Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland
Tomorrowland
Attraction type Themed land
Theme The future & Space

Tomorrowland is one of the many theme lands at the five "Disneyland-style" theme parks around the world owned or licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Each version of the land is different and features numerous attractions that depict views of the future. Disneyland Park (Paris) includes a similar area called Discoveryland, which shares some elements with other Tomorrowlands but emphasizes Jules Verne-inspired visions of a future that never came to fruition.

Walt Disney was known for his futurist views and, through his television programs, showed the American public how the world was moving into the future. Tomorrowland was the realized culmination of his views. In his own words: "Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Our scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future."

It is this movement into the future that has, on occasion, left Tomorrowland mired in the past. Disneyland's Tomorrowland is now in its third generation, and the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland is in its second. The Walt Disney Company has mentioned that it wanted to keep Tomorrowland from becoming "Yesterdayland". As a self-referential joke along this line, Disney's 2007 film Meet the Robinsons (which is set mainly in the year 2037) features an amusement park called Todayland, which has rides that look remarkably like Space Mountain and Disneyland's original Rocket Jets.

Contents

Disneyland

Tomorrowland
Disneyland
Opening date July 17, 1955
Tomorrowland logo at Disneyland.

Tomorrowland 1955–1967

The first Tomorrowland opened at Disneyland on July 18, 1955, with only several of its planned attractions open, due to budget cuts. The construction of the park was rushed, so Tomorrowland was the last land to be finished. It became something of a corporate showcase, despite Walt Disney's reluctance. Monsanto Company, American Motors, Richfield Oil, and Dutch Boy Paint were some of the many companies to open showcases in Tomorrowland in the first few years.

Since the park was on a strict budget, one cost-cutting idea was to reuse the sets of the Nautilus from Disney's 1954 movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as a walkthrough attraction. This remained open until 1966. For the first four years, most of Tomorrowland was generally open space and considered to be very corporate-fueled. However, the area gained more attractions as time passed, many of which have since been removed.

Tomorrowland Opening Day

Tomorrowland's showpiece was the TWA Moonliner, derived from Disney's "Man In Space" television episodes developed in the 1950s. The Moonliner was the tallest structure in the park at the time, even taller than the park icon Sleeping Beauty Castle. The Moonliner hosted Rocket To The Moon which was a Ride to the moon. The "Entrnce Showpiece" was the Clock of the world showing the time anywhere on earth. The north show building hosted Circarama U.S.A. which showed movies on 9 screens, and space station X-1 which showed a Satellite View of America. The south show building showed the Monsanto Hall Of Chemistry, which was a walkthrough tour about chemistry. Autopia, an opening-day attraction, gave visitors a view of the National Interstate System that was to be built in the future. The attraction still remains open today, though it has been modified and rebuilt several times. This is the only attraction in Tomorrowland that has been open since opening day.

Following Years

Later in 1955, Tomorrowland boats opened. The World Beneath Us also opened which showed Earths geology. The Aluminum hall of fame opened too which sponsered Keiser Aluminum. The final attraction to open in Tomorrowland in 1955 was The Flight Circle which demonstrated gasoline powered vehicles.

In 1956, Tomorrowland Boats were renamed Phantom boats, and were closed later in the year. Dutch boy Color Gallery opened in 1956, and sponsered Dutch Boy Paint. Two Biggies opened in 1956, the Astro Jets where guests can fly their own rockets. The other biggie was Skyway To Fantasyland where Guests rode " Buckets" over to Fantasyland.

In 1957, the Monsanto House of the Future, a plastic house with four wings cantilevered from a central plinth, was built. This was similar to precursors at previous World's Fairs, though those were simply homes furnished with modern conveniences and aimed at housewives. Disneyland's attraction displayed conveniences such as picture phones and television remote controls, and it introduced many people to their first microwave oven. The Viewliner also opened where guests can ride in "the fastest minature train in the world." It closed the next year making it the shortest lived disney attraction ever.

