Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Fixing Frontierland

Collapse

Get Away Today

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fixing Frontierland

    Frontierland needs your help.

    Once upon a time Frontierland was the largest realm in Disneyland. Over the years it has been whittled away at the edges and stands today as a mere shadow of its former self.

    Here's Frontierland circa 1960:

    Just look at the size of that place! Sure, there wasn't a lot of sophisticated AA attractions there, and the whole place was in black and white, but ol' F'land made much more sense in those days from a thematic standpoint.

    Now, take a look at the west side of the park today:

    Adventureland looks about the same, but Frontierland has been carved up like a Christmas goose. Granted, these are not the 'official' boundries you'll find on park maps, but they do reflect the current thematic reality. Tom Sawyer Island, with it's Pirate overlay is now much more closely tied to NOS than to Frontierland. Critter Country, with its odd mix of Pooh and Song of the South is now a thematic no-man's-land with little or no connection to Frontierland.

    Now, let's please NOT turn this thread into a debate about the appropriateness of Pirate's on TSI or whether NOS is it's own land or a 'sub-land'. Those topics have been beaten to death on these boards and I believe its now time to discuss what should be done with what's left of Frontierland.

    Fortunately, there's still ample room to build and expand on the concept of Frontierland without going crazy beyond the berm. The north end of the land remains largely undeveloped and underutilized.

    So, what should be done? How can the concept of 'life on the Frontier' be made exciting and relevant (short of a blockbuster movie) to today's families? And how can these areas be developed without sacrificing the remote, back-woodsy feel of this part of Disneyland?

    Here are some of my ideas:

    Build the Western River Expedition
    Nothing packs them in like a new 'E' ticket attraction. For those who may be unfamiliar, the WRE was part of the planned 'Thunder Mesa' development for WDW. It was pitched as a 'Wild West Pirates of the Caribbean' and featured a boat ride through a lavish, musical AA show. Though extensively planned, it was never built. WDW got an abbreviated (and inferior) version of POTC instead, and the WRE/Thunder Mesa complex morphed into Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Here's a great site with concept art and a complete history of the WRE.

    There is room at Disneyland for a version of this attraction where the Festival of Fools arena is now. It could easily extend beyond the berm a bit with the DLRR running right through the show building. Original plans for the attraction called for a rugged, cliff-like facade to disguise the show building and this could be themed to blend seamlessly with BTMRR just across the path.

    A New Fort
    Fort Wilderness on TSI is dead and gone. So is Cascade Peak on the Rivers of America. Why not combine the two and bring back a version of both?

    That big, empty elbow of Frontierland that extends out into the RoA was once the home of Cascade Peak on the old Nature's Wonderland RR. Here's an idea for that local: 'Fort Cascade'. On a rocky bluff overlooking the Rivers of America sits Fort Cascade, about the same size as old Fort Wilderness, this new fort is built atop a bubbling spring that sends cascading waterfalls down into the River from beneath the Fort's foundations. Climb the parapet walls to the lookout towers and fire the water cannon at passing 'Pirates' (Summer only, and just a light mist really). Take the 'secret' escape tunnel out to Big Thunder Trail, or relax with the family in the Fort's canteen and enjoy lunch overlooking the River and the roar of the falls. Oh, and this time, the fort is built of fiberglass logs so the termites won't eat it.

    Bring back the Indians
    Frontierland used to have an Indian Village. It was located where Critter Country is now. A new (and more culturally sensitive) 'village' could be located along the RoA on the west side of Big Thunder Trail. Have a native dance circle just like the original village and invite Tribal Peoples to demonstrate their cultures there. Move the Canoe landing over from Critter Country (where it doesn't fit at all) and you've got a nice 'C' ticket attraction there. Include some of the Pueblo elements that were planned for Thunder Mesa.

    Do something with Zorro
    Does Disney still have the rights to Zorro? They produced a great series in the '60s with Guy Williams that would make a fine basis for an attraction. I have no idea what type of an attraction it could be, but there seems to be a lot of good unused material there.

