The Great Movie Ride II - Main Competition Thread

Disney Dad 3000

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
DD Reviews.jpg

Sorry for the delay! Internet at hotel not seeming to cooperate last few days so getting notes from my computer to here has been a challenge.

Scene 3 saw a major shift in location from Hong Kong to Las Vegas, and I imagine a bit of an unexpected one for many of you. As you know now from the prompt for Scene 4, our shooting schedule in Vegas did not involve any theme parks, but what it did provide was similar imagineering tasks that we've all seen, but with a truly unique location and challenge unto itself by being in Vegas.

Your task this week was to create both a new venue/theater and show for the Las Vegas Strip. As many of you surmised in your brainstorming and from the intro video, the shows in Vegas have run the gamut from over the top to outright insane to elegant walk up water shows. There is a bit of something for just about everyone, so you had a crowded entertainment landscape to contend with. On top of that, you did not have the attachment to a hotel/casino that most of the shows in Vegas have, so your show and venue had to stand out.

Both teams took decidedly different approaches this week to the challenge, and in the end, produced very uniquely different pitches.


CrossMagic at Disney's Wonderdome
Right away, kudos for taking on the challenge of bring a Disney venue and show to Las Vegas. Will it ever happen? Probably not, but I'm not sure that it's so farfetched. Project wise, the team heavily relied on the meat of the write ups from a couple of folks, but it was nice to see contributions at least in some form from multiple people. While there's been good interaction at times, where this team has struggled the last 2 scenes has been in getting started, or at least finalizing a decision I should say. I know this isn't news to you as it came up in your PM, but with a 7 day turnaround, will have to find ways to get a consensus earlier in the scene to really allow adequate time for fleshing out of ideas.

Presentation wise here, everything looks fine. Google slides makes this easy to follow, especially with your show structure, so was a good choice. Solid intro that gives a quick blurb about venue and show, and sets the stage for what's next. I got kind of a 60s/70s Vegas vibe from the presentation, whether intentional or not was cool.

I like that you've highlighted the location and building/facade in separate pages, though reference photos/artwork would be worthy additions. Highlights of the exterior, lobby and seating area are well done and follow a natural progression as a reader walking into the theater.
I can't help but feel there's a bit of a disconnect with the name of the venue and its comparison to the New Amsterdam. NA feels a bit out of place for me in Vegas, but that aside, is there a dome over the structure or is that just in the name? The venue would have also been a great place for extra parts from the team. Is there a restaurant, experience or otherwise to help draw in guests and what kind of show schedule are we looking at? Just a few things I wanted to know more about the Wonderdome and what is occurring here throughout the day when no shows are running.

The show has a bit of everything, literally. I lost count of how many show scenes got bandied about, but you eventually whittled it down. This would seem to run the risk of being too much and all over the place, but for Vegas, it's over the top in all the right ways I think. Disney signing off on the backstory would be a fun convo, but this feels like a Disney version of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and would be a blast.

So much detail in many of these scenes, including the transition slides which were a great add to indicate how technically youd try and pull this off. Some obvious IP choices thrown here that in a Disney park could be their own show, but here it gives a huge variety for just about everyone. So many highlights, and again details, with the grand spectacle of Pirates, Star Wars, Avatar and others. Loved the inclusion of the elephants on parade laser show. Princesses was an interesting choice, but having seen Lea Kyle's AGT run, could make for a surprise segment. I don't know if there was a runtime on the show, but there's not much here that I don't think a guests attention span would drift too far. Thanks to your descriptions and images, very easy to picture everything that is happening. While something like this would not happen in a Disney park, it does make me lament the loss of the Main St theater where productions with some of these segments could be produced.


With Touchstone really leaning heavy into their show elements, Hollywood focused almost exclusively on the venue and even had me worried a bit that you might forget the show altogether. Oddly enough, the original idea for this prompt was a fun zone of sorts, so somebody had an advance copy of the script. While your ideas for the venue were all over the place, your main theme was settled on fairly early and once that happened the floodgates of ideas came pouring out.

The google site utilized organizes all your pieces nicely, and thankfully lists your show/event first. The intro also does a nice job selling why you think a Nintendo themed venue/show will work in Vegas. The video aerials and your venue image all set up the project nicely.