In 1959, three major attractions, the park's first billed E-ticket attractions, opened at Tomorrowland. These were the Disneyland Monorail, Submarine Voyage, and the Matterhorn (which later became part of Fantasyland). These additions were collectively so large in scope that they were televised as the second opening of Disneyland. New attractions came and some went as Walt Disney focused his efforts on the 1964–65 New York World's Fair. After the Fair closed, he turned his attention to a new Tomorrowland and the Florida Project, which would later become Walt Disney World.


Tomorrowland 1967–1998

Disneyland's Tomorrowland entrance in 1996, before the 1998 makeover

Walt Disney died in December 1966, almost seven months before the new Tomorrowland would open. In 1967, the area was completely rebuilt with new attractions and scenery. The original layout was demolished, and a new set of buildings were erected. The addition of the Carousel of Progress, Adventure Thru Inner Space, an improved and larger Circle-Vision auditorium, Flight to the Moon, and the PeopleMover helped give Tomorrowland its "World on the Move" theme. In 1973, "The World On The Move" began to change.

General Electric decided to close Carousel of Progress, which would later reopen at a new home in Walt Disney World in 1975 as part of its expansion. In 1974, with the American Bicentennial approaching, Disney designers seized the opportunity of the vacant carousel theater to present a large musical extravaganza called America Sings, which featured 114 Audio Animatronics. The following year, Flight to the Moon was updated into Mission to Mars, as actual flights to the moon had become a reality since the former's construction.

Then, in 1975, construction began on Walt Disney's proposed 1965 "Space Port." In May 1977, this project opened to the public as Space Mountain. The same year, the Super Speed Tunnel was added as part of the Peoplemover experience. In 1984 Circle-Vision 360 received a brand new travelogue of the United States, to replace the aging "America The Beautiful" film – American Journeys. Two years later, two new attractions found homes in Tomorrowland: Star Tours and Captain EO. Captain EO replaced the Space Stage in September 1986, and Star Tours replaced Adventure Thru Inner Space in January 1987. Tomorrowland then remained largely unchanged for much of the following decade, until the land was again redone in 1998.

During the mid to late 1990s Tomorrowland Terrace (TLT)-Tomorrowland's most popular outdoor restaurant-became a fashionable spot for many local Southern California teenagers. Discounted annual passports for Southern California residents, and the remarkable success of No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom" album which made several references to the Disneyland Park as a whole, caused Orange County locals to pour into Tomorrowland every Friday and Saturday night. Unfortunately for Disneyland, this caused an increase in harassment of tourists and petty crimes which forced them to increase security, culminating in 1996 with several separate gangs of Disneyland locals, led by a “goth” style gang known as the “Disneyland Arcane Crew (D.A.C.)”, and locals numbers in excess of several hundred packed into Tomorrowland's space. This trend however, died out around 1998 when Tomorrowland was closed for renovation.

Tomorrowland 1998

Disneyland's Tomorrowland entrance from 1998 to the present

Tomorrowland reopened in 1998, loosely based on the retro-futurist concepts that Disneyland Paris's Discoveryland featured. The entire land was painted in bronzes, golds, and dark browns, with occasional green highlights. New landscaping featured apparent vegetable plots and made reference to "neo-agrarian" concepts. The flagship attraction of the makeover was the Rocket Rods, which attempted to run a fast-paced ride on the former slow-paced PeopleMover track; the ride would close three years later due to intractable mechanical problems.

Many of the attractions remained fundamentally the same, but Circle-Vision, Captain EO, and Mission to Mars were all removed. The space formerly occupied by Circle-Vision was partly used for the queue of the Rocket Rods, while Captain EO was replaced by Honey, I Shrunk the Audience and Mission To Mars was replaced by a restaurant called Red Rockett's Pizza Port. The Rocket Jets attraction was redressed as a moving sculpture called the Observatron, while a similar attraction called the Astro Orbitor was placed at ground level in the entrance of Tomorrowland. The former America Sings theater became Innoventions, a technology showcase based on the Walt Disney World: EPCOT original.

