Friday, February 17, 2006

Restoring Walt Disney's Disneyland: Tomorrowland

We all know Disneyland is not a museum, and yet the original park is very much a living tribute to Walt Disney and his personal creativity. It is a place where, in the future, new generations should be able to get an uncompromised idea of what his original vision, taste and aesthetics (and that of his collaborators) was like, no matter what happens to evolve the empire in other directions. Disneyland is filled with timeless art and ideas. These should not be discarded casually.

So though we all expect and welcome the lavish new E-Ticket attractions we are dreaming for under the new Lasseter-led creative program, many of us are also hoping to see a restoration of key details that once made the Disneyland experience complete.

In the last decade, we have lost some of the flavor and layering that filled Walt's vision for the Magic Kingdom, particularly in Tomorrowland. While many things have been successfully refreshed and restored for the 50th anniversary (The Enchanted Tiki Room, It's a Small World, etc.) and finally paint and maintenence have returned to the park after years of neglect, there is still a ways to go to bring the park back to its historic heights.

Here are some of the treasures I hope to see returned, and perhaps improved upon, as the park enters its second half-century:


The utopian, ultramodern design of 1967's New Tomorrowland, gleaming like a moonscape in stark white, black and cool shades of blue and silver, was unsucessfully updated in 1998 to reflect a bronzed Victorian/Vernian mechanical view of the future. While this was great at Disneyland Paris, where the concept was fully realized, it never gelled here in Anaheim, particularly as a layover to the modernist original.

A far more successful approach would have been to go the way of The Encounter restaurant (aka The Theme Building) at Los Angeles International Airport, which the Imagineers built out as an exaggerated homage to mid-century modernism, embracing its era and design rather than fighting against it. It is the Tomorrowland we should have received and the public would have relished.

In the last year, a cool bluish color scheme has returned to Tomorrowland, and gleaming white spires to Space Mountain (after years of molding in catpoo browns), a definite improvement that still does not go far enough to restore the vivid look of the "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" of Walt's day.

How wonderful it would be to see a return of the Rolly Crump modernist sculptures around Tomorrowland, such as the original Tomorrowland Terrace stage top, Mary Blair's handcrafted tile murals (one of which survives under a facade), blue sidewalks, white walls and colorful tropical vegetation. Those guys and gals had a great eye for color and design - - why waste it? This streamlined ultramodern view is still futuristic to our cluttered world.

More importantly, the weenie in the center of Tomorrowland, as Ken has so accurately described it, is missing-in-action. And the infrastructure of once-thrilling rides were left to rot in full view. The Rocket Jets that spun high above Tomorrowland were revamped into a twirling compromised tshatchke with no purpose or beauty. The PeopleMover (later Rocket Rods) track sits deserted below it, the Skyway above is gone completely, the Motor Boat waterways run empty - - and until recently the Submarine Lagoon of "Liquid Space" sat abandoned too. What had been Walt Disney's "World on the Move," a multi-leveled salute to transportation and kinetic energy was killed by bottom-line accounteneering. The resulting view of the future was neglect, apocalypse, corporate gloom and doom.

Also gone, the amazing Carousel of Progress, the House of the Future, the wonders of CircleVision and the thrilling psychedelic trip into Inner Space - once the "Pirates" adventure of Tomorrowland. While Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear made charming new additions, Innoventions and Honey I Shrunk the Audience fizzled in concept and execution. The one truly compelling and futuristic recent exhibit, Honda's ASIMO protoype robot, is hidden in a slapdash tentshow on the second level of a once fabulous Carousel Theatre.

Walt Disney World still has Walt's original Carousel of Progress show and has been trying to close it for years. Why not return it home to Disneyland, giving the second floor to an improved Innoventions or ASIMO exhibit? Why not gut Honey and Pizza Port to bring back an enhanced Adventure Thru Inner Space?

Tomorrowland's apocalypse is the elephant-in-the-room at Disneyland. It should be fixed immediately - - and before any new expansion or additions. This decay impacts the guest's experience and memory of the park. The imminent return of Submarine Voyage and new Monorail trains will help get the ball rolling. Why not drop the other shoe and revive the entire land at the same time? It would be a marketing coup.