Nintendo Entertainment Center
With a corner location on the strip, no hotel, and a modest footprint, you made the bold decision of building up, and in the process creating a destination on the strip. Among all the towers, landmarks and brashness of Vegas, you've added one more structure that even if someone didn't go inside, would be stopping for pics.

While I hate that your vision wasn't fully realized with the venue offerings, in probably actually helped to lessen the overshadowing of the show. I think a 50/50 split came up your brainstorming of venue vs show, but for most of the process you seemingly bordered on 90/10. Everything above the arena fits and brings to mind Jungle of Pixels from the SA.

The Switch is a perfect transition and the day/night life blood of the venue with the eateries, shopping, etc. Even without much decription it's obvious this works. Great detail in Luigi's Mansion Escape. I know a few Disney escape rooms have been done before on the forums, but I don't recall a Nintendo one. This seems an ideal choice IP wise and with Universal producing a few escape rooms of their own in the not too distant future, definitely on brand with themed entertainment. I don't need to see the credits to know who worked on Metroid. Lol. Even not knowing Metroid, would I do this? Yes. Out of the missing info, Warios Casino as an experience or backstory tie-in to the Splatoon show and venue would have really helped sell the entire thing. Again, it all overshadows the show a good bit, but as far as creating a unique venue, you did that.

Goby Arena/Splatoon show
Even though I'm a bit into games, Splatoon is something I know next to nothing about. Initially I was really confused how this would would factor as a show, and at times still am, but the idea did grow on me some as the week progressed. This seems more sport than show in this setup, show though can be interpreted as many things. For Vegas, this could probably oddly work as both with live spectacle what thrives in Vegas.
The Saturday tournament style would be a hit I think with guests, especially if it was a true, competitive sporting event with bet making available. Was anything running during the week? If not, this might have been the opportunity to come up with some sort of story driven experience to utilize the space and in a more scripted manner with stunts if possible. All in all though, plenty of detail and visual here to try and convey how this could work.​
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D Hulk

Well-Known Member


With team-vs-team competition taking a pause this week, our combined Hollystone Pictures group had a unique chance to explore new interpersonal dynamics, to think bigger without fear of a rival team, to strengthen as individual Armchair Imagineers. I am very pleased with the overall teamwork demonstrated behind the scenes in this round.

For so long, our established veteran players have been carrying the competitions…not just Great Movie Ride, but past comps too. Trust me, having been in that position, it’s exhausting for them. Unrewarding, too. So the absolute BEST choice made this week was to intentionally hand down creative responsibility to a newer player. Our veterans led from behind. @Shannoninthemagic truly led, rising to the challenge and guiding the entire project from concept (a musical hotel/casino) through player assignments and beyond. I truly hope this was an illuminating round for you, Shannon. You’ve stepped up!

Going forward as we return to smaller teams, I’d love to see some of our other relative newcomer players take on more active roles. That’s the only way you’ll see your ideas get developed! For some lower-tier players, team-based brainstorming doesn’t come naturally. Again, I reiterate, if you propose an idea you want the team to develop (such as the sci-fi hotel which was bandied about this week), do so much more with it than simply state “It’s a sci-fi hotel,” then wander off without elaborating further. DO NOT assume that our aging gunslingers like Ace or Space or Jokers or PerGron (for example) want to flesh out your half-baked concept on your behalf. Do that yourself! And don’t repeat yourself! Develop further!

Shannon’s leadership showed precisely how you can go from something basic like “music hotel” and give meat to it…going into precise detail about distinct musical genres, for instance, and how those can apply to different parts of the project at hand. Shannon’s project manager style was classic, textbook stuff. And when any of you are in a supporting role (as you will be from time to time), learn to be a team player. Some newer players, such as @MagicKingdom4Ever, are integrating well. Shannon established a crystal clear project thesis statement early on. Color within those lines, teammates! Don’t try forcing unrelated concepts like cyborg dystopia swimming pools where they don’t belong. Don’t argue with everybody else. It helps nobody.

Whew! That’s a lot of preamble out of the way. In short, I am optimistic about our community members overall, but I want to push you all further. Newbies, don’t aspire to have Space do your work, aspire to be like Space.

