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  1. #1

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    3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    The conceptual park plans I share here are often very large and non-site-specific. This time, however, I had fun considering what an actual 3rd Gate in Anaheim could be, given the many factors surrounding the property, such as available land and sight-line issues.

    ACCESSIBILITY & SIZE
    In total footprint, both Disneyland and DCA are modestly-sized theme parks (and on the small-side by IdealBuildout standards). Since the total land available for the 3rd Gate in Anaheim is about equal to that of a built-out DCA and smaller than Disneyland (I used only currently-owned land for the park itself), a first priority was to give as much of the plot as possible to ‘on-stage’ themed areas & rides (DCA also has minimal backstage areas compared to DL or other parks) and none of it for parking. In the wider Master Development Plan (not yet drawn), the GardenWalk outdoor mall would be acquired (and re-dressed) as a 2nd Downtown Disney-type area and would serve as the (possibly-themed) retail approach to the 3rd Gate. Just north of GardenWalk, an over-road plaza would connect to a huge multi-level parking structure (built over the current surface lot) with moving walkways or other connections extending to the main Resort Promenade where the DL & DCA gates are. To compensate for parking lost to the new park (and to accommodate increased guest capacity), surface lots elsewhere on property would need to be replaced with larger garages. The logistical challenges of access, parking, connectivity and backstage facilities are numerous and interesting - and may be subject of a future, wider plan, but, for now, onto the fun stuff, the park itself:



    BERMS & SIGHT-LINES
    An Achilles heal for DCA was/is the outside visual intrusions (e.g. freeway hotels), mostly seen from wide vistas throughout north & eastern Paradise Pier. To achieve the escapism that is the goal of a Tier I theme park, I believe it is essential to minimize (and if possible, eliminate) these kinds of visual intrusions. Once grown in, DL’s forested berms achieved this insulating affect well. However, with the limited land available to DCA and the 3rd Gate, a wide berm is an unaffordable luxury. Very smartly, the Cadillac Rage was built in DCA to serve as a partial berm, creating a breathtaking vista rather than one that allows visitors views of the mundane outside world.

    So more important than the interchangeable themes and contents of the lands of the 3rd Gate, was the need to make it feel insular and handle the very difficult sight-line issues of having un-themed mid-rise hotels directly adjacent to it (north and west). My solution:
    (i) Create a monumental central icon, in this case a large, tall ‘mountain’ which serves as the canvas and showbuilding to multiple attractions and is integral to all lands, always drawing the eye inwards and upwards.
    (ii) Avoid any long, straightaway views towards the outside of the park (such as looking across Paradise Bay in DCA to what is beyond the park’s border). This is achieved through bending, undulating pathways.
    (iii) Let the attractions (such as Radiator Springs Racers did for DCA) and their showbuildings form a berm. A number of the attractions I placed here have mountainous facades as part of their exterior theme-ing. One area is a cityscape, where miniatures on the roofs of showbuildings could add depth to the land’s vistas, as well block outside visual intrusions.

    I wanted the park’s general layout to differ from DL’s hub-spoke and DCA’s multi-loops in order to make it feel unique. I used a single loop, flowing organically from the gate both southeast and southwest, encircling the central mountain.


    THEME & CONTENTS
    I’ve heard Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm IP discussed as subject matters for Anaheim’s 3rd Gate, but with Star Wars and Indiana Jones already well-represented in DL (and Stark Expo rumored on the way) and DCA being heavily-Pixar, I came up with something original, not connected to any previously-established IP. DISNEY'S LOST REALMS would be four lands (a park of modest size) and at least one of them needed a semi-futuristic or mechanical theme because a Monorail station (coming through DCA and returning to Tomorrowland) would be located there. Land genres ought to be:
    (i) well-suited for theme park adaptation (e.g. CloudWord would not be well-suited),
    (ii) un- or lightly-represented in the current Anaheim parks,
    (iii) broad enough to allow for a multitude of switch-outs or additions without damaging established themes, and
    (iv) able to serve as the canvas for park-wide interactive adventures.

    Rather than a multitude of smaller carnival spinners or simple dark rides, I opted for fewer but larger, longer and more elaborate attractions. Helping to eat up a visitor's day would be two or three large scale and long theatrical special fx/stunt productions, for which seats/times would be reserved in advance (and included in park admission). For example, there is a ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ style arena show, that would take up almost two hours of time (15 minutes for arrival/seating, 15 for warm-up and 1h15m main show).

