Discovery Bay was an expansion for Disneyland that was never built. Designed by Imagineer Tony Baxter, would have been a technologically advanced city in the late-1800s inspired by the 1974 film The Island at the Top of the World and the works of Jules Verne.
Jason Chandler was an inventor living near Big Thunder Mountain, who built a drilling machine powerful enough to dig deep into its hills. One day, a cave-in occured, trapping twenty-six men until Chandler rescued them with his drill. Before he could get out, a massive earthquake occurred, sending him falling into the mountain and killing the mining industry in the town. Unbeknownst to them, Chandler survived and took the gold, spending it on funding research for any inventor with big ideas, establishing Discovery Bay in California, just outside of San Francisco.
- Fireworks Factory: A shooting-gallery inspired attraction where guests would shoot fireworks at targets.
- Island at the Top of the World: An attraction which would have based on the 1974 film of the same name where guests would ride airships to the island of Astragard.
- Lost River Rapids: A rapids ride inspired by the Jungle Cruise where guests would pass through a Lost World region near the Bay inhabited by (highly inaccurate) dinosaurs.
- Professor Marvel's Balloon Descent: A skyway-inspired attraction which would connect Discovery Bay to a proposed, "Dumbo's Circus" expansion of Fantasyland.
- Prof. Marvel's Gallery: A carousel-theatre (I.E. Carousel of Progress) attraction themed to an illusion gallery run by a jolly old professor and his pet dragon.
- The Sailing Ship Columbia: A new dock would be built in Discovery Bay for the Sailing Ship Columbia as opposed to it sharing a dock with the Mark Twain Riverboat in Frontierland.
- Spark Gap Loop: This would have been a rollercoaster themed around Nikola Tesla inspired electric technology.
- The Nautilus: The Nautilus would be a restaurant themed to being the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, salvaged by Chandler and Ned Land.
Tony Baxter borrowed from the then-upcoming film The Island at the Top of the World when designing Discovery Bay. After it bombed at the box office, the project was cancelled. However, remnants of it can still be found in the Disney Parks, today.
Disneyland Paris took a different approach to Tomorrowland, in hopes to keep it from becoming outdated. The Victorian steampunk aesthetics are much like what would have been at Discovery Bay. Discoveryland features an attraction themed around the Nautilus and the Hyperion Ship from Island at the Top of the World.
In Walt Disney World there was a Dumbo's Circus themed expansion of Fantasyland known as Storybook Circus, similar to what was proposed with Discovery Bay.
The founder of Discovery Bay, Jason Chandler, was later incorporated into the Society of Explorers and Adventurers, as the society’s president. He retained some of his traits from the original plans, such as being an inventor and the creator of the drill for mining into Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. He traveled on a charting expedition with Captain Brieux from The Island at the Top of the World, who was going to be an integral part of Discovery Bay.
One of the proposed attractions for Discovery Bay was Professor Marvel’s Gallery of Ilusions. The character of Professor Marvel eventually evolved into Dreamfinder, and one of his pet dragons became Dreamfinder’s student, Figment.
This land at Tokyo DisneySea borrows heavily from Jules Verne, based on the novel of the same name and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Discovery Bay was also heavily inspired by Verne, and featured characters from his novels.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Admist his research, Chandler met Ned Land and the two found the remains of the Nautilus, built by Captain Nemo. Chandler rebuilt it from scratch and opened it. Discovery Bay would have featured a simulator attraction of the Nautilus, while Tokyo DisneySea went with a dark ride.
The Fireworks Factory, a shooting gallery, was re-purposed as the name of a restaurant at Pleasure Island.
The comic-book Disney Kingdoms: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ends with Jason Chandler, Abigail Bullion, Barnabas T. Bullion and the citizens of Rainbow Ridge using the gold of Big Thunder to start a new colony implied to be Discovery Bay.