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Discussion in 'Imagineer' started by TheOriginalTiki, Feb 3, 2017.
Care to make a wager on who wins? Lol.
@MANEATINGWREATH and I finally get back to podcasting with a recap of the semi-finals.
Can I still incorporate the Red Car Trolley into the park? It's kind of a central part of some of my revisions. Rest assured, the new and separate transportation system would still be the focus. Thanks.
This is a good question. I'm going to say "yes," however, an opinion from @TheOriginalTiki might be needed as well.
That's fine as long as the trolleys don't tie into something that closely resembles BVS.
Although first announced in 2007, it could be argued that the seeds for the five year, $1.1 billion redo of Disney’s California Adventure were first planted in 2002. In a meeting that had nothing whatsoever to do with theme parks, then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner and then-Pixar owner Steve Jobs held a discussion on the next few years of the Disney-Pixar partnership. Before Save Disney, before the Disney/Pixar falling out and before Eisner’s ouster, he and Jobs simply had the task of picking Disney’s 2005 Pixar release. Jobs presented Eisner with two potential films: one a movie based on a world of anthropomorphic vehicles called Route 66, and the other a very early version of Toy Story 3 (predating Circle 7’s “Buzz recalled” pitch by three years). Eisner chose the former, feeling that the money made on a potential Hot Wheels-esque franchise would overshadow any new Toy Story merchandise profits.
Eisner’s hunch was ultimately his last truly great decision - Cars, as Route 66 would become, made Disney money hand over fist and ended up becoming Pixar’s most profitable franchise. And of course John Lasseter’s personal love for the film ended up playing a big part moving forward; he convinced Disney’s executives that a potential Cars land would be a huge boon for the Disneyland Resort, which propelled the smaller scale multi-million dollar fix of California Adventure into a larger scale billion dollar fix, one that just about everyone agrees was worth the money.
But let’s go back to that 2002 Eisner/Jobs meeting for a second. What if Eisner didn’t believe in the Route 66 concept? What if, in a decision to play it safe during a turbulent time for the studio, he gave the go-ahead to Toy Story 3 as Disney’s 2005 Pixar release? It stands the reason that just about everything else would have happened as it did in reality: Roy Disney still would have resigned, Jobs would still want to break it off with Disney, Eisner still would have received a vote of no-confidence and stepped down in September 2005, and Bob Iger would still have succeeded him and mended fences with Jobs, purchasing Pixar and putting Lasseter in a position of power not only to revive Disney Feature Animation (which he ultimately does), but also creatively within Walt Disney Imagineering. The biggest differences here are that Toy Story 3 would have been released four years early (being bumped from 2005 to 2006 like Cars was in our timeline) and a world without Cars in 2006 would be a world with a financially scaled-back DCA redo.
That’s not to say that the multi-million dollar refurbishment of DCA would be bad, however, just perhaps lacking the budget for a scale that potential Cars merchandise profits could offset the costs of. With all that being said, DCA was still very much in need of a reset. Iger knew it, Lasseter knew it, and even the budget-shy executives knew it. The undertaking would still be unprecedented for a park like this, and new ground would still be broken in a way that would change the game as to how the American theme parks were run in the Iger years and beyond. It just did it in a fairly different way.
Judges, jurors, people of WDWMagic, I present to you my entry into SYWTBAI Season 14’s Final Project: California Dreamin’ - An Alternate History.
Disney Announces Massive $750 Million Redo of California Adventure Theme Park
The Los Angeles Times | Richard Potter | October 17, 2007
In a move that is being described as a seismic shift in the theme park world, The Walt Disney Company has announced this morning that they will be allocating three-quarters of a billion dollars to revive its ailing California Adventure park, more than was spent to build the park in the first place.
Disneyland spokesman Rob Doughty commented earlier that “This is an opportunity to allow our second gate a chance to shine in a way that it hadn’t been able to before.”
This “chance to shine” is being described by some insiders as an attempt to make the park more like its older neighbor Disneyland, with more well-defined lands and place-making.
“There are plans to completely redo the Sunshine Plaza entrance.” says an anonymous insider who did not want to be named. “A theme hasn’t been settled on yet, but the intention is to make it a nostalgic call-back to Disney’s past in the same way that Main Street is.”
Beyond the entrance redo, Disney reportedly has plans to add two new attractions and a nighttime show to the Paradise Pier section, a “touch-up” to the Bountiful Valley Farm/A Bug’s Land area, and a brand new land to sit on what is currently the Timon parking lot. This will be coupled with general place-making to other sections in order to bring the park up to a more Disney-like experience.
The vagueness of the plans has not gone unnoticed by some. “It’s all smoke and mirrors” says Anaheim Councilman Bob Hernandez, claiming that the surprise announcement came out in the week that the city council was set to vote on approving a low-income housing development that Disney is against the construction of. “They have no concrete plans, they just want to seem like a good neighbor in order to counter the negative press.”
Disney’s spokespeople have countered this claim, stating that the announcements will come in time. Disney insiders like Al Lutz seem to believe them. “This is a frankly much-needed move that has been brewing for a while. It’s nice to see Disney finally addressing the elephant in the room.”
What is known of the $750 million plan is that it will last for five years and will technically start with the opening of their newest Paradise Pier attraction, an unnamed interactive dark ride rumored to be themed on a popular Disney/Pixar film, which is set to open next April.
Part of the reason for the mostly detail-less announcement came from the fact that, as late as October 2007, there were disagreements as to how that $750 million was to be spent. Both the executives and Imagineers agreed that the mostly cosmetic approach to fixing DCA from 2002 to 2006 wasn’t working and that something much larger was needed; they just couldn’t agree on how large the change would be and what it would entail.
The executives for their part weren’t comfortable spending anything over the $660 million that the park had cost in the first place, feeling that a return on investment for theme parks just wasn’t there in the years following 9/11. Their proposal was far more modest: build off of the goodwill that the Disneyland 50th anniversary celebration had brought, ditch the modern and kitschy aesthetic for a more creative and timeless one, and keep the emphasis on things that you couldn’t get at Disneyland - namely, live shows and unique restaurants. In essence, make the park more like Epcot: more adult-oriented but still unmistakably Disney in a way that the old DCA wasn’t. Their $400-$450 million refurb plan was set to be a safe but responsible investment.
The Imagineers agreed to a point, but countered that going cheap was what had gotten DCA into the hole it was in to start with. Their plan was much more expansive: full thematic redos for every land, new rides, and in some iterations a completely new park layout. Or in essence make it more like Tokyo DisneySea: a jewel that could both complement and rival its sister park. Their $1-$1.2 billion refurb plan was bold but unprecedented.
Eventually the lack of agreement became so bad that Disney CEO Bob Iger stepped in to force a compromise: he and the board could support a $750 million budget for the redo, a budget that leaders of both teams ultimately found acceptable. That just led to a debate as to how the money would be spent, with the Imagineers favoring attractions and the executives favoring infrastructure refurbs.
After a fashion, John Lasseter and Imagineer Bob Weis held a series of meetings with Disneyland president Ed Grier and Parks and Resorts head Al Weiss over the direction of the project. During these meetings they drafted a grand compromise: small cosmetic changes would be made to each land to add a more timeless feel to the park; the entrance and main corridor would be redone; the nighttime water show would commence as planned, but would be joined by a high capacity dark ride; and a new land would be added next to Paradise Pier. The theme would be a bit more humble - hearkening back to the first few years of Disneyland seemed like a good place to start, and Disney’s California Adventure as was ultimately decided would be a celebration of a California that never was, but always would be. And of course, as was customary for new Disney parks, a preview center would be build in the Golden State section of the park. Their plan was submitted to Iger and the board for approval and ultimately signed off on. The timeline for each major addition would be as follows...