    A WALK THROUGH THE PARK
    One approaches the park through GardenWalk, which is narrow enough and slants southeastward as to hide the park’s big reveal (Mt. Kronos) until one crosses the landscaped bridge to the entry plaza. From the visitors perspective the Entry Plaza is split down the center, thematically, with the left being a slightly dilapidated medieval Arabian city with desert palms and the right, an alternate world, crank & gears, steampunk urban environment. Mt. Kronos, vaster than TDS’s Prometheus and as tall as allowed by regs, is the overpowering central visual feature & icon of the park. Kronos holds two major thrill rides, a minor walkthrough attraction and is the backdrop to the park’s Fantasmic/WoC equivalent day-ending lagoon show. Past the gates, the plaza gently descends to this lagoon-fronting amphitheater. On the STEAMPUNK CITY side of the lagoon, the park’s flagship restaurant sits, with upper level patio dining giving full view of the night-time spectacular. Since there is one steampunk attraction at DL (Orbitron), in conjunction with this 3rd park, perhaps it could be set back on the central Tomorrowland podium and re-themed to whatever vision of the future that land would have by the time this park were to open (so as not to overlap). Steampunk City would be the retro-futuristic, quasi-historical urban area of Air Ships, clockwork automotons, etc., with a family dirigible suspended darkride, an indoor, inverted launch coaster on a slightly bigger scale than Rock n Rollercoaster, and be anchored by a high-tech, multi-sensory (sets/screens/AAs) thrill ride featuring a new mythos (thinking Star Wars epic but in a spring & cog kind of setting). These types of original attractions that populate the park, if well-crafted, could springboard into tentpole motion pictures as PotC did (and HM was supposed to).

    Traveling past the giant Zodiac Dome (coaster housing), adventurers enter the dark forests of DRAGONDALE and pass under a crumbling castle gate. This is where the Lost Realms presents its own, Middle Earth-style, sword and sorcery mythology. Housed in Mount Kronos is a higher capacity (12 person boats) splash-down flume with AA dragons and a variety of show-scenes. There would also be a kiddie-area on the scale of A Bug’s Land and themed to the forest sprites’ glade. One of the aforementioned very long (hour+), reserved(free) theatrical presentations would be a new take on the Medieval Times dinner show that many of us may have experienced in various cities, this time in an open-air castle amphitheater and enjoying the budgets, special fx and design skills that TWDC/WDI can bring to the table.

    The third land would be all about prehistoric Earth and ostensibly take place in a wild refuge where both dinosaurs and Ice Age mammals survived the passing of epochs. Where there is a need for human technology (such as the coaster train or Base Camp Grill) it is done in the early 19th C. explorer-era style ('the present' should be avoided in theme parks). The land features some real-world educational content in a heavily-fantasy-based park. In this area there is a potential connection to a future Pixar property (don’t know much about the upcoming dinosaur film) or, as I’ve hereto avoided any pre-established IP, it could be an original family dark-ride. With this land, the Primeval World section of the DL RR could be changed out for something fresh.

    The final land would be a romanticized Middle Eastern city set around the Middle Ages (9th-14th centuries) (8th Century Moorish-Cordoba influenced, maybe) with stone walls, domes and minarets. An equivalent to PotC would take riders on a voyage through the Tales of 1,001 Nights and the major restaurant here (Waterfalls) would have views onto portions of the ride (Blue Bayou-style). On the central lagoon would be an Old Lighthouse and a fortres housing the Sultan’s Dhow (a ship would that would feature in the night-time spectacular). The spires and narrow backwater marketplace streets would help block the mid-rise hotel outside the park and a D-ticket indoor/outdoor coaster with desert rockwork would also help to insulate this section of the park. There could be a place for an Aladdin suspended dark ride in the Agrabah-like streets.

    ***
    So there it is. A modest park compared to the ones I've recently posted, but, again, the purpose here was more to illustrate how a full-day/tier I park might fit on the small, unusually-shaped and off-site remaining parcel.

  2. #2

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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    I like the layout, but the only thing Im rather concerned about is the lack of parking, Toy story parking lot land serves as a employee and guest parking lot, adding another park would add the potential for 50000+ more guests for disney to accommodate, as well as the additional employees it would require, we would for sure need another parking structure thats similar size to Mickey and friends. I can't wait to see the wider plan that would address this issue, maybe a possible TRAM bridge that goes over harbor from the bus drop off area on the right. and connects to the bottom of garden walk near the entrance of the 3rd gate. Just an idea.

    I know the monorail we currently have is not meant for real transportation unlike disney world's, if monorail expansion was done (which I would love, but is unlikely due to the expansive cost associated with it) It would require larger monorails trains, similar to disney world with A/C and and standing room.

