THEME PARK APPRENTICE 9: FINALE - FIX WALT DISNEY STUDIOS PARIS

August 13, 2017, 2:50 PM

This is it! The finale! To those who remain, to Kenny Cook and FigmentPigments, welcome to the climax of “Theme Park Apprentice: Extreme Park Makeover!” You’ve earned it!

In this season, we’ve enjoyed a great variety of parks, both big and small. But here at the end, we must go once again to the biggest dog in the room...to Disney!

Back in 2001, Disney opened three new theme parks. While Tokyo DisneySea quickly emerged as the world’s greatest park, the other two – Disney’s California Adventure and Walt Disney Studios Paris – both stood out as the absolute worst parks Disney had ever created, hobbled by cheap budgets and creative ennui.

Disney’s California Adventure was brilliantly fixed! With a budget far larger than that of the original park, DCA 2.0 quickly became a crown jewel in the Disney Parks roster, with top-to-bottom improvements. As a California local, it’s honestly flabbergasted me how successfully they transformed the old DCA. I didn’t think it could be done.

And yet Walt Disney Studios Paris remains unchanged. It’s almost impossible to describe everything wrong with this park, a park I have visited, but for a total of 39 minutes until I could take no more of it. The place is a parking lot. The theming is minimal. The layout is absurd. There aren’t really even lands to speak of, just attractions placed randomly in an indifferent setting. There are bright spots, such as the Ratatouille miniland, but WDSP needs more of them!

So there it is…Fix Walt Disney Studios Paris!

Take as much creative liberty as Imagineering did when fixing DCA. Budget is no issue here. Disney’s executives want to see that WDSP can be brought up to the level of the stunningly beautiful Disneyland Paris next door, and they’re relying upon your creativity to make that happen! Bring you’re A-game, players, for fixing WDSP is the greatest conundrum in theme park history!

Since this is the finale, you will have 2 weeks! All proposals are due on Saturday, August 26th, at midnight site time. Late proposals without an acceptable excuse will see their point totals reduced.

Judging criteria remains the same as before.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Replies (25)

August 24, 2017, 5:48 PM

Just a reminder to Kenny and to FigmentPigments that your final projects are due by this Saturday by midnight (assuming you're having no life difficulties)! I trust you're both using your time wisely. This is really just to refresh the thread.

Edited: August 25, 2017, 11:00 AM

I guess that start a food festival is now off the table as a proposal?

August 25, 2017, 2:00 PM

Just to be absolutely clear, do we have to keep the same movie studios theme?

Edited: August 26, 2017, 2:54 AM

I don't think so.
Are you guys having trouble?

August 26, 2017, 7:04 AM

Oh, no trouble. I was re-reading the prompt to make sure I'm not missing any key details before I put on the finishing touches, and it struck me that the prompt said redesign the park like Disney did for California Adventure, but Disney didn't change the theme of the park, just made it more cohesive. I just wanted to make sure that the prompt was not asking us to keep the Studios theme as a requirement. Thanks for clarifying.

August 26, 2017, 9:02 AM

Sorry the is there a problem was more I thought it was Sunday already... working a sat instead of Sunday has blown my internal calendar.

August 26, 2017, 9:35 AM

Figment and Kenny.

My reference to the DCA redesign was more of a suggestion than a hard-and-fast rule. Whatever correction to WDSP you think would be the most effective, go with that. If you want a new theme or even a new name for WDSP, go with that! Make something that can proudly stand alongside DLP next door!

August 26, 2017, 10:25 AM

I don't suppose "pay parc asterix to move there" is detailed enough? :p

August 26, 2017, 10:47 AM

"Pay Europa Park to move there" would work even better if we're going that route ;)

August 26, 2017, 8:59 PM

Presenting… Disney’s Blockbuster Studios!!!! This revolutionary new theme park integrates state of the art attractions, world class shows, with astounding immersiveness to drop you right in the heart of all of Disney’s biggest hits!! This isn’t Walt Disney Studios no more, prepare for an epic transformation as almost the entire park is wiped clean, and given a fresh and vibrant new feel. Prepare for Disney Paris’ Blockbuster Studios!!!!!

Entrance: The entrance will be completely wiped out and given a fresh and modern new feel. Prepare for vibrant colors as a DCA inspired entrance rises, with an awe inspiring new front gate. A new and improved guest services member will assist you in entering one of the sleek turnstiles under the oversized blue entrance. Decorated with white “accents” and large black lettering, you’ll really feel like you’re a VIP at the world’s biggest studio. Welcome!!

Welcome Pavilion: The entire faux Hollywood street building has been knocked down, and now a brand new pavilion has appeared. An updated walkway leads you by newly planted trees with a fountain finally showing off the Studios’ new Entrance Icon. A large forest like mountain backdrop sits behind several insanely oversized banners, showing the various Disney classics you can experience today, including but not limited to, Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, Pirates of the Caribbean, Ratatouille, and more!!


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Seaside Junction)

>Attractions<
Finding Dory: Ocean Rescue- Finding Dory: Ocean Rescue is a highly immersive flashlight interactive dark ride that will be located in the space between Crush’s Coaster and Ratatouille: The Adventure. Guests will head through a nautical, yet highly themed queue, before boarding Submarines and taking a simulated dive to the Ocean Floor. They will then take their flashlights and search through various scenes to find Dory!! This attraction is reminiscent of Monster Inc: Ride and Go Seek, and due to no height requirement and unique interactivity, is sure to be an E ticket attraction that will headline the park

Great White Blasters- Great White Blasters is a trackless, water based attraction where guests splash and spin through an Oceanside bay, all while being targeted and blasted by guests with water cannons on the side. This ride is extremely loosely themed to Bruce, the Great White Shark in Finding Nemo, and is an almost exact clone of Aquatopia at Tokyo Disneysea

Lilo and Stitch’s Hang Ten Jamboree- Guests will scream in delight on Lilo and Stitch’s Hang Ten Jamboree!!! This Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree inspired attraction will swish and swirl guests through a festive musical based attraction!! All of course sponsored and hosted by everyone’s favorite Hawaiian girl and Alien pet, Lilo and Stitch!! This ride will be replacing the Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Crush’s Coaster- Crush’s Coaster is currently a fan favorite at the park, but it’s amazingness is about to be taken to a whole new level!! In addition to visual touchups, integrated projections will be added to the ride to give it a loose new storyline, which is saving Sea Turtles from the ocean’s hazards, as well as providing an even more stunning visual spectacular

>No Wait Attractions<
Monterey Bay Dolphinarium- Disney is in a bit of a pickle right now due to their Epcot renovations, they have 4 dolphins who live on site, yet are going to be removed, and don’t have a home. Not anymore!! Replacing the Art of Animation is the Monterey Bay Dolphinarium!! This brand new state of the art aquatic creature housing facility will house 4 dolphins in the most technologically advanced indoor-outdoor tanks yet. Due to the reuse of the very tall and very large Animation building, this will be the largest dolphin tank in the world, holding daily dolphin encounters, as well as various other touch pools for kids to explore. These tanks have a separate area outside by Great White Blasters with one way glass, letting people riding the trackless water ride to be able to see the dolphins, without them knowing people are there, allowing for a more natural viewing

Nemo’s Bay of Play- This oversized wet-and-dry combo play structure allows kids to run and scream their hearts out with this Nemo themed play area. In addition to the large ropes and slides area accompanied by a slide free splash pad with changing rooms, is a smaller “Baby Nemo Fun Spot” where guests under 6 can enjoy sensory activities as well as miniature padded slides and swings

Little Mermaid: The Musical- Replacing Mickey and the Magical Hat, Little Mermaid: The Musical is a fantastic new Broadway production being held right in the heart of Disney’s Blockbuster Studios!! Prepare for singing, acting, dancing, and technical effects as you’ll be wowed with this new 24 minute production!!

>Dining<
The Snackin Kraken: This quick service restaurant and drink bar serves Aqua Themed light meals and snacks, in addition to fountain beverages

Splashin Snacks: Inside the Monterey Bay Dolphinarium is a fruit and healthy snacks stand, under the name Splashin Snacks

Other Notes:
-All the bare concrete will be torn up, and wooded planks (as seen at DCA’s boardwalk) will be put in it’s place, allowing for a more realistic Bayside Feel
-Colorful aqua appearing topiaries with accompanying lights will be placed all around, in addition to metallic “coral benches”
-A colorful backing will connect from Finding Dory: Ocean Rescue to Little Mermaid: The Musical allowing for no break in the seaside setting
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Toy Story Universe)
Toy Story Playland is now a thing of the past, as Toy Story Universe emerges!! Expanding onto the space taken up by the Studio Tour, this totally refurbished and expanded sections will wow Toy Story fans of all ages!!

