Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
With Christmas just around the corner, I have been watching several of my favorite holiday specials and movies. Therefore the goal of this challenge will be to create a mini-land based around one Christmas movie, special, or show. Restaurants, rides, and shows should be included within your mini-land, creating an immersive holiday experience.
Since this is not an official competition, most rules that have been in place during the actual competitions are thrown out. This is simply a creative exercise for fun. Depending on the amount of participants, a vote may be held. I will still post a short review of the challenge at the end of the week. The last day for submissions will be January 31st.
Good Luck and Happy Holidays to you and your families!
I know this is just for fun, but after reading my proposal I think you'll all agree I'll deserve some sort of "MAJOR AWARD" for my efforts.....now let's see... what WAS the name of the Lone Ranger's nephew's horse?
That's two hints in that last paragraph for what I have planned.
1. Can two people use the same film for their idea?
2. Does it have to be for a specific theme park (Disney/Universal/Six Flags etc.)
3. I was considering doing a land based on the Rankin-Bass holiday specials. Is it OK if the rides in the land are based on different specials or can does it have to be themed around one specific special?
Christmas Town at Disneyland is an upcoming themed land based around The Nightmare Before Christmas. Christmas Town will be replacing all of Toon Town in Disneyland and will be bringing in multiple new attractions, shows, shops and dining options as you are immersed in the same village that Jack Skellington discovered where the whimsical holiday of Christmas is year-round.
Christmas Town will be in the back of the park and guests will enter under the iconic sign that says "Christmas Town". The area will be a "circle" and the rides, shops and restaurants will all encircle the large Christmas tree. All around guests will be the wacky and distorted buildings of Christmas Town with snow-capped roofs, gingerbread walls and candy cane chimneys. The buildings appear to be made from gingerbread and twinkle from Christmas lights that line every angle of the buildings. In the center of the land is a 25 foot tall artificial Christmas tree that shimmers and twinkles with lights and decorations. The previous Gadget's Go Coaster will become Jack's Christmas Flight. New shops will be available such as Santa's Workshop and Skellington Goods. The area will open a full-service dining option to guests known as Christmas Mornings. The former Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin will be replaced with a brand new attraction known as The Dream before Halloween that utilizes a type of technology that allows the ride vehicles to move freely without a guided track.
Christmas Town will follow the same structure and layout as in the movie, with a few tweaks and adjustments to accommodate some of the attractions.
Christmas Town will have even more elements that will immerse guests into the fantastic world created by Tim Burton. Once guests approach the gates of Christmas Town, a musical loop of the instrumental version of "What's This?" will be heard. The song will be heard thorough out the rest of the land. Look for details seen in the movies, such as Jack Skellington as a snowman. Once you find him along the outside of Skellington Goods, expect a full on audio animatronic that interacts with guests. In front of the Christmas Tree, you can find a Meet & Greet where guests can meet Jack Skellington and Sally. The characters will also walk around Christmas Town and interact with guests. Peer into some of the windows of the buildings and you'll see living rooms with families enjoying Christmas morning, decorating the tree, sitting by the fireplace, etc. Also, one of the homes will have kids opening some rather horrifying Christmas presents that Jack Skellington dropped off himself.
To the immediate left of the entrance to Christmas Town, guests will find Santa's Workshop, a year-round Christmas store that sells Disney ornaments for your tree, Christmas house decor, and little Christmas Disney knick-knacks and collectables that you could only find here! Santa's Workshop is easily distinguishable from the rest of Christmas Town, as it is a small wooden building located off the main path and on top of a small, snow covered hill. It is here you can also find "Sandy Claws" around Christmas time for a Meet & Greet and a chance for kids to sit on Santa's lap!
As you continue around the town, and to the left of Santa's Workshop, guests will find Jack's Christmas Flight!
Jack's Christmas Flight will be what is taking the place of Gadgets Go Coaster. The layout will be the same, but everything else will be completely changed. The roller coaster will be completely indoors (along with the queue) and will be a much more unique ride experience!