Once the most popular land - Tomorrowland could be once again be a showplace of the park with the return of the following essential elements:

* Rocket Jets - - high on the platform as Tomorrowland's weenie (where Walt Disney himself placed it on a napkin sketch) - clearing the entry of the replacement Astro-Orbitor (which can go into storage for Shanghai Disneyland or something). The infrastructure for the original ride is still extant.

* PeopleMover - - or a suitable replacement on the fabulous track around and through Tomorrowland. Hey, those mod travel pods on the island in The Incredibles would look great on that track - and compliment Tomorrowland's classic design... The Incredi-Pods, perhaps? The infrastructure for this ride also still exists.

* Skyway - - One of the most missed attractions at DL. It was a blast to soar over the park and through the mighty Matterhorn. Easily replaced into the Disneyland skyscape, with the Fantasyland chalet still extant and waiting for gondolas.

* Adventure Thru Inner Space - - This was a truly original, esoteric, psychedelic shrinking experience unlike anything at the park. With new effects technology, and Paul Frees' melodramatic narration, still a great storyline and concept for today.

* Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress - - the thematic center of Walt's view of optimistic corporate futurism. Freshen it up - maybe with an Apple sponsorship?

* Mary Blair's murals - - true art should never be destroyed.

* The silver solar panels at Tomorrowland's entrance (currently a sparkly cream color for some reason)

Other less important things that would be great to see in a revamped Tomorrowland:

* Aquatopia - as a replacement for Motor Boat Cruise?

* A new version of Flying Saucers?

* A new House of the Future?

* A campy new space-age Kids of the Kingdom show at Tomorrowland Terrace?

* Nautilus style submarines, like those formerly at WDW? A tribute to Walt's classic 20,000 Leagues and Harper Goff's fabulous submarine design?

* A Bellagio-style dancing-waters fountain extravangana at the entrance to Tomorrowland (where the Astro-Orbitor is now)?

* Animated murals on Sony Jumbotron screens?

What needs to go:

* Astro-Orbitor - -clogs the entrance to Tomorrowland.

* Observatron - the junk sculpture made from the husk of Rocket Jets.

* The Wet Marble - - leftover from the failed Cosmic Waves fountain.

* Honey, I Shrunk the Audience - bo-ring! And unpopular.

* Innoventions in its current form - ugly and boring (except for the marvelous ASIMO).

* The ugly space murals.

* Any trace of gold, bronze, brown etc. - -TL 1998 remnants, as well as the current warm/cool walkway color scheme.

* Agrifuture - lettuce as decor?... no thanks.

It can still be a Great, Big Beautiful Tomorrow with great new ideas, but before the additions, once must step back to go forward with taste and style! Walt Disney's modernist future is what people want to see at Disneyland.


Anonymous said...

I agree with your assessment of Tomorowland. What about getting Toyota or Honda to support Autopia. Imagine if they replaced the noisy, smelly gas vehicles with sleek, silent hybrids.


Jeff Pidgeon said...

This streamlined ultramodern view is still futuristic to our cluttered world.

Exactly! I don't think NASA's look has changed so much that you couldn't display current technology/space flights/etc. in the original '50s surroundings.

I'd like to see a new House Of Tomorrow by way of the Buckminster Fuller Institute.

A-T-G said...

Oooh, sleek hybrids...I LOVE that idea...only I don't know if the muckity-mucks would go with such an idea--it being so good!

Anonymous said...

Dude, I dunno. I mean, how would *families* enjoy a "Nostalgialand" together? I think the whole fifities "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" is a hoot, but would it really offer universal appeal or just be "kitschland?" Tomorrowland never had an *actual* theme of GBBT (great big beautiful tomorrow); I mean, the Hall of Alumnium Fame? Space Mountain? Adventure Thru Inner Space? None of these things were about futurism - Tomorrowland has always been a mix of future+sci-fi+coolness. How was a Skyway a symbol of the GBBT? Okay, "World on the Move," sure.

