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 The 5th Park

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MICKEYBEAST
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PostSubject: The 5th Park   Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:42 am

From Jim Hill Media I found this interesting and worth sharing with the Disney Lovers here:



Night Kingdom to reimagine the Disney-theme-park-going experience
Jim Hill shares what he knows about WDW's 5th theme park. Which will be an after-hours venue that will offer guests the chance to have all sorts of once-in-a-lifetime, hands-on adventures
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TiggerFan452 writes in to say:

Hey Jim,

Just wondering if you've heard anything about these focus groups that Disney World has been recruiting people for. If you take part, you're apparently shown a preview video for something called "Disney's Night Kingdom". Any idea what this project is about and if Disney's actually going to build the thing?

Dear TiggerFan452

"Disney's Night Kingdom" is the Mouse's long overdue response to SeaWorld's Discovery Cove. And -- yes -- the Mouse is actually going to build this $520 million project. Current plans call for this niche park to officially throw open its doors in October of 2011, just in time for the start of Walt Disney World's 40th anniversary celebration.

"Why did you call 'Disney's Night Kingdom' a niche park?," you ask. Well, because -- just like Discovery Cove (Which only allows in a thousand visitors each day) -- DNK will be restricting the number of guests that can enter this park every afternoon. Only 2000 people will be allowed into WDW's 5th theme park at any one time.


Copyright 2002 Busch Entertainment Corporation

And -- yes -- I said "afternoon." Disney's Night Kingdom's operating hours will be 4 p.m. to midnight (5 p.m. to 1 a.m. during daylight savings time).

Okay. I know. DNK already sounds unlike any Disney theme park that's currently operating on the planet. But there's a reason for that. The Imagineers want your Disney's Night Kingdom experience to be distinctly different. Something that you'll remember for the rest of your life.

How so? Well, let's first start with the extraordinary guest service that you'll experience as you enter DNK. Current plans call for Disney's Night Kingdom to be staffed by 4000 cast members. That means that -- for every guest that visits this theme park -- there'll be two cast members to take care of their every need. So expect to receive a lot of personalized attention & pampering once you arrive on site.

Speaking of arriving ... Guests will enter DNK through a new, super-sized version of the Adventurers Club at Pleasure Island. As you & your family are registering for that night's activities, the club's members will entertain as well as offer hints about the extraordinary adventures that await you.

After you've finished checking in, there's a whole new world to explore. Have you ever dreamed of acting like Indiana Jones and riding a zip line over a pool full of hungry crocodiles? Or hand-feeding a hippopotamus? Well, here you can.




Mind you, Disney's Night Kingdom will have no traditional theme park rides per se. But you'll still be able to get your fill of excitement & adventure as you strap on a pair of night vision goggles and then wander out into a pitch-black African savanna. Where you'll then be able to observe up-close lions & hyenas as they go through their nocturnal hunting routines.

You'll also be able to try your hand at spelunking as you explore a cave full of bats. Or -- if you're not a big fan of bats -- how about rock climbing? Does that sound too much like work? Then why don't you head on over to that South American-themed enclosure where you can frolic with some penguins?

As for the look of Disney's Night Kingdom ... Well, this theme park's horticultural budget will be just about as big as WDW's Typhoon Lagoon is. So expect DNK to look pretty lush.

And once you've had your fill of adventures, why not grab a gourmet meal at one of the park's two highly themed eateries? Or -- better yet -- find a seat inside of Night Kingdom's centrally located main theater. Where you'll then be dazzled by a state-of-the-art stage show which will be produced by Disney Theatrical and feature top Broadway talent.

I know, I know. A lot of you may have trouble wrapping your heads around a Disney theme park that's as distinctly different as DNK is going to be. That's why the business plan that the Walt Disney Company has drawn up for this project calls for Disney's Night Kingdom to operate at only 60% capacity during its first year of operation and then only 80% capacity during Year 2. Starting in Year 3 ... Well, by then, Disney hopes to have all of the bugs worked out (not to mention finally having a handle on the marketing of WDW's newest theme park). Which is why they then plan on Disney's Night Kingdom operating at 100% capacity during its third year of operation.