>Same Attractions<
Slinky Dog Spin, RC Racer, and Army Men’s Parachute Drop will all remain in place with various cosmetic touch ups. Immediately after entering the land’s right entrance, a heavily themed path will lead behind Ratatouille: The Adventure, and into the new attractions

>New Attractions<
Emperor Zurg’s Battle for Toy Story Universe- Emperor Zurg’s Battle for Toy Story Universe is a highly immersive and interactive 3D Motion based simulator. After entering a highly modern and futuristic building, guests will board Battle Pods where they will be “portalized” into space, where they will battle Emperor Zurg before destroying his evil empire and roaring back to earth. This ride is a world class E ticket attraction, and will definitely be the highlight of Toy Story Universe. This attraction is very similar to Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, however, it relies almost solely on physical sets, and only uses screens to preform maneuvers that physically can’t be done with a motion simulator car, such as multi story free-falls, and overbank like inversions

Iron Bullseye- A family friendly standout in this all new universe will be the Iron Bullseye rollercoaster!! This Zamperla Motobike coaster will thrill guests of all ages as they roar from 0 to 46mph in 3.8 seconds, all while sitting like they’re riding on a bronco, a very loveable bronco named Bullseye from Toy Story that is!!

Buzz Lightyear’s Arcade Rescue- Coming to Toy Story Universe is an all new spin on the ever famous Star Tours attraction, and what an awesome spin this will be. Guests will head through the extremely iconic Pizza Planet restaurant before getting sent with Buzz on a zany and out of control Motion Simulated adventure!! Save the Green Aliens from getting trapped inside “The Clawwwwwwwww” and soar through the stars on… Buzz Lightyear’s Arcade Rescue

>New Dining Options<
Pizza Planet- This oversized eatery will provide a highly themed and iconic dining experience, combined with an attached arcade

>Other Notes<
-Scaled to human size toys will be scattered throughout the expansion space, creating fantastic photo opportunities and also providing a safe place for kids to explore
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Le Adventur De Paris)
The unnamed Ratatouille area shall forever be known by it’s new, permanent, name… Le Adventur De Paris!!

>Thematic Upgrades<
Since there are no attraction additions to La Adventur De Paris, I thought it’d be nice to touch on the new Thematic Upgrades. The opposing sides of the lands that are currently other buildings will be decked out with faux Paris facades. In addition, there will be numerous visual upgrades such as replacing the asphalt with cobblestones, adding in working light posts, plus newspaper boxes that allow people to purchase an actual Disney written newspaper in French weekly. Another part of the land that will be added is a character actor, as a major thing during that time was the use of Telegraph deliverers. An actor dressed in authentic time period clothing will roam the streets on his/her bike, delivering fake messages to various people (sometimes inside there are little bonuses to make your trip more magical, such as a coupon for free drink’s for your party, or a one time fast pass for any attraction)
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>Imagination District<
The Backlot Area at Walt Disney Studios was a hodgepodge of mixed up themes, clashing décor, and less than satisfactory restaurants, not anymore!! Replacing Rockin’ Rollercoaster, Lights Motor Action, Studio Tour Section #2, Blockbuster Dining, and Armageddon is the all new Imagination District!! This imagination themed land filled with bright colors, character meet and greets, and some famous icons will surely be a hit with everyone from the little kids who enjoy hands on activities, to the thrill seekers of the group. Imagination District has something for everyone!!


>New Attractions<
Monsters Inc: The Adventure - Rockin Rollercoaster is getting a whole new outlook on life with Monsters Inc: The Adventure!! After walking through an elaborate queue decked out to appear like the Monster’s Inc Laugh Factory, guests will board a famous Monstertroplis cab, which just might possibly be a completely overhauled Vekoma train with Vest Restraints. And after taking a wrong tour during a tour of Metropolis, they find themselves in a highly reactive Laugh Containers unit!! BOOM!! The laugh containers explode as guests rocket out into the door section of the Monsters Inc factory, laughing, screaming, and having a blast along the way!!

Sully’s Wheel of Fun- To entertain the little monsters of Monstertropolis, Sully has built a mini amusement park in the local park!! The star attraction is his quite large, homemade appearing, bright green Ferris wheel with the famous white eye on it!! (Part of the mini kids section in the back area of the land, where Lights Motor Action, and Studio Tour Part #2 used to be)

Scare Floor Diver- This mini drop tower themed to the ever known closets in Monsters Inc will delight guests of all ages as they gently lift and bounce up and down the 12ft shaft of this structure, perfectly designed to look like Boo’s door (Part of the mini kids section in the back area of the land, where Lights Motor Action, and Studio Tour Part #2 used to be)

Laugh Tank Sky High Adventure- Laugh Tank Sky High Adventure is a small Astro Orbiter style attraction that twirls the youngest monsters through the air, while allowing them to control their height the entire time (Part of the mini kids section in the back area of the land, where Lights Motor Action, and Studio Tour Part #2 used to be)

Roz’s Bumper Blast- These miniature bumper cars that are themed to little “Roz’s” from Monsters Inc will delight guests of all ages as they gently bump and drive in a tiny bumper car arena. This attraction has a covered queue, yet the actual ride is indoors, making it the perfect rainy day experience. The inside battle area that’s decorated to look like the Door Factory is a fantastic way to gain kid’s interest in the movie, and introduce them into the other themed attractions (Part of the mini kids section in the back area of the land, where Lights Motor Action, and Studio Tour Part #2 used to be)

Inside Out’s Emotion Commotion- Coming to Disney’s Blockbuster Studios is an all new, completely original, worlds’ first attraction!! After heading through a painstakingly immersive queue, guests will board one of the 5 Gyrospheres, each themed to one of the major emotions in the film, and roll out on their almost 5 minute adventure. They will roll through all the major scenes of the film, and what is really cool is there are an additional 4 rooms placed off to the side that can be themed to Inside Out 2’s most famous sections. This means that when the movie finally opens, Disney can reroute the cars to go through these additional spaces, leading for a completely new experience that combines both movies, and giving guests a longer ride while not taking away what they currently love about Emotion Commotion. Guests at the end will enter the famous scrambler room where they will be sent on a mild, but still pretty cool, rocking and spinning journey, mimicking a mini dance party with all the famous characters from the films. Guests will have a choice in their intensity level, so motion sickness won’t be a problem!!

Bing Bong’s Bubble Bonanza- No, Cedar Fair didn’t come up with this name, but they certainly did help inspire the thrills for Bing Bong’s Bubble Bonanza!! Guests will walk through a highly themed queue (I apologize for saying that so much) before boarding a rich pink Chance Rides Unicoaster, with each car themed to a Bubble Gum Bubble. Guests will spin round and round on this experience while jamming out to custom tunes written for the experience, before disembarking and heading out to the rest of Imagination District

>Dining Experiences<
Inside Out’s Emotions Eatery- Wow!! Will be the first thing guests think of when they enter the “Emotions Eatery”!! Paris’ first Roller coaster restaurant rollercoaster will amaze guests of all ages with sophisticated food choices, friendly staff, and of course, their food riding to them on a mini coaster. The level of personalization allows diners to customize what themed plate their food arrives on, and even custom embroidery on cakes!!

>Other Notes<
-All the ugly asphalt in the land will be ripped up and replaced with rubbery almost padded surface that will protect kids against the falls that can be experienced in the park, while not inconveniencing any non-kid experiencers
-The new turf in the kid’s mini area will be dark grey with various colorful shapes, patterns, and numbers, making even walking a blast!!
-There will be 2 character meet and greet spots in the land, one by Monsters Inc: The Adventure, featuring Monster’s Inc characters, and One by Inside Out’s Emotion Commotion, featuring Inside Out characters

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>Treasure Cove<
Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror, Stitch Live, and Cinemagique, plus the addition green space and parking lot located just to the left will be destroyed, and from the ashes will arrive Treasure Cove. This all new Pirates of the Caribbean themed land will be the World’s. Best. And. Awesomest. Themed. Area. Ever.

The Black Pearl: Freefall of Doom- Now I’m quite aware I won’t be making many friends with this move, but another Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror will be closing in order to receive a complete overhaul and retheme. But this time, it will remerge as a Pirates of the Caribbean themed ride. Guests will stroll up and stare in awe at the amassing building, now covered in Skull Island inspired rockwork. A worn metal rod with faux skulls on it, combined with mystical music and a faint mist set the tone for an extraordinarily scary experience. (Guests are warned multiple times throughout the queue that this is not a ride meant for immature audiences). After entering the rusted hull of the Black Pearl, guests will enjoy a queue that even people who have no clue what Pirates of the Caribbean is will love!! After entering a small barrel storage room in the ship, an animatronic Jack Sparrow explains that the Black Pearl has crashed into this haunted island, and the entire crew is hunting Jack, determined to sacrifice him to appease the angry spirits of the island to let the entire crew and ship sail free again. He goes onto explain that he's found an old transport lift, and since we're trapped here too, we're going to try and both escape from the cursed Black Pearl!! Everyone hops in and the ride seems to be going smoothly at first, until suddenly we pull up and see that other pirates are there and we're trapped!! A customized ride sequence with unique visuals and accompianing soundtrack for each time the port doors open will make this a unique and thrilling experience, especially when you throw in a randomized drop sequence as well. This will truly be a world class drop tower that is not to be missed

Blackbeard's High Seas Cyclone- Out of the dust that Stitch Live was, will appear an all new Rollercoaster styled adventure. This Journey to the Center of the Earth inspired attraction will be a fantastic compliment to the park, and will provide a completely unique experience. Board the miniature ships and pull across your seatbelt before winding deep into the mystic mountain. Suddenly, the skeleton of Davy Jones spurs to life (very similarly found in Shanghai Disney’s Pirates ride) and attacks, and you are sent on a wild adventure through the mountain. The most impressive and technologically advanced animatronic to date will haunt you as you race through the mountain and burst out the top through an oversized cryptic skull, flying into a double down, followed by a quick twister section, before finally flying through 2 extreme ejector airtime hills back into the dis-embarkment port.

