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Club 32 - Villains Land, Fantasyland Project

gonzoWDW

Well-Known Member
Night on Bald Mountain - The Ride

Ride Queue: Heroes' Hall


It has been years since the great split fractured Fantasyland. The Villains, led by Chernabog, have annexed the forest, the surrounding buildings, and Bald Mountain beyond. There was a time when villains and heroes were able to share the same area, albeit with some tension, but that is no longer the case. Since the divide, buildings which formally belonged to the “heroes” have either been repurposed for more nefarious deeds, or have been allowed to fall into disrepair. One such building is the formally grandiose Heroes Hall (there would be significantly more foliage, for the “forest”, surrounding the building than is shown below).

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(Valhalla Image Cred: http://pre14.deviantart.net/ace8/th/pre/i/2016/097/9/a/gate_to_valhalla_by_leifheanzo-d9y1ei5.jpg)​

Located at the foot of Bald Mountain, it is rumored that the Heroes who used to live here managed to suppress a great evil which dwells within the mount. However, the time of the heroes has passed, and their once magnificent gathering place, while still impressive from afar, shows signs of decay as guests approach for a better look. An old, worn invitation welcomes visitors with the following inscription:

“Eat, drink, and be Merry
Come visit our Heroes’ Hall
Enjoy the splendor, see how grand”

And scrawled beneath, guests see an ominous addition:

“Beware if you tarry
Even the mightiest fall
A different being now runs the land”
Guests who are brave enough to press on cross a bridge, while a river speeds below. Those with an observant eye will notice that the water feeds from the mountain. Once the bridge has been crossed, our adventures have officially passed the threshold: they are now within the courtyard of Heroes’ Hall. The stone courtyard struggles to hide its age and lack of upkeep. Grass and weeds grow through solid rock, as stone crumbles and gives way beneath the slow, unstoppable march of time. The dark forest aims to reclaim its land, and it’s impossible not to think that, within a few years, it will do so. Adding to the eerie setting, afternoon visitors feel the shadow of Bald Mountain cast over the courtyard as the sun wanes.

Whilst walking along the designated pathway through the courtyard, guests can see that Heroes Hall was abandoned in a hurry, and the departed were unable to gather all their training supplies. Targets for archery practice remain, some with arrows still piercing the hay. Looking in the distance, guests may notice that the arrow in the center of one target is fashioned from a twig.

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A number of swords and shields litter the ground; one sword, slightly different from the others, resembles that of Mulan.

Near the center of the courtyard, 12 knight statues appear to be standing guard around a mountain.

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The top of this mountain almost resembles a head, with horns forming its twin peaks. The mountain side could even be described as a pair of tightly curled wings.

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Of course, all guests know these thoughts to be ridiculous. Mountains don’t have heads, let alone horns, and they certainly don’t have wings. The visitors proceed towards the large double doors near the end of the courtyard. An enchanted knight’s statue stands watch over the entrance of the castle, ushering guests inside the building. Once enough guests have entered the building, the knight stops any more from entering as the double doors close behind the guests within.

The cavernous hall can only be described as absolutely impressive. Vaulted ceilings ensure even the largest of heroes could fit within the building. Portraits of great heroes and heroines adorn the walls, although they have lost their luster to the cobwebs and dust which have overtaken them. A balcony along the second floor overlooks the guests within the main hall, and everyone’s eyes are drawn to the stained glass artwork at the end of the hall. The glass once again depicts knights standing guard around a mountain. However, the sun appears to set, as the light filtering through the stained glass wanes, and the room is left in darkness.

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After a few seconds, a torch lights from the second floor balcony comes ablaze and an animatronic calls out to the crowd “Hey! What are you all doing here standing in the dark? Somebody get those torches lit!” A few torches are lit around the crowd. The animatronic follows up “You guys decided to visit Heroes’ Hall at night? You’re either crazy or fearless. Or both. My name is Elio. Elio Cyrus. I guess you’re all here to see what’s left of the Heroes’ Hall. Truth be told, there’s not much remaining to see. It’s been left to go to ruin, as even the villains who live in this part of the land are afraid to move in. I’m the only left, as I swore an oath to stay here and guard the mountain. Well, I also have some enchanted statues to help and keep me company, but they’re no fun to talk to. Actually, I’ve got an idea! While you’re here, let me give you a tour of the hall, like in the old days! We’ll start from the bottom and head up. Just follow that door into the basement, and I’ll meet up with you in a second!”