Exterior - The facade will be reminiscent of the other homes of Christmas Town, but with a catch. There will be three "homes" that make up the facade, the middle being the Standby entrance and Fastpass entrance, the left being the exit, and the right being where you can see the previously mentioned "Christmas morning gone wrong" scenarios in the windows. Also, the buildings look a bit more damaged than the others. This is because on the top of these homes, you will Jack Skellington's crashed sleigh sprawling across all 3 rooftops. Above the entrance to the queue through the front door, a glowing sign will read "Jack's Christmas Flight".
Queue - Since the queue begins through a home, the first portion of the queue is in that home. Guests wind through a rampaged living room where they can see a destroyed Christmas tree and some animatronic versions of the "presents" Jack left. Some of the presents are found in the movie, like the toy snake. The back door of the home is where guests leave the home and enter the main show building, where all of the magic occurs. In here, the roller coaster zips above guests as they queue. The massive room is dark and cold, with projections of the night sky all around guests. Guests walk through a night-time town's street as Jack's Christmas Flight soars above their heads. Guests pass through the town, observing all of the Christmas lights each home is decorated with and the snow-capped roofs. Occasionally, fake snow will fall down from the ceiling and land upon guests queuing and upon the coaster riders. At the end of the town's street, guests will make a gradual climb onto a wooded and snow covered hill, where they will find the ride's station.
Main Ride - When the coaster train pulls in, guests will immediately recognize it. Each of the seats is themed as two of the skeleton reindeer that Jack uses deliver presents. The front of the train is, of course, led my Jack's ghost dog; Zero. The back of the train is the sleigh, where Jack Skellington sits behind riders, dressed as Santa and holding his bag of presents. The coaster portion is unchanged, but now riders soar above the faux town and the queue that winds through it as they make their way through Christmas night! When guests return to the station, they walk behind the left side of the town through a dark forest until they then make their way back outside in the daylight of Christmas Town!
A short walk away from Jack's Christmas Flight, guests will find a full service dining option know as Christmas Mornings. Much larger than the other buildings, Christmas Mornings most closely resembles a giant gingerbread house. Guests enter through the porch and main door to the foyer, where a host or hostess will lead them to their tables.
Dining at Christmas Mornings - This is no ordinary restaurant. Resembling 50's Prime Cafe at Disney's Hollywood Studios, each table is in it's own "room". The room is at first themed to a living room in the early hours of the morning when everyone is waking up. The Christmas tree is turned off, there is no fire started, all the presents are un-wrapped and its still dark outside their artificial window. However, once your waiter or waitress enters, the lights on the Christmas tree snap on and a "fire" in the fireplace starts burning. A few more lights turn on, creating a sense of awakening. The waiter/waitress will be dressed in their favorite Christmas pajamas as they take your order. Throughout the course of the meal, the scenery will change. Some of the presents will "pop open" with the burst of a jack-in-the-box or a slinky. The window will also change as it slowly goes from being dark to the rising of the sun. By the end of the meal, you'll have had an awesome Christmas morning!
- To make a dining reservation, dial (714) 781-DINE or email email@example.com. Dining reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance. On less crowded days, Christmas Mornings will accept walk-ins.
- Many of our dishes can be prepared vegan or gluten free. Ask the waiter or waitress which dishes can be prepared this way. Also, if you have food allergies, ask the waiter or waitress of a complete list of ingredients for the food options.
- Breakfast is served 24/7, but Christmas Mornings also has lunch and dinner options for you and your family.
Continuing around the loop, guests will find the Christmas Town Courthouse at the very back of Christmas Town. Here, guests will find The Dream before Halloween. A highly immersive dark-ride that uses the LPS system found on rides such as Pooh's Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland.
Facade - The same large building is seen in the movie and in the picture of Christmas Town above. It is the largest building in all of the town and can be seen from all angles, as it is also placed on top of a snow capped hill. The tallest spire of the building has a large clock that counts down the days until Christmas comes. Guests will make a short walk up to the hill and to the front door of the courthouse. Above the entrance to Fastpass and Standby queues, there is a sign that says "Christmas Town Courthouse". However, the sign shimmers and reveals glowing carved letters that overlap the existing words and reveal the words, "The Dream before Halloween". Guests enter through the courthouse's front door and into the queue.