Kraken’s Fury- If you think you’ve seen crazy rollercoasters before, you haven’t seen anything yet. Replacing Cinemagique and partially becoming the all new gate coaster for Disney’s Blockbuster Studios. Soar down a 176ft drop on the world’s first B&M 4D Coaster. After walking through the most astounding queue ever to be done in a theme park, board your clamshell cars, and rise up the enclosed lift hill. A furious storm strikes (as seen through the project mapping), and you’re sent flying down this completely insane vertical dive into the mouth of the Kraken. Afterwards, soar into a series of rapid fire airtime hills, that give you either insane flips or ejector air, due to the forced rotation. Twist and have your heart pump through multiple more extreme elements, such as a Raven Drop (similar to the end dives on S&S 4D Free spins), a Cutback, and a Zero G roll, before sliding back into the enclosed break run, that continues the Kraken Storm theme. A B&M 4D Coaster has never been done before due to the extreme cost, but with this park redo, money is no problem

>Dining Options<
Maties Mercado- This, you guessed it, highly themed new quick service combo restaurant will delight experiencers of all ages with fantastic island inspired food options. Guests can have the choice to either sit down and enjoy a full service restaurant, quickly grab some food and sit in a sectioned off dining area, purchase some quick, very light snacks and eat on the go, or refill their drinks at the Infinity Falls drink bar. And yes, the Infinity Falls drink bar is a decked out drink machine, behind a waterfall, surrounded by vegetation and theming, partially inside a restaurant


>No Wait Attractions<
Captain Jack’s Pirate Training Course- All the little pirates out there need a place to run and play, so Captain Jack thought about them too!! Pirates in training can run and play on one of the largest play places in the world!! This area features an expansive ropes and slides course, a “cave tour” with abundant water features that will delight the littlest ones, a miniature playground for the under 5 crowd, character interactions, and tons of photo opportunities and fun!!

>Other Notes<
-Any “rock” structures in the area are in the style of Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Universal Studios Orlando
-The mini plaza by Stitch’s Live will be torn down and replaced with a themed resting/sitting area
-This area doesn’t only rely on rockwork and nice flooring to set the theme, the entire area is decorated with miniature pirate sets, landscaping, misters, music, and other sensory upgrades
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Guest Services Improvement:
Walt Disney Studios has always had a grim spot on Disney’s ever so shiny reputation for having some pretty poor service, but luckily, I have a solution!! Here are some new policies and procedures in place to improve guests’ experience.
-Every employee will go through a mandatory 4 hour guests services seminar before the park reopens to the public
-6 Undercover Employees will be present within the park at any time, and if an employee has an exceptionally pleasant experience with a cast member, they can put it into a custom designed system that automatically gives the employee an addition payment into their next check, they can earn up to $40 a month
-Low wages lead to low morale, so a raise for every employee that works there is absolutely needed. Currently, Disney Paris employees receive $8.75 per hour, but after the pay hike, they will receive $10.00 an hour.
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Crowd Flow:
Due to Walt Disney Studios' nonsensical layout, major changes to the park's flow had to occur in order to ease crowding for the hoards of new vistors, and to allow for future expansion without pinch points. Multiple major structures/attractions had to be taken down to allow for this renovation, including but not limited to: Tower Hotel Gifts, Backlot Dining (front seating area), ToonTown and Meet&Greet, and the Studio Tour. With the removal of these structures/attractions, and the Studio Tour especially, guests can now walk around the park in a wide open circular fashion without any pinch points. And with the Toy Story Universe expansion plus Imagination District Kids Section, these 2 little mini circles on the end make the park's aerial view look like Mickey Mouse!! What a fun little thing!!
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Expansion Space:
Disney's Blockbuster Studios is definitely going to be a destination park, and that means they need room to expand in the future. I have designed the park so that way, adding onto what was discussed in the section above, the space that is the now demolished Studio Tour entrance and loading, plus the massive parking lot behind that, can be used for a future expansion. And beyond that, a new land could be placed on the rightmost side of the park next to Seaside Junction. The large entrance would be placed in between Little Mermaid: The Musical and Lilo and Stitch's Hang Ten Jamboree, and the natural exit would spill out right next to Emperor Zurg's Battle for Toy Story Universe, in the Toy Story Universe themed section. Both these spaces have amazing potential for future use, and I couldn't wait to see what Disney would do with them!!
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Walt Disney Studios is a smudge on a shiny reputation, and this new park is about to wipe away all that. Say goodbye to the old, and say hello to the new… Disney’s Blockbuster Studios!!!!!!

August 27, 2017, 12:24 AM

Service announcement:

FigmentPigments has informed me that she's been having technical computer issues for much of today. (I can verify these are genuine.) For this reason, I feel it is only fair to grant her an additional day to complete her final proposal. I hope there are no objections.

Kenny, you may take this time to fine tune your proposal if you wish. Otherwise, relax and bask in a season successfully completed!

August 27, 2017, 7:28 PM

You doing okay Figment Pigments? I'm eager to see the concepts you've created!!

Edited: August 27, 2017, 7:35 PM

I just wanted to thank the judges for understanding my unforeseen complications yesterday. Also, to Kenny, it was a pleasure to compete against you in this season, and I wish you luck in the final judging.

Edited: August 27, 2017, 7:51 PM

Walt Disney Studios Paris started off as a great concept for a park based off of movies, music, and TV, but since it’s inception, it has floundered in ways that are wholly unimaginable to Disney. With rides and shows being shoved randomly into any space that would fit, this park has slowly becoming a conglomerate of different IPs and shows that, while some may be truly worth the experience, most have become stale, out of date, or just seen as place holders. This park is, frankly, a disappointment by not bringing in the attendance that other Disney parks seem to have no problem doing. It’s time that Disney admits defeat and realize that this park is simply not succeeding; it is time to redesign and rebuild.

The question remains though, what should this park become. The simple solution would be to keep the movie studios theme and re-imagine each area into different genres of movies. The surprising issue with that would be the natural inclusion of Star Wars land, Toy Story land, and most likely Marvel which are already in other parks. While these IPs are certainly money makers, duplicating these areas into Paris could prevent guests from traveling outside of Paris to these other parks (spending their money), and likewise could detour US guests from traveling to Paris if they can get the same experience within their own country. Disney needs to have this park stand out as something different that would not take away from any other park and inspire guests, both foreign and domestically, to visit this new park.

One of Disney’s greatest achievements in it’s movies is the creation of immersive worlds that feel natural and organic to the story, characters, and the time frame. Not surprisingly though, some of the best examples are worlds that are secretive, go largely unseen, and are filled with strange magic and creatures. Imagine seeing the world as a mouse, how different everyday normal objects would appear to a creature no bigger than the length of your hand, or jump into a world full of nightmarish creatures that only appear on one day a year, or even be sucked into a completely digital world run by computer programs. These are the worlds people want to know more about, with some even developing a cult following, and it is time Disney recognized and capitalized on that. With this goal in mind, Disney has decided to translate these worlds into the new lands. Not only will this also give Disney license to create fully immersive lands that are now becoming more and more prominent in most of the other parks, but will also showcase the hidden worlds featured in different environments like the ocean, the jungle and even space. Thus, Disney would like to welcome future guests to Hidden Worlds of Disney Paris.

Hidden Worlds of Disney Paris

walt-disney-studios-map
Please note, the land sizes are not to scale.

Upon first encountering the entrance to this new park, guests will notice that the original gates still remain but have been modified to give the guests a clue to what lies beyond as each gate is themed to one of the different areas inside the park. For instance, one of the side gates is themed to the monster world shown in Monsters Inc and Monsters University, with glaring eyes and spikes.

The main gate, however, stands out as it is the only one not matching just one of the interior lands. This stone archway looks cracked and old, as if it’s been standing there for years, just waiting for someone to pass through. The oversize lock of the front of the gate is guarded over by Disney castmembers waiting for the key needed to open the gates. On each stone block around the entranceway, is a symbol representing one of the lands: Moana’s symbol, a light disk for Tron, the Shepard’s Journal symbol for Atlantis, a bow and arrow for Robin Hood, a balloon for Up, and so on.

Opening Ceremony

As the opening of the park draws closer, a low, bass voice sounds over the crowd.

Welcome, all of you who are brave enough to step out of your world and into the unknown. You will come across many strange and beautiful things, but there will also be some that will thrill and chill you. Be warned, you will go beyond the limits of your eyes to see secret things that lie just beyond normal perceptions. Be adventurous, be daring, and be ready to step inside the Hidden Worlds of Disney.”

The host family (chosen at random) will lift the oversized key into the lock on the gates and turn it. As the lock clicks open, each symbol on the main gate will light up until it reaches the pinnacle, then the gates will swing open to allow guests in to explore.

Hall of Possibilities

This covered area if the main shopping center for this park. While individual shops can be found in each land, this building is the catch all for this park. Additionally, this building will serve a dual purpose of providing cover for weather but also dispersing guests out into the different areas of the park.