The Incredibles Midway Mayhem (2007)
A next-gen shooter had been in the works at Disney for a while. Virtual reality technology developed for Downtown Disney’s Disney Quest arcade coupled with an improvement in sensory and 3D technology over the course of the decade had made an attraction like this more or less a no-brainer for the Disney parks. The only question is, where would it go and what would it be about?
Something Pixar seemed to be an easy answer. Disney Animation had not yet become associated with the CGI characters necessary to pull something like this off, and now that Pixar was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Disney studios they could easily offer support in developing this type of ride. Plus, John Lasseter had just been named to a key position within Imagineering, something that he had expressed excitement about. Almost immediately Lasseter and Pixar were sought out to assess the technology and give their opinions.
Lasseter seemed to like the technology and went to talk it over with the other Pixar creatives. Some almost immediately suggested a Toy Story theme for the ride: the franchise was popular and that summer’s Toy Story 3, which at one point was set to become the final Pixar film for Disney, was shaping up instead to be a defining symbol of reconciliation between the two studios. They ended up deciding against this however - a second shooter (following Astro Blasters) two years after the final film in the series was set to be released (barring the incredibly unlikely chance of a Toy Story 4 ever happening) hardly seemed worth the effort. After much deliberation, they ultimately decided on an Incredibles theme; it was fun, action-packed and filled with memorable characters, or in other words just the thing for an attraction like this.
And so it was that on June 17, 2008, The Incredibles Midway Mayhem opened to the public. The attraction received rave reviews upon opening, and continues to attract long lines to this day. Similar attractions have since opened in Florida and Tokyo to identical results, but our focus today is on the California version.
Guests enter the attraction under a popcorn-lighted sign and into a tented circus-looking building; while fairly mod on the inside, the exterior and queue are still very much keeping in line with the retro Boardwalk style that the Imagineers have planned for the redo of Paradise Pier. While the queue perhaps isn’t the most detailed, it does retain a charm that lulls guests into a sense of ease to surprise them for the unexpected action and fun that awaits. The most noteworthy thing about the queue is that it features an audio-animatronic Edna Mode, acting as a barker to draw guests in. “Dahlings! Are you perhaps interested in a wild time? Superheroics? Feats of daring do? Well, look no further!” The queue also features various circus posters alluding to the characters we are about to see inside: one the strongman who can lift up to 1000 lbs, another a flexible woman, a fire-blower, and so on. Coming to the end guests board what appear to be retro-futuristic vehicles; four-seating cars that spin on their own and feature guns that can fire at targets on screens. Told that these are the latest in carnival game technology, guests are sent off down an alley.
Stopping before a pair of screens, guests are greeted by a Pixar-ified version of the ringmaster featured in the nearby Sideshow Shirts. “Willing to try your luck?” he asks. This “bonus” round is in fact a practice area - guests shoot at balloons that look like robots and villainous looking sideshow characters, a nod to the villains that they will be facing in the attraction soon. After finishing up, he whisks guests away to the big top, where the show is about to begin. Entering a tent, guests can spot the Parr family taking seats in the aisles. Just as the show starts, a large clanging is heard and the room shakes - all of a sudden the tent is ripped off and a large Omnidroid stares down at the crowd. “Sorry to spoil the fun” says a voice “but there’s a new super in town.” On a screen guests see Syndrome, who laughs menacingly. The cars take off back into the fairground, but not before sharp-eyed guests can see the Parrs darting behind a curtain…
Back in the fairground, guests are instructed by the barker to shoot at the robots that have taken up a home in the game stalls. Depending on the robot’s reaction to being hit they either spray air or water at the guests. Just then one of the stalls collapses, and the guests travel to the next screen. This one is a dunk tank, where Syndrome’s henchmen seem to be chucking innocent bystanders into the water. Guests take aim at the henchmen, who in turn fire at the guests. Eventually the tank collapses, spilling water everywhere, and the guests move on.
Arriving at the edge of the fairgrounds, guests see the Underminer rising from the ground, apparently called out from his subterranean hiding place in the chaos. He sends some drilling robots after the guests, and they take aim at them before taking aim at the Underminer’s large drill. Having successfully taken it out, the drill falls back into its hole and guests move on.
Entering what appears to be a recreation of Paradise Pier (which in the ride is lit either day or night depending on the time), mayhem ensues on the boardwalk. Luckily the Incredibles and Frozone have arrived, and begin saving the populace and taking out the robots. Moving down the boardwalk guests are encouraged to fire at the robots, which similar to earlier shoot air and water at the guests.
In the final showdown just outside the King Triton carousel, the group and guests have to defeat the Omnidroid. Taking aim, guests look for weak spots before the supers fire a hole into the robot with its own arm. Shooting its mechanical inside through the hole, guests manage to shut it down. Syndrome escapes and the supers follow him, but not before thanking the guests for helping them save the day. With that, the vehicles move back into the station and guests exit back onto the real Paradise Pier, seemingly untouched and wondering if the experience was real or not.
Mary Poppins’ Jolly Holiday (2010)
A large-capacity attraction was needed in DCA, and with the expected crowds that the World of Color show was set to pull in it was becoming more necessary than ever. A consensus was reached that the easiest way to do this would be to build an omnimover dark ride based on a classic Disney film, but the question was which one. After some thought, the Imagineers began to dig through the archives and stumbled upon concepts for an attraction based on a beloved movie that had very nearly gotten its own Tony Baxter designed ride in Fantasyland and at the time of the DCA redo was being adapted for a Broadway musical.
That’s right: Mary Poppins.
Guests enter a large, Victorian style building and step in (time) to the queue. The line leads upwards, past paintings and mosaics that had been drawn by Bert during his time as a sidewalk artist. Following the line guests come to the loading area, the park as seen in the film. Boarding benches flanked by carousel horses on either side, the lap bar descends and Uncle Albert can be heard telling guests to make sure that their hands, arms, feet and legs are inside at all times. The benches turn a corner into the ride and guests see Bert, performing in front of a group of people. He turns to the guests. “Oh, it’s you! Hello! 17 Cherry Tree Lane is that way.” Guests follow the queue and see the home of the Banks family, with Mary Poppins descending down while an astonished Jane and Michael look out from their bedroom window. Moving to the next scene, guests see Mary singing A Spoonful of Sugar to the children as the room magically puts itself back together.
The next scene shows the trio and Bert jumping into a chalk picture, and the guests aren’t too far behind. The vehicles turn backward and descend, turning forward again and entering a cartoon world where Bert and some penguins serenade Mary with Jolly Holiday. This moves into Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, at which point the vehicles ascend out of the painting… and all the way to the rooftops of London. The four sing Chim-Chim-Cheree while overlooking the city, which moves into a rousing rendition of Step In Time, as the chimney-sweeps descend into the streets of London. Joining them, guests see the film’s cast back in the parks flying kites, as Let’s Go Fly a Kite plays appropriately. Bert turns to the guests and implores them not to stay away too long, at which point the vehicles return to the loading platform, disembarking and descending a stairway back into Paradise Pier.
Golden Lane, USA (2011)
The new DCA’s version of Main Street would not be a particularly grand or bustling entrance as some had hoped (including Bob Weis, who had wanted to do something more along the lines of DHS’ Hollywood Boulevard), but from a narrative standpoint it would fit in more with the master plan. Golden Lane, USA, as it was to be called, served a similar purpose as the entrance land directly opposite it: as Main Street, USA was themed after a 1900s midwestern small town, Golden Lane, USA would be themed after a 1950s west coast small town - specifically, Anaheim around the time that Disneyland first opened.