    So, those are some of my 'Blue Sky' ideas. What are your's? What, if anything, would you do with the north end of TSI for example?

    Let's discuss.
    Last edited by BigThunder; 11-20-2007, 08:31 PM.
    Please visit my Big Thunder/Disney Inspired Model Railroad


    Dream big. Do what you love.

  • #2
    Re: Fixing Frontierland

    I'm up for all three ideas! While I don't feel like Frontierland has been butchered and mutilated--I like it better in its current state than its original state, actually--I do see ample room for development and improvement.

    WRE is the one I really want to see happen; it's exactly the sort of thing I've wanted for Frontierland for some time, and there truly is enough room for it, just like you said! That's rather exciting to me. Most areas of the park can't have huge E-tickets added without demolishing other attractions, but Frontierland has just the right about of space for a whole new attraction, and a rather large one at that. If the exterior theming on the show building were done well, it would be truly beautiful addition to that area of the park. Building part of the show building underground a la Pirates or HM would allow even more room for the attraction and minimize the aboveground thematic intrusion in the northerneasternmost part of RoA. I'm thinking the front should indeed be themed much like the rocky formations of Big Thunder, though with a slightly different feel. You enter the indoor queue as if you were entering a mine or cave. Inside the show building is the ride itself, partially below ground level, along with a tunnel in back for the Disneyland Railroad. Perhaps it would be kept open, like the tunnel through Splash. I like that idea a lot, actually. Locomotives were very relevant to the time period, and if this is a major show scene, it'd add a lot to both attractions.

    WDI and TDA need to abandon their current perception of guests. They seem to think that guests will only be attracted to the park by movie- or franchise-based novelties. If WRE were greenlighted for this underutilized area of the park, given ample funding, and advertised like the new modern classic it was, it would draw in people in huge numbers. It doesn't need to be a "culturally relevant" concept right now. Most of Disneyland isn't, yet people love it! People come to Disneyland for quality entertainment. Give it to them.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Fixing Frontierland

      All of us Frontierland lovers have been stumping for the WRE's inclusion, but where to put it? Is there truly enough room in the 'under-developed' area you highlight? If not, I know of a perfect place where we can put it . I like the notion of the Fort's resurrection as well. I would lobby for a real log construction, but a great idea, nonetheless, Big T.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Fixing Frontierland

        YES!, YES!, and YES!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Fixing Frontierland

          Originally posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
          All of us Frontierland lovers have been stumping for the WRE's inclusion, but where to put it? Is there truly enough room in the 'under-developed' area you highlight?
          There is room for a version of WRE. You could fit an Indy or POTC sized show building straddling the berm up there.
          Please visit my Big Thunder/Disney Inspired Model Railroad


          Dream big. Do what you love.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Fixing Frontierland

            Originally posted by BigThunder View Post
            There is room for a version of WRE. You could fit an Indy or POTC sized show building straddling the berm up there.
            A showbuilding that size seems like it sure would be visible on the ROA tour, unless the building was located in the northeast corner of your photo (incidentally, what is the already existing structure shown in the 'Prime Development Area' in the section of which we speak?). I suppose an 'alfresco' version of WRE could be designed, though it would limit the amount and sophistication of AAs...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Fixing Frontierland

              Originally posted by BigThunder View Post
              Now, let's please NOT turn this thread into a debate about the appropriateness of Pirate's on TSI or whether NOS is it's own land or a 'sub-land'. Those topics have been beaten to death on these boards
              I wouldn't dream of it because I can't think of a logical or valid way of defending those arguments! As to my thoughts on Frontier there should be some old posts on here about Cascade, why Knott's rocks when it comes to Old West, Big Thunder Ranch, and other odds and ends...
              "Happiness is a Low Water Level"

              sigpic

              "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Fixing Frontierland

                Great thread BT.