    Additionally I would think if Disney acquired garden walk and turned it into downtown disney east, that they would want to add another large resort, maybe a possible monorail stop too? idk I wish we had more land to play with like disney world, but I guess thats part of the fun, trying to figure out how to accommodate all the logical needs of a new 3rd gate and to think people get paid big dollars todo this

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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    I love your ideas, but I think it seems a bit E-ticket heavy. Could do with a few more 'filler' attractions then it would be perfect

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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    Reading over your idea, I think your problem is the lack of Disney in this "Disney" Park. This a very nice idea of a park, don't get me wrong. I think your civil engineering ideas work perfectly but the attraction inside the park won't. Also there will have to be some sort of path way bridge the would connect with the resort Transportation center and give us the bridge over Harbor the is needed. This would also connect Pumba (probaly now a structure) to the Garden Walk. I don't think the Primeval World diarama would not be removed from DL because this a Walt Disney original. Just a question will the monorail be connect to the current main line or would this be a second line? and could this be changed out with a fast pasted people mover?
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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    This place would be so awesome if they had the marbles to build someting not connected to previous Disney properties. I love it!! Good job as always RS!!!!

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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    Quote Originally Posted by biggsworth View Post
    This place would be so awesome if they had the marbles to build someting not connected to previous Disney properties. I love it!! Good job as always RS!!!!
    They did have the, erm, marbles to do it, and it ultimately failed (for multiple reasons, of course). I don't think Disney is quite ready to try that again so soon.

    I hope this doesn't sound offensive, Mr. Wilson, but do you have a day job? You've done a lot of these great plans and I wonder if you do this for a living or if you've had previous experience in engineering or urban planning. The amount of creative thinking far exceeds the average person's ability.

    I also took a visit to your blog where you apparently mention the program(s) you use to make these maps in the comments of older posts, but it might be easier to just mention the program(s) in the sidebar. I still can't find the answer!

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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    I would totally be first in line to buy a ticket here. Bravo.

    Quote Originally Posted by brianpinsky View Post
    Reading over your idea, I think your problem is the lack of Disney in this "Disney" Park.
    I don't think that lack of Disney franchises would be a problem if the park was well-constructed, detailed, imaginative, and highly immersive. I think that those qualities are "Disney" enough to stand on their own and support the park. There are so many interesting, immersive, and exciting experiences mentioned here that I don't think anyone would be missing Disney characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by brianpinsky View Post
    I don't think the Primeval World diarama would not be removed from DL because this a Walt Disney original.
    I do agree with this though. I wouldn't want to see the Primeval World diorama disappear. It's in a totally separate park and beautifully serves the purpose of the grand finale to the train. It's actually one of my favorite things in the whole park. Did you have any specific ideas in mind when you mentioned "something fresh" for that area?

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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyjustin View Post
    They did have the, erm, marbles to do it, and it ultimately failed (for multiple reasons, of course). I don't think Disney is quite ready to try that again so soon.

    I hope this doesn't sound offensive, Mr. Wilson, but do you have a day job? You've done a lot of these great plans and I wonder if you do this for a living or if you've had previous experience in engineering or urban planning. The amount of creative thinking far exceeds the average person's ability.

    I also took a visit to your blog where you apparently mention the program(s) you use to make these maps in the comments of older posts, but it might be easier to just mention the program(s) in the sidebar. I still can't find the answer!
    Yeah but I think their biggest failure was making it a non disney park based on California located in California. But I know they wouldn't try something like this based on that failure alone.

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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyC View Post
    I like the layout, but the only thing Im rather concerned about is the lack of parking, Toy story parking lot land serves as a employee and guest parking lot, adding another park would add the potential for 50000+ more guests for disney to accommodate, as well as the additional employees it would require, we would for sure need another parking structure thats similar size to Mickey and friends. I can't wait to see the wider plan that would address this issue, maybe a possible TRAM bridge that goes over harbor from the bus drop off area on the right. and connects to the bottom of garden walk near the entrance of the 3rd gate. Just an idea.

    I know the monorail we currently have is not meant for real transportation unlike disney world's, if monorail expansion was done (which I would love, but is unlikely due to the expansive cost associated with it) It would require larger monorails trains, similar to disney world with A/C and and standing room.
    Parking is not a problem. Disney has had a plan to greatly increase the parking. The area just north of Garden Walk is Disney owned. Pumba can fit a parking garage big enough to double the current number of spaces. Also Disney owns the two building north of Pumba and could make a much larger garage if warranted to.

    Futher the Toy Story lot is temporary, and planned to be the site of the 3rd gate, both approved by Anaheim.

    Another thing Randy didn't include is that currently in the works in many guests won't arrive by car. The will take, as hoped by Anaheim and California, trains. The latest plan is for a lightrail to take them from the Anahiem train station to a station between Pumba and the Gardenwalk, but also down Harbor in front of the the Convention Center entrance. It's possible before this gate is built, a dual entrance will be practical.

