A Next Generation Experience...So as I have done a few trials at putting together a perfect Disney resort, I came to the conclusion that I kept coming back to that same point where I didn't want to go, repetitive experiences, the same themes etc. That's why I went back to my desk and started looking at a couple of things.
First of all I checked my earlier study of a theme park's depth with its different layers, consisting out of the Inspector's Observation, The Child's Dream, The Theme Park Thrill, The Story Reference, The Eye for Detail and lastly the Geek Dominion. Here's the explanation I gave about those layers in another thread, which was sadly not finished(like most of my work. Sorry, i'm not disciplined enough to finish them usually). The first layer is The Inspector's Observation. This is the basic skeleton of a theme park, making sure that everything functions well so that a Guest can enjoy his or her day without having to face any theme park irritations. Think about a good flow of the park, enough restrooms, efficient capacity systems for attractions etc. Then secondly, we have The Child's Dream, which basically means giving this technical skeleton a cute theme so that a child feels like they are immersed into a fantasy world. Of course, we are talking about Disney so we can't simply give it a cute theme, it needs to be something more elaborate, but that's something for another layer. The third layer is The Theme Park Thrill. This basically refers to the overall experience of a theme park, is it worthy of being visited as a full-day theme park and is it something that you can enjoy without the themes(so in other words, are the attractions worth a visit). This also refers to the experience being entertaining for people of all ages. Let's move on to The Story Reference layer. This layer explains the use of stories around the park, familiar stories. This is where theming gets more details, because you might recognize certain aspects in the theming from famous Disney IP. The layer also includes the basic use of a movie-based attraction( Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Ratatouille the Ride etc.).
The next layer is The Eye for Detail. This is where the park starts getting really interesting, because we are giving depth to themed areas. Think of small secret walkways, hidden details( a la New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World), and even original theme park stories like the stories behind classic attractions like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and The Haunted Mansion. Lastly, the Geek Dominion. This is the ultimate layer. If a visitor visits a theme park through this layer, they will completely understand why something is there and how the whole Disney resort is connected. To me, a Disney resort can be seen as the layer of a mirror between our dimension and a magical dimension. The layer of the mirror is basically the thing that connects Walt Disney with Yen Sid( yes I know, this is all very deep, but it helps to create an immersive world). That's why the ultimate backstory of a resort to me is basically that its the world between worlds. This can be concluded from the real world's influences, but the extra magic touches we experience all around the parks. Another important factor in designing a resort is using and learning from whats already there, we have Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort Paris, Tokyo Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disneyland Resort. All have a lot of pros and of course some cons. Giving one positive term to each resort for me would be DLR a warm feeling of coziness, WDW space and size, DLRP beauty in theming, TDR maintenance, HKDL service, SDR orignality and advancements. This can all be used in our new resort.
Then I looked at a list of realistic options of IP that could be used in a Disney resort, looking at relevance and popularity and also just the basic diversity in cultural representation or themes of the movies. My conclusion here were the following IPs: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Winnie the Pooh, Tangled, Frozen, Wreck-it Ralph, Lilo and Stitch, The Lion King, Maleficent, Cinderella, Into the Woods, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Toy Story, Brave, Monsters. Inc, Ratatouille, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, Finding Nemo, Inside Out, Big Hero 6, Cars, The Marvel Movies, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Avatar, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Underland and maybe the Muppets, even though their popularity is declining.
The next thing I looked at was a list of existing attractions, which ones were the ones that I wanted to see at my imaginary resort and which ones could inspire attractions or their own themed areas. This is where I started using something borrowed, something new. I took classic Disney attractions such as Autopia, Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion and gave them a modern spin, new technology, new system, new interesting factors for an ever changing audience. These changes to classic attractions would still however have the original intention of the ride, either to scare, to thrill etc.
Lastly, I thought about ways to improve a theme park experience, what annoys me when I visit a theme park and what could be improved or just certain things that I expect to be present or available at a theme park, also to offer all of these layers, which I spoke about before. Think of long lines, high prices, transportation, food diversity, storytelling and interactive elements. That's how this new resort was born. By taking familiar movies, attractions, stories and common interests and combining that with new types of technology creates a whole new level of immersion and fun for people of all ages.