Now, Music Wonderland itself is a wonderful realization of Shannon’s initial pitch. I must admit that I have an ongoing aversion to musical theming, since it’s so very abstract and non-visual, though at the same time that makes it a good fit for Las Vegas. Though the final project doesn’t overtly address this, you took care to distinguish Music Wonderland from the potentially similar Hard Rock Hotel. MK4Ever’s introduction establishes a nice tonal emotional space for the hotel. It doesn’t explain the more concrete “whats,” such as how you’re redoing Vegas’ New York New York, which…of course your hosts understand that context, we created it, but it’s those sort of “dotted i’s” which can truly strengthen a project in the future.

In the spirit of this as a group-building round, I’ll excuse the retheme of the existing NYNY. We conceived the prompt more as a blank slate using the NYNY acreage, but if the existing hotel infrastructure was an easier foundation for the team to work from, then that’s fine. Moving on, there’s a nice variety of hotel/casino features which you addressed. Trust me, if y’all would’ve forgotten the casino floor, I’d’ve Hulked out. But you remembered that, and the hotel rooms, the residency theater, the pool, the buffet…all the assorted expected things. Shannon et al did well early on to establish a list of project requirements, and stick to them. That sort of early coordination can do wonders for a project! The individual write-ups sometimes feel at odds with each other, but for a novice leader this is a promising start.

Since the coaster/attraction replacement was a major component in the prompt, let’s dwell on The Symphonizer for a while. Conceptually, it’s a little safe, replacing a coaster with a coaster. No doubt, a B&M hyper would absolutely trounce NYNY’s existing Togo…one of the States’ most reviled coasters. Since this is Vegas, where bigger is always better, you could’ve gone even bolder with this. Why make the world’s shortest hyper coaster? (Two hundred feet is the bare minimum for the genre.) Why not go wild, outdo B&M’s own Fury 325, for instance, and make the world’s tallest lift hill? Go 350’ or more with it! That’d really draw in the enthusiasts, and that’s what you’re going for with this ride.

There’s more care put into the thematic side of The Symphonizer, which makes sense since our community is mostly focused on the theming side of theme parks. I’m a little wary of the semi-overt Disney references, since this is a non-Disney hotel. (Disney seems to be a hard habit to break.) Collecting lost musical instruments…that sure is a premise. Those sort of visuals won't really get noticed from on-ride, not when guests are zooming by at ~70 mph The “pick your own” on-ride music aspect, though clearly derivative of Rip Ride Rockit, better suits a ride of this scale.

Pressing forward, we come to the pool, the arcade, the dueling piano bar, yadda yadda. (Sure is a lot of the Universal Orlando Resort in this hotel!) Buffet, lounge, bowling, shops, concert venue, Guitar Center, more shops, project ends. Some descriptions are far more in-depth than others. What we need is a spine. It feels like we’re randomly hopping from one component to another, rather than going on a guided walkthrough. With projects of this scale in the future, one player could do connective tissue throughout so we don’t hop suddenly from pools to pianos willy-nilly. Same player who does the intro, perhaps? That’s a way to take what you have, which is good, and with more careful presentation you can make it even better.

And that’ll be the thing going forward. Music Wonderland’s leadership focused on a clear premise and organized hotel deliverables. These were necessary steps. Looking ahead, focus from an early stage on the presentation as well. I don’t mean on the presentation format itself (slides are fine), but on the presentation’s structure and story. Make it more than a depository for completed write-ups. Make it a narrative, guiding readers through your project, from beginning to clear end. You’ll have a smaller prompt in Scene 5, so use that opportunity to refine what you’re already doing well!

NOTE: Our Fearless Leader @Disney Dad 3000 is still traveling, so his reviews might be delayed again. I'll be starting up Scene 5 not too long from now.​

D Hulk

Well-Known Member

Since Scene 4 was a joint production between both studios, there will be no formal winner as in past weeks, and no elaborate awards ceremony. We did still wish to formally celebrate one player for outstanding filmmaking this week...


Honorary Award - Best Director
For exceptional leadership in a non-competition round
@Shannoninthemagic for conceiving of Music Wonderland, for effectively spearheading the brainstorm and project development from conception to final product. Well done!


