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  1. #31

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    The Magic Kingdom is up against the end f the property because all the backstage stuff is behind it. Cast parking, operations offices, the HVAC, and what used to be the power plant are all back there hidden from guest view. They didn't leave any room to build resorts back there because they don't want resorts back there. They don't want guests seeing all that ugly backstage stuff. With that in mind, putting it up against the edge of the property is actually the best place for it because it doesn't leave any space that they weren't ever going to use anyway. It also allows supply vehicles and cast members get to the park on roads that guests probably don't even know exist. There's even still orange groves back there. There are a ton of problems with the resort layout, but the Phase 1/Magic Kingdom area is about as close to perfect as you could ask for.
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

  2. #32

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    I hear what you're saying but I like how Tokyo and Paris have Disneyland Hotels at the entrance to their MK parks, and DCA and DisneySea have the Miracosta and Grand Californian. I'm suggesting that this would have been a nice amenity to Florida, but you don't have to agree with me.

  3. #33

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    I hear what you're saying but I like how Tokyo and Paris have Disneyland Hotels at the entrance to their MK parks, and DCA and DisneySea have the Miracosta and Grand Californian. I'm suggesting that this would have been a nice amenity to Florida, but you don't have to agree with me.
    as stated earlier, the primary reasons for those moves were space related. WDW does not have that issue and in turn does not need to put their hotels so close to their parks. keeping the hotels separate helps to separate the thematic differences between the two different places and create better more cohesive thematic environments as well as slightly more private resorts. IMO it is a much better idea to keep the hotels at arms length from the parks in that sense.

  4. #34

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    I think it's all in how and where they (in-park hotels) are implemented. For example, you wouldn't want a huge Wilderness Lodge situated directly behind MK's Frontierland because its real-world scale would throw off a theme-park-scale mountain like Big Thunder and make the land feel a little less "Edge of the Frontier". Similarly, you wouldn't build Mira-Costa apart from Mediterranean Harbor because the hotel enhances that land's urban theme, adds layers of visual depth and provides an architectural berm.

    MK was originally to have a Main Street Hotel on the east side of Town Square:
    http://jimhillmedia.com/editor_in_ch...x#.UWTDHq5DWxA

    An intermediate step would be to have a thematically-connected hotel near, but out-of-view, of the on-show park, but with special access. For example, in this blurred artwork of an early Shanghai proposal, it looks like there could be an Adventureland or Frontierland-themed hotel connected to Adventureland/Frontierland itself by a boat/river:
    The MK Resort Area Hotels are sort of in this vein.

  5. #35

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    Thanks Randy

  6. #36

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by goofy donald View Post
    as stated earlier, the primary reasons for those moves were space related. WDW does not have that issue and in turn does not need to put their hotels so close to their parks.
    Ah, but just imagine for a moment if they had.

    The point of this thread is to imagine Disney World differently.

    I imagine a more walkable monorail laden tight knit master planned wonder.

    Nothing less from Walt Disney Imagineering.

  7. #37

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    The placement of Downtown Disney makes sense in relation to the highway but not really in relation to the rest of the resort. It made a bit more sense when it was built because it was supposed to have a peoplemover for its own use and a monorail connecting it to EPCOT which was still planned to be a city at the time.

    Until the hotel explosion of the late 80s and 90s the master plan was pretty tight. Disney Hollywood Studios and EPCOT Center are extremely close and the Crescent Lake resorts work between those parks almost as well as as the Magic Kingdom ones. Personally I'd have the Boardwalk swap places with the Swan & Dolphin, Kill the Swan & Dolphin with fire, spit on its grave and build a Mediterranean resort in that space to transition into the international gateway better.