Following the opening of the New Tomorrowland for summer 1998, the Submarine Voyage was closed in September. The Skyway linking Tomorrowland and Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom closed after its last day of operation on November 9, 1999. Disneyland's version of the ride closed in 1994.[1]

Today

The Submarine Lagoon at Tomorrowland. Monorail Orange is passing over a submarine.

In late 2003, Matt Ouimet became president of the Disneyland Resort and sought to change some of the cost-cutting trends that had become the status quo there. Space Mountain was closed for two full years as the ride was refurbished and the track was completely replaced by a new track with the same track plan. The former Rocket Rods queue building was converted into Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters for a 2005 opening.

In February 2005, Walt Disney Imagineering approved a repaint of Tomorrowland for the "Happiest Homecoming on Earth" fiftieth anniversary celebration. This new paint scheme is predominantly white, blue, and silver, although some of the former gold and bronze colors were kept. The largest remainder from the 1998 color scheme was the Astro Orbitor until mid-2009, when it was repainted to match the rest of the land and mechanisms that once caused its top to rotate properly were repaired. In 2007 the Submarine Voyage reopened as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, with the submarines fully refurbished with Nemo and friends in a new adventure.

In 2007, the Disneyland Monorail began phasing out its Mark V fleet of monorails in order to reverse engineer and upgrade the Mark V's to the new Mark VII models. The new Mark VII's were phased in one at a time, beginning with Red and Blue in 2008 and Orange in 2009. These new monorails pay homage to the original Mark I, II, and III monorails while retaining a modern, futuristic look. The previous Mark V monorail class of trains bore more of a resemblance to the Mark IV and Mark VI monorail classes of trains used on the Walt Disney World Monorail System.

In January 2010, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience closed to make way for the Captain EO, which "re-opened" due the large public backing the 3D film received upon Michael Jackson's death in June 2009. It is a limited engagement, although no set date has been announced for its closing.

In July 2010, Disneyland's Star Wars-themed motion simulator attraction Star Tours was closed to make room for its sequel, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. The new ride, which features other Star Wars destinations in 3-D, opened on June 3, 2011.

Attractions and Entertainment

Restaurants

Shopping

  • Little Green Men Store Command
  • Star Trader
  • Tomorrowlanding

Former Attractions and Entertainment

Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland
Magic Kingdom
Opening date October 1, 1971
Planetary adornment atop the Astro Orbiter at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom Park

The second Tomorrowland opened on October 1, 1971 at the Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort, Florida, and, like at Disneyland, was opened unfinished. But by 1975, the entire land was completed, and much more closely resembled Walt Disney's vision for Tomorrowland. Some of the most popular Disney park attractions premiered here, such as Space Mountain, which opened in 1975 and is now part of every Tomorrowland around the world.

Some classic Tomorrowland attractions that have closed in Disneyland still live on at the Magic Kingdom Park include the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and the Carousel of Progress, which was moved from Disneyland to Walt Disney World in 1975. Walt Disney's model display of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow is also used as a display visible only from the Tomorrowland Transit Authority.

For most of its history, Tomorrowland's color scheme was predominantly white with soft blues, creating a retro-modernist landscape. Huge monolithic towers, spires, and clean lines completed the futuristic look. In 1994, using inspiration from Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris, Tomorrowland was completely re-built and altered to resemble a galactic spaceport as it would have been envisioned by the science-fiction comic strips of the early 20th century, like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. Tomorrowland has since been given a much more metallic look, along with new darker blues and purples, especially along its main concourse leading from the central hub.

