Monday, January 25, 2010

Rare Beastly Kingdom Dragon Tower Attraction Artwork

I have a great find for you today, and you're not going to believe how i've found it. Last week i was surfing on ebay, having a look at a seller named "Sell and Ship". As they have sometime collectible items coming from Disney cast members or Walt Disney Imagineering, i regularly have a look on their page just to check if there is something really interesting...

And what do i see? A pin described as "Animal Kingdom Dragon Pin". I'm not at all a pin fan but it was supposed to be an "Imagineering limited edition", so i clicked on the item to have a closer look on the page and read the description:

- Walt Disney Imagineering Exclusive
- Limited Edition of only 300
- One pin in a series of artwork from WDI.
- Approx 2.25" across and 1 5/8" tall.
- The artwork is primarly red and black.
-It is framed by a red and black metal frame.

But the most interesting was:

- Inside artwork depicting the original concept that was supposed to features animals that never were, but later the concept was abandoned.
- When the Discovery River boats ran, passengers passed by a fire breathing dragon's cave.

And i thought: "A rendering showing the Beastly Kingdom dragon? Let's have a closer look to this". So, i took the pin image, opened the file through Photoshop and increase its size to have a better look.

And you know what? This rendering is NOT showing the scene with the Discovery River boat and the dragon's cave, it's showing a scene of the Beastly Kingdom Dragon Tower never built roller coaster attraction!! In fact, it is the very first rendering i've seen showing the inside of the castle, with the dragon breathing fire and the roller coaster train nearby - if you look closely, you can see the harness on each seat. As you can see on the full size picture below it don't look at all like a cave but more like the inside of a castle, not to mention the roller coaster train, so i think there is little doubt that we have here a rendering showing a rare scene of Dragon Tower.

I remind you that Beastly Kingdom was a land devoted to creatures of legend and mythology. Beastly Kingdom was to have featured mythical animals such as unicorns, dragons, and sea monsters. The land would have feature realms of both good and evil creatures.

The evil side would have been dominated by Dragon Tower, a ruined castle home to a greedy fire-breathing dragon who horded a fabulous treasure in the tower chamber. The castle - artwork below - would also be inhabited by bats who planned to rob the dragon of his riches. They would enlist the guests' help in their scheme and whisk them off on a thrilling roller coaster ride through the castle ruins. The climax of the ride would be an encounter with the evil dragon himself, resulting in a nearly-barbecued train of you can see on today's artwork.

You'll note that the picture with the dragon is not perfectly clear as the ebay picture was a shot of the whole pin - as you can see above - including the glass over the rendering and its reflection on the artwork. I've tried to improve the document with Photoshop, but it's still not perfect which is no big drama as we can see quite clearly most of the rendering.

Hope that all Animal Kingdom fans will be pleased by this find and if you're interested by exclusive Imagineering items "Sell and Ship" have quite a lot of them on sale right now on ebay!

Thanks to leave a comment or discuss this article on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

Picture: copyright Disney


Dan Alexander said...

Wow, what a great find. You have an eagle eye!

Anonymous said...

Are you sure, guests are on a roller coaster ? It looks like a boat ride...

Alain Littaye said...

Definitely sure it's a roller coaster, sorry.

Tyler Bliss said...

Sorry guys...couldn't pass that up! I bought it!

Mark said...

Good for you, Tyler- I considered it!

Anonymous said...

Awesome find, Alain. As the imagineering saying goes...a good idea doesn't I hope this one become reality somewhere, some day...maybe even where it was originally intended.

- Tasman

Kristin said...

That is awesome! What a crazy find.

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!

Steve A said...

It's probably not true, but I read a rumor Disney is making their 5th park right next to Animal Kingdom. It will be called Disney's Beastly Kingdom (possibly Dominion). The lands would consist of a central Dragon section (Discovery Island), an Egypt section (Africa), Australia (Asia), a Stars Wars snow planet (Dinoland) and Fantasia (Pandora).