Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 34
  1. #1

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    287
    Blog Entries
    2

    The S.S. Disney, Imagineering's concept for a floating Disneyland

    The S.S. Disney project was one of Walt Disney Imagineering's most secret projects. No one ever heard about this incredible idea to transform a super tanker in a "floating theme park" that would have sailed from port to port around the world.

    Guests would have found on board 18 attractions including an Orbitron, Casey Jr. Train, a large Ferris Wheel, Alice in Wonderland’s spinning Tea Cups, Dumbo, and a Fantasyland Carousel. Other attractions included Aladdin and Little Mermaid dark rides, Indiana Jones roller coaster, Star Tours, a 3D movie theatre, and even It’s Small World and a 20000 Leagues under the sea area! All this on a transformed super-tanker. Incredible.



    Editor's Note: This is a new version of an earlier S.S Disney article that i posted back in May. Thanks to Mark Hickson, who recently found old pictures of the S.S. Disney model, you'll be able to explore this fantastic project that never was...and likely never will be.

    Today, you will discover an incredible Disney project. So incredible that even in my dreams i would never have thought that WDI could have designed something like this. Really fascinating, as you will see.

    The project was called “S.S. Disney” and Mark Hickson managed the Imagineering development team for this project 15 years ago. Mark started his career at WDI working on the Splash Mountain project for Disneyland, and then became part of the Tokyo Disneyland project office. Over a period of seven years Mark contributed to over 30 Disney projects that included Tokyo's version of Splash Mountain, Toon Town, the new Spaceship Earth Show, the 3-D film "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience", EPCOT's Interactive Fountain, Innoventions, etc. He also worked on other Disney projects like the Broadway Production of Beauty and the Beast, Disneyland's 35th anniversary and Tokyo Disneyland’s 5, 10 & 20 years Master Plan.

    Mark, who now lives in Hawaii, is the Chief of Project Controls for the $5.4 Billion Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project. As a consultant to the City and County of Honolulu, his responsibilities are to provide leadership in defining and implementing a comprehensive project controls department for the light rail commuter project.

    But back in 1993-1994, thanks to his shipbuilding and theme park master planning experience, Mark was asked to work on the “S.S. Disney” project. The idea was to transform a super tanker - a huge ship that normally brings oil from the Middle East to other countries - into a “floating theme park”. No kidding! The idea seems unbelievable, a real floating “Disneyland”.

    I’m sure you’re dying to know more about it, so please join us at the link below to discover more about this AMAZING project (including images) with the interview of former Imagineer Mark Hickson - who was in charge of the S.S. Disney project:

    Disney and more: The " S.S Disney " , an incredible WDI project - Interview with Mark Hickson

    Then join us back here and let us know what you think about a floating theme park!
    Last edited by Dustysage; 11-30-2009 at 10:03 PM. Reason: edit

  2. #2

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    658

    Re: The S.S Disney, an incredible WDI project of a "floating Disneyland" Edited versi

    Wow! Truly amazing. It's hard to really fathom the scale of a project like this. The logistics were crazy! the pre arrival of the entrance/ticket booths, the separate ships for cast travel and fireworks, not to mention the hiring and training of local CMs in each port!
    Wow...just wow

  3. #3

    • MiceChat Round-Up Crew
    • How do you do?
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Chickapin Hill
    Posts
    10,907
    Blog Entries
    6

    Re: The S.S Disney, an incredible WDI project of a "floating Disneyland" Edited versi

    I remember being amazed at how awesome this article first was, but this revised post makes it even more amazing! Thanks for sharing!
    It's a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah...Tip for Today!










  4. #4

    • New Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    13

    Re: The S.S. Disney, Imagineering's concept for a floating Disneyland

    And once again, I am in complete awe of the Imagineering team. They really are the BEST role models for children: they really CAN do anything they set their minds to! Absolutely amazing. I'm very sad this never came to be. I would have absolutely loved to be part of the zoo crew on such an immaculate project!

  5. #5

    • hatbox ghost believer
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Ventura, CA USA
    Posts
    549

    Re: The S.S. Disney, Imagineering's concept for a floating Disneyland

    Wow!!!
    Jon A. Leslie
    nojarama
    http://www.nojarama.com



  6. #6

    • Drink life to the lees.
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    1,841 miles from Disneyland
    Posts
    396

    Re: The S.S. Disney, Imagineering's concept for a floating Disneyland

    That's amazing!!! I wish they would have kept part of this idea when they started with Disney Cruise Line... Riding it's a small world while on a cruise would be cool!

