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Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

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  • [Idea] Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

    Hello everyone. I wanted to share with you an idea I had for a Discoveryland attraction, one that I have sporadically worked on for some time. I love to Imagineer in my free time, and a few years ago I set out to try and tackle the 'Discoveryland problem'. The gradual loss of the grandeur and powerful original theme this land was built upon, in favor of cheap looking hit film related attractions, shops and restaurants, is to be lamented. That's why I wanted to create something based on an original idea (not a movie tie-in) that actually tries to fit in and expand upon the original theme of the land.

    The result you can see below, an attraction that is titled 'Bon Voyage' and that tries to capture the sense of excitement, adventure, mystery and scientific optimism that Discoveryland is supposed to represent.

    The image above is a sort of teaser poster type image that portrays the attraction's visual landmark: an observatorium perched high upon a rocky mountain. The image below is an aireal photo showing the location of the ride: in the far eastern corner of Discoveryland, behind Space Mountain's loading station and next to the Nautilus show building. The attraction's huge show building is located behind the berm, where today the Pizza Planet restaurant sits.

    The text below is supposed to be an 'official' presentation text, that gives you an idea what the attraction is actually about:

    "Prepare for the adventure of a lifetime, as you embark on an epic journey like you've never experienced before! Tucked away in a corner of Discoveryland, the Observatorium sits high and proud atop a mountain, and beckons you with promises of discovery, mystery and infinity. These are symbolized by the mighty telescope, which stands in the hearts of the Observatorium's revolving dome.

    The caves at the foot of the mountain lead to a hidden docking platform where an airship sits ready to take you away on your journey. It is a journey that brings you the sensation of rising higher that you've ever been before, as you fly across land and water, into the cloudy sky and finally across the universe!

    This adventure gives a new meaning to the word 'epic', as the dark ride attraction features some of the grandest and most elaborate show scenes ever created. One thing is certain, this is a trip you'll never forget. Bon Voyage!"

    Below are some concept sketches of the exterior, interior and ride vehicle of the attraction. For the ride system imagine a next generation version of Peter Pan's Flight.

    The ride vehicle:

    A show scene example:

    The attraction's grand finale: into the universe!

    When it came to detailing all these ideas, I focused mostly on the part inside the berm, what you see walking around the park: the ride's exterior (entrance/exit). This was the most interesting to me: creating a new landmark in an established themed environment.

    The plan below gives you an idea how the entrance/exit works, with the connection to the show building under the train tracks. Next to the exit there's a small seating area/place to drink and eat something, located underneath a sloping green hill.

    This was all finalized in a model I made of the ride's exterior. Below are some photos of it:

    I hope you enjoyed my sharing this attraction idea with you. You can find many more photos and concept sketches on my website so feel free to take a look:
    Check out my collection of self-made Disney Theme Park Designs at

  • #2
    Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

    Your work is damn great, can you give me some of your talent, so i can
    work like you on my ideas....

    The Attraction sounds perfect for Discoveryland, something thats fitting the
    theme. I would love to ride it!!


    • #3
      Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

      Eddie Rabbit, wow, this is a well thought out and well visualised idea. It fits perfectly with the idea for the original Discoveryland aswell as providing a perfect and more welcomed replacement for Pizza Planet (which I dislike).

      Fantastic work


      • #4
        Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

        That is one nice model you've made! Great idea, maybe you could invent all new ride system instead of the one from Peter Pan.


        • #5
          Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

          5 stars and then some! What an amazing concept and presentation.

          "We're not trying to entertain the critics ... I'll take my chances with the public." -
          Walt Disney


          • #6
            Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction


            PLEASE send this to WDI, Discoveryland needs this attraction! It's perfect!


            • #7
              Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

              Thanks everyone! Please let me know if you're interested in hearing more about the actual ride experience. Eventhough I mainly focused on the attraction's exterior, there does exist some sort of script and basic layout for the ride.

              I can already tell you that the ride is in essence a dark ride of huge proportions, think a bit bigger than POTC, and is comparable to this ride in that its mainly slow but with some fast thrill parts. It's structured around 5 large show scenes which, unlike most Disney attractions, are not character driven but focus on the immersion in truly magical and otherworldly environments.
              Check out my collection of self-made Disney Theme Park Designs at


              • #8
                Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

                Oh wow

                please continue, this project is amazing and i'm stunned by the size,detail and creativity of your model. it is absolute for this to reanimate Discoveryland.
                To me, it's in a way HORIZONS meets Figment but it doesn't meld into the quirks of either attraction and breathes quite easily as it's own entity and experience.

                please proceed inside, Imagineneering needs you my friend!
                Don't think of a gun as a weapon.
                Think of it as a third arm that magically
                shoots bullets!


                • #9
                  Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

                  I am duly impressed. This is fantastic work. It would be a magnificent, coherent addition to the original vision of Discoveryland.

                  Additions such as this proposal - original, in-theme, grand-scale - ought to have been implemented. Oh, for a day when someone who understands what makes parks great is the decision-maker at Disney.


                  • #10
                    Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

                    Eddie...your work is very, very impressive!

                    WDI impressive (well, potentially better, though they work with what they get).

                    I don't know of your personal aspirations, but if you hope to become an Imagineer, I'd caution you from sharing so much of these awesome ideas with us! Or just sending it to Disney and saying that they can do with it what they want, for that matter, as they legally have to discard those ideas in order to not get sued potentially in the future.

