Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
I was shooting for greater representation, but the Park could always go the Busch Gardens route, (hopefully not as silly as the Irish section of the park).
An Indy-ized World Showcase? Is that the notion, but with everything in a geographically appropriate location? Maybe. But structurally it might be a bit of a disaster. Where's the entrance to the world? And you'd have a half dozen deserts, and a handful of jungles, and various outposts of civilization...I think you need to consolidate things.
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
What would you make the centerpiece of the park? A gothic spired University?
Good question. Thing is, I'm not sure it has a centerpiece in a traditional sense. It's a park about adventure, and so you need to get a little bit lost in it. Take a gander at this
Originally Posted by Passport to Dreams Old and New
How to Hide a Castle
Cinderella Castle is big. Really Big. Like, 198 feet big. It can be seen from a mile away. And in the designing of Walt Disney World, WED had to deal with this new kind of visual center point in the initial master planning process for the first time. Sure, The Matterhorn was (and still is, after 45 years of foliage growth) equally huge, but that was built four years after Disneyland’s opening and there was no good way to account for being able to see a future mountain from, say, Frontierland.
The Magic Kingdom’s solution was to choose its’ battles. The front areas of the lands are among the most important for allowing guests to slip into the fantasy of being in another place and time, as well as screening out lands which do not have a complimentary appearance (for example, seeing Space Mountain from Adventureland). This was achieved through actually not using forced perspective in the areas nearest the hub: buildings like The Adventureland Veranda and The Heritage House are, in fact, nearly 100% scale and restrict your view of the castle by hugging pedestrian space close to the buildings.
Further along, subtle architectural embellishments seek to harmonize with the spires of the castle: Liberty Square’s flagpoles and pointed cupolas, Tomorrowland’s old entrance spikes pointed skyward.
In Adventureland is a rather odd spire near the exit of the treehouse. This author had wondered about its’ significance for years and years. Invisible from Liberty Square and all angles save one, it serves no purpose. Yet find the right angle, and the most subtle and brilliant example of visual harmony you’ll find anywhere suddenly becomes clear.
All of which is to say: you'd need to harmonize the University structure. It couldn't be something big like, say, the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh:
There is a precedent for such parks with a hub that doesn't have a iconic center point.
Disney-MGM Studios, prior to the onset of its gigantic sorcerer's hat, had a replica of Graumann's Chinese Theatre at the end of it's Main Street-style Hollywood Boulevard, but it wasn't visible from every point in the park by any means.
Disney's California Adventure, which is not a hub-and-spoke layout park, has its Grizzly Peak visible throughout the entire park.
Tokyo DisneySea works similarly, with its volcano, Mount Prometheus, visible throughout, as seen here, from both its Mediterrean-themed entryway and from the Cape Cod-based section of its American Waterfront area.
It's a striking image, especially juxtaposed against what we see in the second photo, and you have to wonder whether it is appropriate to have something similar in our hypothetical Indiana Jones-based park. Something natural, or ancient, might well work better than some Barnett facsimile. However, there is at least one more option, that taken by the unbuilt America theme park that was to be built in Virginia.
That's a replica of Ellis Island near the center, and a Civil War-era fort across the body of water from it. There's colonial architecture in the upper-left portion of the image, and some manner of 1860s-era village around that portion as well. Some iconic structures, but nothing that's an iconic weenie, visible throughout and giving you some sense of orientation as you traverse the park. Maybe that would have changed as the plans moved forward, but it doesn't look likely - that's the level of painting you get where the layout is pretty well determined. Maybe the body of water would have served that purpose, to some extent, but it's not visible from everywhere, so that's hard to say.
Now, as a non-existent park, it's hard to say whether such a layout sans
centerpiece structure would have worked. DisneySea is a variant lying between a hub-and-spoke structure and the sprawling California Adventure layout, the latter of which has lands that are only accessible from one other land, unlike DisneySea, which still allows you to flow around the park in a hub-and-spoke-esque structure, but without a hub area.
Take a look at that layout:
And the same, pivoted around 90 degrees:
Now, I've never been there. But that layout has a sprawl to it, with elements bleeding into one another primarily by virtue of the waterways. (Can't help but think a little bit of some of those maps in the second Lego Indiana Jones game, those hub worlds that represented either an entire film or a third of KotCS.) The place is gorgeous, and seems to reek of adventure.
The entryway itself - I don't know that that's the University. That probably shows up in some corner of the park, out of the way, a focus for some of the learning, and with some museum-based attraction. You can tour Indy's home, meet him perhaps, that sort of thing. A place that feels safe, a haven from the adventure where you can throw in some of the meatier edutainment along with some stuff for the kids. The entryway would be, instead, some adventurous port of call. I mentioned Machete Landing earlier in the thread, and maybe that's the case. On the other hand, you don't throw people into someplace dangerous as soon as they enter the park, at least you don't usually. Maybe this park is different. Disney's Animal Kingdom has a generic Oasis area; DisneySea has a Mediterranean Harbor; all of the parks thus built on the Disneyland model have a Main Street, or a version thereof. Maybe people do need to get their bearings. But something tells me that you don't want that to be at the University. Of course, until someone comes up with something better, then I suppose Barnett is it by default.
Which isn't to say that it's the centerpiece. I think that's
a mountain, likely dressed differently on different sides, if it's anything at all.
Think that could work?