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  1. #1

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    Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    The other DHS thread was asking for ideas for the park, so I thought about it and put together this conceptual site plan for how I think the park could be developed:


    This plan takes the actual Studios park as it exists, puts out the last embers of the dying “working studios” concept, adds a couple billion dollars of new attractions and placemaking, and lets the phoenix of a movie adventure park rise from the ashes.

    The new underlying theme is “entering filmic worlds”, so rather than feeling like a collection of lightly themed soundstages in a studios setting, this park aims to create compelling, transportative worlds in distinct, strongly-themed lands (like a Magic Kingdom):


    GOLDEN AGE HOLLYWOOD: This is an area that the Studios currently does pretty successfully. Of course, the first order of business is to remove The Hat (and drop it in the Mariana Trench) so that the Chinese Theater resumes its place as the visual landmark at the end of the boulevard (and symbolizes the park). In order to bring the entire land into the 1930s/40s/50s fold, American Idol would be replaced with Cinemagic (in an Art Deco theater setting).


    GANGSTERLAND: Continuing the 1930s/40s period, RocknRollercoaster would be rethemed to a gangster getaway. I added a shooter cops&robbers chase ride in the vein of the cancelled Dick Tracy attraction. There is a speakeasy dining facility with in-character staff.


    WALT DISNEY ANIMATION: One Man’s Dream had to go away in order to open up walking paths and make the park more navigable (and not a maze of narrow alleys and right angles), but I kept part of the building to become Animators Palette. The Mermaid theater could become a rotating puppet/fx theater with the shows changing out annually (e.g., 2012 Princess Frog, 2013 Beauty Beast (removed from Sunset Blvd), 2014 Aladdin, etc.) . I think old Animation Studio exhibits could serve as the queue for a family omnimover through scenes of the Disney classics (an animated Great Movie Ride).


    LUCASLAND: This land is bifurcated (yup) into a southern Indiana Jones section and the northern Star Wars section. The Monster Sound building is rethemed to an indoor Jedi Training Academy to incorporate more SFX. I added Yoda’s Dagobah hut as a Living Character Initiative (LCI) walkthrough experience. The exterior of the Star Tours building is made to like a space port as this is no longer a studios/soundstage experience – you are ostensibly in the world of Star Wars. The exit shop goes back to being the Endor bunker, because the Mos Eisley environment moves towards the expanded area where there is a recreation of the Cantina (Studios Drive is moved a few hundred yards westward for this plan). The major new ride is inspired by those online patent plans for an indoor dueling, shooter coaster – recreating an X-wing/Tie Fighter dogfight over the Death Star. A ride like this requires an enormous show-building. I added a Speeder dumbo for little kids since the park lacks these kinds of things and the other two Star Wars rides are fairly intense.


    The Indy Stunt Show would be re-worked to no longer be an exhibition of how film stunts are done, but an actual real-time unfolding story (no “Cut! Check the Gate!”) with a new story. In order to help meld the Star Wars architecture with the Indy stuff, I chose the theme of Atlantis for the EMV attraction. An Atlantean temple could be fairly alien-like and look comfortable next to the Star Wars universe.


    MUPPET STUDIOS: Muppets get the long-deserved comedic AA ride along with the Gonzo pizza place and a live Muppet concert in the old Backlot Theater.


    MARVEL SUPERHERO CITY: The skyscraper flats are moved to the top of the land to give a better, more dramatic entrance to the land. From within the land the City Streets are not distinguishable as facades (again, the idea is that you are "in worlds of the movies", not "where the movies are made"). Motors Action is rethemed to Marvel Superheroes (Punisher too violent?) and given an indoor, city-like queue (so guests can’t see the backstage workings of the show, to the above point). There are new major attractions themed to your pick of Marvel heroes… I imagined an X-men scoop style ride and a Pandora’s Box ride themed to the Fantastic Four.



    PIXAR PLACE: A kuka Incredibles ride makes for a smooth transition from Superhero City. Honey I Shrunk the Playset gets the obvious, easy re-theme to Bugs. Monsters Inc coaster goes in. Finally, I added Gusteau’s a French restaurant with a LCI Remy.



    MIDDLE EARTH: There are four reasons why I chose this theme to take up most of the old backlot. 1. It’s one big film franchise (on the scale of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, etc.) that has yet to receive theme park treatment. 2. Fantasy (Sword & Sorcery) is a fairly popular film genre that has no representation in the park. 3. The park is very urban; so for balance it needs a winding, rolling green area with vistas, water features and lots of rockwork and trees. 4. This land serves as an outer rim that connects Sunset Blvd to Pixar Place, helping make the park more navigable.