                    Your work is fantastic, and I really hope that it might get to go many steps further


                    • #11
                      Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

                      Ossom model! Very nice idea. I give you so much credit.
                      Follow me on --> Twitter (@soda)


                      • #12
                        Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

                        Very impressive and a lot of work has obviously gone into this design.

                        Well done.


                        • #13
                          Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

                          This is a terrific piece of work, Eddie. It's the tiny details - the rowing boat in the caves behind the waterfall and the sunburst motifs on the telescope hatch - that help elevate your design to a true Disney standard. Now if only Disney could match it!

                          Please do give us some more details of the ride's interior. I would love to take a ride on this, if only in my imagination.
                          Originally posted by fizzog
                          Soundtracker you cheeky chipmunk


                          • #14
                            Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

                            wow dud, talk about dedication to the task. i was thinking up a ride that would use the same kind of system (a next gen peter pan kind of ride), but i know that my idea will never come out this well. dude you need to be hired by Disney just for your talents as a concept artist.
                            So. Zetta. SLOW!


                            • #15
                              Re: Idea for a Discoveryland attraction

                              Once again, thank you all for your enthousiastic comments! As promised I shall tell you some more about the actual ride itself. This wasn't detailed or thought out as much as I would've liked (time issues!), but at the least it gives you an idea. Here goes...

                              So as you might have read in my initial post, you start your journey by entering the caves at the foot of the mountain. A network of volcanic caves will lead you underneath the train tracks until you arrive in the main show building behind the berm. Finally you reach a stunning cave filled with the most incredible rock formations. Through the cave flows this illuminated river on which your airship, at this point functioning as a boat, awaits your departure. There is no overhead track as the boat moves on a hidden track in the river.

                              Once everyone has boarded the ship (capacity of some 12 people), it starts to float over the river and leaves the cave as it rounds the corner. Immediately hereafter you enter some sort of transition space where the top half of the balloon is removed and the vehicle attaches itself to the overhead track. This should all happen unnoticable to guests and the ship continues its course on the river.

                              At this point your journey really starts. Now the thing is, the first scenes of this ride were actually orchestrated to an existing piece of music, which in fact provided the spark for this attraction idea. It proved so inspirational and so fitting that its track title even became the name of the attraction: 'Bon Voyage', the prologue track of Oceanic by Vangelis. So if you want a good idea of the atmosphere of this ride, you should definately give a listen to a sound clip of this track.

                              But enough of that, lets start our voyage! As I've also already mentioned in an earlier post, there ride is structured around 5 show scenes:

                              Act 1 - River

                              After the aforementioned transition space you finally leave the narrow caves as the river widens, the landscape opens up, and you find yourself on a vast watery surface that's brimming with activity: a harbor-like environment with many other ships and boat/airship hybrids. These all look like they were imagined by Leonardo DaVinci or Jules Verne. Fish jump out of the water next to your boat and seagulls fly over your head as you float across the water. A magnificent sundown creates the right atmosphere. Then the width of the river starts to decrease again, as the speed of your ship increases. The sound of falling water gets louder and louder and as the music reaches its climax, your ship goes over the edge at full speed, and plunges down the water fall. The falling effect is created by a dip in the overhead track. Just before crashing into the water below, your airship pulls itself up and starts to float, as the music reaches a 2nd climax. As the airship picks up height, you enter the forest on the river's shore.

                              Act 2 - Forest

                              This mystical forest is a sight to behold! The trees are all animatronic and move and sway their branches in the nightly wind. This makes the entire forest come alive as you float through its many branches. You pass by several displays starring animatronic forest animals, including a bird nest scene, after which your airship rounds the bent and leaves the forest.

                              Act 3 - Village

                              The entire village scene uses forced perspective to create striking illusions of height and depth. Your ship enters the village from above, over the roofs of the buildings and almost colliding with the church tower. Then the ship drops altitude and flies into the streets. The illuminated windows of the buildings offer many endearing views of the sleeping villagers. After this your ship picks up height again and prepares to leave to village. Your final view is a hill on the outskirts of the village with on its peak an observatorium whose telescope points towards the sky. This is the course you're going to take: you enter the clouds above.


                              Now to really create the illusion of rising higher and higher, the ship enters another 'transition space', a sort of narrow cloud corridor, where it's actually the cloudy walls around you that are lowered while the ride vehicle stays at the same height and is titled a little bit upwards.

                              Act 4 - Sky

                              After leaving the corridor the airship rises above the clouds into the open sky where you are treated to a stunning view of the moon. A curve in the track tilts the ship to allow a view of the landscape below through an opening in the cloudy deck. The ship rounds the corner into another set of clouds as you find yourself soaring through a rain storm, accompanied by a flock of birds flying alongside you.


                              Another 'cloud corridor' follows, to give the illusion of going even higher up.

                              Act 5 - Universe

                              The grand finale! Your airships rises above the highest clouds and you suddenly find yourself in a truly magnificent open space: the universe! This is a huge circular room that is filled with litterally thousands and thousands of fiber optic stars. Gigantic mirror panels on the walls create the illusion of infinity. In the center of the room is a huge and moving planetary system: the planets seem to perform a celestial dance around the sun. Your airship spirals upwards around the room, around the revolving planets.

                              When you've reached the top of the room the ship enters a set of cosmic thunder clouds and you start your journey down, through this cosmic storm with incredible lightning effects and ever increasing speed. This spiralling down happens on the outside of the circular universe room. Finally you crash land into the river with a big splash and your journey comes to an end as you float to the unloading dock.

                              There, this was a first draft of what this ride could've been. I hope you enjoyed reading it.
                              Check out my collection of self-made Disney Theme Park Designs at


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