Friday, August 26, 2011

Disney's American Experience Park

RandySavage is a pretty awesome guy. Ok, so I've never actually met him, but I can't think of many other folks who would be willing to spend their spare time interpreting rough sketches of theme parks submitted to him from readers from every corner of Internet-land, into what I call wonderful pieces of art. His blog (which I check daily, mostly because I have no life), Theme Park Conceptual Site Plans seems to gain readers every time he posts a new park, and for good reason. He's extremely creative and posts magnificent creations that causes every single theme park geek in the world to drool. Our latest colaboration is Disney's American Experience Park, a unique take on what may be the greatest theme park never built, Disney's America.

Experience America Through the Eyes of Those Who Built It...

Visit for many more great conceptual site plans!

To all who yearn for freedom & opportunity, welcome! Disney's American Experience Park seeks to bring the story of America and her people to life as never before. Here, we celebrate the triumphs, remember the struggles, mourn the heartaches, and dare to dream of freedom. May Disney's American Experience Park entertain, enlighten, and inspire. May it forever be a tribute to all of the patriots who've sacrificed so much to make this nation so great, and may it celebrate the wonder that is America: The Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave. Welcome to Disney's American Experience Park.

In my head, I always imagined Disney's America as World Showcase with an American history theme, telling the story of America through lands that follow eachother chronologically as you move clockwise along the lake. Much of what I drew in my park is either a direct clone or draws inspiration from the original plans for Disney's America. I also did my best to integrate characters into the park (something that may not be as popular to some fans) as I feel that, in moderation, and where thematically appropriate, there's nothing wrong with a little touch of Disney. Overall I'm really happy with the park. RandySavage did a great job of interpreting my sketch, and he added some really great attractions to the park's lineup! So, without further ado, welcome to Disney's American Experience.

The entrance of the park puts you smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a colonial villiage at the height of the revolution. This area has a feel very similar to Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, and I imagine Lobsterbacks marching up and down the street at various points of the day, with citizens and patriots scoffing at them. The attractions here are basic Fantasyland dark rides (Ariel's Undersea Adventure quality), with "The Constitution & You" featuring the little mouse from the classic short Ben and Me telling the story of how he helped inspire the constitution while he explains its basic principles, and "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" being based on the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. At the end of the street stands the "Spirit of America Gardens", where you'll find brass panels in the pavement based on the Spirit of America statues found in Epcot's "American Adventure". The area not only provides great views of Freedom Bay and the Statue of Liberty, but is also where you'll find Mickey & friends dressed in Revolutionary War Garb for M&G's. I also imagine the area to be used for debates and public forums.

The New World:
Moving clockwise, guests are thrust into the new frontier and the American wilderness, where discovery lurkes around every corner. The "Indian Villiage" and the "Lewis & Clark River Expedition" are both cloned from the original site plans. At "Grandmother Willow's Grove" guests can participate in an interactive show with Pocahontas and friends about Native American Spritiuality and "Painting with the Colors of the Wind". The "John Muir Wilderness Trails" features live bears, elk, cougars, etc in what appears to be their natural habbitats with the help of natural barriers (One of Randy's many great additions).

Leaving the wilderness, guests are transported to the old south, a truly simpler time. The area surounding the "Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn" is basically "Tom Sawyer Island", with the queue passing through Tom's Schoolhouse, Injun Joe's Cave, etc. Antebellum South is reprsented by the "Haunted Plantation", a 4-D dark ride (Spiderman) that draws inspiration from the 3-D Haunted Mansion designed by Eddie Sotto.There are no "Grim, Grinning Ghosts" on this ride, this attraction is meant to be SCARY, probably the most intense ever built by Disney. Rows of live oaks leading up to the "Dixieland Showboat Jubilee", a dinner show borrowing elements from Disneyland's "America Sings". The more rustic, backwoods south is represented by "The Country Bear Jamboree" and the "Song of the South" dark ride.

Fort Henry:
The majority of the land is unchanged from the original siteplans. I added "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" to the fort as it's a perfect fit, along with an exploration area for kids to burn some steam.

Town of Enteprise:
Here we find America at the start of the Industrial Revolution. I added "Carousel of Progress" to the land as it seemd the perfect fit, and Randy added "Innovations", a train ride through a factory.

The Big Apple:
The facade on the western side of the land features buildings from the 1860's, so that the backdrop for the Monitor/Merrimack battle would be time appropriate. "Cops & Robbers" is basically the never built "Dick Tracy's Crimestoppers", however guests chose their side (cops or robbers) as they chase eachother through the alleys of New York City (two cars would be synched with one another). I imagine the Ducktales ride to be similar to Mr. Toad, only alot longer and more advanced. The Statue of Liberty is lined so that it serves as a backdrop to the fireworks show.

Ellis Island:
The Ellis Island exhibit puts guests into the shoes of an immigrant at the turn of the century, allowing them to experience (sort of) first hand what it would've been like to go through Ellis Island.

County Fairgrounds:
Everything here is pretty self-explanitory. I did my best to incoperate a Silly Symphony theme as is being done at DCA's Paradise Pier. "Casey's Field" would feature reenactments of Who's On First? Casey at the Plate, etc.

The American Farm:
"Old McDonald" is an indoor/outdoor boat ride similar to DL's Storybookland Canals (Randy's idea). In the back is an actual working farm, which provides food for the park.

Victory Field:
The WWII airfield area of the park remains virtually unchanged in apperance and feel. The Captain America EMV has been something I've been tyring to find a home for, for quite some time now. I imagine the queue as winding your way through trenches into a military base. The "USO Stage", "GI Training Obstacle Course", and "Tank Gunnery Range" were all added by Randy. I especially love the idea for the Gunnery Range..."you board your own mini-tank and drive around shooting shells (like tennis balls) at targets, other tanks, bunkers, etc. People on the outside can man guns and shoot at the tanks as well."

The Next Frontier:
I like to imagine the exterior of this area appearing as a World's least the part with the "American Technology Showcase" (added by Randy). The exterior of the space pavillion would be very reminiscent of an early Space pavillion drawn for Epcot by Tim Delaney. Inside the pavillion, guests would find something similar to the original concept to replace Horizons where, when guests step inside the pavillion, they find themselves in a queue similar to E.T. over at Uni Orlando, with a quick preshow, and then BLASTOFF to a space station with several rides and attractions.

Well there you have it! Hopefully this does the American History concept justice. Thanks so much to RandySavage for interpreting this park and for all of his additions!

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