Queue - Guests wind through the courtroom where it appears that everything isn't so "happy and cheery" as it should be. Some of the chocolate seats are broken or melting, giant broken candy canes sprawl the floor around them. Pieces of the gingerbread walls are cracked and falling apart. The judge's bench is split into two pieces and another piece of giant candy cane lays smashed over the bench and the witness stand. As guests pass this, they are ushered into the pre-show room located in a room behind the judge's bench and witness stand.
Pre-Show - Guests are filed into what seems to be a dimly lit office. The office is saved from all of the destruction but follows the same fashion as the courtroom, with candy cane banisters, gingerbread walls, gumdrop light fixtures, etc. Once all of the guests are filed into the room, a single light beams down on a desk against one of the walls. There sits Santa Clause, looking as dazed and confused as ever. He is an advanced animatronic (similar to Mr. Potato Head) that interacts with guests with highly advanced motions.
He reveals that after the one Christmas fiasco where Jack so desperately wanted to be Santa and Santa was kidnapped by Oogie Boogie, he thought everything would be back to normal. He was wrong. Doctor Finklestein from Halloween Town snuck into Christmas Town and stole the Christmas magic from Santa's home. Well, he was caught and put on trial in the Christmas Town courthouse. However, he escaped with an explosion and disappeared, taking the Christmas magic with him. Now, Christmas is stopped and will never come again, unless we help retrieve the magic from Halloween Town and save Christmas. On that note, the lights dim again as Santa bids us good luck and we exit through the back door of the courthouse into the loading area.
Loading Area - Guests board their magic gumdrop vehicles in an outside environment. It is simulated as the forest behind the courthouse as snow covered trees surround the loading area, a simulated night sky is all around riders and a light snow fall drizzles over the guest's head. It is quiet and the sound of wind echoes throughout the loading area. Once guests are ushered into their gumdrop vehicles by cast members dressed as elves, their vehicle's headlights begin to glow, a sign that the road ahead is going to be very dark.
Main Ride - Guests move through the silent forest, as everything is calm and beautiful just like the night that envelops the forest. Suddenly, a strong wind picks up. The vehicles begin to turn and spin as they slide across the icy floor. Snow flurries and wind effects enhance the feeling that they are caught in a blizzard. The trees shake and bend with the strong winds. Before they know it, the blizzard stops and the vehicles come to a smooth stop in front of an eerie sight. They are in the middle of a circle of trees that are much larger than the rest. These trees have strange symbols on each. One is an egg, another is a clover. Suddenly, one tree begins to glow. It has a pumpkin on it. The pumpkin slides away and a glowing passage way is revealed. The way to Halloween Town.
Once the vehicles move through the tree, the scenery drastically changes. While guests are still in a forest, the forest has become seemingly darker. The trees now have snow and bend awkwardly over the ride's path. Owl eyes glow from the trees and a full moon shines above the riders. Suddenly, riders approach a graveyard that yields an ominous fog that covers the path of riders. The iconic mountain from the movie can be seen in the distance. On top of the mountain is an animatronic Jack Skellington, who tells riders that Doctor Finklestein's castle is located in Halloween Town. The vehicles pass the mountain and continue through the graveyard until they approach the gates of Halloween Town.
The vehicles pass through the ominous gates of Halloween Town where everything appears to be too quiet. Suddenly, the town bursts alive as the animatronic residents appear out of windows and in the streets. They all sing "This is Halloween" as your vehicle careens and spins wildly around the crazy village. Your vehicle will occasionally pull up to one of the buildings and a town resident will pop out at you. The spooky ghouls and creatures are everywhere to be found. Soon, your vehicle glides to a halt as you approach Doctor Finklestein's castle.