  7. #7

    • All-American
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Indiana, 1719 miles from DL
    Posts
    1,901

    Re: The S.S. Disney, Imagineering's concept for a floating Disneyland

    The fact that Disney even operates a cruising industry is impressive alone - and apparently that was the scaled-down concept!

    This is definitely one of the most bizarre projects I've ever heard from WDI, right up there with Plectu's Intergalactic Revue. I couldn't even imagine this idea coming to fruition. On the other hand, I certainly wouldn't mind some of these ideas incorporated onto Disney Cruise Line - a real ride (or several) on a cruise ship would be really cool!
    Last edited by MarkTwain; 12-01-2009 at 07:09 PM.


  8. #8

    • Circle of Ancients
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Paris, France / Los Angeles
    Posts
    38,886
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: The S.S. Disney, Imagineering's concept for a floating Disneyland

    I think it should have a Space Mountain in there.

  9. #9

    • The 'Big Dreams' Kid
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    7,572

    Re: The S.S Disney, an incredible WDI project of a "floating Disneyland" Edited versi

    That would be amazing!

    Great post!


  10. #10

    • MiceAge Columnist
    • Dateline Disneylander
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Disneyland, U.S.A.
    Posts
    8,138

    Re: The S.S. Disney, Imagineering's concept for a floating Disneyland

    Unbelievable! Great interview, Alain!

    Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!

    | | |

  11. #11

    • Seasick
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    3,191

    Re: The S.S. Disney, Imagineering's concept for a floating Disneyland

    Very cool.

    I can't quite decide if this is the best idea ever, or a ridiculous over-the-top pipe dream, but it's fascinating either way.
    My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:http://micechat.com/14795-disney-wonder/

  12. #12

    • Don't mess with the duck!
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Too far from Disneyland
    Posts
    1,414

    Re: The S.S. Disney, Imagineering's concept for a floating Disneyland

    Whoa!!! Awesomeness squared.

  13. #13

    • Disney friends are #1
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Whenever I'm with friends...I'm home!
    Posts
    527

    Re: The S.S. Disney, Imagineering's concept for a floating Disneyland

    Holy poop deck! What an amazing concept. I missed the article in May and am so glad it appears here in an updated form, no less. Really have to give it to the Imagineers for their ability to think "outside of the box". Blue Sky indeed. Had my mind spinning with the possibilities, and limitations. Disneyland Park is now suffering from having too many people in too small a space. Disneyland "grew" into that situation over the course of 50+ years. A floating Disneyland would have those "massive crowds and limited space" conditions on opening day. We all know it would have been a success and most of us would have found a way to visit (or it would come to visit us, if we were on a coast!) but the cramped (yes, even on a super tanker) conditions would ultimately be a negative point in the "guest's overall experience" column. As great of a concept that this project was and I have to give kudos to the team that thought and partially developed this project, I also have to recognize that this was also a very constraining idea as well. Boxy compartments inside to allow for the eventual changeout of internal attractions. Salty conditions producing more accellerated wear and tear on the exposed attractions. Different safety standards and ride maintenance requirements at every stop. A flotilla of support vessels. Having supplies and an electrical source at every stop, not to mention a place to transfer the sewage. Areas large enough to dock a super tanker may have sewage transfer access but not in the amount that a floating theme park would produce. Enough "on land" space for the wide expanse of cars that will be parked at every stop. Legal nightmares galore when the first kid falls overboard etc. Exciting concept but the limitations seem to outweigh the possibilities. For every "plus" I could think of, there are numerous "minus's" that would keep overhead costs extremely high and guest satisfaction under a glass ceiling. Things like Fantasmic!, a parade, different lands, a castle, and state of the art ride development are all differentiate Disney parks from many of the "also rans" and these forms of entertainment would be near impossible to produce. Have to give ample space to the restaurants, bathrooms, snack stands, any kennel facilities, wheelchair accessibility, medical facilities, etc. So much concentrated on such a small footprint (I know, supertankers are HUGE. They're just not expandable if you need more surface area, and Disney parks ALWAYS end up expanding) but the infrastructure of having a floating park PLUS the infrastructure needed to maintain the ship itself seem very daunting to me. Much of a Disney parks operating income comes from it's hotel base. I see this as a huge limitation to this "park's" bottom line. I'm sure something could be worked out but at what cost? The whole project sinks or floats on it's ability to make a profit by the end of the day and I really don't think a floating park could live up to the amount of profit that Disney is used to to justify the fruition of this project. This is a project that, undoubdedly, will be looked at again and again as a "what could have been" that will spark ideas for the existing parks for years to come. That, my friends, is for greater minds than mine. Guess that's why I'm not an Imagineer...but I can dream.
    Last edited by Crazee4mm; 12-01-2009 at 03:28 PM. Reason: clarity

