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  1. #1

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    Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    Because frankly, to me, DCA needs more original dark rides, and they are skewing towards a 1920's Disney cartoon vibe somewhat with this area (Silly Symphony Swings, the Mickey logo on the fun wheel).

    The exterior (a Victorian pierside home, slightly stylized with gothic gables and arches, grey boards and dark trim) would sit inside the loop of Screamin', down at the far end near the current former McDonald's, and the current location of the Maliboomer. The ride building itself would be outside the coaster, using space currently occupied by just backstage areas/kitchen space for the shuttered restaurant.

    The exterior of the building would be adorned with a slightly lopsided, nailed on ornate sign advertising Professor Von Scrat's Odditorium. Sideshow/circus style paintings done in the style of the vintage Mickey Mouse cartoons would hang from sign posts, advertising such acts as The Two-Headed Songbird, a cartoony diva in the style of the old silent film starlettes, who just happens to have two heads, and the Mechanical Marvel, a robot depicted smoking a pipe, adjusting his hat, and reading the newspaper at the same time, via an extra set of limbs (similar in style to this concept, from a classic Mickey):



    These posters, and a few others (the Living Skeleton!, featuring one of the Skeleton Dance skeletons, and Horace Horsecollar, the Rubberband Man), would all feature the image of Professor VonScrat himself, identical to the design of the Mad Doctor from another classic Mickey short:



    Once inside, Cast Members would help guest into sleek, retro looking "metal" cars to tour the Professor's performance space and exhibits of oddities. Once out of the load area, the cars would bump down a short, rather normal hallway, apart from paintings of typically stylized humans, dressed in formal clothing, whose eyes follow guests as they pass form the paintings. Through a set of doors that open for you, guests would see a performance stage, red curtains closed, and theater style seats on either side as they moved forward.

    Standing to stage left would be Professor VonScrat himself in AA form, who would welcome his guests with a brief greeting, and a slightly maniacal chuckle, before introducing the Two-Headed Songbird. Curtains would pull aside, and the woman would step forward, launching into a jazz-styled rendition of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B", accompanied by a stylized sword-swallower performer, a bald man in striped outfit, in the midst of swallowing his sword while playing the upright bass. These would be full human sized AA's, consistent with the established cartoony style, and next gen such as Jack Sparrow and Jack Skellington, for fluid movement.

    Turning away from the theater area, guests would proceed a brief way in slightly darkened hall, through a set of doors marked GALLERY. In this room, strange artifacts would line the walls and sit in glass cases, all cartoon styled as well: Pacific and Hawaiian tribal masks, a shrunken head in a case, a man eating plant surrounded by bones, a Victorian spirit cabinet that would vibrate on it's own, knocks and the sound of a bell ringing inside, and similar displays. After this room, guests would enter a laboratory: dark wallpaper, metal tables, smoking test tubes of liquids, cages of cartoony rats watching them with glowing eyes. As the vehicles rounded the corner, guests would see the Mechanical Marvel robot from the queue posters, greeting them with alarm.

    "Don't come this way, go back!" he would cry, arms waving individually. "One of the professor's experiments is loose, and he's dangerous!" As the cars pulled away, they'd observe a large circular cage with a bed of straw and a partially filled food bowl, the bars broken and bending outwards. At this point, a rather loud crack would be heard, an electrical type sound, and the lights dim, as vehicles left the scene.

    Next up would be a kitchen, lights flickering as cars entered. The fridge would stand open, food scattered on the floor, one can still spinning on a countertop as if something just left the room in a hurry. Sitting on a table would be a large ham, bite taken out of it with sharp teeth. As guests turned to leave, the escaped creature would pop up from behind a counter on the right, feet from the car: the maniacal, brain-transplanted "evil Mickey" from Runaway Brain:





    Hurrying to zip out of the kitchen, guests would encounter the wild creature once more next in the laundry room, popping out of the spinning washer (also spraying guests with a small smattering of water). Cars would exit this scene through a open back door, leading to the "outside" and the house's back garden.