The park entrances have been pushed out further - whereas in the old DCA you entered near the Golden Gate inspired bridge, in the new DCA you enter closer to where the giant “CALIFORNIA” letters were. Entering through a missionary style ticket booth, guests find themselves in a wooded area reminiscent of a rural town. A small gas station sits off to the right and a general store to the left - the gas station holds bathrooms while the general store is an all-purpose information center. In here, guests can make reservations, get help from customer service or plan their day in the park.
The Golden Gate Bridge has been replaced with the more theme-appropriate Fullerton Pacific Electric bridge - however, rather than a trolley passing overhead, the Disneyland Monorail instead crosses.
Passing under the bridge, guests are greeted to a replica of a small postwar suburban central town. The buildings are low and modest but decked out in either more understated signage or neon Googie signs. On the left is a 1950s cafe, where guests can purchase coffee and pastries; a toy store; a six screen cinema (showing 1950s Disney cartoons); a photography store; and at the end a jewelry store. On the right is a candy store; a book shop; a new-fangled fast food hamburger restaurant; an electronics store; and at the end a 1950s diner, serving as this land’s table service venue. On the pathway to the Golden State area are the relocated First Aid and Baby Care stations as well.
At the end of the street is a “hub” modeled after the original 1950s Disneyland hub. There is no Partners statue here, only a gazebo, benches and flowers. And as no Disney park would be complete without a landmark, Golden Lane has one: a reproduction of the original Anaheim Orange and Lemon Association building. Inside is home to an all-purpose theater, showing musicals, films, stage plays and concert venues.
Worried that the land would be lacking in the kinetic energy that made Main Street so famous, the Imagineers created a series of Streetmosphere acts: the Doo Wops, DCA’s version of the Dapper Dans who perform 1950s hits; the Farmer’s Association, a group of comedic farmers; and general denizens of the land, including the Mayor, policemen and firemen, and an Elvis type who wants to leave town to make it big in LA or Vegas.
The final big change to the land is the transportation system. In a mirror of Main Street’s trolleys, Golden Lane has three recreation 1953 Flxible Greyhound buses, which can take guests up and down the Lane, to Hollywoodland (a rethemeing of Hollywood Pictures Backlot into a more 1950s appropriate Hollywood), and finally to our next addition.
Old Anaheim Orange Groves (2011)
In a move to tie in the thematic landscape a bit better, A Bug’s Land and the remaining areas of Bountiful Valley Farm have been removed. In their place is a section very much dedicated to the past, an orange grove. This section features both a Living with the Land style boat ride and a farmhouse restaurant.
The first attraction of note here is the Orange County Cultivation and History Museum, located in an old barn on the farm. The attraction takes place over two stories: guests enter through the front of the barn and travel up a flight of stairs. In the rafters guests learn about the history of orange cultivation, dating back to China in 2500 BC through the 1950s. After that they descend a flight of stairs and enter the first floor, where a screen is set up. The film playing is about the history of oranges in California, and how the fruit has come to define the state.
The second attraction is a boat ride through the orange groves. The boats begin showing the practice of cultivation by hand, before moving on to another scene showing the life cycle of an orange tree. Then guests are shown ways that farmers protect the trees from disease and pests, before moving into the final section discussing the future of orange growing and harvesting.
The final offering here is a restaurant: Clement and Sons, set in a farmhouse and similar in design to Florida’s Liberty Tree Tavern. Here guests can buy an assortment of farm-fresh foods, including freshly squeezed orange juice.
The Fairgrounds (2012)
The final portion of the redo is not a land in the traditional sense - rather, it is an attempt to bring a bit of old-school Disney to a new-school park. The Fairgrounds is a celebration of Disney’s relationship with the greater community; not just Anaheim, not just America, but the whole of humanity. As such, it is best described as a mix between Tomorrowland, Holidayland, the 1964 World’s Fair, and Epcot. The Fairgrounds will focus on tying a sense of real world community to DCA and in a way will finally bring WestCot to California.
The Fairgrounds are located next to Paradise Pier and the orange groves, in the former Timon parking lot. Guests enter under a lighted banner, enticing them to come in. After entering a main plaza, featuring a reconstruction of the old Clock of the World in Tomorrowland, guests can wander off in different directions to see the different attractions.
On the far left is a playground, styled after the Tower of the Four Winds from the 1964 PepsiCo pavilion that unfortunately did not make its way to Disneyland after the pavilion closed. Anchoring the playground is a recreation of the former Midget Autopia, stylized after the Ford’s Magic Highway attraction that also never made it to Disneyland - this version is naturally toned down, showing younger guests the history of transportation in a cutesy, Mary Blair style.
In the center left is a building styled after the former Hall of Chemistry. The building features an Innoventions style series of exhibits that change out every so often, all of them about technology and discoveries. In the back of the pavilion is the Metro Retro 3D Theater, showing a film about how people of the 1950s perceived life in the 21st century would be.
In the back center is a stage, a smaller version of the never-built Disneyland Bowl. The height of the bowl helps conceal the view of the buildings of the outside world, helping to maintain an illusion of closed-offness that the old DCA didn’t particularly attempt to do. The bowl is home to a nightly concert highlighting various music from around the world, which changes from season to season. Its function is similar to the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot, where it also houses musical acts for the Food and Wine festival.
In the center right is a building styled after the old Circarama building, and is home to exhibits showcasing countries and cultures from around the world. The “Circarama” part wasn’t a joke either - in the back of the building is a CircleVision 360 theater, showing off a rotating series of travelogues from around the world.
And on the far right is an outdoor market, with various stands set up to sell food and merchandise from around the world. The Bazaar area is also home to a seating area and picnic tables, with bathrooms in the back.
And so, that was that. A compromise that gave everyone a little bit of what they wanted while helping establish DCA as a worthy second gate. While this would not be the end of the park’s story, it would represent the closing of the book on one chapter of the Disneyland Resort's history, and a new one opening to take it into a great big beautiful tomorrow.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, for your consideration, I present...
The Trouble With California...
'Disney's California Adventure' has always been considered the black sheep of the Disney parks family. Since its 2001 opening, guests complained that the park lacked the level of immersion, theming, and perhaps most importantly, number of attractions as its esteemed neighbor of Disneyland. It became apparent that the park was in need of a major overhaul. Guests became excited when the promising 'Toy Story Mania' was announced, but they could never have expected the amount of changes on the horizon. First and foremost, the park would be renamed 'California Adventures Park,' an attempt to change the muddled culture and theme of the park into something more cohesive. The general notion behind the reimagined park is that this is a California that "never was, or rather what we'd like to think it should've been. This is the romance of California, the adventure, the excitement of a land so rich in history and culture that reality itself almost can't do it justice," Bob Iger says in his announcement of the expansion. "We're going to take this park which was mired by poor execution and turn it into a California lost in time. We want our guests to feel like they're on the most amazing California road trip of their lives, and along the way, they're stopping at all of these locations that have something new and exciting for them. In short, this is what the park should have been when we opened in 2001."