The Digital World is something that has intrigued guests for a long time. Game consoles are only making their products more player friendly, graphically detailed, and well deigned to make the guests feel as if they are actually the characters they play on screen. It’s not secret that gamers would love to step into the worlds of their favorite games, worlds that are locked away in code and bits. This new Digital World will let guests step not only into some video games, but become part of the action.

Guest who head immediately to the left will encounter the decrepit building of Flynn’s Arcade. Although the doors are always open, the place has obviously seen better days. The brown brick building will help blend in well with the 1930’s decor of the Twilight Zone land across the way.

After entering the arcade, guests can’t help but see the cobwebs hanging overhead and the game paint is faded and peeling. What could possibly be in here worth seeing? Although sharp eyed guests may see hidden props and get to peek inside Flynn’s old office, there are actually two different tunnels guests can travel down. If guests travel down the blue lit tunnel, they will be transported to Tron City, while the green lit tube tunnel will take guests to Game Central Station.

Tron City

Tron City is a land that is caught in the midst of revolution. CLU has taken over and only the hope is Tron who can save its inhabitants. Along the neon-lined buildings, graffiti-like Free Code lights up declaring ‘TRON LIVES!’ and fades away as quickly as it appeared. After passing under the Derez Gate, guests have the option of five attractions, two dining options, and two souvenir locations.

Escape From the Grid is the E ticket headliner for this area. This roller coaster will take the place of Rock n Roller Coaster still keeping the loops and the thrills but also combining it with thrill of light jets (projected on the walls) chasing after you and the other users.

For those who can’t handle loops or roller coasters may just be too intense, Light Cycle Roadsters could be more comfortable but still providing the E ticket experience. Utilizing the same technology as Flights of Passage in Animal Kingdom, guests will board their Light Cycles for a 4D experience. The bikes will dip and move in accordance with what is happening on the screen as they weave around pursuing light cycles and avoid crashing into other light cycle trails. The climax of the ride happens as the guests break out of the Coliseum and into the Outlands. The guests will feel like they’re falling as the walls crumble around them and ground rapidly coming up. Guests are pursued into the Outlands, but are saved by Quora, who leads the guests to safety.

Weaker constitutions and kids are not forgotten here in Tron City either. The Light Rail is a slow moving train that takes guests around Tron City, detailing the propaganda of CLU and the rules for all loyal programs. Much like the PeopleMover, this low intensity ride is the perfect way to relax, take a load off, and is family friendly.

Outlands: Grid Bug Attack will bring a shooter type ride into this park. Guests are recruited to keep the gridbugs from taking over Tron City. Similar to many of the Buzz Lightyear/ Monsters Inc shooter games, guests will rack up points by shooting as many of the gridbugs as possible with more points being awarded for difficulty. This ride will feature three different tracks that go through different environments and keep guests coming back to try out each track and earn more points.

Last but not least, guests can step into the Disk Arena to battle against other users (guests). After guests are scanned, they will step into the battle pod and using the upgraded tech from the Iron Man Experience, guests will be able to fling light disks (simulated) at their opponents until one or the other is derezzed. If other users are not available to battle against, guests will face programs instead.

After a fighting off CLU’s minions, guests can grab a quick snack at the Portal or enjoy the quick service restaurant at the End of the Line Club serving up delicious burgers, salads, glowing drinks, and pulsing beats.

For guests looking to take home a piece of Tron City, The Siren’s Armory offers a variety of Tron themed merchandise and Flynn’s Safehouse is the home for general Hidden Worlds of Disney merchandise.

While guests can enjoy the daytime activities of Tron City, it is at night where the city really comes to life. As the sun goes down, the neon lights up. The Portal snack location throws a large spotlight into the sky, replicating the way back to the real world as seen in the Tron movies. Guest should beware of viruses, programs, and CLU’s guards walking around interacting with the Users, but the highlight will be the ElecTRONica dance party lifted from Disneyland.


Game Central Station

Back in Flynn’s Arcade, guest who chose to take the green tube tunnel will be transported to Game Central Station. Similar to the Wreck-It Ralph movie, this large covered area will be a great place to relax in the air conditioning or enjoy a light snack or drink from Cubert’s Cubicle. Souvenir drinks and food are served in little square containers and feature mostly healthy items such as fruit and smoothies.

Kids who aren’t in line to meet Ralph, Sargent Calhoun, or Vanellope can also try their hand at the design his or her own candy cart. This interactive touch screen game allows users to create the cart of their dreams. After there cart is scanned to their cards, guests can take it to the racing simulator and then test it out against other carts in the Random Roster Race.

Sugar Rush Racers allows guests of all ages to drive their own (electric) carts around the four lane track themed to the Sugar Rush game. Ramping up to 7 miles an hour, guests will drive down Rainbow Road, Gumball Pass, and Cupcake Canyon that unlike other speedways in Disney parks, this speedway will surround the drivers in his or her with giant cupcakes, cheering fans, and precariously placed gumballs. Be on the look out for Sugar Rush residents that may pop up to cheer you on.

With the assured success, of battle against the first order in the new Star Wars land, Disney has decided to transfer that technology over to Hero’s Duty. Guests are dropped in the middle of a Cybug attack with Sargent Calhoun. Calhoun is less than impressed with the guest’s interference, but she can’t leave her soldiers to fight alone. We have no choice but to follow along as Calhoun and company battle their way to the tower and light the beacon. Much like the current Star Tours, this ride will have multiple versions that can be mixed and match to keep the ride experience fresh.


For most, The Fifth Dimension, is a product of the Twilight Zone TV series. While the show is no longer at the height of it’s popularity, there is no denying that the show brought to light the mysteries of time, space, and the human mind. So guests take heed: “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”

One of the most successful rides to come out of Disney is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, no matter what version. This ride will be one of the few remaining pieces that will not change. However, the means the surrounding land will have to change to fit this themeing. Luckily, the old Armageddon area can easily be transformed into the desert and destroyed streets seen in Time Enough At Last. With little nods to some of the premiere episodes, this land is full of details for fans to discover.

Much like the TV show itself, the characters that wonder this area have their own stories to tell. While some might be humorous, most are filled with strange tales of curious happenings. Such characters guests might see are Henry Bemis (still searching for his glasses), the Hitch Hiker, Mr. Death, and even the Shadow man.

This area will also serve as the main dining location for the Fifth Dimension with the quick service dining location Rideview Diner (Nick of Time) and the table service restaurant, Mr. Lee's Chinese Cuisine, where old clips of some of the best Twilight Zone episodes are shown. The interior of this particular table service is completely back, white, and grey. Even the servers are dressed to match. Although there will be no To Serve Man cookbook in this kitchen, make sure to heed the advice of your fortune cookie for it may just deliver your due fortune.

Before leaving the Fifth Dimension, be sure to stop by Treasures of the Twilight Zone to pick up some souvenirs.


World of Supernatural

If guests venture far enough passed the old Armageddon area, they will encounter a copse of trees, gnarled and bent, with no leaves growing on any of the branches regardless of what time of year it is. If guests dare to continue further back, they may stumble upon a grove filled with trees, each with a door shaped like a particular holiday. Guest can open each door to hear Christmas carols, smell flowers and chocolates, or hear eerie laughter. However, there is only one path beyond the grove, so guests can continue forward or turn back around. Considering just ahead is Halloweentown, turning back may not be a bad choice.

Halloweentown is home to Jack Skellington and all of his friends. Guests can meet Jack and Sally in the pumpkin patch or guests can head over to the c ticket attraction, The Nightmare Before Christmas Ride. Take a coffin through the wacky tale of a skellington man obsessed with a holiday that is not his own.

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At the end of the ride, guests can disembark and head over to meet Oogie Boogie in his lair or if guests are hungry for snake and spider stew, they can head over to Dr. Finkelstein’s to grab some of Sally’s famous soup. Just look out for the deadly nightshade.

Of course, if guests are looking for a little more light hearted entertainment, they can stop by Town Hall, where the creepy cast of Halloweentown are holding a town meeting to try to work out other holidays such as Valentines Day or Easter, often with comedic results.


Hidden Forests

Not everyone will appreciate the dark elements of Halloween Town, but fear not for the nightmare woods soon turn into a lush forest of Sherwood filled with bandits and outlaws lurking to rob from the rich to give to the poor. This is the hidden world of Robin Hood. Guests can catch up to the bandit and his merry men for meet and greets, but the highlight is the dance party that happens daily. Join in with the characters as the sing about the phony king of England.

After enjoying a good dance of two, try your hand at the Archery games over in the next clearing. Sharing this area is the Scottish Games, a show that demonstrates the feats of strength and agility as seen in Brave. That’s right from Robin Hood, guests have stumbled into the world of Merida and it’s magical secrets.

If feats of strength are not enough, Fergus’s Table is a hearty sit down service specializing in family style offerings. Expect to be entertained with rousing songs and the tale of Mor’du. After filling their bellies, guests may want to take a ride on the D ticket ride: A Brave Journey, the retelling of the story of Merida and her mother.

