The Disney That Almost Was: Port Disney/DisneySea
From Port Disney’s preliminary master plan, which was released to the media in July of 1990:
Oceania, the architectural focal point of the park, would rise above the center of DisneySea in a series of futuristic bubbles, luring guests to a fascinating evolutionary journey through the world’s seas. Guests would walk through a state-of-the-art, two story aquarium.
The curious (could then exit Oceania and) … journey into the 21st century, visiting a Future Research Center where scientists from the world’s leading institutions would come together to conduct oceanographic stidies, in much the same fashion as researchers now gather at the “Living Seas” and “Land” pavilions at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World. Adults and children alike would learn about the ocean and its diverse marine life in a hands-on exploratorium.
At Mysterious Island, guests would discover the lost City of Atlantis on a modern version of a Disneyland “E” Ticket. Children could follow clues to buried treasure on Pirate Island, while the more intrepid might dare to board Nemo’s Lava Cruiser and careen suspended through dangerous caverns.
Aqua-labyrinth, a challenging maze with walls made only of water, would serve as the entrance to Heroes’ Harbor, where the myths and the legends of teh sea come to life. Here guests would find rides themed to the adventures of Sinbad, Ulysses and other storied adventurers from the past.
On the edge of the Bay facing downtown, a boardwalk would recreate the nostalgia of the Long Beach oceanfront in its heyday. Nearby at Fleets of Fantasy, a harborful of fabled and fanciful ships, including outsized Chinese junks and Egyptian galleys, would disguise exciting rides and dining and entertainment.
Shoppers and diners will be intrigued by DisneySea’s themed environments – a Grecian village, an Asian marketplace, a Caribbean lagoon. Here guests might be seen surfing, snorkling, or wading through tropical reefs teeming with fish.
Some will experience the ultimate underwater adventure – being lowered in a steel cage into a tank full of sharks. At the rim of the American continent and the Pacific Ocean, DisneySea will be a place of magic and wonder offering a unique entertainment experience.