                We have discussed in the past that DLand could take a few notes from Knotts as to how to make FTland more like the old west. I wonder if the fact that Knotts does the Frontier better the fact that Disney is unwilling to pull from those ideas.

                Makes you wonder.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Fixing Frontierland

                  I posted elsewhere a similiar idea to WRE that I think could be stuck in DCA. California is the west, yes? I'm more for that only because DCA is in more desparate need, but who knows how that will change when they actually finish all the changes already slated for there. Maybe.. show building behind festival of fools area? Or are there too many important backstage things there that can't be moved?

                  I also like the Indian Village idea. That definately would fit the festival of fools area, or almost any other area 'cause all you really need is some flat space. I personally think it would be nice to have more of that educational but fun stuff back in Disneyland.

                  As for Zorro - I just want to take a picture with him. Mmmm, zorro...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Fixing Frontierland

                    A showbuilding that size seems like it sure would be visible on the ROA tour, unless the building was located in the northeast corner of your photo (incidentally, what is the already existing structure shown in the 'Prime Development Area' in the section of which we speak?). I suppose an 'alfresco' version of WRE could be designed, though it would limit the amount and sophistication of AAs...
                    That structure is the mostly-unused Festival of Fools arena. It's sometimes used for corporate parties and such. It's a venue that has no need to be located within the berm and could just as easily exist backstage, clearing up space for WRE. And with that space being used, there's plenty of room for an indoor E-ticket somewhere between HM and POTC in terms of size. Yes, the further it extends west, the more visible it'll be from RoA, but clever landscaping around it would be very easy to create, making it basically look similar to Thunder Mountain, albeit much shorter. It would look like a natural rock formation in the trees. As I suggested above, digging below ground would allow the show building to appear shorter above ground, making it much easier to blend it into the lovely "backwoodsy" feel. That area is a prime example of what DCA really, truly lacks. It just feels...real. And natural. Like it's always been there. WRE, done correctly, wouldn't have to intrude on that.

                    Maybe.. show building behind festival of fools area? Or are there too many important backstage things there that can't be moved?
                    Well, why not do it where Festival of Fools is instead? It's used a lot less than the backstage areas north of the berm. If that space were used, the berm could more or less stay exactly where it is, with no modifications to the backstage areas beyond. And as I mentioned above, this would allow the DLRR to pass through a major show scene in the back of the building, making both attractions all the more enjoyable.

                    This is exciting for me because this truly is doable. This is totally in the realm of possibility. In fact, I can't imagine that space never getting used for something worthwhile. It's just a matter of time--and of how wise WDI and TDA are when it comes to making the decisions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Fixing Frontierland

                      Just to clarify the 'room' issue for WRE, here's a graphic I posted on another thread:

                      Notice that the building is themed from all visible sides to match Big Thunder Mt. The DLRR passes through the building and very little of it would extend beyond the berm.
                      Please visit my Big Thunder/Disney Inspired Model Railroad


                      Dream big. Do what you love.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Fixing Frontierland

                        Originally posted by Datameister View Post

                        Well, why not do it where Festival of Fools is instead? It's used a lot less than the backstage areas north of the berm. If that space were used, the berm could more or less stay exactly where it is, with no modifications to the backstage areas beyond. And as I mentioned above, this would allow the DLRR to pass through a major show scene in the back of the building, making both attractions all the more enjoyable.
                        Oooh, okay, I like that! I was just thinking about keeping the pathway clear, and using the festival of fools area for an interactive line, but I bet that would still fit too.

                        It would be reeeally cool if they could combine what's happening in the show building with the train. Like sometimes have the train held up while it's in the building. The people on the ride would see it, and the people on the train would experience it. And when the train isn't there, there's something else going on.

                        ...Though the guests in their nonwestern outfits would probably mess up the theming. How dare they.

