Discover Disney’s Steampunk Side as The Disney Gallery Debuts New Mechanical Kingdoms Exhibit

Unique to Disneyland, The Disney Gallery is a true hidden gem. Located just to the right of the train station, sharing lobby space with the Opera House, the Disney Gallery showcases concept designs and models for attractions from Disney Parks all over the world, including some that are now only a distant memory, some that exist today, and others that were never brought to life.  The Gallery also includes a gift shop, Disneyana, which boasts new artwork and special merchandise inspired by their current exhibit.  The themes are usually refreshed twice a year, with some of the past exhibits focusing on Disney Legend Mary Blair, Disney castles around the globe, trains of the Disney parks, and a celebration of the Enchanted Tiki Room’s 50th anniversary, just to name a few.  Their newest feature, The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms: The Steam Driven Future Seen Today has just debuted, this time focusing on Disney Park’s steampunk inspired attractions and concepts.  Continue reading for a photo tour through the exhibit and a peek at the new merchandise now available at the Disneyland Resort.

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (1)

The exhibit's main area featured inside the Opera House.

The exhibit’s main area is set up inside the Opera House.

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (29)

Before I dive in, I just have to admit that I enjoyed this exhibit so much more than I could have ever anticipated.  The designs and artwork featured are simply stunning, and it was fascinating to see just how far back Disney’s ties to steampunk go.  When most people think of steampunk, Jules Verne or H.G. Wells will likely come to mind, and so many of the roots of Tomorrowland and EPCOT Center’s Future World were (and continue to be) inspired by them.  From the Submarine Voyage of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, to Adventure Through Inner Space, World of Motion, and even Space Mountain.  I felt like I had a new respect for steampunk after walking away from the Disney Gallery, and was even inclined to purchase some of the artwork.  Let’s start by taking a look back.

Adventure Through Inner Space Pre-Show concept by Disney Legend Herb Ryman

Adventure Through Inner Space Pre-Show concept by Disney Legend Herb Ryman, 1966

World of Motion concept design featuring an "Iron Horse" by Disney Legend Marc Davis, 1979

World of Motion concept design featuring “A Real Iron Horse” by Disney Legend Marc Davis, 1979.

Concept design for Dreamfinder's Dream Machine in EPCOT Center's Journey Into Imagination attraction

Concept design for Dreamfinder’s Dream Machine in EPCOT Center’s Journey Into Imagination attraction

Another Dream Machine concept.

Another Dream Machine concept.

Discovery Bay Concept Rendering by Disney Legend Tony Baxter, 1974.  Originally designed for the Rivers of America in Disneyland, the concept was never realized and the designs were eventually utilized for attractions in Disneyland Paris.

Discovery Bay Concept Rendering by Disney Legend Tony Baxter, 1974. Originally designed for the Rivers of America in Disneyland, the concept was never realized.  However, versions of the attractions found homes in Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris.

Discovery Bay Concept Design for Disneyland by Joe Rohde, 1984.  A decade after Tony Baxter proposed the plan (previous photo), the idea for Discovery Bay was still on the drawing board.  This updated version was inspired by concepts created for EPCOT's Land Pavilion.

Discovery Bay Concept Design for Disneyland by Joe Rohde, 1984. A decade after Tony Baxter proposed the plan (previous photo), the idea for Discovery Bay was still on the drawing board. This updated version incorporated a crystal “Ventureport” inspired by concepts created for EPCOT’s Land Pavilion.

Another Discovery Bay concept for a proposed attraction at Disneyland by Joe Rohde, 1984.  Inspired by the 1902 film, A Trip to the Moon, this attraction would feature a simulator that would launch guests into outer space.  This technology became the basis for Star Tours, and the story and styling were adapted for Space Mountain in Disneyland Paris.

Another Discovery Bay concept for Disneyland.  This is design for a proposed attraction by Joe Rohde, 1984. Inspired by the 1902 film, A Trip to the Moon, this attraction would feature a simulator that would launch guests into outer space. This technology became the basis for Star Tours, and the story and styling were later adapted for Space Mountain in Disneyland Paris.

Space Mountain in Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris by Tim Delaney.

Space Mountain in Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris by Tim Delaney.

Nautilus design for Tokyo DisneySea

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Nautilus design for Tokyo DisneySea based on written descriptions and illustrations in Jules Verne’s books, by Scott Sinclair, 1992.

Storm Rider vehicle concept for Tokyo DisneySea by Gil Keppler, 1992.

StormRider vehicle concept for Tokyo DisneySea by Gil Keppler, 1997.

 

Artwork hanging overhead featured a different attraction poster on each side, from Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and the Tokyo Disney Resort.

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The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (36)

Display cases inside the exhibit feature models and film props.

Model of Aquatopia ride vehicle and the Nautilus from Tokyo Disney Sea.

Model of Aquatopia ride vehicle and the Nautilus from Tokyo Disney Sea.

Journey to the Center of the Earth ride vehicle for Tokyo Disney Sea.

Journey to the Center of the Earth ride vehicle for Tokyo Disney Sea.

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Steampunk props from the 2012 Disney Channel original movie, Girl vs. Monster.

 

I was really surprised they didn’t include any of the concept designs for the massive fire-breathing steampunk Maleficent dragon featured in the brand new Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom (click here to see video of the new parade).  I really think that was a miss on their part, and it would’ve been the perfect opportunity to promote the new parade.  Although, we visited the Gallery a few days before the parade debuted, so maybe they were holding off until then.  I suppose I’ll just have to go back and see if anything has been added.

Getting back on track, let’s move into the next room.  This is where all the new artwork  inspired by the exhibit’s theme is featured.  There are sketches, paintings, sculptures, and more, created by one of eight artists: Dave Avanzino, Jim Crouch, Jeremy Fulton, Brian Kesinger, Noah, Mark Page, Mike Peraza, and Javier Soto.   While almost all of the drawings & paintings were available to purchase in a matted print (the most affordable option at $39.95), some of the originals are available to purchase, as well as a numbered giclée.  I’d also like to note here that almost all of the concept designs shown above are available to purchase in the Gallery’s Art on Demand kiosks.  Unfortunately, this is the only way you can purchase these prints, is by doing so in person.  Several different print sizes, matting and framing options are available.

Moving into the next room to  see the new artwork.

Moving into the next room to see the new artwork.

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The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (14)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (15)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (8)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (11)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (4)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (5)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (6)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (10)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (9)

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The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (7)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (13)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (3)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (2)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (34)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (32)

The Disney Gallery Presents Mechanical Kingdoms at the Disneyland Resort (31)

As I mentioned earlier, this exhibit really gave me a new respect for all things steampunk, and I’m excited to see where else Disney will go with this unique style.  Do you have plans to visit Disneyland soon?  Leave a comment below and tell us what you’re most excited to see in the Disney Gallery, or better yet, which piece you want to bring home.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.

About Chrysty Summers

Growing up in southern California, Disneyland has always been a staple for my family. Today, my husband and I spend most of our free time at the parks, where you can usually find us soaking up the atmosphere of Buena Vista Street in California Adventure. We also love traveling to Walt Disney World as often as we can, especially during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival in the Fall! Find me on Twitter @PenelopePeach for live updates from around the parks.