    Here, strange vegetables would be seen growing, and a couple of skeletons tending them, slightly moving in time as one whistled the theme to "The Skeleton Dance" as they raked and watered. Around a corner, the trees on both sides would get closer to the track, seeming to have ominous, leering faces like the trees in Snow White. As guests neared the end, the wild Mickey would pop down from above in the tree branches, swinging at cars, eyes rolling. The cars would again speed up and zip away, rounding a final corner, to see Professor VonScrat and the creature standing together, it calm now, gnawing on a large cartoon steak. The professor would apologize to guests for the slight trouble, but reassure them his creature was truly harmless: he just got sick of being pent up. As he invited them to come back and visit anytime, the cars would bang through a pair of crash doors in the side of the "house" visible from outside and drive back to the unload area to disembark.

    True, this may "alarm" some small children with the sudden appearance of "Evil Mickey", but I think it would be a lot of fun, could be themed to the pier-area surrounding it via the "museum of oddities" angle, and be a nice homage to the classic, more madcap and odd Disney Mickey Mouse shorts, as well as providing a interesting classic dark ride. Your thoughts?
    Last edited by RegionsBeyond; 06-05-2010 at 10:20 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    I like it. It's really fun, and I think a large audience would enjoy it. But, I could picture some kids freaking out every once in a while when they see "Evil Mickey."

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    Fantastic idea! I love it! I just have two suggestions/comments for this ride:

    1) In your description of the ride, you mentioned that the car would speed up slightly is some areas. Looking at Google maps for the location of the ride, I don't think there is enough room for dramatic acceleration (a la Indiana Jones) and I assume you don't mean that dramatic acceleration. If you do have speed-up scenes in the ride, I don't think you should make it to where there is a height requirement; DCA needs some more rides that small Sarah (child), metal-head Mike (teen), and rotting Ralph (grandpa) would enjoy.

    2) My five-year old sister saw the image of the "Evil Mickey" and wasn't really intimidated; as a matter of fact she laughed and said "wow!" Even though the image didn't really frighten her, that would be different if it popped out at her. If it does "pop out" at the riders, have it where the growling isn't too loud and the "jump" isn't too sudden and dramatic. I know there will always be very young children that will still be a bit intimidated by evil Mickey, but there are also some very young children that are terrified by a Winnie the Pooh costume.

    With those suggestions said, the idea is great! Very original!

  4. #4

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    Quote Originally Posted by Freakazoid112 View Post
    Fantastic idea! I love it! I just have two suggestions/comments for this ride:
    Thank you for your comments! And yes, I would just picture it being short bursts of speed at a few key comments, in response to "threat" type actions, not sustained acceleration. And agreed, some kids might freak out out at "evil Mickey", but they do in Snow White too, or any many of other rides...Disney themselves created the character and even market him some, currently, in high end merchandise...the ride certainly can be "family friendly", doesn't mean I see the need to not include any elements of 'safe" menace. After all, according to Imagineering: Fear - Death = Thrill.

  5. #5

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyManiac View Post
    I like it. It's really fun, and I think a large audience would enjoy it. But, I could picture some kids freaking out every once in a while when they see "Evil Mickey."
    Thank you very much, and really, kids could use a little frightening now and again...

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    I like it! Great idea!!!

  7. #7

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    Quote Originally Posted by MainStreetJake View Post
    I like it! Great idea!!!
    Thank you very much!

  8. #8

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    Back to page one, wheeeee

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    ^ Best Bump evar.

    I really like the idea! I never even heard of this guy too, very interesting!
    California Screamin' Ride Count: 111






  10. #10

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    Quote Originally Posted by A113 View Post
    ^ Best Bump evar.

    I really like the idea! I never even heard of this guy too, very interesting!


