Their concept: DisneyQuest, one of the most unique and expensive arcades ever constructed.
The result? A 1990s edutainment game made manifest, a strange utopian idea run wild.
DisneyQuest - A Design Thread.
It, too, pays homage to 90's design, and any support would be appreciated.
In the mid-90's, Disney saw ventures like Dave & Buster's and then-Sega Gameworks as an opportunity to bring the Disney park experience cross-country.
Disney Regional Entertainment was formed. DisneyQuest was their pilot project.
Obviously, we'll be focusing on the Orlando location, which closed last year.
At night, it was brilliantly illuminated w/ LED lines representing the "information superhighway"
This is DRIPPING with a educational utopianism distinctly from a pre 9/11 world.
The design here is a "cyberspace"-flavored evolution of the "factory pomo" look featured in Tomorrowland '94, with fonts and forms distinctly more inspired by scifi media.
Disney took extra effort to make guests feel as if they were being TRANSPORTED somewhere.
It was BREATHTAKING, and full of design flourishes often overlooked.
The telescope from the Chicago location was later moved to Hong Kong Disneyland's Space Mountain
But these were more than symbols - a full English translation was created by Imagineering.
Replay, Score, Create, and Explore.
Each of these zones had their own gate, hinting at the theme and attractions of the area. Let's go zone by zone.
Here's footage of the actual game. It ruled. That's me playing it.
Huge ride pods literally hung out over the area's balcony.
In fact, ALL of DisneyQuest's 3D attractions ran on Onyx2 units.
It featured a circular design with columns, almost like an art gallery, and housed five (later four) attractions.
Create-A-Toy, Living Easels and Magic Mirror OOZE the sort of Kai Krause crunchy shiny messiness I love about 90s "multimedia"
The gallery feel is also sort of educational-utopian, like the entrance and Venture Port, and there's TONS of good Memphis-influenced stuff, like the Create-a-Toy sign and the Mickey-shaped Animation Academy kiosks
Also very Kai Krause-like design in the kiosks, with Roller Coaster Tycoon vibes. Oh hey, Bill Nye is there.
For accuracy, here's one of them, in its NTSC glory
This area has kind of an interesting story, and it dates back to DisneyVision Labs at EPCOT in 1994
Also LOOK AT THIS LOGO IT'S HERMES WEARING A VR HELMET I CAN'T HANDLE THIS
This exhibit featured Aladdin's Magic Carpet, a VR journey through Agrabah utilizing- you guessed it - Gatorvision helmets and SGI Onyx.
It utilized Gatorvision (look how HUGE THOSE ARE, they have COUNTERWEIGHTS on them), and a unique 6DoF controller.
Apparently, this version was massively scaled down from the DisneyVision version, using only one Onyx2 for all 4 players.
The only remaining original was Virtual Jungle Cruise, a rather clumsy boat sim that used hilarious inflatable rafts and didn't work very well.
This attraction was designed before the cell phone boom, and (allegedly) crosstalk from wireless devices made it too unreliable. It was later removed.
Interestingly enough, Hercules was removed not because of any technical malady, but due to bad reviews.
One player steered their ship through an open world "Caribbean" collecting treasure - the other players manned the light gun cannons!
Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam, the only arcade game I've ever played with a HUMAN SIZED joystick.
This thing was a BEHEMOTH.
12 players would play at once, each controlling their "puck" by leaning on a GIANT HUMAN JOYSTICK.
I like the design here - the otherworldly exaggerated designs of Wonderland factor into the furniture and feel almost ominous with the dim lighting and purple colors.
This likely got dated super quickly, and the kiosk tables now sit bare.
DQ really was a culmination of all the theme park design Disney had done in the 90s up to that point.
are you fucking kidding me
EVERYWHERE I go
What did Disney do with it?
They let it sit. Get dirty. Break. Become vacant.
Ride the Comix closed in the mid aughts and was never replaced. Its pods sat vacant, the area decoration unchanged.
They painted over the bold colors on the exterior to a muted blue, in a sort of death whimper.
Then, in 2017, they closed up shop. The building was demolished to make room for an "NBA experience" restaurant. A predictably soulless replacement.
I'm a game dev myself, and am trying to get a late 90s flavored arcade puzzle game called CROSSNIQ+ off the ground and onto the Switch!