Monday, January 30, 2023

Peter Pan Shield

Some designs don't make the cut. As Peter Pan attraction guests leave the loading area of the Shanghai Disneyland version, they fly through a gate designed to block the view of the first scene. A simple shield with the attraction title was used as a placeholder during the design phase, and the team leadership complained every time they saw it. Every time they complained, we (at Studio Z) explained that it was a placeholder and that a design incorporating the characters was still to come. This design was intended to reflect the early Fantasyland attraction's character murals. With the new design complete, we spent time with the mechanical engineers to figure out how the gate would split open and not cut Pan and Tinker Bell down the centerline. They would remain on the same side as the Neverland pirate crew, symbolizing the difference between the fantasy world and the children's reality.

Sadly, the design did not make the final cut, and I suspect it was a budget concern, although we were told they didn't like the design. Additionally, they claimed that all characters would have to be redrawn by an approved Disney character artist. Things changed between the 1990s, when I worked on Paris Disneyland, and 2013, when China Disneyland was under design.

For Paris Disneyland, in addition to art directing and designing the three dark rides (Snow White, Pinocchio, and Peter Pan), I also drew all of the character murals, tapestries, and stained glass windows for the land. These included those found in the Cinderella restaurant and Sleeping Beauty castle--not to mention the dark rides.

The shield shape remained with a nondescript pattern. It was a missed opportunity since these are the only gates that guests often stop and stare at before beginning the adventure. Nevertheless, I'm happy to share what might have been.

No comments:

Post a Comment