If guests choose to follow the Wisps through the woods, they might pass through the towering Standing Stones where they can meet Merida. For those whose venture further, the Witch’s Cottage lies just ahead. Although the witch has apparently left for the Burning Man festival in Stonely, guests can still enter her cottage and talk to her pet cow, who always seems to have something to say.


Secret Jungles

The woods of Scotland start to give away to thicker trees and vegetation. Wild parrot calls and the hooting of monkeys suggest that guests have wandered into the hidden worlds of the jungle. Here guests have three options: go straight ahead to the lagoon, take the southern pass to Paradise Falls or go north to the Motunui.

Down the southern trail, Paradise Falls recreates the world of Up by displaying stunning vestiges of waterfalls and even the cave where Charles Muntz hid his balloon. Travel into the maze of rocks to have a meet and greet with Dug, Kevin, Mr. Fredrickson, and Russell or maybe explore the Spirit of Adventure with it’s interactive displays and controls. The highlight here though is the c-ticket ride that takes guests up in their own balloons follow Russell and Mr. Fredrickson as they try to save Kevin from Muntz.

Straight ahead lies the Voyager’s Lagoon, an open air amphitheater that is home to the nighttime show, Moana – We Know the Way. This musical extravaganza features many of the classic songs from Moana synced to the movements of the canoes sailing across the water. Water effects criss cross the open water, but the biggest sequence is the attack of the Kakamora, featuring the largest floating set piece ever created. Together with projections, remote controlled floats, and great rhythmic music, Moana – We Know the Way is a must-see adventure.

Guests entering into Motunui will be greeted with the laid back island vibe. Moana and Maui will be on hand to greet fans and sign autographs. Guests can head to the sandy shore that borders Voyager’s lagoon to relax or play in the sand, but most will head to the Ceremonial Hut to hear the story of the Heart of Te Fiti. This short, intimate show utilizes projection effects to surround the guests with stylized images that helps the storyteller at certain points in the story.


Underwater Worlds

If guest decide to take Moana’s desire for adventure, they may accidently stumble into Lalotai, the land of monsters. The stone seal that normally seals this area off from the rest of area has been left open leading mortals straight into the lair of Tamatoa. Although this area is totally enclosed, when guests look up, guests will feel like they are underwater with projected waves rolling across the ceiling. Much like in the movie, this world glows with a bright array of colors and if guests are on their toes, they may see some of the strange creatures that inhabit this world on their way to see Tamatoa.

Talking with Tamatoa is the up-graded version of Turtle Talk with Crush, and will use a large scale AA that will move and react to guests’s questions and may even perform a little song. This will be by far the most advanced AA Disney has ever created, but will be sure to impress guests to return time and time again.


Atlantis

Guests shouldn’t linger too long in Tamatoa’s lair, and make their way out of the land of monsters as soon as possible. Behind Tamatoa’s lair is a stone cavern that looks like it leads to safety. Overhead, fish and turtles swim overhead, keeping the feeling that the guests are still underwater. Gradually, stones and pillars with strange marking start to appear. Intrepid guests may stop to try a figure out what these symbols mean (the language is not too hard to figure out). Even more elaborate murals start to pop up leading the guests to believe they are about to stumble across the lost city of Atlantis.

It seems though, the Guardians are prohibiting entry at this time although guests may et the chance to explore the chamber that holds the Heart of Atlantis. Guests can either go back and try to sneak past Tamatoa or they can board one of the Expedition: Atlantis subs to head back to the surface. This is actually the second half of this transportation ride.

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Similar to the Hogwarts Express, this attraction is part transportation and part ride. The first portion of the ride can be found in the Atlantis area. The queue starts in Mr. Whitmore’s Mansion where guests will be able to view his aquarium of exotic fish and models for the expedition for journey to Atlantis. Eventually, guests enter into the docking station where they will board the subs to travel beneath the waves (subs will not actually go beneath water but take hints from Tokyo Sea’s version of the ride).

Along the way, guests can view the strange and wonderful creatures and be attacked by the Leviathan. Fortunately, the subs escape the claws of the mechanical lobster and make it to the entrance to Atlantis where they can either disembark to visit Lalotai or stay on board and travel back to Mr. Whitmore’s Mansion.


Cityscape

One of the nearly perfectly themed areas in the previous Studios park was the Ratatoullie area, and will remain unchanged. The trackless ride, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy is marvelous of technology using both 3D screens, practical effects to bring the hidden world of rats to the human eye. Likewise the restaurant, Le Bistrot Chez Rémy and the gift shop, Chez Marianne Souvenirs de Paris, will also remain.


Deep Space

One of the most under rated Disney movies to come out, Treasure Planet, is the theme of the far reaches of space. Guests will enter Montressor Spaceport. The city is a mix of old and new and guests will be pleasantly surprised to see “aliens” walking around, selling wares and interacting with guests. Behind the buildings, the imposing ship the RLS Legacy looms as if ready to take off.
Before heading to far into the port, guests may want to stop by the Benbow Inn for a quick bite, and although Mrs. Hawkins isn’t available to serve guests personally, any number of servers will be glad to wait on guests.

The headlining attraction, Alponian Solar Cruising takes inspiration from Soarin’ taking guests across alien worlds via the map, a holographical sphere that open doorways to many different part of the galaxy. Guests will board in their own solar surfers and be lifted off to follow Jim Hawkins and Morph through the portal, performing daring aerial feats in the process.

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The Monster World

Monstropolis is home to the monster world where guests are encouraged to explore a world that was once off limits to humans. This area has all of the little details that can be seen in Monsters Inc. such as the Stalk, Don’t Stalk cross walk signs, the giant eye that pears out from an apartment window, and Tony's Grossery, which will actually serve healthy snack options.

At the end of the street is Monster’s University which serves as a meet and greet for Mike and Sully. Nearby, guest can take in the signature dining experience of Harryhausen's, a sit down restaurant specializing in Japanese cuisine.

The last E ticket for the re-imagined park will finally see the inception of the Monster’s Inc. Door Coaster. Monsters, Inc. is holding an open house today and is inviting humans to come tour their energy-gathering facility Guests will first enter an elaborate recreation of the Monsters, Inc. lobby with Ceilia working behind the reception desk. After guests board their vehicles, the ride starts off at a relaxing pace until the emergency door release button is accidently push causing the guests to be taken to the Door Hanger for a wild roller coaster ride.

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Overall, this brand new take on a pretty dismal park should not only stand toe to toe with Disneyland Paris, but should elevate this park to the top of the pack. With the addition of a new theme not seen in other parks, this should hopefully help the Disney Paris theme parks inspire guests from all over the world to visit this one of a kind park.

August 27, 2017, 8:16 PM

What a fantastic proposal!! I hope the judges enjoy it as much as I did. As you said, it was so great to compete with you this season and I wish you the best of luck in the voting!!

August 28, 2017, 12:03 PM

A big congratulations to both Kenny and FigmentPigments for your expansive, excellent final proposals! These are long, it's a weekday, and the judges' critiques need to match the quality of your proposals, so I'm sure you'll understand if it takes a little while.

For now, though, both of you should stand proud! Strut around town. Brag to strangers. You've earned it!

August 28, 2017, 5:22 PM

I've just arrived in Orlando today (for the first time), so I've been on a plane all day. I'm about to start my first pass now, and I'll hopefully have something for you both in the next day or two.

August 28, 2017, 5:22 PM

I've just arrived in Orlando today (for the first time), so I've been on a plane all day. I'm about to start my first pass now, and I'll hopefully have something for you both in the next day or two.

August 29, 2017, 9:47 PM

Wow! Straight up, huge congratulations to both competitors for your carefully thought-out proposals to a genuinely difficult challenge.

A little preamble, if you’ll permit, since the “studio park” concept is a fascinating problem in itself. Robert Niles put it well in his old WDSP report from 2012. Studio parks can be cheaply made (lots of tan, underdetailed boxy warehouses) and they allow for thematic sloppiness, with IPs plopped wherever there’s an open space. Guests increasingly see past these cynical appeals to “movie magic” which assumes brand can substitute for quality.

We’re seeing a sea change now! Universal’s latest efforts all drop the “behind the scenes” framework for genuinely enveloping fictional worlds like Hogwarts. Disney is course-correcting DHS with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It’s no longer about “movie making,” it’s now “enter the movie worlds,” and parks like WDSP built on the older model must evolve or wither away.

Your proposals both take this new approach, which is wise. Each of you identified complete fictional worlds and created engrossing lands around them. This would substantially change the overall ambiance of WDSP for the better. Walking the park would itself be a joyous experience now. The Ratatouille ride is more fun since you’re already in that mind-space long before boarding a ratmobile, and you’ve both extended that effect to the entire park!

One thing neither of you did, which surprised me: No one really used the huge empty fields behind the existing park (though it seems you’ve both used the studio tour acreage). Kenny, you hinted at future expansion in that direction, which is good. WDSP is currently the tiniest Disney park, closer in size to Frontierland alone next door, so I think expanded square footage would really strengthen it.

That said, I’m quite impressed that neither of you went the obvious route by tossing in Star Wars Land or Cars Land or such. These would improve WDSP, but also make it less unique. Your proposals are both one-of-a-kind, and both are enormous improvements on what’s there now. Let’s delve into them!