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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyjustin View Post
    I hope this doesn't sound offensive, Mr. Wilson, but do you have a day job? You've done a lot of these great plans and I wonder if you do this for a living or if you've had previous experience in engineering or urban planning. The amount of creative thinking far exceeds the average person's ability.
    ohmyjustin don't be so quick to throw an idea out. Walt Disney was considered crazy with the idea of his theme park. This is an idea and its valid. It may have so areas that need work but just don't throw it out.
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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    Another thing Randy didn't include is that currently in the works in many guests won't arrive by car. The will take, as hoped by Anaheim and California, trains. The latest plan is for a lightrail to take them from the Anahiem train station to a station between Pumba and the Gardenwalk, but also down Harbor in front of the the Convention Center entrance. It's possible before this gate is built, a dual entrance will be practical.
    Was there a plan to have a monorail run from the Transport center to the resort.
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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    Thanks for the comments/notes. DL is not my 'home' park and I'm not as familiar with the master plan and property, so I appreciate the detailed information posted here about the parking lots, plans for future structures and rail links.

    I'm glad it stoked the on-going debate about the importance/necessity of PEIP (previously-established IP) and the reasons for DCA 1.0's failure. I can fully understand the argument (although I somewhat disagree with it) that audiences want PEIP at their theme parks, in this case "more Disney". I think with a new or unknown venture there may be a case for that argument, but with something as established and with a reputation for quality as DLR, they have the opportunity to create new, original IP via the theme parks and have it still be successful, based on the Resort's well-established quality and popularity. I think EPCOT and DisneySea historically prove this in other markets, where DCA has the caveat of while there was little PEIP, what was there at opening wasn't as spectacularly-executed (with some exceptions) as the aforementioned two 2nd Gates were.

    I think your problem is the lack of Disney in this "Disney" Park.
    As alluded to by gatheringrosebuds, this park would be, technically, 100% 'Disney'. (In the same way PotC, Haunted Mansion, Horizons, the Tree of Life, etc are 'Disney.' ) I know exactly what you mean, of course, and I threw a couple of potential PEIP nods in there, but I think original is the way to go since they have the financial freedom to do so. Since the studio has become reliant on WED/WDI-originated material for their latest blockbuster films, perhaps that division of the company should underwrite a portion of this park... look at it as future film development work.

    I still can't find the answer!
    I'll PM you.

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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    Quote Originally Posted by brianpinsky View Post
    Just a question will the monorail be connect to the current main line or would this be a second line? and could this be changed out with a fast pasted people mover?
    One line. The monorail in my scheme would remain more of a inter-park ride and hotel amenity than mass transport system (it would bend south after leaving DCA's Hollywood, pass through the domed coaster showbuilding and then turn northeast for an in-park stop, pass along the parking garage at GardenWalk, then bend west and north to reconnect with its original course entering DL.) Another form of mass transport and/or pedestrian connections would be needed to move thousands of people from GardenWalk North to Disneyland Plaza.

    Quote Originally Posted by gatheringrosebuds View Post
    I wouldn't want to see the Primeval World diorama disappear. It's in a totally separate park and beautifully serves the purpose of the grand finale to the train. It's actually one of my favorite things in the whole park. Did you have any specific ideas in mind when you mentioned "something fresh" for that area?
    I don't think there would be a dire need for Primeval diorama to go away (Tony Baxter once mentioned replacing it with the Town Scene from WRE), but I think its AA dinos might look antiquated after experiencing to the hi-tech ones at this gate. Maybe update those...

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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    Quote Originally Posted by brianpinsky View Post
    Was there a plan to have a monorail run from the Transport center to the resort.
    Nothing official. There have been plans to move guests from parking area to the Esplanade by moving walkways. But nothing on how to get them to the third gate. Of course in the past the area GardenWalk is now on was a proposed site for more parking, so the third gate would have parking in front of it but that is no longer a good possibility.

    I think in speculation that the third gate could end up with a west rather than north entrance, or possibly two entrances. It depends on what happens at GardenWalk. Disney doesn't need to start building a third gate right away so the future has plenty of time to affect what would work out.

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    Re: 3rd Gate Feasibility Study

    My opinion on this concept.

    Dislikes.
    -Too few lands, it will seem simple.
    -Too few attractions, it can be done easily.
    -Too long of shows, locals will see the big attractions shows, and not want to come back, a problem for the huge AP population.

    Likes.
    -Site line considerations, nessecary consideration for a place surrounded by big building and likely more in the future.
    -Rich themeing, developed lands, with good transitions.
    -Middle Mountain to seperate lands and good eye candy.
    -Night time show preplanned and built in.
    -A lot of E-Ticket attractions.
    -

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