Saturday, 16 August 2008

A Grand Café

hyperionAs you've possibly seen from previous posts, Discoveryland in the Disneyland Parc takes great inspiration from the writings to Jules Verne, and other leading masterminds of the science-fiction world.

One of my favourite buildings in the Land is that of the Videopolis - which presents the amazing Lion King show - and the Café Hypérion. To enter the Cafe you have to go through this fantastical entrance, underneath a gigantic airship and into a massive green hanger. The cafe is unique in the sense that you can sit at tables and eat whilst watching the Lion King show (if you're lucky). Or, if the show is not on, you can sit and watch many Disney cartoons that are played on large screens.

If you are a knowledgeable Disney fan, you may realise that the idea for the Hyperion airship is not brand new. The blueprints for this 'attraction' date back to an old project for the Walt Disney Company called Discovery Bay, which would have been placed near Frontierland in one or both of the American theme parks. As noted in the fantastic book "The Disneylands That Never Were" by Shaun Finnie:

The old Discovery Bay designs would also have been represented by a revision of the planned Hyperion Airship Flight. ... This would have looked so much better and more atmospheric against the predominately grey skies of Paris rather than the clear blue of Florida or California. [p176]

A full-scaled model of the Hyperion airship would be seen floating out of its hangar, which would double up as the attraction's entrance and queuing area. [p80]


Of course, the Airship in Discoveryland is stationary and not part of any ride or attraction, like which Tony Baxter had previously imagined. But it is still great to see the plans develop into something concrete at some point in the Disney theme parks future. And it's one of the most magnificent entrances to a quick service restaurant in the whole park!

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