Four weeks into filming of The Great Movie Ride II has found our Studio teams busy at work designing new lands, exhibits, shows and hotels in a couple of major shooting locations in Hong Kong and Las Vegas. After burning the midnight oil in Vegas and knocking out a couple of major scenes, the producers have us lined up for a little more of a low-key shoot in our next location. While these scenes will be just as important to the season’s long shooting schedule, you will have a bit more room to stretch your legs so to speak.

Now that the NY NY Hotel & Casino has been replaced by Music Wonderland, it is time for Hollywood Pictures and Touchstone Pictures to go their separate ways once again as cast and crew pack up for a road trip out East for a slight change in environments.


Welcome to Pigeon Forge! This mountain town in eastern Tennessee, with a population of a little over six thousand residents, is home to hundreds of outlet stores, music venues, Dollywood, and much, much more. One of the South’s more popular tourist destinations, along with its nearby neighbor Gatlinburg, the area only gets more popular every year.

Pigeon Forge will serve as our base of operations for the next two weeks as we have got a couple of fun shoots to film around town.

D Hulk

Well-Known Member
Location: Pigeon Forge

Dark as a Dungeon


Design a new dark ride for the Dollywood Theme Park


This week, your Studio teams are tasked with creating a new dark ride for any location within Dollywood. Dark rides are a blind spot in the park's offerings with all of the coasters, flat rides and entertainment that are currently offered. Management is looking to you for help in creating this new experience for the park's guests.

The type of dark ride, theme, etc. are entirely up to you but should be a logical fit for Dollywood and align with the park. IPs may be used if desired, but only in the instance where it is a current relationship the park may already hold (no buying IP's) or a natural connection to the Dollywood brand via music, etc.

This week's Guest Judges:
@Chaos Cat

This Project is due Saturday July 2nd at 11:59 PM EST

Time Zones

Walt Disney World- 11:59 PM
Disneyland Park - 8:59 PM
Disneyland Paris - 5:59 AM
Disneyland Tokyo - 12:59 PM

Disney Warrior

Well-Known Member
Hosts, I’m sorry to say this, but I’m stepping down from competing in this comp. I’ve predicted that I will regret competing, big comps like this are not really for me. I’m also burnt out and I will have a greater focus on 1SC and Nintendo World. However, I would like to be a guest judge and make guest reviews for the remainder of the competition.


Hosts, I’m sorry to say this, but I’m stepping down from competing in this comp. I’ve predicted that I will regret competing, big comps like this are not really for me. I’m also burnt out and I will have a greater focus on 1SC and Nintendo World. However, I would like to be a guest judge and make guest reviews for the remainder of the competition.
It's just odd that you're burnt out, which is totally understandable, but you're more than willing to be a judge of the same game.

Judging is a nice break from playing but I fear if too many new people relegate themselves to judging there will eventually be no players left to judge.

Disney Warrior

Well-Known Member
It's just odd that you're burnt out, which is totally understandable, but you're more than willing to be a judge of the same game.

Judging is a nice break from playing but I fear if too many new people relegate themselves to judging there will eventually be no players left to judge.
I may or may not be a judge then, I just don’t want to compete in GMR 2 anymore, I’ll still be active on this forum.

(I wasn’t exactly sure how I’d reply to this, I’m not being mean to anyone here)
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I may or may not be a judge then, I just don’t want to compete in GMR 2 anymore, I’ll still be active on this forum.

(I wasn’t exactly sure how I’d reply to this, I’m not being mean to anyone here)
Nobody said you were being mean. I'm pointing out the inevitability that eventually people will stop putting on these big types of games if there aren't enough people to participate in them, and then you won't be able to be a judge because there aren't any players.

That's not your fault persay, but you're an example of a new player who isn't interested in competing in this anymore - these types of games will become less frequent because having the same people play in them over and over while others like yourself judge them is boring.

Disney Dad 3000

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Movie Trailer Logo.png


This week's feature film was 9 to 5 starring of course, Dolly Parton. While the film was not filmed anywhere near Pigeon Forge and it has no real connection to our challenge this week, it was too hard not to pick what was Parton's first and probably most iconic feature.