Your vehicle crosses the drawbridge and into the laboratory. It is dark and has a green glow as various tubes and pipes and other alchemy materials litter the room. Your vehicle approaches a Doctor Finklestein as he works on a large potion. He turns to the riders in disgust and shouts that they will not steal the Christmas magic from him, as he is going to use it to completely destroy Christmas Town. He laughs as a colorful explosion of mist envelops riders, sending them spiraling deeper into the castle. Soon the vehicle stops before a large animatronic lizard creature that seems to be stitched together by Finklestein himself. The monster roars as it guards a single glowing present. The vehicle moves towards the monster as it grabs at riders. The ride vehicle spins under the monster as another colorful explosion of mist envelops the creature, allowing the vehicle to narrowly escape... With the present! The vehicle exits through the backside of the castle and riders are back in the ominous woods. The vehicle approaches the circle of trees yet again, and the single Christmas one begins to glow, allowing riders to re-enter Christmas Town.
Riders move through Christmas Town itself, as the residents cheer. The town is bright and cheerful once again. Your vehicle approaches the courthouse as you see Santa and Jack standing side by side, clapping, because you've saved Christmas. The clock on the courthouse is once again turning and Christmas is once again coming. The vehicles pull into the unloading area in between two homes. Guests walk through one of the homes and end up outside back in the streets of Christmas Town between the Christmas Mornings restaurant and entrance to The Dream before Halloween.
Skellington Goods - The last thing in Christmas Town is the shop, Skellington Goods, located between The Dream Before Halloween entrance and the entrance to Christmas Town. This shop sells only The Nightmare before Christmas merchandise. The shop is similar to all of the other buildings in Christmas Town, but if you look closely, each of the lightbulbs that line the shop are little heads of Jack Skellington.
Christmas Town at Disneyland will welcome guests with a year round taste of Christmas! Families can enjoy the two amazing attractions the land offers, experience Christmas morning all over again at the unique Christmas Mornings restaurant, meet Jack Skellington, buy their own Christmas ornaments and decorations and much more! Only Christmas Town at Disneyland can completely immerse guests into the wonderful world of The Nightmare before Christmas!
- The Haunted Mansion "The Nightmare before Christmas" Halloween overlay will cease to exist once Christmas Town is open. A new Halloween overlay is in the works for The Haunted Mansion.
As for the date, I made a huge error. I actually meant to put the end date as January 1st, not the 31st. Instead I think we will have the ending on January 12th.
Nobody wants Silent Night, Deadly Night?
For my land, I am going to start off with a basic overview of the area and I'll go into further details about each of the land's elements in the coming days.
While inspired by multiple Christmas specials, the majority of the land will be themed to Christmas Town from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Guests will enter the land through the Christmas Tree Forest and will be greeted by an Audio-Animatronic "Living Character" of Sam the Snowman who will sing songs from the special and chat with the guests. After passing through the forest, guests will end up in the main courtyard area of the land with paths to the various attractions which includes:
*Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Rudolph's Shiny Adventure-Guests will enter Santa's castle (much like MK's Little Mermaid ride) and board ice floes for an indoor boat ride through the songs and scenes from the classic special. You'll see all the characters from the special including Rudolph, Hermey, Yukon, Santa, the Misfit Toys and even the Abominable Snow Monster.
*Frosty's Bellywhopper-Tilt a whirl style ride in which guests ride on the back of Frosty (in the special Frosty is known as one of the world's best bellywhoppers (sledding on your stomach))
*Christmas Town Theatre-Plays live musical adaptations of the Rankin Bass specials including Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Little Drummer Boy and even some of the lesser known specials such as Jack Frost and The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (Rudolph will not be shown because he already has a ride that tells his story)
*Miser Brothers' Battle: Dueling roller coaster inspired by the popular characters from The Year Without a Santa Claus. Snow Miser's coaster will be a family-friendly steel coaster in which guests ride in toboggan style seating. Heat Miser's coaster will contain power launches and a few inversions.
*Other elements of the land will include:
*Santa's Workshop in which guests will be able to help Santa make Christmas presents and even take them home (for a fee)
*Mrs. Claus' Kitchen-Area's major dining facility
More details about the area will be coming soon and I look forward to sharing them with you.
Theme: The theme of Polar Express: The Park is simple but fun! Polar Express: The Park is a 24 acre park with 5 rides, 2 restaurants and 2 shows. The entrance is a snow covered train with Polar Express on the side, there on the train is the animatronic conductor saying All Aboard! As you enter the park you will see the rides on your left, The restaurants up ahead and the show buildings on the right.
