is just around the corner. The ramshackle village is a place where all pirates pass through at some point and is the opposite stylistically to the clean port town. A town square is surrounded by a collection of distressed buildings.

The land contains 4 attractions. On the docks is another explorable pirate ship, The Revenge, and right next to it is Cutters Ship Repair Co, a stunt show staged in the biggest shipyard of the island. On launch day of a new pirate ship, a rival ships crew attempts to hijack the completed ship while still in drydock, leading to an action filled show of sword fighting and more, culminating with the new ship being accidently destroyed by cannon fire.

In the main part of the village, the next attraction is set in the pirate guild hall. The Pirates Challenge is a trackless boat dark ride as guests join a band of pirates in a trek across the Caribbean with plenty of adventures along the way.

The last attraction is on the edge of the village. Lore of the Pirates is an effects show where a pirate mystic tells us about the legends of the sea, bringing the kraken, Blackbeard, and others to life right in front of guests.

The rest of the village of Tortuga is filled with retail and dining, including one table service restaurant with a large patio that overlooks the ocean beyond, and a second restaurant with views into the boat attraction.


Across the island from the Port town is the location of the final land, sitting just on the other side of the inlet guests emerge from. This is a mythic valley of pirate lore, said to be home to the fountain of youth and maybe more. This is the least urban land, mostly made of jungle and the cliffs that border the valley. At the edge of the bay is a recently abandoned grand mansion, once home to the pirate king who ruled the island, but has now disappeared.

The valley was known for its magical water, which pirates have fought over for centuries. The current captain controlling the valley has started selling the water, bringing in great riches which were used to build a mansion and a full smuggling and bootlegging operation. Along with the riches though, mysterious disasters have begun to happen, including flooded storage caves, landslides, and finally the disappearance of the captain. The land includes 5 attractions which explore the lore of the island and its missing captain.

The first is in The Mansion itself, where an escape room style experience is located. Guests explore the rooms for clues about the captains disappearance. Because of the low capacity, this attraction is exclusive to hotel guests.

The next, Cavernas Místicas, is a indoor EMV water coaster. Guests board boats to explore the flooded caves of the island but discover a mystical force instead, sending them through rapids, magical glowing caverns, and a dark and fiery fall down a waterfall.

Another water ride is next, a raft ride called Valley River Trek. Using rafts meant to transport goods along the river across the island, guests travel through the depths of the jungle before taking a detour into the dark caves, followed by a steep drop and splashdown.

Bootleggers Run is the main coaster of the park, themed as a cross island train. The multi launch coaster hugs the terrain and weaves through the jungle and by waterfalls along the long track.

Last is Overflow Springs, a family splash flat ride built out of the water barrel filling equipment. Guests in round barrel boats travel along a 4 loop path, using water guns to shoot at targets on the land and at other guests on the other boats and passing rafts.

The buildings in the complex behind the mansion hold retail and there is a counter service dining location by the caves, including an interior dining space that looks out over the flooded ride path and the glowing caverns.

Now that we have finished walking through all the lands of the park, this last section brings us to night time at the resort and the immersive hotel that I mentioned at the start. 


The day at the resort culminates with an exciting nighttime spectacular on the bay of the port town. A few hours after sundown, a pirate ship is spotted approaching town, leading to warning bells across the port. One of the Navy ships in dock at the port town sails out to drive the pirates away, but are outmatched by the larger pirate ship. A staged pirate attack on the fort then occurs, with plenty of pyro and effects creating an exciting show visible from all around the bay.


This hotel is the guests chance to step completely into the life of a pirate and fully explore the resort. It begins with an afternoon check in at the fort hotel, where guests are welcomed as VIP guests of the Spanish navy for a luxurious stay in the fort. These special guests get top level officer suites overlooking the bay. Afternoon activities include guided and free exploration of the fort, interactions with navy characters, sword fight lessons, games, and more, leading up to a grand welcome dinner.

Like the starcruiser, character interaction is key, and there are many characters, including the fort commander, various officers, the master swordsman, sailors, and a mysterious cook, who you may learn is a pirate sympathizer if you interact well enough.

The formal dinner on the rooftop hall of the fort begins well, but soon it is clear something is happening outside in the bay, the nightly pirate attack bay show. The fort goes to high alert as it is being bombarded, with guests being instructed to stay in place. Suddenly, pirates break in to the dining hall, led by their captain and the cook, who is revealed to be a pirate spy. They overtake the officers in the hall and declare control of the fort. The guests are given the option of the brig or joining the pirates crew.

Of course, all guests take the offer to join the pirates, so the dinner continues, now with the pirate captain leading the festivities. For the rest of the evening, guests interact with the pirate crew, and are sent to bed in the fort rooms, but told to pack for a trip tomorrow.

In the morning, guests find a note under the door with instructions on missions to complete in the park to prove loyalty to the pirate cause, such as delivering messages to characters, finding hidden treasures, or riding rides and looking for secret symbols and codes.

All guests then meet for a group lunch in Tortuga with the pirate crew before then having a VIP afternoon tour of the park under the guise of exploring the captains favorite ports and landmarks. The tour ends with Adventures of the Caribbean, but with a big twist. In the caves portion of the ride, the boat holding only your group turns off the path and into a different section of the attraction. The boats continue around a bend and discover a hidden grotto with 2 full size pirate ships in dock and a pirate camp on the shores of the cave.

This is the location for night 2, inside the ride. Guests are welcomed to the pirate camp and given rooms on the ships, where their luggage has already appeared. The afternoon and evening is filled with more interactive pirate activities and games, and then a grand dinner. Guests sleep In the ships, looking out over a projected ocean through the cavern openings. Breakfast is served on the ships and then guests are sent back to the main land by way of the attraction, arriving back in the garrison mid morning.

The experience concludes with free time in the park in the morning and then a casual lunch in tortuga with the captain, where guests are declared part of the crew. Checkout occurs back in the fort, just in time for another 2 day experience to begin.


The very final component of the project is maybe the least exciting, but still a crucial component of the design: the backstage services areas of the park.

The majority of the backstage service areas are located at the top right of the site, behind the park. The main backstage gate leads to the centralized area for cast service, maintenance, and management. The central buildings of the complex include a large cast parking deck which connects to the cast center and to the office building that manages the operations of the resort. Warehouses and maintenance shops surround the core buildings.

Elsewhere in the resort are a few other main backstage operations areas, including a tunnel to the basement of the fort building for backstage access, another service area behind the hotel that has a second parking deck, and a large receiving building at the center of the park.

And that is the end of this project! I appreciate everyone who read all the way through this post, and especially if you saw this first on twitter. 

I really am proud of this big project and hope that you all enjoyed it. Let me know what your favorite parts are in the comments below or if you have any questions!