'Mission Plaza' is the park's new and highly improved entrance plaza. Designed after a Spanish village not far from San Diego, 'Mission Plaza' celebrates the Spanish and Latin influence of California, complete with an aesthetic that makes heavy use of the 'Mission Revival' architectural style. The park's new entrance gate, will resemble the gates of an old mission, complete with such elements as wrought iron, crisp round edges, and red tile rooftops, along with swinging bells that chime in the wind. At the eastern side of the plaza entrance square stands 'Western Bus Co.' a fictional bus company offering 'roundtrip tours' of the entire golden state. Guests can enter the station and have coffee at 'Café Canela,' which actually functions as a Starbucks. From a practical standpoint, the station serves as the first of six stops on the bus route. For the first time in its history, the park will feature a fully-realized, high capacity transportation system: a fleet of 3 double-decker, 1930s era commercial style buses, traveling along the entire course of the park's wide paths. Aside from offering guests a means of getting around the park, the buses add kinetic energy, and remain thematically-appropriate to every single area of the park, as buses are highly common in terms of statewide transportation. 'Mission Tortilla Factory' will be moved from Pacific Wharf and expanded to increase capacity, a necessary adjustment considering a high number of guests will make this their preferred dining destination. Guests can still enjoy the original and familiar film from before, as well as the walkthrough experience. An expanded menu featuring signature Latin dishes like enchiladas and carne asada plates (steak) will also be available to guests.
Across from the station is the new 'Town Hall' building, which functions as the Guest Relations and First Aid center. Right beside Town Hall is 'Don Ricardo's Fruit Stand,' an open-air marketplace selling fresh fruit, smoothies, general snacks, and ice-cold, Mexican-inspired shaved ice treats. Under the new bridge are two new dining and shopping opportunities, beginning with 'Doña Cherry's Churro Factory,' the resort's first churro-dedicated sweetshop, featuring an number of various churro flavors, including but not limited to cinnamon, chocolate, hot chocolate, coffee, banana nut, strawberry, caramel, vanilla, and more. The churros are generally served with ice cream, and may be stuffed with various sweet dipping sauces. On the other end is the new land's main shopping destination: 'Regalos de California,' a spacious gift shop selling generic and exclusive 'California Adventures' merchandise. At the end of the new street sits a beautifully-decorated tile fountain, with water that appears to change colors at night due to lights in the water. Directly in front of the fountain sits 'El Theatro del Sol,' or 'Sun Theater' as it is also known. This theater serves as the land's 'weenie' and new hub. Fans of the original 'Golden Dreams' show starring Whoopi Goldberg will be pleased to know that the show will be relocated to this location, providing an air-conditioned, capacity-friendly attraction on hot summer days. The building itself features an aesthetic based primarily on Mission San Antonio de Padua in Monterey County, CA.
Set in the 1950s, Grizzly Peak will receive various aesthetic upgrades, including the removal of 'Condor Flats.' 'Soarin' Over California' will remain, albeit with a dark green and brown color scheme. Several trees will be added to the area, and Smokey the Bear will become the land's underlying mascot. 'Taste Pilot's Grill' will become 'Smokey's Smokehouse,' serving campfire style dishes including pizza, beef kebabs, pancakes, barbecue chicken and ribs, and signature smore desserts, heated right in front of guests. The restaurant itself will receive a campsite motif, with the interior being scattered with various camp tools and general equipment. The monorail track will be re-themed as a railroad trestle, and a new plot of rockwork to the left of 'Soarin' will be installed to better immerse guests in the newly-revamped land; the rockwork matches the style of Grizzly River Run's rockwork. Additionally, every trace of 'Condor Flats,' including the spinning marquee and 'Fly n Buy' shop will be removed and replaced with the appropriate forest theme and general elements.
'Grizzly River Run' will receive significant changes, including removal of the "extreme" rafting motif. The queue will receive period-appropriate 1950s forest elements, from shovels, pickaxes, radios, old books and maps, etc. The ride experience itself will see a 'Marc Davis' style upgrade, bringing the attraction closer to that of the style of 'Pirates of the Caribbean' or 'The Jungle Cruise,' featuring various scenes depicting miners searching for remnants of gold throughout the mountain, all whilst being harassed by playful grizzly bears. The attraction will even feature a new loose back-story, explaining why miners have taken to exploring Grizzly Peak in the 1950s, despite the end of the Gold Rush occurring several decades earlier.
Grizzly River Run Backstory:
During the California Gold Rush, miners flooded to Grizzly Peak to mine out every bit of gold from the mountain's various caverns. For the most part, the miners succeeded in stripping the mountain of its precious resources, and following the end of the Gold Rush itself, it became clear that the mountain no longer posed any practical value to anyone, save for its natural beauty as a natural landmark. That is until just a few months ago, when a great earthquake shook the peak to its very core, causing an avalanche within the mountain itself, revealing a network of yet unexplored caverns that are rumored to be littered with unclaimed gold. In short, a second Gold Rush is upon the residents of Grizzly Peak, and a new generation of miners are looking to exploit the new window of opportunity that has opened before them. There is one, problem, however—the furry residents of Grizzly Peak: a pack of grumpy grizzly bears who were rudely awakened from hibernation by the earthquake. The grizzly bears are not having any of this mining nonsense, and they're more than willing to stand in the way of anyone who gets in the way of their beauty sleep.
Grizzly River Run: New Scenes
The entire dynamic of the attraction will change dramatically as a result of this renovation. The attraction will be given an additional layer of depth. Rather than being a simple thrill ride that offers guests relief from the hot summer sun, the story will immerse guests in such a way that the original attraction was never quite capable of doing. The improvements will mostly derive from the interactions between the animatronic humans and animals. The first change will come as the rafts slowly curve along the edge of the Grand Californian Hotel. Guests will see an old fisherman in a straw hat fishing along the edge of the water. He's caught a large fish with his rod, but is struggling to keep it to himself, as a grizzly bear swimming in the water has its claws on the same fish. The fisherman's expression is one of frustration, and the bear is grinning at the thought of stealing the fisherman's catch.
As the raft continues along the curve and into the familiar mill, guests will find that a grizzly bear is perched atop the rafters, reaching for a crate full of honey jars left behind by a careless miner. Guests can hear the bear growl "mmmm….mmmmmmm," as drops of yellow water intended to look like honey fall from the crates. Once guests reach the top of the lift hill, they find that a couple of grizzly bears are tearing apart some grimy overalls atop one of the rocks. A presumably-naked miner is hiding behind a rock. The miner, submerged in the water, has a shocked expression on his face, realizing that there is no way he'll retrieve his overalls. The rafts then enter the familiar cave, which has been improved with more dynamic lighting. Bits of glittering gold can be seen throughout the various nooks and crannies, supplementing the new backstory. A new crevice in the rockwork reveals an angry grizzly bear, which emerges from the darkness of the crevice and swipes its paw at unsuspecting guests.
As guests approach the first drop, they find that a pack of three grizzly bears have raided a campsite along the edge of the water. One bear has its entire upper body immersed in a tent; guests can hear a miner snoring loudly from inside the tent. Another bear is chewing on a pickaxe, and the last bear is bobbing its head to the tune of 'Camptown Races,' which is playing on a nearby radio. The rafts careen down the waterfall and into the second cave segment of the attraction. The entire cave features a new 'earthquake' sequence, with the rocks rattling and rumbling in an effect that is similar to the rumbling buttes of 'Big Thunder Mountain.' A miner along one the edge of the water is standing on one foot; he is struggling to hold on to his pickaxe, as the earthquake violently shakes the entire area. A projection mapping effect has sprinkles of gold dust falling into the water from the surface of the cave.
