I've already written an idea about a Marvel-based third gate for Disneyland but I understand the problems with having an exclusively Marvel-themed park. But since there seems to have been a revival of third-gate ideas I thought I'd go ahead and share one I've had for a while--and this one would have a broader appeal.
First off, it would be similar to Disney's America I think--I don't know the exact details of that park, but I imagine that since they're similar themes they'd have similar components. I don't know what this park would be called....
Anyways, you'd walk into a Main Street-type land called Colonial Harbor. It would serve as the Main Street-esque beginning to the park set in 1776 at the peak of America's independence. At the head of the colonial street (lined with buildings reminiscent of colonial Williamsburg) would be an opera house that would be home to a live show about the American Revolution--action, drama, all that pizzazz. Also, the street would open up to a harbor that would feature a large ship in port (maybe it was home of the Boston Tea Party?) This would serve as a photo-friendly anchor to the area.
Btw, this harbor is part of a massive water body that the park would revolve around. The ship would be featured in the colonial section's "share" of the lake, if that makes sense...
Next up is a New England Cape-style area. This spot would feature a separate man-made water body featuring a light house point and rowing boats. Here, you could tour chocolate factories (think Bourdin Bakery Tour with chocolates) and oyster houses (which would also feature a high class restaurant). A main attraction here would be a highly-detailed haunted house with a different take--it would be themed to ghost hunters investigating old New England houses, thus featuring meta-aware references to such haunted houses as the Haunted Mansion...but halfway through the tour, things actually start getting scary. Maybe like a PG-rated version of the Haunted Mansion with new special effects and more room to grow stemming from lack of nostalgia. Another ride here could be a high-speed carousel themed to derbies and horse-races.
After that area would come Metroville, USA. This bustling metropolis brings guests to the peak of the Industrial Revolution, with skyscrapers under construction and big band music abound. A great, fancy theatre would host a live musical show with 1920's/'30's dancers and music, with some fun characters to come along the way. Another attraction would be a lab showcasing the latest inventions of the day such as telephones, electricity, and the brand new automobile (obviously this place has no specific date lol). Atop the impressive buildings would be billboards for Rockefeller Oil and Carnegie Enterprises. The main E-ticket here would be an enhanced EMV ride set in the underworld of the city--after a late night drive, a couple of gangsters pick up your trail and begin a high speed chase through the city featuring tommy guns and maybe some cool special effects. The gift shop would sell mobster memorabilia and pulp fiction. Dining in this area would include a recreation of the King Cotton Jazz Lounge and several ethnic eateries illustrating the diversity of cities and immigration booms of this time period. I can also see a big Captain America attraction going here, or maybe a Roger Rabbit revival, maybe in the form of a 'prequel'.
Next comes an 1880's-era boomtown set against the backdrop of the majestic White Water Mountain (by the way, these lands are going counter-clockwise from the colonial area around the main lake, and this area is at the center, directly across from the entrance). The boomtown section would feature a saloon and general store as well as a Wild Wild West show (similar to traveling Buffalo Bills show) gone horribly wrong when robbers and real-life cowboys hold up the action. The rides here would be a prototype raft ride (Grizzly River but without the spinning--I saw a concept somewhere for a ride system that accurately simulates real, forward-facing white water rafting) that would navigate big rapids on a river that winds through the whole section and up the large mountain, culminating in a large drop. The other main ride would be a slower-paced, more relaxing water ride similar to the proposed water ride for Thunder Mesa--like Jungle Cruise set in the wilderness, with animals, Louis & Clark, and maybe a mining job complete with explosions. The outskirts of the town would feature towering trees and a Native American tribal show, as well as blacksmith demonstrations and things like that.
Here's where it gets tricky. Originally, this American park would have had a beach area, but if this were to go at the DLR, this theme would be redundant with Paradise Pier right next door. This area would've featured a wooden roller coaster as well as carnival rides (that have gotten a lot of flack at DCA). The main attraction of this area would've been a real-working beach, where guests could change and actually swim in the water body the park surrounds. It would have sand and wave machines, and maybe even jet ski and surfboard rentals. Of course, there would be a Ruby's Diner right on the water and Beach Boys music would be blaring, except in the dodgems ride which would feature Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime, etc. Anyways, this area obviously needs some re-tooling.
The last proposed area of this park would be a midwestern town right after the Great Depression as America entered WWII. The town would have a soda bar as well as a museum dedicated to America's wars, including a fall-out shelter experience with the cheerful yet macabre nuclear warning videos. Outside of the 'town' part of this section would be a plains area, with a crop-dusters ride (similar in concept to Dumbo), as well as a farmer's fresh market and all-American dining restaurant with fried chicken and apple pie. There could be two big rides here--one themed to tornadoes and storm chasing (but storm-chasing, as far as I know, wasn't very relevant in the 1940's so that aspect might need to be dropped) that would use a cool robot-arm sort of system; the other would be one themed to the Space Race; basically a large-scale simulator that would not only take guests into space, but offer them an adventure featuring aliens, distant planets, and all the things associated with that time period's fascination with the last frontier.
That's all I have so far. It's light on big rides if you don't count the beach area, but the park would be in the same vein as Epcot--guests would be there to learn something. American history would be abundant explicitly in several museums and exhibits as well as in details in rides, shops, and restaurants. It would be more than just about rides--like I said, there would be a working beach, as well as several places to explore and see things in the context of the theming.
I really just came across this idea when hearing about Disney's America and reading about all the great ideas in the thread about a third gate idea. I was excited by how quickly I put it all together, so maybe it's a sign. What does everybody think?