    Entering from the Hub, guests experience The Shire, coming upon the village of Hobbiton, where they can dine at the Green Dragon Tavern or explore Bag End. Making up for the lack of rides for children in the current DHS, this land features a spinner, a ferris wheel (like Old Mill in Paris) and a gentle outdoor boat ride through landscapes of Middle Earth (Storybookland Canal Boats meets Sinbad).




    The forest turns sinister as guests make their way through Mirkwood towards Dol Gulder and attempt to discover the secrets of the Necromancer in a thrilling ride. Further on are some Rivendell-style buildings housing a dining venue and the boarding area for a flume adventure involving a huge, fire-breathing AA dragon. The Lonely Mountain serves as both an impressive weenie in itself and a way to hide the gangster (formerly Aerosmith) rollercoaster building from view.


    ***

    Thoughts/comments/suggestions appreciated.
    Last edited by RandySavage; 10-22-2011 at 03:50 PM.

  2. #2

    • Minion
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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    This park is fantastic! Definitely somewhere I would want to go!!! It would take quite a while with a lot of money but that would definitely be one amazing place! I do know, however, that Marvel cannot exist east of the Mississippi River for whatever reason so Superhero City might be a no-go, but plenty of other things could go there. Also, why not make the Atlantis EMV ride an Indiana Jones one? That would be more interesting, and it doesn't have to be a clone of the DL ride. Also, I'm interested to know how you would transition from Endor to Jedi Training Academy to Mos Eisley in Star Wars Land... Oh, and I think maybe that the Dick Tracy ride was cancelled because shooting at mobsters is a kinda violent concept for a family park, but I can get on board for the retheme of Rock n Rollercoaster, esepcially since Aersomith can't last forever.

    Btw, the pictures are a nice touch. You should definitely submit this to the upper management!

  3. #3

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    Quote Originally Posted by TylerDurden View Post
    I do know, however, that Marvel cannot exist east of the Mississippi River for whatever reason so Superhero City might be a no-go.
    I haven't been following this issue closely but that is my understanding also, although I suppose Universal could always sell the rights for the right price...

    Also, why not make the Atlantis EMV ride an Indiana Jones one?
    It is an Indiana Jones Adventure ride: the show building on the same scale as DL's but with an original story, ride and exterior architecture (Atlantean ruins). I put in the Maltese Marketplace retail and dining complex because that is where (Malta) I imagined Indy going to seek Atlantis.

    Also, I'm interested to know how you would transition from Endor to Jedi Training Academy to Mos Eisley in Star Wars Land...
    The forests of Endor would transition to a more desert-like landscape of Tatooine - not too abrubt. There's quite a bit of suspended disbelief involved (akin to moving from South Seas (Tiki) to the Caribbean (Pirates) in Adventureland).

    Oh, and I think maybe that the Dick Tracy ride was cancelled because shooting at mobsters is a kinda violent concept for a family park
    Maybe that and its box office being below expectations. Personally, I have no problem with guns/shooting/even killing in theme parks as long as it's in the right (entertainment) tone, just like movies (e.g. tens of thousands of people would die every time the Death Star was blown up in Star Tours 1). You don't have to kill the gangsters or see any blood. It can be PG cartoon violence.
    Last edited by RandySavage; 10-22-2011 at 05:05 PM.

  4. #4

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    Well, I think you've got a great park here then, and DHS could definitely use some of your ideas

  5. #5

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    You always cause me to be of two minds when viewing your site plans. They are, each and every one, always of singular quality and laid out with attention to physical realities.

    The last is important, as too many of us these days prefer to botch the physical possibilities of a space in order to fit in what we feel ought to be there. Your site plans almost never have that problem, and that's to be commended.

    However, at the same time, your plans always trigger that knee-jerk reaction that a lot of us have: that 'well, I suppose that could happen if...' I try too much to apply the actual laws of business and reality to your plans, and end up with a mixed view. As much as I love them, I just can't believe that they could come true, and that's a sad thing.

    Anyway, rant over, this plan is cool, I still don't think DHS has an effective or conducive layout to guest flow, but that's more the site's fault than yours. The idea behind this - a placemaking of the park to remove the last vestiges of the 'working studio' elements of the site - is a must, regardless of minor quibbles I have about particular attractions or layouts.
    "And after a long time or a short time, Ivan and the Wolf came at last to the home of the Firebird..."

