Project 2020 (MMXX): Pantheon

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Feb 14, 2019
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I just hope they do something to block the view of the backstage areas behind the restaurant.

To be honest the station structures are rather uninspiring looking more like cheap flat ride coverings than anything to do with the gods. I'm guessing that's either because of budget cuts or because they haven't finished adding any theming.

However, I bet the most important part, the ride experience, will be awesome!
 
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Mar 16, 2016
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I just hope they do something to block the view of the backstage areas behind the restaurant.

To be honest the station structures are rather uninspiring looking more like cheap flat ride coverings than anything to do with the gods. I'm guessing that's either because of budget cuts or because they haven't finished adding any theming.

However, I bet the most important part, the ride experience, will be awesome!
Maybe Bolts and DKs sets are still around.
 
Jul 5, 2017
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I can't wait to get on Pantheon for the first time. I am a big big fan of Storm Runner and if this is better or close to as good it's going to be one of my favorite rides.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Yikes... how bad was the financial situation that they had to cut some extra concrete walkways and metal fencing??
It’s not always just that playing into it. Keep in mind some budget might be what’s earmarked for the project and something cost more, or they needed a bigger slush fund but couldn’t change the bottom line.
 
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Oct 7, 2011
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I just hope they do something to block the view of the backstage areas behind the restaurant.
Seriously, this.

Decades of careful pedestrian-area design and screening in that whole area, starting literally with the initial design of San Marco in the late 1970s, successfully surviving both the advent of an entirely new area in the form of Festa in the 80s and then the unfortunate mandatory 2010s-era denuding of the Colonial Pipeline right of way... just to be undone from the other side with a totally wide-open view of an extremely ugly backstage area -- from the pathway, queue, and station of the park's newest major attraction, which is guaranteed to draw huge lines once it finally opens.

Stockade fencing? Trees? Visual angles minimizing the exposure of that area to guests' eyes while still allowing reasonable delivery vehicle access? None in evidence in that photo. None possible, perhaps, given the permanent decisions that have already been made and executed. Will there be some mitigation later, once that area is no longer critical for construction access? Man, I really hope so. But I expect not, largely due to the park's major new-attraction aesthetic decisions over the past 10 years. Verbolten, InvadR, Finnegan's... major, ugly shortcuts and not-enoughs within easy view of guests.

That would be a total non-issue in most parks. At BGW, the fact that it's likewise not considered An Issue Worth Mitigating So Much Anymore is a disturbing trend in the making.

I don't normally get worked up over park matters that obviously are driven by budgetary or convenience-of-implementation considerations. Life is short and society is stumbling; I won't even be able to see any of this stuff this year anyway, since I live far away and don't care to visit for just a few hours at a time during a pandemic. But BGW is the rare park that successfully occupies the aesthetic space between appearance-obsessed Disney and the "ehh, it's fine" mindsets of Cedar Fair (to say nothing of Six Flags). Occupying that very special space between the extremes -- considering how much additional happiness the visual character of the park then enables during your day, between attractions, pathways, restaurants, and other moments big and small -- is perhaps the biggest single calling card the park has working in its favor. And BGW incrementally drifts away from it in ways they once did not.

It's incremental, not a big deal, only one attraction themed to trailers and smoke breaks if you happen to notice that entire quadrant of your field of view while in line or leaving the station. But then again, how are the beautiful parts of the park made beautiful? ...Incrementally, one attraction and one section at a time. Incremental decisions become the visual standard over time.

Much of Pantheon looks terrific. Kind of places this aspect in raised relief, though. The trend isn't great.

Looking forward to the inevitable notes about budgets. Yes, yes, I'm quite familiar with those, in fact, including the specific context of theme parks. Doesn't make any of this less unfortunate.
 
Feb 14, 2019
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Heck, some of those design considerations you've mentioned @halfabee would be relatively cheap to install and maintain.

Keep in mind that the main way the backstage area is hidden by the flats is with a wooden fence. The pickets may be a bit taller than what you'd find at the hardware store, but in general it works and doesn't take too much away from the Roman garden thing they have going.

