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Illustration: MK East Side Renewal

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  • [Other] Illustration: MK East Side Renewal

    This next entry in my Birds-eye Series illustrates some big changes to eastern side of Magic Kingdom:


    DECO-TECH VS. SAARINEN




    Themed lands are like orchestras, and while each section has different instruments making different sounds, they need to be in pitch in order to deliver a pleasing end result. These two styles (Deco-Tech and 1970s Saarinenesque) do not harmonize:



    THEME COHERENCY



    APPROACH TO SPACE MOUNTAIN



    In my version, shorter, more-detailed deco-tech facades mark the entrance to SM. There is a large fountain and two reflecting pools in the plaza, befitting a flagship attraction of the park. (Note the WDW Railroad passes through alien rocks like those found at the entry, bringing visual cohesiveness to the land).

    WATERWORKS
    When DisneySea created new bathrooms in its New York section, they looked like this:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/
    When MK changed the old Skyway station into Tomorrowland bathrooms, they ended up with this:
    http://wdwuntangled.com/whatplace-magickingdom.php


    NEW TL RIDES & FACILITIES


    The Speedway is gone, ridding the area of fumes, noise and an attraction that is the antithesis of Tomorrow. Most of the land is taken up by a new E-ticket ride for Fantasyland. But the Tomorrowland portion holds The Customs House (dining, retail, etc.) for intergalactic travelers (arriving from Space Mountain). The restaurant would be something akin to the Star Wars cantina with the Peoplemover open to diners below.

    WONDERLAND

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/godfather/






    ***

    Thoughts on these changes? Improvements you would make?

  • #2
    Re: Illustration: MK East Side Renewal

    Great work as always, Randy. Strangely enough, I recently started my own Tomorrowland redesign project that goes the other direction. For my taste the deco-tech/raygun-gothic new Tomorrowland is a little too cluttered. I'm going for a more sleek modern look while hoping to avoid the pitfall of too much white. The one thing I do love about the new Tomorrowland is the way it looks at night and all those colored lighting effects are something I definitely hope to keep. One thing I do agree with you on is that the land as it stands now is clearly disjointed and needs to be unified one way or the other.

    I love your idea for the waterworks. If you're going to be stuck with a building that's just a bathroom, you need to make it the coolest darn bathroom in the universe. Looking at the building as it stands now, you can't tell what it is, and it really looks like it was an afterthought. The water features (and lord knows Tomorrowland needs water, bad) really make the place stand out and I doubt anyone in the area will have to ask where to find the loo. I'm also glad you got rid of the arcade. Architecturally it never fit in with anything around it and arcades are such a relic from the 80s and 90s that they have no place in Tomorrowland.

    I was a little shocked that you got rid of the raceway. Thematically it really doesn't belong but it is extremely popular. I never ride the things because I can drive a real car, but it's probably a really cool thing for a kid. Or it may be that I'm just reluctant to get rid of things that have always been there. It's a weird personal obstacle of mine.

    The only thing that I would really worry about is on the Wonderland side. With Wonderland sharing many structures with Tomorrowland, the transition between the two areas could be a little jarring visually. The English countryside and castle walls suddenly become glowing high tech spires with nothing really to break it up. As much as I like the archway and water feature there (because it reminds me of Old Tomorrowland) it does draw a pretty harsh line in the sand that screams Fantasyland is over and Tomorrowland starts here.

    On the south side, the show building for your new E-ticket looks huge. I hope it doesn't peek out over the top of any of the main street facades. You don't want to run into any Soarin' behind Canada type issues.

    Overall this is a great way to carry the style established by the update through the rest of the land. Hopefully it wouldn't make Space Mountain stick out as a glaring exception but I think with some colored floodlights, that shouldn't be an issue.
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.
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    • #3
      Re: Illustration: MK East Side Renewal

      ^ Hey Dan,

      We're of the same mind in that Tomorrowland can go one direction or the other (fantasy or realism), but is a mess as inbetween. Ironically, if Anaheim and Orlando had left the exterior architecture of their Tomorrowlands alone and powered through the late 80s, 90s, 2000s when it looked dated, by today it would look retro-60s-kitsch and work pretty well as "Looking Back at Tomorrow"... could have saved them a bundle.

      If had kept the speedway (in which case there could be no Wonderland ride), I would make a lot of changes (new undulating layout; electric, stylized vehicles (hovercrafts?), new retro-future station, etc.). You're right that there would be a pretty abrupt segue to Tomorrowland from Wonderland (which could be softened by planting big trees). I considered this, but I think what I drew, while not the elegant transition like the Adventureland-Frontierland or Liberty Sq-Fantasyland ones, is still a better option than what is there now.

      The showbuilding behind MS:USA is indeed very big. I think the way to address this would be to dress-up any visible parts (e.g. the south east corner facing Town Square would be given a layered, Victorian facade.

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      • #4
        Re: Illustration: MK East Side Renewal

        Wonderful design and ideas Randy (as always). I've long admired the first act of MK's Tomorrowland and hated the new attractions added (Laugh Floor and Stitch) as well as the back half of the land which has nothing to do with the first act.

        One thought. Walt always wanted Tomorrowland to be a hopeful place. He felt that we should look forward to our future and not dread it. There's a bit of an ominous tone to WDW's tomorrowland. I'd like to see the tone lifted a bit and a hopeful and glamorous future restored. I think this can be accomplished with your plan and a lightening of the color scheme of the land as well as a removal or retheme of Stitch and Buzz Lightyear in particular. Would like to see Laugh Floor replaced as well.
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        • #5
          Re: Illustration: MK East Side Renewal

          Wonderful design and ideas Randy (as always). I've long admired the first act of MK's Tomorrowland and hated the new attractions added (Laugh Floor and Stitch) as well as the back half of the land which has nothing to do with the first act.

          One thought. Walt always wanted Tomorrowland to be a hopeful place. He felt that we should look forward to our future and not dread it. There's a bit of an ominous tone to WDW's tomorrowland. I'd like to see the tone lifted a bit and a hopeful and glamorous future restored. I think this can be accomplished with your plan and a lightening of the color scheme of the land as well as a removal or retheme of Stitch and Buzz Lightyear in particular. Would like to see Laugh Floor replaced as well.
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          • #6
            Re: Illustration: MK East Side Renewal

            Originally posted by Dustysage View Post
            One thought. Walt always wanted Tomorrowland to be a hopeful place. He felt that we should look forward to our future and not dread it. There's a bit of an ominous tone to WDW's tomorrowland. I'd like to see the tone lifted a bit and a hopeful and glamorous future restored. I think this can be accomplished with your plan and a lightening of the color scheme of the land as well as a removal or retheme of Stitch and Buzz Lightyear in particular.
            Hey Dusty, I think you're right in that the intention of the land was techno-optimism and that idea could/should remain present. Definitely not opposed to that.

            However, my thinking in this illustration took the opposite tack, as I imagined the E-ticket ride having a darker sci-fi fantasy tone similar to Fifth Element/Star Wars/Buck Rogers. I figured EPCOT Future World should get the optimistic real-world Futurism that was a trademark of the original Tomorrowlands and MK's version become more of a Sci-Fi land (or go back to its roots and become strictly real-world... just not a jumble of both with random Pixar properties thrown in).

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            • #7
              Re: Illustration: MK East Side Renewal

              The Wonderland area may be a bit much to squeeze in thematically, but the new showbuildings look really nice. A nice way to work them in as though they'd "always" been there.

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