So this idea is based on a thought that if only Disneyland would knock down and move TDA and other facilities out of the way for further expansion
Over a year ago I posted a concept design of an idea I had for a Volcano themed land. Those who didn't see the thread, it was about a civilization that built their own city near an active volcanic area, using the the energy to power their steam punk/Jules Verne style way of life. Here is the one concept I posted:
The reason I posted this old one because this new concept art I'm about to show is sort of a sequel to the Volcano area. I thought along the lines of, "If there is a land based around fire/hot elements, I should do one that's the opposite. A land about ice and winter." It's the typical route you see in Super Mario Bros. games. There's a desert world? Well then there should be an ice world too, haha.
Now I've had this idea for about 4 years, I just never did any art for it. All these years I would think of the layout of the land, how it would look, what kind of attractions it would house, and so on. So while I never put anything on paper, I was shifting things around in my mind. One of the advantages of having it nest in my imagination this entire time is that I've already gone through so many mental roughs that I already know what I want as the layout. Here is the sketch of the main concept art:
Before I go on a quick short story of the land, I'll mention the land's icon. I don't remember how I came up with the idea, but I thought it would be really cool if there was an old wooden ship that crashed into an iceberg and quickly frozen against it, almost like this fused iceberg-ship. It would serve as the centerpiece and also house an attraction where guests would queue up on the ship and board lifeboats to experience a water themed attraction.
The story behind the land is a ship full of explorers lost controls of their ship in a freak storm and crashed against an iceberg that quickly froze the area of the ship that came into contact with it. Since the explorers were so close to land, they disembarked on their life boats and built a town of their own on the coast among the wildlife, the forest, and the mountains. Over the years they learned to adapt to their year round winter environment, even taking advantage of the slopes and *cough* build a ski roller coaster *cough* haha, uh I mean, just skiing.
Don't get the depiction of animals confused with anything Sea World would do, in my mind they would be strictly audio-animatronics for the purposes of adding to the environment, just like the fake fish in the pond near Big Thunder or the sea gulls in the submarine lagoon.
This is the main concept art for the Winterland:
So I kind of crammed a lot of elements in this^ piece to show a lot of what guests would experience, such as an AA killer whale leaping out of the water and splashing those in the boats of the water attraction, a wooden bridge where you could use to walk next to a glacier waterfall and arched ice formations, and a wooly mammoth frozen in time with its tusks piercing out of the ice.
I pictured the the land being accessed through an ice tunnel. As guests would walk through the tunnel, they would see animals from the ice age frozen within the ice (that's where the mammoth idea came from). I also pictured a saber-toothed lion mid-air in the ice in an attack mode, as if to pounce on its prey. I didn't do any art depicting that.
The town itself was inspired by European towns and villages. I looked at cities in Switzerland and the Faroe Islands (the colorful buildings) for inspiration. Hey, if it's cold, you have to visually warm up the crowd, right?
Here are some close-ups of the land (since it's a long horizontal piece):
Here is a another view of the land to mainly show the mountains area and roller coaster. It's really more of a sketch, not meant to be anything highly rendered:
As you can see, there would be a roller coaster dwelling within the mountains. I thought, "What is something Disney doesn't have?" And while some may think it's a little too intense, if done right, a stand-up roller coaster would be a great thrill fitting for a Disney park. Why stand-up? I wanted an attraction that would simulate downhill skiing. I have never been skiing, I would love to but I'd probably break my leg in 5 minutes. Disney should be about experiences not found anywhere else, and not everyone can manage an experience of hitting the slopes. No, there wouldn't be any loops, just your fun ups, downs, and swift turns. I guess it would closely be compared to a mix of Matterhorn Bobsleds (the snow) and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (the large area and entering and exiting tunnels). There are several sit down coasters/rides at Disney, I think this would be a unique addition to the resort.
Of course I imagine the ski trains to be within theme, so here is a sketch of how I picture it. Please excuse my non-draftsmanship style:
Notice the bicycle seat the guest would rest on?^ Yes, that was inspired by Riddler's Revenge, haha. Look, it's the only stand-up coaster I've been on, so my mind went straight to that. Also, notice that the guests will be standing on their own pair of skis, and if they wanted to hold on to something, the train would have ski poles attached to go with the theme. I ditched an over head restraint because a) the ride would not go upside down and b) it would look bulky and it would make it difficult to see past the guests in front of you if you were in the 3rd or last row. Another feature from the Riddler's Revenge train that I like is that the seats adjust to the person's height when the stand perfectly straight. That could apply to this attraction as well.
The boat ride (which I don't have any extra art for) would start off as the guests careening down glacier rapids and splashing down in an abundant wildlife lagoon filled with killer whales, penguins, and leopard seals. I'm torn about polar bears because that would insist that polar bears and penguins share the same environment. Yes, it's a fantasy world, but there should at least be SOME education along with entertainment. Those lousy Christmas Coca Cola commercials are so inaccurate, ugh...
So after the rapids, the boats would enter a show room. The idea of the ride inside is inspired by the opening ceremony for the Vancouver Winter Olympics, if anyone remembers. I recalled some really cool projections of whales on the floor (no projections on the ride!! well... very minimal... like one, maybe) and then decor rose from the ground to form totem poles that then turned into trees and "grass" was projected on the ground. I love the idea of a changing show room, where things keep happening. It was very magical, in a way. I would like to see this kind of forest environment inside the ride. Maybe strange spirits of the forest, something very mystical and transparent at times, perhaps with a glowing aura. Inside it would be all mystical and mythical things about winter coming to life.
Now, just to feed that hunger of synergy, I also thought a cool attraction to have deep within the forest, on the outskirts of the land is a Nightmare Before Christmas attraction. The transition from a normal forest to a corner where the trees would be very twisted would exist this dark ride. The way I pictured the entrance (I should have drawn it out) is a giant talking cave. It would have eyes on top and stalactites as jagged and razor sharp teeth. The top of the cave would actually move up and down as it would talk to guests entering its mouth. It would serve the same purpose as the Mr. Potato-head outside Mania, constantly speaking and interacting. Inside the queue, after entering the mouth, guests would find all the holiday trees in a circle and enter the Halloween tree. In there would be the dark ride, where guests would board Jack's sleigh and fly over each scene. The track would be over head like Peter Pan's Flight. The main reason I like this idea is because of the eerie talking cave. It would be an expansion of the story and Burton style. Sure it would frighten some children, but it's fun to have a few scary things at Disneyland. The talking skull in Pirates before the first drop used to terrify me as a child, but now that I'm older I kind of like that it evoked such emotions from me.
So there it is, my new concept. I'm happy to share it with all of you since you are all fans of Disney and theme parks. I would love to hear your thoughts and any ideas YOU have that could add on to this Winterland. I realize the name "Winterland" lacks, but it's straight forward and temporary, just so I won't have to name it "Pending Ice-Snow-Glacier Themed Land." Hope you guys like it!