The rafts then continue to the final stretch of the attraction, where a number of animatronic coyotes, eagles, and other animatronic representations of California wildlife are scattered about. Upon reaching the final drop, guests laugh as they see an animatronic miner hanging on for dear life at the ledge of one of the rocks. He looks visibly exhausted as he struggles to support the weight of a grizzly bear, who is fearfully grasping to the miner's overalls for fear of tumbling into the water. The two animatronics swing from left to right near guests as they careen down the second waterfall. Upon reaching the geyser section of the attraction, guests find a new plot of rockwork at the center of the area, where some of the grizzly bears seem to be returning to their dwelling places. Some of the bears couldn't make it to the cave, however, as they have chosen to fall asleep atop some of the miners, who struggle to escape from the clutches of the playful bears.
Paradise Pier will see significant changes in the form of a new backstory, new attractions, and a generally new aesthetic. The Maliboomer would be removed, along with the 'Orange Stinger,' replaced with 'Silly Symphony Swings.' The wave machine would return to Paradise Bay, and the 'Games of the Boardwalk' would receive upgraded facades. 'Toy Story Mania' would open, and the entire eastern section of the Pier, including but not limited to the 'S.S. Rustworthy' and 'Pizza Oom Mow Mow' would be removed and replaced with 'Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.' The 'Sun Wheel' would be replaced by 'Mickey's Fun Wheel,' complete with a fully reimagined boarwalk queue. The Mickey ears on 'California Screamin' would be removed, and the entire queue would receive a charming Victorian upgrade, along with its neighbor, 'King Triton's Carousel of the Sea.' The shops on both the northeastern and southwestern end of the pier would also receiving Victorian aesthetic upgrades, bringing the area full circle with the richly-themed Victorian style of 'Toy Story Mania.' The 'Souvenir 66' retail location will be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up as 'Paradise Bay Traders,' a large store selling unique, ocean-themed merchandise ranging from shells, stuffed belugas, toy fishes, and music boxes. The amphitheater at the edge of Paradise Bay where guests once watched 'LuminAria' will be flattened and replaced with a charming new section of boardwalk, complete with new lampposts, planters, and a jazzy, period-appropriate soundtrack. Just ahead of the new boardwalk section is the site of a new and exciting boat-based dark ride: Paradise Plunge.
In the early 1800s, Paradise Bay was a thriving seaport and a popular spot for sailors to indulge in leisure whilst their vessels were docked. The bay, located somewhere off the coast of California, enjoyed short success as a port, however, as the port was soon destroyed by a vicious storm in the late 1850s, resulting in its abandonment as both a port and a site of leisure. Not too long afterward, an entrepreneur and traveling showman by the name of Gustav Tinkerschmidt, purchased the bay as the site of his latest and greatest show yet—Paradise Pier. After several years of construction, the bay was restored and revamped as a tourist destination. Tinkerschmidt introduced attraction after attraction, including the 'Golden Zephyr,' and 'Jumpin' Jellyfish.'
The pier thrived during the Victorian Era, but in spite of this growth, Tinkerschmidt grew increasingly lonely. After all, what good was success without someone to share it with? As fate would have it, Tinkerschmidt would meet and subsequently fall in love with a fellow showman by the name of Madame Melindi, a fortuneteller and palm reader who would visit the pier in hope of finding customers for her fortunetelling business. Impressed by her keen business sensibilities, Tinkerschmidt offered her a prominent spot along the pier to open a permanent fortunetelling shop, to which she graciously obliged. Together, the two amassed a great fortune, and Tinkerschmidt is said to have hidden it somewhere in one of the old boathouses by the boardwalk, one of the few that remained virtually untouched by the storm. The couple lived long and fulfilling lives, dying sometime during the end of the Victorian Era. Years later, Walt Disney purchased Paradise Pier, adding such attractions as 'Mickey's Fun Wheel' and 'Silly Symphony Swings,' attractions based on characters of his own invention. Paradise Pier continues to grow, even in the present early 1940s era, yet even now, old secrets remain in the hidden corners of Paradise Bay.
'Paradise Plunge' is a new and original, two-story boat-based dark ride for Paradise Pier, loosely-tied to the lore surrounding Gustav Tinkerschmidt. The attraction is a fast-paced boat ride through a various scenes amidst a great rainstorm. Guests will explore flooded rooms filled with sunken treasure, frightened fisherman, angry sea creatures, and the spirits of sailors who were said to have lost their lives in the last great storm. The attraction represents a return to the classic means of storytelling that made such attractions as 'The Haunted Mansion' and 'Pirates of the Caribbean' world-famous game changers. While the attraction doesn't quite match the scale of either attraction, the storytelling elements and sophisticated animatronic figures more than compensate for this moderate shortcoming.
The story is rather simple. Years ago, Paradise Bay was mired by a great storm that destroyed much of the original port, all except for a few structures, including the very same boathouse that Gustav Tinkerschmidt is said to have hidden his fortune inside of. The boathouse is generally off-limits to guests of Paradise Pier, save for its featured museum, which is open on calm summer nights. Guests visit the museum on a seemingly-calm summer day, but there's rumors of a great storm on the horizon, and if history is any indication, guests are bound to get more than what they bargained for when visiting Paradise Bay. The depths of Paradise Bay are rumored to be haunted with the spirits of the sailors whose lives were lost in the great storm of yesteryear, but that isn't enough to deter guests from taking the plunge themselves.
Exterior and Queue:
The exterior is designed in the image of an old Victorian boathouse, complete with various seaside architectural elements in the form of ornate windows, sloped roofs, uniquely-shaped towers, and an olive green wooden finish. The structure stretches from one end of the boardwalk to the other, adding a great deal of charm to the area. Upon entering the show building, guests wander through an old museum explaining the history of Paradise Bay, taking in the sights of various relics that were gathered up by Tinkerschmidt and put on display. Such relics include old boating equipment, anchors, cargo, shells, and assorted knickknacks. Upon traveling further into the queue, guests quickly find that there's a storm raging just outside. The building begins to rattle and quake in response, barring all of the exits. Guests continue through the museum and learn that they are trapped inside the boathouse, and the only way out is through an old cargo boats parked in the storage space behind the museum. Guests continue into the boarding area, which is partially "indoors" and "outdoors," as the storm has tore off a large section of the building.
The attraction itself features a total of seven scenes depicting various elements of the storm.
Scene 1: Leaving the Boathouse
A juxtaposition of a calm cruise through the remaining sections of the boathouse against the violent storm just outside, foreshadowing the events to come. Guests glide past sunken cargo and museum elements before traveling uphill and exiting the boathouse from the second floor.
Scene 2: Under the Boardwalk
The boat travels along under the boardwalk of Paradise Pier. Guests can spot smaller-scale representations of 'Mickey's Fun Wheel' and 'The Golden Zephyr,' offering guests a sort of meta experience: a theme park attraction within a separate theme park attraction within a fictional theme park attraction.
Scene 3: The Harbor
The boat travels into a stormy harbor, where the ghosts of the sailors lost in the storm years ago are singing cheerfully in the rain. The sailors appear as ghostly animatronic figures hauling cargo aboard their ships, the rain falling straight through them via Pepper's Ghost. The ghosts sing an original song called Into the Bay We Go,' which involves the sailors reliving the night they were sent into the depths of Paradise Bay on that stormy night long ago.
Into the Bay We Go:
Into the bay we go, no knowing what's below, for a storm's a-brewin' and we've lots to be doin', into the bay we go.
Into the bay we go, cap'n told us so, but he's got steaks and a place to sleep, while his men updeck scrub the deck, sweep, sweep, into the bay we go.
Into the bay we go, and the rain ain't slowin', no, but that's just our luck to be sittin' ducks; missed a spot! down the bay we go!
Into the bay we go, no knowing what's below, and the sea ain't kind, ain't no peace of mind, into the bay you'll go!