(I just realized I’ve been wrongly calling this place “Walt Disney Studios Paris,” when it’s actually “Walt Disney Studios Park” – whoops! A telling mistake which just speaks to this park’s current quality.)

Kenny Cook – Disney’s Blockbuster Studios
There’s a lot of Pixar in your park, plus the very contemporary Jack Sparrow franchise. This contrasts nicely with the classic Old World Disney feel of Disneyland Paris nearby, making Blockbuster Studios feel new and fresh but still charming and full of Disney quality. Expansions can bring in future IPs. A good sister park!

Your overall approach to upgrading the park is realistic and modest. You’re keeping as much as you can of the existing infrastructure, and improving it. The dolphin exhibit is a great example of that: Reusing the Art of Animation building in an entirely new way. All of Blockbuster Studios is like this. I love this approach, which is more challenging than the “bulldoze and replace” approach. Very much in keeping with the DCA 2.0 revamp, actually. It’s somewhat shocking how little was changed in DCA on a macro scale, and yet how impactful the relatively small decorative changes were. That’s your WDSP!

Onto the lands – and great work to both of you for giving this park lands...one of those niceties the original designers somehow neglected.

Welcome Pavilion
You’re shifting the park’s feeling from urban to more organic, with plants and rockwork to soften the studios feel which (appropriately) still remains in the entrance. Removing the Studio 1 building is a good idea. As it stands, this is an indoors entry area which fails at the “compress and release” effect it wants, and also totally bungles the lead-up to the Tower of Terror. In your version, guests will see the Tower the entire time, and it will have a new mountainous façade to add to the organic feel. While I’d like to know details of Welcome Pavilion, such as what its shops and restaurants look like, it seems relaxing and parklike and a nice way to introduce your park.

Seaside Junction
The park’s entire right side is a mishmash called Toon Studios, which is formed of a Toy Story miniland, a Ratatouille miniland, and...an area themed to Mickey, Aladdin, Nemo and Cars all at once?! With Seaside Junction, you’ve correctly identified this last area’s best element – that’d be “Crush’s Coaster” – and you’ve expanded its seaside theme to the surrounding area, finally giving it cohesion. I really like your “other notes” sections, which explain the crucial aesthetic upgrades. It’d be nice if you could work such details into an introductory paragraph for each land, rather than saving them for the end.

“Finding Dory: Ocean Rescue” sounds like a really fun interactive ride, and it’s likely to be a park-wide highlight! “Great White Blasters” is a good way to give the land kinetic movement, and it’s an inexpensive semi-clone. “Lilo and Stitch’s Hang Ten Jamboree” is similar – a good replacement using an existing ride type. The “Crush’s Coaster” upgrades are nice. The “Dolphinarium” is a clever repurposing of resources. “Nemo’s Bay of Play” is great – playgrounds and such are easy to overlook, but they really help round out an area. “Little Mermaid: The Musical” is a fantastic addition to the current “Broadway musical in a park” trend. Altogether, this is a well-rounded land with nice attraction variety, good for families, and a singular theme.

Toy Story Universe
Toy Story Playland is under-ambitious. This expansion corrects that, and elevates a miniland into a proper land – that’s exactly the sort of course-correction this park needs. Kudos for not simply copying the DHS Toy Story Land ideas.

“Emperor Zurg’s Battle for Toy Story Universe” gives your park its needed shooter ride, with a good ride system. It sounds really similar to “Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast” next door, however, and in this instance perhaps simply cloning “Toy Story Mania” might have been sufficient. “Iron Bullseye” sounds like a fun, unique family coaster. “Buzz Lightyear’s Arcade Rescue” seems redundant with both “Star Tours” next door and your “Emperor Zurg” ride, which has some motion sim elements. This land already feels complete without it.

Le Adventur De Paris
The Ratatouille area is currently the park’s best. Your minor thematic upgrades preserve and improve. Wisely, your attention is on the problem areas, such as...

Imagination District
The Backlot is where Imagineering gave up. You’re bringing “imagination” back. More details would be fantastic here. I’d love a better picture of how this area looks, how Monsters Inc. meshes visually with Inside Out. I think you’re almost there with what’s presented. With just a bit more detail, Imagination District has great potential.

“Monsters Inc.: The Adventure” is a smart retheming of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which sounds a bit like the “Door Coaster.” “Sully’s Wheel of Fun,” “Scare Floor Diver,” “Laugh Tank Sky High Adventure” and “Roz’s Bumper Blast” are all kiddie flat rides, which...Okay, they’re fine, but WDSP already has 5 standing flat rides (DCA has like 10, which is entirely too many), and WDSP needs substantive attractions more at this point. Happily, “Inside Out’s Emotion Commotion” fits that bill, and it’s also perhaps the most original ride type in your proposal, what with the gyrospheres. (Jurassic World fan?) This would ask a lot of your engineers, but would be game-changing. “Bing Bong’s Bubble Bonanza,” finally, is another really unique ride type, and though the Unicoaster might technically be a flat ride, I’d say it’s a headliner, with great rider-controlled intensity, and an overall package which brings it up to D-ticket!

Treasure Cove
I’ve been waiting for a land to stand alongside Cars Land or Diagon Alley or Galaxy’s Edge...and here it is! Your headliner! Certainly you consider it that. Adventureland next door has a ton of pirate stuff, so you’ll need to really emphasize the cinematic Pirates of the Caribbean (as Shanghai Disneyland has done) to keep this distinct.

The choice to retheme Tower of Terror demands special attention. I’m fine with it! The Paris Tower is a special case, since it’s smack dab in the center and visible from everywhere. The placement is a mess. By making the façade resemble a rocky Skull Island mountain, I’d say you’ve improved it into something that’ll work when seen from every land, much like Mt. Prometheus in DisneySea. While this change basically removes “Hollywood” from Blockbuster Studios, it emphasizes “cinematic worlds” in a way I think will appeal to your European audience.

“The Black Pearl: Freefall of Doom” is an engrossing ride with a queue which could be an attraction in itself. A transport lift on an 18th-century desert island seems maybe out-of-place, but I’m sure the series’ supernatural elements can justify it. “Blackbeard’s High Seas Cyclone,” if it uses the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” ride system and layout, would be massive, sure to determine this land’s entire appearance, especially in such a small park. As a ride, it would compete with “Freefall of Doom” as your overall headliner. “Kraken’s Fury” sounds like a really fun coaster – and Europeans adore their coasters – though I’m curious if its 176’ drop and its tracks would hurt the immersion you’re otherwise pursuing. Not the sort of ride Disney typically does. Lastly, “Captain Jack’s Pirate Training Course” with its ropes and caves sounds exactly like Adventure Isle in Disneyland Paris, which is too bad because on its own I really like it.

***

Your proposal concludes with some nice grace notes about layout, expansion and guest services. This shows good depth of thought. So too does your entire proposal, which turns a hodgepodge park into something which feels whole and balanced. Each area is distinct, and each serves a different audience (like children vs. thrill seekers). Your raw ideas are very strong, especially given the challenge and timeframe.

Over the course of this season, Kenny, I’ve seen the quality of your proposals noticeably improve every week. That continues here, and it shouldn’t end! Even now additional details would still help. Things like formatting and images remain limitations, though I’ll admit that’s partly because this site wasn’t really made for Armchair Imagineers. Your high passion for every project is noticeable, and ultimately that overcomes any other issues. Thank you so much, Kenny, for a season’s worth of incredibly entertaining proposals!

August 29, 2017, 9:49 PM

FigmentPigments – Hidden Worlds of Disney Paris
Right off the bat, you acknowledge that adding Star Wars or Marvel would be easy and obvious...so you do something more fun! With cult properties like Robin Hood, Atlantis and Treasure Planet, you’re definitely making Figment’s park, not a stockholder’s park. That maybe isn’t “realistic,” but so what? If it results in a better park – and you proceed to make a strong argument that it would – then the crowds will respond to its quality. WDSP is an example of a park built on a spreadsheet, and look where that got us!

Examining your map – a helpful inclusion, BTW – I notice you zig while Kenny zagged. Comparatively, your approach is “bulldoze and replace,” and while Kenny made lemonade from WDSP’s lemons, you’re making a margarita instead. Or something. That metaphor escaped me. You’re also doing more with minilands, following the successful Ratatouille model. There are macro-themes connecting minilands, like Secret Jungles uniting UP and Moana, and an overall park theme, which nicely creates cohesion. Similar parks in this vein sometimes feel like “a list of IPs I like,” and I think you’ve avoided that pitfall with your Hidden Worlds conceit. This is a good way to achieve immersion!

HALL OF POSSIBILITIES
This entry area is the only one which feels shortchanged, partly because you describe it as taking architectural elements from the other areas, without really having an identity of its own. Entry areas are tricky, and the existing Studio 1 structure already barely works. Details like the crumbling gates suggest you’re going with a weathered, centuries-old studio setting, which is actually a really cool idea, and a good reference to the park’s old theme. The daily opening ceremony is a nice touch (currently they just let guests start queueing an hour before opening).

THE DIGITAL WORLD
The distinction between macro-lands and minilands can be imprecise (which I like; it feels more organic), which is definitely the case with Flynn’s Arcade entry leading to both Tron and Wreck-It Ralph areas. I do like having a themed entry like this. It’s immersive and guest-friendly. But is this the only way into these two minilands?