  6. #6

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    I like it but....

    No ToT? No dice. Sorry!

  7. #7

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    Quote Originally Posted by RandySavage View Post
    The other DHS thread was asking for ideas for the park, so I thought about it and put together this conceptual site plan for how I think the park could be developed:


    This plan takes the actual Studios park as it exists, puts out the last embers of the dying “working studios” concept, adds a couple billion dollars of new attractions and placemaking, and lets the phoenix of a movie adventure park rise from the ashes.

    The new underlying theme is “entering filmic worlds”, so rather than feeling like a collection of lightly themed soundstages in a studios setting, this park aims to create compelling, transportative worlds in distinct, strongly-themed lands (like a Magic Kingdom):



    GOLDEN AGE HOLLYWOOD: This is an area that the Studios currently does pretty successfully. Of course, the first order of business is to remove The Hat (and drop it in the Mariana Trench) so that the Chinese Theater resumes its place as the visual landmark at the end of the boulevard (and symbolizes the park). In order to bring the entire land into the 1930s/40s/50s fold, American Idol would be replaced with Cinemagic (in an Art Deco theater setting).



    GANGSTERLAND: Continuing the 1930s/40s period, RocknRollercoaster would be rethemed to a gangster getaway. I added a shooter cops&robbers chase ride in the vein of the cancelled Dick Tracy attraction. There is a speakeasy dining facility with in-character staff.



    WALT DISNEY ANIMATION: One Man’s Dream had to go away in order to open up walking paths and make the park more navigable (and not a maze of narrow alleys and right angles), but I kept part of the building to become Animators Palette. The Mermaid theater could become a rotating puppet/fx theater with the shows changing out annually (e.g., 2012 Princess Frog, 2013 Beauty Beast (removed from Sunset Blvd), 2014 Aladdin, etc.) . I think old Animation Studio exhibits could serve as the queue for a family omnimover through scenes of the Disney classics (an animated Great Movie Ride).



    LUCASLAND: This land is bifurcated (yup) into a southern Indiana Jones section and the northern Star Wars section. The Monster Sound building is rethemed to an indoor Jedi Training Academy to incorporate more SFX. I added Yoda’s Dagobah hut as a Living Character Initiative (LCI) walkthrough experience. The exterior of the Star Tours building is made to like a space port as this is no longer a studios/soundstage experience – you are ostensibly in the world of Star Wars. The exit shop goes back to being the Endor bunker, because the Mos Eisley environment moves towards the expanded area where there is a recreation of the Cantina (Studios Drive is moved a few hundred yards westward for this plan). The major new ride is inspired by those online patent plans for an indoor dueling, shooter coaster – recreating an X-wing/Tie Fighter dogfight over the Death Star. A ride like this requires an enormous show-building. I added a Speeder dumbo for little kids since the park lacks these kinds of things and the other two Star Wars rides are fairly intense.



    The Indy Stunt Show would be re-worked to no longer be an exhibition of how film stunts are done, but an actual real-time unfolding story (no “Cut! Check the Gate!”) with a new story. In order to help meld the Star Wars architecture with the Indy stuff, I chose the theme of Atlantis for the EMV attraction. An Atlantean temple could be fairly alien-like and look comfortable next to the Star Wars universe.



    MUPPET STUDIOS: Muppets get the long-deserved comedic AA ride along with the Gonzo pizza place and a live Muppet concert in the old Backlot Theater.



    MARVEL SUPERHERO CITY: The skyscraper flats are moved to the top of the land to give a better, more dramatic entrance to the land. From within the land the City Streets are not distinguishable as facades (again, the idea is that you are "in worlds of the movies", not "where the movies are made"). Motors Action is rethemed to Marvel Superheroes (Punisher too violent?) and given an indoor, city-like queue (so guests can’t see the backstage workings of the show, to the above point). There are new major attractions themed to your pick of Marvel heroes… I imagined an X-men scoop style ride and a Pandora’s Box ride themed to the Fantastic Four.




    PIXAR PLACE: A kuka Incredibles ride makes for a smooth transition from Superhero City. Honey I Shrunk the Playset gets the obvious, easy re-theme to Bugs. Monsters Inc coaster goes in. Finally, I added Gusteau’s a French restaurant with a LCI Remy.