From the Festa bridge, between the way the service road angles and large enough trees/shrubs are placed, it's invisible.

Neither of these options are incredibly expensive, and for a park labeled the most beautiful (I know some on here disagree) as often as BGW you'd have to think there's a plan for the Pantheon side that just hasn't been installed yet.

But alas, I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't at this point.
 
Sep 24, 2018
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Seriously, this.

Decades of careful pedestrian-area design and screening in that whole area, starting literally with the initial design of San Marco in the late 1970s, successfully surviving both the advent of an entirely new area in the form of Festa in the 80s and then the unfortunate mandatory 2010s-era denuding of the Colonial Pipeline right of way... just to be undone from the other side with a totally wide-open view of an extremely ugly backstage area -- from the pathway, queue, and station of the park's newest major attraction, which is guaranteed to draw huge lines once it finally opens.

Stockade fencing? Trees? Visual angles minimizing the exposure of that area to guests' eyes while still allowing reasonable delivery vehicle access? None in evidence in that photo. None possible, perhaps, given the permanent decisions that have already been made and executed. Will there be some mitigation later, once that area is no longer critical for construction access? Man, I really hope so. But I expect not, largely due to the park's major new-attraction aesthetic decisions over the past 10 years. Verbolten, InvadR, Finnegan's... major, ugly shortcuts and not-enoughs within easy view of guests.

That would be a total non-issue in most parks. At BGW, the fact that it's likewise not considered An Issue Worth Mitigating So Much Anymore is a disturbing trend in the making.

I don't normally get worked up over park matters that obviously are driven by budgetary or convenience-of-implementation considerations. Life is short and society is stumbling; I won't even be able to see any of this stuff this year anyway, since I live far away and don't care to visit for just a few hours at a time during a pandemic. But BGW is the rare park that successfully occupies the aesthetic space between appearance-obsessed Disney and the "ehh, it's fine" mindsets of Cedar Fair (to say nothing of Six Flags). Occupying that very special space between the extremes -- considering how much additional happiness the visual character of the park then enables during your day, between attractions, pathways, restaurants, and other moments big and small -- is perhaps the biggest single calling card the park has working in its favor. And BGW incrementally drifts away from it in ways they once did not.

It's incremental, not a big deal, only one attraction themed to trailers and smoke breaks if you happen to notice that entire quadrant of your field of view while in line or leaving the station. But then again, how are the beautiful parts of the park made beautiful? ...Incrementally, one attraction and one section at a time. Incremental decisions become the visual standard over time.

Much of Pantheon looks terrific. Kind of places this aspect in raised relief, though. The trend isn't great.

Looking forward to the inevitable notes about budgets. Yes, yes, I'm quite familiar with those, in fact, including the specific context of theme parks. Doesn't make any of this less unfortunate.
Honestly I don't think that they are done yet. That's the sort of thing that happens after the park take control of the ride.

They aren't finished with the bridge and they haven't done any work on the entrance plaza. Planting shrubs and installing line of sight blocks are all things the park will do themselves. I think it's premature to assume that the park won't put off something to block of some of those things from the station. In fact I'm pretty confident that the park will attempt to block the view of the back of Marco Polo from the station.

While we are at it I have never understood the beef with Invadr. While the theme might not make the most sense it is one of the more themed coasters in the park IMO.
 

Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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Honestly I don't think that they are done yet. That's the sort of thing that happens after the park take control of the ride.

They aren't finished with the bridge and they haven't done any work on the entrance plaza. Planting shrubs and installing line of sight blocks are all things the park will do themselves. I think it's premature to assume that the park won't put off something to block of some of those things from the station. In fact I'm pretty confident that the park will attempt to block the view of the back of Marco Polo from the station.

While we are at it I have never understood the beef with Invadr. While the theme might not make the most sense it is one of the more themed coasters in the park IMO.
I hope you are right, but when we asked them directly about theming at a media event the response was not encouraging. We were told essentially that there would be some themed signage. The plans we have seen don't indicate much in the way of additional decor either.

I think it is worth disambiguating three distinct things here:
1. Techniques and structures/plants designed to block backstage views;
2. Plantings designed to improve the overall appearance of the area; and
3. Theming.