The problem, of course, is that representing the actual future is impossible. Today's audiences probably wouldn't "get" the retro-nostalgia Tomorrowland (much as I would love it personally). A revamped ATIS? Great idea. A Carousel of Futurism Past? Awesome. PeopleMover Pods? Okay, cool. Hybrids on the Autopia? Okay - that would finally make that attraction make sense for me. Dancing waters? Yeah.

But a House of the Future? Nah. People can just go to Best Buy. Skyway? No. It just doesn't make sense. Rocket Jets? I guess. I mean, if the Dumbo ride queue is long, sure, Rocket Jets would be an alternative, right?

I dunno. I think the problems with Tomorrowland are a symptom, not a cause themselves - a symptom of the land never having a truly defined theme, time, or place, like all the other lands. Everywhere else, we can easily look back for inspiration. Looking ahead, these days, is practically pointless - technology moves too fast for us to keep up. But can you turn T'land into a "look back" land (e.g., futurism) without compromising the whole point of "Tomorrow"land?

I think Paris did totally the right thing: A future that never was, one based on classic sci-fi that most audiences can readily identify with.

Anonymous said...

When Paris was designed as a Jules Verne theme I thought it would spark a trend to make each Tomorrowland a different "yesterday's tommorrow".
I figured Florida could be Jetson/space-age, California could be Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers, etc.
This way there would be a reason to visit each Tommorrowland for its own atmosphere.
Intead we got a cost-effective cookie-cutter experience. If you've been to one, you've sort of seen them all.

Anonymous said...

Re: HISTA and Inner Space:
Shouldn't be possible to create an audience centered 3-d version of the Inner Space experience to replace the horrible HISTA mess, rather than gutting the Pizza Port to get enough space for a recreation of the dark ride experience the old school Inner Space provided.

Anonymous said...

From what I heard, here's another great flop...the wet marble fountain. When they designed it, they didn't think people would actually go in and get wet. So they got two problems, one it smelled like a sewer from sweat, dirt, urine and feces from children since they didn't CHLORINATE it, and they had soaking wet people sitting down in plush seats in HISTA, ruining them! Then they chlorinated the water to lose the sewar problem and wound up rotting the rubberized pavement which was never designed for chlorinated water. Did anyone think ahead at all? If you've ever seen any of the REST off Tomorowland 2055 that Bruce Gorden worked on you'd see just how much was never built. INNOVENTIONS was never part of the original plan..

Anonymous said...

I think Imagineering can offer a lot more to revitalize Tomorrowland's tarnished reputation than a wholesale return to its past glories. It certainly needs the multilevel kinetic energy and atmosphere lost by the foolish removal of the Peoplemover and the original skyline placement of the Rocket Jets.

Tomorrowland would benefit hugely by the creation of an immersive attraction that does not rely simply on another animated character overlay. It needs something fresh and purely Disney in tone and execution, like Pirates or the Haunted Mansion. While I'm extremely pleased that the subs are returning, for both their crowd-relief and visual potential, I'd have preferred to see an original adventure of underseas exploration. Something to take us to a new places and immerse us in the sort of faux-scientific reality that used to make Tomorrowland the liveliest corner of the Park. That's what Mission to Mars/Moon and Inner Space provided and made them so popular in their time.

A re-imagined, state of the art Inner Space Adventure would be fantastic. Put it in the center of the getting rid of Innoventions! It's like a big black hole looming over the area, sucking out all energy. Same with HISTA. If we must keep Star Tours, at least put a different film in each pod so the experience is fresher and more random.

Anonymous said...

Yes! Yes! Yes!

The kinetic energy of that World on the Move is sorely missed!

And how I long to see those murals again...

Anonymous said...

I agree with many of the assessments here, expecially getting rid of the Astro-Orbitor or, at the very least, moving it. HISTA should go. Star Tours desperately needs an update with better video displays and a new destination or 2 or 3 or 4. I think that sense of a world on the move has disappeared and I'm all in favor of seeing a PeopleMover and/or Skyway return.
Tomorrowland is the area that needs the most work overall ... although it's come back to life thanks to Buzz and Space Mountain.