Scene 4: The Whirlpool
The boats are suddenly caught in the middle of a raging whirlpool, circling around a ship full of ghostly sailors, who are shouting commands at each other in an attempt to stay afloat. The boat is sent down a waterfall into the depths of the sea.
Scene 5: Into the Depths
The boat travels into the depths of the sea, where guests encounter remnants of Paradise Bay as it once existed. Sharp-eyed guests may even spot bits and pieces of such attractions as the 'Maliboomer' and 'Orange Stinger,' but these are easter eggs and aren't mean to be taken seriously in the realm of the attraction. Guests also encounter strange sea creatures and a graveyard of ships.
Scene 6: Shirpwreck
The boats travel into one of the ships itself, encountering a band of singing ghost pirates, who are having a feast in the sunken depths of their vessel. The sequence involves many Marc Davis style gags including a ghost sailor being 'drowned' in a fish tank full of a air, sailors trying to pour their drinks underwater but failing to do so, and a group of ghost sailors being strangled by an angry octopus.
Scene 7: Tinkerschmidt's Hidden Treasure
After another drop, the boats encounter the famed treasure that Gustav Tinkerschmidt hid away, a collection of jewels and coins stuffed into an old chest, sunk deep in the depths of Paradise Bay. The boats then travel up a ramp themed as an underwater cliff and to the surface, where they return to shore and into the boathouse. Before unloading, however, they spot a painting of Gustav Tinkerschmidt and his lover, Madame Melindi, hanging on the wall near a small flock of seagulls. Sharp-eyed guests will find that the painting is engraved with the following: "Real treasures swim only in one's heart."
Madame Melindi's Misfortune Parlour
Described as a sort of cross between 'Mr. Toad's Wild Ride' and 'The Haunted Mansion,' 'Madame Melindi's Misfortune Parlour' is a fast-paced dark ride through scenes depicting a race through a seemingly-endless seaside fortune parlor. The attraction resides in the footprint once occupied by Mulholland Madness, which will be torn down completely to accommodate the new attraction. While most of the attraction is played for laughs, there are a few dark elements at work, including the threat of inanimate objects throughout the parlor come to life. Guests begin their adventure by wandering through a beautiful yet foreboding garden trail. Rare and colorful exotic plants surround guests, and as they wander through the grounds of the Victorian style façade, they'll hear the tunes of several popular jazz songs of the era. Upon entering the building, guests will find themselves in a gallery of gypsies and palm readers, all of them represented as relatives of the mysterious Madame Melindi, who is said to have passed on sometime years ago; the parlor has remained mostly intact for guests to pay their respects to her memory. Guests soon board runaway gypsy caravans right outside the parlor alley, only to reenter the building shortly afterward. At this point, guests speed and swerve through several rooms within the parlor itself.
Cupboard of Enchanted Appliances:
A large storage unit populated by enchanted brooms, dustpans, walking dust bunnies, buckets, etc. The appliances dance around the room to a ubiquitous jazz tune.
A seemingly-endless library stocked with dusty old books, each decorated with strange and colorful patterns and illustrations. Guests will be surprised to note that each book comes complete with teeth, and they happily chatter and mumble at guests when they get close enough.
Dress Shop & Coat Closet:
A corridor decorated with shelves upon shelves of Victorian clothing. The caravans speed through an endless closet filled with even more articles of clothing, which seem to come alive and whip at guests like snakes.
The Room of a Thousand Critters:
A sort of gypsy zoo, this room is scattered with dozens of crates carrying strange and mysterious animals from exotic locations. For the most part, however, guests need only worry about the dozens of animatronic black cats, which hiss at guests as they careen through the room.
A climactic section of the attraction, this sequence has guests curving along a dimly-lit chamber filled with strange books, candles, cabinets topped with skulls and jars filled with strange spices and liquids, and layers upon layers of dark purple curtains. Every piece of furniture seems to come alive, as projection mapped tarot cards 'fly' out from a dusty old wardrobe at the corner of the room. Almost every piece of furniture in the large show room becomes a living character, complete with mouths and distinct personalities. Large skeleton animatronics hanging from the ceiling shake and dance aggressively, as the presumed spirit of the host fortune teller herself bids farewell to her guests from behind a glass window near the end of the attraction.
'Spirit Valley' is a brand new land for California Adventures. Set somewhere in the forests of Northern California during the early 1960s, 'Spirit Valley' combines elements of Native American folklore and California Gold Rush history. Budgeted at an estimated 130,000,000, the area will utilize several acres of foliage to create an authentic, true-to-life forest environment, immersing guests into a manmade natural wonderland. The land will also feature a considerable amount of rockwork and a complete 'town' section themed after a quiet home-style town that one might expect to find near a forest in Northern California. The land will feature food and dining opportunities, as well as 'E' and 'D' ticket attractions.
Spirit Valley had been the home of multiple generations of Native American tribes for several centuries, that is until the California Gold Rush swept across the state like wildfire. Most of the tribes were forced even farther up North, left with hardly any land for themselves. While miners panned for gold in the rivers near the valley, they were met with pleas from the remaining tribes to cease all mining activity in the area, for they had encountered a family of ferocious bipedal creatures who became angry at the desecration of their land. The miners refused to comply with this warning, and over time, one by one they disappeared into the darkness of the surrounding forests. Fittingly enough, the Native Americans who were forced up North as a result of the Gold Rush, were left untouched and unharmed by the supposed beasts, allowing them to return South and reestablish their villages. A few years later, the descendents of the miners who disappeared into the forests, embarked on various expeditions to hunt down and kill the beasts responsible for the disappearances.
The descendants apparently succeeded in destroying every trace of the 'Sasquatch' creatures, though they were never technically able to produce a single body from their escapades. In time, the forest was considered safe once more, and the descendants built 'Arrowhead Acres,' a quiet little town just South of the infamous forests where the miners were said to have disappeared. The Native Americans were allowed to remain in their own nearby villages, with both groups living peacefully beside each other. Some visitors continue to visit Spirit Valley with the hopes of catching a glimpse at a remaining Sasquatch creature, or 'Bigfoot' as he is more commonly known, but sightings remain scarce. Still, even the bravest of campers and hikers know better than to travel North of Arrowhead Acres into the darkness of the forests
The 'town' section of the land features a number of unique dining and shopping opportunities, beginning with 'Hope Café,' a restaurant serving Native-American-inspired dishes, including but not limited to chili stew, smoked salmon plates, beef jerky strips and corn chowder. While the café serves Native-American-inspired dishes, the restaurant's aesthetic is that of a homestyle town that one might expect to find when visiting the forests of Northern California. The town in general, with its sharp, angular roofs and warm pink and blue colors with wooden finishes, is altogether American, with its contents being wholeheartedly Native American. This juxtaposition of cultures is intentional, intended to induce the feeling of shopping at local souvenir shops up north on the way out of town. The town features various charming and intriguing shops, some of them functional, others merely facades, including an old bookshop, optometrist, dentist, bank, and hardware store. The land is altogether authentic in look and feel, and given the high concentration of pine trees in the distance, much of the outside world becomes invisible, and much like the way Grizzly Peak effectively simulates the sensation of being up in the sierras, 'Arrowhead Acres' achieves the same effect.