A large wooden door slowly swings open, and guests head down a gradient, into the basement. They walls are lit by torches, casting their glow along the corridor. On the other side of the walls, guests can hear running water. Barrels occasionally line the path, marked as containing grain, wine, ale, fish, and other necessities for a true Heroes’ Hall (one hidden container is marked Cpt JS Rum). Water drips through the ceiling and the the walls, falling on the occasional barrel.

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Eventually, the corridor ends and guests enter another showroom. Elio Cyrus pops up again, this time from a room on the other side of a wall. “Welcome to the cellar!” he exclaims. “As you might guess, it takes a lot to feed an entire hall of heroes. What you might not know is” Elio is stopped mid-sentence as a deep rumbling shakes the room, the torches, and the guest’s nerves. “Oh no… tonight must be a night with no moon. That’s bad news. We need to get you out of here, NOW. You might have heard the running water surrounding the basement. There are two rivers surrounding the building. One leading back into town, and another which goes deep into the mountain. Continue down and take a right. There you’ll be able to board a boat on the river which takes you back into town. You’ll be safe there. I’m going back upstairs to guard the hall. Safe travels, friends.” This is the last guests will hear from Elio.

Guests walk down and attempt to take a right, but their path is blocked by collapsed rock. Instead, a dark shadowy feature beckons the adventurers, so they venture left, leaving the cellar and entering a cavern, surrounded by dark rock, stalactites, stalagmites, and running water. Soon thereafter, they happen upon a dock. Chernabog's ghoulish minions help load the guests aboard soul barges, assuring them they will soon reach their destination.

Bald Mountain Ride
16 of our doomed visitors load into a soul barge, a wooden ship meant to ferry it’s passengers to their final destination. The outside appears to be worn wood, notched, scratched, and aged; possibly made from the same oak as the barrels in the cellar of the Heroes’ Hall. These transports float in the eerie, almost glass-like water by the dock (loading area), which is made all the more unnerving by the sound of running water – and the occasional blood curdling scream – heard in the distance. The entirety of the lighting in this room is provided by the lanterns hanging upon the wall, and those on the back of each barge, emanating their dim, green, ethereal glow. The ghastly minions which helped guide the guests to their final seats now advise them of the following (after an appropriately frightening safety warning): “You’ll come to find the Cherning waters are the most tempting of all”.
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(Wooden soul barge - will seat 16. Lantern on back is a part of it Photo Cred: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/64/a9/8e/64a98eb7454e9a72b0ee79bcbe3382ee.jpg)​

With their restraints firmly in place, and their courage hanging by a thread, the anxious travelers grip their loved ones and the ride’s restraints with white knuckles, as they are set adrift. There is no turning back now, as the barge has already begun its steady march into the dark, cavernous abyss. The ferry is soon far too distant to benefit from the dim glow of the lanterns by the docks; guests are now solely reliant on what little light they can glean from the lantern along the back of their barge. Once their eyes have adjusted, they notice that their body of water is quickly narrowing, and the stalactites hanging from the ceiling appear to be closing in on the boat. That’s when the previously distant but growing sound of rushing water turns into the roar of a waterfall, as guests plummet into the depths below. Following rapid twists and turns through the cave, the now racing barge quickly begins to decelerate as it approaches a pristine, underground lake. This space has incredibly high ceilings, and must have a hole that leads to the surface, as moonlight is filtering in.
underground-lake-1.jpg

