Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Now that DLP CEO revealed that DLP third gate might be a Marvel Super-Heroes park, let's see how could look a park in tribute to Marvel Universe ?

Yesterday's announcement by DLP CEO Philippe Gas in the Telegraph article that DLP's third park could be a Marvel super-heroes theme park was a clap of thunder in DLP fans community. And of course everyone is now talking about it. Some like the idea, others hate it, and if you want my opinion here it is: i think it could be a good idea for a land, even a big one, but not for a whole park.

But the good question is: how a Marvel theme park could look? Universal Islands of Adventure have indeed Marvel Super-Heroes Island, but it's just a land. The only full park project of a Marvel theme park was designed for Dubai, and not by WDI. The park was never built at Dubai but, still, i thought it could be interesting to have a look to this project, not perfect, but with good ideas, some of them could even be good enough to find a place in DLP's third park...if Disneyland Paris executives don't change their mind about the theme in the meantime. This third gate, as Philippe Gas said to the Telegraph is envisioned for 2020, may be a bit before if everything goes well with WDS extension.

So, late 2007, well before Disney acquired Marvel, United Arab Emirate-based Al Ahli Group and Marvel Entertainment, Inc. announced a partnership that will bring Marvel's full library of Super Heroes - including Spider-Man, Iron Man, The X-Men, Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer - to Dubai for a major new theme park destination being developed by AAG. The Marvel Super-Heroes theme park project was supposed to open in 2011 with an investment of over $1 billion USD but most of the Dubai World projects are now on hold....

The creative team who designed the park, in this case not WDI Imagineers but "great creative minds from around the globe" is based in Hollywood, Orlando and Dubai. When the project was announced the press release said that "New technology and unparalleled visitor experiences will be the hallmark of the theme park creating a new standard for theme parks around the world".

Thanks to Randy, a Disney and more faithful reader whom i thanks a lot, i've found some great artwork related to this theme park. All of the concept-arts below were designed by Chimera Design company who did a fantastic job as you will see. Unfortunately i don't have a lot of details about the rides but what we can see on the pictures give some indications.

Most of Marvel super-heroes will have their own attractions including the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man, X-Men, Silver Surfer and of course Spiderman in what will be probably a different ride than the Spiderman ride at Universal Islands of Adventure. Also, according to a a recent post of Brady Mac Donald of the L.A Times "Off-site testing has already begun on three of the planned attractions: "Flying with Spidey", "Fantasticar" and "X-Men: Danger Room".

The picture at the top shows the entrance of this Dubai Marvel park. Above, a night view and below the map of the park with the four lands "City of Super-Heroes", "Oasis of Magic", "Marvel's Mythic Mountain", "Nick Neighborhood" and "Crater Lake" at the center of the park. As you can see on the night view, many coasters were envisioned for this park.

Although it's strictly my own personal deduction, this next artwork shows very probably the "City of Super-Heroes" land - and yes, it's a Wow!

This next rendering is apparently showing the arrival in the "City"...

And, as we can check on the night view above this great building with the Fantastic Four logo is located at the entrance of the "City of Super-Heroes".

The artwork below shows a 3D (4D ?) movie attraction with all Marvel famous super-heroes.

This next artwork may show a show. Does someone identify who is the character in the center of the picture?

On the next artwork, obviously a Spiderman attraction - probably the one called "Flying with Spidey" - Spiderman is fighting with the Green Goblin and Dr Octopus. As we can see on the picture, the guests are not seated inside a vehicle (like IOA Spiderman ride). It could be a simulator attraction...or a free fall one like the Tower of Terror...or something totally new!

But in this next ride where we can see the Electro character, guests ARE seated in a vehicle which very probably is moving inside a decor - could it be an attraction using the same technique "decor+3D rear projection" like in the IOA Spiderman ride?

In other areas of the park - probably in the "Oasis of Magic" land - guests will find lush vegetation.

Even with my talent for deduction, i really can't guess what the next artwork is showing. Anyone can guess?

This next artwork, according to the night view and the park's map probably shows the entrance of the "Nick Neighborhood" land.

Below, the incredibly spectacular entrance of the "Stark Laboratories" and the Iron Man attraction. Another big Wow! A closer look reveals a "Rocket Jets"-like attraction and a coaster-like attraction on the top of it.

The artwork below might show a free fall attraction - or may be it's a new type of coaster designed by Mauher & Sohne - and it looks like it goes down right inside the water of Crater Lake! Is such a thing possible!?!

Yes, it is possible!.. as a roller coaster going under water already exist in Japan. The picture below looks similar with the idea for the ride above.

Although you must remember that what you've seen was NOT designed by WDI - so it was NOT renderings or a description of DLP's third theme park - i think that Chimera Design who designed all these concept-arts did a brilliant job and that it helps - even if it was not their goal - to envision how a Marvel Super-Heroes theme park might look.

However, as this park concept was obviously done some years ago in agreement or at the request of Marvel Inc AND considering that Disney now owns Marvel chances are that this park concept was in the "the pack" of the Disney-Marvel deal. In this case it would mean that what you saw today in this article might be, with a bit of luck, the concept which will serve as inspiration - or at least part of it - for DLP third park!

If Disney owns now this Marvel/Dubai project they could be tempted to use part of the concepts - and some are good - to save a lot of money in R&D - research and development. For instance, they could take the project to WDI and ask the Imagineers to be inspired by it...I'm doing pure prospective just for the pleasure but if you think about this on a corporate angle - i.e economically speaking - it perfectly makes sense...

Anyway, now all we have to do is to wait ten years or so to check if the Marvel Super-Heroes theme will be the final choice for DLP's third gate!

And you, what do you think, would you like to have at DLP a Marvel theme park looking like the one above?

All artwork: copyright Chimera Design - Marvel Entertainment
Note that you can see more concept-arts for other projects Chimera Design worked on on the Chimera Design web site.

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Price for one copy of the english updated edition (with the text in english) is 87 Euros + 15 euros shipping to any country. Payment can be done with Paypal.

You can see some inside pages of the book on this D&M page HERE and to order the book please email me at:

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting! I think Disney should absolutely build a Marvel theme park, I am just absolutely convinced that the Paris resort is NOT the right location!
You see, in most all parks around the world the Disney characters are present and have a prominent role. This gives all of those parks a family friendly, welcoming, and (dare I say it) magical feel. If Disney were to build a Marvel theme park, there will be limited room, if at all, for the Disney characters (you can't build an attraction and replace the real Spider Man with a Mickey version!). This will, in my opinion, be a clash with the theme of a Disney resort as a whole.
If you've ever been to Universal's Islands of Adventure you may agree that the Marvel area, despite being absolutely cool, has a threatening, unwelcoming and eerie feel woven into its comic-book setting. Yes the attractions are great, yes the characters are famous and imaginative, yes it is cool! But the innocence, the welcoming feel, and the warmth that radiates through most every Disney Park I fear will be lost and will have a negative impact on the Paris resort. I would welcome the idea that Disney would create a Marvel park or even a resort, but the Disneyland resort would just not be the right place.
Before thinking about a new resort I would very much welcome any effort in the Paris resort focused on guest services and guest-cast interaction. Right now, I believe there is more to gain there than with anything else.

Jones said...

I´m not saying that no money in the world could get me into such a park - but Disney would have to pay me a huge sum to make me even consider visting a park featuring these insipid Marvel characters.

Anonymous said...

I think a Marvel Superheroes land in WDS would be an ideal move.
Creating a Marvel theme park would, I think, damage Disney's image as a fantasty orientated family company.

Court said...

I think Hollywood Studios would be the best place to try out some Marvel attractions before building an entire park. It's already an amalgamation of other non-Disney created properties (Twilight Zone, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Aerosmith, etc...) and Marvel would blend in a little better there than somewhere else.