    MIDDLE EARTH: There are four reasons why I chose this theme to take up most of the old backlot. 1. It’s one big film franchise (on the scale of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, etc.) that has yet to receive theme park treatment. 2. Fantasy (Sword & Sorcery) is a fairly popular film genre that has no representation in the park. 3. The park is very urban; so for balance it needs a winding, rolling green area with vistas, water features and lots of rockwork and trees. 4. This land serves as an outer rim that connects Sunset Blvd to Pixar Place, helping make the park more navigable.

    Entering from the Hub, guests experience The Shire, coming upon the village of Hobbiton, where they can dine at the Green Dragon Tavern or explore Bag End. Making up for the lack of rides for children in the current DHS, this land features a spinner, a ferris wheel (like Old Mill in Paris) and a gentle outdoor boat ride through landscapes of Middle Earth (Storybookland Canal Boats meets Sinbad).





    The forest turns sinister as guests make their way through Mirkwood towards Dol Gulder and attempt to discover the secrets of the Necromancer in a thrilling ride. Further on are some Rivendell-style buildings housing a dining venue and the boarding area for a flume adventure involving a huge, fire-breathing AA dragon. The Lonely Mountain serves as both an impressive weenie in itself and a way to hide the gangster (formerly Aerosmith) rollercoaster building from view.



    ***

    Thoughts/comments/suggestions appreciated.
    Not bad ideas.

  8. #8

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    '
    Quote Originally Posted by 0ranos View Post
    You always cause me to be of two minds when viewing your site plans. They are, each and every one, always of singular quality and laid out with attention to physical realities.

    The last is important, as too many of us these days prefer to botch the physical possibilities of a space in order to fit in what we feel ought to be there. Your site plans almost never have that problem, and that's to be commended.

    However, at the same time, your plans always trigger that knee-jerk reaction that a lot of us have: that 'well, I suppose that could happen if...' I try too uch to apply the actual laws of business and reality to your plans, and end up with a mixed view. As much as I love them, I just can't believe that they could come true, and that's a sad thing.
    Thank you. I understand where you're coming from. I approach the drawings as conceptual/blue sky in nature and "at build-out"* in scope, hence the name of the blog. *"Build-out" being 30 years out from date of opening.

    As far as laws of business: there are different ways of doing business. Check out Apple's stock performance versus Disney's over the last 10 years. Doing some very rough, back of napkin calculations, an investor who bought 1,000 shares of Apple in the year 2000, would see a $1.7 million increase in value (after splits) by 2011. If the same investor opted to buy Disney stock in 2000, in 2011 they would have a whopping $1,000 increase in value. The point being their can be huge financial benefits by taking risks, making big investments, producing a premium, essential product, with a visionary leader at the helm.

  9. #9

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    Quote Originally Posted by mess98 View Post
    I like it but....

    No ToT? No dice. Sorry!
    It's still there.

    I really dig this concept.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    Great concept with two exceptions, It has long been discussed the Tolkein family will never sell rights to Disney due to the author's dislike for Walt himself.

    Also some of the Marvel concepts would violate the agreement with Universal

  11. #11

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    Quote Originally Posted by FigmentJedi View Post
    It's still there.

    I really dig this concept.
    OOPS!
    I was looking for it under gangsterland.

  12. #12

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    Your concept art is always welcome here!
    Get the latest and greatest theme park news by


  13. #13

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bags deserves bett View Post
    Great concept with two exceptions, It has long been discussed the Tolkein family will never sell rights to Disney due to the author's dislike for Walt himself.
    Rights still fell into Disney's hands though at some point. The Hobbit was considered for possible Fantasia segment inspiration when the original was being made, mashing it up with Wagner's Ring Cycle, but got canned and Lord of the Rings was toyed with before it became apparent how difficult a job it would be and those rights eventually went to Ralph Bakshi and lead to that thing.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    I love it
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  15. #15

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    Re: Site Plan: DHS Re-born (with Middle Earth)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bags deserves bett View Post
    Great concept with two exceptions, It has long been discussed the Tolkein family will never sell rights to Disney due to the author's dislike for Walt himself.
    Interesting... Why did Tolkien dislike him personally? But with Tolkien's son in his late 80s, I wonder if the next generation of Tolkien family rightsholders would hold to that if Disney ever decided it wanted to buy the rights (which I doubt it would).

    Regardless, there are may already be a web of rightsholders to Middle Earth theme park development if the land is based on the Peter Jackson film worlds (ie. WB-MGM-Zaentz). I've seen plans for an Asian Universal park from the 2000s that had a LOTR attraction penciled in.

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