Gary Goddard Entertainment Featured in the LA Times Cover Story

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We are very excited to announce that the February 3rd 2015 edition of the Los Angeles times is featuring Gary Goddard Entertainment on the front page. With quotes from are Chairman and CEO Gary Goddard the article focuses on the rising demand for Theme parks in Asia and the Middle East. Please enjoy this exceptional article on Theme Parks in China

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You can read the entire article at  The LA Times

JUST ANNOUNCED! $3.2 BILLION DOLLAR GODDARD GROUP-DESIGNED STUDIO CITY MACAU RESORT TO DEBUT THIS SUMMER!

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Earlier today, visionary developer Lawrence Ho announced his boldest and most spectacular project to date: Macau Studio City- an all-new casino resort set to debut on Macau’s famed Cotai Strip this summer.
One truly groundbreaking aspect of this unprecedented resort is the creation of a short film starring some of the biggest movie stars in the world, including Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and legendary director Martin Scorsese. Check out the preview released as part of today’s media event!

More details regarding the project can be found in the official press release:

“We are pleased to announce our involvement as the project’s designer, and we invite you to not only read the official press release below,
Studio City Macau, when it opens in mid-2015, is set to take Macau’s entertainment destination proposition to unprecedented new levels, by providing a ‘next generation’ of outstanding entertainment-driven leisure destination experiences that will help the territory’s evolution into a truly international tourism center.

The Hollywood-themed studio-concept resort is a thrilling new cinematic inspired entertainment and leisure destination and is designed to be the most diversified entertainment offering in Macau. Ideally located on Cotai, close to the Lotus Bridge immigration point connecting Hengqin Island and a future station-point for the Macau Light Rapid Transit (LTR), Studio City will deliver more world-class entertainment amenities than any integrated resort in the market.

Studio City’s stunning Art-Deco facade includes an iconic “Golden Eye” gondola ride which straddles the resort’s two-tower hotel at a height of some 130 meters. The integrated resort will provide the ultimate in sophisticated leisure entertainment, hotel, retail, dining and lifestyle experiences.

The resort’s innovative entertainment offerings include “Studio City Entertainment Center”, a 5,000-seat multi-purpose entertainment center designed to host live concerts, theatrical and sporting events; and “Studio 8″, a 300-seat live-audience TV broadcast studio for reality and game-show productions distributed in the Asia region. The entertainment experiences also include a magic theatre “The House of Magic” and a Warner Bros. Batman-themed motion ride “Batman Dark Flight”, together with a 30,000 square foot Family Entertainment Center for kids filled with Warner Bros.’ and DC Comics’ franchise characters and play-rides.

Studio City is destined to deliver an unparalleled leisure entertainment and hospitality experience, strengthening the depth and diversity of Macau’s leisure, business and tourism proposition as a leading visitor destination in Asia.”

We are pleased and proud to have played a key role in creating the concept, master plan, and developing the design for the project.  In addition to being an incredible destination resort the project will feature an amazing retail world based upon the movies, an incredible set of unique attractions, and the GGE-designed double circle ferris wheel, the first ever in the world, and the first ferris wheel to be installed as a major part of the actual architecture of the building.  Studio City will become the next great iconic attraction in Macau and follows the success of our prior creation, GALAXY MACAU, which opened in May of 2011.  We will continue to update our blog as new developments continue through the opening later this year.

Announcing the CIRQUE DU SOLEIL THEME PARK RESORT

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10634095_10152761360794333_5257936513429395841_oToday is a milestone day in the history of theme parks, as at this very moment our Founder & Chairman, Gary Goddard, is in Riviera Maya, Mexico announcing our most incredible project to date- the world’s first CIRQUE DU SOLEIL THEME PARK RESORT.

This unprecedented collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, the Goddard Group, and Grupo Vidanta will be unlike anything else the world has seen before.

To get all the latest news, LIKE the official Goddard Group Facebook page!

RALPH MCQUARRIE AND JAMES BOND?

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Never-before-seen McQuarrie Rendering as created for a planned Universal Studios Attraction.  Why has no one ever heard of this before?  Why has no one seen this artwork before?  Read on for answers.

Ralph McQuarrie’s Concept Rendering for the 007 JAMES BOND ACTION SPECTACULAR planned for Universal Studios Florida.

 

From the GGE Files:

While going through some older files at GGE we came across something very unique – an original rendering by Ralph McQuarrie for a James Bond project.  We researched it and found that in late 1986 Gary Goddard was engaged by Universal Studios to create four major new attraction concepts for the planned UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA project which was being developed at MCA. Among the four projects one was to be a Live Action Stunt Show based upon the JAMES BOND motion picture franchise.  Goddard envisioned a show that would be a spectacular stunt show, while also being a tribute and homage to the Bond films. Once he had the basic idea roughed out he called Ralph (whom he had brought on previously to work with him on the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE motion picture) to create a conceptual rendering for the project.  Here’s Gary Goddard speaking on the collaboration:

 “I had worked with Ralph in 1986 I believe —  for three weeks when he had a break from COCOON —  on the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE motion picture.  When Universal called us to take on several projects, one of them being this James Bond Action show, I immediately thought it would be great if Ralph could come on board with us.  I called Ralph and explained what we were doing, and when he heard it was James Bond he said “sounds like fun” –  though he noted he hadn’t really done a live stage show before.  I told him not to worry –  that I would talk him through it – and that at this point we wanted a grand conceptual rendering for the show we were creating and that details would come later.  I met with him and took him through the major beats of the show and set up the finale scene which is where I wanted him to focus.  In the illustration several things have happened by this time – all setting up the grand finale:  The Giant Circular Roof has opened, the massive hangar doors have parted – revealing the nuclear warhead missiles – one of which is moving onto the gantry for launching, and the massive submarine has surfaced. In addition, Bond’s most memorable villains are gathered (via the multiple screens) to watch both his demise and the launch of the nuclear warhead that will put the two super-powers at their mercy.  I wanted Ralph to capture the live audience, seated before a massive set that would bring to mind the greatest Bond films.  He managed to do it – in one rendering –  he managed to convey the size, scale, feeling and overall spectacular nature of the show that we were proposing. He also got in the huge circular opening above, the massive indoor lagoon and submarine, the missiles and gantry, and the screens with the classic villains.  And he got the live audience in too.   The great thing is that when anyone sees the rendering they immediately know that it’s something to do with James Bond.  The rendering communicates JAMES BOND. He was able to capture that “Bond” feeling and the sense of the Bond movie mis-en-scene in one rendering.  Ralph was amazing in his ability to stage, design, and light a scene in a way that would bring it to life for the viewer. I think this particular piece is among his best works – it’s really inspired.”

 From the Concept Presentation Treatment (February 2, 1987)

The production is envisioned as a spectacular tribute to the classic series of James Bond motion pictures as produced by Albert R. Broccoli starting in 1962. The production will be a fast-paced action show featuring a wide array of large scale stunts, pyrotechnics and unique special effects.  Live performers will present the best elements associated with the James Bond films in a fifteen-minute show filled with technological wonders, grand-scale explosions, high-tech transformations, and of course, humor; all the trademarks of the James Bond films. The attraction will include such essential Bond elements as: an exciting chase, Bond seducing the “bad girl” to such a degree that she turns around and helps him later, a collection of super-strong villains and their even stronger henchmen, a countdown which must be stopped (in order to save the world), and a finale sequence with surprise “sting” at the end – just when you think Bond is safe from danger, the final trap is unleashed.  The 007 JAMES BOND ACTION SPECTACULAR will give audiences a large scale, fast-paced adventure alongside James Bond in an epic production that promises to be a “main event” at the new Universal Studio Tour in Florida.

All New Let’s Dream! Nighttime Spectacular Premiers at Lotte World

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On July 1st we unveiled our all-new LET’S DREAM! nighttime spectacular at South Korea’s 롯데월드 (lotteworld).

To begin this amazing show LET’S DREAM! incorporates an amazing aerial lantern show. The Lanterns, taking on a life of their own, move through the air performing and arranging themselves in various aerial formations.

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Lantern Bike and A flying Magic Lantern

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A Lantern Dancer and Lantern Bike

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Choreographed Flying Lanterns

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The Dream Castle

LET’S DREAM!  then guides park guests on a magical journey to an enchanting world where dreams come to life in ways never before imagined. Today we offer an extensive look at the amazing props, costumes and floats made just for the parade- each one inspired by 롯데월드 (lotteworld)‘s park, characters, and attractions.

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The Dream Master

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Dreams Of The Deep

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Dreams Of Adventure

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Dreams Of Daring

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Dark Dreams

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Dreams Of A Bright Tomorrow

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Lotte World Let’s Dream!! Epic Indoor Fireworks Finale

 

SNEAK PREVIEW: BROADWAY 4D

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“This is the day I recorded the track for “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” for Broadway 4D. Cool venture. More to come…”

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Three weeks ago, scaffolding came down on 42nd Street revealing the magnificent exterior of The Times Square Theatre on 42nd Street, the home of BROADWAY 4D, our latest and most spectacular new production.  Construction is now beginning and within a year the theatre (built in 1920) will be restored and enhanced in a way that brings back its original splendor, while also transforming it into a true “theatre of the 21st Century”.  At the same time, as the project prepares to move into production, pre-recording has begun for the musical numbers that will form the heart of the show. Hugh Jackman recently posted this Instagram image and comment following his pre-record date at a studio in New York.  Company founder Gary Goddard is in New York working with an amazing team of designers, producers, choreographers and performers.  More details to come in the weeks and months ahead.

The Story of the Great Unbuilt WIZARD OF OZ Theme Park, as told by the Park’s Creator; Gary Goddard – Part 4

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Home of the Wicked Witch of the West

This was to be the perfect place for Teens and Young Adults; the ultimate “thrill ride” and “scary place” for those who look for that kind of thing.  We thought this was the perfect way to create a “land” where younger children would intuitively wait to visit, not wanting to journey into the deep and dark forest the Wicked Witch calls home.  Strange sounds emanate from the forest at all hours, mixing in with the screams and shouts of those brave enough to ride with the Winged Monkeys or to traverse the River of Doom.

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THE BROTHERS HILDEBRANDT did a fantastic job of catching the “dark and foreboding look” that we wanted for this land.  The idea was that the entire “ LAND IN THE WEST” was always dark and scary.  Signs (as in the motion picture) would encourage you to keep away.  “I’D TURN BACK IF I WERE YOU” and “STAY OUT – THIS MEANS YOU!” would be among the many such warning signs.  The continual darkness was due to the fact that were going to place an immense and very high “shade roof” (or series of roofs) over the entire land so that sunlight would not penetrate.  Since you are journeying “deep into the forest” we would stage the trees in front to hide the roof top above, while having the trees get thicker and thicker, blocking any view of the roof as you journey into the Land of the Wicked Witch.  Young children would natural resist going to this “land” because of the way we set up the approach. In addition to providing a controlled lighting situation by day and by night, the hidden rooftop also giving us a land where hot days, rainy days, and even snowy days, would not penetrate our deep and dark forest.

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The journey itself would have you passing by and over “The River of Doom”, while you would hear and see glimpses of the “Winged Monkey” hanging coaster as people zipped through the thick woodlands.  Ahead, as you started the journey, was the Witches Castle built in forced perspective. You would lose sight of it once you were in the forest itself of course, so that by the time you arrived in the courtyard, the scale would match what you imagined it would when you first caught glimpse of it at the forest’s edge.

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Along the way there would interactive experiences as well – most of them smaller mini-events, but little show areas one could discover if you went a bit “off the beaten path.”  If you followed the signs that say “THIS WAY” and “THAT WAY” all of them take you into a short circuitous route that leads you back to where you started. The “Well of Echoes” would echo back your voice, but in a distorted and evil way.  An overlook allowed you to see in a dark grotto where the River Of Doom rafts would spin by. The “Changing of the Guards” was an almost continuous show with the famous “Oh-EE-Oh, Oh-EEEE-Oh” song/chant going on as you would pass into the Castle.

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THE CASTLE COURTYARD provides a “center meeting place” from which all of the rides and shows within THE HAUNTED FOREST would start and end.  The Courtyard also had a “GALLOWS STAGE” at the center which would be where the WINKEE GUARD show would take place.

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THE RIVER OF DOOM was a major water ride that would depart from a Dark Grotto below the Castle, taking guests on a journey into the Realm of the Gnome King.  Our idea was to create a “show” of sorts in the world of the Gnome King, with evil Gnomes out to get us, and with several “traps” set to do us in.  Ultimately the River leads us into the Haunted Forest and moves through it and finally back into the Castle, spinning through a rapids area that forms a moat around the Castle.

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THE WINGED MONKEY ride departed from this upper level in the Castle, where each guest would appear inside the LARGE CRYSTAL BALL that the Wicked Witch observes as she sends her Flying Monkeys (and you) out on the mission to find Dorothy and her companions.

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After launching from the Chamber of the Wicked Witch, riders would shoot high into the air, following projected images of seemingly hundreds of Winged Monkeys as they are taking flight. THE WINGED MONKEY Hanging Coaster would depart from the Witches Castle at a higher level, and proceed up even higher before rushing headlong into the Haunted Forest where it would whip through trees, fly over the River of Doom, and cascade through and above the higher walls and turrets of the Castle.

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This Elevation of the Wicked Witches Castle gives a pretty good idea of how the overall structure would work, though the “shed roof top” is not really pictured here.

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THE NORTHERN KINGDOM

Home of The Good Witch of the North

Since Glinda the Good Witch was from the North, and because L. Frank Baum had written about Santa Clause and even suggested a tie to the World of Oz, we decided to run with the idea of the North being “Snow Country” – a world where Ice and Snow are found all year.  The idea was this would be a great place in Summer and Spring, but during the cold Kansas Winter, Ice and Show festivals could take place here as well.  We don’t find the snow, we celebrate it with a Christmas Village, with a year-round Santa Clause connection, and with a celebration set in a Winter Wonderland.

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THE CASTLE OF GLINDA was to be a shining Castle of Ice that could be seen high above the colorful storybook village below.  We imagined the Northern Area as one where artisans, artists, inventors and toy makers all lived and worked in a small and delightful Village.  The land was watched over and protected by Glinda’s goodness.

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Because Santa Claus was a character that L. Frank Baum wrote about, and because he even suggested a connection to OZ, we thought why not bring this to the North Country?  So SANTA’S WORKSHOP was found not far from the Castle of Ice, and guests would find Santa there day and night, ready and willing to listen to Children and to take their wish lists for Christmas as well.  A small dark ride was to be part of this area; a ride through Santa’s Workshop where hundreds of elves were at work on toys, dolls, and everything else a child imagines Santa’s Workshop to be.

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SPECIAL BONUS ART – STORYBOARD PANELS from AERIAL ADVENTURES OVER OZ

We found this amazing set of storyboard panels that represents some our first work on creating what was to be “THE EMERALD CITY AIRSHIPS” and their Journey Over Oz.  (You can read more about this attraction and see a magnificent Greg Pro rendering for this attraction in the prior Part 3 of this series of postings on OZ.)

Bill Stout created these initial ideas based upon a storyline we were starting to develop.  The idea of this ride was to get BEYOND the borders of OZ that we know from the classic MGM movie.  In our airship, we wanted to leave the Emerald City, cross OVER Munchinland and the Haunted Forest, and then discover mountain ranges, and harbors, and fantastic “worlds” of OZ that have never been seen before.  Ultimately the Wicked Witch is after us, and the Winged Monkeys are sent to force us to land in the Castle of the Wicked Witch, but Glinda and others arrive in time to help us to escape and return home.  But I think you can glimpse from these storyboard panels just how fantastic this Aerial Adventure in OZ was going to be.

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 SPECIAL BONUS ART- THE COWARDLY LION RIDE

The Cowardly Lions’ “SHOW OF COURAGE” Ride was planned as part of YELLOW BRICK COUNTRY (previously covered in Part 2 of this 4 Part series on The Wonderful World of OZ”) and was to be a fast paced dark ride for young kids and their parents.  The building was designed as something from another era,  built from stone and wood, and nestled into the woods, once could presume these “ruins” night be where a Pride of Lions might reside.

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SPECIAL BONUS ART – THE EMERALD CITY RESORT

We also just found this concept rendering for the resort hotel that was to be built in Phase one of the project.  THE EMERALD CITY HOTEL was to be a four of five star family hotel, built on property and connected to the park by THE EMERALD CITY MONORAIL allowing guests instant access to and from the park.  We will have to save further details of the resort for a future posting.

SUMMARY

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF OZ was a crowning achievement for all of us who worked on it. It was created at the height of Landmark Entertainment Group’s (the company I founded prior to Goddard Group) growing success.  At this time we were developing, designing, and producing projects that included TERMINATOR 2/3D, JURASSIC PARK: THE RIDE, CAESARS MAGIAL EMPIRE, early concepts and planning for ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE for Universal Studios (including creating The Adventures of Spider-Man Ride among many other iconic attractions there).  We had developed an amazing team of talent that included Greg Pro, Eric Heschong, Chuck Canciller, Wes Cook, Chris Smith, Greg Damron, David Thornton, Barry Kemper, Anthony Esparza, Richard Hoag, Robert DeLapp, Joe DeMeis, and we had outside artists that included the likes of Bill Stout, the Hildebrandt Brothers, Dan Gozee, and many more, all working on this project.

It was a project that had a lot of love, heart, and dedication in it.  Everyone that worked on it really believed in it.  And you can see the seeds for so many other rides and attractions that came to be elsewhere long after we invented the ideas here. The project was one that Harrison “Buzz” Price declared was “the best theme park design I have seen since Walt Disney show me Disneyland” which is about as good as you can get.  The project was a dream come true for those of us working on it, and as you can see, it got pretty far down the road.  (There are actually complete sets of architectural plans, sections, elevations for about 80% of the project completed. Perhaps we’ll put a few of those up at some later date.)

Kansas City wanted it, but there was a faction of people who didn’t want it – the typical “we hate anything new” types.  And while the project had the support of the Mayor and Governor and local businesses – even the School System and so many others.  Ultimately, in a vote by the City Council, the project was killed by one vote.  (Of course there is more to the story than this, however, in the end it really did come down to this particular committee and this particular group of people who were voting on it.) One woman who was determined to see the project not come to life.  A true “wicked witch” who was able – with her deciding vote — to stop this incredible project from happening.  I tried throwing water on her but she didn’t melt.  Too bad. (I would name her,  – but she might put a hex on me.)

So of the many projects that are created and then never realized, this one I believe is at the top of the ‘what could’ve been” pile of great ideas that have not happened. I still hope that one day, in a friendlier – and perhaps more progressive place than Kansas —  this great project will yet be brought to life.  It is the one park that I believe, if it’s in the right location, and if it’s built and operated at a level of service and quality equal to Disney, that could become a classic Destination Resort with all the drawing power of the best Disney and Universal parks.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3