Today, not even a full 24 hours after the Rivers of America at Disneyland closed for approximately 18 months, Disney released the first concept art for the redesigned backside of the Rivers of America.
While we wish they had released this a few weeks ago to contain some of the online fervor going on it's definitely nice to see some of what they have planned for this area of the park.
While we were always confident they would do great things and it wouldn't just be a "wall" on the backside of the park we even have to admit we're pretty blown away by what they came up with.
(click on any of the pictures below for a larger version)
Now, to be fair, this is only "concept art" and the final product probably won't look exactly like this (as pointed out by FB fan Alan, the water is far too blue for the river) we are nevertheless going to look a bit closer and see what appears to be changing and what is staying.
Goes without saying that all of the artwork is Disney property.
As we look to the bottom left of this picture we do see a canoe off the shore and what looks like a Tom Sawyer raft. This could indicate that the rafts to Tom Sawyer Island will be moving or again, just part of the concept art.
Towards the middle left of the picture we see the train tracks and assume that this is right after the train has gone by the Hungry Bear.
Fans of the Disneyland Railroad will also notice that there aren't enough cars on the train, but again, concept art.
The trestles and waterfalls are a brilliant touch. We'll get into that a bit more as we move down the road a bit.
As we move down the middle of the picture we see a much larger DLRR trestle with some rock-work and waterfalls behind it, presumably to block the RoA from what's behind (namely Star Wars). Think of this as the new berm in this area of the park.
Down at the bottom we see the Keel Boat still a part of the river, although moved from it's current location (see below).
Also at the bottom we see what looks like Fort Wilderness which we predicted would be leaving the Island, but if not let's hope they do some work and reopen it on the Island. Let's also hope that Tom Sawyer's Island comes back without Pirate stuff (but with a new Pirate movie coming out that would be anybody's guess).
Towards the middle it also appears that the Settlers Cabin is still there, but again, concept art.
The last 3rd of the picture looks to be the most interesting of all though.
First off, as we guessed in our article last week (read it if you haven't) the Indian Village is indeed staying although obviously in a new location.
This area also has much more rock-work which looks to be hiding a tunnel for the Railroad.
Up in the top right corner we see some kind of bridge which could eventually be the entrance to Star Wars Land and some kind of transition from Frontierland to the new land.
So while this isn't ALL of it, it's a good start and will hopefully serve to alleviate some of the fears that many in the online community had regarding the changes to this area of the park.
The amount of rock-work being done has us very hopeful as Disney is pretty good at that when you look at Frontierland/Big Thunder/CarsLand/Expedition Everest ... the list goes on.
At the end of the day, whether or not this concept art is 100% of the finished product we feel that Disney, more than anybody has earned the respect and honor of us taking a "wait and see" approach before we complain about the final product. So that's what we're going to do.
What are your thoughts on this concept art? Does this help to see where they are going with this area of the park? Are you convinced that Disney is going to deliver a great finished product? Let us know in the comments below.