Released in 1980 by 20th Century Fox, it was a huge success at the box office and also starred Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dabney Coleman. Parton was already well known in the country world and with this film and its title track 9 to 5 on the airwaves, she was as big as ever. Here's a look at both the trailer and song for the film.

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Well-Known Member
View attachment 649260


This week's feature film was 9 to 5 starring of course, Dolly Parton. While the film was not filmed anywhere Pigeon Forge and it has no real connection to our challenge this week, it was too hard not to pick what was Parton's first and probably most iconic feature.

Released in 1980 by 20th Century Fox, it was a huge success at the box office and also starred Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dabney Coleman. Parton was already well known in the country world and with this film and its title track 9 to 5 on the airwaves, she was as big as ever. Here's a look at both the trailer and song for the film.

Fun fact 9 to 5 the musical is a thing! Ran on broadway in 2009 with Stephanie J Block, Meghan Hilty and Alison Janny, And I believe the recentish west end production had David hasselhof





Guests of Dollywood come to this remote park in the mountains of Tennessee for wholesome entertainment and the reputation the park has for its storytelling on a level akin to the upper tier Disney and Universal parks, but with the home, personal touch of a private park. Our dark ride expansion to the Wildwood Grove section of the park hopes to be in line with this philosophy.

Attraction Location

Our dark ride attraction - The Mountain Breeze - takes into account the new coaster coming to the area, located in the bright blue section in the map above. This section of the park will give us the flexibility of space for our attraction, and also add to Wildwood Grove in a capacity that will be needed as more guests flock to this section of the park for the new coaster. This will be a nice, family-friends option to offset those crowds while still being a unique attraction on its own.

Ride Map

The attraction will take inspiration from several other dark rides, in particular the layout of the canals at Shanghai Disneyland. While our attraction will be mostly an indoor boat ride akin to the Navi River Journey, this layout from above provides a unique view of how our attraction will flow in the confined space we have provided in Wildwood Grove.

The attraction will center around mysticism in the mountains, told less through narration and more through visceral experience. Akin to Navi River, this attraction will be about the atmosphere moreso than animatronics or narration - it will be about you being immersed in this imaginative forest and world that is set up through the theme of Wildwood Grove. The attraction itself will attempt to ground itself in the mysticism of Americana mountains, in order to be better immersed in Dollywood itself.

Attraction Stats
Ticket - C-Ticket
Type - Dark Ride
Height Restriction - None
Length - 5 min 25 sec
Attraction Capacity - 1,975 guests per hour

Attraction Queue

Guests meander through an enchanted forest of imagination through wooded bridges and into small cottages on their way to board the boats to begin their journey.

Ride Vehicles

The attraction vehicles will be similar in capacity and size to that of the Navi River, with a capacity of 4-6 per boat.

Attraction Ride-Through

Scene 1
Your journey begins outside as you board your boats amid the trees, hearing a mixture of pumped in bird sounds with the sounds of nature itself. The water skips along at a slow pace as you become immersed in the surrounded now from the level of the water vs standing, which provides a unique perspective of the tall timbers that surround you and the natural air that you breathe. Your boat begins its journey by turning left and going deep into the forest.

Scene 2

Now you enter the dark ride portion as whatever time of day it is outside suddenly turns to nighttime along the mountain river as you coast along your journey. Once your boat goes inside the dark ride show building, you continue to trek along, now hearing crickets and sounds of nighttime animals as you continue along as see the full moon in the distance as a howl can be heard from far away.

Scene 3
Guests encounter more mystical creatures now. Guests encounter a unicorn to their left in animatronic form, glowing white against the night-sky. This immersion begins to have the guests ponder what type of forest they are being immersed in.

Scene 4
The unicorn gives way to glow-in the dark butterflies as the piano music swells around you.

Guests see these glowing creatures from all sides of the boat and continue to go deeper into a cave of butterflies.

Scene 5
Guests begin hearing the crescendo of the music as the butterflies move around them, creating a sensory overload experience.

Scene 6
Guests see sparkles in the distance as luminescent rain begins to float onto the mountainside.

Scene 7

The forest is aglow in neon lights as you reach the peak of the mystical forest and then begin to exit back to the unload area.