The first is something Disney excels at. Sight lines, plants, paint colors, etc can all be used to create the illusion that the guest is somewhere other than a ride in an amusement park. It helps prevent backstage spaces and functional buildings from breaking the immersion.

The second are particularly important for a place that identifies as the most beautiful theme park and has the word "gardens" in its name. I would argue that Gilroy Gardens and EPCOT are actually more lovely, but that isn't the point. If BGW self-identifies as a park full of lush and gorgeous greenery, they should not have vast spaces bereft of flowers, trees, and shrubs. The simple fact is that recent additions have involved a lot of clearing and remarkably less replacement. In the case of the pipeline, it is an understandable and largely unsolvable problem. In the case of a new thrill ride, it appears to be simply a budget or prioritization issue.

The third is perhaps in my opinion the most complicated. "Theming" and "decorating" are not the same thing. Decorating is part of creating a solid immersive area, but it isn't the only component. I believe a fully-developed story is critical to the process. Perhaps Pantheon will have one, but so far all we have is a vague concept involving Roman gods. There is also the transformation of the surrounding area to be part of that story. That doesn't mean "Zeus' Pizza," it means that the shops, restaurants, and paths tie in with the story in some logical way. The guest should feel that he/she has entered a different time/place and the ride is part of experiencing and exploring that space.

I know all of this is expensive and I am not necessarily even condemning BGW for not achieving real theming. But I do think we need to be precise and clear in our discussions here.
 
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Apr 7, 2018
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Back in 1978 when Loch Ness was built the construction site was quite open and trees were cut. I remember seeing most of the ride rather easily waiting in line. Now there are sections where you can’t see the ride clearly due to foliage, so hopefully plantings will grow and mature as time goes on. It would be nice to have deep pockets like Disney of course, but even Disney is scrapping projects right and left now.
 
Sep 24, 2018
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I hope you are right, but when we asked them directly about theming at a media event the response was not encouraging. We were told essentially that there would be some themed signage. The plans we have seen don't indicate much in the way of additional decor either.

I think it is worth disambiguating three distinct things here:
1. Techniques and structures/plants designed to block backstage views;
2. Plantings designed to improve the overall appearance of the area; and
3. Theming.

The first is something Disney excels at. Sight lines, plants, paint colors, etc can all be used to create the illusion that the guest is somewhere other than a ride in an amusement park. It helps prevent backstage spaces and functional buildings from breaking the immersion.

The second are particularly important for a place that identifies as the most beautiful theme park and has the word "gardens" in its name. I would argue that Gilroy Gardens and EPCOT are actually more lovely, but that isn't the point. If BGW self-identifies as a park full of lush and gorgeous greenery, they should not have vast spaces bereft of flowers, trees, and shrubs. The simple fact is that recent additions have involved a lot of clearing and remarkably less replacement. In the case of the pipeline, it is an understandable and largely unsolvable problem. In the case of a new thrill ride, it appears to be simply a budget or prioritization issue.

The third is perhaps in my opinion the most complicated. "Theming" and "decorating" are not the same thing. Decorating is part of creating a solid immersive area, but it isn't the only component. I believe a fully-developed story is critical to the process. Perhaps Pantheon will have one, but so far all we have is a vague concept involving Roman gods. There is also the transformation of the surrounding area to be part of that story. That doesn't mean "Zeus' Pizza," it means that the shops, restaurants, and paths tie in with the story in some logical way. The guest should feel that he/she has entered a different time/place and the ride is part of experiencing and exploring that space.

I know all of this is expensive and I am not necessarily even condemning BGW for not achieving real theming. But I do think we need to be precise and clear in our discussions here.
So I'm not saying that there will be more theming than the plans show. But I think fencing and other things down by Marco Polo would not be included on the site plans because they will wait until they could see what things look like. Personally though as someone who has been in those pastures before Pantheon the concern of seeing the back area of Marco Polo is a little overblown.

We do know based on the plans that there is a lot of foliage and other plants planned to go their the ride area. Some of that may even be changed and increased because the cost is even more spread out.
 
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