I also think it would be wrong to create such a coaster heavy park There's quite a few of us that don't care for coasters and small children wouldn't be tall enough to ride them.

Ryan said...

Actually, Paris would be the best place for a trial-run of Marvel characters, but as a part of WDS. Hollywood Studios would be great, but it's in direct competition with Universal, so they can test things out in Paris and import them as needed.

I could see 3-5 rides comprising of a Tomorrowland/Discoveryland-style atmosphere for these things. A simulator ride, a coaster, a smaller flat ride or two, and maybe a 3D show/live-action stunt show could be worked around these Marvel heroes. But I wouldn't build a park like that outright... it's too narrow for a theme, and alienating to non-comic lovers. Hollywood Studios/Walt Disney Studios Paris/Tokyo DisneySea's Port Discovery/DCA's Hollywoodland/HKDL's 2nd gate would be the best places to build this stuff.

Anonymous said...

I really really hate yhis idea , a land i think that the most DLP fans will be agree with but a whole park is toooo much.
I hope its gonna be a ECPOT or a Animal Kingdom !

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

Hello Alain, the art work you are asking maybe Wakanda, or an x-men related area- if you look at the picture closely, you can see some of the x-men, but you can also see spider man. Regarding the blue guy with a bow and arrow, I have no idea of who he may be. He looks more like a Navi from Avatar than like a Marvel hero, the closest looking Marvel hero I can think of is the Night crawler, but he's very different from this one.

This artwork is awesome! I would really like to see this park. The only thing that I don't like in this is the Nick land, maybe Disney can change that for a Disney/Pixar super heroes land and have an Incredibles ride, or a Pixar land and return Discoveryland to its Pixar free origins.

A Marvel theme park is an excellent idea for the third park in Paris in my opinion, as it would appeal to male teenagers and yong adults, a public that a good percentage don't like Disney very much.

So with this Park the Resort would have options for all tastes, and would appeal to the whole family, as teenagers who don't like the Disney universe much, can go to the Marvel Park while their sisters go to the DLP.

I'm completely against having marvel attractions or characters in the Magic Kingdoms, but a Marvel theme park makes total sense.

Just hope that they don't try to save too much money in this project, because the cheaper options are always the most expensive ones.

Juan José Parras said...

It could be great! And let's be honest: Disney needs to make something different from the classic Disney parks. Something where there's no words like "Dream" "Magic" "Wish" or "Wonder" around you.

Disney needs to make such a thing like a Boys-oriented, thrill park. I think there's no need to have docens of Mickeys fooling around in every corner of the resorts. It's as uninspiring as seeing a bunch of Santa Clauses on a mall in Xmas.

I'm thinking in other terms. Could it be possible that someday Oriental Land Company rescues DLP from its poor future...?

Nic said...

Oh please, god, no!

Richard said...

We believe the blue character with the bow and arrow is Yondu. A stylized updated version maybe?

Thomas said...

Blurgh! What a dreadful park, and what a dreadful idea! It's like a two-bit version of DisneySea.

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

I also think that Disney should build new thinks and develop new concepts (It's always better than just building something that you can see elsewhere), but I don't share your opinion on the rest Juan, I mean, I think that Disney should build a thrill park aimed towards boys, but I don't agree that "have docens of Mickeys fooling around in every corner of the resorts" or that having the words Dream" "Magic" "Wish" or "Wonder" around you is uninspiring- those things are part of the Disney experience and if you dislike them you are not a Disney fan.

And Thomas, what do you mean about a two-bit version of Disney sea? This is a totally new concept and the only correlation I can see between the two parks is the lake/lagoon in the center.

I think you are correct Richard, thank you- I really did not remember this character.

Juan, I really don't think that the OLC would buy DLP, simply because it would be a very bad investment- it would be more rational to invest the money in new resorts elsewhere in Asia, or in their resort in Japan which is very successful, don't you think?
I reckon that the only possible saviour of DLP is its mother company, they would help a lot if they just stop charging royalties from the European resort (their reputation should be more important than the profit they get from it in this case), and they could help more by increasing the resort's capital and reducing it's financial cost.

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

I forgot to say, but probably if they build an Animal Kingdom in Paris most of the animals are going to freeze to their deaths in the first winter, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

The Iron Man attraction would have been a Robocoaster, I imagine it would have offered a similar experience to the once rumored Incredible's-themed Robocoaster for DCA:

Owen said...

I totally agree with Marco Antonio Garcia! They should build this Park as I think it is an excellent move. Why does Disney need to stay traditional? Can they not build something that is new but STILL Disney? Of course they can.

It will give variety and even more importantly - a unique element to DLRP to persuade more people to there.

Also - did you read the article? We cannot try it in WDS and then send it off to Hollywood Studios - you cannot build Marvel attraction in the USA!

Anonymous said...

This shit belongs at 6 Flags, not Disney. The businessmen get big boners when they see the profits from the movies, but Spiderman etc are just a fad, that will die.

Anonymous said...

And let me add the best rides of all time were created without a "brand tie-in" - that's not a coincidence.

Juan José Parras said...

Marco Antonio, what I mean is that Disney is abusing of some terms like the mentioned above ("Magic" again?) or Disney simbols like Mickey (or Toy Story at last) for some products that are just uninspired and on the cheap side.

I'm a big Disney fan, but there have been Disney theme parks that haven't abused of the characters or that terms, and they actually raised the quality standards of their times.

I'm thinking of DisneySea, of course. But Epcot was, at its first times, a great example that the word Disney meant something else, not just the use and abuse of characters in the parks.

I'm very happy to see sink all of the meet'n greet areas designed for the Fantasyland rehab in MK. It's not necessary, I mean. It's not Disney quality.

Marco Antonio Garcia. said...

Now I've got your point Juan and I agree with you. I enjoy the characters, but think that they belong mainly in Fantasyland, and not all over. I'm against, for instance, filling Tomorrowland with characters, as that's not the point of the land- it was supposed to be about technology of the not so distant future.

Juan José Parras said...

I agree with you for sure! Buzz Lightyear doesn't seem very futuristic, for example. I think they're trying to link every inch of the parks to some character just to boost the souvenir sales, but in my opinion it turns against the park experience :-S

By the way, when I was talking about OLC, it was just wishful thinking. I know it won't happen, it's just I would love it ;-)

Court said...

My wife was just reading up on this a little bit and I think the reason we'll see a Marvel ride in Paris before anywhere else is that while Universal has the rights to Marvel characters for its park in Florida, Disney is not allowed to build any Marvel based attractions East of the Mississippi. Disneyland doesn't have much room to grow so it's possible we could get a ride at California Adventure but Paris is probably more likely if they're going to start building a new park.

Still, I'd think that the Marvel characters would be a bigger draw in the US than in Europe so you never know.

Owen said...

I have been thinking lately, and I am sticking to my guns in saying that a Marvel 'Park' would work in DLRP.

But for it still to have a Disney Element (as Marvel is not recognised as being a part of the Disney Company) they could have a Hero's Park with a Marvel Land allowing other films and characters...

Incredible's, Bolt, Basil the Mouse Detective, Narnia, G-Force etc. DLRP needs for HERO'S!

Owen said...

More hero's...
Robin Hood, Hercules, Spy Kids (Floops Castle with a mirror maze and roller coaster), Bug's Life, Mulan, Treasure Planet.

Most of all is... Mickey Mouse, Fantasia, Fun and Fancy Free, The Three Musketeers.

I really want to see this - so unique to Paris it could be the saviour!

Anonymous said...

the charecter is the imortal iron fist, one of the possible first movies from disney and marval