Opposite Attractions: A Theme Park Design Show

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

Disney's Wonderlands (Part 5: Pete's Tapestry)

In the left corner of the far side of the Courtyard, guests will find an archway above which is a beautiful sign that reads "Pete's Tapestry". Around the outside of the sign, however, are hastily painted and tacked up smaller signs full of apologies and a larger sign reading "What Really Happened" with arrows pointing toward the archway, inviting guests inside.

The queue looks like it was once fairly ornately decorated, but the areas closest to the walls are roped and partitioned off with caution signs similar to those out in the main courtyard. Decor remains smashed on the floor in places, and singe marks pepper the walls, as does various cleaning and decorating supplies (brooms, pans, paint cans, ladders, etc).

The cast members in the area mainly ignore the state the queue is in, and any inquiries as to it's current state are blamed on Pete, who has been busy working on a presentation to help better explain his side of the story as to what happened inside and outside the building.

Guests are taken into one of two presentation rooms, though from the main queue area this is not something that is easily recognizable (think the stretching rooms of the Haunted Mansion). Each room can handle around 40 guests, seated in five rows of eight. At the front of the room is a screen, though it is meant to look like a continuation of the room and featuring a stage with a lectern and a curtain behind it.

After being seated, Pete is seen walking onto the stage, dragging a mop, and moving to the lectern. He introduces himself, a younger member of the S.E.A. - basically an intern. He looks filthy, dressed in a white jumpsuit that has is stained with paint, dirt, and looks even slightly damp. He has a face mask pulled down around his neck. His hair is complete shambles. His eyes are bloodshot, as he begins speaking by explaining that the events spoken about in the attraction happened "a day or so ago" and he has not slept much since "the incident with the tapestry", which he introduces behind the curtain.

The tapestry is the width of the stage, and almost as tall as the curtain. It features a very large painting of a somewhat cartoonish dragon, smiling. He jokingly refers to it as "my dragon", but it is not in any way styled after either version of the film "Pete's Dragon". Upon seeing the smiling dragon, Pete exclaims "that isn't how I left you" and slowly begins to pull something from inside his white jumpsuit. The dragon on the tapestry begins to move, and becomes much more sinister looking. The theater shakes and slightly moves. The dragon begins to speak, and explains his side of the story. He states in a booming voice that Pete had trapped him inside the tapestry by using a gemstone, which Pete reveals from inside his jumpsuit. At the sight of the gem, the dragon panics and begins to fight against the tapestry's hold, the fabric moving along with the dragon's actions. Pete turns and tries to summon the power of the stone by moving it closer to the tapestry, but trips over his mop and falls off the stage. The dragon frees itself from the tapestry and begins to speak very elegantly about his imprisonment, showcasing himself as the same cartoon dragon he showed at the beginning and how he was magically brought to life, using the tapestry as a visual aid. The tapestry, and his image upon it, were created by an ancient people that gave him life through magic and allowed him to live outside the walls of the fabric, but his appearance scared the people and they were forced to trap him to the tapestry using the gemstone, which had been by his side in a dark cavern for centuries. He spent the time learning to adjust his appearance in the hopes someone would free him.

At this point, his cartoonish appearance once again fades, his voice becomes more sinister as and the truth of his existence - that he was an ancient evil trapped in the tapestry only to be accidentally reawakened by Pete on an archeological mission - comes out as he begins seemingly moving around the theater, causing even more 3D heat and movement effects. Pete had foiled his previous escape attempt two days prior by using the power of the gemstone, mainly because the dragon had let it slip that it was the only thing stopping him from truly escaping. He had made it as far as the courtyard the last time, but this time - he yells as wings appear from his back and he motions as though he is going to tear a hole in the ceiling - will be different. As he lets out one final roar to the audience, he is s suddenly caught in a ray of light from the gemstone, which sucks the dragon back into the tapestry, somehow freezing his body upside down and his face in a stark panic. Pete slowly stands back up from off-stage, holding the glistening gemstone high in the air as the light begins to fade. He looks even worse than he did at the start of his presentation, but is relieved that the dragon did not do near as much damage this time as it did last time. Pete is then interrupted by another S.E.A. member, who asks why he's showing their guests another of his dumb dragon paintings ("it's not even right side up!") and tells him to get back to cleaning up from that "unsanctioned party" he had in the courtyard. Pete and the other S.E.A. member both walk off the stage as the dragon watches and laughs at Pete, then gets the curtain closed on him. The stage area darkens, the theater lightens, and Pete can be heard from off-stage commenting that he needs to let the guests out of the theater by opening the doors, which are either to the right or left of the bottom of the theater, depending on which theater the guests are actually in.

Guests exit to a hallway to the outside of the theater and find themselves either closer to the merchandise side of the HQ's first floor, or nearer to the central breezeway and the entrance/exit to the walking tour, which is what will be discussed in the next post, coming soon! Stay tuned.