January 14, 2016

Beautiful Discovery Bay Art

Work moves ahead on the new Disneyland project, and like many of us, Shelly Valladolid aka Fab over at the MiceAge/Chat fondly recalls what could have been built in the Big Thunder Ranch area- the exquisite Discovery Bay.

The designs of Imagineer Tony Baxter have resulted in some of the most beloved and iconic attractions found in Disney theme parks. Truth is, his masterpiece, the unbuilt Discovery Bay for Disneyland deserves to be built somewhere. Anywhere. 

This beautiful piece of concept art shows what could have been. An original idea executed with brilliance and heart. A perfect thematic fit between Frontierland and Fantasyland. This blog contains other renderings that will make you wonder "What were they thinking when they cancelled this project?"

His work is everywhere. If you love the park in Paris', odds are you found Discoveryland a great blend of science fiction and whimsical fantasy a la Jules Verne. Thank Tony and his team. (Or the entire park as he led the project!) Do you find Big Thunder Mountain Railroad a must do every trip? I do. Thank Tony. Perhaps you still mourn the loss of the original Journey Into Imagination at EPCOT Center. Don't thank Toy for the loss, but do thank him for the creation of Dreamfinder and Figment, characters burned into the hearts of theme park fans worldwide. Indiana Jones Adventure, Splash Mountain, the original New Fantasyland at Disneyland- projects big and small. Tony.

So, Star Wars Land it is- and we will be wowed. Disney will not botch this one up. They cannot afford to. 

Even in retirement, Tony and his creations are hotly debated inside and outside the Walt Disney Company. One mark of genius. Think jealousy, envy, and old fashioned politics all within the company we love to talk about. I've taken a look at this debate in greater detail. Part One can be found here. And Part Two

The original piece thought to be Discovery Bay.

UPDATE: Although this was given to me as Discovery Bay, my friend Alain Littaye at Disney and More believes it to be Tokyo Disney Sea. He may be right! I'll have to do some checking.

UPDATE #2: Alain's hunches are correct- Tokyo Disney Sea, it is, so I have replaced the concept art.

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)


Alain Littaye said...

Mark, are you 100% sure it's a Discovery Bay artwork? Looks to me it's more a TDS Mysterious Island artwork. The reason why i think that is because of the Journey to the Center of the Earth vehicle in the background jumping out of the volcano...

Mark Taft said...

Could be, Alain! It was passed onto me as Discovery Bay. I'll have to try to track it down.

Alain Littaye said...

Mark, after double checking i can now tell you that it is 100% a Tokyo Disney Sea Mysterious Island rendering.