April 9, 2009

The Mystery Behind the Island

The concept of Mysterious Island has been around since the days of early Disneyland. With a proposed and conceptualized area of Discovery Bay, a Jules Verne inspired area. Then when building Disneyland Paris in the late 1980s the concept was used for its Tomorrowland, Discoveryland. But in the early 1990s the proposed second gate of Disneyland Resort in California was Port Disney. And in it was the land of Mysterious Island, similar to how it is now in Tokyo DisneySea, but never approved, the idea sat in the Imagineering offices for years until, the Oriental Land Company (the operators of Tokyo Disney Resort) greenlite the Port Disney concept under the name of Tokyo DisneySea, and Mysterious Island was in the plan, and not just in the back of park but as the main port of call and icon of the whole park. A HUGE honor for this small little land.

You enter via a tunnel carved through the side of the volcano, and find yourself in the crater. Below you can see the Nautilus docked. Above is a huge "drilling machine" stuck into the rocks. Blasts of steam vent from parts of the crater. It's 1870 and you're on a volcanic island in an uncharted part of the Pacific Ocean. But it's not the real 1870, it's Jules Verne's. It's not even a real island... It's an eye-poppingly massive monument to exactly what Walt Disney Imagineering can do. The startlingly realistic 167 foot tall Mount Prometheus, with its billowing smoke and sudden thunderous eruptions of fire. So realistic, yet so other-worldly at the same time. A bizarre environment of geothermal activity which envelops one in its walls and is made even more strange by the threatening devices of a mad genius. Those devices include a large scale exterior mock-up of the Nautilus submarine, a research submarine base, and an automated drilling device in the process of boring into the side of the live volcano. The attention to detail is taken to an even greater level of realism in this place. It's Captain Nemo's home and it's about to explode.

This port of call really isnt an island by itself it also is attached to Mermaid Lagoon, the home of Ariel and her Underwater friends and shares the front with the Mediterranean Harbor's Fortress Explorations. This port of call features two landmark attractions, three restaurants and one shop. Most of which are built into the giant Mt. Promenthus, the weenie of the park and icon of the park as well. The showbuilding for both attractions: Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Vulcania Restaurant are all built into the mountain.

Our next post we will break up Pics and Pins to just be Pics of Mysterious Island... Stay Tuned. [Sorry for no pics, my computer wont let me upload them. Hopefully will beable to tomorrow]
Information for this post was from LaughingPlace.com and MouseSavers.com.

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