When I was a lot younger than I am now, my family took a holiday in Florida, ostensibly to see a space shuttle launch. While there, we did all the touristy things as well , including the inevitable Walt Disney “thing”. As a teenager, I found it all wonderfully kitsch, bar one small episode. That lay with getting stuck on a malfunctioning ride for something like 20 minutes, denied the ability to get off as staff strove to get it going, all the time being subjected to It’s A Small World (After All) over and over and over again. Even today, the opening bars of that song still get me twitching and reaching for sharp-pointed instruments with which I might conceivably harm someone.
I bring this up, because an idle paging through the Destination Guide brought me to an advert for Discovery Mark II, which is billed as “the world of tomorrow. Featuring rides, shows and more”, and my thoughts immediately turned to those far-off days, with the result that curiosity got the better of me, and I hopped over for a look.
Occupying a little over 1/4 of a full region, Discovery Mark II (I’ve no idea what happened to the original, other than I obviously missed it), is what I can only describe as a lovingly put together homage to Walt Disney’s parks and rides. Five attractions are on offer: PeopleMover, an elevated monorail system that carries you on a tour of the park, together with reproductions of Disney’s Astro Orbiter, Space Mountain, The Timekeeper, and the Electric Umbrella Café.
It has to be said that there is a wonderful attention to detail here; the broad boulevards, manicured gardens and bright colours are mindful of their Disney counterparts, while the look and feel of the foyer / queuing areas of Timekeeper and Space Mountain are carefully reproduced. The whole place has been very well done, and even the use of poseballs for seating in the Space Mountain ride add a certain level of whimsical retro kitsch to the park.
However, I also have to admit to having a slight niggle with the build which rather spoiled my visit. The Timekeeper attraction includes video camera footage filmed inside the physical world ride, and I’m pretty sure that attractions like it have warnings prohibiting such recording (although I admit to never having seen this particular attraction). Thus, walking into it in-world immediately raised very direct questions on matters of IP infringement and copyright.
Which is a shame, because otherwise I did enjoy my visit; it brought back memories of a family holiday twenty plus years in the past, and did so without me having to listen to It’s A Small World (After All) or deal with the resultant twitching!
- Discovery Mark II SLurl (Rated: Moderate)