Walt Disney Imagineering's Imaginations Design Competition 2018
Finalist -3rd Place
Imaginations is a design competition created and sponsored by Walt Disney Imagineering with the purpose of seeking out and nurturing the next generation of diverse Imagineers. Started in 1991 by Disney Legend and Imagineering executive Marty Sklar, the program has grown to include separate versions sponsored by Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort. (Disney Imaginations https://disneyimaginations.com/)
In 2018, Kentaro Yajima, Yumi Yamazaki, and I participated in Disney Imaginations competition sponsored by Walt Disney Imagineering. The year's concept theme was revitalizing an actual abandoned “ghost town” in anywhere in this world, after a brainstorming by three of us, we decided to build a resort in Kinugawa, Japan.
The theme park name is Oniba, which mean where demons live.
My role in the team was character design, character sets, logo design, providing the ideas, and all 3D works.
In the 1970’s, a region in the far corner of the Kinugawa River in Tochigi, Japan was elaborately developed as a vacation spot, popular for its beautiful nature and hot springs. However, because of the economic crash in 1991, the entire area decayed into nothing but hollowed hotels and memories of a once lively tourist hub.
Now, the region is completely trashed and abandoned.
Kinugawa, directly translated, means, “Angry Demon River.” It was mainly named after its powerful raging current. Demon in Japanese is Oni. Since ancient Japan, the Oni were blamed for causing evil doings such as natural disasters. The Oni never had a good image in Japan, but in Kinugawa, we heard of a different legend, that goes something like this…
The Transformation Current state of Kinugawa to Oniba Kinugawa
Oniba came together through our belief that themed experiences can be more deeply connected to every individual. We wanted to create a completely unique and personal experience for everyone.
When you were a child, did you have an imaginary friend? Did you talk to your toys? Immersed yourself and your friends in a fantastical world where you went on boundless adventures, valiantly fighting monsters; or just simply having a little tea party?
Here at Oniba, we can make this happen...
This is a Mabu, your very own customizable sidekick. Upon coming to Oniba, you can create your own Mabu by customizing the eyes, ears, horns, and clothes.
With so many possibilities, you can create a one-in-a-million Mabu who will be your guide and friend during your stay at Oniba.
There are also seasonal events where you can receive limited edition clothing and accessories to further customize your Mabu.
Upon booking your tickets to Oniba, every family will receive a Tamatebako, a traditional Japanese box, containing the tickets, a story book of the history of Oniba, an activation code for the Mabu, and a map.
To access the check points around the park, the guests can use their own smartphone or tablet, or borrow a device from Oniba.
This device case is designed to look like a Mabu's home. The provided devices will already have this case, but guests can also purchase this case for their own smartphone.
With the device, guests can interact with their Mabu through Augmented Reality technology.
Guests can take selfies with their Mabu, or interact with them on screen.
At special locations around the park, sensors will detect each guests' Mabu and project them onto screens where guests can phycially interact with them.
In a dynamic motion simulator ride, the Mabu will take guests on a nice ride through the local Kinugawa woods. However, what begins as a relaxing ride turns into an escape from the main villain character, Kataki, who represents environmental pollution and destruction.
Augmented reality glasses, given to each guest before the ride, will detect the guests' Mabu and project them onto a special screen, making it seem like each guest is being carried on a rickshaw by their own Mabu.
Our second indoor attraction is an on-foot action adventure game using infrared laser technology.
Guests are part of the Mabu patrol team who makes sure Oniba is safe and functioning smoothly. However, the team detects some problems caused by Kataki in the nearby forest. Guests must work together with their Mabu to shoot and defeat Kataki.
The laser gun designs are inspired by the traditional Japanese hinawa-gun
Upon receiving all of the gear, guests are escorted into the first stage: the Forest Arena. Using projection mapping technology, the indoor-dome shaped stage turns into Kinugawa's forests.
After defeating all of the Kataki spawns in the forest, guests move forward into the second stage: the Town Arena. Here, guests must work together with their Mabu to defeat the main boss, Kataki, who decends from the sky.
After a full day of action and adventure, guests can relax and recover in our three unique and interactive hot springs.
All three hotsprings are connected by a lazy river pool, allowing guests to travel freely between the springs.
Guests can relax in our footbaths while enjoying Oniba themed sweets made from local Kinugawa ingredients.
At this hot spring, guests can quietly relax in our bamboo forest surrounded by stone statues called Jizou.
Jizou are Japanese guardian dieties for children. If guests listen carefully, the Jizou may begin talking to them.
This area has another hot spring inside of the temple in the back.
Seasonal Hot Springs Inside the temple is a seasonally changing hot spring.
Depending on the season, the decoration, aroma, and medicinal qualities of the bath changes, making every visit a new and unique one.
There always comes a time to say goodbye.
Unfortunately, the Mabu cannot leave Oniba because they have an important job of protecting it. However, the Mabu will never forget each guest and will even write them a letter from time to time.
...hopefully, your Mabu will have better handwriting than this one.
These are my character design sketches for Mabu