Tron City
At night, this area will be amazing with the neon and such. How does Tron work outdoors with daytime blue sky above? There are enclosed minilands elsewhere, so I understand doing this one outdoors, but that’s still the lone false note in an otherwise pitch-perfect little Tron land. It’s one of your larger lands, actually, and boasts a wide variety of activities for everyone.

“Escape from the Grid” is a completely natural retheme for “Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster” (among the attractions worth preserving). “Light Cycle Roadsters” is a fun reskin of the “Flight of Passage” tech, a must-do (too bad light cycles don’t breathe). “The Light Rail” is a great PeopleMover-type C-ticket, something I’m quite fond of. “Outlands: Grid Bug Attack” is the must-have shooter ride for your video game lands, though I’m surprised you didn’t do that with “Hero’s Duty” instead. “Disk Arena,” though likely very low capacity, is the ideal Tron activity, essential for your immersive approach. Dining and retail are good too; thanks for outlining these oft-forgotten elements. Yay for “ElecTRONica!”

Game Central Station
There’s plenty of park potential with Wreck-It Ralph, and plenty of chance for interactivity (which is likely to be an increasingly important aspect of theme parks). I wonder what will happen when Ralph breaks the Internet. Prepare to expand this land!

“Sugar Rush Racers” s\ is a nice family update on the “Autopia” ride type. It’ll be enclosed, so we can’t have sputtering lawnmower engines like at Disneyland; I’m intrigued what next-gen vehicle system you’d use. “Hero’s Duty” uses a Star Wars Land ride system which will surely be amazing, so it’s nice to see it reskinned at another resort. “Cubert’s” (isn’t it Q*Bert?) is a good eatery. Will there be a “Tapper” bar too?

THE FIFTH DIMENSION
“The Tower of Terror” absolutely dominates WDSP. It’s visible from everywhere, more than the other Towers. But without a Sunset Blvd. like at DHS to set the stage, it doesn’t work as well, so I like retheming the area around it to The Twilight Zone in order to reframe the ride itself. Seen from other lands, the Tower will still be the Tower, but in the Fifth Dimension it will be the amazing culmination of an eerie surreal landscape which will surely appeal to show fans. (A nice salve after DCA’s GOTG IMHO.) This is a land servicing a single ride (an exceptional ride), which fits your park’s style. The shopping & dining really add to the otherworldly experience. The B&W restaurant would undoubtedly be a favorite of former TPA judge/winner James Koehl.

WORLD OF SUPERNATURAL
While right now Halloweentown is the only miniland in World of Supernatural, I could see future expansions featuring other Tim Burton concepts. As your spooky area, it’s nice that you don’t force guests to pass through here. Still, maybe an additional entrance/exit could improve guest flow by removing the dead end?

Again like Ratatouille, here’s a land dedicated to a single (C-ticket) ride, “The Nightmare Before Christmas Ride.” Will it be taking any inspiration from Disneyland’s “Haunted Holiday?” With your restaurant and character interactions, you’ve created a well-rounded experience around it. You could perhaps add a year-round haunted maze walkthrough (it would be Disney’s first!). The potential for holiday overlays in this land is through the roof!

HIDDEN FORESTS
Sherwood brings in cult fave Robin Hood. It sounds like this mini-area features little more than meet ‘n’ greats and a dance party. I feel like there’s more that could be done with this property (though some of it might overlap with Brave next door)

Dunbroch has its “Scottish Games,” which could just as easily be a Robin Hood archery tournament. It seems you could’ve added more guest interactivity to something like this, but I sense this section is where you felt a little crunched for time or inspiration - 2 weeks isn’t a lot of time to basically make a whole park, with other things going on too ?. The “Brave Journey” D-ticket ride gets just a sentence. The dining and retail, however, offer that fleshed-out experience which is often the best part of your many minilands.

SECRET JUNGLES
Three tropical areas, mostly following the one-attraction-per-area model.

Paradise Falls
This area has a pretty fun variety of UP activities, from a rock maze to a meet ‘n’ greet to the interactive playground “Spirit of Adventure.” I assume the C-ticket UP ride is a suspended dark ride. That’s a common fan idea, and I’d like to know more about your version.

Voyager’s Lagoon
Good to bring in a nighttime spectacular. Disney parks feel incomplete without these. With “Moana – We Know the Way,” it seems you’re going the Disney World “Fantasmic!” route, with an amphitheater dedicated to a nighttime-only event. Moana is a great flick, and a wonderful choice for a musical water pageant. What could we do with this amphitheater in the daytime?

It suddenly occurs to me that the centrally-located Tower of Terror could be a cool projection surface for a nighttime show. It doesn’t tie in with Moana whatsoever, but wouldn’t it be neat?!

Motunui
More Moana! More meet ‘n’ greets, and more engrossing island atmosphere. Veryu laid back, which fits the IP. If you could successfully hide Motunui from other sights (like the Tower), and serve up plenty of tiki drinks and hula dancers, I wouldn’t leave this area. The projection show in the Ceremonial Hut reminds me of Knott’s “Mystery Lodge,” which is an exceptional Disney-quality show. I approve.

UNDERWATER WORLDS
With Lalotai, there’s even more Moana! No complaints here. If we’re gonna overexpose any one recent Disney princess flick, I’m glad you’ve ignored Frozen. Seeing Lalotai in person could be totally surreal, like an indoors version of Pandora at night. “Talking with Tamatoa” is something I really want – Turtle Talk using an animatronic. If only Jermaine Clement could personally voice this attraction live!

Atlantis
But really, this is the crown jewel of this macro-land! Popularity aside, Atlantis is one of those Disney flicks which could work wonderfully in a theme park. From your description, this sounds like one of those areas which would simply be fun to explore, traveling down the caves from Lalotai past Guardian statues, the story slowly unfolding. “Expedition: Atlantis” works like “Hogwarts Express” not just as a ride, but as a natural extension of the setting. I think you’re onto something with its multiple load spots. There’s the potential here to do something almost unprecedented by creating a “procedural attraction” using the “Expedition” vehicles, transitioning to another ride type (like Whitmore’s sub or Mole’s drills), giving your Atlantis area a larger overall interactive storyline. Just a sudden inspiration!

CITYSCAPE
You’re bringing the rest of WDSP up to Ratatouille’s quality. Good to leave Ratatouille alone.

DEEP SPACE
Ah Treasure Planet, Atlantis’ sister cult classic. Honestly, I could see this IP working nearby in Discoveryland (the retropunk Tomorrowland). That would work better than the Star Wars and Buzz Lightyear stuff they currently have. But with Montressor Spaceport, it’s here next to Ratatouille. I’m curious about how guests transition. Will the Spaceport work like Flynn’s Arcade, justifying the move from rat-infested Paris to futuristic space? This miniland feels like it could be much larger.

“Alponian Solar Cruising” is “Soarin’” in outer space, which is an idea I’ve bandied about before, and I demand that Disney does this at some point! Done right, this could be one of the most beautiful theme park experiences ever.

THE MONSTER WORLD
Simply regarding transitions, I think Monstropolis would fit better next to Ratatouille’s Cityscape, and Treasure Planet better near Tron (provided there’s space for it over there). Keep all your fantasy urban environments together (and when the park sees future expansions, add Zootopia next to it). Anyway, your details make Monstropolis sound comparable to Diagon Alley, with meet ‘n’ greet, food and retail rounding out a cool area.

“Monsters Inc. Door Coaster”...the fans demand it! And doubtlessly Imagineering has the blueprints ready to go. This would certainly put Paris on the map for Disney Park enthusiasts.

***

Hardly anything of the old WDSP has survived your remodel. Even “Crush’s Coaster” got crushed! This is a bold reimagining, and through it I do see the Ratatouille miniland’s influence on everything. What if Disney did a whole park in that style? Here’s the answer!

I count a whopping 15 minilands in your map. (Granted, 3 are Moana.) Successfully realized – on a multi-billion dollar budget, no doubt – this would be one of Disney’s best parks, totally one-of-a-kind, and a proud partner to Disneyland Paris. Hidden Worlds of Disney Paris is not something Disney’s Accountaneers would allow in real life, those spoilsports, but even as a Blue Sky project, there are lots and lots of cool ideas in here which could genuinely find their ways into the parks. Awesome stuff, FigmentPigments!

Lastly, to both competitors, I fear that my critiques this week come across a little nitpicky. This often happens with park-wide proposals, because there’s so much more material. It says nothing about the (high) quality on display. I get excited when reviewing TPA proposals, and sometimes I just start brainstorming new ideas. This is good when it happens, it means your ideas are inspirational. Both of these final proposals certainly were!

August 31, 2017, 3:26 PM

I've got Kenny's critique just about some, that should be done imminently. I'm done with Epcot for today and given I have blisters on my blisters, tomorrow's an unscheduled rest day now.

Then I'll take an hour or so to clear my head and start on figments. That should be done either tonight or tomorrow and scores will be done then.