Considering all of these things, my first theme park was born, which is a classic Disneyland type park with 11 themed areas. First of all, we have our two opening lands. Walt Disney Avenue will be your way into the park and based on Walt Disney's Story and in a way similar to Mickey Avenue at Shanghai Disneyland, just to take an approach that is more international, instead of just showcasing an American town(there will be American influences in the area though). Then you have The Gardens of Magic(again, similar to Shanghai Disneyland). I felt like making the hub a land on it's own could help for an easier overview, flow and just the possibility of adding new types of experiences to a Disneyland Park. Next, we have the four main lands, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland. All with new and familiar experiences.
Lastly there's the addition of a few new themed areas. These are Bog Easy, Shadowlands, Timeless Riverside, World Expo and Buccaneer Bay. Bog Easy is added in sake of a logical area in which specific stories take place and specific attractions fit in and add to the connected universe. Shadowlands is a way to introduce villains to the theme parks, as they are one of Disney's most popular characters. Timeless Riverside is the introduction and showcase of classic Disney shorts, which basically started Disney's popularity back in the early 1900s. Lastly, Buccaneer Bay offers the Guests an area similar to Treasure Cove to be fully immersed in the world of pirates. I feel like Disneyland used to portray the park in several categories, astronaut/scientist, cowboy/native American, knight/princess and adventurer/pirate. Now, the pirates franchise has grown a lot in the past decades and that's the reason I feel like they could use a themed area of their own.
Now this theme park will be completely different as it will feature a system similar to the Tapu Tapu system at Universal Studios' Volcano Bay and the Magic Band system at the Disney parks. Guests of the resort will be given a Magic Band during their stay or can purchase special Magic Bands which cost money opposed to the standard Magic Band. The Magic Band is individual and personalized with specific information(not offending someone's privacy) and will offer a much more fun and personal experience for Disney's Guests. When wishing to ride an attraction, which line exceeds 45 minutes, Guests will be given a return time so that in the mean time you can enjoy other experiences in the park, other rides, a restaurant, a shop, a show or other interactive elements of the park, such as the interactive talkers.
Interactive talkers are either meet and greet characters, which by the way are either face characters or audio animatronic costumes similar to the talking Mickey Mouse character. The Magic Band collects experiences, just a few facts and more so that these interactive talkers can personalize your experience(similar to the planned star wars land experience, but on a larger scale and deeper level). Around the park there will also be audio animatronics which offer the same experience as meet and greet characters. They are there to add interactive elements, immersion, but also just the logic of the presence of these characters, because sometimes they don't make sense as costume characters and sometimes they aren't even able to bring popular characters such as Simba to the parks because of this.
Other things that I thought of are enough places to find shade on hot days and enough places to go on rainy days(such as arcade walkways), the cleanliness and maintenance of the park by placing enough trash cans(based on Walt's 30 steps-rule) and by adopting a system similar to Tokyo Disneyland which keeps it's attractions working perfectly, diversity in restaurants(so not just themed buildings which all offer fastfood, but actually a wide variety of food options) and attractions( different age groups, different types of rides, different interests) and lastly, pricing. I was at Disneyland Paris a week ago and just noticed the incredibly high prices. Disney is supposed to be accessible to a very large part of the people and not a luxury experience(although it offers luxury whenever a Guest wishes to pay more), that's why Disney should offer a wider variety of cheaper and more expensive souvenirs so that all Guests are able to buy something based on the amount of money they are willing to spend.
Outside of the main park, there will be other theme parks, water parks, stay-over destinations, entertainment centers and transportation systems that offer a perfect experience for all Guests. Some of these experiences will be announced later on, but for now I can say that there will be 3 theme parks called Meltdown Bay, Grizzly Gulch and The Lost Valley, an entertainment center similar to Disney Springs, Ikspiaru etc. called Disneytopia, at least one other gate and multiple stay-over destinations, such as the Scandinavian Resort, the Pixar All-Star Resort and the Fort Wilderness Campground and Bungalow Park. Soon I'll post some more things about the themed areas, attractions, restaurants, shows, shops and more. If any questions, recommendations, suggestions, ideas or comments in general may pop up, just let me know, either in this thread or in a private chat.