Legend of the Last Sasquatch:
This attraction can best be described as a high capacity, fully immersive and well-themed E-Ticket reaching the heights and scale of 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and the intensity and detail of 'Indiana Jones Adventure.' The attraction will utilize next-generation Enhanced Motion Vehicle (EMV) technology, with the vehicles capable of running on a trackless system, as well as having the capacity to physically travel backwards. The experience begins for guests as they travel farther beyond the safety of Arrowhead Acres, under the attraction's marquee, designed to resemble a totem pole, past the 'Fastpass' distribution center resembling a picnic area and down a relaxing yet foreboding forest trail. Guests find themselves passing a natural wonderland of towering pine trees and other forest fauna. Animatronic raccoons, foxes, and other critters can be seen throughout the area, maintaining their distance from guests. After winding through the trail, guests encounter a truly incredible sight— a wide, massive wall of beautifully-sculpted forest cliff; roaring waterfalls stretch from each end of the cliff, falling down at the large lake below. Guests approach the lake, and soon find themselves in a small Native-American village, abandoned for the time being, but given the prominence of equipment and clothes drying in the sun, the site's inhabitants are not far behind. Guests cross a bridge toward the cliffs and soon enter a Native-American lodge nestled against a corner of the cliff, the waterfalls roaring loudly behind the structure.
At this point, the experience shifts to an exclusively-indoors setting. Guests wander through a sort of museum of artifacts detailing the history of the Sasquatch. Various masks and assorted relics are arranged neatly on the painted walls. It becomes clear to guests that the Sasquatch family of creatures have always been friendly with the native peoples, but not with the miners who desecrated their home territories. Guests then travel beyond the lodge into the "outside," where it is now night time. A makeshift radio station is situated against a ledge, with a transmission coming in from several miles away. A warning! Ranger Frye, a senior ranger on the other end, attempt to make contact with his men, who accidentally strayed too deep into the forest. He warns them that they are being hunted by a strange creature, and require the help of their fellow rangers to contain the beast. Guests are soon helped aboard 1960s land rovers in a forest clearing not far from the makeshift radio station. The vehicles belong to the 'Arrowhead Acres Ranger Guild.' Upon boarding the vehicles, guests are briefed by Ranger Frye, warning them that the creature is hot on the trail of his men, pleading for guests to deter the creature by any means necessary.
Up the Hill:
The vehicles ascend up a lift hill to the second level of the show building. The hill is designed to look like the edge of a cliff. Once the vehicle reaches the top, guests avoid falling over the edge after dodging a massive boulder embedded into the earth, almost as if some great creature put it there in a sabotage attempt.
Guests are sent tumbling down a series of rocky drops down the hill below, all while the terrifying growls of the great beast penetrate the air. The vehicle seems to graze against the rocks, the motion of the vehicles highly effective in simulating the sensations of going downhill at high speeds.
The vehicles splash down a lake, wetting guests slightly. After pulling out from the water, the trees surround the lake begin to rattle, as the silhouette of the creature begins to hop from tree to tree above, achieved by means of projection mapping. The vehicle speeds around the lake in an escape attempt, only to be stopped by a pack of vicious wolf animatronics.
Wolf Pack Encounter:
The animals prepare to "jump" into the open roof vehicle to attack but are quickly cut short by the sound of an even more ferocious creature. The vehicle swerves backwards as guests sitting on the left side of the vehicle feel a gust of wind; a wolf snatches at them, missing them by only a couple of feet.
Into the Forest:
Guests travel deep into the forest, speeding along a dirt path, passing glowing red eyes, howling owls, waving trees, and the occasional deer. As the vehicles speed through the trees, the surrounding forest becomes more and more thick, giving guests the sensation that they are being swallowed by it. All the while, the silhouette of the mysterious creature can be seen running along the edges of the trees, illuminated only by moonlight.
The vehicle travels into a dank cave, speeding through tight caverns lit by the glow of a distant fire. The vehicle bumps and grinds through the cave, stopping at the edge of an opening in the cave, where the mysterious creature makes a brief appearance. The sasquatch emerges from the opening, swiping at guests for a brief second. Suddenly the vehicle comes across a dead end. The voice of the creature can be heard ahead, and the vehicle resorts to speeding backwards at a seemingly-high velocity. Guests yell and wave their hands as the vehicle careens backwards into darkness.
The vehicle then stops and moves forward into another section of the cave, where guests come across a group of rangers tied in rope at the foot of the cave. The men yell for help, pleading for guests to draw the creature away so that they can escape. The vehicle speeds down a long, narrow path only to be cut short by the creature, which lands from the ceiling via hidden crane mechanism. The weight of both the creature and vehicle, however, prove too much for the cave to handle, and guests careen into the darkness below in a thrilling climax, exiting the cave and bidding the animatronic rangers, who managed to escape from the clutches of the sasquatch creature, goodbye.
Spirit Journeys is a sophisticated, audio animatronic-based show utilizing a range of special effects to create a theater experience that is matched only by EPCOT's 'American Adventure' attraction. The show features a cast of several dozen animatronic figures, both human and animals. The show tells the story of a young boy named Nukam, who grows up in a Northern Californian forest with his parents and their tribe. The story follows a series of different events, all of which begin when Nukam nurses an injured grizzly cub back to health, much to the disapproval of his father, who on one hand respects and appreciates nature, but on the other hand is concerned for the safety of the village. Nukam continues to nurse the bear, and in time, the two grow a special bond, growing up side by side. While projection mapping effects will be utilize to simulate such effects as thunder, lightning, rain, and fire, the animatronics are the heart and soul of the attraction. The theater itself is stationary, but much like 'America Sings' and its predecessor, the 'Carousel of Progress,' the stage rotates scene by scene, allowing for various settings to come to life, including such environments as a peaceful lake in the moonlight and a rocky landscape under a heavy storm. The figures will remain mostly stationary, but through the use of clever lighting and stage setup, will actually "walk" throughout several points during the show. Given the high concentration of animatronic characters in this attraction, the cost will be above moderate, but the high capacity of the attraction, as well as the undeniable charm inherent with the figures themselves, 'Spirit Journeys' offers California Adventures its first true signature show.
For all intents and purposes, the 'Hollywood Pictures Backlot' was never a bad land, just incomplete and missing a clear theme. Aside from the new 'Hollywoodland' name, the land will see the removal of both its 'Monsters Inc.' and 'Muppet Vision 3D' attractions, both of which will be torn down and their buildings rebuilt from the ground up, creating a single show building that will house a new E-Ticket attraction. Before this is possible, however, the rest of the land will see major cosmetic improvement. Virtually every façade will see some amount of work. The 'Award Wieners' quick service restaurant will be rethemed to 'Humphrey's Hot Dog Stand,' a local eatery where, according to the new theme of the land, movie stars enjoy having a snack when they're not at the studios shooting their films. Rumor even has it that the stand is named after its owner, a certain individual who is no stranger to the silver screen. The 'Schmoozies' smoothie stand will see no cosmetic change, but will be rethemed to 'Stardust Smoothies,' which even the biggest of movie stars go gaga for. The unfinished facades of the land will be filled in with period appropriate 'apartment' fronts, some of which seemingly belong to such stars as Judy Garland and Clark Gable. The Hyperion Theater's forced perspective sky façade will be torn down and replaced with an exterior inspired by the 'Tower Theater' in Los Angeles, and the waiting area will be enclosed and reintroduced as a beautifully-themed, highly detailed lobby. In addition, to better fit in with the implied early 1940s time period, 'Aladdin: A Music Spectacular' will be replaced with 'Pinocchio: A Fanciful Musical.' The building that once housed the unpopular 'Hollywood n Dine' will be heavily modified both inside and out, becoming the 'Coconut Club' a beautifully-themed restaurant and dance club themed after the Hollywood clubs of old. Guests will have to make reservations to eat at the restaurant, but on most nights, the dance floor is open for anyone who loves to swing dance to the tune of jazz, bringing a great deal of authenticity and period-appropriate energy to Hollywoodland, something the land has never truly had. The rest of the land's buildings will see subtle cosmetic changes, and a 'Red Car' trolley system will be installed, running along the land and adding another form of transportation to the park overall.