Three other wishes oh Disneyland genies:

Tom Sawyer's Island -- one area of the park personally designed by Walt Disney -- restore the fort! For thousands of young boys it's their castle, or once was.

Toon Town -- Such a great space, but it needs one great killer E-ticket family attraction. Maybe a Great ANIMATED MOVIES Ride, beginning with Gertie to Infinity and Beyond. With all the interactive elements, this area also requires frequent maintenance -- deal with it and don't neglect it. There's so much eye candy and great family photo ops back in that corner of the park.

Worry just a little less about dumping guests from a ride into a store. There's plently of opportunities for merchandising to get us to part with our cash -- they don't need to do it with more stores, more vendor carts, more kiosks. And remember theming. It's been all but lost in the shops along Main Street.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a new Tomorrowland, but it sounded like you went to and just copied armchair imagineering posts about the future of Tomorrowland.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say it, but your "redo Tomorrowland as it used to be idea" might not be relevant a younger crowd. It is after all "Tomorrowland"; who wants to walk around in a place that is full of old buildings from the 1960's with no new ride concepts? We want excitement, inspiration to explore our world and hope for the future, not some old-style attractions surrounded by old architecture as part of some old vision of the future that never came about.
It may be more interesting to start with a fresh slate to create a vibrant, modern land that actually does involve visions of "tomorrow" as we know it today.

Anonymous said...

While Asimo itself is great, the cheesy fictional storyline ruins the whole effect. The family is fictional, the storyline is fictional, but the robot is real?

Klark Kent 007 said...

What was the theme of the 64/65 World's Fair: Progress?

This is a brilliant illustration of the "World on the Move". Progress illustrates the optimistic approach to moving forward, but looking forward without recognizing the past shows ignorance.

I would love to see a tour of "tomorrow" from the past (similar to the Horizions continuation of Carousel of Progress), with Ludwig Von Drake as a host.

Kim EM said...

To me, the Carousel of Progress was always the "theme" anchor of Tomorrowland. (Showing my age, I guess.) This was the true "weenie" in the land. When that went away, Tomorrowland seemed to lose its focus. America Sings was good, but really didn't have anything to do with the theme. Innoventions is (barely) better than an empty building.

I'd love there to be a new COP built into the existing structure. Not a recreation of the old show, or even an update (What? Carousorizons of Progress?) but a totally new show that defines the theme of Tomorrowland (whatever the heck THAT may be).

Without something to pull it together, TL is just a concrete island with a bunch of recycled concepts and merchandising opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Tommorrowland needs serious sos asap. I think the key is when DL openned in 1955 they were thinking 1983 for tommorrow.Certain things are still relevent such as Star Tours ( needs revamp), Space Mt, and the subs( Nemo will be an added plus) Astro Orbitors works if once again moved back to high above tommorrowland. Buzz is fun but not too futuristic but can suffice as a immeresed in the computer game world.
Autopia is today the freeways have been built and have pot holes in the real world but electic cars are still far from being perfected in the real world so DL has an opportunity to show us how it could be to be enviromentaly friendly and have fun at the same time.
Adventures through inner space is still relevent to the future and with today technology and special effects would be awesome .
The people mover can also be revamped for relativity in tommorrows world and hopefully the Tron show is still there and could be once again enjoyed.
The house of the future could make a huge return, there will always be a need for houses and there is still a future the possiblities there are endless.
Flying saucers? rode em when I was very young and still dont have one in my garage so its once again still in the future I am willing to bet with todays advancements they wouldnt break down constantly and they were fun fun.
The world on the move is what tommorrowland use to mean to me , today I found some old pics riding the peoplemover, the skyway, one of my girls standing by the rail of the subs with the skyway in the background going thru the Matterhorn. Another oldie of the astro jets up on the platform. I disagree with those who equate Dumbo with the Astros at least when they were up above on the platform, that was not a kiddie ride it was breath taking and a thrill ride. Inoventions is a total waste if I want to play video games I can sit right where I am now. The other exhibits are just sponser marketing for products that will be for sale within the year or die a slow death. The Carousel of Progress was not futuristic but a reminder of the past which is the key to the future, would love to see it rejoin tommorrowland.

