" Back to the Dinosaurs " Attraction Concept
I'm revealing today the Dinosaurs attraction concept that i've designed seven years ago with Jeff Burke, who was the Frontierland show-producer at Disneyland Paris. This was not developed to be a WDI project so don't expect to see it one day in a Disney theme park. For many reasons, beginning by the cost of the project the attraction is not yet built but who knows what the future is made of, so anything can happen!
Before i introduce you to the concept itself i'd like to explain you why i choose this dinosaurs theme. Please don't rush to see the artwork - and we have beautiful renderings done by four different artists - because you will not understand the concept if you don't read the text too.
So, as it happens sometime in life the birth of this concept came from a frustration, and in this case the frustration was to have never found the dinosaurs attraction i was hoping for. It's not that i don't like Animal Kingdom's Dinosaurs ride - although it would have been much better if Eisner hasn't done some cuts in it - and on a "thrill" point of view the ride is real fun, but, hey, we're supposed to be here to see dinosaurs, and it's a bit too dark for that. The Jurassic Park ride at Universal is another problem: this time it's not dark, there is plenty of Dinosaurs, but still, something doesn't "work", may be it's because of the motion of the flume ride which is really slow...
Anyway, what i always expected from a dinosaur ride is to send me back in time 60 millions years ago, and to see Dinosaurs on a big scale. In two words to have the illusion i'm really back to the Jurassic or Cretaceous era. This means huge decor, real size dinos, etc... but as you will see there is nothing impossible to achieve, it's only a matter of money - as usual - and of course you need a huge facility, in our case around 8000 square meters which, i admit, is really a big "box".
The other thing that Jeff and I tried to do was to create a "classic", i.e a ride that guests will be always happy to ride and ride again, forever. To do this it's important to understand what makes a good attraction. If someone was asking me the question i will answer that a good attraction is a ride where guests will experience different kind of emotions and not only one. Let's take the example of Pirates of Caribbean, the "classic of all classics": There is not a lot of thrill moments in POTC, only two falls, but the story telling, the AA animation, the lighting, the decor and the humor of each scenes makes a ride which is as successful now as it was more than 40 years ago.
The POTC ride at Disneyland begin peacefully with the blue bayou scene which is almost contemplative, then the boat enter the caves scenes, more scary and with the two falls, and then you gently arrive to the fort and all the scenes in the town. From that point it's the humor of each scene along with the magic of the AA technology and the great sets and lighting which creates the magic. I also add an important point: Pirates are so much part of our childhood collective subconscious that the theme find an unconscious resonance in each of us.
All this is important because generally executives always claim that guests want only thrill rides with lot of "sensations", and i think it's a lie. Guests for sure DO like thrill rides but the lie is in the "only". If they were true, POTC , It's a Small World, or the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland or Spaceship Earth at Epcot will be empty all year long and we know it's not the case. What i think is important is that guests experience in an attraction different kind of emotions which have a meaning with what life really is, and if the ride find a resonance in the collective subconscious, it's even better. If you succeed to create a ride where guests experience this, then you got it, you have a "classic" attraction.
The attraction project that Jeff and I designed in 2003 was called "Back to the Dinosaurs". It was a project title and this one could change but at least it says clearly what the ride will be: guests will be back to the Dinosaurs era. As you will see below two different beginning were envisioned: in the first version guests would enter inside a pavilion with a design like the one you could find at Epcot and a time travel company send them back to the Jurassic era. There was a pre-show scene before that and during the ride itself "time tunnels" were there from a scene to another one to keep historically correct the transition from a kind of dinos species to another one, as all were not living at the same era. I was also happy to found a new species of dino never used before for the "villain" part. Generally the T-Rex is the "bad guy" - and he also appears in our ride - but this one, a Therizinausaurus who really existed, was not bad at all with his giant claws.
Then i began to thought that the Time Travel company idea was a bit too easy and also has been used in other dinosaurs ride. So i found a new way more complicated and more "hard to swallow" to send guests back in time. I will explain it in details below but
let's have a look first at the first opening version. With each rendering you have the script which depicts precisely what guests would experience in each scene. If you want to feel exactly what the ride would be - and also understand what's happening - you must read the script!
Jump to the D&M full article to see the full ride decription with great artwork, click on each artwork to see it in big size:
Disney and more: " Back to the Dinosaurs " Attraction Concept
The part two of this article where i explain for each scene how Jeff and I would have technically done it is now on line here: