Please keep in mind that none of my postings take feasibility, logistics or budgets in to consideration. Disney is a place of fantasy, as is this place on the Internet. If anyone has ideas for other rides or attractions around the parks that are not being covered in a particular topic, please feel free to e-mail me. (see my profile) I will take the best ones and post them in your name.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Villains’ Lair

In the Disneyana circles there has been a lot of rumor, speculation and innuendo regarding the infamous “Villain ride.” From “it’s a done deal” to “it will never happen.” The idea has been discussed on many forums and news sites already, but I would like to throw in my two cents.

I have recently watched a video of the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” ride in Tokyo Disney (see www.mousebits.com for video). It takes a roller coaster and integrates dark ride elements by slowing down the ride in certain parts. I feel that this would be a perfect marriage for The Villains Lair.

I see the ride playing out like Fantasmic, and in saying that I’m not sure that it would be appropriate in the near future. I think they would have to replace the Fantasmic show before they started a project like this. Mickey Mouse has always been strangely absent in the theme park attractions. I foresee a Mickey Mouse pre show of some kind where he gets himself in a pickle and angers the villains of Disney. The only option for him is to run away and try to find somewhere safe to hide for awhile.

I see this roller coaster weaving in and out of a large dark mountain. The exterior would have an eerie feel and the use of torches for lighting would be a nice touch. The beginning of the ride would start out very fast as Mickey is running from the villains. As it makes its way to the first scene, the ride would slow down (as if Mickey is looking for somewhere to hide). He then would be spotted by one of the villains and the ride would speed up again. If anyone so desires, please feel free to discuss the detail of the scenes.

There are a few elements I have been thinking of that could really separate this roller coaster from those around the Disney parks or any other park for that matter. The first thing I was thinking would be to have one of the sets take place in a room with a river beneath the ride to give it that familiar PoC feel. The water element would add a nice aesthetic feel to scene. I don’t see why a roller coaster couldn’t travel through water for part of the ride. Actually, it probably already exists somewhere, I just haven’t seen it. The next element is hard to convey, so bear with me. I’m sure most of you have seen Illuminations. The show has a large sphere in the middle of the lake, of which amounts to convex LED screens. Why not surround the track in a portion of the ride with concave LED or LCD TV screens. It would look like the beginning of Space Mountain where you take off and there are the yellow and red lights that surround the track. Now imagine using LCD technology. The possibilities of what could be shown on the screen are endless. From any type of visualization to a CGI character that follows the car. Imagine if it was used for a long stretch of the ride, they would have the ability to intermingle all kinds of effects.

I rode the Expedition Everest ride this year and enjoyed the "going backward" portion of that ride a great deal. The effect would be suited perfect for this ride. Mickey would be backpedaling from a villain to get away. Also, I thought of a rotating scene so that when you begin to go backward, you will see different scenery.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. That could be a great Fantasyland E-Ticket. Maybe if they plopped it down where Big Thunder Ranch is and made the entrance near the old Fantasyland skyway.

I wouldn't go with a pre-show video because that's been done to death with a lot of newer Disney attractions, especially at Disney World. The story should be conveyed by the attraction. Maybe the queue could be set up to imply that guests are venturing into the "darker side" of Fantasyland. A good reference point is Snow White's queue. The transition from the happy Fantasyland exterior to the section that looks like a dungeon is particularly effective.

In fact, guests could eventually stumble into the evil queen's dungeon, where she is hatching a plot to corrupt Mickey's dreams (same plot as Fantasmic). You then board a vehicle resembling a bed because you are going to venture into Mickey's dreams to help. This is implied, not hit over the guests' heads repeatedly.

After maybe a launch tunnel displaying projected clouds and stars and such, you end up in a happy dream (perhaps Mickey and Pluto playing fetch). Suddenly a roar from above interrupts the scene and the vehicle revolves to reveal a projected image of the dragon from Sleeping Beauty flying in the sky. Mickey shouts "Let's get out of here, Pluto" and the car drops backwards down an incline. The ride then would be a series of near misses with famous Disney villains until the end when Mickey busts out the sorcerer's hat and ends it all.

That would definitely be a great Mickey ride.

bluesky said...

Thank you anonymous! These are great ideas and additions. I particularly like the idea of the beds. They could be a nice and easy theme for a coaster car. Thanks again.

jOe said...

I've always had a desire to see a Villains' themed ride since the wild and highly unlikely rumor of a Villains-themed park, Shadowlands. While I think an entire park is very unnecessary, I think a Villains ride in the style of Islands of Adventure's Amazing Spider-Man attraction would sure bring in the crowds, and I know just the place for it.

There's been a lot of talk that the deal between Disney and MGM will end soon, meaning the Studios on the east coast will lose a couple movie references from their once flagship attraction The Great Movie Ride. If the attraction were to go the way of Yesterland, I think the recreated Chinese Mann's Theater would be an ideal location.

The Disney-MGM Studios is the "extreme" Disney park. Walt never really desired the Villains to take the spotlight, but if there were such a thrill dark ride attraction, the Studios seems the ideal place. Then there's the movie aspect--that every great movie has a great story, a great hero and a great villain. And that's the jumping off point for the attraction.

Picture stepping into the queue for the Great Movie Ride. The rooms inside still hold the oriental feel from the Hollywood landmark, but there's a darker tone to it. The biggest difference is that the walls are festooned with pictures of all shapes and sizes featuring every Disney villain imaginable, from the well-known (The Evil Queen) to the obscure (The Horned King from The Black Cauldron) and all the henchmen and women in between.

My most beloved Disney attraction of all was the original Journey Into Imagination, because the ride offered so much to see--so many special effects--so many unqiue odds and ends. Special effects is the key--a combination of live props, audio-animatronics and perhaps even digital 3D video.

But Mickey or the usual heroes coming to the rescue has been done with Fantasmic! I think, in this attraction, since we are at the Studios, exploring the ideas of movies and stories and heroes and villains, the guests must play the heroes in some manner. Sure, the heroes will show up at appropriate moments to help the guests, but ultimately, it is up to the guests to save the day. Whether this involves some interactive element or some magical plot device is debatable, but the goal is to have a close encounter with the villains that is ultimately resolved. And yet, upon exiting the ride, there should be some clever hint that despite their defeat, the bad guys are still lurking in the shadows.

The E-Ticket potential is great. The technology is available, and I don't doubt the great minds can make a good story, a good attraction, and not something with the pathetic limp of the NEW Journey Into YOUR Imagination--but rather something with the exciting flair of a DisneySea ride.

bluesky said...

jOe, Thank you for your input. I agree, TGMR is a bit dated and could use refurbishment. A Villan ride may be a good fit for that location.

guinb said...

Sounds a lot like The Mummy ride over at USF which is a good ride but the concept could be taken so much further and a villian ride would be the perfect way to put it in at Disney.

I also like the idea of an interactive attraction, perhaps giving each person in the ride vehicle a task and at a certain point in the ride they have to push a button in front of their seat to defend themselves from the villians (similar to Mission Space but more in depth).

This interactive aspect could even take the attraction in a totally new direction. Something like the old Alien Encounter attraction where guests are seated in a circular theater type room and the battle with the villains happens all around them. Using lighting, projection, and smoke effects some pretty impressive stuff could be done to make the guests feel that they are in a battle with these classic Disney characters. This idea could also use the interactive feature and somehow let the guests play a role in defeating the enemy. Maybe the seats are equipped with a magic wand and sorcerer Mickey instructs certain sections of the theater to push a button on their wand at just the right moment in the battle. Anyway, I am sure this concept could be taken further but thats how I could see it playing out.

WOKcreative said...

The opening scene could have all of the villains around a conference table or annual meeting, deciding that they all have to work together. By defeating Mickey, they can start to defeat everyone's dreams. (If they can take him down, they can take on the whole world! bwah hah hah hah!)
It could be made different enough from Fantasmic.
Effects should include fire from dragons and lasers from magic staffs.
It could also easily be Mickey and guests going through it all together - saving everyone's dreams.
I really like the idea of using all that is becoming available with LED and LCD technology. LED lighting is available on scrims and many sizes and shapes of panels and lighting strips. It can all be fed video or used for mood effects and could be greatly used in this type of setting.
Some kind of interactivity could help - lasers or fire balls being thrown out, or something good (without getting too cutesy or sappy) to kill them with kindness ----> or even better, the power of dreams. Lasers could hit sensors that are programmed with projection scenarios that take them out one by one (this could work in a single room or in different rooms of a ride), leading up to a final big battle against the biggest, worst villains of all (start with the big, bad wolf).
This kind of ride could have many possibilities.

bluesky said...

WOKcreative, I love your ideas. Thank you for your input:)

Hilbert said...

Thanks to author for this article. Very interesting. Write more!