(Picture this, but more rock, higher ceilings, and fewer roots - Photo Cred: http://gameswalls.com/omega-stone/underground-lake/1024x768)
The light in the room allows guests to make out the barrels floating near them in this otherwise untouched natural wonder. Anxious visitors jump at the sound of a splash within the lake, but are reassured upon noticing it is nothing but a fish. As guests take in the incredible sight, hidden speakers within the barge quietly begin to hint at sounds of shifting rock; almost similar to the sounds one might imagine a statue coming to life would make. Unperturbed, guests on the barge begin to appreciate the beauty of their current surroundings, as they slowly drift underneath the skylight through which the moon is gracing their secret location. However, the second guests pass underneath the hole, the speakers begin to rumble! Our travelers snap out of their sense wonderment, and jerk their heads skyward, where something near the top of the mountain resembling a giant wing blocks out the very light from the moon. The light was only gone for but a few seconds; that being said, passengers feel their sense of foreboding instantly return.
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(Picture just the Chernabog's wing blocking out the moon- Photo Cred: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/74/a8/6b/74a86bd94b73c2b383a4936fb781b229.jpg)
The barges glide along to the end of the underground lake, and towards another dark (but short) river. This river leads the boats to one of six show rooms, which are actually water locks. From the six show rooms, using forced perspective, guests are given a different view of what appears to be a giant (but is actually medium sized) Chernobog animatronic calling them upwards with his mountainous claws. The locks – one showroom at a time – slowly carry the barge up, as the menacing villain tempts our riders to heed his call. Projected spirits race along the walls, hoping to be the first to fulfill their master’s beckoning. Green lights also emanate from the water which continuously lifts the barge towards its destination. Only two showrooms are able to see the Chernabog animatronic at a time, and he is only visible as they near the top of their lock.
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(Spirit racing towards Chernabog's call - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/441493569693558270)​
Once the lock has fully filled, guests hear Elio Cyrus running towards Chernabog, and screaming that they must make their way to safety before it is too late. At this point, the barges have been locked into the roller coaster’s track. Without notice, Chernabog’s soon to be victims see Elio flash into view with a quick burst of bright light! The arm Chernabog was using to summon our visitors quickly falls to his side, and the barge begins its race down the inside of the mountain. Dodging spirits and stalactites requires full attention as our barges wind, race, and corkscrew their way through the inside of the mountain at breakneck speed.

The barge slows down, and begins to transport our guests towards an exit from the mountain. They can even see the river which leads to the bridge at the entrance of Heroes’ Hall, and they assume the ride must be coming to an end. This makes the next moment all the more surprising: right before reaching the mountains exterior, the track ends, and the barges (along with the section of track they are on) begin lifting towards the top of the mountain – similar to Cobra’s Curse. At this point, guests looking up see a giant Chernabog animatronic conducting an orchestra of souls, as ghastly spirits race to his call. As guests near the top, our fiendish villain summons them with both arms, demanding that his prize does not escape him once more; it’s at that very moment when guests see Elio Cyrus walk out to their left and, with all the power he can muster, shout out: “CHERNABOG, I DEMAND YOU RELEASE THEM!” A blinding light emanates from our protagonist, and his distraction has served its purpose as Chernabog has returned to stone, and our elevator has connected to its track.

images

(Chernabog demanding the rider's souls right before Elio saves them - Photo Cred: http://pre04.deviantart.net/27bc/th/pre/f/2009/164/5/d/night_on_bald_mountain_by_hammersonhoek.jpg)​

The guests are free from Chernabog’s ghoulish grasp, but their adventure only continues as their barge falls backwards through the track, racing inside and outside of Bald Mountain (all on the backside of the mountain, so as to not ruin the surprise) until they slow down and reach a dock along the river near the backside of the mountain. As our survivors disembark, they notice old signs alerting them that the townspeople planned to clear the caved in path; with their newly gained wisdom, our visitors can’t help but think it’s probably best that path remains blocked, and keeps the evil trapped within.

(Cobra's Curse lift for reference; picture the final scene taking place inside the mountain, with guests focused up and skyward at Chernabog)​
 

gonzoWDW

Well-Known Member
Hey @gonzoWDW I just wanted to give you some more feedback I was able to read through this all thoroughly now. Very impressive. I'm a big visual person, and while I could picture all the detailed descriptions in my head, if you can find some images that would represent your descriptions -- that I think would enhance it even more than it already is! Awesome work!

I'll add this to the cumulative thread:)
Thanks for the feedback @spacemt354! I took your advice and added a few photos to help visualize some important aspects of the different scenes. I also combined both the queue and the ride into one full post, so it'll be easier if you want to put them both in one location
 

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