We hope you've enjoyed this trip through the forests of Dollywood.

D Hulk

Well-Known Member



Wildwood Grove is an ideal spot for a dark ride, as it’s something relaxing the whole family can do together. The enchanted butterfly forest as described neatly slots into – and expands – Wildwood Grove’s existing theming. I like how it’s conceived to balance out the upcoming roller coaster.

The early concept to do a hybrid indoor/outdoor dark ride – somewhat in the vein of Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, as you mentioned, and possibly more so like a folksy American version of Jungle Cruise – is a good idea for Dollywood. Given the location, it seems you could take advantage of railroad views, plus of course you’d send guests floating through the park’s gorgeous Smokey Mountain terrain. That sort of bucolic scenery costs nothing, yet it’s invaluable. The comparisons to Navi River Journey do a nice job to suggest just the sort of experiential tone poem ride you’re concocting, more about ambiance than storytelling. Controversial opinion, but Navi River Journey far exceeded its reputation (I actually rode it with @Disney Dad 3000 ), so I’m on board with this.

Stats are solid. Good, satisfying ride duration without being overlong. The good hourly capacity will be especially appreciated at Dollywood, which seems to struggle in that area.

While the queue and ride through descriptions are all extremely brief, that’s understandable considering this was improvised in the last minute by a single exhausted player. Hooray for @spacemt354 !

Brief though they are, these descriptions work like poetry to say a lot without saying a lot. The images help immensely. This is a great example of how a few well-chosen pictures – quickly procured from a Google Image search and combined with a fitting musical piece – can add a whole lot to a project without requiring much time or effort. The simple forum post presentation choice is fitting as well; this didn’t need anything else. Indeed, Touchstone’s Salamander Mine uses a Doc to the exact same effect.

The scenes build well from one to another, growing increasingly fantastical without ever straying too far from Wildwood Grove’s pastoral childhood premise. It’s a brief little project, which is just fine for a C-ticket. Charming.



Mystery Mine is one of Dollywood’s most successful themed experiences to-date, based on what I’ve heard, so it makes sense to start there and expand on that mythos. Transforming the surrounding area into the new Mining Junction miniland is an ambitious touch for a simple dark ride prompt. Inevitably that means things like an area description or shops – things promised in the intro – cannot appear in this final product. Nonetheless there are a couple of impressive grace notes, such as @AceAstro ‘s signature map and logo visuals.

Conceptually, Salamander Mines reminds me of Knott’s Calico Mine Ride. That’s a good ride from which to take inspiration. It’s the best non-DisneyVersal dark ride I’ve personally experienced, the sort of thing which a well-heeled regional independent park like Dollywood is wholly capable of. I get some “Black Diamond at Knoebels” vibes as well. Would that you’d incorporated more local Appalachian color.

The queue is fitting, and evocatively described with a distinctive soundscape. There are vague first draft references to minecarts and professors as we come to the ride through. It comes across a bit as “generic mine.” Here’s where a little research into, say, Tennessee mining could’ve come in handy. A few more images to add flesh to noncommittal prose, that wouldn’t hurt either.

What sort of ride experience are you going for here? The scene-by-scene description has a desperately chaotic energy, manic like an old school bus bar dark ride or like Mr. Toad’s. At least, that’s my takeaway. Because the scene progression feels both random and thematically untethered. To wit, we go from a salamander lair, to a Fearsome Critters scene (inspired by James G.’s Americana 1900 perhaps?), to skeletons, beautiful caverns, goats, Neanderthals, bears. It’s insanity! (These are all animatronic scenes, right?) Depending on your intentions, this crazy ramshackle anti-narrative structure is either a good thing or a total mess. With the amount of visual storytelling, plus the amount of dialogue riders are expected to process, this is A LOT of material for a ride that’s under 4 minutes.

Bertha at least is the glue to tie everything together. She has the potential to be a Dollywood icon – and surely a major merchandising boon if you’d written up shops. Bertha grounds Salamander Mines, giving them a face and a personality. She’s the best thing about this project.​

Chaos Cat

Well-Known Member
I had hope that I would still have time to write up reviews while on my Tennessee trip, but sadly that does not seem to be the case. I'm going to have skip out on reviews for this round and probably the next. I'll be back for sure for the round after that, though.