As for future plans for the park ... Well, DNK's blueprints do include spots for two new hotels. But these resorts will only be built in response to guest need.

Speaking of hotels ... The Mouse expects that Disney World's higher end resorts (i.e. The Contemporary, the Polynesian, the Grand Flo, Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Yacht & Beach Club, the Boardwalk as well as the Dolphin & the Swan) will be the primary feeders for Disney's Night Kingdom. With DNK drawing most of its visitors from these pricier on-property hotels.

"And why is that?," you query. Because just like Discovery Cove (which charges $269 - $289 for a one day adventure that also includes a week's worth of free admission to either SeaWorld Orlando or Busch Gardens Africa), admission to DNK is going to be pricey. Right now, Mickey's leaning toward charging guests $250 - $300 per person in order to gain entry to DNK.

Now keep in mind that this admission fee will also cover the cost of the gourmet meal that you'll be consuming while you visit Disney's Night Kingdom. Plus any non-alcoholic beverages that you quaff over the course of that evening. More importantly, that your admission fee to WDW's newest theme park will be considerably lower should you purchase it as part of a Disney World vacation package.

Another thing that you need to be aware of here is that the Mouse also plans on making DNK available to convention groups. So WDW's newest theme park could wind up being sold out for weeks, if not months in advance. Which is why -- if you really want to visit Disney's Night Kingdom -- advance reservations will definitely be recommended.




As to when the Walt Disney Company will be revealing that this project is actually in the works ... Next month's annual shareholder meeting in Albuquerque is a possibility. Though it's far more likely that Mickey will wait 'til the fall. So that Disney's Night Kingdom can then be announced as part of WDW's annual press event.

So there you have it, folks. Disney World's next theme park will NOT be Villains themed and/or loaded with lots of coasters. But -- rather -- it will be an intimate, natural environment that then offers you the chance to have lots of personalized, hands-on, once-in-a-lifetime adventures.

So now the big question is ... Come 2011, will you actually be willing to pay $250 - $300 to experience something like this while vacationing at Walt Disney World?
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PostSubject: Re: The 5th Park   Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:49 pm

Iiiiiiiiiiiiii Don't think this park is a good idea. Just put that money into rebuilding 20,000 Leagues Submarine Voyage and i will be pretty happy

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PostSubject: Re: The 5th Park   Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:06 pm

I would rather Disney invest that money into the parks they already have.

Alternatively, how about adding on a 'Retroland' where you could experience rides of the past? It would absolutely awesome to experience Horizons again, as well as World of Motion...

The parks seem to be getting busier and busier lately, so adding more rides into the parks would be an awesome idea for crowd control...

In the DNK info, it mentions a Braodway style theater, but how about a Broadway style theater to house Disney's Broadway shows in Downtown Disney areas in WDW and DLR? Disney has produced some fantastic Broadway shows (eg Lion King, Beauty & the Beast, Mary Poppins), but not everyone has had the opportunity to go to these shows in New York or other cities the shows have toured in). Disney could put the dinner packages to use here as well.

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PostSubject: Re: The 5th Park   Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:40 pm

TinkRocks wrote:
I would rather Disney invest that money into the parks they already have.

Alternatively, how about adding on a 'Retroland' where you could experience rides of the past? It would absolutely awesome to experience Horizons again, as well as World of Motion...

The parks seem to be getting busier and busier lately, so adding more rides into the parks would be an awesome idea for crowd control...

In the DNK info, it mentions a Braodway style theater, but how about a Broadway style theater to house Disney's Broadway shows in Downtown Disney areas in WDW and DLR? Disney has produced some fantastic Broadway shows (eg Lion King, Beauty & the Beast, Mary Poppins), but not everyone has had the opportunity to go to these shows in New York or other cities the shows have toured in). Disney could put the dinner packages to use here as well.

Wow TInk those are some Awesome Ideas! I would love to see some of the Brodway plays be in The parks, i mean the Lion King is/was even in london England, so why not Florida and California? And Retroland would be awesome too.

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PostSubject: Re: The 5th Park   Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:48 pm

News on Possible changes to this
Will you be visiting Walt Disney World over the next week-to-10-days? If so, keep a close eye out for any cast members clutching clipboards. Who may want to hear your opinion on WDI's recently revamped plans for Disney's Night Kingdom.

That's right. WDW's answer to Discovery Cove has undergone a rethink. Given that those who were surveyed back in February weren't all that enthusiastic about WDI's initial attempt at a niche park, the guys in Glendale are now taking another stab at this project. Ditching many of the ideas & concepts that would to have made Night Kingdom a truly unique guest experience.

"Like what?," you ask. Well, first of all, you can forget about DNK's original operating hours. Which were to have been 4 p.m. to midnight. In an effort to increase this niche park's capacity as well as its profit potential, Disney's Night Kingdom will now be operated from 12 noon to 2 a.m. daily.

And given that WDW's newest theme park will no longer be an "it only comes alive at night" -type operation a la Pleasure Island ... Well, that means that Disney's Night Kingdom name has to go. Which is why the Imagineers are now leaning toward calling this niche park Disney's Jungle Trek.

"What else has changed about this $520 million project?," you query. Well, in an effort to keep construction & operating costs of this proposed WDW addition down, WDI has been scaling back & cutting corners wherever it can. Cutting the number of ziplines to be built in this park from 5 to 2. Changing Jungle Trek's meal component (Where each guest was to have been served an elegant dinner by that theme park's extremely attentive staff) to a do-it-yourself all-you-can-eat buffet experience.

The Imagineers have even gone so far as to remove the individual "lands" that were to have been built inside of this niche park. Now what guests will find as they explore Disney's Jungle Trek is a global village. Which will feature individual buildings & structures that then represent the four corners of the globe.


This concept art for Epcot's never-build African World Showcase pavilion offers
a hint of the sort of adventurous atmosphere WDW guests can expect
to encounter as they explore Disney's Jungle Trek.
Copyright 1980 Disney. All Rights Reserved

The upside of this revamp is ... Most of the "adventures" that were originally proposed for Disney's Night Kingdom are still in place for Jungle Trek. You can still handfeed the hippos. You can still go spelunking in a cave and then encounter some bats. You can enjoy a dazzling stage show inside of a state-of-the-art theater (Though -- that said -- where Disney's Night Kingdom was supposed to have a 2000-seat theater which would have allowed this niche park to entertain all of its visitors at the same time ... Now Disney's Jungle Trek will have a much smaller, more affordable theater which will then present several shows daily in order to accomodate the crowds).

Speaking of crowds ... Again with an eye toward increasing this niche park's capacity, Disney will be breaking Jungle Trek's operational day into four different phases (i.e. morning, early afternoon, late afternoon and evening). With different groups of guests being loaded into the park during each of these phases to have 5-hour long adventurous experiences.

Of course, what's kind of ironic about all this is that -- while the Imagineers are increasing Jungle Trek's operating hours as well as reducing the scope of this entire project in order to make this niche park seem that much more affordable to Mouse House managers -- you know what hasn't changed about this proposed WDW addition? Its admission price. Which is still projected to be around $300 per person.

Mind you, if you aren't going to be at WDW before the end of August, you may still get the chance to comment on Disney's Jungle Trek. Earlier this week, the Mouse began reaching out to folks in the U.K. Asking them for their opinion on the revamped design for this niche park.

"Why reach out to people in the United Kingdom?"," you wonder. It's simple, really. Tourists from the U.K. make up a good portion of the folks who annually visit SeaWorld's Discovery Cove. And it's these exact folks that Mickey hopes to convince to come visit Disney's Jungle Trek.

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