August 31, 2017, 4:09 PM

Since kmbmw777 is having trouble logging into TPI, he's asked me to post his critiques. So here they are:

Before I begin, I would like to throw out a huge thank you to everyone involved! Figment, Kenny, Space, tcool and Deadpool - thank you all for being great competitors and it has been an honor to critique you. Doug and Chad, thank you for being great judges and granting me with this opportunity.

Nextly, I wanted to say that my knowledge on Disneyland Paris is very small, so I had to do some research during the challenge. Boy, does this park have some issues. And I’m glad that you both went the way that you did to fix them! (Also, it’s tiny!)

For my reviews, I am going to discuss the proposal in the order you submitted it, and the overall. Now let’s jump into it.

Kenny Cook and the Blockbuster Studios Park

Your entrance sounds “sleek and modern” which is all good, and I’m sure it would be amazing to experience. However, I can only visualize what it would be like to walk through it and not really experience. What shops and restaurants? This is very nitpicky though, because honestly I don’t spend much time at the entrance.

I think it’s interesting to have a whole land themed to Nemo, but smoothly integrating water-based IPs together is much more genius! Mad props to you. I think that the messages that you are sending in the Crush Coaster are great! The Ocean Rescue ride sounds like a great use of old technology for an arguably better useage! Great White Blasters seems to be a fun attraction that easily fits. The Lil and Stitch ride seems like it should be somewhere else. While all of the other rides take place more under water, this one would be on the surface, and seems to be not as fitting with the land itself. The Dolphin Show is a true stroke of genius, and I commend your realism! Nemo’s Playground and the Mermaid both seem like great additions that fit with the message.

The current Toy Story land there does not justify the amazingness of the IP. Yours does. The Zurg ride sounds very fun and interactive. The rides all seem fun individually, but together I’m not sure how well they work. Are you entering Andy’s Toy Room, no because there is a Pizza Planet. So I’m guessing you would be entering a Toy Themed Theme Park inside the Movie World, but the IPs would class a little bit I feel.

Nice touches to the Ratatouille area.

I would say the Monsters and Inside Out would class, but I feel like they wouldn’t if you treat them as minilands. Kudos to you for making them work. All of the rides in this land are solid and smart, though a bit repetitive. I would go as far as to say as the Inside out Section would be the highlight of your proposal.

Your Pirates of the Caribbean land is great fun! Honestly, this is a great re theming of Tower of Terror, and I think that Mission Breakout has proved how realistic this land is. I would like to say, I think you will be making many friends with these decisions. As Doug said, a transport lift may be a bit of a stretch; I think using a sole explanation of supernatural is better. Your other two attractions sound fun. However, I think one of them should be gutted and be replaced with a ride geared towards younger audiences. While Pirates is a dark franchise, kids love the parts of it that they understand. (So many kids dressed as Jack Sparrow).

Overall, a great proposal with nice attention to detail and realism.

Figments Pigments and the Hidden Worlds of Disney

The opening ceremony is beautiful and really sets the mood for the park. Great attention to detail! Also, thanks for the map and pictures; they really make reading easier.

I wish you expanded on what the theming of the Hall of Possibilities would be like. With a name like that, it could be so unique!

Flynn’s Arcade serving as the entrance to the worlds of Tron and Wreck-it-Ralph is an oldie, but a goodie. Both of your minilands sound like a blast. Every single attraction in the Tron land fits greatly. However, Tron is an IP loved by us few, but forgotten my the masses and thus I do not think Disney would be so lenient as to grant it a huge area of the park. But then again with the success of Shanghai, who knows. Disk Arena sounds fun, but very ahead of current technology. If it is possible, it's perfect though! Your other attractions all sound like a blast for any teenager or kid who wants to have a blast.

The Sugar Rush attractions sounds like a great usage of the underwhelming design your own cart from Test Track, and I think it would work perfectly! The realism of the technology for the Hero’s Duty ride is great!

An entire land for a single experience. Normally, I would be hesitant but you pulled it off so well! Major props to you. I think this fix works incredibly well. Also, throughout both reviews I haven’t been commenting on food because it’s all been great, but the restaurants here are SUPERB!

Confession, I have not seen the Nightmare before Christmas. Ah! Your attraction for it seems good and fits well with its surroundings. Also, it's a valid IP, so nice!

I am incredibly hesitant on the inclusion of Sherwood, so I like that you combined it with Brave. Makes it slightly more realistic. But I still do not see the point of the inclusion, because there is no fantasyland dark ride. Overall it just seems like a land with a GREAT Brave ride and an out of place Robin Hood.

Paradise Falls is such a great environment and I so wish you did more with it. Though that is probably me just fanboying out, I feel like it deserves more. However, your exploration of the Spirit of Adventure sounds fun for young ones as does the C-Ticket. However, I think UP deserves more and should try to present a message to viewers (Conservation?) Also, Moana barely fits with up, but I’ll give you that. A Moana show sounds really fun. The Moana upgrade of Turtle Talk with crush would be hysterical to watching. Nice work.

I am very hesitant about the familiarity of Atlantis and Treasure Planet. All of your rises for these lands sound great and well themed, but slightly unrealistic. However, I am sure they would be fun experiences for all to enjoy.

Nice work with Ratatouille.

Monstropolis sounds like a much more realistic and thematically appropriate version of the universe. The E-Ticket Door Coaster is the dream of every imagineer I think.

Overall, I loved your project. In some areas you sacrificed realism for quality, but I think that sacrifice will be justified in the end.

Edited: August 31, 2017, 6:37 PM

Okay, before I go on I want to congratulate everyone on getting this far. TPA is a Marathon, not a sprint, and going the full distance is an achievement in itself.

Now, part of my job as a judge is to poke holes in things… So if it seems like I really hate something, please view it in that light - it doesn’t mean I hate it at all.

Okay, now I'm only posting Kenny's critique for now. I haven't read Figments, and I'm not going to until I do a few more things so I can look at Figments with a complete clear mind.

Kenny,

Although use of images is officially optional (and I know sometimes I’ve left them off), if you’re going to do that, you need to be sure you’re painting a picture with your words. To a certain extent this applies throughout your proposal, but the best example is the Imagination district. All I’ve been able to glean is that it includes bright colours and some sort of rubbery padded surface… I still don’t have any idea about what this place is supposed to actually look like.

There’s a lot of good attractions and IP in your park… but I’m kinda concerned this is a park that has been designed as a lot of individual pieces rather than with a view to the whole. You’ve removed the “studios” from the park, but the park name still has studios… I can’t see any other linking theme than “here’s a bunch of movies that did really well”.

Your individual attractions for Rides and trestauarants are well written for this sort of task. Well done.

I am concerned about your proposed payrise. I get what you’re trying to do, but I feel like I need a [citation required] on your figures. Wikipedia puts the French legal minimum wage at €9.76 per hour, which I currently get at 11.62 USD according to Google. If your figures are correct Disney should be facing a lawsuit right now… no matter whether you’ve used the dollar sign to indicate USD or EUR… and if you did mean USD, your payrise is still below the legal minimum wage.

Overall, you have some good ideas, but not enough goodness linking them together. I think you could have gone further. This was the time to throw everything at it, kitchen sink included... and I kinda feel like you held back.

That said, its certainly better than what was there before. You've done a good job.

August 31, 2017, 6:39 PM

Figment

Good call on catching something I’ve thought for a while - identifying that the western Disney parks do compete with each other. Unless you’re a hardcore Disney fan there is little if any reason to visit more than one Magic Kingdom style park, so Paris does have to compete with DL and WDW for international traveller spend. If DLP is going to stop a UK traveller going to WDW and head to DLP instead, its going to have to offer more than just a magic kingdom park and a facsimilie of what is possibly WDW’s weakest park presently (Of course, that may change soon).

You have a lot of areas, and I worry if this will be too many to process, but they tend to go with a neighbout as a “composite land”, I wonder if it might be better to market them as the compoisite, just as Adventureland and Fantasyland have different themed sections within them in MK parks.

I know my Girlfriend will welcome Halloweentown - as will Jack’s other fans who wait for the Haloween pilgrimage to MK parks to meet him, but I worry if this limits seasonal overlay opportunities.

You’ve done a great job in your proposal… But would like to see more of an overarching theme. Your justifications take this just above “here’s a bunch of IPs that did well”, but it doesn’t stop this being an outstanding propsal.

Edited: August 31, 2017, 7:47 PM

This is it. We have the final scores for the final round and the final winner!

Congratulations again must go to both of our finalists. This round was incredibly close. Less than 2 points (out of 200) separated your two amazing proposals.

But ultimately, the winner of the final round also had the most cumulative points. Drumroll please! I am enormously proud to announce the very first female champion of Theme Park Apprentice...

FigmentPigments

Kudos, Figment! Your proposals throughout this summer have been of exceptionally high quality, with a careful balance of realism and imagination. Per TPA tradition, your prize is a personal tour of any judge's home park (unfortunately, we cannot provide airfare, lodging or admission). From me, that would be Disneyland; I can't speak for kmbmw777 or Chad.

Kenny, congrats on a close and hard-fought second place finish! Every one of your new proposals has been better than the ones before it, and you've shown a wonderful passion for the smaller parks. You had an incredible season!

And that wraps up Theme Park Apprentice 9. Thanks to all who played, to my fellow judges, and to anyone reading along. It's been a blast!

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