  14. #14

    • IPAC
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    140

    Talking Re: The S.S. Disney, Imagineering's concept for a floating Disneyland

    It's not to late to make it.

  15. #15

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    527

    Re: The S.S. Disney, Imagineering's concept for a floating Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazee4mm View Post
    Holy poop deck! What an amazing concept. I missed the article in May and am so glad it appears here in an updated form, no less. Really have to give it to the Imagineers for their ability to think "outside of the box". Blue Sky indeed. Had my mind spinning with the possibilities, and limitations. Disneyland Park is now suffering from having too many people in too small a space. Disneyland "grew" into that situation over the course of 50+ years. A floating Disneyland would have those "massive crowds and limited space" conditions on opening day. We all know it would have been a success and most of us would have found a way to visit (or it would come to visit us, if we were on a coast!) but the cramped (yes, even on a super tanker) conditions would ultimately be a negative point in the "guest's overall experience" column. As great of a concept that this project was and I have to give kudos to the team that thought and partially developed this project, I also have to recognize that this was also a very constraining idea as well. Boxy compartments inside to allow for the eventual changeout of internal attractions. Salty conditions producing more accellerated wear and tear on the exposed attractions. Different safety standards and ride maintenance requirements at every stop. A flotilla of support vessels. Having supplies and an electrical source at every stop, not to mention a place to transfer the sewage. Areas large enough to dock a super tanker may have sewage transfer access but not in the amount that a floating theme park would produce. Enough "on land" space for the wide expanse of cars that will be parked at every stop. Legal nightmares galore when the first kid falls overboard etc. Exciting concept but the limitations seem to outweigh the possibilities. For every "plus" I could think of, there are numerous "minus's" that would keep overhead costs extremely high and guest satisfaction under a glass ceiling. Things like Fantasmic!, a parade, different lands, a castle, and state of the art ride development are all differentiate Disney parks from many of the "also rans" and these forms of entertainment would be near impossible to produce. Have to give ample space to the restaurants, bathrooms, snack stands, any kennel facilities, wheelchair accessibility, medical facilities, etc. So much concentrated on such a small footprint (I know, supertankers are HUGE. They're just not expandable if you need more surface area, and Disney parks ALWAYS end up expanding) but the infrastructure of having a floating park PLUS the infrastructure needed to maintain the ship itself seem very daunting to me. Much of a Disney parks operating income comes from it's hotel base. I see this as a huge limitation to this "park's" bottom line. I'm sure something could be worked out but at what cost? The whole project sinks or floats on it's ability to make a profit by the end of the day and I really don't think a floating park could live up to the amount of profit that Disney is used to to justify the fruition of this project. This is a project that, undoubdedly, will be looked at again and again as a "what could have been" that will spark ideas for the existing parks for years to come. That, my friends, is for greater minds than mine. Guess that's why I'm not an Imagineer...but I can dream.
    Yes, I just read about this a few days ago, but as cool as this seems, I think the realities of it would have made it MUCH more difficult to pull off than practically anything else Disney has done before.

    Having said that, I do wish they'd incorporate some more ride ideas into their cruise ships, even on a smaller scale, I think it would be cool. I do know they're adding a mini-coaster on one of the new ships they're building.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-21-2009, 11:16 AM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-21-2009, 11:16 AM
  3. [News] Disney 2009 Celebration Concept Art, Disney Fairies Arrive in Orlando
    By insidethemagic in forum Walt Disney World Resort
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09-26-2008, 05:55 PM
  4. Disney to create Mickey-shaped floating "clouds" next month
    By ahecht in forum Walt Disney World Resort
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 05-12-2008, 07:12 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •