Theme Park Apprentice 7: Challenge 7

Edited: September 1, 2015, 4:06 PM

Competitors, welcome to the final challenge of Theme Park Apprentice 7. Everything you have done so far has led to this. Three of you remain, but only one may be crowned the next Theme Park Apprentice. I wish you all the best of luck in this challenge and hope to see the best proposals you've ever written.

Challenge 7: Disney’s Next Gate

The Challenge

Walt Disney Parks & Resorts operate five theme park resorts around the world: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. Together, these properties are known as the best theme parks in the industry and they attract the highest crowds. The time has come for Disney to expand their existing resorts, and you have been hired to design the next park. You may pick any of the five existing theme park resorts and, using all your skills as a designer, create an entire new park from scratch.

Disney has stipulated the following guidelines for the park, all of which you must meet:

Park Guidelines:

-The park must be unique and not a clone of an existing Disney park.
-The park must contain 6-8 themed areas, including an entrance area.
-The park must contain a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 40 attractions.
-The park must have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 dining locations.
-The park must have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 retail locations.
-No themed element of the park may utilize IP not currently owned or available for use by Disney.

Themed Area Guidelines:

-Themed areas must be original and may not be a copy of themed areas at other Disney parks.
-Each themed area must contain a minimum of 1 attraction, 1 dining location, and 1 retail location. They may contain a maximum of 15 attractions, 5 dining locations, and 5 retail locations.
-No themed area may contain more than 3 E-Ticket attractions.
-No themed area may contain more than 2 full service dining locations.
-No themed area may contain more than 3 major retail locations.
-The entrance area does not need to contain attractions but must meet the dining location and retail location requirements.

Attraction Guidelines:

-Up to 1/3 of the park’s attractions may be cloned from other Disney parks, provided the attraction is not already present at the selected resort. The remaining attractions must be original creations.
-Your park must contain a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 E-ticket attractions. A maximum of 2 E-tickets may be clones.
-You must have at least 1 dark ride in your park. You may have a maximum of 10 dark rides in your park.
-While recommended, roller coasters are not required. You may have a maximum of 5 roller coasters in your park.
-You must have 5-10 non-ride attractions in your park (including shows, walkthroughs, and character encounters).
-To allow the entire family to experience your park together, only 1/4 of your attractions may have strict height restrictions. All other attractions must allow a child capable of sitting by themselves to ride if accompanied.
-If you decide to use a transportation attraction, it must stop at your entrance area and 2-3 additional themed areas. You may only utilize one transportation attraction.

Dining and Retail Location Guidelines:

-Quick service restaurants and minor retail locations may be copied from other parks if they are thematically appropriate. Full service restaurants and major retail locations must be original. For the purposes of this competition, major retail locations are defined as independent stores with a variety of merchandise and minor retail locations are defined as stores connected to attractions with merchandise specific to that attraction.
-Your park must contain at least 2 full service restaurants and 5 quick service restaurants. You may not have more full service restaurants than quick service restaurants in your park.

The Proposal

For this challenge, your proposal should be 10-25 pages (not including pictures). Your proposal must include:

-The name, theme, and location of your park, including the location within your selected resort
-An overview of your park
-A map of your park
-A full list of themed lands, attractions, dining locations, and shopping locations
-A detailed description of each themed area, including short descriptions of each attraction, dining location, and shopping location (1-2 paragraphs per feature, 2-3 pages per area)
-A full description of any extra features (parades, fireworks, etc.) that affect multiple areas of the park
-Anything else you feel will benefit your proposal

Visual Aids

Due to the nature of this challenge, the following allowances on visual aids will be in place:

-For each themed area of your park (including the entrance area), you are allowed three images.
-In addition to the above, you are allowed one map per themed area. This may be replaced with a fourth image if desired.
-In addition, you have six free images to be used anywhere you desire in your proposal. A header/logo image, footer image, and your required park map do not count toward this requirement.
-You are permitted to use up to four videos, with a maximum of one video per themed area.

The Advice

-This is the final round, so it is time to pull out all the stops and create the best park you can dream up.
-If you’re not sure what an E-ticket is, we will consider attractions similar to the following E-tickets: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest, Fantasmic!, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Mission: Space, Pirates of the Caribbean, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Soarin’, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Test Track, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Toy Story Midway Mania. Attractions similar to the following will not be considered E-tickets: Captain EO, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!, Kali River Rapids, Lights, Motors, Action!, Spaceship Earth, The American Adventure, and The Great Movie Ride.

The Deadline

All proposals must be submitted by Tuesday, September 15th at midnight. However, if you have a valid reason that you cannot make this deadline, please inform the judges as early as possible and we will attempt to work with you.

A Note From the Judges

We all try our best to get proposals critiqued and scored as efficiently as possible. However, with longer proposals it may not be possible to write a quality critique for every proposal in the usual timespan. Therefore, please allow several days for all judges to submit their critiques. Critiques may be posted at different points following the deadline of this challenge and the winner of Theme Park Apprentice 7 will be announced on Sunday, September 20th. Don't worry, we've got something planned to fill in the down time.

Replies (74)

August 31, 2015, 5:12 PM

Hooray! I’m going to Disneyland!

For research.

A few questions I’d like to ponder while sailing down the Rivers of America:

- What counts as a dark ride? Borderline examples for clarification: Radiator Springs Racers. Splash Mountain. Space Mountain. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

- Regarding numbers of shops and restaurants. Was that 30 total for all, or 30 for shops and also 30 for restaurants?

- Are the parades and spectaculars counting towards our attraction count? Especially, do they count towards the 10 non-ride attraction count?

- Are the following E-tickets? Haunted Mansion. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Thing. Jungle Cruise/Pandora River. Big Band Beats. Nemo Subs. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at DisneySea. A better question might be: What are the D-tickets?

- We’re allowed “?” number of cloned attractions?

- And finally, may I have some clarification on “full service” restaurants? Would table service and counter service both fall under that heading?


August 31, 2015, 9:18 PM

Douglas, here's what I'd say...

-I like to apply the parking lot test to attractions to determine whether or not they are dark rides. Imagine anything not essential for the operation of the attraction is stripped away and the ride is placed in a parking lot. If it were to be ridden in this state, would the ride still have a purpose? If yes, it is not a dark ride. Indoor roller coasters (Space Mountain, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster) are not dark rides because the coaster aspect of the attraction is the core of the experience. I would not consider Splash Mountain a dark ride since a significant portion of the attraction is outdoors and the drop/getting wet are reasons many ride the ride. Even though it has significant outdoor sections, Radiator Springs Racers is a dark ride. I will also double-check this with the other judges.

-30 each for dining and retail. I will modify this to be more clear.

-Parades and nighttime spectaculars do count toward the attraction count and the non-ride attraction count. A small street performance (Dapper Dans or similar) or a character meet and greet with no other components would not count as an attraction.

-I will double-check this with the other judges, but I would say: Yes to Haunted Mansion. No to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Jungle Cruise, Nemo Subs, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I will get a list together of D-tickets, but basically an E-ticket is a headliner attraction that is a reason to visit the park while a D-ticket is a major attraction that is either not fully immersive, not a must ride attraction, or doesn't hold up as well when compared to more modern rides. Everything listed as not an E-ticket in the original post would be a D-ticket.

-Sorry, I don't know why it didn't come through and I apologize for not catching it. It should be 1/3 of the park's attractions may be clones.

-Full service and table service are synonymous. Quick service and counter service are synonymous. If a waiter is involved, it is a full service restaurant. If not, it is quick service.

September 1, 2015, 9:01 AM

Thanks for the responses, AJ. Very helpful. Hopefully this next set is my last for you:

I'm curious about how we define clones. Certain scenarios: Same ride with different theme (Indiana Jones vs. Dinosaur)? Same ride system, new experience (Test Track vs. Radiator Springs Racers)? Same IP but different rides (The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh vs. Pooh's Hunny Hunt)? One ride evolved from another (Mystic Manor vs. Haunted Mansion)? Same ride with noteworthy differences (Disneyland POTC vs. Paris POTC)?

I'm also curious how you'd regard the height requirement situation with something like Mission: Space, which I think offers an all-access version and an intense version. Would that sort of thing count as one of our height restrictions?


September 1, 2015, 12:06 PM

For clones, the ride needs to be similar in both theme and experience. For example, two versions of Pirates of the Caribbean or Haunted Mansion may not be identical, but after riding one you will have a good idea of what to expect on the others. Therefore, those would be clones. Same thing with rides like Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad...the exact track layout isn't identical, but the ride experience is pretty similar and the theme is the same. Two rides with the same ride system but a different theme (such as Indy vs. Dinosaur) would not be clones. The one you brought up that is the hardest to determine is Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh vs. Pooh's Hunny Hunt, and although the two rides are a completely different ride system I would say that the theme and experience is close enough to consider them clones. Here is the ultimate rule of thumb: If it would be redundant to have both rides in the same park, they are considered clone attractions. Universal has shown that a park full of simulators can be done, so having Test Track and Radiator Springs Racers or Indiana Jones and Dinosaur share a park wouldn't be an issue. Having two versions of Pirates of the Caribbean in one park, however, would.

For height requirements, if your attraction has multiple versions and you offer one that does not require a height requirement, it does not count toward that 1/4. For example, if you have a motion simulator with a 42" restriction but have non-moving seats available with no restriction, you can count it as not having a height restriction. You cannot offer an alternate attraction, must be the same attraction to qualify for this (ex: allowing guests who are too short for the simulator to go into a room and view the ride movie on a TV wouldn't cut it).

September 1, 2015, 3:01 PM

Judges ruling please, I have three lands for my proposal in question:
Kingdom of Arendelle - similar to the announcement at DisneySea with the castle, village, mountains, and Oaken's Trading Post. My rides will be completely different, though.
Agrabah - Nothing similar to Arabian Coast at DisneySea except for the Aladdin characters and Middle Eastern theme.
Worlds of Star Wars - using different worlds and rides than the announcement for WDW and DLR. If I want to build a second land/double down at WDW (like Harry Potter at UOR) is that ok?

Edited: September 1, 2015, 4:09 PM

Keith, here's what I'd say...

Kingdom of Arendelle: Since the announced land hasn't been built yet, this is fine. Just try to avoid directly copying what has been announced so far.

Agrabah: No problems here. Arabian Coast is based on the real world and this is based on Aladdin so they are different lands.

Worlds of Star Wars: Again, the announced land hasn't been built so as long as you don't simply copy what has been announced this is fine. For building a second Star Wars Land at WDW, I wouldn't recommend it but I wouldn't say it's against the rules as Disney does use the same IP at multiple parks and Universal has established that it can be done. If you do this, it needs to be 100% different from anything that has been announced so far and it still needs to fit into the overall theme of your park.

The rule about not copying lands is mainly to prevent someone from doing something like dropping a complete Cars Land into their park. You are welcome to create a new version of an existing land, but it should be significantly different (for example, see DHS Toy Story Land vs. the WDS and HKD versions).

September 5, 2015, 5:58 AM

Okay, I have a question. Would I be allowed to use An attraction I proposed for a different park? For example, if my restaurant would fit just as well in a Disney park, can I put it there?

September 5, 2015, 6:52 AM

I am going to say "no" in this situation. If you officially proposed it in an earlier challenge, you cannot use it in the final. Unlike TPA6.1, which was a cumulative series of proposals all intended for one specific, unified park, this series of proposal were each for individual parks. I am not saying that you can't use the basic concept- there really is "nothing new under the sun"- but it can't be a carbon copy that you copy and past with just "Disney's..." added in front of the name. It must be rewritten and rethemed to make it unique to your park. I hope that makes sense- please contact me or another judge if you need more clarification.

September 5, 2015, 7:45 AM

A quick question: Can I reintroduce the Maliboomer and the Orange Stinger, make an entire park without any Disney characters, and theme it all to contemporary suburban strip malls?

September 5, 2015, 9:00 AM, Douglas...if you do, you are officially fired from this and all Theme Park Apprentice editions for the future. Robert will ban you from TPI for eternity, and Bob Iger will have your season pass revoked and you will be prohibited from ever buying a ticket, renting a movie or subscribing to Disney Channel or any form of Disney entertainment in perpetuity. In other words, sure, go ahead, make my day.

Edited: September 12, 2015, 7:54 AM

 photo 1000_zps7kudmtbp.jpg

“Welcome one and all to a realm where the sky is the limit. DisneySky imbues all who enter with a spirit of curiosity and excitement. Here scientists, dreamers and adventurers explore the space above our heads. DisneySky is dedicated to Man’s yearning for unknown horizons. May this bold place inspire flights of fantasy throughout the world.”
- DisneySky dedication, July 17, 2025


Imagination takes flight at DisneySky, the third richly immersive park at Disneyland Resort in California. Here aviation, astronomy and sky-bound whimsy combine in eight fabulous “Destinations.” DisneySky is conceived to compliment Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Attractions take inspiration from other parks, be they Disney or otherwise, brought to new heights with a unique DisneySky approach. Classical concepts mix with newfangled experiments. DisneySky boasts many beloved Disney properties, plus exciting never-before-seen concepts. Family-friendly features appeal to the young, and the young-at-heart, while thrill rides draw in a wider audience. Elaborate details deliver big time, from the grandeur of the iconic Mt. Helios down to the humblest drinking fountain. Diverse, immersive and endlessly explorable, DisneySky is loaded with exhaustive creative detail at every turn. This is a fantastic “Blue Sky” offering which Walt himself would be proud to have near his home park.

 photo 1001_zpsrvga68bo.jpg

Guests to DisneySky enter through Runway One, dedicated to the golden age of civil aviation circa 1955. Seven other Destinations detail the history of flight in a clockwise order. Mythic Realms transports guests to the ancient Far East, when the earliest flying inventions mix freely with fantastical winged creatures. The steampunk era of airships, dirigibles and gliders appears in Discovery Fjord, nestled within an icy glacier. Pioneer Fields is a rustic farmland of barnstormers and biplanes given a distinctive Disney touch. Golden Cay presents a tropical, two-fisted “dieselpunk” adventure through the South Seas circa 1938. In the arid Cosmic Canyon, the Space Age sees Man at the brink of space exploration, filtered through a mid-century “atompunk” sensibility. Avengers Airfield presents contemporary aerial fantasies as pictured by the high-flying visionaries at Marvel. Finally, move beyond the Earth in Cloud City: Star Wars Galaxy, a glistening metropolis perched above the clouds of an enormous gas planet.

These disparate epochs are united by Mt. Helios, a massive range of towering minarets which form the park’s central icon and the “peak” of DisneySky’s art. Mt. Helios is a perpetual reminder to all who visit of the majesty of Nature and the world above. Its snow-capped towers, visible from nearly every Destination, draw guests’ eyes ever upwards, making the sky itself DisneySky’s primary design element.

 photo 1013_zpssnek2n4m.jpg
Mt. Helios: Something new under the Sun

Mt. Helios is massive, perhaps the single largest monument in Disney Parks. It is 199’ tall, the highest Anaheim will allow without airplane towers. Mt. Helios is 16’ taller than DCA’s “Tower of Terror” and roughly equivalent to “Expedition Everest” and the Shanghai castle. Its footprint is approximately twice that of DisneySea’s Mount Prometheus – ambitious, yet feasible. With forced perspective, verticality, and misters near the peak to simulate clouds, Mt. Helios is truly epic. Within the mountain is room enough for four D/E tickets, plus infrastructure for the park’s nighttime spectacular. Its ridges separate Destinations and carefully define sightlines. From nearly any location guests may glimpse Mt. Helios, its variously themed slopes complimenting the areas nearby.

The vast majority of DisneySky’s 105 acres are above grade, over a series of backstage “utilidors.” This elevated position subtly reinforces the park’s skyward focus. Show buildings and berms block out intrusions. Destinations are arranged to maximize immersion; as an example, the urban Avengers Airfield diminishes the effect of the Convention Center beyond it. Whenever possible, the park also employs an “infinite edge,” making guests feel like explorers upon a floating continent.

DisneySky is arranged into two circles which circumnavigate Mt. Helios. DisneySky Airlines transports guests along the outer circle. The park’s footprint is reasonably small, slightly above California Adventure’s. Charming, we call it. Nonetheless, a careful arrangement of diverse, high-capacity attractions allows for crowd sizes comparable to the neighboring Disneyland.

 photo 1002_zpsld5r1ezv.jpg


DisneySky sits in the area formerly occupied by the Toy Story Lot southeast of Harbor and Katella. Disney buys out and razes the few businesses and hotels along this frontage. To offset the neighborhoods which DisneySky displaces, the Walt Disney Company pays to move residents into new housing nearby.

With old parking lost and additional parking required, Disney goes forth with their already-announced multi-floor parking complex east of Harbor. Christened the Skywalker Lot, this structure adds roughly 15,000 extra parking spots to the 10,000 at the Mickey and Friends Lot and those elsewhere. Motorists coming primarily for DisneySky are routed from Interstate 5 directly into the Skywalker Lot, avoiding surface streets.

While DisneySky is still under construction, the Skywalker Lot is used as parking overflow while west side surface lots servicing the hotels and Downtown Disney are themselves transformed into multi-level structures. Overall resort parking should total over 40,000 once DisneySky premiers. With the resort increasingly a one-stop vacation destination, Disney offers its hotel guests Disney’s Magical Express bus service from the John Wayne and LAX airports. This helps reduce the need for on-site parking.

For in-resort transportation, the brand new Disneyland Resort PeopleMover connects the eastern edge of the Disneyland/DCA Esplanade with DisneySky and the Skywalker Lot. The Disney Resort PeopleMover is continually loading, high-capacity, and fully accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. Mass transit systems between airport terminals prove the viability of this approach. “Park hopping” to a semi-remote third gate is made simple! For additional transportation requirements, Disney provides lushly-appointed surface street trams and buses.

Access to DisneySky from the north is along a “skybridge” which crosses over Katella, which dips below grade. The PeopleMover unloads guests in the Theme Plaza, within a scaled version of the iconic LAX Theme Building (which Imagineering has worked on). Underneath this PeopleMover Building is a jet wash fountain, a teaser icon for DisneySky. Additional driveways north and south of Katella allow vehicle drop-off access.

With aggressive property buyouts, Disney develops a hotel and shopping complex on the northeastern corner of Harbor and Katella. The struggling Gardenwalk reemerges as The Disneywalk, an extension of Downtown Disney. Pedestrian walkways from the Skywalker Lot lead directly into the Disneywalk and elsewhere.

 photo 1014_zps3sngu65s.jpg

Disney’s latest flagship hotel premieres along the edges of the Theme Plaza with fabulous views of Mt. Helios to the south. Villa Cielo Hotel is a luxury hotel and spa in an early 20th Century Mission Revival style, a Southern Californian architectural compliment to the Northern-styled Grand Californian. Villa Cielo takes inspiration from Riverside’s Mission Inn and Pasadena’s Castle Green. The hotel is oriented around lush gardens, and comes complete with pools, sauna, fitness club, and upscale shopping and dining amenities. Disney Vacation Club members enjoy exclusive access to premium penthouse suites. Weddings are held on a rooftop patio overlooking Mt. Helios. The Cielo Trattoria becomes Disney’s first Michelin Star-rated restaurant. During holiday evenings, the whole of Villa Cielo glows warmly in the Celebration of Lights, guaranteed to draw visitors from across the southland and beyond.

As resort plans mature, additional budget hotels may be installed in available space surrounding the Disneywalk. Altogether, this new eastern side of the resort looks to create 2,000 hotel rooms to compliment the 2,000 already on site.

 photo 1003_zpsgzbaitib.jpg
Note this map has been rotated 180 degrees, so that North is towards the bottom. This has been done to keep the entrance at the base, in keeping with DCA’s map.


Ticket pricing and hours are consistent with the rest of the Disneyland Resort. Extra Magic Hours for hotel guests reschedule to accommodate three gates: alternating with three days a week for Disneyland, and two each for DisneySky and California Adventure. Overnight stays and multi-day tickets should become increasingly popular, as the Resort matures into a weeklong destination.

DisneySky becomes the first park in the Disneyland Resort to test out Magic Bands and RFID tracking chip technology, retooled for California’s needs. To satisfy locals and passholders, Fastpasses are still only available the day of, now via smartphones and park-wide Magic Band kiosks. E-ticket attractions are synched so passes may be reserved from anywhere in the park. (Unlike at Disney World, lower tier attractions will not equip Fastpasses.) Once DisneySky perfects its approach to Magic Bands, this tech shall migrate throughout Disneyland Resort.

Many of DisneySky’s attractions are designed with programmable elements to take advantage of RFID technology. Variations in show elements ensure new sights and sounds for repeat visitors, encouraging re-rideability. Seasonal events such as “Marvel Legends” allow participating guests to roleplay with cast member “characters” in unique personalized adventures.

Most excitingly, Imagineering unveils DisneySky’s distinct Fly Higher option. Several next-gen attractions are capable of multiple intensity levels. Guests are free to seek relaxation or adrenaline. With branching queue paths and programmable vehicles, once-restrictive thrill rides are now offered to the entire family! The core ride experience is all-inclusive. Optional height requirements – the Fly Higher option – allows adults the chance for a wilder adventure without alienating the rest. RFID technology automatically detects riders’ heights and preferences, and adjusts ride intensity accordingly, ensuring safety. Through these efforts, DisneySky’s landmark features are simultaneously family-friendly and thrilling.

Altogether, DisneySky combines the best of classical and modern Disney. Its focus on the ongoing fantasies of the 20th Century makes it an ideal complement to the nostalgia of Disneyland. DisneySky’s theme is vast and timeless, yet specific and unique. With a dedicated focus on detail and immersion, DisneySky is a shining new star in Imagineering’s sorcerer cap, and a proud sibling to Disneyland itself.

September 12, 2015, 7:55 AM


 photo 1015_zpszgnuci5q.jpg

TIME: July 17, 1955

When Disneyland first opened in 1955, civilian aviation was new and exciting. There was a romantic lure to traveling the globe in luxury and style. While that dream has waned, Runway One reintroduces guests to an idealized fantasy from the Golden Age of Aviation. A mid-century airport leads subtly upwards towards Mt. Helios and sends guests forth on their journeys. DisneySky’s arrival destination is realized in warm-hued hangars and terminals inspired by the lost architectural treasures of early Southern Californian aviation. Boundless activity energizes guests, as travel posters advertise what lies ahead.

 photo 1004_zpshjnr9qrg.jpg

A day in DisneySky begins before even entering the park. Heading from the Theme Plaza, guests are drawn by obscured views of the distant Mt. Helios. Before it is the monumental Grand Central Hangar. Done as a scaled replica of Mountain View’s Hangar One, Grand Central Hangar is DisneySky’s enclosed ticketing/entry plaza. Replicas of famous airplanes from throughout history hang from the rafters. A full-wall window bay offers tantalizing glimpses of Mt. Helios, obscured by entry gates and the DisneySky Airlines boarding platform.

Park services employ aeronautic styling: Lost & Found becomes “Baggage Claim,” ticketing occurs at check-in counters, and ride wait times are posted on an ETA board. Cast members dress as pilots and flight attendants, inspired by Pan Am’s vintage high fashion.

 photo 1016_zpshqusurom.jpg

Only once guests pass through Grand Central Hangar are they truly within DisneySky. Mt. Helios at last appears unobstructed, framed magnificently by rows of Mission-style hangars. Before the flagpole sits the Wright Flyer. Piles of vintage luggage suggest a world-on-the-go. A military brass band marches. Classic Disney characters appear as aviators. Art deco murals along the hangars depict scenes of flight from Disney’s oeuvre, from the beloved (Peter Pan) to the obscure (Victory through Air Power). To the left upon entry is Iwerks Terminal, DisneySky’s “City Hall,” a recreation of Glendale’s 1929 Grand Central Air Terminal. (The original, now property of the Walt Disney Company, is presently under renovation by Imagineering).

As guests near the hub before Mt. Helios, more details emerge among its cliffs. An epic waterfall plunges down minarets towards Mythic Realms to the east. Professional hang gliders sail from Helios’ heights throughout the day – inspired by the mountain climbers on Disneyland’s Matterhorn – before landing safely in the distant Langley Lagoon. Clouds gather near the peak. At hub’s center is DisneySky’s answer to Disneyland’s famous Partners statue – “Dreamers,” with Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse hand-in-hand focused ever upwards on the boundless skies.

If Mt. Helios is DisneySky’s central icon, nestled in its foothills is the “castle” – Inspiration Observatory. Inspiration Observatory takes its “inspiration” from famed observatories the world over, notably Griffith in Los Angeles. Telescoped domes are the castle towers of the Science Age. This astronomical nexus, operated by the Society of Knowledge and Yearning (S.K.Y.), suggests the furthest reaches of the universe, and the extent of DisneySky’s theme. Observatories are a motif throughout the park. The building’s tall spires point towards Mt. Helios, whose vertical ridges point further skyward.

 photo 1017_zpsgiy7erff.jpg

World of Flight
Within Inspiration Observatory is DisneySky’s “thesis statement” attraction. Befitting a ride at the park’s center, geographically and thematically, “World of Flight” is a classic omnimover dark ride filled with animatronics and song. Guests pass through interactive observatory exhibit space and board “skymobiles.” In robust Epcot style, “World of Flight” tells Man’s history of flight in stylized storybook form. Subjects not covered fully elsewhere are highlighted here, from the legend of Icarus to Da Vinci’s ornithopter. “World of Flight” climaxes with a journey into outer space overflowing with the interstellar machines of our future. Tying the ride together is an all-new song by Alan Menken, “Heads in the Clouds,” sure to be DisneySky’s “It’s a Small World (After All)” or “Compass of Your Heart.”

DisneySky Airlines
As Disneyland is defined by the locomotive, so is DisneySky defined by the airplane. To that end, the timeless riveted jetliners of “DisneySky Airlines” provide continuous flights clockwise throughout the park, with stops at Pioneer Fields, Golden Cay and Avengers Airfield. Since it is sadly impractical to traverse the park in actual aircraft, this effect is accomplished through suspended monorail trains, modeled on Germany’s H-Bahn. Support beams are disguised to minimize thematic intrusion.

From Runway One, the boarding platform overlooks the interior of Grand Central Hangar. The route through Mythic Realms is enclosed, with a diorama (and screens) depicting painterly cumulonimbi and the interior of a storm cloud. Through the park’s eastern and southern edges, “DisneySky Airlines” affords fabulous elevated views of Mt. Helios. The final leg, passing through show buildings over Cloud City, allows the airplane to escape Earth’s bounds and glide past asteroids and nebula on a journey to the heart of the Milky Way. Upon entering the black hole at its center, “DisneySky Airlines” transports back to Runway One, completing its circuit.

Flights of Fantasy
Famed Disney characters appear in a series of colorful hot air balloons. DisneySky ports the “Flights of Fantasy” parade from Hong Kong Disneyland, adding a few floats to represent newer properties. DisneySky’s parade route passes from Runway One to the corner of Mythic Realms. “Flights of Fantasy” performs up to twice daily.

Galileo’s provides DisneySky’s signature table dining experience within Inspiration Observatory’s central dome. Luxurious and ornate furnishings compliment top quality, locally sourced American cuisine developed by chef Andrew Sutton. A dark mahogany lounge serves an ambitious, one-of-a-kind drink menu. Diners enjoy romantic lighting underneath a fully-functioning planetarium dome. Unobtrusive sky map shows redefine what it means to dine under the stars. Private rooms, named after famous aviators and inventors, present Art Deco ambiance and seclusion.

The Pilot’s Lounge offers table service in a parklike setting under the shadow of Mt. Helios. Guests can relax like ace pilots, within the full luxury of mid-century air travel at its finest. Airplane rotors act as ceiling fans. Food is hearty Americanized “pub grub” such as salads and hamburgers. Savory odors waft from an outdoor grill, which offers fresh rotisserie specialties on a “rotating” basis.

Jetliner Sandwiches, located in a Mission-style air control tower, is a counter service restaurant serving delicious sandwiches for those “on the fly.” A scaled luggage carousel acts as a food conveyor. Jetliner Sandwiches also houses complete soda jerk facilities, serving ice cream sundaes and milkshakes in a vintage 50’s atmosphere.

The Wright Bakers sees the famed brothers’ bicycle shop converted into a quick bakery space. Mouth-watering cakes, cookies, pies and more are each named after early aviators.

Liftoff Coffee House alongside The Wright Bakers could get even Sleepy ready for takeoff. Unique DisneySky coffees, including a Red Eye Special, are provided by Starbucks.

Avionics is DisneySky’s answer to the Emporium. All number of aviation-related goods may be found within a vintage airplane factory. Nearly anything may be found Avionics, from clothes, bags, plush toys, mugs, and more, all emblazoned with DisneySky icons.

Langley Gallery sits in a replica of the Spanish-style LAX Hangar No. 1 opposite Iwerks Terminal. Fine artwork and specialty boutique items appear on display at the base of an authentic Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” airplane.

The Lindy Shop & Earhart’s Clothiers occupies a series of war-era hangars alongside the runway. Guests may browse an assortment of clothing, from jackets to pants, sweats, shirts and dresses, all featuring favorite Disney characters.

The Planetary Marketplace within Inspiration Observatory greets guests exiting “World of Flight.” Goods pertain to science and astronomy, sold underneath a spinning industrial model of the Solar System.

September 12, 2015, 7:56 AM

 photo 1019_zps1qufcbjq.jpg
TIME: 500 B.C.

Myths tell of a time when winged chimeras, weather deities, and magical flying objects ruled the clouds. It was in this Utter Eastern utopia where Man took the tentative first steps towards flight. With the kite and the lantern, Man entered the skies. An uneasy truce was set. Legends and people parted ways. Man developed cities in lowland China. The gods and monsters retired to their mountains and caves, and issued a dire warning to any foolhardy enough to dare trespass in their dominions.

From Runway One, passage over a rampaging mountain stream whisks guests back 2,500 years. They pass stone towers, where foolish inventors test out primitive wingsuits, only to splash into the waters below. An exotic Forbidden City beckons, seated precariously at the edge of a rocky subtropical wilderness. Travel further east leads to ancient India, full of fakirs and magic carpets. Throughout, sky lanterns float overhead, while stone murals depict hypothetical winged machines. Chinese dancers bring song and movement, especially during Chinese New Year when Mythic Realms erupts in celebration. Characters from Mulan and Aladdin call this kingdom home. At night, fireflies come out to bathe Mythic Realms in a romantic glow.

 photo 1005_zpsr2pdjnmf.jpg

Storm Mountain
Fastpass available; all-access attraction with Fly Higher height requirement at 42”
Storm Mountain looms ominously over the temples. (It also blocks views of WorldMark Anaheim north of Katella.) Modeled on China’s immortal Yellow Mountain, this is the final refuge of the gods. Their magic pervades the slopes: rock face resembles forgotten monsters; cascading waterfalls plummet from floating islands (held up by supports hidden in the falling water). Fabulous creatures reside within. Thunder booms out, a warning against entry.

Through a beached Chinese junk, guests encounter evidence of the gods’ warning. Yet this cannot dissuade them from boarding golden boats and venturing inward. “Storm Mountain” is a shoot-the-chutes E-ticket into mist-shrouded hills, and ever upwards into the storm clouds themselves. A tranquil beginning carries guests past flying fish, water dragons, winged horses, and similar wonderments. A whirlpool drop – no more extreme than “Pirates of the Caribbean” – bears them to the gods’ dominion. Amazing effects simulate lightning, monsoons and tornadoes. A lift ferries boats to the sky deities, formed of the elements, who banish guests down a climactic waterfall from the mountain’s peak!

“Storm Mountain” offers a Fly Higher option. Branching lift hills lead to two climactic plunges, one all-access, the other a death-defying 100-foot freefall!

 photo 1020_zps3lnq3rnj.jpg

The Cave of Wonders
Height requirement: 38”
Though the story of “Aladdin” suggests Arabia, it has its origins in China and India. This makes Aladdin an ideal fit for Mystic Realms, housed in crumbling Indian minarets. Within, décor slowly transitions to Agrabah, as guests wend darkened alleyways into the Sultan’s dungeon. An animatronic Jafar, disguised as a peasant man, tasks them with riding a fleet of magic carpets deep into the Cave of Wonders and retrieving for him the lamp.

“The Cave of Wonders” is a D-ticket suspended family coaster upon swinging magic carpets, Disneyland Resort’s answer to “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.” A calm flight through treasure-filled chambers erupts into lava, as carpets hurtle to escape the cave spirit’s wrath. Guests finally burst from the cave and dart outside through the palaces of Mythic Realms. “The Cave of Wonders” is an ideal early coaster for budding thrill addicts.

 photo 1021_zps6q7m7eb7.jpg

Legend of the Floating Fist
The Chungking Theater is home to “Legend of the Floating Fist (with Mulan),” a spectacular tribute to Peking Opera. This pageant combines music, song, dance and traditional Chinese acrobatics to tell the story of Mulan. Western guests will recognize this colorful art as the progenitor of modern kung fu. Disney marries Broadway-quality storytelling with time-tested Chinese theater in a music stunt show that is sure to astound.

Dragon Kites AND Phoenix Kites
The earliest Chinese kites, designed to emulate mythical beasts, were powerful enough to carry a man skyward. Guests can enjoy the same experience on a pair of spinner rides which rotate counter to each other. Shanghai Disneyland’s jetpack orbiter design is utilized to suspend riders below ornate kites. Towards Storm Mountain, a Water Dragon atop his tower threatens a Fire Phoenix on her tower. Thus the two kite spinners are set in eternal battle.

Festive Sky Lanterns
Sky lanterns are hot air balloons made of paper, held aloft by flame. “Festive Sky Lanterns” places guests aboard a Paratower “parachutes” ride, a gentler, thematically superior version of “Jumpin’ Jellyfish” at nearby California Adventure (which is slated for removal). From their lanterns, guests enjoy splendid views.

Kebab’s Big Boy sits at the crossroads of cultures, where magic flying carpets deliver fine feasts from all known kingdoms. Four different counter stations provide Indian curries, Thai seafood, Chinese noodles, and the eponymous Arabian kebabs. The Casbah Food Court at DisneySea serves as inspiration.

The Floating Lotus is a traditional Chinese counter service restaurant in an ancient stone observatory connected to the Chungking Theater. Diners may feast on Hong Kong-style delicacies either in the observatory gardens, or in a balcony overlooking performances of “Legend of the Floating Fist.”

Sao Pot’s Potstickers sells savory Chinese street fare fried to perfection out of a royal cart near Storm Mountain. This ideal snack food is a DisneySky favorite, especially the Mickey Mouse-shaped almond cookies.

Abu’s Bazaar, near “The Cave of Wonders,” is a bustling marketplace offering fabrics and artifacts found throughout the Utter East. Keen guests may spot an animatronic Abu shoplifting. A specialized counter peddles Jasmine’s Jewelry, immaculate trinkets at unbeatable prices.

Lu Ban Kite Shop in a pagoda offers all sorts of toys dedicated to Lu Ban, inventor of the kite. Kites, paper airplanes and bamboo copter toys are on hand.

Nimbus Obscura provides “Storm Mountain” post-ride photos in a mountainside hut. Apparel and accessories themed to guests’ watery adventures are also found.

September 12, 2015, 7:57 AM

 photo 1022_zpskkkg0jxh.jpg

TIME: December 31, 1899

Towards the end of the Nineteenth Century, when lighter-than-air flight reigned, the Society of Knowledge and Yearning quested north to the frozen Arctic, the edge of the known world. Here at the icy base of Mt. Helios, the S.K.Y. established a steampunk Victorian outpost for experimentation and exploration. Minds such as Captain Nemo and H.G. Wells made camp upon a mighty glacier. Airships and hot air balloons flourished amidst a scientific metropolis modeled on the World’s Columbian Exposition. Now this land’s founders invite the intellectual community to gather and share in their mysteries.

Discovery Fjord takes inspiration from DisneySea’s Mysterious Island and Tony Baxter’s unrealized Discovery Bay, while remaining its own place. The land, surrounding a glacial lake teeming with ice flows, is enclosed on all sides. Entry is made either via tunnels within Mt. Helios, or through glass-covered Victorian arcades. A kinetic heliocentric model is the community’s centerpiece. Beyond a frozen archway, Mt. Helios’ insurmountable icy walls encase an ancient Viking ship. Hot springs steam near the waters, where Captain Nemo’s Nautilus rests before a tantalizing ice cave entrance. As the day progresses, shadows over Mt. Helios’ eastern edge cover this frigid wasteland in shadow. Tesla coil lanterns light the walkways.

Figures from Jules Verne interact with guests, as do characters from Disney’s Atlantis. During holidays, Discovery Fjord is overlaid with Nordic fineries, all the better to a seasonal Frozen celebration.

 photo 1006_zpsulhljadx.jpg

Journey to the Top of the World
Fastpass available; height requirement: 40”
Captain Nemo’s latest adventure sees him seeking an overland passage to the North Pole through the very icy interior of Mt. Helios. The enigmatic genius hopes to discover the secrets at “the top of the world.” Riveted ice drills bore a path through snow and sleet, uncovering a forgotten Arctic wonderland populated by Pleistocene creatures long thought extinct.

“Journey to the Top of the World” clones and updates “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” mixed liberally with concepts from Disney’s forgotten Island at the Top of the World. DisneySky trades themes, from earth to ice, completely reimaging a familiar ride experience. Ice drills enter subterranean hot springs, encounter Arctic wildlife, and emerge under the brilliance of the Aurora Borealis. A deadly avalanche reroutes drills upwards past treacherous jagged spikes. Glowing ice blocks merge into a monstrous animatronic Winter Elemental! This Guardian of the North flings riders over a precipice! Drills barely cling to the mountain’s switchbacks as they tumble earthwards back into Nemo’s base.

 photo 1023_zpsbu7y9706.jpg

The Time Machine
With Jules Verne having proved a creative boon to Imagineering, they turn their sights to H.G. Wells. His classic 1895 novella “The Time Machine” forms the basis for a new interactive dark ride D-ticket. Wells himself is the Time Traveler, a grand cupola mansion his home. Guests explore a comfortable Victorian household overflowing with timepieces and history books. They are welcomed aboard canopied steampunk Time Machines, and the trek commences.

Traveling backwards through time inside Wells’ kitchen, amazing practical “time lapse” effects depict the building’s deconstruction. “The Time Machine” is unique in that it offers branching paths. At multiple junctures throughout, guests flip a lever on their Time Machine and choose which date they wish to visit. Tracks diverge, then reconvene in a time stasis for the next selection. Time Machines reach 3 epochs per ride, with 6 total available, allowing for greater guest control and multiple rides.

Like “Autopia” and “Aquatopia,” “Airtopia” places guests aboard an idealized vehicle for a grand sightseeing tour. Elaborate steampunk gliders sail over Discovery Fjord, affording fabulous views of Mt. Helios and the intricate Victorian friezes. The ride utilizes the higher-capacity, next-gen “Peter Pan’s Flight” ride system developed for Shanghai Disneyland, which allows for a gentle yet thrilling flight.

Tinkerer’s Workshop
An unpresuming wooden warehouse upon the lake is home to the “Tinkerer’s Workshop,” the primary laboratory for Discovery Fjord’s inventors. Guests may try their hands at a variety of interactive exhibits. Hand cranks operate gears. Bellows stoke furnaces. Pedal-powered engines fuel ludicrous gizmos. Guests may take up flare guns and practice their aim in the explosives bunker. As the workshop’s signature element, guests draw on high-tech interactive screens made to resemble blueprint paper. Here they combine mechanical gewgaws and invent their own flying contraptions. Actual animatronic mechanisms then merge these same parts before guests’ very eyes, to form actual working prototypes.

 photo 1024_zps62m0bb1g.jpg

Club 55 is DisneySky’s exclusive private club, sister to Disneyland’s famed Club 33, housed upstairs in lavishly appointed private chambers overlooking Mt. Helios. Hidden rotating bookcases lead to the S.K.Y.’s secret inner sanctum. Club 55 is not made known to the public, and is maintained solely for VIPs. Club atmosphere takes inspiration from Hollywood’s Magic Castle, with up-close entertainment and shows designed for intimate groups. A world-class kitchen delivers a fabulous rotating menu conceived by Club 55’s executive chef.

Hyperion Airship Dining Room is housed within the mighty Hyperion Airship, moored in a hangar at the land’s edge. This counter service restaurant is above level, seated over the Crystal Palace Shoppe. Diners enjoy the lush opulence of airship dining, complete with live piano accompaniment. Menu items available for pickup consist of fine French and Italian dishes, provided at the S.K.Y.’s insistence as a reminder of high culture in this chilly wasteland.

Neptunia sits carved out of the icy walls near “Journey to the Top of the World.” Like Vulcania at DisneySea, Neptunia is the mess hall for Captain Nemo’s crew perched on the boundary between man and nature. A large industrial heater at the cavern’s center provides ambiance and warmth. Seafood is served buffet style, prepared according to Nemo’s own recipes developed while exploring the ocean floor.

Harbormaster’s Grill is a simple quick service station over glacial docks. Basic, comforting seafood options include fish ‘n’ chips, clam chowder, and Maine lobster. Diners may either eat near water’s edge, or retire to a boathouse loaded with artifacts from the S.K.Y.’s various travels.

The Freeze Station occupies a gigantic ice-making machine half-encased within a frozen archway. This is a walk-up stand serving all variety of soft serve and ice cream.

Crystal Palace Shoppe occupies a glistening arcade which connects Discovery Fjord with Mythic Realms. It is Discovery Fjord’s signature shopping outlet, where all manner of Victorian toys and antiques come in a bustling department store setting.

Brompton’s Haberdashery is a clothing shop modeled after Harrod’s, spanning the lakefront near the heliocentric model. All apparel boasts the finest steampunk fashion sense, and riveted accessories help complete the look.

The Grand Dirigible, modeled after the war balloon from Atlantis: The Lost Empire, is prominently displayed in the Discovery Fjord airspace. At the base, a simple pin trader, and a prominent source for DisneySky collectibles.

Edited: September 12, 2015, 8:05 AM

 photo 1025_zps3efsvsgg.jpg

TIME: March 17, 1929

Ah, for the days when aviation was a gentleman’s pursuit! The Wright Brothers’ groundbreaking Flyer opened up a new age of promise. Troupes of barnstorming daredevils traveled the American heartland in their biplanes, electrifying cornfields with their acrobatic flying circuses. Pioneer Fields realizes this bold era filtered through a familiar Disney lens.

At the heart of Pioneer Fields is a small farm community centered around a plaza and bandstand, often host to live music. Telephone poles are littered with barnstorming ads. An upstairs loft is home to an amateur astronomer. Cornfields line the outskirts of town, with crop-dusters heard overhead. Here is a DisneySky Airlines Station located in a converted farmhouse. Plane skids in the mud lead to the corn, where a crashed Red Baron biplane emits steam, covered in crows. Past a spinning turbine and rustic barn, the barnstormers’ makeshift tents recall Storybook Circus at Magic Kingdom. Altogether, the village suggests Mickey’s Plane Crazy. Indeed, lucky guests just might see Mickey and his friends going about their day.

Pioneer Fields contains Propwash Junction, a sub-land based on Disney’s Planes (a Cars spinoff). Following the example of the highly successful Cars Land, Propwash Junction accurately recreates Planes’ small town airfield, complete with tailfin-shaped granite outcropping. Characters mingle on a scheduled basis, using free-roaming interactive vehicles. Planes is tailor-made for DisneySky, and nearby Cars Land proves how great place-making can expand a property’s appeal!

 photo 1007_zpsuxfidbmf.jpg

Wings around the Globe: A Planes Adventure
Fastpass available; all-access attraction with Fly Higher height requirement at 40”
Disney breaks new ground (or sky) with “Wings around the Globe,” an E-ticket flight simulator utilizing ride technology found no place else! Upon entry into Skipper’s Flying School hangar, an animatronic Skipper instructs on proper racing technique. Guests are then given their aviator goggles (3D glasses) and whisked to their aircraft alongside Dusty Crophopper! Crop-dusters zoom and twist through a friendly, thrilling airplane race over Propwash Junction and Piston Peak National Park.

“Wings around the Globe” employs Vekoma’s eccentric Pandora’s Box ride system. Think of it as a simulator hybridized with both a wing coaster and a drop tower! A tracked pole transports guests past 3D screens. Seats perform dips, free-falls, and barrel roll inversions! RFID chip technology and the Fly Higher option allow both intense and tame versions, with only minor variations to the animated ride video. Film allows for regular seasonal and yearly upgrades, so “Wings around the Globe” is continually freshened and updated.

 photo 1026_zps5bhcdzyj.jpg

The Wonderful World of Oz
On the outside, it seems a quaint Midwestern storefront where flimflam artist Oscar Diggs has taken up residence. The interior is littered with corny circus cutouts, unseen animals roaring in cages, and assorted bric-a-brac. But once guests board hot air balloons touted by a hyperventilating animatronic Oscar, a tornado assaults the structure and flings them to the fantastical kingdom of Oz!

“The Wonderful World of Oz” is a D-ticket dark ride inspired by Frank L. Baum and Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful. Balloon baskets sit on arms atop a guided track, which allows the same lift control employed on Disneyland’s “Dumbo.” Guests enjoy a literal whirlwind tour of Oz set to a Danny Elfman score. These isn’t so much of a story to speak of, but pure sightseeing wonder. See flying monkeys, Tinkers, Munchkins, scarecrows, witches, and so very much more, all realized with state-of-the-art animatronics!

Up, with Carl
On the plaza corner is a familiar multicolored house. This is the home of Up’s Carl Fredricksen, which he recently retrieved from South America after deciding to relocate to Pioneer Fields. Golden retriever Dug on the porch happily addresses visitors with his mechanical collar, answering that age-old question: What’s Up dog? Inside, the Audubon Society gathers for a special South American birdwatching tour. From suspended balloon-held porch benches, guests sail alongside Carl and Russell into a jungle teeming with exotic bird species, including Kevin. Interactive on-ride cameras (modeled on the flashlights from “Monsters Inc. Ride-and-Go-Seek”) allow guests to photograph the nearly 100 animatronic birds, and tally their totals at the end in a “My Adventure” scrapbook.

 photo 1027_zps4tyx9bwr.jpg

Dumbo’s Circus Extravaganza
Although Dumbo is already well represented in the parks, as Disney’s grand ambassador of flight, he has to appear in DisneySky! Differentiating from Disneyland’s offerings, “Dumbo’s Circus Extravaganza” is a hybrid of live and 3D show, housed in Dumbo’s traveling circus tent. Here guests under the big top witness as Dumbo first reveals his flying abilities to the world. Live clowns perform as Keystone-esque firefighters. They incorporate a 3D animated Dumbo into their act when the baby elephant sails upwards and out over the audience!

Goofy’s Barnstormer
Height requirement: 35”
This duplicate of Magic Kingdom’s “Barnstormer” junior coaster is DisneySky’s sole unabashed clone. When the theme is so perfectly in tune, it has to be! Budding coaster enthusiasts get their first “big kid” thrill aboard Goofy’s homemade biplanes. They crash through barns and billboards in the grandest Goofy style, before sputtering to a halt.

The similarly-themed “Goofy’s Sky School” in California Adventure has been slated for removal for quite some time. “Goofy’s Barnstormer” accelerates that process, benefiting DCA, and receives some “Sky School” décor for its trouble.

Albatross Air Service
The Rescuers’ Orville offers scenic flights, but travelers beware! Orville is a notoriously clumsy albatross, barely capable of takeoff. Guests discover this upon Orville’s very own “Dumbo” spinner ride, as the bird rises up and down erratically all on his own. The only control granted to guests is a wheel within their anchovy tin car, which lets them spin their albatross like a “Mad Tea Party” teacup. The U.S. Air Force Song plays throughouts, before Orville finally skids to an awkward landing right back where he started.

Pioneer Barn Barbecue is a table service restaurant in the Pioneer Fields barn, which specializes in character meals featuring the Fab Five. These characters and others are members of Mickey’s Aviator Club. Younger diners receive personalized cards welcoming them into the club. Pioneer Barn’s menu consists of down-home country cooking, including mouth-watering baby back ribs, cornbread, watermelon and fried cheese curds. The barn has only recently been converted into a restaurant, so the rafters are still packed with cartoony animatronic chickens, clucking away merrily.

Launchpad McSnacks is a roadside stand which offers healthy farm-fresh options. Here guests find vegetables, fruit cups, and freshly roasted corn-on-the-cob. Launchpad McQuack, Disney’s most incompetent pilot, is now the proprietor of this establishment, having taken a “crash course” in business.

Chug and Dottie’s Fill ‘n’ Fly is Propwash Junction’s premiere quick service buffet, housed in Chug and Dottie’s airplane garage. This is DisneySky’s signature breakfast location, specializing in generously-sized waffles with an assortment of toppings. After noon, the same waffles appear alongside chicken and other comfort foods.

Kernel Co. next door sells prepackaged popcorn treats in over a dozen flavors. This unique building, Propwash’s gas station, resembles an enormous helicopter, with three cantilevered propellers providing shade for Fill ‘n’ Fly diners.

Pioneer Five & Dime is your classic General Store, replete with marmalades, barnstormer accessories, and a wide selection of old-timey goods. One very popular item combines aviator goggles with a classic Mickey ears hat. Guests can even send and receive letters via air mail with classic Disney characters.

The Landing Zone in Propwash Junction is a hangar motel. For DisneySky’s guests, it has been converted into a one-stop shopping outlet for all things Planes. Considering the ongoing popularity of Cars merchandise, The Landing Zone also serves as overflow for Carsland products.

Propwash Tower accepts riders exiting “Wings around the Globe.” This air control tower sells race memorabilia so that guests can forever remember their airborne adventures.

Carl’s Balloons is a small balloon stand opposite the “Up” ride, regularly staffed by a costumed Carl and Wilderness Explorer cast members. Guests may also purchase physical copies of the scrapbooks they assembled upon “Up, with Carl.”

September 12, 2015, 8:00 AM

 photo 1028_zpsoun32hee.jpg

TIME: September 1, 1938

Air travel made accessible the remotest corners of the globe. Daring bush pilots set forth on two-fisted pulp adventures in the tropical South Seas, braving typhoons, sky pirates, and ancient civilizations. Beckoned by the jungle riches of the Bonga Tonga archipelago, a towering Art Deco metropolis rose up on the coast. Protected from marauders by anti-aircraft artillery, Cape Suzette bursts from the seams with well-oiled “dieselpunk” visionaries. But the island interior remains unexplored, a foreboding wilderness of brigands and outlaws.

Golden Cay, along Mt. Helios’ heavily-vegetated southern slope, follows a river path from sweltering jungle to glistening city. Cape Suzette (inspired by TaleSpin and The Rocketeer) straddles the western edge, sharing Langley Lagoon with Cosmic Canyon and Avengers Airfield. Bronze-tinged skyscrapers boast mighty spires with airship mooring posts. Observatories dot the tops of other high-rises. At city’s centers, a golden statue of Mercury motions skyward. Roaring Jazz music echoes. Polynesian Disney characters from TaleSpin, Moana and Lilo & Stitch explore. Past the corrugated DisneySky Airlines Station, a river canyon reveals the overgrown jungle, unpredictable dangers lurking in every cliff. Crashed cargo planes are overtaken by foliage, their rusted wings spanning chasms. Hidden Tiki idols hint at deeper mysteries.

 photo 1008_zpsfcfn6rhb.jpg

The Rocketeer and the Squadron of Doom
Fastpass available; all-access attraction with Fly Higher height requirement at 48”
Cape Suzette’s tallest structure, a scaled replica of Saarinen’s unbuilt Tribune Tower, is the departure point for aerial action based on Disney’s cult classic Rocketeer. Through an immaculate modernist lobby, guests ride a Tiffany glass elevator to the tower’s deck, 50 floors up. A mooring mast connects to the streamlined Touchstone dirigible. This stupendous airship is the mobile base of Cliff Secord, the Rocketeer, jetpack adventurer extraordinaire. Countless piston-powered devices abound. Over B&W newsreels, guests learn the history of jetpack technology, which is coveted by the nefarious Squadron of Doom, a union of the world’s greatest criminal minds.

Guests don modified jetpacks, and rocket from the Touchstone’s loading bay out over Cape Suzette! Predictably, the Squadron of Doom emerges from the trade winds in a fleet of warplanes, keen on acquiring guests’ jetpacks by any means possible. A spectacular dogfight commences in, around and through Cape Suzette’s modernist edifices, while the Rocketeer repels the invaders!

This engaging E-ticket dark ride uses updated G2 KUKA arm technology, newly freed from a 10-year exclusive contract with Universal. Imagineering is keen to perfect this ride system, which holds riders suspended like Shanghai Disneyland’s jetpacks. Scenery is almost entirely practical, not screen-based! A Fly Higher option opens up “The Rocketeer and the Squadron of Doom” to all guests.

 photo 1029_zpssigotmpf.jpg

Sky Pirates of the South Seas
Deep in the jungle limestone caverns, a reckless band of sky pirates makes their secret lair. Seized swag piles high. Guests join the scallywags on an air raid filled with nods to Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean.” “Sky Pirates of the South Seas” is a D-ticket dark ride utilizing the same suspended omnimovers as DisneySea’s “20,000 Leagues under the Sea,” now repurposed as free-flying gunner cockpits. Glass panels on the vehicles allow for in-ride mist and rain, an airborne variation on DisneySea’s dry-for-wet effect.

From the caverns, pirates sail out in an ad hoc air fleet, singing of adventure. Lightning reveals an Arado Ar 232 cargo plane. Pirates swing, swashbuckler and seize it! Typhoon-force winds reroute the ne’er-do-wells towards undiscovered islands. Here pirates contend with erupting volcanoes, cargo cults, and even a Lost World caldera where pterosaurs rule the skies! As guests return to the caverns, a somber end awaits the pirates: They and their collapsed aircraft erode into skeletons, ruled over by the pterodactyls.

Indiana Jones and the Puzzle of Tonga
In a rocky canyon reminiscent of Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay lies the crashed “Tin Goose” airplane of one Indiana Jones. The famed archeologist’s latest hunt brings him to the lost civilization of Tonga, reputed to be the final remnants of the fabled Lemuria. Crumbling Polynesian ruins provide the backdrop for this exploration attraction, where guests aid Indiana Jones (a cast member performer) in solving the puzzle of Tonga. Decipher hieroglyphics, climb rope bridges, discover a moai water play area. Guests can even join Indy in the Tongan catacombs for an “escape room” sub-attraction amidst flame-belching sky idols!

 photo 1031_zpsc7koznmq.jpg

Seaplane Jungle Ferries
Departing regularly from Cape Suzette, waterborne seaplanes ferry guests into the jungle primeval on a relaxing tow boat adventure. Leaving civilization, guests witness ancient Tiki monuments which relate the story of Disney’s upcoming Moana. Moana’s tale occurred millennia ago, but the jungle never forgets. Passage through a rusted fuselage bears seaplanes into a mystical cavern where the songs and sights of Moana still live!

 photo 1030_zpswvowuzgt.jpg

The South Seas Club brings Art Nouveau luxury to the South Seas in a table dining experience aboard The Cedar Mallard. This enormous aircraft, docked in Langley Lagoon, is a scale replica of Howard Hughes’ famous Spruce Goose, and DisneySky’s answer to DisneySea’s SS Columbia. A lavishly appointed dining room within the gigantic flying boat recalls The Rocketeer’s South Seas Club, complete with big band orchestra. Elegant French cuisine, seafood, steaks and crepe suzettes are only rivaled by Galileo’s in Runway One. Alongside the South Seas Club is The Mallard Lounge, an upscale bar serving DisneySky’s signature “Hughes Brews” beer.

Louie’s is an exotic counter service “nightclub” across the river alongside Mt. Helios. This tropical getaway is an accurate recreation of the TaleSpin restaurant, itself inspired by Rick’s in Casablanca. Jungle Book characters such as Baloo, Louie and Shere Khan regularly dine here. Dancers and hula girls perform. Grub, inspired by SoCal tiki bar culture, will be familiar to fans of Trader Sam’s.

The Bulldog Café, familiar from The Rocketeer, offers up quick service tamales, ice cream and sandwiches in a gigantic bulldog! This snack shack is inspired by a real establishment which graced Los Angeles from 1928 to 1966.

Raratonga Roast serves Polynesian barbecue from native thatch huts built directly into the side of the jungle cliffs. Outdoor dining along the river’s edge gives guests tranquil views of the passing “Seaplane Jungle Ferries.”

Rosie’s Riveting Wears is a converted aeronautics factory in Cape Suzette which stocks only the finest wartime fashions. This entire shop stands as a tribute to Rosie and her fellow riveters, with vintage photographs celebrating their history.

Higher for Hire, straight out of TaleSpin, is an air cargo freight business along the docks. It boasts an assortment of goods shipped in from all over Micronesia. Baloo’s modified Conwing L-16 seaplane sits in Langley Lagoon, and is free to explore.

Rocketeer Gear is an Art Deco gift shop for those exiting “The Rocketeer and the Squadron of Doom.” Rocketeer-themed toys and accessories dominate, especially plastic wearable jetpacks for budding aviators.

Aerial Outfitters sits across from “Sky Pirates of the South Seas” in a large tent complex fashioned from used parachutes. Here the sky pirates peddle their ill-gotten booty along with treasures unearthed from the darkest jungle.

September 12, 2015, 8:01 AM

 photo 1032_zpslwhxaxjs.jpg

TIME: April 12, 1961

We move from aviation to aerospace, the Space Age, as Man seeks to break the bonds of Earth itself and escape into the cosmos. In the isolated high desert buttes, the S.K.Y. has established a facility to test experimental spacecraft. Cosmic Canyon is conceived as a tribute to America’s pioneering test pilots and astronauts, an extension of the ideas once found in California Adventure’s defunct Condor Flats. Many of Tomorrowland’s earliest aesthetics are recycled into a timeless period setting. Add a healthy dose of fantastical 50’s “atompunk” sci-fi. While Cosmic Canyon is DisneySky’s smallest destination, it boasts two of the park’s most popular E-ticket attractions!

An impact crater pockmarks Mt. Helios’ sun-drenched western slopes. Industrial mid-century facilities dot otherworldly sandstone formations inspired by Utah’s Dollhouse. Spinning radar dishes add kineticism. An astronaut escape capsule floats in Langley Lagoon. Tomorrowland’s vintage Moonliner now frames a rocket launch track. Theremin players provide live alien music. An animatronic Mars rover navigates a cactus forest. Buzz Lightyear and his green Martian pals mingle with Roald Dahl’s Gremlins. Cosmic Canyon also boasts an original mascot: Chuck, the spaceman chimpanzee.

 photo 1009_zpsaloplh06.jpg

Fastpass available; height requirement: 44”
All throughout Cosmic Canyon’s landscape, S.K.Y. rockets launch via tracks into outer space, then crash back down to Earth. These sleek, stainless steel spacecraft depart from a mission control structure near the lagoon. Guests awaiting their spaceflight interact with astronaut training devices. They learn from radios and B&W TVs about their mission: Out from deepest space an asteroid closes in, threatening to wipe out all life on our planet! Taking inspiration from 50’s classic When Worlds Collide, “IMPACT!” propels experimental rockets beyond the atmosphere on a mission to destroy the asteroid and save mankind.

“IMPACT!” is an intense magnetically launched roller coaster, the Disneyland Resort’s answer to “Expedition Everest.” Much of the ride takes place in “outer space” within mighty Mt. Helios. Rockets brave the vacuum as they circle the asteroid, then blow it to kingdom come in a pyrotechnic spectacle. The blast propels rockets backwards amidst jagged debris and unearthly gases. Rockets settle on the rapidly-exploding surface of the destroyed asteroid, before a final magnetic launch propels them back towards Earth’s atmosphere for a final splashdown in Langley Lagoon!

 photo 1033_zpsqrd3tmin.jpg

Spectral Boneyard
Fastpass available
In a dark corner of Cosmic Canyon sits the boneyard, the final resting place for derelict aircraft. Witnesses tell that at night, this graveyard is host to otherworldly phenomena. Strange lights float. Ghost pilots haunt their crafts. Gremlins destroy machinery. Guests enter an ominous hangar to investigate these occurrences. Framed newspaper clippings under flickering lights outline the premise. Guests board trackless LPS jeeps and set out into the accursed nighttime.

An eerie mood pervades at the outset. Swamp gas lights hover. Vehicles come to life on their own. Cattle are skeletonized. Spectral aviators manifest in cockpits. Backlit auras reveal monstrous extra-terrestrials. Slowly, the boneyard’s visitors reveal themselves and turn jolly. Full-scale UFOs bathe the field in festive spotlights, as gremlins, atomic monsters, little green men and hitchhiking aliens accompany a musical score by Danny Elfman! “Spectral Boneyard” is a scary/funny E-ticket dark ride rife with the corny charm of B-grade 1950s sci-fi epics.

 photo 1034_zpsq009orw9.jpg

Robotics Expo
The scientific community has arranged a presentation on the history of robotics which should prove to be high-minded and educational. The only issue is their choice of presenters: WALL-E and Baymax. These robots mean well, but are disastrously accident prone, to the eternal frustration of an unseen narrator. Nonetheless, they lead a laugh-filled overview of automation, from Golems to Disney animatronics to the latest androids. “Robotics Expo” is an engaging audio-animatronic show in the tradition of “The Enchanted Tiki Room.”

Flying Saucers 2.0
DisneySky updates Disneyland’s legendary “Flying Saucers,” minus the “air hockey” issue. “Flying Saucers 2.0” is a “Teacups” spinner…with an interactive twist. Each UFO comes with a set of ray guns. Riders take fire at light-up targets on other vehicles. Saucers spin when lasered, and rest when points are scored. Each ride is a dizzying competition to see who has the biggest blast.

Pudknockers, named after the term for rookie test pilots, is an unassuming counter service grill. The dilapidated wooden hut is a favorite hangout for pudknockers and aces alike after a hard day of breaking sound barriers. An X1 sits out front, belching flame. Menu items are simple classics such as hamburger and Alan Shepherd’s Pie.

Yeager Shots is a beer stand opposite Pudknockers, and the simplest way for DisneySky guests to sample Hughes Brews. Beverages are served out of an emergency fire truck, on hand in case of a problem with the experimental aircraft.

Astro-Nosh is a snack stand near “The Spectral Boneyard” housed in a recycled fuselage. It sells interstellar snacks such as lunar cheese sticks and moon pies.

Pitch, Yaw & Roll appeals to the astronaut in all of us with a wide selection of space-themed toys, clothes and accessories. A space shuttle assembly facility serves as the site for Cosmic Canyon’s premier retail outlet, where automated arms continue to assemble satellites overhead.

IMPACT! Photography provides “IMPACT!” on-ride photography and video, available in a Very Large Array radar dish installation.

Edited: September 12, 2015, 3:34 PM

 photo 1035_zpsixhvuwtf.jpg


The Marvel Cinematic Universe comes in for a landing at DisneySky! During the peacetime between Civil Wars and Infinity Gauntlets, New York City celebrates the anniversary of the Avengers’ victory in the Battle of New York. The original S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier No. 64 alights in the harbor alongside downtown, dwarfing the megastructures. All current and former Avengers put aside their differences to attend, unaware that a new threat looms in the stars overhead…

The Brooklyn Bridge connects Avengers Airfield to Golden Cay. From here, the titanic Helicarrier spans Langley Lagoon, blocking all but the tops of New York's skyline. (This trick eliminates the need to construct full-scale high rises.) Cantilevered turbines kick up a mighty rotor wash from the bay. Guests are free to explore the Helicarrier's decks, board its fighter jets, and mingle with any number of spies, superheroes, gods and monsters. From the upper deck, access to the DisneySky Airlines Station. A northern city harbor represents SoHo, Broadway and Harlem. A bronze statue fountain depicts the Avengers circa 2012. Graffiti and murals immortalize them. A Roxxon gas station houses restrooms. Windows advertise Nelson and Murdock, Attorneys at Law. Polymer-based spider webs clutter fire escapes. Skyscraper facades include the Daily Bugle, Avengers Tower, Baxter Building, and more.

 photo 1010_zpsifp2rrry.jpg

Avengers United
Fastpass available; all-access attraction with Fly Higher height requirement at 40”
S.H.I.E.L.D.'s latest recruits enter the Helicarrier bridge. They pass militaristic, high-tech consoles (and interactive Galaga), to bay windows of beautiful passing cirrus. Turbines hum; the Helicarrier is airborne. Then a blast! Sirens sound! S.H.I.E.L.D. is under attack! Soldiers evacuate guests to escape pods, as seen in Age of Ultron, as the Helicarrier loses altitude.

"Avengers United" uses a modified "Soarin'" system much like Animal Kingdom's Pandora. In a rousing 3D E-ticket simulator, pods rotor through an interstellar Kree battle over New York City. The Mad Titan Thanos oversees from his hover-throne. With his Infinity Gauntlet, able to wield absolute power over all aspects of existence, Thanos banishes recruits on a randomized journey: to the original Battle of New York; alongside Captain America in WWII; into the cosmos with the Guardians of the Galaxy; shrunken on a break-in with Ant-Man; defending Wakanda; et cetera! Finally all Avengers unite to thrillingly defeat Thanos! A Fly Higher option provides low-intensity seating within the main IMAX theater, uniting all guests for "Avengers United."

 photo 1036_zpsyc7kenpf.jpg

Iron Man Rocks
Fastpass available; height requirement: 54”
A Helicarrier wing provides access to the upper levels of Avengers Tower. Here are Tony Stark's fully-interactive workshops. Tony, within an animatronic Iron Man suit, invites guests to board his latest Stark Industries drones, able to duplicate the sensation of flying like Iron Man. Despite Jarvis’ misgivings, Tony pumps in a personalized onboard soundtrack composed of Black Sabbath and AC/DC. "Iron Man Rocks" is a high-intensity indoor roller coaster in the vein of "Rock 'n' Roller Coaster," sending riders hurtling like superheroes over the nighttime rooftops of New York City. “Iron Man Rocks” utilizes B&M’s Flying Coaster model, complete with high speeds, long duration and three inversions, which promises to be Disney’s single most intense ride!

Over the holidays, space outlaws forcibly overtake Avengers Tower. An animatronic Groot and Rocket rechristen the ride "Star-Lord Rocks" (scored to Peter Quill’s Awesome Mix Vol. 1), and send riders careening through galactic Knowhere. (In the event that Iron Man receives a rumored E-ticket in California Adventure before DIsneySky opens, “Star-Lord Rocks” gains permanent status, with improved Guardians of the Galaxy theming and show effects.)

Captain America’s USO Show – in the Kirby Theater
Broadway's fabulous Kirby Theater invites Captain America to attend a musical extravaganza in his honor. The grand theater company stages classic show tunes from the 1940s, meant to revive nostalgia in the temporally-displaced Steve Rogers. “Big Band Beats” at DisneySea provides the template for this amazing display. The show even recreates Rogers' old USO "Star-Spangled Man (With the Plan)" routine, written for Captain America: The First Avenger by Alan Menkin.

Musical spectacular becomes stunt spectacular when Hydra agents seize the theater. Captain America is forced to leap from his balcony loge, spring into action, and defend the innocent.

Thor: Brave the Bifrost
Height requirement: 36”
Within a boarded-up Norwegian history museum in SoHo, Dr. Eric Selvig perfects an invention to reopen the Bifrost connecting Earth and Thor's Asgard. Guests board his device, a Vekoma Madhouse. This is basically an indoors swinging ship flat ride, centered upon a stupendous optical illusion. Earthly ceilings rotate and transform into an Asgardian Great Hall. Thor begs guests be gone, before Odin emerges and banishes them back to their Midgardian realm.

Hulk: Code Green
Height requirement: 40”
Dr. Bruce Banner has established a laboratory aboard the Helicarrier, where he continues to seek a cure to his gamma ray poisoning. Guests witness Banner test his latest serum within a containment chamber, before the experiment fails and the Incredible Hulk breaks free and rampages! "Hulk: Code Green" is an animatronic theater-in-the-round inspired by "Alien Encounter," and is considered too frightening for young children.

 photo 1037_zps2dai96bi.jpg

Superhero Galley below decks on the Helicarrier is a character dining table restaurant which recreates S.H.I.E.L.D.’s mess hall. Guests enjoy fusion cuisine from across the Nine Realms while interacting with Marvel's ever-expanding superhero roster. High-demand advance reservations grant guests an audience with any of the primary Avengers in one of four private dining chambers.

Shawarma Palace is the Avengers' favorite quick service restaurant in New York City. Signed photographs and memorabilia on the walls reveal so much. Fresh gyro, falafel and shawarma dominate the menu.

Dr. Horton’s New York Deli is a small sandwich shop which has sprung up in the old workspace of Dr. Horton, creator of the Synthetic Man. Artifacts from the 1943 Stark Expo compliment this classic New York eatery. Try the Mile High Sandwich.

S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy Boytique, in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Triskelion-inspired New York branch, is a male-centric answer to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Young boys and manchildren both may dress up as their favorite Avenger, while girls are accommodated with options such as Black Widow, Scarlett With and Captain Marvel.

Heroes for Hire, Inc., operated by Luke Cage and Iron Fist, provides private superheroics on contract. This is the starting point for the "Marvel Legends" role-playing game to be enjoyed throughout the land. Assorted Marvel merchandise is also available.

Excelsior Newsstand sells Marvel comic books (explained within Avengers Airfield as fan fiction about the real heroes) and regularly-updated issues of the Daily Bugle newspaper.

Quinjet Munitions provides all manner of Marvel clothes, toys and accessories out of the team's iconic stealth flyer located at the exit of "Avengers United."

September 12, 2015, 8:02 AM

 photo 1038_zpsmdulsf6g.jpg

TIME: A long time ago

Imagineering announces their new Star Wars Initiative. Even with Star Wars Land in development, the Star Wars universe is far, far too vast for a single destination. To that end, each one of Disney’s six resorts receives a completely unique galactic location, with each trilogy divided over two resorts. The original trilogy goes to the original California resort, and its Hong Kong sister. The obvious choice for DisneySky is the spotless mining facility of Cloud City, perched in the picturesque upper atmosphere of the gas giant Bespin. (Hong Kong lucks out and gets Tatooine.)

Cloud City is entirely enclosed, a necessity in this northwestern corner with the most visual intrusions. From outside, the domed station appears to have crashed into Mt. Helios, covered in a landslide. Gates lead through a panoramic diorama of Cloud City's skyways. From windows in these passageways, guests may glimpse a flying Tie Fighter or even the Millennium Falcon. Circular futuristic inner halls bustle with confusion, as guests have arrived circa The Empire Strikes Back on the eve of an Imperial invasion.

A hyperspace gateway leads to Cloud City's sub-land, Dagobah (also enclosed). Though uncivilized, this murky swamp planet buzzes with life. Yoda's home this slimy mud-hole is. Dagobah is the sole DisneySky setting without a soundtrack; rather, ambient swamp noises provide immersive atmosphere.

 photo 1011_zps9tmjh2o2.jpg

Duel on Cloud City
Fastpass available; all-access attraction with Flying Higher height requirement at 40”
From Cloud City’s pristine upper level, passage to the lower decks leads to a rousing galactic conflict. Guests explore an outdated robot rubbish heap populated by grotesque Ugnaught animatronics. As emergency sirens sound, Lando Calrissian comes in over the intercom: Imperial troops have seized control of the city! With evac underway, guests are conscripted aboard specialized starspeeders to defend their homeland.

"Duel on Cloud City" employs Robocoaster's AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles), which unite LPS and EMV technologies in a singular E-ticket whole – like “Indiana Jones Adventure” meets “Mystic Manor.” A Fly Higher option varies motion base intensity. Starspeeders navigate around both animatronic and screen scenes, freely able to slide, spin and backtrack thanks to the miracle of AGVs. Riders endure a firefight with Storm Troopers and Boba Fett. Escape down a garbage chute leads to the carbonite freezing chamber just as Darth Vader concludes his duel with Luke Skywalker. Vader Force Throws debris at riders, then hurls them to the city's nuclear core. Thrusters kick in for an aerial finale against a Star Destroyer. “Duel on Cloud City” puts riders parallel to The Empire Strikes Back’s engaging climax, truly bringing them into the Star Wars saga.

 photo 1039_zpsxpcqfgvd.jpg

Bespin 360
Lando Calrissian invites potential investors to tour Cloud City’s Tibanna gas-mining operations from aboard a converted mining ship. The cylindrical spacecraft employs Disney's CircleVision 360 technology at its most immersive. Investors gather in rows of seats and latch in as the ship descends through atmospheric layers. Surprise attack from Bespin's native rawwk and velker species sends seats rotating unexpectedly - "Bespin 360" turns out to be a movie/teacups hybrid! In-theater effects such as tentacles and gas clouds complete the effect.

The Galactic Express
An intergalactic luxury starliner provides park hoppers with regular light rail service to Star Wars Land in Disneyland, following the PeopleMover route. Rebel riders cross the galaxy without leaving it, and even attempt the legendary Kessel Run. Passage through a quasar transports starliners across time to the years of The Force Awakens.

Dragonsnake Bog
Moving off-world into Dagobah, alien flora and fauna infest an obscure waterway. "Dragonsnake Bog" provides relaxing D-ticket boat tours of this mire, much like Pandora's upcoming boat ride. Obi-Wan appears as a Force Ghost/Pepper's Ghost to warn of the peril ahead. Boats glide contemplatively and encounter beasts as varied as bogwings, space-pythons, swamp slugs, and finally the man-eating dragonsnake itself. “Dragonsnake Bog” is a fantastic way for the entire family to view animatronic alien species with ease.

 photo 1040_zps47uqipgi.jpg

Learn with Yoda
Yoda humbly greets guests to instruct them in the ways of the Force. An interactive Yoda audio-animatronic is manipulated by an unseen cast member, in enchanting "Turtle Talk with Crush" style. Yoda selects children to Force Lift rocks and even an X-Wing. After the show, hearty guests may brave a sub-attraction within Dark Side Cave, where live cast members portray history's most evil Sith in a haunted maze format.

Yoda’s Hut is a hearth for Jedi hospitality and counter service swamp delicacies. Fireside ambience is cozy and inviting. Yoda's mouth-watering jungle grub boasts heavy Cajun and Creole influences. Select dining locations afford views into “Dragonsnake Bog.”

The Well-Done Bantha is a popular Cloud City quick grill which serves up perfectly-roasted bantha, tauntaun, Rancor and wampa, which are all surprisingly similar to familiar tasty Earth meats. Cloud City's central circular platform is a favorite gathering spot for laborers after a hard day of mining gas.

The Vapor Room is an industrial cantina and juice bar on Cloud City. Exotic beverages suggest far-flung planets. Milk tea boba and other Oriental libations substitute for blue milk, alien egg grog, and similar wonders.

Figg & Associates is a department store which caters to Cloud City's well-heeled elite. View screens offer spectacular cloud views. Goods consist of Star Wars clothing done in a clean, minimalist style.

Heff’s Souvenirs is a Jawa-run swap meet specializing in used droid parts. All variety of Star Wars toys and accessories may be haggled over.

X-Wing Provisions on Dagobah peddles supplies salvaged from Luke's nearby X-Wing, visible nearby sinking into the bog. Since light sabers are contraband on Cloud City, this is the only place to buy the highly popular Jedi weapons, which trigger hidden Force effects throughout Dagobah.

September 12, 2015, 8:03 AM

 photo 1018_zpsiy2orch1.jpg

Fastpass seating available

As the Sun’s golden hues slowly vanish from the slopes of Mt. Helios, an all-new adventure awakens in the warm evening air. A visit to DisneySky comes to a climactic conclusion with “Imagination Takes Flight,” a brilliant new nighttime spectacular!

The entirety of Mt. Helios becomes the stage for this pageant of lights, music and awe! DisneySky’s central icon is designed from the ground up for this event. A true mixed-media attraction, every form of nighttime entertainment combines to tell a rousing airborne story filled with familiar Disney moments.

Though visible from throughout the park (minimizing bottlenecks), “Imagination Takes Flight” is best seen aboard the Avengers Airfield Helicarrier. Langley Lagoon at the base of Mt. Helios provides the stage for beautiful glowing watercraft and multicolored fountains which complement the mountainside extravaganza above. Dedicated Helicarrier viewing is available with Fastpasses, while the “Imagination Takes Flight Dining Package” allows VIP seating aboard the Cedar Mallard. “Imagination Takes Flight” plays up to two times a night, a fitting conclusion to a high-flying day.

Jupiter: The opening and closing fanfare for “Imagination Takes Flight”

This 20 minute show is choreographed to a new arrangement of Gustav Holst’s “Planets Suite.” As “Jupiter” opens, the rising Sun is projected onto the vast canvas of Mt. Helios. We begin at the beginning, with a tribute to the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon, Plane Crazy. Aboard a lone stage in the lagoon, Mickey builds a biplane. In a moment of pure Disney magic, Mickey’s plane actually flies! (In actuality, this biplane is a scaled-up quadcopter, similar in design to many UAV.)

What follows are Mickey’s jaw-dropping interactions with key moments of flight from throughout Disney. Mary Poppins sails on her umbrella. Eve and WALL-E dance through the cosmos. Marahute carries Cody over the Outback. Dumbo earns his wings. A Whole New World. Rapunzel and Flynn launch sky lanterns. Peter Pan teaches the Darlings to fly. Fantasia 2000’s Firebird. Buzz Lightyear “falls with style.”

Realizing all this and more is a panoply of innovations: Flying stuntmen on wires. Live performers on waterborne stages. Unmanned drones to mimic aircraft. Flames. Fireworks. Lasers. Fountains. Projections. Searchlights.

With “Mars” playing, evil rises. A massive collapsible sphere on a mechanical arm emerges from Mt. Helios. This is the Death Star, host to a magnificent flying drone battle. Pyrotechnics depict the battle station’s fiery destruction.

Darkness falls. The very peak of Mt. Helios opens to unveil something incredible - an enormous animatronic Chernabog! The soulless demon commands flames, winds, and an unholy ghostly army. Chernabog is only defeated by the newly risen Sun – the sphere repurposed. While “Jupiter” climaxes, the Sun’s magnificent rays shine brightly in a final tremendous crescendo of light, music and magic!


DisneySky officially opens on July 17, 2025 – Disneyland’s 70th anniversary. Throughout the day, skywriters draw Mickey ears in the skies overhead. A ribbon cutting ceremony before Inspiration Observatory is overseen by character representatives from each of the eight Destinations. In a headline-making stunt, the Walt Disney Company CEO parachutes in from above! With a group of aviation luminaries by his side – including surviving Mercury and Apollo astronauts plus Captain “Sully” Sullenberger – the CEO declares DisneySky open. As a grand finale, Stealth Jets perform a flyover!


Through ups and downs, the Disneyland Resort has been the standard bearer for all Disney Parks. While it lacks the blessing of size, it boasts a rich history which continues to inspire future dreamers. DisneySky is a new source of inspiration to those who visit. Proximity to the original Disneyland is a beautiful challenge, one which Imagineering is keen to conquer. DisneySky offers a diverse tapestry of new adventures for young and old, in a high-flying setting which speaks to us all. The park looks to the future without foregoing the past. High technology and traditional storytelling unite. In themed design, the park itself should be the main attraction, and DisneySky most certainly is that!

It is our sincerest hope that DisneySky will uphold Walt’s ideals, and keep the skies forever blue.

 photo 1012_zpszwpw3j4y.jpg

September 13, 2015, 9:31 AM

Hello! One more question. The Attraction Guidelines state that Character Encounters are included as non-ride attractions. Does this include any and all single-character encounters, or is it limited to areas such as EPCOT Character Spot with several characters at a time? Thanks!

September 13, 2015, 10:33 PM

Sorry for the delay. I've been out and about all day and got home less than 30 minutes ago. To answer your question, a meet and greet will be considered an attraction if it is a permanent location designed specifically for that purpose. For example, something like the Princess Fairytale Hall or Town Square Theater would be counted as an attraction. Having a temporary character encounter, such as Mickey standing on a corner of Main Street, would not be considered an attraction. General rule of thumb: If it would be listed on the park map, it counts toward either the attraction, dining, or retail criteria.

September 14, 2015, 2:02 PM

Great! Thank You!

September 14, 2015, 9:52 PM

Sadly, I will not be continuing in the competition. It's been a great time thus far, but ultimately my personal life comes before TPA. Some things have come up that I must attend to. Hopefully, I will be able to use all the work that I've put into this final proposal sometime in the not-too-distant future.

To all my fellow competitors, good luck! I have had the privilege of working with all of you and seeing the vastness of your inspiring creativity. I can't want to read your final proposals.

To all the judges, thank you immensely for your help and support throughout the competition, and I'm very sorry to withdraw. Judging our projects week after week is certainly a daunting task, but you guys have done a great job.

Once again, I apologize for the last minute update, and I thank all of you for making my first Theme Park Apprentice season a truly memorable one.

September 15, 2015, 2:58 AM

Andy, it is sad that you have to withdraw. I commend you for realizing that real life sometimes must come before fun. I was always amazed at the inventiveness you brought to your proposals and I'm disappointed that we won't get to see more of that in the finals of TPA7. I hope to see them in some form in future proposals. Best of luck in dealing with your situation.

September 15, 2015, 10:46 AM

Andy, I'm very sorry to see you go, especially this close to the end. However, real life must take priority. You have done an excellent job during this competition and I hope you'll participate again in the future. I'm glad you enjoyed the competition and I welcome you to share what you have if desired.

Edited: September 15, 2015, 7:38 PM

Exploration: Florida

Exploration: Florida is a new Disney Theme Park located at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida. As Walt Disney World approaches its 50th anniversary, Disney has decided it is fitting to open a fifth gate, one that pays homage to the park’s home and celebrates its diversity and heritage.

Enter Exploration Florida. This park is themed to six distinct areas in Florida, as well as the entrance land, themed to an earlier, Victorian, nostalgic version of Florida, and a fantasy children’s area, Nemo’s Reef. These areas are: Florida 1920, St. Augustine, Daytona, Miami, The Keys, The Gulf, and The Everglades. These lands are arranged in a circle around The Reflection Pond.

Floating in this lake is The Santiago II, an exact replica of the ship that first brought Ponce de Leon to the coast of Florida in 1513. The ship represents the spirit of exploration that the people of Florida have always carried with them. This boat is a fully functional motor boat, which goes away for safekeeping during the nighttime spectacular. At the end of the show, it “sails” back out as a part of the show

Within the resort, the park is located South of Magic Kingdom and North of the other three parks.

Exploration: Florida is not only a top notch original theme park,but during it’s creation Disney considered long and hard the problems it has been accused of in the past.

The first problem they decided on is a lack of thrill rides. While Disney certainly has a few incredibly good thrill rides, their reputation as a family park seems to turn thrill seekers away. Therefore, Exploration Florida has a higher density of thrill rides and rollercoasters than other Disney parks to appeal more to that demographic of theme park fan.

The other major problem is a lack of diversity. Often, Disney rides and attractions lack people of color. Because of this, Disney has made a conscious, two-fold effort to increase diversity. First, several attractions in this park are based on some of the most popular princesses of color. Second, Disney has hiring protocols in place to assure diversity among cast members. This way, Disney can more accurately depict the true diversity of the people of Florida.


Ticket Prices for this park will be consistent with Non-Magic Kingdom parks for tickets of all lengths. Packages are available with resort stays. Florida resident deals are available.

New for this park is a special Florida resident annual pass. This pass includes entry to Magic Kingdom, Exploration Florida, and EPCOT after 5PM. This pass includes blackout dates, but is available for the low price of $350. It also includes lowered prices for the other parks all year. There is also a 10% Florida Resident discount at major retail locations and restaurants.

Exploration: Florida is the first park to be built at WDW since the introduction of RFID and MagicBand technology. Therefore, in this new park, this technology has been utilized to its full capability. It has been used not only for Fastpass+ and meal reservations, but also for interactive elements, giving each guest a personalized experience.

Opening Show

Every day, the park opens with Seminole Sunrise. This show, designed by people of Seminole heritage, depicts a real, authentic Native American ceremony. It takes place in The Everglades, where it can be seen from the end of the street at Florida: 1920. The opening show being Native American is not merely a coincidence. The show is very symbolic in its representation of the fact that the Native American people were truly the first in


Kingdom Keepers Quest

This interactive attraction takes guests all over the park. They use their magic bands to gain XP and complete mini-quests to learn certain skills. Once they have acquired these skills, they can use them to take on various Disney villains, including Tia Dalma, Cruella DeVil, Chernabog, and, finally, Maleficent. MagicBand technology makes the difficulty adaptive, meaning younger children will have an easier time completing quests than teens and adults. MagicBand scanning locations are all over the park, as some challenges may require you to ride certain rides or do certain actions (these quests can be checked in by a cast member). This adventure takes RFID technology to a whole new level in a way that has never been done before.

Florida 1920

Florida 1920 is the land that guests first get to experience upon entry into this magnificent park. It is themed to Florida around the year 1920 in all of it’s beauty, grace, and elegance. This area of the park draws inspiration from the nearby Grand Floridian Resort.

The Victorian architecture of this land provides a backdrop for a variety of entertainment that this land has in and of itself. Despite not having attractions, this land is certainly full of surprises. Along with its many shops and restaurants, Florida 1920 has various entertaining characters (of the human and mouse variety) you might meet. These include Miss Money, a lavishly dressed woman in gala attire on her way to a party. You may also hear the sounds of a classical concert pianist or a swinging jazz band, both playing a combination of Disney and other tunes.

On the street you might pass a typical drink cart, with a twist. This cart sells fresh-squeezed orange juice, rather than lemonade. Guests can also purchase orange slushies or orange creamsicles. This orangey stand gives credit where it’s due to the fruit Florida is famous for.

Also a sight to be seen are two mice, and some of their best friends. All of the fab 5 characters can be seen on this street, all dressed up in appropriate 20’s clothes, and always happy to take a photo or two with guests. You might also see some of your favorite princesses.

All of these characters may inform you that they are on their way to a party. This party is in the Grand Hall, and here guests can meet a variety of characters who are “visiting Florida” specifically for this party. Here, there is always exciting Big Band music, and while some of the characters are standing and taking pictures, many of the others are hitting the dance floor. All of these are the characters who are human, giving them more ability to dance freely. They love to dance with guests or their spouses, and all of the characters have taken swing dancing lessons. On the hour, they perform a choreographed swing number. Characters you might see here include, but are not limited to, Princess Tiana, Anna and Elsa, Ariel, The Fab 5, and Mary Poppins.

This area consists of luxury shops, and both sit down and counter service restaurants. The first shop on the right is Floridian Goods. This shop serves as the general souvenir shoppe for the park. It carries souvenirs similar to those that can be found in other parks, as well as Florida themed goods. The shop extends most of the length of the street on the right, up until Florida Keys Piano Lounge.

First on the left is Basin White. This soap shop is owned and operated by the same company as its sister at The Grand Floridian Resort. Here, soaps and other luxury bath goods are for sale. Samples are available all the time, and, because the store is a premium outlet, it features merchandise that may not be available elsewhere.

A bit farther down is Rolly’s Gourmet Chocolates. This shop is named after Rolly Crump, one of Walt’s “Nine Old Men” who helped design Disney and many of its classic attractions, including It’s a Small World and The Haunted Mansion (he’s the mind behind the singing heads). This shop offers a variety of desserts, most of them including some sort of chocolate. There are candied apples, chocolate dipped fruits, chocolate dipped marshmallows, and chocolates with various fillings, such as caramel. This sweet addition truly adds to the ambiance of the area.

Next on the right is a counter service restaurant Rohde’s Tea Room ($). Named for another imagineer, this restaurant serves quality tea along with sandwiches, scones, cookies, and other tea snacks. Boxed teas and sets can also be purchased here.

Next on the right stands the Grand Hall, as already discussed.

Across from that on the left stands Florida Keys Piano Lounge. This lounge channels the essence of old fashioned piano bars, filled with lively music. Occasionally, a guest might experience a piano duel! This little spot provides great fun for guests of all ages.

A bit further down stands Sharon & Diane’s ($$). This sit down restaurant, while designed to feel elegant and upscale, is casual and reasonably priced (as far as theme parks go). It has sandwiches and full meals. It is located on the water and outdoor seating is available.

Overall, Florida 1920 is an excellent way to welcome guests to the park, and sets the stage for the rest of it. This area of the park shows guests the energy and spirit the state of Florida has, and has always had, to offer. It shows Florida in the olden days, and the upcoming lands will blend the historic and the modern.

St. Augustine

When guests reach the end of Florida 1920, they can go either left or right. The rest of this proposal will assume they have gone left and continued around the lake in that direction.

St. Augustine is the next land on guests journey through Florida. This land summarizes the architecture and culture of St. Augustine, home of the world famous Fountain of Youth.

Spanish architecture is everywhere here, and the European influence is made very obvious.

The biggest attraction in this area is Pirates of the Caribbean: The Fountain of Youth. This E-ticket dark ride is just what guests have been waiting for. This new boat ride is based on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, rather than the other way around. It incorporates elements from the first four movies, as well as the fifth, which will have been released by the time this park opens.

This ride tells an all new story where Jack Sparrow must face all of his worst enemies: Barbossa, the mermaids, Blackbeard, The Royal Navy, and finally Davy Jones. Throughout the ride, there are various interactive elements. For example, guests may need to fire cannons at various enemies, or a guest may get to have a conversation with Jack Sparrow himself (using Turtle Talk technology). Overall this ride fully utilizes a well-loved IP that guests have certainly waited their turn to see.

Another ride in this area is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a clone from Tokyo DisneySea. It has been altered to be about finding The Fountain of Youth, rather than Atlantis. TPI’s description of it reads

“Tokyo DisneySea's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is not a clone of the submarine ride that ran for many years at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. You'll find a duplicate of one of the old Nautilus ride vehicles moored in the lagoon at the center of Mysterious Island, but the ride itself is a dry dark ride that simulates an underwater adventure in a deep sea diving bell.

On board, you're sitting on one of three two-person benches inside the submersible, each with its own window. Using your joystick, you can control the lights that illuminate some of the mysteries awaiting your discovery in the deep. You're searching for [The Fountain of Youth], and along the way, you will encounter a ship's graveyard in "Kraken Reef" and a surprise encounter in "Lucifer's Trench."

A kids’ area is located here, in a building that looks like Castillo de San Marcos. Here, kids can explore the fort, including a rock-climbing wall, dark tunnels, hidden treasure, and more. Outside is a splash park, called The Fountain of Youth, where the young (and those who wish to be) can play and splash in the water.

The final attraction in this area is Florida: Spirit of Exploration. This show combines AAs, screens, and an all new soundtrack to provide visitors a brief history of this beautiful state. It begins with the American Indians, before moving on to the Explorers, settlement, its being under control of Britain and Spain, its admittance to the Union, the one-month period when it was its own republic, its involvement in the Civil War, the Great Migration, the Land Boom, and finally ending with the tourist appeal it holds now. The show sums up the beauty and spirit of Florida, and beautifully tells its story.


Sit Down Dining

Explorer’s Cafe

Explorer’s Cafe ($$$) is a restaurant themed to the three most prominent explorers of The New World. They are Ponce de Leon, Columbus, and Magellan. Each of these explorers boasts their own section of the menu, with food from where they originate. This is symbolic of the influence they had over the food in the New World. Juan Ponce de Leon has a Spanish section of the menu, featuring Paella, Sopitos, and Churros. Columbus has his own Italian food, being pasta dishes, pizza, and other garlic heavy dishes. Magellan has Portuguese food, including Caldo Verde (a soup with Linguica), Bulhao Pato Clams, and Cod Fish Fritters.

Counter Service Dining

Go Explore!($$) features a similar menu to Explorer’s Cafe, but with less options. However, meals cost less and are easier to eat on the go.

The Fountain of Youth($) is a pub featuring standard American pub food, such as burgers, nachos, and chili. Here, Guests can drink from the “Fountain of Brews”, featuring a variety of Craft Floridian beers.

St. Augustine pays homage to the first Europeans to land in Florida, or anywhere else in the continental US. It does them justice. It truly captures the essence of what Florida is.


Next, continuing clockwise is Daytona. This area will include two sub-sections. They are The Racetrack and The Boardwalk.

In our racing area of the land, will be Daytona Racers-Presented by Lightning McQueen.This ride is a new ride, tying together one of the most popular car races in the world and one of PIXAR’s greatest IPs. Lightning McQueen’s racing career has brought him to the Daytona 500, and he has invited you to come with him! His entire crew, and some other friends from Radiator Springs, are there too.

Guests meet all of McQueen’s friends, who each give your car a makeover in some way, before heading to the racetrack. Here, cars lineup six across for a “practice race” against Lightning McQueen. Here, the results are randomized, and any of the seven cars (including McQueen) could win. McQueen says either “I guess I better get back to practicing. Maybe I’ll beat you next time!” or “Looks like you’ve got a little work to do before we race for real! Better luck next time.” This ride channels the essence of the well loved Radiator Springs Racers, while still being its own original experience.

Also, a boardwalk will be here, with many classic boardwalk rides.

This includes The Gale Wheel that towers over Daytona at a height of 160 feet, about the same height as its sister wheel in California. However, that version of the ferris wheel often causes guest’s nausea and discomfort. Therefore, the sliding cars have been removed, in its place is a standard ferris wheel. This ride provides a beautiful view of the park, and if you strain your eyes, the surrounding areas.

Here on the boardwalk will be also classic rides like The Scrambler, The Caterpillar, Bumper Cars and the Tilt a whirl. Also here is Mickey’s Band Concert, a clone of the swings ride from DCA.

Also here is a new wooden rollercoaster, The Panther. It is a throwback to classic wooden roller coasters. Daytona is an appropriate home for it, as the real Daytona is home to the only beachside roller coaster in Florida.

Another, original ride on the boardwalk is Dumbo’s Flight. Guests board their own elephants, which takes them through the story of the classic animated film in the style of Fantasyland dark rides. They experience all the highs and lows of the film, before finally taking off into the air using a little bit of “Disney Magic”. In reality, the elephants are attached to a system similar to the next-gen “Peter Pan’s Flight” system utilized at another Disney park. For most of the duration of the ride, it appears that guests are attached at the bottom, but this is only an illusion. This ride tells the classic story from a fresh perspective, making it enjoyable for the whole family.


There are several dining locations in Daytona. All of these add to the feel and theme of the area.

The first is Henry’s Drive-In. This counter-service restaurant is themed to a drive-in cafe. It claims to be the last one in the world. Guests order inside at the counter. They then find a table (themed as a car, including some of your favorites from the movie), where they scan their magic band. Then, when their meal is ready, their waitress brings them their meal. The catch? When guests scan their MagicBands, the name is read by a computer. Then, they can have a conversation with their car, whether or not it is a character car. The cars lead the conversations and ask questions, and guests, particularly those with kids, will have a great time. Some customers, of course, will not want to have a conversation with their car. To solve this, when the MagicBand is scanned, guests can choose if they want to talk or not. This hides the secret from children while giving adults the quiet meal they want.

In the boardwalk area, there is Fair Food, serving exactly what it’s name states. It is full of fried foods, burgers, corn dogs, and other foods that are associated with fairs and boardwalks. Of course, unlike fair food, this food is made with quality ingredients, making it worthy of the Disney name.


Minor retail locations

Radiator Springs Exports contains Cars themed merchandise and is located at the end of Daytona Racers.

Major Retail Locations

The NASCAR Store

This store contains NASCAR Merchandise, ranging from T-shirts to toy cars and more. Current and classic races are always showing on the screens within the store, making this heaven for NASCAR fans.

Two for Taffy is a saltwater taffy shop on the boardwalk. Here, guests can see the taffy being pulled right in front of them, giving it an air of nostalgia. This shop is sure to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.

Overall, Daytona represents one of Florida’s most popular locations. It’s two sub-areas allow this one themed land to truly represent everything that Daytona is, was, and will always be.


Continuing on our tour we come to Miami. This area, themed specifically to South Beach, also encompasses Cape Canaveral, which is located just north of there.

Here in Miami, Cuban architecture and food are everywhere. This is due to the large number of Cuban immigrants who have come to this area. This park certainly reflects that.

This land also features the nighttime dance party, as a family friendly homage to the nightlife to be found in the city.

The most thrilling attraction here is Cape Canaveral. This steel accelerator launch coaster shoots you straight up 400 feet before you come straight back down, gently gliding up a small hill, and back down. This is similar to the track design of Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure. This short but sweet ride provides intense thrills for its entire duration.

Also here is Elena of Avalor. This is a walkthrough attraction for children based on the new Disney Junior show of the same name, slated for debut in the near future. Elena has made history as the first Latina princess. Therefore, it is fitting that her “Summer Home” in Florida is in an area that is dominated so heavily by the Latino population. This attraction allows children to walk through Elena’s home, which resembles her home from the show. At the end, children can meet and greet Elena and one of her best friends, Sophia the First.

The Sea of Monsters

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has been heralded as one of the best young adult series of all time. Now, Percy Jackson has found a home in a Disney park. In the book, The Sea of Monsters, Percy, Annabeth, and Grover venture to The Sea of Monsters, off the coast of Miami, in what is, in essence, a fresh retelling of The Odyssey. Now, guests can share that second adventure.

The Sea of Monsters is a dark ride in which guests board the Argo III (the Argo II was in the books) and voyage through the seas facing various monsters. Throughout the ride, guests meet Polyphemus (the cyclopes), pass between Scylla and Charybdis, resist the songs of the Sirens, and even get turned into guinea pigs by Circe (as they see in a “mirror”) before finally being rescued and brought back to shore by Clarisse and her crew of zombies.

Heat is a new sports themed indoor attraction. Here, guests experience different sports themed activities, such as a hoop shoot, and baseball pitch, along with original things, such as trying to score with cube or pyramid shaped balls! This attraction is fun for sports fans and those who don’t even know what a home run is as an interactive attraction unlike any other. It ends with a Florida Sports Hall of Fame, featuring the greatest moments in Florida sports history.

Coral Castles is a ride-through aquarium using an omnimover ride system. It tells the story of a young scuba diver, who encounters many dangers on his dive. He meets sharks, barracuda, and massive jellyfish before coming upon beautiful tropical fish and coral castles. What are coral castles? They are just what they sound like. They are castles that have been sculpted out of coral stone. According to the story of this ride, these ones were built by an ancient civilization before the civilization was swallowed by the ocean. This slow-moving ride is great for the whole family, and combines AAs, projections, and live sea creatures to create a fun experience unlike any other.


Sit Down Dining

Sabor de Cuba (Taste of Cuba) is a sit down restaurant featuring Cuban cuisine, such as Cuban Sandwiches, rice and beans, fried plantains, and rellenos. This restaurant pays homage to the people of South Beach.

Counter Service Dining

Cafe Cubano is a counter service restaurant serving Cuban sandwiches and other handheld Cuban foods. It shares a kitchen with the aforementioned Sabor de Cuba.

The Shake Shack is a diner featuring great burgers with a variety of toppings, both classic and with new combinations. Everything from “Apple and Bacon” to “Lettuce and Tomato” to jalapenos and Fritos in the “Nacho Burger”. It also features incredible milkshakes in eight flavors (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, pistachio, peanut, graham cracker, salted caramel, and lemon).


Grover’s Goods is located at the end of The Sea of Monsters, and sells Percy Jackson merchandise. It also carries merchandise based on the most recent Disney young adult novels, including other books by Rick Riordan, Descendants, and Kingdom Keepers

Miami Heat is a store selling and sampling hot sauces of various degrees. From Ghost Pepper to Banana Pepper, everyone can find a sauce they’ll love in this fun, unique store.

Florida Pride sells sports goods for all of Florida’s teams. This includes two baseball teams, their football and baseball teams, and all of the major, popular college teams. Guests can purchase jerseys and other cool merchandise.

Miami is an exciting hot spot. It represents the urban areas of Florida as they are, if a bit romanticized. The beautiful area simultaneously celebrates Florida and Latino culture, showing the state’s true diversity.

Nemo’s Reef

Nemo’s Reef is a kid friendly area based on the PIXAR film Finding Nemo and the yet to be released Finding Dory. These rides have no height requirement, and are designed for the youngest visitors to the park. It is in an ocean setting, which is fitting as Florida is a peninsula. Many of the rides here are clones, but have been rethemed to more appropriately fit the theme of this land.

Jumpin’ Jellyfish is a classic kiddie ride featured at both Tokyo DisneySea and DCA. This ride has been moved here, and makes sense due to the jellyfish centered scene of the movie. This ride is the mildest of drop towers, gently bouncing guests up and down before returning them safely.

The Coral Reef is a playground designed to fit its name. Its expansive “Coral” structures make this a great play for kids to run, climb, and get some energy out, while parents can sit and rest.

Nemo’s Lucky Fin is a kiddie coaster. It is relatively short and low-speed, but it delivers just the right amount of thrills and excitement for youngsters.

The Whirlpool is a teacup style ride for kids and adults, where guests can control the level of spinning and intensity. This style ride is a classic that everybody loves, and even the grouchiest of people can be lightened up by a little spinning.

Ray’s Explorers is a spinning basket ride where kiddos sit in baskets underneath stingrays. It spins around and around, and kids get endless excitement from being able to see the world of Nemo from above.


The only dining location here is Sandy Plankton’s Undersea Eats. This counter service restaurant features classic “kid food” such as Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Chicken nuggets, and cheeseburgers. This crowd pleaser lets even the pickiest eater find a delicious meal.


The Anemone features Nemo related merchandise and souvenirs. It is the perfect place for guests to find anything they could need or want featuring Nemo characters, including the classic seagulls. When guests see the fantastic merchandise, all they’ll be able to say is “Mine! Mine! Mine!”

This land speaks mostly to younger children, but it is important in that it gives parents a chance to cool down while their kids never have to come to a stop. Nemo’s Reef makes it so they don’t have to. As anyone who’s traveled with kids knows, they’re always on the go.

To Be Continued...

Edited: September 15, 2015, 7:42 PM

The Keys

Next on our tour is The Keys

Based in majority on Key West, this land is designed to represent Hemmingway’s home. The area has a fun, lighthearted air, making it an easy place to sit down and relax for a little while.

To bring a little bit of wet fun to the park, this land is home to Marlin. This ride is based loosely on Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (although it is not explicitly stated). Guests board a small fishing boat. They sail away from the island when suddenly they suddenly hook a huge fish that drags them out to sea, beginning a series of high speed twists and turns. The ride climaxes with a 60 foot drop into a fantastically wet splashdown.

Also here is Parasail.

This KUKA arm ride allows guests to sit four to a sail and experience the beauty of the keys from high above. The KUKA arm allows a full range of motion as guests soar, bank and dip, all while viewing the beauty of many of the most famous islands in the Florida Keys. Around every bend is something exciting, unexpected, or beautiful, just waiting to be explored by guests.

Flying Fish is an outdoor drop tower with a twist. It stands in a pool of water, and when guests get to the bottom of the tower, water sprays up, gently misting the guests. This ride provides guests a cool down during the hottest part of the day.

Aquatopia has been brought here from DisneySea. The boats no longer look futuristic, but now resemble small sailboats. It uses a trackless ride system to provide an infinite number of ride possibilities.


Sit Down Dining

Manolin’s ($$$) is a new seafood restaurant. The food is a bit pricey, but it is made with entirely fresh (never frozen) seafood. It offers a wide variety of seafood offerings, including pastas, salads, and fried and broiled seafood. And of course, key lime pie for dessert. Diners certainly get everything they pay for and more at this restaurant.

Counter Service Dining

Conch! ($$) is an outdoor counter service restaurant featuring fried seafood, especially conch. Cracked conch, conch fritters, conch burgers, conch chowder and more. The restaurant also has fried clam rolls, scallops, and other seafood, but the focus here is really on the conch.

Captain’s Bar and Grill ($), named after the famous Captain Tony’s, serves standard pub food and a variety of beers. Despite being themed after a bar, the restaurant is very family friendly and great for kids and adults.

Retail Locations

Wyland is a Wyland gallery, the first to actually exist inside a Disney theme park. While it serves mostly as aesthetic, the paintings are for sale for those wealthy enough to afford it.

Kito Sandals is a store selling sandals and shoes. It sells shoes that are both branded and unbranded by Disney. Some of the shoes are made by Disney, while some are made by outside companies.

The Angler features top of the line fishing gear. This gear can be shipped back home, as it is no easy means to get fishing hooks through airport security. Guests can purchase fishing rods, hooks, and bait.

The Keys truly represents this area of Florida. With its laid back atmosphere, it truly feels like Key West and its neighbors.

The Gulf

Continuing clockwise, we next come to The Gulf

The Gulf captures the essence of Florida’s west coast and the Panhandle. It is home to some amazing attractions, dining locations, and shops.

The biggest draw here is The Blue Angels Experience. Guests sit four in a row as they buckle up into the cockpit of a stunt plane. This motion simulator uses a centrifuge to provide g-forces as though guests were truly in a plane. Guests experience twists, turns, ups, downs, and loops as they perform for the adoring crowd below. The ride builds up to a simulated outside spiral at the end. This ride is a major thrill ride far the thrill seeker in your crowd.

Also here is The Grand Gulf Rapids an all-new rapid raft attraction. Guests board their rafts for a trip down the Suwannee river, until they make a wrong turn down into stormfall creek, full of bumps, geysers, and other things that can get the guests wet. It all builds up to Hurricane Falls, a 40 foot drop into Typhoon Cove. Overall, this is another water attraction that will bring fun to the park.

Manatee is a trackless dark ride that inspires conservation in guests. This ride follows the story of a young manatee as he faces the many human caused dangers to be found in the waters. After many narrow escapes, young Hugh survives the dangers, and our narrator tells us that it is up to us to protect our manatees, the first mermaids. At the end of the ride, guests can view real manatees. These manatees have been relocated from The Seas into a larger, outdoor habitat.

Another clone from DisneySea, this area is home to StormRider. TPI describes this ride with the following:

“After a briefing of your mission, a video introduction of the captain and a rundown of the technical features of your vessel, you board the futuristic StormRider for a trip inside a Category 5 storm ([hurricane]). Your mission is to collect storm data and destroy the vortex with the ship's storm diffuser (a detonator).

As the mission leader guarantees, the ship is 100% safe. But, of course, then something goes terribly wrong....”

In this land is also an Epcot style pavilion, themed to conservation. It features clean-up efforts since the BP oil spill, as well as information on how to conserve natural areas in Florida. The Conservation Kids area features Russell from Up as kids earn their “Conservation Badge”. They can learn about various popular animals, and ways they can save the world starting in their own backyards. Adults can learn about the real efforts to save the gulf and marine wildlife in that area, as well as the effects of the spill on fishermen and other people who make a living on the ocean.


Sit Down Restaurants

Calabash ($$$) This sit down experience will be a character meal, in a buffet style, featuring all types of seafood, and will also have non-seafood choices here as well. This restaurant serves all three meals each day. It is a main draw, and with the quality food and characters, guests are sure to have a great time.

Counter Service

The Big Donut is a snack shack featuring, of course, donuts. This restaurant also carries ice cream and other snacks for guests on the go.

Skippers is a new counter service restaurant serving american food. This includes burgers, nachos, and other similar offerings.


She Sells Seashells sells seashells, as implied by the name. The Gulf area is known for seashells, so this shop makes perfect sense here. All seashells here are obtained legally and sustainably, unlike many of the shops that are really in the gulf.

The EcoStore is located inside The Cleanup Pavilion. Here, guests can purchase eco-friendly goods. Here, a portion of profits are donated to clean-up efforts in the gulf, which, despite a lack of media coverage, are still going on.

Typhoon Cove is a store at the end of The Grand Gulf Rapids, selling bathing suits, towels, and other water related things one might need after such an experience.

The Gulf is a land that, in a very small geographical space, manages to encompass all of a very large area of The Sunshine State. Now, we continue on to our final land: The Everglades

The Everglades

The next stop on our tour is The Everglades. This new land will be themed to the forest wetlands that florida is known for.

Here, one might even come across Pocahontas and her friends, visiting the native americans local to this area.

A major draw to this land is Everglade Expedition. In true Everglade fashion, guests board an authentic airboat for a calm “two week” cruise through the everglades. Using state of the art audio-animatronics, this ride provides life-like recreations of some of the most famous wildlife in the Everglades. This includes, but is not limited to, manatees, turtles, deer, bobcats, otters, and, of course, alligators. This ride provides the young and the young at heart a fun ride and a chance to experience the local wildlife.

Another attraction here is Evinrude Dragonflies. Hop aboard your very own dragonfly straight out of The Rescuers when you experience this fun ride. Your dragonfly brings you high in the sky for a beautiful view of all the The Everglades have to offer before returning you gently to the ground. You get to control the altitude as you fly around and around high above the park. The mice from the movie stand at the end for pictures and autograph signings.

Incredible is an all new dark ride, featuring The Incredibles, the superhero family from the PIXAR movie of the same name. In this dark ride, The Incredibles are on vacation to The Everglades, when they encounter Syndrome, who has escaped from prison. Eventually, we find out that his plan is to take over Disney World, casting it into his own reign. The ride setting moves, and we see Syndrome using Cinderella Castle as a beacon for his evil deeds. The Incredibles put a stop to it, and WDW is saved.

A non-ride experience is Gatorland. Here, guests cross bridges over real, live, full size alligators. The landings are filled with friendly cast members who are happy and eager to provide information about native Florida Alligators. One may hold a skull, while another holds a baby that guests can pet. This area provides an experience to see the animal Florida is known for.


Gator Tail is a counter service restaurant serving up all kinds of food. It serves standard burgers and fries, but also Gator Tail and Gator Fritters. This combination of meal items makes it perfect for those willing to try anything and those a little less adventurous.

Mangroves is a themed food court, consisting of three stations:Appetizer, Entree, and Dessert. Guests pay a flat fee and then get one of each. It offers of a variety of options for every palate and dietary need.


Incredible Gifts is a minor retail location located at the end of Incredible. This shop sells themed merchandise appropriate to the ride.

Tick Tock Croc Clocks is a watch shop located here, named after one of Disney’s most famous and classic reptiles. Merchandise includes the latest Disney watches, antique Disney watches, jewelry, and other such goods.

The Everglades shows the true natural beauty Florida has to offer when it is untouched. Based on what is often considered to be one of the greatest national parks in the country, this land brings you into nature as only Disney could.

Entertainment on the Reflection Pond

The Reflection Pond is so named because it “reflects” everything that Florida is, most importantly, its people, and all the people who come here. The Reflection Pond reflects the people who look into it, making them a part of the park, a part of Florida.

Boats are the main mode of transportation in Exploration Florida. They stop at Florida: 1920, Daytona, and The Gulf. These boats, called Explore, Discover, and Learn are in a constant circle around the lagoon, so a boat is never more than one stop away. These boats make transportation not only faster, but also more fun!

Exploration: Florida features a mid-day water stunt show called Kaleidoscope. This show is in memory of a similar show from EPCOT around the time of its opening. This resurrection and reworking features water skiers, jet skis, fire, water, and the highlight water jet packs. This show features incredible stunts you won't see anywhere else.

The Nighttime spectacular is an integral part of Exploration: Florida. This new show, called Forever Florida uses a combination of fountains, fireworks, music, water screen projections, and an exciting and emotional soundtrack in a fantastic celebration of this wonderful state. The new score has been composed by Gavin Greenaway, who composed and conducted the score for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. The combination of so many beautiful elements makes this show the perfect ending to a perfect day at Exploration Florida

Upcharge Events

Exploration: Florida features two upcharge events. The prices for these have yet to be determined, but the prices will be similar to other upcharge events at WDW.

Breakfast in Gatorland takes place at Gatorland, before park opening. Here, guests get a full backstage tour of the facilities, as well as a chance to feed the gators, and get up close and personal with one or two. The tour ends with a top-notch breakfast above the alligators, and guests leave with a souvenir trading pin and lanyard.

The Santiago II Dessert party allows guests the unique experience to go inside the park’s emblem and symbol, and experience VIP seating for Forever Florida. Guests board the ship before the show at its storage location, one that features optimal viewing of the show. As the show nears its finale, guests get to stay on board the ship and become part of the show as the ship sails back to its home in the center of the lagoon. This experience is one of a kind, in that it not only allows guests great viewing of the show, but also allows them to participate in a way that has never really been done before at a theme park, making this worth the splurge.

As a whole, Exploration: Florida is what Disney fans have been waiting for. It is the perfect balance of fresh and hip IP, all in a real-world theme. This park brings guests into the rest of Florida, the parts that so few have the time to see. Disney and the State of Florida both hope and expect that this will boost tourism in other parts of the state. This park is not intended to be a substitute in any way for the real Florida, but rather an inspiration for visitors and tourists to go out and explore it.

Edited: September 17, 2015, 3:56 PM

Walt Disney World Resort


Drawing inspiration from the kingdoms and worlds of legend, Walt Disney World's newest theme park, Disney's Lost Kingdom, will offer an immersive guest experience featuring lands of myth and folklore. Disney's Lost Kingdom will directly compliment The Magic Kingdom, lands of fantasy, and Disney's Animal Kingdom, lands of animals real and imaginary. The park will draw inspiration from Epcot, particularly its detailed cultural pavilions of World Showcase, and DisneySea, a park known for its immersive details and themes. Extensive theming, atmosphere, and attention to detail will be the hallmarks of Disney's Lost Kingdom. The moods, both light and dark, will be distinct and identifiable and the legendary stories will be made clear with the nuances and details in the elaborately themed lands.

The fifth theme park to open at Walt Disney World, Disney's Lost Kingdom will anchor a new land development across from the Swan and Dolphin Resort area on the west side of the roadway leading to the Magic Kingdom. A new luxury resort, "The Greek Isles Resort & Spa", will open with the park on a new man-made lake, named Lost Bay. The seven themed lands of Disney's Lost Kingdom are:

Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Mount Olympus
Medieval Court
Grimm Forest
The Dark Lands
Kingdom of Arendelle


Although Disney's Lost Kingdom is a new design, parallels can be drawn to existing Disney theme parks. The park features seven themed lands, laid out roughly in a circle around a central hub—although in this case, the hub is its own themed area, that being Mount Olympus. Like other Disney parks, Disney's Lost Kingdom will have an iconic structure at its center, Mount Olympus, the home of the gods. There is also a wide mix of attractions, many that are based on Disney movies and some that are purely originals. The design and execution of the theming and scenery will be stunning, and it will be immediately obvious that little expense was spared in the creation of this magnificent park. Exhaustive details will go into making this new theme park an exquisite, one-of-a-kind experience.

Edited: September 17, 2015, 4:01 PM

Land of Ancient Mesopotamia


The entrance land to Disney's Lost Kingdom is the mythical Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The gardens are a distinctive feature of ancient Babylon and a great source of pride to its people. They stand as a remarkable feat of engineering, with an ascending series of tiered gardens containing all manner of trees, shrubs, and vines. Expertly built aqueducts source water to the top tier of the structure and distributes the water using an elaborate system of waterfalls that cascades down to the other three tiers, adding a serene quality to the gardens.

As guests enter the front gates of Disney's Lost Kingdom, they will come upon the beautiful horticultural environment. Combined with exquisite Babylonian etchings and sculptures, the garden will convey a fully realized culture of significants from the ancient world. As guests approach the structure, they will be led to a main passageway built on the ground floor of the gardens that will act as a portal into the park. In the passageway, Babylonian artwork will tell the legend of Nebuchadnezzar II, the Babylonian king who built the Hanging Gardens for his wife, Queen Amytis, because of her longing for the green hills and valleys of her homeland. Guests will also pass by The Four Pillars of the Gardens, four enormous columns that act as the foundation of the massive four-story structure.

From inside the park, guests can dine at one of the two restaurants at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, including the park's signature dining establishment, Garden Terraces Restaurant. A gallery on the ground floor of the Hanging Gardens houses the shopping options and includes specialty gift items of the ancient world, Disney character merchandise, park specific apparel and gifts, and everyday goods to enjoy during a full day at the park.


A. Fruits of Paradise
Garden Terraces Restaurant (2nd-4th levels)
B. Mesopotamian Market
C. Legends of Disney
D. Marvels of Mankind

Garden Terraces Restaurant
Full Service Restaurant
Guests can dine from one of three tiers of the signature dining restaurant, offering fantastic views of Lost Kingdom's iconic structure, Mount Olympus. The exotic flavors of Mesopotamia, the fertile plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, will bring new and delicious experiences for the palate. Fresh seafood, succulent meats, and garden specialty foods will highlight the chef's menu that will change seasonally. A character breakfast featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy will also be available as a great beginning to a fun-filled day.

Fruits of Paradise
Counter Service Restaurant
Fresh fruit and vegetable plates, smoothies, and freshly-squeezed juices will provide guests quick and nutritious food options available all day at the Hanging Gardens counter service restaurant, as well as hot and cold sandwiches, wraps, and salads. During breakfast, the eatery will offer breakfast sandwiches and platters, baked goods and pastries, coffee, cappuccinos, and espresso.

Mesopotamian Market
Merchandise Shop
The widest selection of theme park specific souvenirs, apparel, and accessories are offered at the expansive market. Everyday goods and packaged foods are also conveniently available to enjoy while at the park.

Marvels of Mankind
Gift Shop
Luxurious items are featured in the boutique gift shop including beautifully detailed art, sculptures, pottery, clothing, and jewelry imported from the four corners of the ancient lands of the world.

Legends of Disney
Gift Shop
Disney trading pins, character gifts, apparel, and toys are available at the Hanging Gardens character shop.

Edited: September 17, 2015, 2:55 PM

Land of Greek Gods and Hercules


In the center of Disney's Lost Kingdom is the heavenly abode of the Greek Gods, Mount Olympus, where the Olympian Gods rule from fabulous palaces of marble and gold built on the peak of the mountain high above the clouds. The iconic structure of Disney's Lost Kingdom, Mount Olympus, will stand 199-feet tall and will be seen from all areas of the park. Inside of the mountain, a fabulous thrill ride named "The Twelve Olympians" will place guests in the middle of the Titanomachy, the battle between the Olympians and their predecessors the Titans. The twelve Olympians that will reside at Mount Olympus are Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hestia, Demeter, Hermes, Aphrodite, Ares and Hephaestus. Hades, God of the Underworld, will also be apart of the land.

At the base of the mountain is the home of the Nine Muses, the goddesses of science and the arts. The attributes of the Nine Muses are love poems, flute playing, epic poetry, history, tragedy, astrology, sacred music, dance, and comedy. The Nine Muses will be represented in the Theater of the Muses, a traditional Greek theater in the comfort of modern day air conditioning. A collection of statues for each muse will welcome guests into the theater. A live musical show featuring the rise of Hercules will be the main attraction in the Theater of the Muses.

Another area of Mount Olympus is the Garden of Flora and Fauna, home to centaurs, cupids, and fauns. The Disney animated film, Fantasia, will be represented in the land by a carousel and a gentle boat ride through the beautiful gardens.


A. The Twelve Olympians
B. Fantasia Gardens
C. Fantasia Carousel
D. Theater of the Muses: Hercules Zero to Hero
E. Greek Foods
F. Realm of the Gods
G. Prometheus Academy Store


The Twelve Olympians
Thrill Ride
With lavish special effects and unexpected thrills, "The Twelve Olympians" will introduce guests to the twelve major deities of the Greek pantheon as they battle against the Titans for the right of domain on Earth. Guests will board chariots that will whisk them from the peak of Mount Olympus to the depths of the Underworld during the great godly clash of the Titanomachy. The ride vehicles will be similar to the vehicles of Test Track at Epcot and Journey to the Center of the Earth at DisneySea. The climax of the thrill ride will feature a 70-foot, 50 mph drop into the abyss of Tartarus where the Titans are imprisoned after the Olympians victory.


Fantasia Gardens
Boat Ride
"Fantasia Gardens" is a gentle boat ride through the Gardens of Flora and Fauna. Inspired by Walt Disney's masterpiece, Fantasia, the colorful gardens will be inhabited by playful centaurs, cupids, and fauns full of fun and fancy.


Fantasia Carousel
Amusement Ride
A classic carousel with Pegasus the flying horse and many other mythical creatures of Ancient Greece. The carousel will feature the wonderful music of Fantasia.


Theater of the Muses: Hercules Zero to Hero
Musical Show
A 40-minute musical about Hercules and his rise to fame featuring scenes and characters from the Disney animated movie, including Hercules' early years of training with Phil the Satyr, his battle against the multi-headed Hydra, his showdown with Hades, and Hercules' induction into the constellation of stars.

Greek Foods
Counter Service Restaurant
A quick service restaurant featuring traditional Greek foods, such as Greek salads, calamari, beef and lamb skewers, and gyros.

Realm of the Gods
Gift Shop
A shop offering various selections of apparel and gifts featuring the deities from "The Twelve Olympians". Guests can dress like their favorite Greek Gods and wield their attributes, like Zeus' lightning bolts, Poseidon's trident, Artemis' silver bow and arrows, and Apollo's lyre. Classic Olympic olive crowns, Greek togas and sandals will also be available for purchase.

Prometheus Academy Store
Character Shop
Based on Disney's Hercules television program, Prometheus Academy is the most esteemed school in all of Athens with the most well-known graduates of scholars, heroes, and artists in all of Ancient Greece. Located next to the Theater of the Muses, the shop features Prometheus Academy school attire and Hercules inspired gifts, souvenirs, apparel, and toys.

Edited: September 17, 2015, 3:00 PM

Land of Knights and Sorcerers, Dragons and Unicorns


To the left of Mount Olympus is Medieval Court, where the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table govern the Kingdom of Camelot. Inspired from Medieval and Victorian romance, Camelot is a bustling medieval fortress town on a hill with a meadow and a river. High walls with bastions and fluttering flags of all colors will adorn the castle. It will be a land of Knights, armored or dressed for hunting and travel, and their queen and maidens; prelates, priests, and friars will be dressed in red, purple, or brown, merchants will be richly dressed in wool and fur, and townsfolk will be in plain clothes and modest leathers. Poets and minstrels will make merry and music, and goodwill will be abound by the chivalry and courtesy of Camelot's inhabitants.

Magic and sorcery will have a strong presence at Medieval Court with Merlin the Magician from the Sword and the Stone and Sorcerer Mickey from The Sorcerer's Apprentice featured in the land. Medieval Court will also be a land of mythical creatures as guests can challenge their will against a fire-breathing dragon on Dare the Dragon and discover the unicorn's hidden grotto on Quest for the Unicorn.


A. King Arthur's Castle at Camelot
B. Dare the Dragon
C. Quest for the Unicorn
D. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
E. Robin Hood's Sherwood Feast
F. The Black Cauldron
G. Knight for a Day
H. Ye Olden Days
I. Oh, What a Knight
J. Prince and the Pauper
K. The Reluctant Dragon
L. Unicorn Grotto
M. Merlin's Magic Shack

King Arthur's Castle at Camelot
Walk-Through Attraction
King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table greet guests to the Castle at Camelot. Many detailed rooms in the ornately decorated castle may be explored by guests at their leisure. A self-guided scavenger hunt to find the final resting place of the legendary Holy Grail highlights the walk-through attraction. "The Sword in the Stone", a 10-minute show with Merlin the Magician, will feature a child chosen at random from the crowd to pull the sword from the stone and claim the throne at Camelot.


Dare the Dragon
Roller Coaster
At Disney Imagineering, they say a good idea never dies. From this axiom comes a ride concept originally intended for Disney's Animal Kingdom in the land of mythical creatures known as Beastly Kingdom. "Dare the Dragon" takes Disney theme parks into new territory with a cutting-edge launched wing roller coaster ride through an enormous show building that houses the largest audio-animatronic in Disney history. Inside Dragon Tower looms a nasty, fire-breathing dragon hoarding the kingdom's treasure. Merlin the Magician has used spells to charm a rival dragon to take back the kingdom's treasure. Guest take flight on the wings of the rival dragon through the themed areas of the expansive attraction, including the surrounding wooded areas and rocky caverns outside of the show building. The climax of the roller coaster ride pits the two dragons against one another in a final showdown.


Quest for the Unicorn
Trackless Dark Ride
Another lost ride concept from Animal Kingdom, the new "Quest for the Unicorn" attraction improves on the originally intended walk-through attraction with a highly innovative trackless dark ride through a forbidden forest of mythical creatures that protect the hidden unicorn grotto. Guests follow the clues that will lead to the chance meeting with the one and only Unicorn.


The Sorcerer's Apprentice
3D Show
Mickey Mouse will be the star of a special effects laden 3D show based on his famous scenes in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". Water effects and high-definition projections combined with a real set and "enchanted broom" animatronics will immerse guests into the story of Mickey's magical romp.

Robin Hood's Sherwood Feast
Full Service Restaurant
Robin Hood, Little John, and Maid Marian will host a fun-filled feast served family style. Different meats and poultry, such as roast beef, ham, pheasant, and chicken, with accompanying sides of potatoes and vegetables will be offered as part of the feast. The setting of Sherwood Forest will be meticulous recreated in the comfort of an air-conditioned dining hall. And festive music will be provided by "The Band of Merry Men".

The Black Cauldron
Counter Service Restaurant
Based on the cult classic Disney animated film, the counter service restaurant specializes in scratch-made soups and handcrafted sandwiches served for lunch and dinner. Character inspired cupcakes are also featured, like Princess Eilonwy Angel Food cupcakes, Taran Red Velvet cupcakes, and the Horned King Devils Food cupcakes.

Knight for a Day
Dress-Up Shop
Based on the Goofy short cartoon, young guest can dress up as a noble knight, ready for a joust or for hand-to-hand combat with the mean, nasty dragon. Once fully dressed, the young knights are grandly introduced to the public as their liege.

Ye Olden Days
Gift Shop
Disney authentic artwork, animation cells, and figurines are featured in the specialty gift shop.

Oh, What a Knight
Character Shop
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit apparel, souvenirs, and plush toys are offered in the medieval setting of Oswald's 1928 short cartoon.

Prince and the Pauper
Character Shop
All items Mickey Mouse are available in this character shop, including apparel, souvenirs, gifts, plush, and toys.

The Reluctant Dragon
Gift Shop
Dragon inspired apparel, gifts, and toys are offered in the gift shop next to the Dare the Dragon attraction, featuring the various dragons from Disney movies, including Pete's Dragon, The Reluctant Dragon, and Maleficent the Dragon.

Unicorn Grotto
Gift Shop
A gift shop next to the Quest for the Unicorn attraction offering a wide selection of unicorn inspired apparel, gifts, and toys.

Merlin's Magic Shack
Magic Shop
A magic shop featuring tricks and illusions for the novice or expert magicians and sorcerers.

Edited: September 17, 2015, 3:38 PM

Land of Princesses and Witches, Elves and Giants


To the right of Mount Olympus is Grimm Forest, an enchanted land in a dense forest featuring the stories of Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and The Brave Little Tailor (Mickey Mouse!). The land will also feature the wicked witches and menacing giants that oppose them.

The center of the land will be marked by a small Bavarian village, where two of Walt Disney's best known Silly Symphonies, Babes in the Woods and The Brave Little Tailor, will be featured. Next to the small village will be "The Land of Giants", where Jack, from the story Jack and the Beanstalk, will take a GIGANTIC new journey. Rapunzel's Tower will stand to the left of the entrance in Grimm Forest, where her exciting stories of fun and adventure with Flynn Rider will be told. On the opposite end of the land, deep in the forest, Sleeping Beauty's thorn protected castle and hidden forest cottage await to be discovered by her one true love.


A. Sleeping Beauty
B. Rapunzel's Tangled Tale
C. Jack's GIGANTIC Journey
D. Babes in the Woods
E. The Brave Little Tailor
F. Grimm Theater: Into the Woods
G. Briar Rose's Cottage
H. The Sleeping Giant's Fair
I. King Stefan's Banquet Hall
J. The Snuggly Duckling
K. Little Red Riding Hood's Basket of Baked Goods
L. Sugar, Spice, & Everything Nice
M. The Ear of Corn
N. Spindle, Shuttle, and Needle
O. Thumbling's Travels
P. The Three Little Pigs


Sleeping Beauty
Dark Ride
The beautiful artistry of Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty will be evident in the grandiose retelling of young Briar Rose and the evil Maleficent. "Sleeping Beauty" will be a large-scale dark ride with huge panoramic sets and a sweeping musical score that will hail the classic story of good versus evil. The size and scope of the attraction combined will the many details of the inspiring story will require multiple ride experiences for guests to fully appreciate.


Rapunzel's Tangled Tale
Dark Ride
"Rapunzel's Tangled Tale" is a whirlwind dark ride adventure featuring Rapunzel and Flynn Rider searching for the source of the lanterns released every year on Rapunzel's birthday and the secret of her past. Scenes featured on the ride will include Rapunzel in her tower singing "When Will My Life Begin?", Flynn Rider and Rapunzel fleeing from the guards, Flynn and Rapunzel in the boat singing "I See the Light", Rapunzel's ultimate sacrifice for Flynn, and Rapunzel's return celebration.


Jack's GIGANTIC Journey
Thrill Ride
Based on the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, "Jack's GIGANTIC Journey" will be a large scale thrill ride that follows Jack as he discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds. Jack befriends an 11-year old girl giant named Inma who treats him like a living doll throughout the ride experience. The thrill ride, using the KUKA Robotic Arm technology, will also feature a climactic encounter with the Storm Giants that are said to stand 120-feet tall.


Babes in the Woods
Dark Ride
Set off on a musical adventure into the spooky woods where Hansel and Gretel encounter a village of friendly elves and escape from a devious witch who entices children with a candy gingerbread house. "Babes in the Woods" is a classic Disney dark ride based on one of Walt Disney's best-known Silly Symphonies.


The Brave Little Tailor
Dark Ride
"The Brave Little Taylor" follows Sir Mickey in his quest to defeat the fearsome giant and win the hand of the kingdom's faire maiden, Minnie Mouse. Following Mickey's BIG adventure, celebrate at The Sleeping Giant's Fair with fun and amusements for all ages in the shadow of the sleeping giant.

Grimm Theater: Into the Woods
Musical Show
A 40-minute musical show featuring various characters from tales of the Brothers Grimm brought together in an original and fascinating story of desire, deceit, and perseverance. Based on the more kid-friendly Disney movie, the show will still retain a little edginess for the adult audience.

Briar Rose's Cottage
Meet and Greet
Hidden deep in the forest is the small, cozy cottage of Briar Rose. Guests may explore the cottage and meet the soon-to-be Princess Aurora and her three fairy godmothers, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather.

The Sleeping Giant's Fair
Amusement Rides
From Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies short The Brave Little Tailor, guests can enjoy the fun and whimsy of "The Sleeping Giant's Fair", featuring two spinning-type amusement rides powered by the wind of the sleeping giant's breathe.

King Stefan's Banquet Hall
Full Service Restaurant
Guests may dine as a king or queen at the banquet hall in Sleeping Beauty's castle. King Stefan along with Princess Aurora, Prince Phillip, and the Three Fairy Godmothers welcome their guests with a delicious and decadent meal in a formal yet family-friendly atmosphere. The evil Maleficent may make an appearance at the banquet hall as well.


The Snuggly Duckling
Counter Service Restaurant
Food and camaraderie are plentiful at "The Snuggly Duckling" restaurant inspired by the Disney animated movie Tangled. Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, and a band of misfit thieves and robbers greet and entertain guests that come upon the wooded pub and grub. Meats, potatoes, and beer are featured at the counter service restaurant. So raise a glass and feast on hearty foods that keep the bellies full and the friendly spirits alive.

Sugar, Spice, & Everything Nice
Sweets Shop
Delicious candies are available at the Hansel and Gretel inspired sweets shop.

Little Red Riding Hood's Basket of Baked Goods
Bakery Shop
Freshly baked cakes, pies, muffins, and cookies are featured at the Little Red Riding Hood inspired bakery.

The Ear of Corn
Food Cart
A food cart serving flavored popcorn and flavored corn on the cob.

Spindle, Shuttle, and Needle
Apparel and Hat Shop
Personalized apparel and hats are available at the specialized stitch shop.

Thumbling's Travels
Gift Shop
Fine little trinkets from around the world are offered at small gift shop.

The Three Little Pigs
Gift Shop
Disney books, plush, and toys are featured at The Three Little Pigs inspired gift shop.

Edited: September 17, 2015, 1:12 PM

Land of Evil Creatures and Villains


Behind Mount Olympus on the opposite side of Mythic Lake are The Dark Lands, a shadowy world inhabited by evil creatures and villains. The land is highlighted by two enormous structures, Bald Mountain and Skull Rock. Inside Skull Rock is an entrance to Ursula the Sea Witch's lair.


A. Bald Mountain
B. Villains Tonight!
C. Ursula the Sea Witch
C. Captain Hook's Ship at Skull Rock
D. Queen of Heart's Kingdom Restaurant
E. Disney Villains Store
F. The Witch's Wardrobe


Bald Mountain
Roller Coaster
Based on the dark and morose mountain from Fantasia, "Bald Mountain" is a roller coaster ride that features Chernabog, the great demon of the night, on Walpurgis Night when he summons his minions to his service. The inside of the mountain becomes a fiery volcano as he flings his minions within. The roller coaster circles inside the mountain and out escaping the grasp of the countless devils, ghosts, and demons of the mountain.

Villains Tonight!
Musical Show
From the Disney Cruise Line comes "Villains Tonight!", the tale of Hades as he attempts to hold onto the title of "Lord of the Underworld." After The Fates warn him that he may lose his position as supreme ruler because the Underworld is too happy a place, Hades decides to gather the most powerful Disney villains in an effort to make his underground kingdom a bit more wicked.

Ursula the Sea Witch
Spinner Ride
Guests spin wildly around Ursula's Lair in the grasp of one of her tentacles as she looks into her crystal ball in search of more souls to take.


Captain Hook's Ship at Skull Rock
Walk-Through Attraction
Explore the many swashbuckling levels and compartments on Captain Hook's pirate ship and journey through the various hidden caverns inside Skull Rock.

Queen of Heart's Kingdom Restaurant
Counter Service Restaurant
A cafeteria-style restaurant that features delectable foods in the Queen of Heart's Kingdom.

Disney Villains Store
Gift Shop
A store of apparel and gifts featuring all of Disney's Villains.

The Witch's Wardrobe
Character Shop
The place for apparel, souvenirs, gifts, and toys of Disney's Witches including Maleficent and the Wicked Queen.

Edited: September 17, 2015, 3:05 PM

FROZEN Land of Anna and Elsa


To the right of Mythic Lake is the Scandinavian kingdom of Princess Anna and Queen Elsa, the Kingdom of Arendelle. The majestic castle of the kingdom guards the fjord by Arendelle's harbor. Just beyond the kingdom high up in the North Mountains sits the Ice Palace of the Snow Queen.

In the Kingdom of Arendelle, guests can create their own wonderland of ice and snow with the powers of the Snow Queen and venture on a wild sleigh ride through the North Mountains with Anna and Kristoff. Many of the characters from Disney's Frozen will be featured in the land, including Kristoff and his reindeer friend Sven, Olaf the summer loving snowman, and the crude but lovable trolls.


A. Queen Elsa's Frozen Wonderland
B. Anna and Kristoff's Crazy Sleigh Ride
C. FROZEN Sing-A-Long
D. Anna and Elsa at Arendelle Castle
E. The Queen's Royal Reception
F. Olaf's Frozen Treats
G. The Old Troll Shop
H. Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna


Queen Elsa's Frozen Wonderland
Interactive Dark Ride
High in the North Mountains in the Kingdom of Arendelle is the Snow Queen's Ice Palace, the setting for "Queen Elsa's Frozen Wonderland". The interactive dark ride offers guests the ability to use ice and snow in creating an entire Frozen world using interactions between their hand movements and 3D screens. Using a next generation ride system similar to Toy Story Midway Mania but without the use of shooters, "Queen Elsa's Frozen Wonderland" allows guests free-reign in creating the Frozen world of their dreams. The magic of the Snow Queen is at the guests' fingertips as they turn the Kingdom of Arendelle into their own wintery wonderland.


Anna and Kristoff's Crazy Sleigh Ride
Roller Coaster
The Kingdom of Arendelle will be anchored by a family roller coaster featuring scenes from Disney's animated feature Frozen. Billed as an epic family roller coaster with three lift hills and dark ride elements throughout, "Anna and Kristoff's Crazy Sleigh Ride" will delight and thrill guests of all ages. Featuring Princess Anna and Kristoff, as well as Queen Elsa, Kristoff's trusty reindeer Sven, Olaf, Marshmallow, and the trolls, "Anna and Kristoff's Crazy Sleigh Ride" will be full of FROZEN surprises at every turn.


Anna and Elsa at Arendelle Castle
Meet and Greet
Meet Princess Anna and Queen Elsa in the royal sanctuary of Arendelle Castle, just recently opened to the public.

The Queen's Royal Reception
Full Service Restaurant
Guests can enjoy the splendor of fine castle dining along with Princess Anna and the recently crowned Queen Elsa in the beautiful setting of the Royal Hall at Arendelle Castle. "The Queen's Royal Reception" is a fancy affair that will be sure to please the little prince or princess found within each one of its guests.

Olaf's Frozen Treats
Ice Cream Shop
An ice cream shop split into two seasons, "Olaf's Frozen Treats" will feature ice cream, sundaes, and milk shakes "In Winter". Frozen lemonades, shaved ice, and flavored popsicles are also available at Olaf's "In Summer". Both of the seasonal treats are available year round.

The Old Troll Shop
Character Shop
The trolls are featured in their very own shop, offering apparel, gifts, jewelry, and toys inspired by the odd creatures of Scandinavian folklore.

Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna
Character Shop
Frozen inspired apparel, gifts, and toys are available at the well-known landmark of Arendelle.

Edited: September 17, 2015, 1:17 PM

Land of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp


"Welcome to Agrabah, city of mystery and enchantment, where the caravan camels roam, where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense. It's barbaric, but hey, it's home."

In the exotic lands of Arabia, guests will come upon Agrabah and the lavish palace of the Sultan. Adventures inspired by One Thousand and One Nights includes a magic carpet ride in discovery of "A Whole New World" and a wild ride through the treasure filled caverns in the Cave of Wonders. Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, the Genie, and Abu will be featured in the land along with the wicked vizier, Jafar.


A. Jasmine and Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride
B. Cave of Wonders
C. Aladdin: The Musical
D. The Sultan's Food Court
E. The Genie's Magic Lamp
F. A Diamond in the Rough


Jasmine and Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride
Dark Ride
It's the magic carpet ride that Disney fans have been waiting for - "shining, shimmering, splendid!" Jasmine and Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride will whisk guests away in a flight "over, sideways, and under" the clouds and across the globe. "Don't you dare close your eyes. Hold your breathe it gets better." Using a next generation ride system similar to Peter Pan's Flight, Jasmine and Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride will exceed all expectations in the discovery of "A Whole New World".


Cave of Wonders
Roller Coaster
Explore the treasure filled chambers in the "Cave of Wonders" on the back of a snake-shaped roller coaster. During the rollicking ride, guests discover many enchanted jewels and magical items fraught with temptation. During the ride, the snake (roller coaster), also an active character in the story of the attraction, taunts the guests to take the Forbidden Treasures for themselves. It's not until the sudden appearance of Aladdin and Abu that reveals the snake to be Jafar. The ride then kicks into high gear with Jafar chasing after Aladdin and Abu flying away on the magic carpet. In the end, Aladdin and Abu escape and the Genie, using his magical powers, subdues the evil Jafar and frees the guests.


Aladdin: The Musical
Musical Show
The fantastic 50-minute musical show from Disney's California Adventure finds a new permanent home at Disney's Lost Kingdom inside the palace of the Sultan.

The Sultan's Food Court
Counter Service Restaurant
An outdoor food court on the banks of Mythic Lake overlooking the palace of the Sultan. The counter service restaurant will offer various Middle Eastern foods from four stations featuring meats, fish, fruits and vegetables.

The Genie's Magic Lamp
Character Shop
Aladdin inspired apparel, gifts, and toys will be available in a shop located inside of the Genie's Magic Lamp.

A Diamond in the Rough
Jewelry Shop
A jewelry and accessories shop inside the palace of the Sultan.

Edited: September 18, 2015, 2:19 PM

The future expansion of Disney's Lost Kingdom and its surrounding resort area is bright with various new themed lands, attractions, and resort hotels planned for the next few years.

Land of Moana and the South Seas


Directly behind Mount Olympus on Mythic Lake is the future land of Polynesia, featuring Moana, Disney's newest "Polynesian" Princess, and the myths and legends of the South Seas.

Land of Pocahontas and Mesoamerica


In the front of the park to the right of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon is the future land of The New World, featuring a walk-through attraction of Pocahontas' native village and a flume ride named "Pocahontas: Just Around the River Bend".


The New World will also represent the Mesoamerican region with a new thrill ride named "El Dorado: The Golden City".

Land of Shangri-La, The Silk Road, and Mulan


In the front of the park to the left of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon is the future land of The Orient, featuring a thrill ride named "The Search for Shangri-La", a boat ride named "The Travels of Marco Polo", and a live show featuring Mulan.

Disney's Lost Kingdom will add two future resort hotels to the banks of Lost Bay, The Asian Resort and The Persian Resort. Originally planned for Walt Disney World's Phase Two expansion in the early 1970s, the two resorts will compliment the theme of the resort area very well.

Disney's Lost Kingdom is a theme park specifically designed to evolve and grow within its broad themes of myth, folklore, and legend. The problems that currently plague parks with specific themes or with poor evolution plans, such as Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, will not effect the evolution of Disney's Lost Kingdom. New Disney movies and Intellectual Properties may be added to the theme park while maintaining the imagination and integrity synonymous with the Walt Disney name.

September 16, 2015, 3:44 AM

Sorry, this image should be under Forever Florida, but something went wrong. I hope you accept it!

September 16, 2015, 3:09 PM

Douglas, DPCC, and Keith, thank you for your excellent submissions. You have all done an outstanding job over the course of this competition and your final proposals show it. Over the next few days we will be busy critiquing them and determining a winner. Critiques will be posted as each judge is ready over the remainder of the week and the champion of Theme Park Apprentice 7 will be announced on Sunday, September 20th.

September 16, 2015, 3:48 PM

Somewhere towards the top, you'd implied there might be something fun to distract us from our lives during this downtime. I assumed it was to be Karina's proposed "terrible theme park" competition. (DCA 1.0!!!) Is something like this still in the cards?

And advanced thanks for your assorted critiques, for we sure didn't underdeliver!

September 16, 2015, 3:59 PM

Douglas, we are still thinking about doing a bad attraction bonus challenge. However, due to the delays that pushed back the Challenge 7 deadline and the resulting short window between now and the winner announcement, we are thinking of doing that after everything is over. It has not been abandoned, just rescheduled slightly.

September 16, 2015, 5:48 PM

A bad attraction bonus challenge??

Count me in.

September 17, 2015, 12:18 PM

Dies anyone know what happened to the Chatter Thread? I assume it got archived, but we will probably want to start one so we don't clutter this thread

September 17, 2015, 1:07 PM

They probably archived it because my Michael Eisner fugitive story was becoming too slanderous. Good thing I never published the grisly finale!

Edited: September 18, 2015, 7:27 AM

I'm releasing the first of my Critiques now, Douglas'. I have read yours and DPCCs and have most of it complete but I need to check something first. Keith, I'm about to start reading yours.

I am in between rural areas until Sunday evening my time. I hope to have them in the next few days, but can't guarantee it.


Douglas Hindley - Disneysky

Firstly, with a name like Disneysky, this park seems to be the perfect third gate for Tokyo, rather than Anaheim… Thank you for giving us a location and letting us know how you’ll be rounding out access.

I love the imagery that you’ve used, this is a professional grate pitch.

Mount Helios seems to be a great landmark for the park, my only worry is with the matterhorn next door there might be comparisons made, but you do make it seem like an epic landmark with the misters. I also think the Airport in DCA will need to rethemed away from aviation should this go ahead.

I like the idea of “Fly Higher”. I’m not entirely sure if its feasible, but if it can be made to work, I see this becoming a theme park staple in the near future.

Starting with the Golden Age of Aviation is a great start, and mirrors the classic “Small town” intro area of Disneyland perfectly.

Disneysky Airlines I’m in two minds about. On one hand, this seems like a perfectly themed transportation system with the suspension system allowing a bit of natural bank/roll (and perhaps a little artificial roll too), on the other I’m just not sure how unobtrusive a suspended monorail can be. Would it perhaps be viable to use thick glass for the railing? I’ll leave that to the engineers to figure out.

Mythic Realms offers some great rides, although I am a bit disapointed that Cave of Wonders doesn’t seem to be targeted at the general audience… I’d like to take my girlfriend on a magic carpet ride too….

I don’t like the Festive Sky Lanterns. Seriously, those flying paper bag candle things are an environmental menace. I hope although you have a ride themed to it none will be for sale or used in the park.

Discovery Fjord, I don’t know why you’d use Nemo when Verne has Voyage to the moon… Okay, the story has been used before, and disney have had a ride by the same name, but I don’t see any reaon why you couldn’t do that. Time Machine seems like a fun inclusion and solves the “How do I get the experience I want” on a branching ride problem.

Pioneer Fields is a great inclsuion, although I am not sure disney have full rights… My Girlfriend will be begging me to take her on this given the inclusion of the danny elfman score. I’m concerned maybe the Rescuers might be a bit dated… athough I did love those movies.

Same goes with Cape Suzette and Rocketeer, although I would like to see more talespin representation (and new movies) in disney, they seem to be forgotten IP…

You have however represented them fantastically with great attractions that would belong in a disney park if the IPs were fresh. Time for a reboot perhaps.

I am concerned about spectoral boneyard… it doesnt seem very disney to give guests who are likely to be flying soon some additional fears… Flying saucers seems very neat, a “safer” version of the original.

Using the Avengers is perhaps dangerous, as its going to lead to comparisons to what “The Jones’” are doing over at universal… I think you did a great job of blowing it out of the park, but whatever disney does with the IP has to be 10x than what Universal do. I am not sure if Code Green is feasable, but it sounds awesome. Of so many standout attractions, the USO show was my favourite here.

Cloud city again hits my “I’m not sure about this”. On one side, you’ve taken an easily skipped over place in the canon and made it brilliant… on the other hand, I think making it appear as a crashed on the mountain… I’d have instead just put it all under the mountain (so Bespin was not visible at all), and then reused the top (perhaps for Dagobah), using screens inside to give the impression of being on Bespin. Breaking Disney rules about having a Weenie? Maybe, but keeps the immersion right. Duel seems like a truly unmissable attraction

Rounding out your entry the opening ceremony seems truly epic.

September 18, 2015, 7:26 AM

DPCC - Exploration: Florida

Selling Florida in Florida? This seems like a potential repeat of California Adventure all over again… I have a feeling there’s a lot of disney execs (and fans) who’d rather have WestCOT rather than DCA, so going this route I think is brave, and a tough sell. If I’m going to florida, do I want to go on a journey around DIsney’s faux-florida, or am I going to rent a car and go around Florida? If I live in Florida do I want to visit a Faux-Florida?

I can understand why you’ve not included Animal kingdom or the water parks in an after 5pm pass, but DHS seems to be open for a few hours after 5pm, I think you missed an opportunity to make your pass more attractive when DHA is renovated.

Your opening area, I see what you’ve tried to do in learning from DCA’s mistake, but this doesn’t really seem to be that different from Magic Kingdom’s opening area. I also dont understand why a cart selling OJ is so special as to be a “twist”… Although Pirates of the Caribeean is going to be a hit, I see Spirit of Exploration being a bore in a theme park environment. a 5-10 min intro historical drama works in a historical atraction, not at a place where I have kids eager to run and experience the “real” rides.

WIth Daytona racers, I’d have like to some sort of interactive element rather than just a random result. I’m also disapointed that you didn’t give us any detail on The Panther, as if it was some sort of generic Flat Ride… Dumbo looks like a good sequel to the classic Magic Kingdom ride.

Percy Jackson I’m going to have to ding you on. In consultation with my fellow judges I’m not convinced this IP is available for disney to use. The only mention of rights with a theme park angle is an old TPA article from 2009 where Robert speculates Disney might have them on the basis that Disney own the publishing rights to the books, meanwhile the film rights seem to be sitting with Twentieth Century Fox. Heat I don’t think works in a theme park envoriment, it seems to be more of a “Silly sports fun day” thing. Coral Castles seems to be more of an Epcot Sea pavillion attraction rather than a thrill spun park ride.

I would be very careful with marlin… You’ve said its “based on old man and the sea”… even though you’re not explicitly saying it, you’ve just opened yourself up to a lawsuit if Disney don’ have those rights. I hate droptowers (but still ride them anyway), but Flying fish seems to be a nice spin on it.

Grand Gulf Rapids seems to be a great thrill ride, and stromrider fits the Flordian theme wonderfully. Everglades seems to just be another jungle cruise from Magic Kingdom, it needs more to make it unique. I also don’t understand what ride system you’re using for Evinrude.

I see what you’re trying to do, but I think there are many issues in the proposal that would need further work to resolve.

September 18, 2015, 9:20 AM

Hi Chad. Based on my research, Disney still owns the stories and theme park rights to Percy Jackson. Therefore, as long as they don't use any clips from the movie, it's use would be acceptable. The Old man and the sea is public domain. Just a note


September 18, 2015, 10:00 AM

Keith Schneider - Lost Kingdom

I like your positioning of the park within the other brands within the other floridan parks, it does seem logical to put a park between Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom on the “timeline”. Your lands seem to be a good mix of classics and disney favourites.

I’m not sure about the hanging gardens as the intro area… It doesn’t seem like a traditional entry area to me, or a even a spin off the classics- most parks tend to go for some variation on a town street, perhaps Argrabah would have been a better choice, using the frame of 1001 arabian knights, and making the main street an arabic bazar, or some sort of classic sea port to adventure would have been a better choice.

Olympus, like Helois makes a good centrepiece, but care will need to be taken to ensure its not compared negatively to other disney mountains, the god aspect of Olympus allows something different to be done however - perhaps a peek of the gods looking down on guests? The Twelve Olypmpians ride makes a great introduction to Greek Mythology for kids who haven’t progressed that far in school yet, presuming they meet the height restirction such a ride would need. Including Fantasia into the mix here seems like a good idea. I’ll take some Calamari thanks.

Moving onto camelot, I’m sure many disney park fans will be delighted to see Dare the Dragon finally come to life… If you can make the dueling feature actually work right, then you’ve got something to embarrass universal, as long as this ride doesn’t suffer the same problems… I’m kinda disapointed to see Robin Hood relegated only to food service, but I guess there is room for expansion later…

Grimm Forest will need careful marketing, lest it be percieved as a “little kids zone”, but I think by making it “slightly scary” you leave the age bracket open enough… although it does seem odd to think of Jack and the Beanstalk as a thrill ride. I would have thought Brave would have been a better choice for thrills, again, seems kinda odd brave only appears in Restaurant form - especially as its a fairly recent hit, and less recent hits (Aladdin) are getting their own land…

Dark lands is a concept I know disney fans have been clamouring for for years, and I think with careful themeing it could have segued between Grimm Forest and Dark lands well - its on the other side of the dark and gloomy forest. I’m kind of suprised to see Arendelle in the way. Bald Mountain is probably a good “attractor” to have at the back of the park though.

On to Arendelle, you seem to have skipped over telling us about the Sing-A-Long. I suppose I should just let it go (see what I did there?), and take it as something obvious, but I don’t even know anything about the surrounds. The Sleigh Ride seems a good opportunity to introduce kids to their first “Grown up” coaster.

I was thinking as I read “Magic carpet ride” I wish it was a thrill ride, but have cave f wonders instead - brilliant - this ride is sure to be a hit. I’m not sure about 50 minute length shows in a theme park, but its an import from DCA, so it must work.

I wasn’t sure if I could count future expansion, but as its a “any other detail that could benefit your proposal”, I’ll consider it. They do seem to be good areas, but I’m not sure about how well they segue… New World could give way to the dark and scary grimm forest, to leave Mythic Lake empty at teh moment, and redevelop it later seems unusual… When the land is finally developed, I’m probably going to be able to see the boarding from no les than 3 lands, and perhaps all but the hanging gardens… I’d suggest having this “donut hole” filled for opening day and making it a day 1 land.

I really did enjoy your proposal, even if I would have done thing differently.

September 18, 2015, 2:07 PM

DPCC, in that case on the Old man and the sea, I'd ask why not use it more thouroghly.

Is it just book publishing rights that disney have or do they own the whole IP? What evidence is there of it?

September 18, 2015, 6:14 PM

Okay, so, I've done even more searching on the Percy Jackson thing. What I've discovered is:

1) In 2013, Disney had an official plan to replace "Pleasure Island at WDW's Downtown Disney with a new area, "Hyperion Wharf". As I'm sure you're aware, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series was published by Disney/Hyperion. Based on the fact that they were prepared to build an area in WDW, I could assume that Disney would have the appropriate rights to do so.

2) The aforementioned TPI article states that even if reason (1) proves to be untrue, Disney would be willing and the most likely to purchase these rights.

About The Old Man and the Sea, I chose not to directly follow the storyline because much of it is told in flashbacks and symbols, which would not really come across in a theme park setting.

Okay, I'll try to hold back comments at this point, I just don't want to be judged based on untrue facts.

September 19, 2015, 11:08 AM

I'll be posting my critiques. They are long, because I recognized how much work you all have put into your proposals and I wanted to give them as much careful thought and attention as they deserved. I am glad that I was not competing- I don't think I would have had a chance.

September 19, 2015, 11:09 AM

Douglas Hindley Disney Sky

Many years ago I was in the finals of Theme Park Apprentice 2, and I proposed a third gate for Disneyland Resort called DisneySky. When I saw that you had also proposed this idea I intentionally did NOT go back and reread my proposal, and it has been long enough and I have done enough other competitions that my memories of it are not clear. I wanted to judge yours with no comparisons to my work of so long ago.

· I love the logo with a "Mickey" head in the clouds. Your dedication statement caught the spirit of previous dedication statements and was well composed.
· Your artwork is top-notch spectacular, probably the best I have ever seen in TPA anywhere, anywhen.
· I am not familiar firsthand with the DLR area, but it looks like you created an excellent entrance complex with integration with the rest of the resort. It surprised me that you didn't use the monorail to connect Disney Sky to the rest of the resort, but frankly I liked your use of the PeopleMover as it would probably be able to move more people faster.
· Villa Cielo. Magnificent hotel, but having the holiday "Celebration of Lights" at it would intrude on the guests terribly and should be moved to the Disney Walk. Decorate the hotel, of course, but tastefully, not Osborne Family sized.
· Installation of Magic Bands, etc. is a good idea, and the "Fly Higher" option is innovative. It would be important to have a safeguard built in so that it wouldn't kick in based on mom and dad when their 3 and 5 year olds are in the car with them.
· It was wise to base your themes on 20th/early 21st Century themes/concepts/technology. With Tomorrowland Disney learned that you can't outfuture the future.
· S.K.Y. is a clever idea.

Runway One is a magnificent entrance and a brilliant progression of spaces leading into the park, including many iconic images from So Cal. One thing about Inspiration Observatory- observatories don't really have spires like a church, they have domes. "World of Flight" would be entertaining, probably not especially educational, but a good way to get visitors into the flight mindset for the park.

· DisneySky Airlines- a good transportation system, and good alternative form to the "ALWEG" style. Appropriate for this park.
· "Flight of Fantasy" parade route seems to be very short, which would lead to severe crowding. I'd continue it through Pioneer Fields.
· "Galileo's sounds like a magnificent restaurant, and the rest of your food and retain locations are clever and appropriate.

Mythic Realms is a good way to introduce exotic cultures to the park.

· "Storm Mountain" is a great use of an attraction to block outside of park intrusions. It would be an exciting, intense ride.
· "Cave of Wonders" is a good family coaster with exotic theming.
· "Legend of the Floating Fist". If the show was of this quality, I'd say it would probably be the best live show at a Disney park. Prepare for major crowds.
· The Kites and Lanterns rides are good thematic additions. They did not just fill the space, but added to the overall theme of the land.
· "Floating Lotus"- there would be problems with a restaurant overlooking a live show. First of all, diners would feel cheated if they were in the restaurant and there was no show going on, so they would want to wait until it started, tying up tables, and activity in the restaurant could intrude into the show via noise, light intrusion, etc.
· Kebab's Big Boy- Are you aware that there is a chain of Big Boy restaurants throughout the Midwest U.S.? The name "Big Boy" is the trademarked (I'm sure) name of their signature sandwich, which has nothing to do with the cuisine of Kebab's. To me it seemed incredibly out of place.

Discovery Fjord is not really a fjord, but still a clever name and a visually stunning land.
· "Journey to the Top of the World" is a good use of a forgotten Disney IP to morph an excellent DisneySea attraction into a unique DisneySky attraction. Can the "Winter Elemental" make us forget about the Florida Yeti?
· "Time Machine" is appropriate, a bit predictable but would be obvious if absent. My issue with riders voting for the time path is that someone always gets outvoted and frustrated.
· "Airtopia" would be fun and a good kinetic addition to the land.
· "Tinkerer's Workshop" would be a fun, hands-on science center-type attraction, but you lost me at the end with actual working prototypes being made. Are they take-home souvenirs? What happens to them? Better to just play and virtually create them- far fewer technical problems.
· "Club 55"- good overflow for Club 33.
· "Hyperion Airship Dining Room" - fine French and Italian cuisine, lush opulence, live piano accompaniment, and counter service? This definitely should be a full service restaurant.
· Other dining and retail locations are appropriate and well-themed.

Pioneer Fields I like the Pioneer Fields town based on "Plane Crazy". I like Propwash Junction from "Planes". Putting them together in one land seems like you had two great ideas that you didn't have room for, so you put them together in one corner. In some ways, Pioneer Fields felt like DisneySky's Attic, where you put all the great moments of Disney flight together for storage. Each attraction is strong in its own right, but together? It would be extremely popular, but bringing so many disparate IPs only connected by variations of flight make me feel- confused? I don't think that, in this case the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

· "Wings Around the Globe"- This would be an amazing experience, but would Disney bother to update it yearly? It took them how many years/decades to do that with "Soarin'". The video was beneficial in helping me visualize this ride.
· "WWof Oz"- fun, but seemed like an excuse to put Oz someplace.
· "Up"- same as Oz, fun but an excuse for another dark ride.
· "Dumbo's Circus Extravaganza" - after so much high-tech dark ride, a semi-live show is a welcome addition.
· "Goofy's Barnstormer"- Why has Sky School been "slated for removal for quite some time."? Why clone an attraction that seems to have been a thematic challenge for years? Worth a try, and it is a good started coaster, but be prepared for more problems.
· "Albatross Air Service" would be a good addition of movement into a land that is dominated by indoor attractions.
· "Pioneer Barn Barbeque" is one table service restaurant that should be counter service.
· The rest of the dining and retail locations are good additions and compliment the theme.

Golden Cayfeatures a visually beautiful but mostly unknown genre. A good choice for Disney Sky.
· "Rocketeer"- The ride mechanism confused me. Are riders actually hanging from the jetpacks? I'm not familiar with the Shanghai jetpacks, but it sounds painful.
· "Sky Pirates..." another dark ride, but with a rather grisly ending. Creepy, and frankly it sounds more like an excuse for special effects than anything story driven.
· "Indiana Jones..." Confusing. Is it a play area? show? One "Indiana Jones" actor could be overwhelmed by guests, so that nobody gets to interact with him.
· Seaplane Jungle Ferries" seems like a rethemed Jungle Cruise, but does it have bad jokes?
· "South Seas Club" would be a good, elegant restaurant, but a big band orchestra? Not really practical in an all-day restaurant. Menu is French? Should be French-Polynesian to represent South Seas part of name.
· The rest of your dining and retail locations are appropriate, but "Rosie's" would probably have limited long-term appeal.

Cosmic Canyon Great visuals, but "Chuck, the Spaceman Chimpanzee?" Are you talking a real live chimpanzee? Has Disney learned nothing from SeaWorld's problems with intelligent creatures?
· "Impact" sounds interesting, but the second paragraph is confusing. First you blow up the asteroid, then the rockets are blasted backwards (I assume away from the destroyed asteroid), but then the rockets "settle" on the surface of the asteroid (which I thought was destroyed)? Then they are launched again? Totally confusing.
· "Spectral Boneyard"- at first I was worried- memories of Apollo I and the space shuttle disasters. Suddenly turns fun and silly? Odd, but could be enjoyable if done properly.
· "Robotics Expo"- a great idea, but the title might keep visitors from checking it out- too "educational"- and it sounds like a trade show.
· The rest of your dining and retails locations are appropriate

Avengers Airfield Visually a remarkable land. The Helicarrier would be an amazing structure to explore and the surrounding cityscape established the entire environment.
· "Avengers United"- great use of high tech film effects.
· "Iron Man/Star-Lord Rocks"- great addition and a good way to bring this type of coaster to DisneySky.
· "Captain America's USO Show"- a great idea to put a show here, but I wonder if having a 1940s USO show in the Present would confuse the audience.
· "Thor"- good use of an underutilized ride type, perfect for this setting.
· "Hulk"- good scare attraction, but is there really enough material in this setting for a full attraction without Hulk actually harming the guests?
· Dining and retail- a good, appropriate mix. S.H.I.E.L.D. boytique is a good idea to offer something like this without "challenging" their masculinity.

Cloud City: Star Wars Galaxy This was an interesting way to hide the "visual intrusions", but would be a huge structure.
· "Duel on Cloud City" is a good integration of multiple ride technologies, mandatory for this high-tech themed land. It offers lots of classic SW scenes to experience and would be a fan's dream come true.
· "Bespin 360" is an interesting integration of several classic Disney attractions into one unique experience. A thrilling concept.
· "Galactic Express" is a violation of the rule stating "You may only utilize one transportation attraction." If we had made provisions for penalties for violating the rules you would have been penalized for this.
· "Dragonsnake Bog"- be prepared for this ride to have its name morph into "it's a swamp world"
· "Learn with Yoda"- a good idea to include something that is primarily aimed at children.
· You have a good variety of dining and retail. the name "Vapor Room" sounds a bit like a hookah shop. "Heff's Souvenirs" can be haggled for? Seriously?

"Imagination Takes Flight"- great end-of-day show with terrific choice of music and of appropriate Disney IPs. How would it be visible from throughout the park? The sheer size of Mt. Helios would block much of it from all but the southwest lands. Pioneer Fields, Discovery Fjord and Mythic Realms would not be able to see any of it, and Golden Cay and Runway One would only see it from the side. Chernabog would be great to see, but for the three lands on the northeast side of Mt. Helios all they would see is his butt. Another problem with having the best view of it from the Helicarrier and by proxy from the southwest lands is that most people will want to get the best view of the show from here, and the only way out of the park, Runway One, can only be reached by a narrow tunnel through Mt. Helios, through Cloud City itself, or by going completely around Mt. Helios. The congestion would be enormous. It sounds like I hate the show- I love the show, but the location is a problem.

Your Opening Ceremony description was terrific, and your conclusion was well-composed and classy.

Final thoughts: Overall, DisneySky would be a magnificent park, visually exciting and chock-full of remarkable attractions, great dining and shopping. To build it would probably cost the same as the military budget of NATO, but in the end it would probably be worth it. Most of the problems I noticed came from, in my opinion, two things: 1) your amazingly deep knowledge of Disney IPs and how they could be integrated into this park, inspiring you to put perhaps too much into the park. It felt a bit congested. 2) I think you relied a bit too much on dark rides, which in many ways is the opposite feeling you want in the park dedicated to flight, air and sky.

Regardless, you have created an incredible park, one that would probably spend lots of time with the gates closed due to being at capacity. A remarkable proposal, well-composed, brilliantly illustrated and one to be proud of.

September 19, 2015, 11:11 AM

DPcc Inc.

Exploration: Florida is a brave attempt to do right the first time on the east coast what Disney has spent billions of dollars trying to fix on the west coast. Creating a "tribute park" to the home state of Walt Disney World in the center of the state is either extremely brave or extremely foolish. I don't think you are a fool in any way, so I'm interested in seeing where your brave attempt will take you with this.

Looking at two major concerns that have often been flung at the other Florida parks, lack of thrill rides and lack of diversity, is an interesting approach to finding the right ingredients to create the perfect fifth gate for Disney in Florida. The first concern has been discussed for years, but the second is not something that, at least up here on the north coast, we hear much about. As a Disney Imagineer, you are smart to look at these before they become a problem, and it's easier to do it right the first time rather than having to go back and spend several billion dollars fixing them.

"Seminole Sunrise" is an interesting idea, but putting the description here in the proposal is confusing. I'm not familiar enough with the layout of your park to know if where you placed the show is the best place. The way you described it, the show would be off to the side, a bit out of the way and looking like it is part of the entertainment in The Everglades. It should be a grand opening show for the entire park, showing the Native Americans welcoming the world and its visitors not just to the Everglades, but to the entire state of Florida. It's a good idea, but needs to be refined.

"Kingdom Keepers Quest" is a good expansion of the Magic Band technology, but don't let too much non-Florida or even non-American South characters intrude into this Florida-themed land. Leave most of the Disney pantheon of mythical characters to the Magic Kingdom- here characters like Maleficent or Chernabog would seem out of place. Keep the Disney characters more human, less magical, and be careful to keep "Exploration: Florida" from turning into someplace that looks like the Disney characters from Fantasyland have come for vacation (for our judge Chad, that would be "on holiday"). ;+) Just kidding, Chad! Having those that you did include stay in the Florida 1920 area would be fine, and would keep this area from becoming just a hallway from the front gate to the Reflection Pond and the other lands.

Florida 1920 is a good concept for the entrance land. Using the distinctive style of the Grand Floridian as the inspiration for this land is a wise move, and would differentiate it from Main Street U.S.A. You have a good mixture of retail and dining, but your description of this land seems a bit disjointed. I did like the names you chose for your locations, and I am a bit curious who Sharon and Diane are. I wasn't sure how their restaurant could be on the water based on your layout.

St. Augustine is a good way to introduce an exotic setting into this park, and pay tribute to the early history of Florida.

· "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Fountain of Youth" is a great idea- a sequel to a dark ride based on the sequels to the movie based on a dark ride....did I get that right? Still, a really fun idea, but don't get too complicated. Utilizing all the different bad guys that Cap'n Jack has to fight is terrific, but any turtle-talk section with him would slow the ride down immensely. If you want to use it as a side attraction to the main event, fine, but separate from the boat ride. A turtle-talk conversation with Sparrow could be great fun.
· "20,000 Leagues..." might be a clone of the DisneySea attraction, but you really need to differentiate the name of the attraction. Enough people know the story that it would be confusing.
· "Castillo de San Marcos" play area- good to include a play area for kids to burn off energy. Choosing this historic setting for it was very creative...but suddenly we have "The Fountain of Youth", which the two previous attractions are looking for! Still a good play area, fun and probably appreciated as a place to cool off.
· "Florida: Spirit of Exploration" sounds like an important addition to your park. Many of us know little about Florida history before 1971. I see this as a Florida version of the American Experience.
· "Explorer's Cafe" sounds like a really interesting restaurant, and a good mixture of cuisines.
· "The Fountain of Youth Pub"?! Selling beer? I get your idea, but in this case it is a really bad idea, making Disney appear to be condoning and encouraging underage drinking.
· You have no retail location in this land. This is in violation of the rule stating "Each themed area must contain a minimum of...1 retail location." If we had made provisions for penalties for violating the rules you would have been penalized for this.

Daytona You give no verbal description for this land, but the pictures do help. Any images included in the proposal should be in addition to the written word, not a replacement of the written word.
· "Daytona Racers" is a great way to bring the immensely popular Radiator Springs Racers to Florida with a truly Florida retheming. Outstanding idea.
· "Boardwalk" attractions are a good, basic way to bring flat spinners to the park, and in spite of what some TPI people say, they are still around because they are still fun. You presented a good mix of the classics, very reminiscent of State Fair at Americana 1900. You're welcome. ;+)
· "Gale Wheel". Who's Gale? And why would you remove the sliders from it? If people don't want to ride them because they get motion sickness, then don't ride them and ride the regular gondolas on the wheel. The comment about "straining your eyes" was not needed and made the ride seem uncomfortable. You need to be unendingly optimistic and positive about everything in a proposal.
· "Dumbo's Flight", while being a fun ride, was totally out of place here unless you clearly state something about Florida being the summer home for circuses. You can't just plop a ride down in a themed land without having a reason for it to be there. If you do that, it becomes an amusement park, not a theme park.
· "Henry's Drive-In" It claims to be the last one in the world. Why? And is it a counter service or a full service restaurant? I am also unsure how the talking car would work- it couldn't be using turtle talk technology, unless you have someone committed to each car to interact with the diners. Interesting idea, but how would it work?
· The rest of your dining and retail options are adequate and appropriate for this land.

Miami I'm from Ohio, and even I know that Miami and Cape Canaveral are something like two hundred miles apart. You made it sound like Cape Canaveral is a suburb just north of Miami. If I'm wrong, please show me, but when I think of Miami and architecture I think of Art Deco from the 1930s-50s, with Cuban influence more on the social culture and cuisine and less on the architecture. And I don't see how you can really merge tropical art-deco architecture from Miami with space-age architecture found at Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. They fit together almost as badly as do Future World and World Showcase at Epcot
· "Cape Canaveral"- you wanted to put thrill rides in your park, and you did that with this ride. I think you missed a golden opportunity here, though. In every case, the potential length of the strata coaster was limited by the available space in the park, especially Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point. With the available space at WDW, you could have easily created both the tallest and longest strata coaster in the world. Go big!
· "Elena of Avelor" is a good walk-through meet-and-greet, especially considering one of the problems that you are attempting to respond to with this park and becoming more inclusive. Good addition.
· "The Sea of Monsters"-I'm not familiar with the series, but it seems to be an appropriate theme for a dark ride in this land.
· "Heat" is an interesting addition. I would not have thought of putting an interactive sports attraction here, but I think it would be popular with all ages.
· "Coral Castles"- another good, original addition. Combining a story line with a ride-through aquarium is a really great idea, and very appropriate for this land.
· Your dining and retail options are complete and appropriate for this land.

Nemo's Reef This is a terrific addition to the park, and would be a great place for the many young children that would be in the park with their families. The rides are appropriate for most ages, and offer a good variety even though it does get dangerously close to that very thing that Mr. Disney wanted to get away from- watching his children ride on amusement rides while he sat and watched. Don't let it become "Kiddie Land" where families are separated, but instead let it be a place where children are featured and parents can come along with them. And in a formal proposal condescending words such as "kiddos" are not appropriate.

The Keys
· "Marlin" would be a fun water ride, but is it indoors, outdoors or both?
· "Parasail" would also be a great ride, giving those of us with no great love of heights chance to experience parasailing. Interesting use of the technology if Disney is ever allowed to use it.
· "Flying Fish"- good use of a stand-by drop tower while reinvigorating it with a new ending. Refreshing on a hot day, but you might want to be able to turn off the water on cold days.
· "Aquatopia"- good idea to bring it here, and very good idea to change the ride vehicles to make them more appropriate for the Florida Keys.
· "Manolin's"- you've got a classy, high quality restaurant. Don't complain about the price of your own restaurant! You are proposing this- you have to sell me on it based on quality. You tried to do that with the last sentence, but you did the damage by saying "the food is a bit pricey"...positive, positive, positive comments only!
· The rest of your retail and dining locations are appropriate for this land.

The Gulf You provided no visual description or images for this land. I have no idea what it would look like.
· "The Blue Angels Experience"- I read the description of this ride, and while many would probably think it was the best, most intense ride they had ever been on, all I could see was an endless stream of protein spills. If you could make this ride work and not cause endless down times for "Code V" it would be a great experience.
· "The Grand Gulf Rapids"- Yes, it is just an excuse for a soaking water raft ride, but so what? It sounds like it would be great fun, and without the heavy environmental lecture that Kali River Rapids offers. A good addition.
· "Manatee"- I'm not sure how this would work as a dark ride, but something as important as the Manatee and its conservation is to Florida needs to be mentioned in a park dedicated to it.
· "Stormrider"- this is the perfect place to bring it to America, but perhaps it could be rethought a bit and that thing with the storm diffuser could be jettisoned for something more realistic. This ride, along with "Manatee" and the conservation pavilion (which you should have named) could all be a subland themed on conservation and protection of natural resources.
· "Calabash"- why that name? The only thing I could find named that is a fishing town in North Carolina. And why serve breakfast-does the entire park open early enough to make this a legitimate breakfast location? I would think that the many restaurants in Florida 1920 would be sufficient for this.
· The rest of the dining and retail options you proposed are appropriate and complete.

Everglades I'm not really sure what it would look like. I picture mostly a swamp. You mentioned the Native Americans of the area- perhaps a Seminole Village theme would have been appropriate.
· "Everglade Expedition"- a two week tour? Other than that, it seems like a good, interesting ride, but is it a dark ride? Outside like the Jungle Cruise? Be sure to be complete in your descriptions. You need to be aware that the reader can't see what you see in your mind and needs you to fill in the important facts.
· "Evinrude Dragonflies"- I assume this is an aerial carousel like Dumbo, but with Dragonflies. Good idea- from what I've heard the dragonflies there get as big as an elephant!
· "Incredible"- it felt like an excuse for an Incredibles dark ride that you had to put somewhere. It really doesn't fit here or anywhere in "Exploration: Florida". Not that it is a bad idea, but it doesn't add to the theme of the park, especially in the Everglades. If it would fit anywhere, I would have put it into Miami, with the family vacationing on Miami Beach. People visit the Everglades, but who vacations there?
· "Gatorland"- at first I thought this was a bad idea, but there is such a long history of places like this in Florida that recreating one of these roadside tourist trap places seems like a really great idea. People for generations have loved watching alligators in roadside "gatorlands" and it would fit perfectly into "The Everglades".
· Your dining and retail options are appropriate for this land, although watching alligators in Gatorland and then eating them for dinner at Gator Tail seems a bit unappetizing. I tried alligator once....once...never again.

Your use of boats to cross the Reflecting Pond is an interesting idea, and certainly appropriate for Florida.

"Kaleidoscope" would be a great addition to your park's entertainment offerings. Water stunt shows are always popular and fun to watch, and other than parades few parks offer a midday entertainment of this magnitude. Great idea!

"Forever Florida" is also a good entertainment offering, sounding like a cross between "Illuminations" and "Fantasmic".

Your upcharge options seem reasonable and entertaining. The "Breakfast in Gatorland" is really unique and would be strangely fun. The Dessert Party on the Santiago II and then becoming part of the show could be fun (as long as the guests were 1)safe from the fireworks, water sprays and any other special effects, and 2) you make provisions to get them off the ship after the show without having to sail the Santiago II back to shore.

Your conclusion was well-written and closed your proposal with exactly the right amount of positive energy that was needed.

Looking at the general layout of the park, it appears to be a bit lopsided. On the left side all the lands are urban; on the right side all are rural/ocean. Since you have not stated that you are doing a geographically-accurate recreation of Florida, I suppose that is not a major problem. One thing that does bother me about your proposal is this: as important as water, both fresh and salt water, is to the state and its attractions it seemed odd that you didn't mention much about having water as a significant factor in the landscaping around any of the lands. All three cities are on the ocean, and all three of the other lands are either IN the ocean or are saturated with water. All of the lands (I must assume) are separated from the Reflecting Pool by a pedestrian walkway ala World Showcase, so that the shows in the pool can be viewed, so there is a disconnect between that water and the lands. That means that either you should have 1) established water-based landscaping on the outside of the lands, opposite from the pool, or 2) somehow at least emphasized how water will be integrated into the park. Reading it through, it looks like all of these lands are land-locked, and Miami, Daytona and St. Petersburg without the ocean, or at least a beach, is not either realistic or even appropriate.

Wow. I came down hard on you, perhaps because I saw so much potential in your concept. You were brave to attempt it, and you had some terrific ideas and concepts. You have judged before, and now you have competed. I'm not sure which is harder to do. If you have the time and interest, I think that if you were to continue to work on "Exploration: Florida", take your time and rethink every part of it, you would be amazed how much good stuff you created and how much better you can make it. Your work has improved immensely from when you started this journey, and you have created a park that would be great fun for visitors and a great "Florida Welcome Center" to inspire out-of-state tourists to see the rest of Florida that is not owned by Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, etc.

Edited: September 19, 2015, 11:14 AM

Keith Schneider Disney's Lost Kingdom

I'm going to start with a small complaint. I don't think the name "Lost Kingdom" is quite appropriate, simply because most of these lands are not really lost. They are (for the most part) important and still popular themes in Disney. While some arguably have been lost over the years (Medieval Court) and some of us wish they would get lost (Arendelle) they are all still important and have a warm place in the public's hearts. While I might disagree with the name of the land (and no, I don't have a better suggestion) I do agree that you did a fine job in choosing the themed lands to bring together in this park, and in forecasting future additions to your park. It was probably tempting to add them into your park at the beginning, but I feel you were wise to be a bit conservative in your proposal. It allowed you to give the material the time and attention it deserved, and this attention showed in the quality of your proposal.

Your introduction to the proposal was well-crafted and professionally written. I also liked how to gave an introductory overview of each land, then fleshed it out in more detail. Well crafted.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon I don't remember if this has any actual Disney connection, but if not, it possibly is even a better choice for an entrance land. While the others are practically drenched in Disney, this acts as an impartial barrier between the outside world and the fantasy world inside the park. Exotic and mysterious yet not Disneyfied- yet. Your choice of shops and restaurants is appropriate and varied, and the Garden Terraces Restaurant would be beautiful in its own right and also would offer one of the best views of any restaurant in WDW. I would hope you would keep one level Disney character-free...some people enjoy a nice, elegant meal without a giant mouse invading their space.

Mount Olympus a beautiful iconic centerpiece for your park.
· "The Twelve Olympians". Using coaster technology would enhance the feeling of excitement of battle between the Olympians and the Titans. Make sure the riders don't feel that they are also being thrown into the Abyss with the Titans as some sort of punishment!
· "Fantasia Gardens"- a nice alternative or place to decompress from the Olympians coaster ride. Please, no bad jokes from the skipper!
· "Fantasia Carousel" is an obvious choice, considering how many animals are in the movie, but it would be missed if you had decided to not go the obvious route. Sometimes the obvious choice is the best one.
· "Theater of the Muses"- this show would be a fun addition to the entertainment offerings of the park. Wise to make the theater air-conditioned, therefore indoors, as opposed to the historically accurate outdoor Greek theaters (they actually did have indoor theaters called Odeons but your name is fine.
· Your restaurant and shopping options are appropriate, but are people really going to want to buy ancient Greek clothing? Probably not a big market.
Medieval Court I'll always have a warm spot in my heart for "The Sword in the Stone" since seeing it with my father is one of my earliest memories, and I was glad to see that you brought it and other Disney medieval-era stories together in this land. I especially liked how you resurrected ideas from Animal Kingdom that got set aside and rethemed them for this park.
· "King Arthur's Castle at Camelot"- I'm not sure how well a self-guided tour and scavenger hunt would work. Worth a try, but be prepared to redo this attraction if it falls below expectations.
· "Dare the Dragon" would require a huge show building for a wing coaster, and I wonder if it is the right kind of coaster for a story-line. Appropriate for a dragon-themed attraction, but would it be too fast for the story line to be followed? It would still be a thrilling ride even without the story.
· "Quest for the Unicorn" could be a beautiful, (I almost hate to say it) magical ride made far better with the addition of modern technology.
· "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"- I'm glad you chose a 3D show for this rather than another dark ride. I think it would be especially effective as a mixture of film and animatronics, as you proposed.
· Your restaurants and retail options are appropriate for this land. I enjoyed the clever names that you assigned to each location, especially the shops.

Grimm Forest It is almost mandatory to have a land dedicated to the Brothers Grimm. This would be a good place to bring together several Disney features that have nothing in common other than being based on Grimm stories and being by Disney.
· "Sleeping Beauty" is important enough to warrant a huge dark ride. You said it would be a retelling of the story. If you mean a complete redesign not based on the original 1959 Disney classic, that would be a mistake. People would want to see the original, and if they rode the ride and it wasn't what they were expecting they would be at best disappointed and at worst unhappy and would feel cheated. I would definitely use this ride to bring the 1959 movie to life. Don't reinvent the wheel if it ain't broke.
· "Rapunzel's Tangled Tale"- I'm not sure what a "whirlwind dark ride" is, but if it means that it is a fast telling of the story, be careful that it doesn't have the problems that Little Mermaid had with the story being edited so much that much didn't make sense.
· "Jack's GIGANTIC Journey"- if Disney is ever allowed to use KUKA technology, this would be a good location for it. The story of Jack requires something to move riders through a variety of variable height scenes quickly, and this technology could do it. Unfortunately there hasn't been a successful Jack movie in a long time, and it will be seen if "GIGANTIC", not scheduled for release until 2018, will bring this story back to popularity. If so, this could be a really hot property and this ride could be amazingly popular.
· "Babes in the Woods" and "The Brave Little Tailor"- I think I'm getting a bit dark rided out. That is one problem with a land based on fairy tales- they are so well-suited to dark rides that it is possible to have too much of a good thing. It is important to make each dark ride unique, or it will become a marathon session of the same old thing and will start to turn people off.
· "Grimm Theater: Into the Woods". Having a live show in this land, especially one based on the stories that inspired the land, is a great idea, but...and I always seem to say that, don't I...Steve Sondheim is notorious for guarding his musical work jealously, and it would be interesting to see how much he would allow to be changed from his original work without his personal involvement. If he would go for it, great, but you might want to have a fall-back plan in place for another composer and story line if he pulled the creative plug.
· "Briar Rose's Cottage"- good to have a dedicated, well-themed meet and greet location.
· "The Sleeping Giant's Fair"- frankly this is a welcome addition and alternative to the dark rides. I won't make any comments on the quality of the giant's breath.
· "King Stefan's Banquet Hall" - I was glad to see King Stefan's Banquet Hall resurrected here. This is the perfect location for it. The rest of your dining and retail locations are appropriate for the land, with many interesting and clever names.

The Dark Lands I have heard so often about people wanting a Disney park dedicated to the bad guys. That always seem to be the antithesis of what Mr. Disney wanted. Having a dedicated land, however, lets this idea come to fruition without creating a complete park based on evil. The Dark Lands is a good creation for this.

· "Bald Mountain" is the obvious choice for this theme, and the Imagineers would have a great time creating Chernabog for this attraction. As an option other than a dark ride, and as a thrilling coaster, this would be extremely popular.
· "Villains Tonight"- the Disney Cruise Lines is a mostly untapped resource for the parks, and bringing an edition of Villains Tonight to Disney's Lost Kingdom is a really smart idea. It has proven that it is a quality show, enjoyable for all ages and a perfect fit for this park. Very smart idea!
· "Ursula the Sea Witch"- thank you for another option other than dark ride! This is the obvious choice of ride vehicle for Ursula.
· "Captain Hook's Ship at Skull Rock"- I'm assuming that this is a more sinister version of Tom Sawyer Island, mostly a children's play area. If so, once again a good choice.
· Your dining and retail areas here are limited but adequate and appropriate for this land.

Kingdom of Arendelle Like it or not, Frozen is probably here to stay, and while some of the incessant Frozen spiel makes me want to poke out my ears with an ice cycle you have made this land both tolerable and actually enjoyable, no small feat!
· "Queen Elsa's Frozen Wonderland". The integration of advance high-tech motion detection into this ride makes it one of the most potentially popular and enjoyable attractions at WDW. Being able to actually create magic with just the movement of your hand would be impossible for even the most crotchety Frozen-hater to resist. This is a great idea, one of the best in the entire competition.
· "Anna and Kristoff's Crazy Sleigh Ride" is a good choice for a family coaster, allowing mild thrills and enough dark ride theming to keep everybody in the family happy.
· "Anna and Else" meet and greet- a mandatory attraction, well themed in the castle.
· "The Queen's Royal Reception" could possibly be the new hottest ticket in town. Dinner with Elsa and Anna (and friends, I assume) would be irresistible to millions of little girls.
· The rest of your dining and retail options are well-themed and appropriate. It would be mandatory, but I especially liked Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna.

Agrabah This could be one of the most photographed locales in all of the park. Remarkable visuals.

· "Magic Carpet Ride" I hate to say it is a predictable feature of this land, but it is, because the use of a magic carpet is so integral to the story line that the land would be poorer without it. I'm glad you didn't decide to try something different, since this would be a sure-fired hit if done properly.
· "Cave of Wonders"- I've always had problems with a story-telling roller coaster. It seems to me that it would be too hard for the story line to be followed if the coaster was doing its job of racing the riders around, up, down, etc. It's not a bad idea, just be sure that the coaster is good enough to enjoy without the story line, or the coaster is slow enough that the story line can be followed.
· "Aladdin: the Musical" needs a new permanent home, and this is the perfect place for it. Excellent choice, and So Cal's loss for letting it go.
· At first I was surprised that you didn't have a fancy dining establishment here, but then I thought about it and the restaurant in Morocco at Epcot fills that niche nicely. Although I do think that a good quality restaurant here would be a good addition, the dining choices you offer along with the retail shops are adequate.

Your future expansion plans are a unique inclusion to your proposal. Each new land would benefit the park as a whole, and would keep the park fresh and new. I also like the inclusion of the two new hotels, which are long overdue.

Where you stood out with your future plans, you missed out with the absence of an end-of-day show. You have an amazing location for such a show, a lake surrounded by remarkable architecture and edifices, but you offered nothing. That was a disappointment.

Overall your proposal was an outstanding creation. You found a way to bring very different IP's together into a cohesive park, one where the individual lands would be autonomous yet still benefit by their mutual shared umbrella of location. This was a terrific finale of your consistently strong work throughout this competition.

September 19, 2015, 12:52 PM

I think it's worth pointing out that I was not aware of James' earlier DisneySky until after posting my proposal. I've already clarified this with James, but I didn't want anyone else thinking I was plagiarizing on purpose. That can wait until my amazingly unique Americana 1900 idea next season!

Here's what James wrote, incidentally (sorry I'm not sure how to do a link):

September 19, 2015, 5:44 PM

Douglas Hindley: DisneySky

While the theme of your park may be a slightly better fit for Tokyo (as they already have Land and Sea), it is also an excellent choice for California given the aviation history of the state. The eight themed areas in your park all sound like good choices and cover a range of different themes. Mt. Helios is great as a central landmark and is perhaps the most visually impressive structure at the Disneyland Resort. I do worry a little about the lack of height compared to other Disney Mountains (it's not significantly taller than the Matterhorn, for example), but it is far enough away that this may not be a concern. 105 acres will make this the largest of the three parks at the resort. I like the layout of your park and I also like how you have connected it to the rest of the resort. I'm also glad to see the return of the PeopleMover, even if it isn't quite like the original incarnation. Your implementation of Magic Bands and a new system of Fastpass sounds much better than what is currently in place at Walt Disney World, and I also like the degree of interactivity across the entire park. Fly Higher sounds a bit would be a great idea on some attractions, but on others it is probably unnecessary.

Runway One is a great entrance area and setting the land in 1955 is a nice reference to the opening of Disneyland. Having an enclosed entry area is certainly a different approach, but it works with the theme of this park. I just hope park entry doesn't come with a full TSA experience (though in 1955 that may have been a lot simpler). The theming on the runway inside the park is outstanding...this would set a new standard for immersive environments. I don't think launching hang gliders off the top of Mt. Helios is a very smart move, however the mountain itself is outstanding. World of Flight sounds like a quality dark ride and a nice introduction to the topics covered in the park. DisneySky Airlines is a great transportation attraction, though you may be better off just admitting it is a suspended monorail than attempting to disguise it. I'm not very familiar with Flights of Fantasy, but the parade sounds like a good thematic fit for your park. The various dining and retail opportunities in this area all sound outstanding.

Mythic Realms is a nice area, but I question the placement in your park. If the idea is that flight is told throughout history, this should probably be nearly opposite your entrance area. Disney's version of Aladdin feels a little out of character with the rest of the Far East theming, but everything else here works. Storm Mountain could be one of the most visually interesting attractions Disney has created even if the storyline is a little weak. Your Fly Higher option for this attraction is a great one (possibly the best in your park) and could also be used to allow guests to choose their wetness. The Cave of Wonders is a great family coaster and is much more interesting than Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I'm not sure how appealing Legend of the Floating Fist would be to a western audience, but if it were pulled off well it could be just as great as Aladdin. Dragon Kites and Phoenix Kites are nice family spinners, with two options increasing capacity. Festive Sky Lanterns is a decent family ride that fits the theme nicely. I like the ideas behind your restaurants, but I question the practicality of having one overlooking a show. Unlike a ride, shows only play at set times and this may cause issues with the dining area. The shops in this area could be better...why is Abu shoplifting from his own store, and do you really want guests flying kites and paper airplanes all over the park?

Your next area, Discovery Fjord, is an outstanding Steampunk styled area that brings some of Disney's most interesting ideas to the United States. While not a clone, this area is clearly heavily inspired by lands in Tokyo and Paris. The land itself is excellent, but please leave Frozen out of this one. Journey to the Top of the World would very likely become the best attraction at the Disneyland Resort and could potentially dethrone its Tokyo partner for the world title. I'm glad to see there is no Fly Higher option here because removing the thrill element from this attraction could ruin it. The Time Machine is a great D-ticket attraction which allows for a new form of interactivity. 3 scenes may be a bit short, however...5 would probably be a better length. While a filler ride, Airtopia sounds like great entertainment for families with smaller children (provided they don't have a strong fear of heights). Tinkerer's Workshop is a fun interactive walkthrough and another great activity for children. Your dining locations in this area are all top notch, as are the main retail locations. The Grand Dirigible is a little underwhelming as a simple pin trader, however.

Compared to what has come before, Pioneer Fields is a bit more simplistic. This is not a bad thing, however, as it is a nice less stimulating area for guests to visit when they want a bit of a break. I'm not sure how well the inclusion of a Planes sub-land will work here. While it fits thematically, Planes has only seen about 1/3 the popularity of Cars and I'm not sure there's enough interest even to support a sub-land. Wings Around the Globe sounds a little too close to Soarin' Around the World, so I'd suggest a new name more reflective of airplane racing. The ride itself, however, sounds excellent, and I love the fact that guests can select their intensity preference. The Wonderful World of Oz sounds like a fun attraction, but given the lackluster response to that film it may be difficult to attract crowds. In my opinion, Up is the better of the two D-ticket dark rides. The film was popular and the ride is interactive, making this one something likely to be popular for all ages. Dumbo's Circus Extravaganza is a nice hybrid show (probably similar in execution to Terminator 2: 3D) and is sure to provide a laugh. Goofy's Barnstormer, while thematically a very good fit, just feels unnecessary given that the coaster is identical to Gadget's Go Coaster over at Disneyland. Perhaps a new version of the Barnstormer could be built instead (you could even just relocate Goofy's Sky School and give it the new theme). Albatross Air Service is a decent filler ride even though few will likely recognize the theme. Dining and retail options are all good in this area, though nothing stands out as specifically notable.

I'm not particularly crazy about the Golden Cay area. There's nothing inherently wrong with the area, I just worry about the heavy use of IP that may not be very relevant in current times. I'm also not sure how popular dieselpunk is compared to steampunk or whether the two are different enough to be used in the same park. The Rocketeer and the Squadron of Doom is an excellent attraction that only has the problem of using obscure source material. I'm also guessing that even with minimal motion programming, a height requirement would still be necessary for this ride, so Fly Higher doesn't make as much sense here (though differing intensity levels is still a nice option). Sky Pilots of the South Seas is a decent ride, though a more traditional suspended dark ride system may be better than an omnimover for this one. The dark ending is also not very Disney. Indiana Jones and the Puzzle of Tonga is a perfectly good walkthrough attraction, but with Indiana Jones Adventure at a neighboring park it may disappoint the masses. Seaplane Jungle Ferries is a nice attraction for everyone and provided Moana is popular it would be sure to be a hit. Your dining and retail locations are all good options. The South Seas Club sounds like it could be one of the best restaurants in the park. However, the issues of Rocketeer and Tailspin connections being lost on most visitors are still prevalent.

A space themed area is essential at this park, and Cosmic Canyon fills that spot nicely. I do worry about crowd issues with two popular E-tickets in the park's smallest area, but other than that this area sounds very good. Impact is the biggest thrill ride in the park, and while not the most extreme roller coaster at the Disneyland Resort (that title remains with California Screamin'), it is a very good thrill ride that improves on the shortcomings of Expedition Everest. Spectral Boneyard sounds like an airplane-themed cross between Mystic Manor and Haunted Mansion. I could see those who dislike flying being somewhat disturbed by this attraction, but for everyone else it is a great ride that's scary but not too scary. While a decent show, Robotics Expo doesn't seem to fit the theme of the area that well...what does Baymax have to do with space travel? Flying Saucers 2.0 sounds almost like a dry version of Mack's Twist n' Splash and is likely to be a fun family flat. Dining and retail options are a bit limited here, likely due to the small size of the land, but what you have is satisfactory.

I expected Marvel to show up in this park somewhere, and Avengers Airfield is a good way of including them. It's difficult to tell when this land is set: Civil War is part of phase three and you mention the land is after that, but they're celebrating the battle of New York that concluded phase one. I'm assuming you intend to set this area shortly after the conclusion of phase one as there isn't likely to be much peace between Civil War and Infinity War. Moving on, using the helicarrier as a centerpiece is very smart and the surrounding New York City facades (likely depicting the city under reconstruction) are a great setting for this land, though it's not really an airfield. Avengers United is a pretty good attraction, though for an intense motion simulator experience I don't think the Soarin' system is the way to go. I'm also a bit confused as to how low intensity seating works with that system. I was wrong about California Screamin'...Iron Man Rocks blows that out of the park in terms of intensity. This sounds like a fantastic flying roller coaster, and the seasonal Star-Lord Rocks is sure to be a hit. While the premise is questionable, Captain America's USO Show turns into a great stunt show once Hydra becomes involved. This could be Disney's Waterworld equivalent. Thor: Brave the Bifrost is a very unique ride for American audiences that is tame enough for most yet really messes with your mind. If done properly, Hulk: Code Green could be a great attraction, but it would be very difficult to pull off. For dining and retail options, Superhero Galley will likely be the most popular character dining experience for families with young boys and the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy Boytique would probably be just as popular with the same age group. The other dining and retail options are all good fits.

While I've mostly liked everything else in your proposal (with some reservations in a couple areas), I'm not really a fan of your last land. Star Wars is essential for your park, but your concept of Cloud City having landed on Mt. Helios sounds like a poor way to do it. A crashed Cloud City just is not an appealing place to visit, and having an entirely enclosed land to fake it could turn some people off. I'm also not crazy about the Dagobah just doesn't work well. You really need Tatooine (or Coruscant or Naboo from the prequels) to make this work in your park, and if you must do Cloud City it needs to be airborne. Moving on to attractions, Duel on Cloud City is a very good attraction that puts guests right in the middle of Episode V's climax. While this has some of the issues found on Forbidden Journey, it is overall an excellent attraction that would be a must-ride for any Star Wars fan. Bespin 360 sounds like more of a miss to me, with the potential for major motion sickness. I'm also not crazy about the idea of connecting Cloud City with Star Wars land via the Galactic Express. Unlike Universal, the two lands have quite a bit between them and building this attraction would require quite a bit of work with the city of Anaheim as you'd be crossing several city streets. Dragonsnake Bog is decent, but it feels more like a filler attraction than a worthwhile dark ride. Lastly, Learn with Yoda is an excellent upgrade to the Jedi Academy show and the addition of a semi-scary haunted maze is a nice touch. Dining and retail options are decent in this area, though the idea of people swinging lightsabers around on crowded walkways just seems like a hazard.

Your nighttime spectacular is excellent provided visitors have a good view of the show. While you claim it is visible from the entire park, Mt. Helios makes this similar to the nighttime can be seen from everywhere, but only a couple locations afford the full experience. However, if viewed from Avengers Airfield this could be the greatest nighttime spectacular ever created. I love your decision to use classical music for the soundtrack and think you have chosen a good mix of scenes to include in the show. The animatronic Chernabog is sure to get a massive response from the audience. You've really pulled out every trick in the book here and created something that would almost be worth the cost of admission on its own.

Overall, DisneySky is an outstanding park. It is not flawless, but it has everything a Disney park needs and certainly offers enough for a full day of enjoyment. From the entrance area to your various themed lands to a nighttime spectacular that could potentially beat out Fantasmic, this park would be amazing to see realized. I would like to see some adjustments made (such as shifting the lands to represent a more logical timeline, doing a better Star Wars area, and maybe updating a few attractions with more current IP), but even as presented I would love to visit this park. You've done a great job with this challenge, and if money were not an issue Disney would be crazy not to take inspiration from this proposal.

September 19, 2015, 5:46 PM

DPCC inc.: Exploration: Florida

Right off the bat I'm getting DCA 1.0 vibes from your park, which is not a good thing. The difficulty of your park is getting visitors to visit Disney's version of a Florida landmark instead of just renting a car and seeing the real thing for themselves. The layout of your park isn't bad, with appropriately themed areas to reflect past and present Florida locations, but you could get a lot more creative here. For example, you could shape the park like the state of Florida and run the main pathways where the interstates would be. The Santiago II is a decent central landmark for the park, but it seems a bit small. I like the idea of a more thrill-heavy Disney park, but I'm not sure how well that meshes with the core demographic of Walt Disney World. I can't say much about the diversity issue, but if it does exist then taking that into account is a good move. The idea of adding interactive elements throughout the park is smart as long as they are worthwhile. Your opening show isn't bad, but it seems unnecessary and difficult to see unless you are at the front of the crowd. Kingdom Keepers Quest seems like a fun game and a nice upgrade to Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom that takes advantage of the Magic Bands.

Florida 1920 works really well as an entrance area and is a great way to introduce guests to the concept of your park. The architecture of the land is nice and the idea of creating characters for it is a neat twist, though I've got a feeling the established Disney characters will be more popular. I'm not sure I'd call an orange juice cart a twist, but it is a nice thematic fit. Your shops and restaurants are good choices with the exception of Basin White, as few people are going to purchase bath supplies in a theme park. Also, be careful with your directions...what you wrote doesn't line up with the map you included.

St. Augustine is the most interesting of your land choices, but as the location has some history behind it the choice isn't a bad one. The architectural style of this area is a nice contrast to the entrance and helps to establish that guests have moved on. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Fountain of Youth is a great IP tie-in to the legends of St. Augustine. I assume you plan to use the new system developed for the Shanghai version of this attraction to differentiate it from the existing Pirates of the Caribbean, and I also suggest that you focus exclusively on the fourth film given the subtitle and elements added to the original ride. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is an odd choice, and even with the alterations having two Fountain of Youth rides is overkill. The kids' area is a great idea for smaller children, but if this is supposed to be a thrill park it will likely be underutilized. Also, enough with the Fountain of Youth. There needs to be more to St. Augustine to justify it being a full land. Florida: Spirit of Exploration is a great show for your park as a whole, but may have been a better fit in your entrance area than in this land. Explorer's Cafe is an excellent restaurant concept with a variety of offerings, and I will refrain from commenting on the others. You are lacking any retail locations in this land despite the challenge requiring there to be at least one in each area.

The Daytona 500 is the most famous NASCAR race, so a Daytona themed area is a great choice. Adding a Cars overlay for Daytona Racers is a natural choice. This attraction is a good way to bring the racing aspect of Radiator Springs Racers to Florida without duplicating the ride, but keep it grounded in reality...I've never seen 7-across racing in NASCAR. The boardwalk section sounds very similar to Paradise Pier at DCA, and while this area is a great thematic fit it needs a little more Disney to differentiate it from a typical amusement park. The rides themselves are fine, I'd just like to see some Disney overlays instead of a basic unthemed Scrambler or Tilt-A-Whirl. I really like the wooden coaster, but why not recreate a historical ride instead of building a new one? Dumbo's Flight sounds like a great dark ride and fills the role of a boardwalk spook house while being Disney quality. Dining locations in this area are good fits and the interactive cars at Henry's Drive-In are a nice touch (though guests should really order at their car). The retail locations are also good options for the area.

Miami is a well-known area of Florida and is a good choice for a land. Once again, the appearance of the land sounds good and will differentiate it from its neighbors. While I like the idea of an Intamin Accelerator coaster to simulate a rocket launch, Cape Canaveral just gave me a reaction similar to the No clip from The Office. A Kingda Ka clone has no place in a Disney park regardless of how thrill-heavy it is meant to be. I do not know much about Elena of Avalor, but the walkthrough/meet and greet sounds decent. Sea of Monsters is tough because I cannot find conclusive evidence that Disney owns the rights to the franchise despite owning the publishing company (they absolutely do not have anything to do with the films), so while I will not penalize you for it I must ignore it. Heat sounds like a fun diversion for all audiences even though visitors may not care for Florida's sports teams. Coral Castles sounds similar to The Seas with Nemo and Friends, but it is a great fit for this area and provides a nice slower-paced ride. The dining options in this land are pretty good and offer some less common theme park food, but the retail offerings are just ok (not sure how well hot sauce or sports memorabilia would sell inside a theme park geared toward non-locals).

Nemo's Reef is a nice kids' area despite the use of cloned attractions. All five rides here are great choices for smaller children. I can't guarantee that Jumpin' Jellyfish or Nemo's Lucky Fin would be able to escape without a height restriction, but the other three should be able to. Dining and retail options are great for this land's target audience. While it won't appeal to anyone over 2nd grade age, I still think it's nice to have a devoted kids' area in your park.

Next on the tour is The Keys, another good choice for a land. As this is the most distant from Walt Disney World, it is the least likely location that tourists would visit. From your description, Marlin sounds like a water coaster, which would be a unique ride for a Disney. However, if The Old Man and the Sea is indeed public domain, why not have more of a tie-in and include a dark ride section? Parasail is an interesting attraction, almost a practical version of Soarin' with more intensity. I like the splash effect of Flying Fish, and I am sure guests will enjoy getting a cooling splash. Aquatopia may be a clone, but I would absolutely love to see that ride brought to the United States. Seafood restaurants are a necessity for this area, but I'm glad you've also included an option for those who don't really care for that. Again, the stores just seem like poor choices for theme park shops as few people will likely be in need of sandals or fishing gear here.

The Gulf covers a wide region of Florida, though it seems like there is little to note specifically in this region. This makes it difficult to imagine what the area of your park may look like. The Blue Angels Experience sounds like an upgrade of Mission: Space and would probably be the wildest motion simulator in a theme park. As long as guests aren't blacking out this could be a very popular attraction, but you definitely need to offer a low intensity version for those susceptible to motion sickness. Grand Gulf Rapids is another excellent water ride that everyone can enjoy and that will help cool off visitors in the intense Florida heat. Manatee is not a bad attraction, but it seems like it would be a lot more at home in SeaWorld than at a Disney park. StormRider could be good, but having two simulator attractions in close proximity probably isn't the best move. Having a conservation exhibit hosted by Up characters is a nice way to connect a real-world issue to familiar Disney IP and keep the interest of guests. The park should have at least one character dining location, though Calabash doesn't really tie in with any of Disney's themes. The counter service dining locations are both good. I like the idea of She Sells Seashells and the EcoStore. Typhoon Cove works as well, but few people are going to purchase and change into a swimsuit for just one ride.

The Everglades is a famous region of Florida, but I feel this will be the toughest sell in your park. If visitors are strongly interested in it, they will likely allow time to visit the real thing rather than settling for Disney's imitation. Everglade Expedition is a nice attraction for anyone who wants to experience the Everglades but can't actually visit. However, I doubt two week tours are a thing in the area...try two hours instead. Evinrude Dragonflies is a nice family spinner that compliments the area well. While cheesy, Incredible is a decent dark ride for an underrepresented Pixar property, but it does feel like a bit of a shoehorned attraction. I've got to give Gatorland a big thumbs is a separate tourist attraction in Orlando, so licensing an attraction to Disney is not too likely to happen. Dining and retail options for this land are basic but satisfactory.

Using boats as transportation around your lake is a good decision and fits well with the theme of your park. Your daytime show is decent, but I worry that without a designated theater many visitors may bypass it. Your nighttime spectacular is great and should be easy to view from all around the lake. I'm not a huge fan of upcharge events, but the two you mentioned both sound like decent experiences.

Overall, I like many aspects of your park, but I feel that it unfortunately has several big misses. One entire land of your park is nothing but variations on the Fountain of Youth, another has a new version of Paradise Pier 1.0, and a third just doesn't compare to the real deal. In addition, you've got a few very questionable attractions in your proposal. On top of this, while the park is far better than DCA 1.0, I'm seeing a lot of the same faults here that caused that park to fail. I definitely see this as a place that would be popular at opening but that would need a major redo 10 years later in order to keep getting visitors through the gates. I think the core idea of a Florida themed park is not a bad one, I just think you need to improve the execution of the concept to create a park that feels like both a Disney park and a representation of the state.

September 19, 2015, 5:49 PM

Keith Schneider: Disney's Lost Kingdom

When I first saw the name of your park, I was worried you were simply copying your proposal from Theme Park Apprentice 6.1. However, you appear to be using the same name and general concept with a whole new selection of properties, and while the name isn't perfect it does work. You have a lot of variation with your themed areas and have included themes that may not appear to go together, but the park as a whole works very well. The layout of your park is logical and it is an easy place to navigate without getting lost.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is an excellent entrance area that sets the stage for the rest of your park. While many have probably heard of it, seeing the gardens in person is not something that will be forgotten quickly. The Garden Terraces restaurant, allowing guests to dine in the upper levels of the gardens, is absolutely an experience many will be interested in. However, this doesn't seem like the place for a character meal. Fruits of Paradise is a nice quicker option and the three shops you have in this area are all great choices.

Mount Olympus is a natural park icon given the theme of your park. Even though Disney has other large mountains in the area (most notably Everest), this mountain will still stand on its own. I am glad that you are utilizing the space inside the mountain fully and are not simply building a hollow shell. The Twelve Olympians is an outstanding thrill ride that appears to fully utilize the Test Track technology. Just make sure you aren't killing riders at the end...they need to be saved by the Olympians. Fantasia Gardens is a nice family recovery ride after the intensity of the Twelve Olympians. All parks should have a carousel, so Fantasia Carousel fills that bill. Hercules Zero to Hero could be a great show, and even though the movie isn't overly popular the show could revive interest. Greek Foods is a great restaurant for this area of the park and the two shops have decent offerings.

Any park themed to legends needs a medieval area, and Medieval Court is a great representation of that. The overall appearance of this area is great and I hope you'll have various street performers to increase the immersion of the land. King Arthur's Castle at Camelot sounds more like a Tom Sawyer's Island than a Swiss Family Treehouse, just the way a castle should be. I'm sure kids will have fun discovering various hidden secrets throughout the area. Dare the Dragon is an excellent roller coaster ride and possibly the most intense Disney has ever created. A wing coaster is a good choice here, but it may be difficult to incorporate enclosed areas due to the huge reach envelope of that coaster type. Keeping the attraction outside as a battle between the dragons (after a few opening dark ride scenes) may be a better option. Quest for the Unicorn would be a great alternative for those too young to ride Dare the Dragon. The Sorcerer's Apprentice sounds like a great 3D show and is probably a better use of the idea than a ride would be. I'm a little disappointed Robin Hood is relegated to a restaurant (it would make a great Fantasyland-style dark ride), but the restaurant sound good. The Black Cauldron is decent restaurant based on a mostly forgotten property. I love the various shops in this land and your creative names for them, but I worry about retail overload in this area.

Grimm Forest is an essential area for this park due to the prevalence of Grimm fairy tales in Disney media. You have made good choices in terms of which properties to include with this land, including a mix of well known stories and less remembered ones. Sleeping Beauty is the signature attraction of this area and could be one of the best dark rides based on a Disney animated film. This is definitely an E-ticket. Rapunzel's Tangled Tale sounds closer to a traditional Fantasyland dark ride and would be a good C-ticket attraction. Jack's GIGANTIC Journey could be a great ride and the robotic arm system works well for the attraction. Babes in the Woods is a nice traditional C-ticket dark ride. Same with the Brave Little Tailor, though two giant-themed rides in one area may not be the best. Into the Woods is popular, so a shortened version of the original musical is likely to be successful. Briar Rose's Cottage is a nice meet and greet. Sleeping Giant's Fair are decent filler rides that will amuse small children. The various dining and retail locations in this area are all good.

Many Disney fans want a villain park, and while The Dark Lands is not a whole park it should satisfy those fans. The area sounds visually impressive with a couple large structures, but make sure that the mountains don't cause visual conflict with Mount Olympus. Bald Mountain sounds like a fun roller coaster, but is it more of a family ride or a serious thrill ride? Using Villains Tonight from the cruise line is a good move as many visitors will not have seen the show before. Ursula the Sea Witch makes perfect sense as a spinner. Captain Hook's Ship is a good walkthrough attraction and Skull Island likely has many areas to explore, but with King Arthur's Castle a couple areas away it would be nice to differentiate this attraction a bit more. The Queen of Heart's Kingdom Restaurant is decent and the two shops are good for this area, but I would have liked to see a little more.

If you have to have Frozen, Kingdom of Arendelle is a good way to incorporate it into the park. While snow doesn't fit in Florida, your design of this area is excellent and represents the film accurately. Assuming the popularity of the franchise endures, this could be the most popular area of your park. With the announcement of the new Ninjago attraction at Legoland California, Queen Elsa's Frozen Wonderland is absolutely feasible and would likely get multi-hour waits. Just make sure this is actually a dark ride with a story and not just guests' personal "Let It Go" experiences. Anna and Kristoff's Crazy Sleigh Ride is the Big Thunder Mountain equivalent of this park and is a very good family coaster. If they are still in production, it may be worth looking into Mack's Bobsled coaster for this ride. Anna and Elsa at Arendelle Castle is just the latest version of the meet and greet and I assume FROZEN Sing-A-Long is a relocation of the show, so there's nothing special here. Your dining and shopping locations in this area are good, and although it probably won't be popular in the Florida heat I hope guests can actually try out Wandering Oaken's Sauna.

Admittedly I am a big Aladdin fan, so although it might not make the most sense due to the age of the film I am very glad that you have given the property an entire land. While not as popular as Arendelle, Agrabah will certainly have plenty of fans and should be another visually appealing land in your park. If you can fix the capacity problems of Peter Pan's Flight, Jasmine and Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride would definitely be a great attraction. Otherwise, no matter how good the ride is the line probably won't justify it. Cave of Wonders sounds more like a dark ride than a roller coaster, or perhaps a hybrid that is mostly dark ride with a short coaster section at the end. Either way, it is a good ride. I'm really happy to see that Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular will live on here, but that makes 3 long shows in your park. It is unlikely any guest would want to invest over 1/3 of their day in shows. The Sultan's Food Court is a decent restaurant and your two shops are satisfactory for this area.

Overall, Disney's Lost Kingdom is a very good park. All of your themed areas are good choices, you have a great balance of attractions, and you've brought in many Disney properties that haven't seen proper theme park attractions yet. Most of your park really works, and almost all of the flaws are relatively minor. You have one major flaw, however: The lack of any type of nighttime spectacular. There is no reason this park needs to close early, so you really should have some type of nighttime entertainment. Whether it is a parade, firework show, or something else, there are just too many options for it to not exist. Other than that, this is probably the best proposal you have written in this competition. I am glad to see a fully realized version of the park you originally pitched in TPA 6.1, as I really thought you were eliminated too early in that competition.

Edited: September 20, 2015, 1:27 PM

Wow! First let me begin by saying that all three of the contestants have really upped the ante for TPA! Fantastic job by all three of you! What I'll do is break down each critique in some general categories. I'll begin by analyzing park infrastructure, design and layout before moving on to aesthetic cohesion and then finally analyzing attractions. I'll give my final thoughts as well. I'll try and keep it short and sweet for the most park, eschewing my typical Pro and Con format. Without further ado, let's get on with it.

DISNEYSKY (Douglas Hindley):

Park Infrastructure, Design, and Layout:

Firstly, I like your choice of Disneyland as the Disney resort of choice to add a third park. When I won TPA 6.1, I went back to this location as well, almost the exact same spot you've plotted out with the exception of my park being significantly larger. I think if DLR ever does receive a third park, this would be the only logical choice being close enough to Disneyland and DCA to share parking, DTD, show buildings, and other vital infrastructure. Great job on the location.

I've often wondered what a “DisneySky” park would be like and I think you've hit the nail on the head almost perfectly. It's a difficult concept to work with considering that when we hear a name like DisneySky we would almost expect to see every attraction, land, restaurant, and walkway in the 'sky'. This of course is not a viable option and I think you've taken the concept of what a flight or air themed park may look like to its logical conclusion. I'm not sure if you're aware, but I think people have thrown around the DisneySky concept for some years now. Please don't think I'm saying you plagiarized anything because I certainly do not think that is the case and from everything I've read you have certainly laid out the concept in an original and comprehensive manner.

I think Mt. Helios is the perfect visual and spiritual heart of your park. It offers a visual symbol that somehow manages to tie together all of the unique concepts and lands which DisneySky offers. Great job on that choice and a fantastic presentation on its purpose it serves for the park.

I'm not so certain about the entirety of the park being built on raised utilidors. While I understand that it ties in with the concept of Sky, I don't really see what purpose they would serve which out couldn't accomplish by keeping all walkways and lands on ground level. You could achieve the same effects you're attempting to create by keeping everything on ground level in my opinion.

I'm really glad to see that you've included specific details addressing DLR's parking and infrastructure problems. It's something that is a real problem and would be a cause for concern had you not addressed it. I also really like the concept of a PeopleMover running from the DLR Esplanade to DisneySky. I think this is a fun, creative, and efficient way to solve the 'park-hopping' problem which would be presented with a third gate in the location you've chosen. I think some lingering concerns would be having non-park guests get on the peoplemovers and use it as bathrooms/love shacks/beds/etc. A minor concern but something that would certainly exist if each PeopleMover entrance was located outside the parks. Maybe moving the loading and unloading zones into the parks would have been a better idea? Or maybe having ticket stanchions located in front of the loading areas would prevent this issues (similar to what DLR currently does with the Monorail from DTD). Apart from this concern, I think it's a fantastic idea.

Moving onto your layout, I can't get over how highly detailed and in-depth your maps and design is! Did you develop the art and maps yourself? If so, fantastic work! Your maps and concept art are so well-crafted that they look like professional productions! DisneySea takes the classic 'wheelspoke' design of other Magic Kingdom parks around the globe and essential doubles-down, with two main circles connected with a larger circle. A unique and great layout. Your implementation of RFID is something which I am personally fond of and your tweaks to the FastPass system would seem to elimanate many of the headaches of the current FastPass+ issues. Overall I think you've really put together a solid and plausible infrastructure improvement plan and third-gate build operation. While ambitious, I think your ideas are both realistic and very much in-line with Disney's design philosophy. Fantastic job.

Aesthetic Cohesion:

As I said earlier, the concept of a 'sky' themed theme park is a very tough concept to work with and I think overall you've got the concept down perfectly. Your lands all fit within the general theme yet are unique enough that each offers something new to each guest. Runway One is the perfect opening land, offering guests a nostalgic taste of a romanticized version of the golden era of passenger and military aviation. It's a perfect counterpart to Main Street USA and Buena Vista Street. The layout is also a perfect fit, allowing guests a beautiful and un-obscured view of Mt. Helios while blocking out the rest of the lands. Runway One is the perfect 'thesis statement' to your park.

Moving on to Mythic Realms, I think you've made a risky choice choosing to go with a more eastern influenced land. It will certainly offer guests a unique and exotic land and though it's risky, I think the way you've presented it would make it work. I think what would be most jarring about this land would be the mountain range of this land clashing with Mt. Helios. If you're expecting guests to buy into the scope and forced perspective which would surely be utilized in this land, you would have to make sure that it doesn't make Mt. Helios look small in comparison. Lastly, I think you may have some aesthetic clash mixing far east with middle-east aesthetics. It could work (see Adventureland), and I'm sure if it was ever realized it would be a sight to behold, but mixing distinctly unique cultures into one unified land could be problematic and is often very tough to pull off correctly. Apart from these concerns, I think you've got a unique and enticing land on your hands and one which could certainly appeal to everyone

Discovery Fjord is a perfect 'centerpiece' land. I'm glad to see you've resurrected the old Discovery Bay concepts and brought them back to light. Overall there's not much to say as this land is a perfect fit for your park and one that I don't really have any issues with. The only issue I do have has to do with the fact that this land seems eerily similar to Tokyo DisneySea's Mysterious Island, with some attractions and aesthetics seeming like 're-skins' of its DisneySea sister. Now it should be noted that DisneySea is widely regarded as the most immersive theme park in the world with Mysterious Island it's centerpiece land so I totally understand wanting to emulate the best. Really this isn't so much a negative point but it is something which I did notice.

I think of all your lands, Pioneer Field seems to be the one that just doesn't seem to be up to par with the rest of the park. While the theme fits perfectly and your attention to the history of 'barnstorming' is admirable and logical, I think the idea of having some circus tents amid some barns and fields is a little jarring when compared to the rest of the magnificent and epic lands. I think what happened here was a case of trying to fit in too much good stuff in too small of a space. You've got the dumbo circus motif, the Planes overlay and attraction, and the world of Oz all sandwiched inside a land which is suppose to represent an open barn and field. Again, the way you present it is admirable, but when I visualize it in a real world setting, I think the clash of themes and franchises diminishes the overall theme of the land.

I'm having some trouble visualizing Golden Cay. On one hand, it seems as though it's suppose to represent a beautiful art deco city. On the other hand, it sits on the border of a dense and deep forest. What's left in my mind is a sort of cross between WDW's Studios park Hollywood Blv. on the edge of Adventureland. It's an interesting concept to be sure, but one that would need to be handled with great care to pull off perfectly. I also found it interesting that you opted to go with some Rocketeer inspired buildings and attraction. It's a fantastic cult classic movie (and one which I believe is criminally underrated), but I have some concerns about it's popularity among guests (I think any guest under the age of 25 wouldn't even have a clue that The Rocketeer even exists). Still, it fits thematically and is something that I think would be an Imagineering gold mine if done correctly. Overall I think this is a quality land. A sort of 'sky' cousin of Adventureland. Good Job.

