Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blue Skies

Of the Blue Sky imagineering ideas I've written about, this one was once close to going forward, but in a different location.

At the beginning of the Walt Disney World resort, there were a number of proposed hotels and their timelines are intertwined.  To start, were the Contemporary, Polynesian and Ft. Wilderness resorts (names have changed over the years).  The Golf Resort (Disney Inn/Shades of Green) was added later and is now operated by the Department of Defense.   In addition, there were to have been Asian, Venetian and Persian resorts.   The site for the Asian resort is now the part of the Grand Floridian that extends into the Seven Seas Lagoon.  The Venetian was to have been between the Transportation and Ticket Center and the Contemporary.  The Persian report was to have been on Bay Lake, but NOT where the Wilderness Lodge is now.  

The Mediterranean resort was to have been located where the Venetian resort was.  It was reported that the building site was not favorable to the construction.  Ironically, there was too much water.  The Venetian resort would have been able to have its canal system except those were supposed to be roads.

There's a write-up about the resorts that are-were-never were here at jimhillmedia.com:  http://jimhillmedia.com/editor_in_chief1/b/jim_hill/archive/2007/04/20/why-for-did-wdw-s-asian-venetian-and-persian-resorts-never-get-built.aspx

In that article, the model of the Mediterranean resort from that era has some oddities like what appear to be palm trees.  The color scheme seems very monochromatic although that may have been the model's material of construction.  In addition, it has elements of Michael Eisner's favorite designer, Michael Graves.  The Disney-In-Name-Only Swan and Dolphin resorts bear his distinct style.  They've also gone down in history as the ugliest hotels on property.

So, let's take a couple good ideas and try to fuse them.  Why not place the Mediterranean resort where the Persian resort was to have been rather than where the Venetian would have been.  That spot of land it to the north of the Contemporary on the western shore of Bay Lake.  Google maps already shows a cleared area there which appears to be used as a staging area, storage, non-guest parking etc...  It's not too difficult to image a resort there.  The Persian resort reportedly would have had access to the monorail via a spur.  Almost all monorail expansion has been a non-starter since Epcot.  The Wilderness Lodge (originally Cypress Point) isn't on the monorail system and its boat service has its own charms.  Almost anything else is going to be a bus ride.  Bus/boat connections would work just fine for the northwestern shore of Bay Lake too.  

It is interesting to note that the Persian resort would have been themed in blue and white.  Those are traditional Greek colors and are seen on Santorini (Thera/Thira) which is actually in the Aegean sea.  So, why not have our own "island" resort.  The Isle of Mickeynos is a play off Mykonos which is also in the Aegean.  Some fine Greek seafood would be served in its high-end restaurant.  Fishing boats would be tied up at its marina.  Certainly, Florida is hot enough to replicate conditions found in the Greek isles.  As with the other resorts, swimming is not done in the lake/lagoon but rather in pools.  The Isle's pool would be along the lines of classic Greek baths.   

There are a number of resorts that can be thought of as extensions of various parts of the parks
The Contemporary -> Tomorrowland
The Polynesian -> Adventureland
Wilderness Lodge/Ft. Wilderness areas -> Frontierland
Port Orleans (French Quarter/Riverside) -> New Orleans Square
Animal Kingdom Lodge -> Animal Kingdom Park
All-Star Movies -> Disney's Hollywood Studios

I offer that the Island of Mickeynos would complement the Greek pavilion at Epcot which I've covered in several other articles.  Perhaps, they could be built in tandem as a larger project.  

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