    The same thing should have been done on the other side. The Caribbean Beach resort is a little farther away than the Boardwalk, but another gateway could be built where the Outpost is now and with very little expansion to the existing waterways boats could serve both that resort as well as Pop-Century and Art of Animation. For some reason moderate and value resorts don't deserve transportation, which I find to be a silly rule. I'd also tweak the style significantly, making the Caribbean Beach Resort take up most of the area of these 3 hotels with the remainder turned into an old Spanish fort for a more piratey style Caribbean resort. I'd also move Typhoon Lagoon over there to create one big tropical beach themed area.

    The problem still remains that these areas only connect to World Showcase and You would have to walk through much of Epcot if you wanted to take a monorail anywhere. This is where peoplemovers or PRT could come in handy to bring people from these resorts to the Epcot monorail station.

    Honestly, if they built another transportation hub at Epcot, it would solve most of their problems. They would just need a second monorail line that went to Downtown Disney, Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, and The Animal Kingdom. Resort peoplemovers or PRT could ferry people from hotels to one of these stations and everything would be fine. ...Except for Coronado Springs, the All-Star resorts, and Blizzard Beach. Those things are in the middle of nowhere.

    You could probably fit the All-Stars and Blizzard beach behind World Showcase. You just have to make sure that you don't get Mount Gushmore sticking out behind the american Adventure. I'd hate to kill the Swan & Dolphin with fire just to make the same mistake. That would make for a very dense resort area back there that don't really connect with each other, but at least you could connect it all with one easy monorail loop or a giant circular "river".

    The more I think about this, the more I'm starting to see Randy's idea of making another big lake, but I thought it would be weird to have this big beautiful area essentially behind Epcot. You can't really take advantage of the proximity to the park for the same reason I said earlier about why there are no hotels behind the Magic Kingdom. Who wants to see the back of World Showcase pavilions? I then thought, what if the Crescent Lake/Hollywood Studios and Caribbean Beach/Pop/Animation areas were flipped vertically so they went from the sides of World Showcase north toward Future World instead of south toward nothing. You could then build a huge lake where Epcot's parking lot is now and put the parking on the north side of this new body of water. You could then have straights on either side of this new lake that run through the resort areas, making a ring of water that runs all the way to the World Showcase Lagoon. This would tighten things up a lot because the hotels would cheat back toward where a monorail station already exists allowing for multiple transportation options, none of which are buses.

    I'd also get rid of all of the DVCs. Nothing against the concept, it's just that none of them are in a good spot. Well, Saratoga Springs is, but I'd rather put Port Orleans there and make it and all of Downtown Disney into a giant New Orleans Square. ...But still with a peoplemover. They can dress it up as something.
    Last edited by Dapper Dan; 04-10-2013 at 10:37 AM.
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

  8. #38

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by goofy donald View Post
    as stated earlier, the primary reasons for those moves were space related. WDW does not have that issue and in turn does not need to put their hotels so close to their parks. keeping the hotels separate helps to separate the thematic differences between the two different places and create better more cohesive thematic environments as well as slightly more private resorts. IMO it is a much better idea to keep the hotels at arms length from the parks in that sense.

    Why is it "better"?

    Why do people travel to Walt Disney World? To stay at a hotel that is inconvenient to get to the theme parks?

    I'd argue NO. Staying on property and having a 'closer' access to the parks is the main draw and WDW's layout, I'd imagine, is much more inconvenient than most guests would have predicted.

    Just because WDW has the space to separate things doesn't mean it's a good idea. In fact, I would love to have more hotels neighboring another one so I could walk on over and explore. And even though Port Orleans is a boat ride away from Downtown Disney, that still isn't convenient enough.

    I don't go to WDW to "get away". I go to WDW to go to town and see everything there is. The layout is such a mess that it's not a fun thing to do so.


