Image: Park Lore

Like any quest, our journey through this corner of Hyrule began in the village of Kokiri, then passed through the Lost Woods as our Ocarinas activated magical interactions throughout this high fantasy world. But now, we arrive somewhere new: the valley village of Kakariko – an incredibly kinetic little town filled with red rile roofs, towers, banners that float in the wind, and windmills across multiple levels of enclosing rockwork.

Image: Nintendo

Of all the places brought to life in the Legend of Zelda, I chose Kakariko for a few reasons. If you're an armchair Imagineer yourself and want to understand my thinking, here are the primary reasons I went this route:

  • First of all, while it may make sense for a Realm of Zelda to conclude at Hyrule Castle, I actively wanted to avoid that. First of all, Hyrule Castle takes many different forms across the series, so I wasn’t sure that any given structure would instantly scream “Hyrule Castle” or "The Legend of Zelda" to onlookers.
  • Second, this corner of the park is already defined by a castle: Hogwarts. It would seem silly to have two equally-sized castles rising over the park.
Image: Nintendo
  • Third, I felt that Kakariko reads as a place that exists in the same world as the Kokiri Village where we started. That felt important because of the role Hyrule is filling in the park as a forested, high fantasy, Medieval-influenced adventure. The Lost Woods opening up to Kakariko, I think, feels like a natural transition that would be missing if our short jaunt through the woods suddenly left us in some icy corner of Hyrule. Even for folks who don't know Zelda at all, these two places – Kokiri and Kakariko – feel like part of one mythology, with a transition from "small" to "big" between them.
  • Finally, I needed the deepest parts of the land to have “Cars Land” style rockwork blocking views of surrounding showbuildings, so the idea of a town set down in a valley felt like a win-win.

So while Kakariko may not be some ultra-important or iconic place in the series, it fits the brief of needing to bring to life a place that’s unique among the park’s offerings, practical given the constraints, and looks distinctly of this series and of the fantasy-adventure genre.

Image: Nintendo

I centered my interpretation of Kakariko in a village square built on the edge of Lantern Lake, all nestled in the mountains surrounding and decked out in moss, hanging flags and lanterns, and those iconic upswept wooden roofs. The shops include ENCHANTED ARMORY (with swords, hats, and more) and THE CURIOUS QUIVER (a main retail space, serving as the exit of the land’s E-Ticket ride). Though smaller than I’d like, the HIGH SPIRITS TAVERN serves as the land’s quick service eatery, perhaps with extra seating along the lake.

Speaking of which, the far side of the lake serves as the queue house for LINK’S KAKARIKO SKIMMERS. Again an effort to bolster the park’s supporting attractions, this is a trackless, LPS flat ride similar to Tokyo DisneySea’s Aquatopia. Though the “rafts” in the lagoon appear to be lantern-led wooden boats, they’re actually wheeled, driving around in a shallow pool of rocks, water jets, caverns, and whirlpools creating an “obstacle course” as they drive, reverse, and spin along the course with no track. Water in this raised pool would then cascade down into the park’s lagoon, serving as a sort of well to replenish that main body of water and keep it circulating.

Image: Nintendo

Ultimately, the land’s E-Ticket would take be set far on the edge of town, where – amongst the rubble of broken Guardian machines – the ruins of the Temple of Time await. This is particularly noteworthy because the Temple of Time is not in Kakariko. In fact, among the citizens of town, the sudden appearance of this derelict cathedral and the ancient machine parts surrounding would be quite a source of gossip…

Entering via an ancient, mossy courtyard below the Temple itself, guests would enter THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: QUEST FOR THE TIME SHARDS. Because so many stories and places have fallen into the Zelda mythology, I wanted this land’s grand E-Ticket to be untethered to any particular time or place, and to be able to represent your version of Link and Zelda’s story – whichever that might be.

Image: Nintendo

So, entering the Temple of Time, guests would discover the anomalous source of the Temple’s appearance in Kakariko: the ancient glass Moon Dial has been shattered, fracturing time and space. The only way to restore the timeline is to follow the fracture back, collecting each Time Shard from the places and people Link has been. Only by revisiting the past can you and Link restore the present and undo Shattered Time.

Image: Jeremy Fenske, ArtStation

I would like very much for Quest for the Time Shards to be this park’s Rise of the Resistance – a hyper-real, immersive, next-generation, physical dark ride built with a scale that just leaves people shocked… What I need from you is to tell me if this premise seems well tuned to the spirit of Zelda and whether someone who really knows their stuff could take the premise and turn it into a full-blown ride.

Other than a MEET & GREET space with opportunities to encounter Link and Zelda themselves, that concludes my vision for a Hyrule land. And like all great adventures, the path leads home. Guests would need to wind back through the Lost Woods to Kokiri and Link’s home village before continuing their journey onward…

Image: Park Lore

And speaking of continuing onward, this Hyrule – The Realm of Zelda concept is just one land in my fully expanded and built-out Blue Sky reimagining of Universal's Islands of Adventure... so if you loved this concept or love Islands of Adventure the way I do, check out the rest of the park to see what new and reimagined adventures await... 



This is so cool and love the way you themed this land as a love letter to the zelda , but I don't think it will be possible with the vision you are going with in a sense that Nintendo probably will work with universal to make something more with Breath of the wild and Tears of the kingdom since both game take place in the same Hyrule for better synergy with how TOTK has just been released, so I supposed some ideas like the kokiris wouldn't really existed anymore but rather the koroks which are the descendant of the kokiris.
And here something super interesting that would be the equivalent of super nintendo world coin for the zelda themed land, korok seed. In the BOTW and TOTK game, scattering all across Hyrule are small little puzzle like placing a rock to complete a ring or blowing on a little pinwheel and from a nowhere a korok will appeared and reward with a korok seed that you can use to upgrade your inventory. Korok seed in the land could be used in similar way by rewarding the guest with stamps and leaderboard score on the app.

While the overall concept is quite good, I think this concept would have been better realized if someone who knew more about the series was consulted. To start many of your generic shops in the land are quite lore breaking. It seems a bit strange to have a tavern in a forest inhabited by fairy children for instance. Also the first photo for what you assumed was Kakariko is in fact a different town called Hateno. It would be nice if they named the shops after the actually in game shops. Also while the idea of starting the ride in the temple of time is quite good, the use of “time shards” is quite strange when the Temple has The Gate of Time that allows time travel.

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