Anonymous said...

The more I've thought about it over the years (well, at least since 1998), I've really thought that they should have fully embraced the 1967 aesthetic in their Tomorrowland revamp at DL.

The LAX airport attraction is a perfect example of maximizing the theme. A Tomorrowland using this space-age/googie aesthetic combined with the best of modern ride technology would be killer.

Adventures Thru Inner Space with modern effects and ride systems? Sign me up right now.

There's a way to embrace the design of the period without it being completely tongue-in-cheek and kitschy. It doesn't have to be loaded with obscure references. It just has to be *cool*.

I would love to see this done, and every Tomorrowland allowed to retain a unique identity. There's been an alarming homogenization of Tomorrowlands in recent years that must be stopped and turned back. Finding a unique voice for DL would be a perfect start.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree that there needs to be a Tomorrowland overhaul. The one thing that really annoys me with it at the Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld is the Stitch attraction. For such a great movie with a beautiful story, it seems like they just took out the old "Extra-Terror-Estrial Encounter" (spelling?) and replaced those animatronics with Stitch-related figures. Nothing original at all. It seemed like the old ride wasn't getting enough attendance and it was easy enough to just re-do the same ride with Stitch replacements. In my opinion, Lilo and Stitch could open the door to great many creative ideas instead of this.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Anaheim and have been going to DL since 1961. I grew up there and have seen all the changes. For the past 10 years I have lived in Portland, Oregon, and go down to O.C. once or twice a year to visit family. A visit to my beloved DL used to be a requirement; yet I have grown so increasingly despondent with the direction it has gone that I rarely want to go anymore. I hate that all the stores have become Disney Stores; I hate that wonderful attractions have been ripped out and replaced with crud like Innoventions; I hate the uninspired wasteland of DCA; I hated hearing of the dangerous crowds that formed in DL after the fireworks ended and that DL had the nerve to tell guests that they need to plan their activites better!?! What is going on there? What are they thinking? I get a pain in my gut just thinking about it. Tomorrowland used to be such a cool place. I loved the PeopleMover, the look, the energy - and they've killed it like they've killed much of the rest of the park. Disneyland was my first real joy and later my first job - I'm a DL geek to the core and the last time I went I felt like I didn't even care if I ever returned, though I know I will. I hope, hope, HOPE the new management can restore the old magic, but they really have their work cut out for them. It's much easier to destroy than to rebuild.

Anonymous said...

How about Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland??

I think it is in a dire need of help.
It has gone threw a major idenity crisis also, maybe more so than Disneyland.

Anonymous said...

The Skyway can't come back because during the Remember...Dreams Can Come True fireworks display, Tink launched form where the Skyway once went through the Matterhorn.

So you can't bring back the Skyway without getting rid of the new fireworks show. Which is better than the Skyway ever was anyway.

And they're committed to doing the fireworks for at least the next five years.

After that, who knows. But Tink coming out of the Matterhorn is awesome. Really really awesome. I would hate for that to go away.

Merlin Jones said...

>>Tink launched form where the Skyway once went through the Matterhorn.<<

Acually no, Tink is launched from a door near the top of the mountain where she has been emerging for decades... the Skyway passages were considerable lower than that and at a different angle.

The fireworks have nothing to do with the Skyway caves and bobsled track.

Anonymous said...

How about the People Mover track being cleaned up. The "Incredi-Pods" idea is worthy of consideration. The old "Tron" tunnel would be perfect for a run along with Dash. Or even some of the other ride through attraction tunnels could be used as show scenes of Disney and Pixar movies and dvd's.

Anonymous said...

Just looking through your archives and came upon this article, with which I couldn't agree more. To me, Tomorrowland was always about hope for technology's impact on the future, not nostalgia about a future that never happened (a feeling that the Vernesian theme really creates in my little head).

I agree with another commenter here in that Tomorrowland needs its own Pirates or Haunted Mansion. And since this is a dead thread, I'll go ahead and post my killer idea, which popped into my head while I was on the treadmill yesterday.

I know it sounds like I'm stealing from Austin Powers, but it is an obvious idea: How about a tour of a villian's secret lair?

Here's the storyline: Guests are taking the group tour through the evil Gen. X's secret base while the general and his robot hordes begin to put into action a stolen time conrol device. (OK, bear with me.)

Meanwhile, super scientist (Tom Swift/Strong-style) and his good robot companion infiltrate the base.

Guests hop in a large buggy, with a robot driver and host, who conduct the tour, showcasing all the neat features that go into an evil lair. All the while, in the background, our hero sneaks in and steals the time control device.

There's an evil villain speech at which point our hero reveals himself, our driver turns out to be the good robot and there's a cool slow motion fight scene between the animatronic hero and the evil robots (see, slow motion because he has the time control device and you can have a really funny fight sequence, just avoid the dated matrix jokes).

A self-destruct button gets pressed and our good robot driver leads us to safety (as we get glimpses of our hero's fight for survival in little vignettes). Somebody, somewhere, gets strapped to a table in front of a golden laser.

Throw in every spy-movie cliche for comedic effect and you have a fun ride. And, eventually, it will lead to a better movie than the Country Bears ever could. It's all storyboarded in my mind.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your future view of tomorrowland and can only hope it can be realized.

Anonymous said...

hey now dont knock Agrifuture...
its one of the few remaining things i can say on my disneyland tours for friends.

ps: a m a z i n g blog

Anonymous said...

I agree! Tomorrowland used to be so inspiring for my generation. The problem is the media now views the future as post-apocolypse, something Walt Disney would never have done. As for the Mighty Microscope from the Adventure Through Inner Space it can still be seen at Disneyland. When putting together the Star Tours ride, some of the model builder's at ILM, sorry to see Inner Space closing, built a model of the Mighty Microscope and put it in the garbage dump that your ship flies through.

Anonymous said...

WDW's tomorrowland is not in a state o crisi the only problem it faces is stich and the monsters inc. laugh floor comedy club. It still has COP and is open almost all the time now that isner is gone and it still has People mover but renamed TTA, and the tron tunnel has been removed from the carousel theater. P.S. the incredibles people mover is NOT a good idea

Anonymous said...

I say replace the people mover, replace the rocket jets, get rid of innoventions and honey I shrunk the audience both are really bad....and why not reopen the tahitian terrace. The restaurants at the park have all been ruined when they have been revamped

Anonymous said...

actually I agree with the author. a sort of a retro tomorrowland would be good. WHY? because some ideas and dreams from the past have found their way into the busy and fast world. we want to see new things, however, since I was born in 92, I would like to see some of the things in the 60,s 70,s and 80,s because like I said above dreams and ideas have ways of coming to today and tommorrow. the future is not the old, but the young of every family, but the 1996 tomorrowland focused on the parents not so much the kids, because they may become the next generation of imagineers to design the best rides ever. I SURE WOULD LIKE THAT HONOR.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. I visited Disneyland today for the first time in about a decade. While I enjoyed Space Mountain and Star Tours, Tomorrowland overall struck me as being some how "broken".

I didn't realize the Rocket Jets had been removed, and actually walked around confused for a moment looking for them. I really missed that Saturn V replica that looked so tall and scary to me as a child. Their replacement looks like a silly kiddie version that wouldn't have impressed me at 3, certainly not worth my time now.

Innovations was HORRIBLE. The opening speech made me feel like I had signed up to be in a commercial test audience. "And check out this new PEN PHONE. It even has a CAMERA. On the screen, pictures of Earth from space thanks to GOOGLE! Now go play on computers with...INTERNET GAMES!" Ooooh! Aaaaah! I could have avoided the line and replicated the Innovations experience by pulling out my own mobile phone and surfing the web. I skipped the ASIMO robot figuring it would be as bad as the rest of the show.

And how on Earth could Disney have eliminated CircleVision?!? I never once missed that when visiting in my younger years. I never got tired of the presentation. To this day it is something completely unique.

IMHO the following should be brought back ASAP: Rocket Jets, CircleVision, and Carousel of Progress. If ASIMO is any good, put him in his own attraction.

The rest of the park looked pretty good, and I really enjoyed the design of California Adventure. But Tomorrowland needs to be fixed!

Anonymous said...

i agree with you.but they sould keep innovations and honey i shrunk the audience.hey has anyone ever done flying saserces?what happend to them?

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you!

Maybe instead of a water lights show they could use something like the water fountain that forms falling words, it was at WIRED's NextFest last year. It could be around the opening and would be easily changeable.

And the house of the future would be great, i know they had a "green" eco-friendly house at the same event mentioned above. It seems like there would be no shortage of sponsors for such an attraction, and its a very popular idea right now.

And i would be overjoyed to see a verion of the peoplemover type experience recreated with a modern twist! Also perhaps a more current NASA vision for journey to mars? NASA would be all over the publicity with their new timeline. When I worked at the park alot of people really did visit the NASA exhibit and little kids would go wide eyed with wonder as they looked around.

As to whether your suggestions would appeal to a younger crowd, being in my 20's I can say that your idea's totally appeal to my age group.

Anonymous said...

I think embracing the mid-century design, as mentioned with the restaurant at LAX, would unify Tomorrowland and tie the attractions together. Getting rid of the stupid observatron sculpture and installing the rockets (weenie)back would be a positive first step, and probably not cost all that much, as the infrastructure is still there. Getting rid of Honey I Shrunk The Audience and replacing it with a new version of ATIS or a cool space flight similator (an improved Mission To Mars?) would be nice. I honestly think, to keep in with the mid-century theme, bringing back the Moon Rocket to the entrance area, in full scale, would be a visual enticement no kid could ignore. The Moom Rocket really set the stage for Tomorrow Land.

Star Tours: I'm kind of tired of the Star Wars co-branding, and not really sure what it's doing in Disneyland in the first place. I mean, surely the imagineers could come up with a similar simulator ride that could equal or surpass the story told on this ride?

I honestly think given the chance and an adequate budget, the talented imagineers already in Disney's employ could bring back the glory and excitement of Tomorrowland for generations to come.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the new Tomorrowland revamp idea. It needs it desperately. The magic from the "world on the move" theme of the '67 Tomorrowland is needed to reinfuse some life and magic back into the land. And this could be done both with re-imagineering some of the classic attractions so sorely missed, but also leave plenty of room for new ideas for the next generations. Why can't there be both? I think definitely bringing back a version of the Peoplemover would fill a tangible void, and the rocketjets/asto orbitor should be returned to it's proper place up on the tall platform it once adorned instead of cluttering up the Tland entrance. And please get rid of the ugly gold and brown color themes, they just don't work. Our space program and NASA haven't changed their look so much so that displaying current and future technology wouldn't still work with 60's looking technology. Futuristic ideals today seem to incorporate a great amount of post-modernism, both in terms of past looks and themes even with a certain amount of "retroism", but never being outdated and passe, something that has greatly changed in our society with modernist views of say 40-50 years ago. And today's generation almost expects it and would certainly enjoy it. This would be some very welcome and much needed re-additions to a new Tomorrowland that today's world could really use. And or course an updated Adventure Thru Inner Space attraction would be outstanding. This was one of the attractions I could never get over being removed. it was so purely magic and unique, and as relevant today as ever. I wish the Skyway could make a comeback, nowhere on Earth would a skyway type attraction take you through the center of a Matterhorn mountain! How unique was that? Maybe thin of some modern gondolas that carry 6 or so people? Anthing's possible at Disneyland!

Anonymous said...

I agree with this posting, Tomorrowland has gone downhill over the last ten years, and it's over crowded. They should've left in the People Movers, the rockets above it, America Sings and Captain EO, all of which were extra things to do in that land, that alleviated the long lines throughout the park. Tomorrowland is in desperate need of change! And enough of those attractions where you have to shoot things to gain points. (yawn)

Mike Calabrese said...

I Think your Preaching well!
And I for one would love to see the People Mover Back in Action, maybe re-vamped and including a nod to the New Disney Sequel to TRON2 "Legacy"...Bring back the game grid, bring Back the People Mover, and YES Put the Space Hips back on the damn roof where they were when I was young!