Monthly Archives: July 2009

Shadowlands

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my first series of posts here will focus on what has been and will be a massive undertaking. i am going to armchair imagineer that elusive 5th gate at WDW. neither the name nor the basic concept are mine per say, but i liked a lot of it enough to work it into my own ideas. 

The Story:

Where do Disney Villains go when their part has been played in their story?

 

For many years, they resided in a prison built centuries ago to hold such evildoers, but recently the prison has begun to weaken due to it’s age, the massive magical attacks the villains inside threw upon it, and the vast number of bad guys and gals locked away inside. 

 

A group of magical beings led by Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice met to determine a solution to the rapidly declining condition of the prison. The group was made up of The Blue Fairy, The Fairy Godmother, Flora, Fauna, Meriweather, Merlin, Grandmother Willow, Mama Odie, Tinker Bell, Genie, and Zeus. They decided to build a new, more powerful prison to hold these criminals. This new facility was to be located near the Magic Kingdom so that they would be able to keep close watch on the Villains inside. Little did they know that the eavesdropping parrot, Iago was listening in on their meeting. He was able to travel outside the prison because he had supposedly changed his ways.

 

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He reported his findings back to his master Jafar and the council of Magical Villains, led by the wicked Maleficent and consisting of Chernabog, Hades, The Horned King, Mad Madam Mim, Magica DeSpell, Ursula, Dr. Facilier, and the bumbling Yzma. They plotted a way to escape from the prison that would be hatched when the Good Magicians attempted to move them to the new, more powerful jail.

 

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When that day came, the day they were to be transferred, a magical battle broke out the likes of which has never been seen before. The battle raged for three days and three nights, and when the dust was finally clearing, it appeared the villains would be escaping. As she began to slip through the magical barrier the Good Magicians had established, Yzma’s tongue slipped and she uttered a wrong word which caused the entire defense of the Evil Magicians to crumble.

 

As they began to be drawn into the new prison however, Maleficent had the power left to cast one final spell. Drawing power from the other villains around her, she turned the prison into a twisted doppleganger of the Magic Kingdom, a place where villains would roam free and be left to their own machinations. Her spell also endowed this new kingdom the ability to draw humans to it.

 

The spell was only powerful enough to change the look of the prison, not it’s nature. Because of the great magic, the good magicians had woven into the spells of protection, it remained a safe place where no human being can be harmed by the villains within, despite the evil at work inside it’s walls.

 

The good magicians were devastated, but there was no reversing what Maleficent had wrought. they had made the prison too safe, even from themselves. They know however that the humans will be safe, even as they wander the twisted pathways of:

 

 Shadowlands.

 

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Quick Note

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A quick note on the term “armchair imagineering”:

 

 I have read various definitions that make the term something derogatory. Some believe that being an armchair imagineer is akin to saying that you know more than the actual imagineers, or that you would make better decisions than they do. I prefer to think of it as a chance for me to do what the imagineers do. The ability to sit back and dream about what ideas I would love to see implemented in a Disney park. I don’t want to critique what the existing imagineers do, I want to try it myself. I hope that what I do here is not seen as a slap in the face to imagineering, rather an homage or a weak attempt to be like them. I respect and envy their job and hope that all this does is get people thinking and dreaming on their own. After all, one little spark…