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Ride Concept Competition: WINNERS

We've had a blast hosting our first-ever ride concept competition. Judging was extremely fun yet extremely difficult. A big thanks to our judges (listed below) and a huge thanks to all of our contestants. We are pleased to announce that we liked every entry- no joke! This is a compliment to every concept submitted... we are sometimes hard to impress, ya know. Here we present 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. In upcoming post(s) we will feature additional winners and honorable mentions.


The Villa Tempus
by Mike Schwalm

Artwork by Mike Schwalm

Intended for Disneyland Paris, Discoveryland or WDW property– situated so it can be accessed by park-goers as well as outside visitors). Based on the Time Machine by H.G. Wells.

Why can’t a theme park experience be more like a full blown movie? Of course many are, but they last only five to ten minutes at best. The Villa Tempus is an evening long experience that includes dinner as well as time travel adventure. Because of the specialized nature and limited capacity per evening the villa tempus would be reservation only as well as an additional ticket price. The structure of the evening is broken into three acts much like a movie narrative.

-You have been invited for dinner at the Villa Tempus by its mysterious resident.

Act 1
-Explore the grounds of the Villa and all of its inventions before meeting the Time Traveler.

Act 2
-Travel anywhere in history for a luxurious dinner before heading off again in your time machine.
-Crash land on the villa grounds thousands of years in the future.

Act 3
-Take a boat down a strange river back to the now decrepit villa.
-Race through the villa collecting the pieces needed to create a new time travel device while avoiding the scary Morlocks.
-Complete the device and travel back to the present in the nick of time.

-Bid the Time Traveler farewell and exit through the gift shop.

More info and concept art here: PDF
Mike's blog.

Judges' Thoughts

We were blown away by Mike's work. It's clear he has put tremendous thought into this concept.

"At last a time machine attraction. Yes. I love it. I love it being an entire evening and making the guests feel like they are in a movie. It's totally different and different is just what the parks need." –Lilly

"Disney doesn't have a mystery theatre. That's a pity, really." –Paul, WDW Fan Boys


La Storia di Leonardo Da Vinci (The Story Of Leonardo Da Vinci)
by Nicholas Bulus

Artwork by staff.
Intended for the Italy Pavilion, World Showcase, Epcot. A dark ride with similar track type to Peter Pan's Flight. Ride vehicles would resemble Da Vinci's flying machine. The actual ride carriage would be below the wing and hold 4-6 guests.

The experience would start in the queue showcasing replicas of Leonardo Da Vinci's inventions and some of his other works. each invention would be explained on a plaque below it. The boarding area wall would be a mural showing the schematics of the flying machine. Slowly the schematics would come to life and the flying machine would take off after boarding. The whole basis of the attraction would be to follow the life of Leonardo Da Vinci. It would start out in his hometown of Vinci showing him as a young child and how creative he was from the start. The next few scenes would show Da Vinci in his professional life and also in the renaissance showing him working on the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, and many of his sketches that went onto inspire the helicopter, the tank, etc. The final show scene would be kind of a montage showing how many of Leonardo's ideas and paintings have fit into today's culture. When guests exit the vehicles they enter Da Vinci's lab where they can learn more about Da Vinci and his work and even design their own inventions and paintings. Of course the entire ride would contain sight gags similar to the ones in World Of Motion and the whole attraction would be narrated by someone who really engages the audience.

Judges' Thoughts

We loved this concept for a number of reasons. It fits perfectly in World Showcase where this type of ride would be very welcome by Epcot fans. It has a certain charm, fitting style, and here at the blog we love some good edu-tainment!

"I love the idea of highlighting Da Vinci whom we all know as a genius, but don't always know his background and I love, love that we would travel on his flying machine." –Lilly

We'd like to recognize "Yourfutureleader" who submitted a similar, more thrill-based Da Vinci concept. We loved this one as well.

Halls of Weather
by Jeff Sugar

Artwork by Jeff Sugar

Artwork by Jeff Sugar

The Land, The Living Seas and now...The Halls of Weather. The newest pavilion to Epcot Center will take guests on a journey that explores the most influential forces on planet Earth.

Once inside, guests will depart on “The Jet Stream” - a dark ride which soars along the winds of change. They will experience the chill of the arctic, the heat of the desert and the diversity of the seasons across the globe. Next stop is the immersive IMAX theatre show “Up in the Clouds” where guests will follow the life of the water cycle and its effects on man and the environment. Images wrap around the domed interior while the theater comes to life as the seats react to the action. The final stop is the interactive “Weather Port”. A fully interactive exhibit hall surrounds the forty foot tall “Tornado Tower” - an ever changing enclosed weather system that is the focal point for this area. Here, guests can participate in live shows, feel the winds of a category five hurricane, become a meteorologist or work individually at interactive kiosks and hands-on
exhibits that detail the variety of weather types.

Judges' Thoughts

We loved the fact that Jeff designed an entire pavilion! It's no secret that we old-school Epcot fans find the Future World of today super lacking compared to that of yesteryear. This concept would have lots to do and could be good time.

"This attraction sounded like something that should have been built back in 1982.  I think it would be a great addition to Future World with it's attraction followed by Imax and other post-show activities. The floating cloud ride vehicles also make the attraction look very fun, and the pavilions layout as a whole looks fantastic." –Donnie, I'm a Blogger Dottie... A Rebel




This week Mitch was a guest on an episode of the WDW Fan Boys Podcast to discuss the competition. Check it out


Hoot Gibson, Mesa Verde Times
Tim Grassey, Brett Bennett, and Paul Miller, WDW Fan Boys
Donnie, I'm a Blogger Dottie... A Rebel
Fritz, Lilly, Mitch,


Related Posts:

Ride Concept Competition
Ride Concept Competition: FINAL DAYS




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Reader Comments (18)

Wow, great concepts! the idea to make an attraction into a whole evening event blew me away, and as a DaVinci fan I loved the idea of making him the focus of his own ride, and The Halls of Weather just seems like an all around solid idea. Looking forward to more results from this and really excited to see how the competition will be next year now that the bar has been raised.

September 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Yep, the bar is high. We are impressed with all those amateur theme park designers out there.

September 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterAdmin

Whoa, these are amazing!!! I'm kind of embarrassed I entered,hehehe There's certainly some future Imagineers here. Great job!!

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJo

I really am honored I won second place! Thanks to everyone at Imagineering Disney!

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNick Bulus

My congradulations to Disney.Looking outside the box is a credit to your entire organization.Not to take away from all the engineers and graphic artist that normally design all of the experiences that families have at disney.But this contest seems to enhance the true concept and feeling of Disney's beginnings.Youthful imagination and innovation.
To all of the contestants.You are a credit to yourselves,your generation and your families.Keep dreaming big.It's one of the things that makes the world a better place.Disney should be proud.

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohnny Bone

I will have to follow suit with Nick's post. Thank you judges for finding my little idea worthy of third place. All the cliche catch phrases come to mind' "If you can dream it, you can do it.", " little spark.", " do have wings". Again, this is a great honor for me and I am happy to follow in third to the other two top entries. On to start dreaming up ideas for the next contest now!

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

I'm impressed by the second/third place artwork & ideas... but when I opened the page and saw the Villa Tempus artwork, I was stunned - in a good way. At first glance, it looks like the work of professional conceptual artist... I think I saw on his blog that Mr. Schwalm is a student in design/art school... he's well on his way and my hat's off to him.

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSWW

I am very impressed with all of these ideas! I think that the second and third fit beautifully into EPCOT They bring back education to the parks in such a way that could inspire one's imagination to try and create, invent, and bring us into a "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" (not to mention that they look fun).

The first Idea fascinates me. It seems like a brilliant, immersive experience. Critically thinking, I am curious to know how limited the capacity is. Can the restaurant hold more than one group at a time? How many guests will be going through the experience per hour (or two)? If it were an actual attraction/restaurant/show I would visit it continually (even though I am sure that i would be completely petrified during Act 3).

All three look like jolly good fun, can't wait to see some more!

I wish I were able to submit one of my concepts, but from what an exec tells me, they are reluctant to use any ideas that have been posted on the internet. -Apparently they've been sued more than once-

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterM. Gracey

You never really fail to amaze me with your every post. These are stunning artworks.

#1 IS #1 ~ Fantastic! 2nd and 3rd are wonderful also, congradulations all.

September 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterphilphoggs

Wow! Second and third places had great ideas and would make great attractions, but first place completely blew me away. Such amazing art work and a really creative idea, I hope one day they have a similar attraction to this, it would be so immersive! Congratulations everyone, great job! Look forward to seeing the other entries soon.

September 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Villa Tempus is amazing, but the weather ride and ESPECIALLY the da Vinci ride are EXACTLY what EPCOT needs! Makes me wish I was a big corporate CEO so I could go to Disney and offer to sponsor them.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Great choices--all three are worthy winners, and I find myself especially drawn to the Leonardo concept. What a brilliantly simple idea! A fantastic thematic bridge between Future World and World Showcase, and designed for an area that's often considered successful but could sorely use some new attractions. Great job.

When will the other concepts be posted? I've enjoyed looking at these three, but I'm eager to see more of everyone's work! (I would have commented much sooner on this post, but I'd wanted to see some other entries first...I suspect others have been waiting to do the same.)

September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephen

Yes, I, too, am anxious to see the next set of winners. Any idea when we can expect those to be posted?

October 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJon Martin

Will the rest of the rides ever be posted??..

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

Is someone still going to be able to provide feedback? I am trying to improve on my attraction/story skills and want to learn all I can and what I need to work on.
Thanks again for doing this contest. It is fun to be a part of and to see the ideas that others come up with.

January 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWOKcreative

Hi, i'm one of those eleven (now 12) year old girls and when will my ride be posted?

March 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarisol

These are all really amazing!

The Villa Tempus made my mouth drop to the floor. I LOVE the idea of a truly full experience. The biggest problem (it being too long) can be easily fixed. Just make it so there is a boat at the end of each section and when the passengers "reload" it's actually onto a new boat. The old one can then be tethered back for a new group.

The only issue then is with the dinner, which would have to be cut down to a "tea-and-crumpets" portion to flow evenly throughout the day and cut back on costs.

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

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