    I don't think this particular mad doctor ever had a name (I made it up), there was one who was a gorilla in Runaway Brain named Dr. Frankenollie (after animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. They also appear as cameos in The Incredibles). And thanks, glad you like it.

  11. #11

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    Bump for great justice! Because why not?

  12. #12

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    PP really needs a classic dark ride based on a funhouse be it this one, uncle bob's, or hawk's. Right now I would say this is the best one. I loved absolutely everything....until you mentioned the evil mickey, from there the brilliant concept descended into the chase scene amalgamation of mediocrity that plagues many-a-B-movie. By dropping the whole chase sequence in favor of more of the brilliant zany scenes you had before, effectively this ride transforms from being a dark ride of "dinosaur" to being a unique victorian ride of the same intellect as mansion or pirates. In those rides the story is left to be discovered whereas in dinosaur the story is force fed down your throat.

    Other than that one (excuse my very long) criticism this ride would be so so perfect for the pier. Just dont make it too stylized so that it becomes another superstar limo.

    And sonething that wasnt clear was the ride system, what are we talking here busbar, omni, trackless? Trackless would be a perfect fit in my opinion.

    Great great work.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    Quote Originally Posted by MistaDee View Post
    I loved absolutely everything....until you mentioned the evil mickey, from there the brilliant concept descended into the chase scene amalgamation of mediocrity that plagues many-a-B-movie. By dropping the whole chase sequence in favor of more of the brilliant zany scenes you had before, effectively this ride transforms from being a dark ride of "dinosaur" to being a unique victorian ride of the same intellect as mansion or pirates. In those rides the story is left to be discovered whereas in dinosaur the story is force fed down your throat.


    And sonething that wasnt clear was the ride system, what are we talking here busbar, omni, trackless? Trackless would be a perfect fit in my opinion.
    First off, thank you for your response! My reason for putting the "Runaway Brain" Mickey in there is frankly, these days, the park is going to want to shove in at least one recognizable character, and the mad doctor would hardly cut it I don't think for them Runaway Brain was released in the 1990's, so has a more recent vintage, and the character could be tooled to fit the 1920's style of the rest of the characters. I rather agree, a tour with more of the "oddball" scenes may be preferable, but I like sort of adding the thrill element and frankly, scaring some children in the process

    I thought the way it would be handled would be more naturalistic, and the theming and gags continue after the intro of "evil Mickey"...hence the kitchen scene, the skeleton dance homage, and etc..could even fit a few more scenes in there, perhaps an attic or storage shed. It isn't all chase chase chase, there's still things going on besides the "monster pop out" element, to my view. I think they could coexist rather well, and still have a unique vibe to them. Regarding the ride vehicles....trackless, with vehicles similar to the Fantasyland rides (4 or 6 seaters with 3 benches) would be optimal. And to the stylization: things would be cartoony, but as I said, firmly in the 1920's Mickey and Silly Symphonies style, very recognizably designed in that "aesthetic".

    Thank you very much for your thoughts and response!

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    I understand your points, perhaps a compromise could be to have the ride be assorted scenes, you pass through the lab where he was kept see it is broken and the dr. says oh we have him under control continue! Then you proceed to being lulled into a false sense of security and pass by more interesting scenes when bam! Mickey is back after that you have the choice of wether to resolve the ride there or end the mickey subplot with a capture And then more scenes anything that takes the emphasis off just mickey.
    Armchair Imagineering!:

    The Grand Cinema Journey? (Name ideas welcome)

    Concept Map! (Thread to follow)
    Grizzly Peak Mining District

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering DCA: Professor VonScrat's Odditorium

    This definitely sounds like a lot of fun and I agree with the note that a new dark ride would be a great idea. Although just as a note, the doctor's official name, according to Epic Mickey promotional materials, is in fact "The Mad Doctor," creatively enough. I could definitely see this crossing over with that game actually, or at least precedent for a darker Mickey being found in there, although the doctor seems definitely more congenial in comparison to the source cartoon/reintroduction of the character. :]

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