I'm torn on Cosmic Canyon. On one hand, the space race was certainly a major movement in aviation and one which lead to significant advancements in aviation and space exploration. On the other hand, I feel like it would seem space/sci-fi overkill sitting alongside Avenger's Airfield and Cloud City. I'll lay my bias out for full disclosure—I like Cosmic Canyon a lot better than the other two, if only because it's an original Imagineering concept and not something based on a franchise. Still, I'm concerned that it's quirky aesthetic and antiquated 'technology' would make it seem somewhat small and 'old-fashioned' when compared to what lands based on Marvel and Star Wars will offer. It's a solid land unfortunately overshadowed by the major franchise draws of its neighboring lands.

Avenger's Airfield is a pitch perfect Marvel based land. It's inevitable that Disney will implement Marvel into the parks at some point and I think you've pretty much nailed what a Marvel based land should look like. You've taken many of the iconic buildings and visuals of the films and transported them perfectly into a theme park setting. The only thing missing is Avenger's Tower!

Finally we come to Cloud City. Oh dear, how should I say this? To put it nicely, I think this land is unnecessary, especially given the other wonderful lands you have in the park already and the spatial concerns. Yes, Star Wars is massively popular and I have no doubt that it would be an increibly popular land. The problem, I think, lies in the fact that there already will be a Star Wars land at Disneyland! I think you're diluting the brand and your park particularly, as adding another Star Wars land would take your park away from an Imagineering Oasis and place it back into a creative desert. Lastly, an entirely enclosed land would be an eyesore on your park! You've got so much fantastic architecture and beauty built into this park that plopping a MASSIVE show building into the park would diminish its aesthetic and artistic appeal!

Maybe that sounds a little harsh. Outside of these concerns, I actually really like the land. You've done a great job of incorporating some of the Star Wars franchises most well-loved areas and characters. I'm sure the land would be a hit—but the armchair Imagineer in me is screaming “cash-in” not “well-designed”.

Attractions, Dining, and Retail:

The first thing that sticks out to me is the amount of Height Restricted rides which exist. While this isn't a problem necessarily, it is when we consider that this is a Disney Park. Disney Park's are known to have a majority of family-friendly (read: no height restriction) rides and attractions. Now that being said, I think you've got a line up of attractions which would be second-to-none in the world. Your mix of attractions is varied enough and would offer something for everyone. Journey to the Top of the World is a perfect and masterful counter-point to DisneySea'sJourney to the Center of the Earth. It's also a clever way to utilize a wildly popular and successful ride while skirting the clause which the Oriental Land Company has with Disney which ensures that DisneySea's attraction remain uncloned throghout the world so good job there. I know it utilizes TestTrack technology so there is some concern that it would diminish Radiator Springs Racers unique place at DLR but with the unique setting and story of Journey to the Top of the World I think the majority of guests wouldn't even notice. Wings Around the Globe utilizes the fantastic and much anticipated Pandora's Box ride system. I myself used this ride system in TPA 6.1. It's unique enough that I think it would be a huge draw. I think The Rocketteer and the Squadron of Doom would be your grand slam 'must-see' attraction. The theme, story, and ride system all combine to prodcue what would surely be the most intense and thrilling ride in the park, if not the entirety of the DLR. Duel on Cloud City would surely be another signature ride. One which would be a 'must-ride'. The way you describe it, I could see it as the next generation Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye
As far as attractions that I didn't feel were either necessary or otherwise under the standard you've placed for yourself and your park include Dragon Flights, Airtopia, Albatross Air Service, Seaplane Jungle Ferries, Robotics Expo, and Flying Saucers 2.0,. There's nothing specifically wrong with these attractions, it's just that I feel they aren't up to the standards of your other attractions. I could go on and on for probably 3000 more words about the attractions but I think it's best if I just come out and say it: your park has the most impressive line-up of attractions I've ever encountered (if it existed of course :-p ).

Your dining and retail options are varied and well-themed. I'm glad to see you've diversified your dining options pretty significantly across all lands. Well done.

Final Thoughts:

DisneySky would be the pefect capstone to the DLR project. Standing unique among Disney Parks, DisneySky would cement the DLR as one of the premier Disney destinations in the world, even rivaling the almighty Disney World juggernaught for attendance and vaction destination. With DisneysSky the DLR would go from the best theme park resort in California to the best theme park resort west of the Mississippi and in contention for best theme park resort in the world. The unique Imagineering lands and concepts would ensure that the park would be full of unique, innovative, and wonderful Imagineering creations while the addition of mega-franchises such as Marvel, Star Wars, and some of Disney's most beloved films would keep people coming back over and over again. With DisneySky Disney has not only met the industry standard but has once again set the bar for the rest of the industry to follow.

September 20, 2015, 1:26 PM


Park Infrastructure, Design, and Layout:

I think putting in a fifth gate at WDW is a somewhat risky move considering the fact that Disney has a huge problem in keeping their current four parks at WDW up-to-date and constantly fresh. A fifth gate at WDW would seem to me to be overkill and would probably end up costing more in the long run. Now that being said I think you made a pretty smart move by themeing the fifth gate to the state of Florida. This seems to be a counter-point to California Adventure and a pretty solid one at that. The main issue that this brings up is the possibility for stagnation and otherwise obscure or uninspired attractions and themeing. While Florida is a beautiful state, it doesn't exactly offer a huge variation of landscape and varied natural beauty. Compare this to California which features the coasts, the Sierra Nevadas, the Central Valley with its farming community, the broad sweeping deserts, it's northern redwood forests, etc. California has a wide array of natural beauty which simply doesn't exist in Florida. That's not to say Florida isn't beautiful (it is), it just has less of an aesthetic palette to choose from. You may also come across an issue which plagues DCA to this day—namely, do people really want to see a theme park themed around Florida when they are in the state and can go see those things for themselves? Are you going to be spending another billion or more dollars in a decade just to 'fix' the park like Disney had to do with DCA? At every turn, DCA has become less and less about 'California' and turned to franchise properties and more abstract or romanticized versions of California culture and lore. It's a fine line to balance and one which I don't think would be very prudent to replicate again.

Now that all of that is out of the way, I think your design and layout of Exploration: Florida is very simple and elegant. The Reflection Pond in the middle of the park is very much reminiscent of EPCOT's World Showcase Lagoon. This is a great way to add a beautiful aesthetic water feature to your park. Some minor concerns with the pond involve the circumnavigation most guests would have to make just to reach Nemo's Reef (your most kid-friendly land) as well as some of your other northern located lands. Part of what makes a wheelspoke design work so well is having a circumnavigatable central land from which guests can branch out to where they want to go to. The Pond is centrally located, but it isn't accessible by foot and would cut a lot of your potential real estate out of potentially being developed for more lands/attractions and other options. The inclusion of The Santiago II is a nice and historic touch which is very much a Disney touch. Fantastic inclusion for what I would assume to be the parks central 'icon'.

The RFID implementation is also well done. I see you've went with a quest-based interactive game. Good job! In TPA 6.1 I built my park from the ground up with the intent to make as many elements in the park interactive with the intent to bring the theme park experience from a passive experience into a more active experience. I think the Kingdom Keepers property is a solid and natural choice for inclusion into the park and would expose more guests to the franchise. Good job.

Outside of these things, the park seems to follow the standard WDW 'rules' in regards to ticketing, location, pricing, etc. I did like how you included a locals only 'afternoon special' to the parks. I remember when DLR had something similar and it was fantastic to be able to go after 5, pay a smaller entrance fee, and enjoy the park. Overall, there's no lingering issues with where you located the park and how you priced it.

Aesthetic Cohesion:

Since you've committed to the Florida theme as the theme for your park, I'm glad to see that the majority of your lands are both historically accurate and visually arresting. You've done a fantastic job of mixing Florida folklore, history, and mythology together in the park. This is one of the pitfalls I think DCA had upon its initial iteration. Yes, it was based on California, but it didn't include any of California's many grassroots and much loved urban legends. Where was the Winchester Mystery House? What about the sparrows of Capistrono? I think you get my drift. The inclusion of things such as the fountain of youth and the Old Man and the Sea add a bit of a mythic and fantastical quality to a park which is otherwise very much rooted in the 'real world'. Great job there.

Moving onto the lands specifically, Florida: 1920 is a nice entrance land which is very much in line with the standard Main Street USA/Romanticized turn-of-the-century/'Golden Age' Era aesthetic of most other Disney Parks. Your line up of dining and retail options is impressive here and I really enjoy all of your little references to Imagineers of note such as Rolly Crum and Joe Rhode. One thing I'm not very fond of is the name. Florida: 1920 is a time period, not a location or 'land'. If you look at every other land which Disney has designed, they are all meant to represent some real or imaginary physical location. Perhaps something like Olde Florida Blvd would bring the name into a physical location while still maintaining the time period aesthetic.

St. Augustine brings to the park that unique and mythical quality I discussed earlier. I love the fact that you included the Fountain of Youth lore into the land and made it a central part of the land itself. I would have like to have seen some more descriptions or pictures of what exaclty the architeture and land would be like. I'm left asking many questions. Is the land meant to be primarily a fantastical one, with an emphasis on pirate lore and natural landscapes? Or is it suppose to be a more urban environment, full of Spanish style villas and buildings? These questions make it difficult for me to envision the land properly. Regardless, I enjoyed your inclusion of Florida legend and folklore into the land.

Daytona, I feel, is your most ambitious land on paper but I think in execution would end up with the same problems which DCA's Paradise Pier had (and continues to have) in regards to execution. This, combined with the fact that you are trying to fit in two lands within one land make the land difficult to judge. On one hand, you can't ignore the Daytona race track, as that is the one thing which Daytona is known for. On the other, is a race track in the middle of a theme park really something people want to see? Disney is already leveling a real race track in the middle of the Magic Kingdom parking lot for reasons such as this and I can't see them actually putting in a race track inside a theme park. Now I understand that the track will feature an e-ticket attraction but, aesthetically, I can't get too excited for what is simply a big loop of concrete. Still, a land based around Daytona is almost required to have the race track so its inclusion would be missed.
As for the boardwalk portion of the land, I think you've got a great idea in theory but in execution I fear it may end up quite a dud. There's a reason millions of people flock to WDW every year and it's not to see a bunch of boardwalk attractions which they could see at their local fair or regional park. Disney is known to produce attractions and lands of the most superior quality—offering something to guests which only Universal can rival in regards to quality, excitement, and visual eye candy. Overall, I like the idea of a Daytona themed land yet I don't feel it is something which is up to Disney-level quality. This would be a fantastic addition to a quaint regional park but would be underwhelming at a Disney park (again, see DCA's Paradise Pier for historical proof).

Moving on to Miami we come to a land which screams “fun for adults”. When I think of Miami, I think bright colors, bikini-clad women, hot days, and wild nightlife. I think you've done a good job capturing that feel while still offering a family-friendly version and options for the whole family to enjoy. The inclusion of a nighttime dance party is not only welcome, but quite frankly necessary and I'm glad to see you've included it here. You've also done a great job of capturing the unique Cuban culture which permeates throughout Miami. The architecture and dining options really give the land an authentic feel. I'm not so much a fan of the inclusion of the Miami Heat franchise. Yes, I understand that the Heat are a big deal in Miami, but in a Disney park I just don't think it has a place. Are you also going to include the Marlins, Dolphins, and Panthers? I think this is a risky move which takes guests out of a Disney park and into “money-grab land”. It's an idea I could see coming as a result of two marketing moguls, one from Disney and one from the Heat, rather than from the Imagineers.

Nemo's Reef is a near-perfect “kiddie land”. While Finding Nemo takes place in Australia, I think you can get away with a little extra creative license in regards to moving the characters to Florida (maybe they all decided to move to Floria reefs together because of the warmer water. :-p ). The pictures you've provided and the attractions housed within are all examples of perfect execution on themed design. I can't really think of anyting else to say besides the fact that this is perhaps your most complete and well-designed land. Good job.

The Keys, I believe, would serve as your parks most accomplished aesthetic land. This would be the parks New Orleans Square, if you will. A land which is an attraction in and of itself. The visual beauty and ambience which the Keys would create would make it a sure-fire hit among guests who simply enjoy kicking back and appreciating the artistry around them. Great job.

The Gulf is a little too vague of a concept for a park which has lands based on specific cities and areas. The minimal description regarding the aesthetic choices leave me wondering what exact purpose this land serves. Apart from being based on the Gulf of Mexico, what differentiates it between St. Augustine, The Keys, or even Daytona? Apart from your attractions (which are impressive), there seems to be no unique aesthetic appeal to the land itself. Sorry if this is coming off as harsh, but I don't see why you couldn't include the attractions, dining, and retail options in other lands. To me it seems like you want to put so much in but in this case it may have been better to 'murder your darlings', as the saying goes.

Finally, The Everglades gives your park a much needed 'wild nature' land in vein of Adventureland or Frontierland. I'm glad to see you've included the Everglades as they are truly unique to Florida and full of natural beauty. Again, I would have liked to have seen some more description as to how the land is laid out specifically, but overall I think you've captured the feel of the Everglades pretty well.

Attractions, Dining, and Retail:

One thing that popped out to me when reading your proposal was the sheer variety of attractions offered. You've got everything covered from thrill rides, to family rides, to roller coasters, and shows. I think you've got a great handle on what Disney does best and your intent to offer more thrilling while still offereing plenty to do for the family was done masterfully. Good job on that end.

Moving on to specific attractions, I think your 'must-rides' include Pirates of the Caribbean: The Fountain of Youth, Cape Canaveral, The Blue Angels Experience, and Incredible. All of these attractions are unique enough to be large draws to the park and each would certainly keep people coming back for more.

Unfortunately, I am less than thrilled with the entirety of Daytona's line up of attractions. All of these rides could be found at your local fair and I think they are well below the quality which Disney is known for. I keep brining it up, but Disney would (hopefully) never do another Paradise Pier 1.0. A bunch of unthemed flat rides are not exciting nor particularly unique. I would have liked to have seen some more description on Daytona Racers as I am only envisioning a ride which goes around in a big circle before stopping—not something which would be a great ride experience, even with a Cars overlay. About the only saving grace for this land is Dumbo's Flight, which itself feels like it belongs at the Magic Kingdom and feels entirely out of place here at a Florida themed theme park. Some other things I'm indifferent on include the construction of another Pirates of the Caribbean ride and the inclusion of franchises which don't necessarily line up with Florida (Finding Nemo, Incredibles, Percy Jackson, etc.). While I don't think they fit perfectly, your reasons and descriptions of why they are there would be enough to justify their existence and would at least give guests an excuse to suspend their disbelief even further. Lastly, while Cape Canaveral would certainly be a thrilling roller coaster, Disney has a history of hiding their roller-coaster tracks in immersive environments. I think the only time Disney has ever built a non-themed roller coaster has been with Goofy's Sky School (formerly Mulholland Madness) at DCA and they caught HELL for it. I'm not saying it wouldn't be a hit, but again, it's breaking with the Disney mold of intense, immersive attractions. Overall I think you've got a fantastic line up of attractions which would certainly make Destination: Florida a unique and exciting addition to the current family of parks at WDW.

Your dining options are FANTASTIC! You've done an excellent job of capturing all of the unique and savory culinary cuisines of Florida. Everything from Cuban food to Conch sandwiches to Gator bites is here! You were also cognizant of the fact that many guests are not as adventurous as others and have something to offer everyone. You would be hard pressed to find a better line-up of regional food offerings in any theme park outside of EPCOT. Great job.

Your retail options are much in line with your dining options. You've got plenty of variety and they are all well-themed to your parks overall aesthetic lands. Another job well done.

Final Thoughts:

Destination: Florida differentiates itself amongst the WDW park family in its offering of lands and locations based on a nice mix of real tangible Florida locations with the rich history and folklore of Florida's people and culture. The wide variety of attractions would put the park alongside Magic Kingdom and EPCOT as full-day parks while the dining options it offers would make it second only to EPCOT. Overall, I think Destination: Florida would compete with Animal Kingdom and (the newly revamped) Hollywood Studios parks for guests attendance and visitation, probably surpassing both based purely on its large number of attraction offerings. While not at the top of the Disney parks food chain, Destination: Florida would be a welcome addition to the WDW family of parks and one which would harken back to the golden era of Imagineering, when Imagineers rather than bookkeepers were in charge of the creative reins. An adequate sister park to Magic Kingdom in line with its lesser brothers (AK, WDS). That's not to say it's a bad park. It's not by any means. I don't want to sound like I don't like the park—it really is great in a lot of ways. For me, however, when I put it alongside the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT (and to a lesser extent, Walt Disney Studios once they receive their giant makeover), it simply pales in comparison to the best which Disney offers. It's still a fantastic park in its own right and one which you should be proud to call your own. If it were built by any other company, it would standout as one of the greatest parks in the nation.

Edited: September 20, 2015, 1:28 PM

DISNEY'S LOST KINGDOM (Keith Schneider):

Park Infrastructure, Design, and Layout:

As with DPCC's park, choosing to go with a fifth gate for WDW brings with it some lingering issues. In the interest of brevity, I won't go through them here but you can scroll up to DPCC's critique to see some of the problems and challenges associated with a fifth gate at WDW. That being said, I think your park offers a very unique theme and approach which would set it apart from the other four parks and would put it on par with Magic Kingdom. One thing I really like about your park's them is that it lends itself very well to future expansion as there are tons of classic Disney films which have yet to receive a significant presence in the parks. In terms of long term growth, I think this concept is probably about the best theme you could have chosen. Great job on that front. I also like the fact that you leaned heavy towards Mythology and Fairy Tales, having taken the timeless nature of Greek, Roman, Medieval, and Middle-Eastern legends and myth and coupled theme with classic fairy tales. I was a little worried this may turn out to be “Magic Kingdom 2.0” but you've made a very wise decision sticking with the concept of myth and legend as opposed to romanticized versions of history (as is the case with Disneyland/Magic Kingdom).

The location of your park is an interesting choice and after really considering it, I think you've chosen a perfect place for it. Having it sit alongside the Swan and Dolphin, with EPCOT only a few paces away, is a great choice. Finally, the park layout is simple and follows the standard wheelspoke design. A smart choice and something I can't really find fault with. Apart from these things, like with DPCC's park, you're pretty much tied down to WDW pricing and ticketing so there's not much else to say regarding those things.

Aesthetic Cohesion:

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is the perfect capstone to your park. The Hanging Gardens were widely regarded by the ancient world to be the epitome of natural and architectural beauty and I think recreating the Gardens (as best you can) would set a mythic and aesthtic tone to your park which would immediately give it a grand thesis statement. With this land, guests will immediately know they are in the realm of ancient splendor, when men warred against gods and mighty heroes smote powerful villains in epic struggles. You are also setting a standard for beauty and elegance for the rest of the park to come. Fantastic opening land.

Mount Olympus is a natural choice as an icon for the park given its mythic and epic qualities. You've added another impressive “mountain” to the infamous Disney “Mountain Range”. I really can't imagine a better central icon than Mount Olympus for the parks overall theme and scope. I also really enjoy all the little details such as the muses and the twelve Olypmians. These subtle touches are really what give Disney parks their heart and soul and I'm glad to see you've included them. Finally, the inclusion of Fantasia themed charactes and attractions keeps the park firmly rooted in Disney culture and lore. Fantasia is a property I feel is simply not utilized enough and you've chosen the prefect setting for its inclusion in a Disney park. Fantastic job all around.

Medieval Court is also a no-brainer inclusion for a land based around legend and myth. Camelot is a natural and frankly necessary inclusion for your park and I'm glad to see it takes center stage here. Having Merlin and King Arthur take center stage is another wise choice. Overall, this land fits perfectly in with your overall theme. Some minor concerns include Camelot and its size/scope. While Mount Olympus serves as your parks central icon, you may have a tough time convincing people that Camelot isn't the icon given Disneys traditional importance they put on castles within their park lore. Lastly, while I think Sorcerer Mickey is much loved, I don't think he fits very well into a Camelot themed land. Yes, he is a sorcerer but The Sorcerer's Apprentice Fantasia sequence gives us no clear indication on what time period it takes place in (to me, it always seemed to take place in a Renaissance/early 17th century era, though its all up to interpretation). These are minor quips on what is otherwise a masterfully done land.

I think of all your lands, Grimm Forest is the least unique. I say this because the Bavarian village motif is used extensively at the Disneyland version of Fantasyland. Now that being said, I still think it fits perfectly within the overall theme of your park. I'm also glad to see that it has a plethora of family friendly dark rides based on other obscure Disney classics which tie directly back to the Grimm Fairy Tales lore. I must admit, I'm not really a fan of The Sleeping Giant's Fair. It's not that I think it's a bad idea (it's actually a great one), it's that I think plopping a huge giant down in the middle of an otherwise ornately detailed Bavarian village and then peppering the giant with Amusement Park rides would seem out of place and tacked on. It's not a bad idea at all, it's just that I don't see it working in this land.

I'm glad to see you've included a land dedicated to villains with The Darklands. When I did TPA 6.1, I included a land dedicated to villains which reads very similar to The Darkland even down to some of the attraction descriptions and choices. I'm not claiming you are stealing anything. Perhaps it's more along the lines of “Great minds think alike” :-P . Anyways, I would have liked to have some more description regarding how exactly this land would look from an aesthetic standpoint. Would it be a haunted wood? A desolate wasteland? A decrepit old village? While the general mood of “dark” is apparent, it's the little details which make or break a themed environment and it's something which is holding this land back in my opinion. Apart from these reservations, the land itself is a great homage to some of Disney's most notorious and feared villains.

When I first saw the title of your park, I immediately thought that an Arendelle land would need to be included and I'm glad to see that you've put the Kingdom of Arendelle into the park. Love it or hate it, I think it's safe to say that Frozen is here to stay. I think that you've made a great choice by including Arendelle in this park as it fits perfectly and thematically. It would also ensure that it would remain one of WDW's most popular parks, possibly even rivaling the Magic Kingdom for attendance and interest. The lineup of attractions offers a great mix of humor, action, and characters which has made the Frozen franchise such a mega-sensation.

Agrabah is an interesting choice as a final land. I'm glad to see that you've been conscious of the overall mythic qualities of the 1001 Nights as opposed to simply the Aladdin story. Too many of North American tourists are totally oblivious to the grand and fantastic mythology which persists in middle-eastern culture. I also think to see the shimmering city of Agrabah in all its glory would be a totally unique and visually arresting aesthetic achievement and would rival anything in any current Disney park. This, of all your creations, is probably your most unique and eclectic and is one that I'm glad to see you included. Some minor issues I see are the reliance on the Aladdin franchise a little too heavily. I would have liked to have seen some unique attractions which would maybe tackle some of the more interesting 1001 Nights tales. Still, overall a fantastic land.

As a final note, I'm glad to see you've included brief expansion plans and I think all of your proposed expansion ideas are viable and theme appropriate.

Attractions, Dining and Retail:

Of all the contestants, I think you have the fewest amount of actual rides. Now that's not necessarily a problem, as you offer plenty of other attractions in terms of shows, walk-through experiences, etc. I think it's important, however, to note that with such a fantastic line up of attractions, a plethora of ride opportunities should be available. Your most complete line-up of attractions exists in Grimm Forest, with a great line-up of family friendly classic Disney dark rides. I think your 'must-ride' attractions would include The Twelve Olympians, Quest for the Unicorn, Jack's GIGANTIC Journey, Bald Mountain, and Queen Elsa's Frozen Wonderland. You have a solid line-up of C and D-ticket attractions to back up these 'must-rides', with a heavy emphasis on dark rides taking center stage. This is a wise choice in my opinion as nobody does dark rides like Disney. I do have some reservations about some of your other attractions. Dare the Dragon essentially exists at cross-town rival Universal Islands of Adventure in the form of Dragon Challenge. The Sorcerer's Apprentice sounds eerily similar to the climax of Fantasimic! With some added 3-D elements. While I understand that you intent these attractions to be unique, the similarities are too jarring to ignore. Lastly, I would have liked to seen at least one more C or D ticket for both Agrabah and The Darkland. All of these concerns aside, I think you've got a fantastic line-up of attractions which would push the park into a full-day experience, alongside the Magic Kingdom or EPCOT and far past your AK and WDS brothers.

As far as Dining goes, I would have liked to see some more counter-service options. Your dining options are scarce, and there wasn't really any option which made me go “Wow! I've got to eat there!”. Your choices aren't bad per se, but they don't seem incredibly inspiried or unique. Your retail options are solid and fit thematically within each land. Overall, I would have liked to see a little more variety and options in dining but your retail is adequate.

Final Thoughts:

Disney's Lost Kingdom would be a welcome and fantastic addition to the WDW family of parks. Visually aresting, thematically unique, and chock-full of unique attractions, Lost Kingdom would rival even Magic Kingdom for attendance and fan favoritism. If built, I could imagine Lost Kingdom outperforming all other WDW parks save the almighty Magic Kingdom. A fantastic park with a wonderful theme which captures the sense of fantasy and imagination which has made Disney the undisputed king of themed design and family entertainment. You should be proud of this park as it truly is a work of art.

With all that being said, I want to congratulate all of the final contestants and thank you all for your commitment, perseverance, and most of all, your IMAGINATION! Without great minds such as yours, life would be dull and tragic. Thank you all again for your hard work and creative insanity! Though only one of you will be crowned the next Theme Park Apprentice, you are all amazing and fantastic individuals with wonderful talents and imagination. Thank you again and good luck!

September 20, 2015, 2:16 PM

Once again, congratulations to all of our finalists. You have made it to the very end and should be proud of your accomplishment. This competition was not an easy one and we had some of the best competitors we've ever had this season. However, only one can be crowned champion. For voting in this round, Chad, James and I each cast a vote for a winner, with Blake serving as the tiebreaker if necessary. When the votes were cast, however, we wound up with a unanimous decision.

The winner of Theme Park Apprentice 7 is...


Congratulations, Douglas! You are the champion of Theme Park Apprentice 7 and have been crowned the next Theme Park Apprentice. Throughout the duration of this competition, you have consistently produced top quality proposals and your final pitch could be the best theme park in North America (if not the world). Well done!

To all our competitors this season, I would like to thank you for participating. This game cannot continue without interest from the community, and it is reassuring to see that after some issues in the past there is still a good amount of interest in the competition. Now, I invite you to leave your thoughts on the competition in the feedback thread and I hope you will consider competing again in the future. Lastly, there will be a bonus round "just for fun" beginning soon (either tonight or tomorrow), so if you'd like to write one last proposal I encourage you to check it out.

September 20, 2015, 2:22 PM

Congratulations Douglas. A hard fought victory that is well deserved.

September 20, 2015, 2:36 PM

Wow! This has certainly been exciting!

First, I'd like to thank the judges. I know just how challenging and time consuming judging can be, and the answer is very. You guys are the best, and thanks again!

Next, I'd like to congratulate Douglas. He's consistently done an amazing job throughout the competition. I could never expect to do as well as you. You're my idol.

Next, congratulations to all my fellow competitors for the whole competition. Every proposal for this whole thing was interesting and creative. I knew it was going to be tough!

Now, I'd just like to say, I never expected to make it this far. From the beginning I knew it would be tough, and my semifinal proposal was almost a joke, which ended up working well with the theme. It seemed impossible to compete for so long against so many great competitors.

Also, I have a bit of a confession.

I'm only 14.

While I never would have expected to make it this far competing against all these amazing adults, I knew it would be a fun, learning experience. The timing worked put well, as it would be impossible to continue playing now that school has started.

Thank you so much to everyone involved, and I look forward to participating, either as a judge or competitor.

September 20, 2015, 2:58 PM

14. I knew you were young, but not THAT young! And I thought my TPA 6.1 announcement that I was working under an alias was a big confession!

I think that everyone who competed in this round can hold their heads up high. I've been doing these competitions since Water Park Apprentice how many years ago (?) and I have never seen such a deep pool of quality competitors, and the proposals presented were of remarkable quality. Congratulations to Douglas, Keith, DPcc, and everyone who in any way made this what I think is a turning point in TPA. The judges have learned a huge amount about how to run this thing, and we're going to learn more as everyone, whether a competitor or a reader in the lurker's loft, lets us know what we need to make this better.

September 20, 2015, 2:59 PM

You write very well for someone who is 14 DPCC. You should be proud.

September 20, 2015, 3:07 PM


What do I win, cash?

To my fellow competitors, thanks for your fantastic proposals throughout. This was my first Theme Park Apprentice. While I remember AJ (or somebody similar to him) saying something months ago that a newbie almost always wins TPA, I didn't anticipate I'd be that n00b. I guess once Andy couldn't do the finale, it became inevitable. Honestly, most of the time I was in "survival mode," and it's really the quality of your work which pushed me to make the effort I've made.

DPCC inc. (if that is your real name): Congrats on Exploration: Florida! You've succeeded in creating the very best "Disney Florida Adventure" I can imagine, and you've admirably fixed many of the problems inherent in the DCA model. That's gotta be much harder in its way than my "rip off DisneySea" approach to the challenge. And I honestly didn't have you pegged at 14; based on your Monty Python proposal, I could've sworn you were the same age as Eric Idle.

Keith: Glad to see an evolution on your TPA 6.1 ideas. Disney's Lost Kingdom is a natural fit for the Disney World Resort. If "Epcot" is an expanded Tomorrowland, "Animal Kingdom" an expanded Adventureland, and the unbuilt "Disney's America" an expanded Frontierland, then "Lost Kingdom" is clearly "Fantasyland" on steroids. I've wondered what that would look like, and your approach might be the best way for Disney to have a home for any unanticipated upcoming IP. Makes more sense than shoving Frozen into "World Showcase," no?

AJ, Chad, James (and Blake), thanks for your quick, comprehensive and informative critiques. Barring the unanticipated ruckus created by Universal Studios, you've all done a commendable job of corralling us with timely, responsive judging. Hell, considering the brouhaha Universal created, I'd have to applaud how you recovered from that as well. For what it's worth, I think the judging this season (especially for the finale) is the best yet!

Now it is time for a confession. I've been working under a pseudonym for this competition. My real name is Michael Eisner.

September 20, 2015, 3:08 PM

MWAH HAH HAH HAH HAH!!! Yes, it was I, Michael Eisner, all along! BWAH HAH HAH!!! But why do this, Michael? Why, you ask? The answer is simple. REVENGE!


September 21, 2015, 1:26 PM

Finally, my nemesis reveals himself, I knew this contest would draw you out...

For you see, my name is really Jefferey Katzenberg, and now I can finally complete my ultimate revenge.....

September 21, 2015, 7:17 PM

Ah Katzenberg, my old foe, we meet again. The circle is now complete. Last time, I was but the learner. NOW I AM THE MASTER!!

September 21, 2015, 11:35 PM

Why are we not funding these great ideas? These people should be running Disney Imagineering

September 22, 2015, 11:21 AM


If you had even a sliver of the talent and creativity which these contestants have, you'd still have your job!

September 27, 2015, 10:38 AM

Is there a final point tally including the scores from the final? Scores have been used throughout the competition with no mention of them after the final.

September 27, 2015, 2:15 PM

Keith, due to issues with the cumulative scores as well as the fact that only the winner of the challenge mattered, we decided to simply cast votes for a winner. However, had scores been used this would likely have been the final cumulative standings:

1st: Douglas Hindley - 169.9 points
2nd: Keith Schneider - 143.3 points
3rd: Andy Teoh - 92.5 points (dropped)
4th: DPCC inc. - 86.5 points

Note that since we did not vote for second and third place, your score could be up to 10 points lower and DPCC's could be up to 10 points higher. Please remember that these scores are completely unofficial and are based on my guess as to how the voting would have gone based on the judging critiques.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive