This is part 3 of 4 covering the Wonderful World of OZ Project. In this post we are covering The Emerald City which was the largest of the lands and contained some of the most exciting and innovative rides and shows.
At the center of THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF OZ is the shining EMERALD CITY, an incredible destination that features three major “E Ticket” attractions and a host of other shops, cafes and unique smaller attractions. As envisioned by our team, The EMERALD CITY was created to be the true “heart” of the entire theme park. Following are some of the renderings of the overall architectural design along with some of the key attractions.
Taking inspiration from the iconic Emerald City design from the motion picture, we elected to keep the same basic “massing” and the rounded green towers. But realizing that people would be coming to this Emerald City and seeing it up close, we knew we had to deliver on the emotional connection one made with the movie. So, consistent with the original book’s description, to the Emerald Green towers we added a lacework of gold decorative trim, in a nouveau styling, thereby adding another layer of shape and beauty to eternal wonder of The Emerald City.
This view shows The Emerald City at night but from the other side of the main entrance. This is where the Emerald City Towers open up into a courtyard of architectural beauty set amidst an amazing garden of — what else — green trees and green plants carefully staged and landscaped to create a magical sense of place.
A series of grand gazebos, follies and other architectural elements arc out from the Towers, creating a grand plaza and promenade that is home some of the best if the OZ restaurants, cafes, shops and boutiques. There was an idea that everyone entering The Emerald City would have to don the Green Tinted Glasses that were required of Emerald City residents and visitors. Without a doubt, all of the uniformed “cast” would be wearing the green glasses as part of their costumes. A special feature in the restaurants was to be the “green lemonade” mentioned in the original story by L. Frank Baum.
In this “E Ticket” attraction, live actors combine with 3D film, 4D physical effects, and elements taken directly from the original motion picture as well. All of this was to create a tale that would allow us to bring together “live” the characters from the movie, while adding the Nome King from the books, to create a spectacular show that reunited all the characters in an immersive world that allowed each guests to enter the Great Hall of the Wizard himself.
Upon entering the EMERALD CITY TOWERS the Great Rotunda was a massive gathering place that had a number of key elements within its circular walls. The LANDING PORT for Professor Marvel’s Balloon Ride (found in Old Kansas) is seen here on an upper level. Guests can board here for a trip to Old Kansas if they so choose even as others are arriving from Professor Marvel’s Carnival. Also on the upper level is the HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR CAROUSEL. At the ground level, the Grand Entry to THE IMPERIAL 3D WONDER SHOW can be seen, along with several other shops, boutiques and restaurants. Green Lemonade is served here along with Green Snow Cones, Green Apple Cider and Green Tea.
The other incredible E Ticket attraction found in the Emerald City is the incredible AERIAL ADVENTURES OVER OZ attraction. In this amazing ride, guests would board an Imperial OZ Airship through the Emerald City Global Tour Company. A way to “to see Oz in a delightful, safe, and refreshing way.” (Of course, one must be careful of The Wicked Witch and of her Army of Winged Monkeys.) Designed as a massive simulator set within massive domed project environment, guest would see OZ from the air and enjoy some incredible sights. But midway through, the Wicked Witch appears in the sky and skywrites the words “SURRENDER DOROTHY” after which her Winged Monkeys lead us on a dangerous aerial chase, almost capturing us and bringing us into the Witches Castle. But as one might expect we escape, and finally make our way back to The Emerald City.
No city is complete without public transportation and The Emerald City is no exception. In fact, THE EMERALD CITY EXPRESS was designed as the “fastest, smoothest, highest, steepest” form of public transportation ever seen. Moving above, under, and through the Emerald City, this amazing launch coaster was to be one of the most amazing combinations of thrill coaster and show coaster, adding a level of constant animation to Emerald City as well.
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at the Goddard Group!!
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