Disneyland Releases New Rivers of America Concept Art
Disney this morning released new concept art from Walt Disney Imagineering, depicting what the Rivers of America will look like when it reopens at Disneyland next year.
Click for the full image
Like so much of Disney's theme park concept art, the image is gorgeous, showing the Disneyland Railroad on a trestle above waterfalls and the Mark Twain riverboat steaming around the bend. However, also like much of Disney's concept art, it is as vague as it is alluring. There's no depiction of anything near the rivers that we know will be remaining constant, which keeps the image from providing any context. Without that context, we can't deduce the position within the park of anything shown in the concept art, nor can we, from that, infer the relative size of the refurbished river.
But we can see the Indian village, the settler's cabin, and the abandoned keelboat, as well as the railroad, the Twain, and Tom Sawyer Island raft, which suggests that many of the river's visual elements will survive the changes.
Disneyland closed the Rivers of America attractions yesterday, as the park will be claiming some of their space for the new Star Wars Land, which we are guessing will open sometime in 2019 or 2020.
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The good news is Disney is still releasing art work that appears to indicate the Mark Twain is moving! I'm still terrified it is going to be permanently docked after everything is done.
It's a gorgeous photo. Everyone should click on the image for the full panoramic graphic. It has two pluses. First, the design allows the train to be part of the river rather than just hugging around the river bed, thus it is a better use of space than the current layout. Second, the train tracks running over some new rock formations and the bridge gives the Mark Twain a smoother curve to navigate, which isn't the abrupt loop that some people feared. Disney can choose to get more out of this journey by slowing the ride so guests can enjoy the backwaters section at a leisurely pace. This is thumbs up.
If you do a CSI-style enhancement on the Rivers of America concept art, you almost can see the upcharge dessert party on Mark Twain. ;^)
Fort Wilderness really ought to be demolished and rebuilt.. Back in 2007 when it was closed to guests (due to wood rot, I believe), it was partially taken down and rebuilt in such a way that it looks a lot less believable. To put it bluntly, the fort as it stands today looks like it was made from Home Depot supplies instead of fallen trees by early American settlers on the frontier. Fantasmic will likely have to rearrange many of its storage areas for barges and other things as part of this renovation of the river. Is it too much to hope that they can take advantage of this 18-ish month rehab to find a new cast break room area and re-open the fort to guest exploration?
Am I correct that Disney no longer builds anything that is not ADA compliant? If that is true, then they would not rebuild Fort Wilderness or anything else as a place where kids can climb because wheelchairs can't get through there. If they rebuild the Fort, wouldn't they just make it something to look at and not for guests to go in? Disney seems to be in the "SAFETY!" mindset and is concerned with lawsuits, not the best guest experience.
Mark Twain and the Columbia are going no where. Why are you fueling rumors that have no truth? Mark Twain is also not going to be an upcharge dessert party.
This definitely looks like it has a lot of potential. I know the real thing won't match the concept art 100%, but if it is somewhat representative of the new Rivers of America I'd definitely take a shorter route with this scenery over the old longer version.
Not sure why everyone is getting so excited about concept art that reveals little to nothing about the fate of the ROA. Honestly, I'm glad that they're finally renovating the ROA, but I do fear that it will come at a great cost. From the numerous rumors that I've heard, it seems like the length of the ROA will be shortened by as much as 35%. And unfortunately this concept art does not ease any worries because it doesn't show where the ROA will specifically end. All it shows is an enhanced ROA with a few waterfalls and probably an updated Indian village with working animatronics. Although the renovations are happily welcomed, I still cannot get over the fact that they're shortening the river. I'm pretty sure that TDA purposely left out the part of the picture that shows where the ROA ends because they know that if they reveal it now people will explode. However if they release a really nicely detailed concept that shows major enhancements to the river, than most people will be happy with the change until they finally tell the GP about how the river is SUBSTANTIALLY shorter. By the time they tell the GP, it will already be too late. By that time the damage will be done and there will be no going back. And TDA knows that the anger that DLR fans feel will only last a few months until they announce the specific details of SWL, which will easily ease the tension/anger forever.
A shorter distance around the river should make for some new record times in the cast member canoe races when it re-opens!
Honestly, I could not care less that DL is getting a shorter Rivers of America, because it looks like both the riverboat and train rides are just going to get better. We'll have to wait and see. Plus its all for a good cause - a huge new, immersive Land.
Based on the concept art, won't it be a problem for railroad riders to see the waterfalls since the seats face to the right side (inward)?
Here is a good gif of what the RoA is probably going to turn into.
Love the artwork! Rocks and trees, kids! Rocks and trees! Beauty!
The backwoods part of the river was relaxing but could easily be shortened, there was truthfully not much to see along that long stretch. But what happened to the rumored walkway between the Hungry Bear and Star Wars Land? Here's an idea - make a Mine Train through Rainbow Caverns - it can be a shuttle system that goes back and forth. It would be inside the mountains, and serve primarily as transportation between the two points along the river. Either that or a walkway through Rainbow Caverns.
Star Wars will share a boundary with Critter Country so I'm 90% sure there WILL be a walkway between the two. Otherwise they're going to end up with a dead-end that's basically the entire width of the park.
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