Hollywood Glamour Dash:
Perhaps the most important addition to the land, however, will come in the form of 'Hollwood Glamour Dash,' which can only be described as a dignified 'Superstar Limo.' The ride is effectively what 'Superstar Limo' should have been from the beginning: a celebration of Los Angeles and Hollywood culture combined with a unique Disney twist. The story is simple: guests have been invited to a special movie premiere at the famous Carthay Circle Theater for the premiere of a certain animated film: none other than Walt Disney's 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.' The trouble is that the Carthay Circle Theater is on the other end of town, and the premiere is only a few minutes away! Guests must board their 1940s stretch limos and travel across the glamorous urban landscape of Hollywood. The attraction's façade will take aesthetic cues from such theaters as the 'Pantages' and 'RKO,' presented to guests as an apartment complex in the heart of Hollywood where only the most famous of stars like to stay. Guests will wander through the halls of the lavish apartment, overhearing conversations from special celebrity guests who are resting in their rooms, contemplating as to whether or not they'll attend the premiere. Some of them are excited about seeing the film, but others are a little more skeptical ("Hah! A film about a buncha silly dwarves? That Disney sure has a lot of nerve. It'll never work!").
Soon, guests are rushed into the alley behind the apartment and ushered by the cast members (hotel staff) into their stretch limos. The attraction's ride system is quite similar to that of its cousin, 'Rockin Roller Coaster' at Disney's Hollywood studios; the designs are the only real difference. The ride itself has guests speeding through various iconic Hollywood landmarks, some of which are no longer around in real life; such landmarks include Crossroads of the World, the Brown Derby, and the Chinese Theater. The ride is a full on roller coaster, utilizing tight, interweaving turns and dips to make full use of the relatively-limited space. All the while, guests will enjoy an upbeat jazz rendition of 'Height-Ho' as the attraction's main soundtrack. For the sake of respecting Walt's likeness and image, he won't be making an appearance in the attraction once guests make it to the Carthay Circle Theater, but guests will see his hand "wave" at guests from behind a crowd of roaring fans as he enters the theater for the premiere. The attraction is altogether tasteful in its representation of one of the most historic events in the company's storied history.
All of 'A Bug's Land,' including the well-themed but unpopular 'It's Tough to be a Bug' show will move to Yesterland, replaced with the 'Westlake District,' a new land dedicated to the famous Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, as well as its equally-famous 'La Brea Tar Pits.' The new land is set in the late 1960s, and for that reason, many of its elements, including the music and general theme of discovery and wonder, borrow heavily from the 1964 World's Fair. In a sense, the land resurrects the spirit of the ill-fated 'WestCot' plan that would've made the original 'California Adventure' park a west coast rendition of Disney World's 'EPCOT' park. The land features three main buildings, each housing a specific facility. Together, the three buildings form 'Westlake Square,' with a design that remains faithful to LACMA as it appeared during the 1960s whilst also preserving the necessary artistic liberties inherent with creating a functional theme park.
The 'Bug's Life Theater' will be gutted and subsequently restructured as the 'Westlake Planetarium,' offering guests a state-of-the-art, high capacity, fully-enveloping dome theater experience. The theater is capable of switching films depending on the seasons, but all of its shows will, in some form or another, represent California somehow. The experience is very similar to Griffith Park's planetarium experience, but the dome in this attraction is larger and higher in resolution and frame rate. Each show lasts roughly 16 minutes, and because the films are interchangeable, the attraction can be periodically updated and refreshed as needed.
The California Disney Gallery:
The smaller building across from the Planetarium will house a new Disney Gallery, showcasing Disney works of art in the form of paintings, sculptures, and even clothing. Unlike its neighboring Disney Gallery on Main Street U.S.A., this gallery is much larger in size, allowing for guests to enjoy a much more comprehensive gallery experience. Guests of the park will enjoy full reconstructed displays of actual film sets from recent popular Disney films, and throughout the year, the park will host a number of various galleries from third party organizations. In short, this will become the resort's hub for full-scale art galleries and exhibits. The building has been designed with versatility in mind, and can be reorganized and reframed to match the needs of any company who would like to utilize the space, making the executives at Disney confident that its construction will not only pay for itself, but see an enormous return in profits. On a more important note, guests will enjoy the exhibits and return to the gallery to enjoy something new each time they visit.
La Brea Voyage:
'La Brea Voyage' is the new land's signature attraction, drawing heavy influence from the famous 'Ford Magic Skyway' attraction that existed at the 1964 World's Fair. The E-Ticket attraction, based on the real-life and historic La Brea Tar Pits adjacent to LACMA, will utilize a ride system that is highly similar to EPCOT's 'Horizons' attraction, making use of a suspended track that is invisible to guests, taking them on a journey back thousands of years and into the canyons and surrounding natural landscapes of the La Brea Tar Pits. After navigating through a queue resembling the real-life tar pit museum in Los Angeles, guests will board 'Tar Rovers' and venture deep into the heart of the earth, past bubbling tar pits and steamy swamps, and encounter a large cast of realistic animatronic animals, including bears, mammoths, vultures, and other creatures of the period. The spacious attraction will make consistent use of lighting, sound, and projection mapping to create a memorable theme park experience akin to such EPCOT attractions as 'Horizons' and 'Spaceship Earth,' giving the park a satisfying taste of what WestCot might've looked like had Disney moved forward with the idea.
With that, I humbly conclude my project. I've enjoyed participating in the competition, and thank the judges and jury for their consideration. Here's to many more seasons!
Alright, and now we wait on the Jury. Excellent work, gentlemen! Tiki and I would ideally like to put on a Reveal Show today or tomorrow once we have the word of our Jury. I will share individual thoughts in said podcast.
Just waiting on @Pionmycake's vote. MEW and I will be going live for the Winner Reveal and Season Wrap-Up podcast about 8:30 PM Eastern tonight.
Obviously very happy with the result. Feels nice to win again. A big congrats to @Snoopy for producing a more-than-worthy project to go up against. I do like to take my hiatuses after the end of each season so I'll be going away for a while. I'll try to check my inbox as often as I can, so don't be afraid to shoot me a message. Big thanks to @TheOriginalTiki and @MANEATINGWREATH and the judges for their consideration. Catch everyone on the flip side.
Congratulations 'Sir' Basketbuddy! A well deserved win -- not only with your stellar concept art, but your well developed and realistic projects as a whole! Hope to see you again next season!
On another note -- am very intrigued with BlueDragonFive being a co-host/judge for Season 15 -- will he be joining the forums? (I'm assuming so)
Also even more intrigued at how an all-Universal based competition will jive, because Universal is mostly all-IP so I'm interested to see how the challenges will be designed to not be IP after IP. Excited!
I'd like to congratulate @Basketbuddy101 for his win this season. I've played SYWTBAI with you for four seasons and I honestly can't imagine a more fitting or worthy person to become the game's first two-time winner.
As for everybody else, it really has been a great season. Certainly among the most memorable that I have played, even aside from the shaky start. It really demonstrates the endurance of this game and the love that people have for it that we could bounce back from that relatively easily, so kudos to all of you.
Like Basketbuddy I also tend to take hiatuses after seasons, so this is where I say goodbye for now. I'll still pop in every once in a while, and while I probably won't be able to participate I'm definitely going to be following Season 15. Or, in other words...
See you all for Season 16!
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