Dragon Tower was a project for the never built
Beastly Kingdom designed by Imagineer Paul Torrigino. Found inside a
huge, decrepit castle ruin topped with a crooked tower, guests would learn
the story of a fierce dragon who once ravaged the stronghold, and now lives
deep within its walls guarding its piles of stolen treasure. The black
castle, the centrepiece of the 'evil' half of Beastly Kingdom, would be
dripping in strange water that shimmers like a rainbow in the sun. All
around would be the battered and partly melted pieces of armour and weaponry
from previous, unlucky knights.
The queue would begin in the castle courtyard, shaded by huge mismatched
sheets of fabrics - salvaged from the castle - and serenaded by medieval
music. Entering the castle through a hole in the stone wall, the queue would
wind its way down through the castle, past barrels, weapons and other
abandoned items covered in cobwebs and dust. Whispers might be heard, coming
from the rafters or around corners. This is where the set up is revealed.
A group of funny, Marc Davis-style bat creatures, armed with ragtime
collections of weaponry and armour, want to retrieve the treasure, but this
time they're talking the guests with them. After peeking in on animatronic
scenes of the bats planning their attack on a big map or suiting up in their
cobbled together armour, the guests would boarding partially melted
cauldrons carried by the bat creatures (really a suspended rollercoaster),
the guests would race through an environment of stylised walls and dramatic
spaces, passing through the gilded throne room and the grand banquet hall -
with the food service still there, covered in cobwebs.
Ready for the final attack, the bats would fly the guests through a
series of dark caverns, fellow bats cheering on the adventurers. After a few
wrong turns, and lucky escapes from slamming doors, dragons roars and fire
bursts, the cauldrons would enter the treasure chamber and see the huge
sleeping dragon (perhaps as much as 30 feet long). Sleeping, gluttonous and
covered in gems and jewellery, the dragon would be awoken by the battle cry
of the bats, rears up and blasts balls of real fire at the guests!
The cauldrons would be knocked out of the castle and tumble out into the
wooded area outside (the big drop), racing out of control through the forest
and ruins. Eventually, the bats regain control and return to the castle to
unload. They thank the guests for the help, and request they return real
soon - next time they will surely succeed!