Disneyland Paris And The Unbuilt Discovery Mountain Project

Written by Alain Littaye. Posted in Disneyland Paris, Features

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Published on August 04, 2012 at 11:26 pm with 4 Comments

In my latest article, I told you about the great attractions which were planned but never built at Disneyland Paris. Among these concepts is the fantastic Discovery Mountain project, and today I’d like to show you more about a project which would have been stunning and ranks as one of the all time greatest concepts never built by Disney. For a lot of reasons, mainly because of the price of it, Disneyland Paris Discoveryland ended with the Space Mountain that we all know, but Discovery Mountain, which was entirely a tribute to the stories of Jules Verne stories was truly an epic project. In this new article, we’ll take a closer look at what it could have been…

On the first artwork (above and below) you’ll see great Tim Delaney paintings showing Discovery Mountain at night. The transparent tube on the left would have been a direct access from Videopolis, and if you visit Disneyland Paris today, you can still see, on the upper floor of Videopolis restaurant, giant circle windows which are the same ones through which the transparent tubes would have linked Videopolis to Discovery Mountain.

Inside Discovery Mountain, guests would have found not only a unique Space Mountain ride, but also the Nautilus submarine floating in a lagoon with a restaurant inside Captain Nemo’s Grand Salon, access to the Star Tours attraction, Cinemagique access, and  also a “Journey to the Center of the Earth” ride – look at the track coming out of the volcano. Totally different than the one built at Tokyo Disney Sea! This attraction was in fact the first free fall ride designed by WDI, many years before the Tower of Terror concept!

If we have a close look at this rendering you’ll see not only a man on a flying bicycle but on the left of the volcano even a dinosaur!

This other Tim Delaney artwork showing the inside of Discovery Mountain is also great. Not only do we find the Nautilus floating in its inside lagoon…

…but, if we have a closer look, we can see in the back, the entrance for Star Tours and Cine Magique. You’ll also note on the top right Jules Verne floating in the shell – a reminiscence of a famous scene seen in Epcot’s Horizons extinct attraction.

This image is also interesting, as it shows the different access that Discovery mountain would have had.

But two of the most interesting renderings are the ones below, from Tim Lawrence. In Space Mountain Mission One “From the Earth to the Moon,” DLP guests were sent by the huge Columbiad cannon in direction of the moon, but didn’t actually really make it to the moon itself. As you will see on this next image, WDI Imagineers had envisioned that part of the Discovery Mountain roller coaster ride would have sent the guests “to” the moon. The artwork below shows clearly, the train going around and inside moon craters with a kind of victorian moon base built upon them, and all of it could have been experienced by non-rider guests.

Another scene showing this moon base – you can see the Earth in the background – and interestingly, the decoration of the base reminds one of the Nautilus. The red sofa and carpets are similar to the one of Captain Nemo’s Grand Salon – even the red curtains reminds it – and it seems that a book library was also included in that scene which looks like a place from where moon explorers could have explore the stars thanks to the telescope.

So, you see, this Discovery Mountain concept would have sent the riders really TO the moon, and for sure, it would have been a memorable experience. All the renderings you’ve seen above are include in my Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality book, and if you don’t own the book yet, it not only tells you the story of the making of what was actually built in the parks, but also shows never seen before concepts of the DLP “that never was”. The book has 320 pages and 750 pictures including 250 WDI renderings.

And, good news, as Dustysage has placed the Disneyland Paris from Sketch to Reality book on “Summer Special,” making it the perfect time to order a collector copy of this great book! For a limited time, you can get the book for just $145 plus shipping (normally $185 plus shipping) in the MiceChat Store HERE. Think of it as an early shopping opportunity for Christmas, because by then the book must go back to its regular price.

Below, you can see a video showing the whole book!

Well folks, what do you think of the Discovery Mountain project? Should Disney have built it? Would it have been the greatest attraction complex ever built? I leave it for you to decide.

Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality is currently on sale at a special price for a limited time. Take advantage of this offer today: MiceChat Store

About Alain Littaye

Alain is the author of Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality and a long time Disney historian and blogger. His book is known the world over as one of the best Disney theme park books ever assembled. You'll often find his work featured in the MiceChat Weekend Update and can find his latest musings on his personal blog: Disney and More Blog.

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  • growndhawgg

    Aside from Space Mountain, I wish Disneyland would change all of Tomorrowland.

    • Algernon

      I agree. They should restore the look of the 1967 Tomorrowland, bring back the Peoplemover, elevated Astro Jets, Skyway, old Subs, dump the Pixar stuff and make it a true adventure into tomorrow.

  • Algernon

    It sure looks great. Had Las Vegas not abandoned theming and gone for bland luxury, I would say somebody should build it out there.

  • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

    I still think this project should be built somewhere. It was so ambitious! Too bad they ran out of money.