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  9. #39

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapper Dan View Post
    The Magic Kingdom is up against the end f the property because all the backstage stuff is behind it. Cast parking, operations offices, the HVAC, and what used to be the power plant are all back there hidden from guest view. They didn't leave any room to build resorts back there because they don't want resorts back there. They don't want guests seeing all that ugly backstage stuff. With that in mind, putting it up against the edge of the property is actually the best place for it because it doesn't leave any space that they weren't ever going to use anyway. It also allows supply vehicles and cast members get to the park on roads that guests probably don't even know exist. There's even still orange groves back there. There are a ton of problems with the resort layout, but the Phase 1/Magic Kingdom area is about as close to perfect as you could ask for.
    thanks this is really interesting - does anyone have a map of the backstage stuff behind MK? It would be interesting to see how the back of house relates to the resort area.

    Another reason I read for the original resort area placement was that Walt used it to ensure that world drive and the other infrastructure intended for his plan was delivered for phase 1. If the original resort area was built where DTD is for easy access from the highways then later development of other parts of the property would have been a lot harder.

  10. #40

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by robbiem View Post
    Another reason I read for the original resort area placement was that Walt used it to ensure that world drive and the other infrastructure intended for his plan was delivered for phase 1. If the original resort area was built where DTD is for easy access from the highways then later development of other parts of the property would have been a lot harder.
    World Drive is also situated so that guests coming from the highway or the proposed airport would have to pass the industrial park and EPCOT on the way to the theme park area.

  11. #41

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    Why is it "better"?

    Why do people travel to Walt Disney World? To stay at a hotel that is inconvenient to get to the theme parks?

    I'd argue NO. Staying on property and having a 'closer' access to the parks is the main draw and WDW's layout, I'd imagine, is much more inconvenient than most guests would have predicted.

    Just because WDW has the space to separate things doesn't mean it's a good idea. In fact, I would love to have more hotels neighboring another one so I could walk on over and explore. And even though Port Orleans is a boat ride away from Downtown Disney, that still isn't convenient enough.

    I don't go to WDW to "get away". I go to WDW to go to town and see everything there is. The layout is such a mess that it's not a fun thing to do so.
    when I said to keep them at arms length, it was not referring to distance but to thematic connections. an example of this would be the beach club and epcot, both are very close to each other yet are at an arms length thematically and there is still to a degree a nice transition from the new england early 20's high society to the 'old' english countryside. distance has no factor in that comment.

  12. #42

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    World Drive is also situated so that guests coming from the highway or the proposed airport would have to pass the industrial park and EPCOT on the way to the theme park area.
    So if the MASTER PLAN revolved around an industrial park and EPCOT city that never got built, why didn't they tweak the MASTER PLAN and master plan the additional theme park pads, hotels and so forth far in advance of giving a theme to each?

    And how does the quality of the land (swampy?) allow for development - are certain parts of the resort not suitable to build on? I know the PERSIAN Hotel site for example didn't work, are there others south of EPCOT?

  13. #43

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    So if the MASTER PLAN revolved around an industrial park and EPCOT city that never got built, why didn't they tweak the MASTER PLAN and master plan the additional theme park pads, hotels and so forth far in advance of giving a theme to each?

    And how does the quality of the land (swampy?) allow for development - are certain parts of the resort not suitable to build on? I know the PERSIAN Hotel site for example didn't work, are there others south of EPCOT?
    When the Lake Buena Vista Village was built they were still planning on building EPCOT the city and it was very much included in the master plan. By the time they got to EPCOT Center, the city was pretty much dead, but they still made it part of the master plan. Even the name EPCOT Center is because it was in what was then the center of the property.

    I know it's like beating a dead horse but after Frank Wells died all long term vision got thrown out the window. It's almost a cliche now. Any time you're wondering why something at Disney suddenly goes from awesome to awful, this is usually the answer.
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

  14. #44

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    It's a shame Walt Disney went to so much effort assembling such a large property, he could have bought much less land and the end result might have been better.

  15. #45

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    Re: The layout of Walt Disney World

    I believe Walt wanted no outside intrusion which includes any high rise buildings that might go up outside WDW property. That's why he bought up so much land.
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