                        And this sparked another idea! Why not stick an indoor dining place there too? Or even outdoor? Near the beginning, sort of like the blue bayou but with bbq and salloon style.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Fixing Frontierland

                          Originally posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
                          A showbuilding that size seems like it sure would be visible on the ROA tour, unless the building was located in the northeast corner of your photo (incidentally, what is the already existing structure shown in the 'Prime Development Area' in the section of which we speak?). I suppose an 'alfresco' version of WRE could be designed, though it would limit the amount and sophistication of AAs...
                          The existing "structure" in the northeast corner really isn't much of a structure, you're seeing mostly patterned ground cover. It's the Festival Arena, where they performed the Hunchback Festival of Fools show. It's a covered "in the round" stage with lighting (the light square in the center setting at 45-degrees to compass North), a skeletal surrounding stage making a horseshoe around the east side, and a small sound & lighting booth on the west side.

                          It would come out really fast and easy with a bulldozer, but they rent it out for cheerleader competitions and other private parties and meetings because it's easily isolated from the general park audience.

                          The other semi-permanent structure is the barn from the "Festival of Foods / Big Thunder BBQ" with the back kitchen and the area restrooms. The serving line was in a row of "Chuck Wagons" in a line outside/ Repurpose it, or flatten it.

                          Only thing is, I thought Western River Expedition was originally going to be a "layered" attraction, with a log flume ride and a mine train coaster intertwined and sharing some show scenes to save space, like some of the Fantasyland dark rides... Instead they built Big Thunder and Splash as two seperate free-standing attractions.

                          They could use the same meme and name for a slow mine train ride and another water flume based ride, but the details would need to be tweeked. A lot.

                          --<< Bruce >>--
                          There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Fixing Frontierland

                            Originally posted by Bruce Bergman View Post
                            It would come out really fast and easy with a bulldozer, but they rent it out for cheerleader competitions and other private parties and meetings because it's easily isolated from the general park audience.
                            I seriously doubt Disney would get rid of something that costs $20k to rent out for a couple of hours.
                            -Monorail Man

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Fixing Frontierland

                              I seriously doubt Disney would get rid of something that costs $20k to rent out for a couple of hours.
                              But building a similar venue outside the berm wouldn't be difficult. There's no real reason for it to be located onstage, but there are plenty of reasons why attractions should be built onstage when possible, especially in a case like this. Am I right in thinking that the Festival of Fools arena is not themed in a particularly extensive way, and not in a way that is particularly relevant to most of the events there? Most of the novelty comes from simply being able to say that one is holding an event at Disneyland. It wouldn't be terribly expensive to build a similar area backstage, and since there isn't a huge amount of stuff where the arena is, bulldozing it wouldn't be as expensive as other areas would be.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Fixing Frontierland

                                Just what would Walt say about wasting space for private parties

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: Fixing Frontierland

                                  Originally posted by Monorail Man View Post
                                  I seriously doubt Disney would get rid of something that costs $20k to rent out for a couple of hours.
                                  Why not? In the past (and present) they've bulldozed entire attractions that cost millions. A corporate party venue is easy enough to replacate elsewhere on property. Prime real estate inside Frontierland that could be making thousands from guests everyday on food and merchandise is a little harder to come by.
                                  Please visit my Big Thunder/Disney Inspired Model Railroad


                                  Dream big. Do what you love.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: Fixing Frontierland

                                    /off topic

                                    Look how all the trees have grown in 50 years!

                                    /on topic

                                    :wave:

                                    Sure a modest addition would be nice.


                                    "We believed in our idea - a family park where parents and children could have fun- together."

                                    -Walt Disney

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Re: Fixing Frontierland

                                      "Culturally Sensitive"? What does that mean?
                                      Ah, how strange! The molecules are so active now!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Fixing Frontierland

                                        Originally posted by Oswald the Rabbitt View Post
                                        Just what would Walt say about wasting space for private parties
                                        He would say, "Where is the keg?"
                                        Ah, how strange! The molecules are so active now!

                                        Comment

                                        Get Away Today Footer

                                        Collapse
                                        Working...
                                        X