Shows: Polar Express On Ice! Yes I know that there are many versions of this around the country but this one is extra special! The performers have tried to capture the best of the movie to entertain more than any other Polar Express Ice Show has ever done! With elegant moves, songs and awesome costumes this show is sure to interest the whole family!
Jack Hanna's Arctic Animal Show: Jungle Jack has come to show you all his favorite Arctic animals! Jack's show features animals such as white hares, polar bears and penguins. The penguins and polar bears will do belly flops and play with balls.
North Pole Cafe: The North Pole Cafe is shaped like an icy cave with a icicle covered sign saying The North Pole Cafe. Inside the decor is very attractive with carved ice like tables and chairs, and paintings of polar bears. The cafe serves coffee, pastries and small meals such as salads.
Express Restaurant: The Express Restaurant is a five star restaurant with a twist! The twist is that it is a five star restaurant on a train! This train is the exact one The Polar Express was modeled after, The Pere Marquette 125. The exterior is a beautiful jet black with The Express Restaurant painted in gold on the side. The interior of the train is painted gold with red leather seats, and a jukebox. Here are the menus for The Express Restaurant. The Express Restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner. You can make reservations for The Express Restaurant in both of the show buildings or you can call 1-800-229-700.
Breakfast Menu: Eggs Benedict, French Toast with blueberry, maple, molasses or strawberry syrup, all different kinds of crepes, buttermilk, blueberry or strawberry pancakes, cinnamon rolls and Belgian waffles.
Dinner Menu: Foie Gras, bacon and beef sandwich with carrots, green beans or peas, 6 7 or 8 oz. steak with soup or salad, grilled chicken sandwich with steak fries or sweet potato, Mahi Mahi with jasmine rice, Vegetable pizza with breadsticks or cheese bread and fresh fried cod with cole slaw, baked potato or white rice.
Dessert Menu: A piece of New York cheesecake ( Plain, Strawberry or Chocolate), Chocolate Molten Lava Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream on top, Orange glazed doughnuts and Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, Orange or Grape pastries.
Breakfast: Whole wheat or Buttermilk pancakes with yogurt or a banana, French Toast sticks covered in powered sugar or with maple syrup dipping sauce, Eggs and Toast with bacon or sausage and Belgian waffle with a cinnamon roll or doughnut.
Dinner Menu: Hamburger or Cheeseburger with fries, Chicken strips with Mac n cheese or a fruit cup, Hot dog with Cole slaw or a fruit cup, Ham and Cheese sandwich with chips and a Grilled Cheese with Tatertots.
Kids Dessert Menu: Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Sundae, Hershey's Chocolate Cake, A chocolate chip cookie or a Red Velvet Cupcake.
Polar Swing: A classic swing ride with a twist, Polar Swing is shaped like a polar bear! Polar Swing goes 30 ft in the air and swings out 3 ft
Arctic Coaster: The Arctic Coaster is a white and blue B&M invert with a beautiful queue!
Entrance: The entrance is a beautiful Antarctic mountain with the carved words Arctic Coaster. As soon as you step in you will feel very cold just like the Arctic! But not too cold or else you would freeze!
Queue: As you step into the queue you will notice the animal sanctuary with some of the most beautiful Arctic animals such as polar bears, penguins and white foxes. At special times you can see the animals being fed and doing tricks! As you go further in you will see on a tv behind the scenes of the Polar Express movie! You will then approach the coaster and get on! Enjoy your ride on the beautiful Arctic Coaster!
Penguin Carousel: Your kids will love this classic carousel! This carousel is all penguins and ice blocks, yes ice blocks but you can sit on them with even freezing your butt off!
Whale Wheel: The Whale Wheel is a classic Ferris wheel painted to look like the humpback whale! Young and old will enjoy the beautiful view from the whale wheel!
Polar-O: The Polar-O is a Disk-O roller coaster with an icy theme! Polar-O's car is a huge ice block and you the passenger are the "polar bear"!
Well, I hope you liked Polar Express: The Park. It is not my best but I am saving that for next TPA, plus it's just to get your creative juices flowing!
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort