Opposite Attractions: A Theme Park Design Show

A comedy design challenge podcast about creating theme parks that are 'technically possible'.

Disney's Wonderlands (Part 4: S.E.A. Headquarters Overview)

The Park Entrance

Coming from your car or a bus, the front of Wonderlands would look largely unassuming, much in the same way that Animal Kingdom's entrance is just a chunk of turnstiles next to a parking lot the size of Rhode Island. The turnstile area would be a quirky combination of stark concrete and ornate decorations, though all of them would be marked or tagged or "replicas" and "for entrance decor only". Signage around the area would not use the Disney name as much as it would say things like "S.E.A.'s Wonderlands", similar to the signs around Pandora: The World Of Avatar. The space would be flat and open, with small merchandise and food stalls orbiting an open center, of which would feature an unusually large spot of charred ground, with slapdash fencing and security measures around it. Opposite the turnstiles would be a 50 foot tall gate with a hole blown through the bottom center of it, giving guests are archway to walk through about as wide as Main Street USA and around thirty feet tall. The gate will have similar security rigging in place to that of the charred ground, like something not very pleasant took place at some point in the past.

Beyond The Gate

On the other side of the gate, guests enter the Forecourt of the S.E.A. Headquarters. Surrounding the courtyard is a U-shaped building with breezeways going to the left, right, and forward. The space in the building closest to the gate would feature more shopping (to the left) and Guest Relations/Information (to the right). The building itself would look like someone was tasked to construct an art and history museum and accidentally did it inside out. Large unopened crates would be stacked near the gate, as though waiting to be opened and their wares displayed for visitors. Other crates may be spotted in corners or various other places around the courtyard.

The main attractions in this area would be a two story walking tour of the headquarters that would cover the entire second floor and the area between the central and right breezeways. The area between the central and left breezeways would house a motion-simulator/theater show explaining the busted gate and the charred spot by the entrance, both of which will get their own in-depth posts at a later date (as will all the attractions that may be mentioned here on out).

Outside The Courtyard

The left and right breezeways both lead to areas still inside the confines of the Headquarters - the right side opens to an area full of Research/Study and Residence buildings/attractions while the left side is for showcasing (and sometimes demonstrating) specific artifacts S.E.A. members have brought back from their travels. The layout would be somewhat similar to Epcot's Future World (as I discussed in a previous post) with separate larger pavilions each housing a main attraction as well as some minor attractions/exhibits and some shopping (because this is still Disney). All merchandise locations will be played under the guise that your purchases help fund travel, research, and potentially the payment of medical bills for the S.E.A.). The central breezeway leads to the back half of the park, the Wonderlands themselves. In this case, guests are not meant to be traveling to the specific lands themselves but are simply touring/experiencing replicas designed by the S.E.A. to give the best possible representation of their travels to the guests. This will not only help explain the various cast members one might find in <> or <> but also explain how a person might move between <> and <> by simply walking a few hundred feet even though one might be a more realistic space while its neighbor might be more animated.

Please note that the above contains redacted information because, well, I don't want to give away all the lands yet. At least I gave you a small hint at the end there.

Each side of the front half of the park will also contain pathways that will lead toward the back half of the park (again much like Future World) but will be smaller and more indirect paths (such as the path between Imagination and Canada/Test Track and Mexico in Epcot when they aren't selling food or the smoker's path between Tomorrowland and Storybook Circus in Fantasyland).

In the next post, I will continue to keep that back half of the park under wraps and begin the arduous task of explaining each attraction one will find in and around the Headquarters, starting with the tour and the theater show all wrapped up in one - mainly because the tour itself isn't so super-exciting. Stay tuned.