Thursday, August 14, 2008

DLP Walt's restaurant : the case of the mysterious "River Idol" rendering

For those of you who never had the pleasure to have lunch at Main Street U.S.A Walt's Restaurant, i must tell you first that the 1st floor is divided in five rooms, one for each land of the park.

Each room have a different theming, including renderings and models in relation with the land. For instance, in the "Discoveryland" room you'll find a Nautilus model - created, by the way, by the late Tom Scherman - and paintings or renderings on the Nautilus theme. Generally, each painting in the rooms represents an attraction or decor that guest can enjoy at Disneyland Paris.

Now, in the "Adventureland" room, where you also have paintings and model in relation with the land, any guest can see the rendering below with the title "The River Idol" and the name of the artist - Bryan Jowers.

Where it's becoming interesting is when we realize that this rendering shows a scene which not only can't be find in any DLP attraction, but also nowhere in any Disney theme park in the world! I can be wrong, but as far as i go inside my memory, i don't remember any Disney attraction showing that scene. And, considering that the decor is beautiful, i certainly would have remember it! So, does it show a pre-show decor? Is it a concept-art for another kind of Jungle Cruise temple? Or for a different Indiana Jones Adventure?

Now, two solutions: first, that scene was part of a never done project, and in this case, i will be really interested to know which one (!) - or, two: it is simply a beautiful painting done by a WDI artist, with no relation to an attraction project and the imagineers put it in this room because they thought that the painting fits well with the room theming.

In any case, if any imagineer read this article and can give us the solution of this enigma, he is more than welcome!

UPDATE: In less than two hours, the mystery was resolved! This concept-art of WDI artist Bryan Jowers was done for the Disneyland, Anaheim project "Indiana Jones and the lost expedition". This "River Idol" was supposed to be at the heart of a new Jungle Cruise temple... You can read more about this "lost expedition" concept in an old Jim Hill article HERE.

The reason why this rendering is inside Walt's restaurant is because the imagineers were thinking of doing Indy at some point in DLP, so the rendering made it in as a "tease". At least we know, now, that imagineers envisioned for DLP two major Indy attractions: this "lost expedition" concept and the "Indiana Jones Adventure" for which i'm still praying every night that it'll be the next DLP "E-Ticket"!

Artwork: copyright Disney Enterprises


Anonymous said...

If you enlarge the second picture and in the bottom lefthand corner reads the name " Bryan " but I can't read the last name. I believe that this was the proposed "Indiana Jones and the Lost Expedition" complex that would have included part of the Jungle Cruise plus an Indiana Jones ride.

The Artwork of Christi Bunn said...

Never been to DLP, but hope to someday. I am fairly certain the signature is Bryan Jowers, an imagineer that worked on EuroDisneyland/DLP projects, among others.


Mark said...

Alain, you continue to amaze me with what you did up! I walked through all the rooms at Walt's last visit, but must have missed this.

Alain Littaye said...

Oh, okay, so i am going to add Brian Jowers name in the article. And thanks "anonymous" for the info!
To Mark: yes Mark, that's my job: to find hidden jewels!

Wavecritter said...

Outstanding information on WDP! This additional info on Brian from Christi and anonymous is fun! Thanks :)