April 7, 2014

Westcot's Asia

It's a well known fact that Disney Imagineers design and then abandon some of the great concepts for attractions and entire theme parks. It's also known that the Disney suits are infamous "budgeteers", cutting the life and quality from some attractions that do survive. Often the upper echelon of the Company will pull the plug entirely on an exciting project and replace what was a great idea with an inferior product.

Here's a piece of art for the discarded Westcot project, once imagined for California as it's second gate. Where Florida's EPCOT Center had separate pavilions for each country of World Showcase, next to Disneyland, entire continents would be represented in a more hodge-podge form. In this Asia section, landmarks representing Japan, China, and India would sit alongside other pieces of Asian architecture. 

For a variety of reasons, the suits pulled the plug and gave us the very undernourished California Adventure in its place. Granted, the park circa 2014 is almost an entirely new experience, and it has become worthy of the Disney name.

Westcot is not the only aborted project or project that has been slashed in scale, scope, and content. Check out this blog for what could have been for the Indiana Jones Adventure, the original plans for Hong Kong Disneyland, and unbuilt attractions such as Florida's famous Western River Expedition

If there's any merit from learning from the past, the Chinese have done it with Shanghai Disneyland. You can bet this park will look and feel pretty spectacular. They do not want another park with the poor reputation of what was found in Hong Kong at opening!

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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