Sunday, July 15, 2012

Disneyland Paris : The Discovery Mountain Project

If you're a faithful Disney and more reader, or simply a Disneyland Paris fan you probably have heard about the Discovery Mountain project that never was. For a lot of reasons, mainly because of the price of it, DLP Discoveryland ended with the Space Mountain that we all know, but Discovery Mountain, which was entirely a tribute to Jules Verne stories was truly an amazing project. In this new article we will have a closer look to what it would have been...and why we will miss forever this great project.

On the first artworks above and below you'll see great Tim Delaney paintings showing Discovery Mountain at night. The transparent tube on the left would have been a direct access from Videopolis, and if you go one day at DLP you still can see on the upper floor of Videopolis restaurant giant circle windows which are the one through which the transparent tubes would have linked Videopolis to Discovery Mountain.

Inside Discovery Mountain, guests would have found not only a unique Space Mountain ride but also the Nautilus submarine floating in a lagoon with a restaurant inside Captain Nemo's Grand Salon, access to the Star Tours and former Cinemagique attractions and also a "Journey to the Center of the Earth" ride - look at the track coming out of the volcano. Totally different than the one built at Tokyo Disney Sea this attraction was in fact the first free fall ride designed by WDI, many years before the Tower of Terror concept!

If we have a close look at this rendering you'll see not only a man on a flying bicycle but on the left of the volcano even a dinosaur!

This other Tim Delaney artwork showing the inside of Discovery Mountain is also great. Not only we also have the Nautilus floating in its inside lagoon...

...but if we have a closer look we can see in the back the entrance for Star Tours and Cine Magique. You'll also note on the top right Jules Verne floating in the shell - a reminiscence of a famous scene seen in Epcot's Horizons attraction.

This other artwork is also interesting as it shows the different access that Discovery mountain would have had.

But two of the most interesting artworks are the ones below, from Tim Lawrence. In Space Mountain Mission One "From the Earth to the Moon" DLP guests were sent by the huge Columbiad cannon in direction to the moon but didn't actually really went ON the moon itself. As you will see on this next artwork WDI Imagineers had envisioned that part of the Discovery Mountain roller coaster ride would have sent the guests "on" the moon. The artwork below shows clearly - enlarge the picture - the train going around and inside moon craters with a kind of victorian moon base built upon them, and all of it could have been watched by non-riders guests.

Another scene showing this moon base - you can see the Earth in the background - and interestingly the decoration of the base reminds the one of the Nautilus. The red sofa and carpets are similar to the one of Captain Nemo's Grand Salon - even the red curtains reminds it - and it seems that a book library was also include in that scene which looks like a place from where moon explorers could have explore the stars thanks to the telescope.

So, you see, this Discovery Mountain concept would have sent the riders really on the moon, and for sure it would have been a memorable experience. All the renderings you've seen above are include in my Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality book, and if you don't own the book yet, you will understand why it is such a great book, as it not only tell you the story of the making of what actually exist in the park but also shows never seen before concepts of the DLP "that never was".

And, good news, as until August 30 i do a special summer offer on the book which not only include a 20% discount on the regular price but, also, each one who will place an order will receive a special gift - and it's a great one! Below, you can see a video showing the whole book and to know more about the book and how to order and send your payment please go HERE , or send me an email at: , or use the Paypal one-click purchase button below, right under the video!

Artwork: copyright Disney


Marco Antonio Garcia said...

This would have been epic!

At least we have some of this concept in Tokyo.

The on the moon part is unbelievable, and it reminds me of the "Trip to the moon" attraction on the Luna Park in Coney Island that you talked about recently, with the technology 1,000% better, of course.

I knew about this concept already, but had never seen (or at least don't remember) the amazing last two pictures (moon base) from your post. I have your book and love it, I bought it from you a long time ago and have read it entirely, but I don't remember having seen the last two pictures (I'm going to look for it as soon as I arrive back home).

By the way, what Cine Magique are you talking about Alain? The only one I can remember, is the one from Disney Studios Paris- was there another one on Disneyland Paris that I don't remember about?

Alain Littaye said...

yes, Marco, the theatre next door to Star Tours where was Captain EO on opening day, and still some months ago, was called at that time Cinémagique. The title was deleted some years later but on opening day that's how it was called. Then they opened the Cinémagique attraction at the WDS, but that's another story.

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

Thanks for the answer Alain, I didn't remember that it was also called Cinémagique!

At least we still have the best Space Mountain version and the Nautilus in Paris, and I hope that it comes back to the moon again...