Disney Dad 3000

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
DD Reviews.jpg

Scene 5 saw a return to the world of theme parks in a little place called Pigeon Forge and to a not so well-kept secret park in Dollywood. Why was Dollywood chosen this week for a project? Besides being an obvious pick for one of our two scenes in Pigeon Forge, Dollywood offered the chance to work at a park largely untouched on the forums and one that has really transformed itself over the years. Look at any theme park review list, and you'll routinely find Dollywood up there or surpassing the likes of Disney World, Universal and Disneyland. With our dark ride challenge this week, it also provided the opportunity to elevate the park further with a type of attraction that it could use in spades to really help fill out its lineup.

Kudos to the cast and crew who helped get the projects out this week. We'd hoped smaller scale projects like this mixed into the competition would be a welcome respite for the large studio teams offering up the chance for everyone to take on small parts where available to flesh out the end-to-end details. Unfortunately, it has been an ongoing struggle most weeks (which we will address today), but the work put into delivery the following projects is much appreciated!


Salamander Mines
In lieu of a one-off dark ride expansion, Touchstone took on the task of creating a new mini land within the park to house not only their dark ride but incorporate an existing attraction along with new shops and more. I like the idea. Mining is a theme and topic that is an obvious fit in the Appalachian Mountains (past and present), so expanding on that idea makes a good deal of sense in line with the park's lands Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass and others. With this land expansion comes the inclusion of other components mentioned in the intro, but are missing from the presentation itself, but let's jump into the ride.

Right off the bat, love the inclusion an updated park map. This adds a bit of realism to the project, and of course helps picture where this would go. The queue description as well is very helpful and indicates how the exterior will blend with Mystery Mine in creating the new mini land.

First off, appreciate all of the effort and info that went into the ride-through. Definitely a lot happening on this ride! I was a little confused on the ride type/system used here. Referenced are seatbelts to enhance ride and feel, but that seems like something in a traditional dark ride setting would hurt capacity numbers but may be fitting pending what you were going for here. That being said, love how much scene description we get here. I would love to have more visual references, but you did your best to fully describe each scene. While I found myself a bit confused what exactly was happening at times, it certainly would make for a wild adventure.

Part of me wishes you'd almost focused the attraction solely on the salamanders, including them in all scenes, and left out the miners. That being said, the attraction would definitely be an option for a wider range of guests that might not ride the next-door Mystery Mine coaster, but I don't know that it is an all-ages type of attraction as referenced in the conclusion. Dark rides though don't have to necessarily be family friendly, so as pairing with Mystery Mine, would make for a good 1-2 crazy, fun punch within Mining Junction.


The Mountain Breeze
Keeping the presentation old-school in a forum post was a fine way to go. For a project of this type, you can really accomplish everything you need to with a forum post, even if you mix in personal art, ride throughs, etc. It also helped organize the flow of attraction components in an easily followed manner.

Tacking on your attraction to Wildwood Grove, the park's largest ever expansion, was a solid choice. I think there have even been rumors of a dark ride somehow attached to this land at one point or another, so it is fitting. Not to mention the use of a slow-moving boat ride is a fine selection as well. The park does two other water-based attractions, but they are more of the "thrill" variety in the rapids and log flume. A boat ride is surely befitting the goal of making Wildwood Grove a family-friendly area within the park.

Visually, this sounds like a lovely ride. While I wish Navi River Journey, a ride you reference in the write up, was slightly longer, it is an attraction I really enjoy for the effort put into blending simple sets and lighting effects with screens to transport to another world. Your attraction focuses solely on the effects, no screens, which is on brand for Dollywood. The large focus on butterflies as well aligns with the other attractions in Wildwood Grove with their references to dragonflies, mockingbirds, fireflies, and others.

The components of the attraction are all there: location, inspiration, stats, placement, ride through, etc. This would have been a great project for the team to piggyback off the work of one person and have each draw a scene, help expand some scene descriptions where needed and more to contribute to the overall presentation. The idea though has a great deal of merit thanks to its capacity and availability to all parkgoers.​

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