Attractions and Entertainment

Restaurants

  • Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies
  • Cool Ship
  • Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café
  • The Lunching Pad
  • Tomorrowland Terrace Cafe
  • Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station

Shopping

  • Buzz Lightyear Shop
  • Buzz's Star Command
  • Geiger's Counter
  • Merchant of Venus
  • Mickey's Star Traders
  • Space Mountain Shop
  • Ursa's Major Minor Mart

Former Attractions and Entertainment

Tokyo Disneyland

Tomorrowland
Tokyo Disneyland
Opening date April 15, 1983

At Tokyo Disneyland, Tomorrowland opened on April 15, 1983 after the Imagineers set out to create a more urban Tomorrowland than its American counterparts, more like a working community than a land of future technology. The rides are more technology-specific, and the special effects are more expensive, due to a larger budget from The Oriental Land Company.

The area closely resembles the original 1970s Tomorrowland, which used to be at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Florida until 1994. The Space Mountain area, however, is more similar to Disneyland's Tomorrowland. The paint scheme of the Tomorrowland at Tokyo Disneyland is also mostly white, with some blues and turquoise.

Attractions and Entertainment

Restaurants

  • Lite Bite Satellite
  • Pan Galactic Pizza Port
  • Plaza Restaurant
  • Soft Landing
  • Space Place FoodPort
  • The Popping Pod
  • Tomorrowland Terrace

Shopping

  • Planet M
  • Monsters, Inc. Company Store
  • Cosmic Encounter
  • ImageWorks
  • Solar Ray's Light Sopplies
  • Stellar Sweets

Former Attractions and Entertainment

Disneyland Park (Paris)

Discoveryland
Disneyland Park (Paris)
Opening date April 12, 1992

Disneyland Park in Paris has a Tomorrowland with an entirely new concept, Discoveryland. European culture was used distinctively in the park and Discoveryland uses the ideas of famed European thinkers and explorers such as Leonardo da Vinci or HG Wells, with Jules Verne featured most prominently. This land was heavily inspired by the abandoned Disneyland concept Discovery Bay, which would have sat at the north end of the park's Rivers of America.

Architecturally designed using Jules Verne's vision of the future as inspiration, the land is laid out very differently from its predecessors. Many Tomorrowland classics exist here, such as Autopia, Orbitron and Star Tours, some in an altered way, but Space Mountain is significantly changed. It's theme is Steampunk/Clockpunk

Originally conceived as Discovery Mountain, it was originally proposed to hold more than one attraction, including an improved version of Horizons from Epcot, a larger Nautilus walk-through complete with a restaurant and a free-fall ride based on Journey to the Center of the Earth. But due to budget cuts, it opened in 1995 as Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune (From the Earth to the Moon). Beside the Space Mountain show building is the Nautilus Lagoon, with a walk-through recreation of the Nautilus submarine from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The showcase attraction on opening day was a Circle-Vision 360 film, titled Le Visionarium. The attraction featured an eccentric time-traveling robot and his robotic assistant, who take Jules Verne into the world of today, which is pictured as the future he dreamed of. The attraction would later be exported to both the Magic Kingdom and to Tokyo Disneyland. The Magic Kingdom version was the last of the three versions of the show, commonly known as The Timekeeper, to close.

Space Mountain was completely refurbished in 2005 for the Happiest Celebration on Earth, with a new soundtrack and special effects. Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast opened April 8, 2006, in the former building of Le Visionarium, which closed in September 2004.

Attractions and Entertainment

Restaurants

  • Cool Station
  • Café Hyperion
  • Rocket Café
  • Buzz Lightyear's Pizza Planet

Shopping

  • Constellations
  • Light Speed Photography
  • Star Traders

Former Attractions and Entertainment

Hong Kong Disneyland

Tomorrowland
Hong Kong Disneyland
Opening date September 12, 2005

The newest Tomorrowland opened on September 12, 2005, at Hong Kong Disneyland. Like the newer generations of the American Tomorrowlands, Hong Kong's version features an emphasis on metallic trim, with lots of blue and purple hues.

Since the opening of the park, some unique attractions have been added into the Hong Kong's Tomorrowland, such as a newer version of Autopia and Stitch Encounter.

Attractions and Entertainment

Saul es hueco

Restaurants

  • Comet Café
  • Starliner Diner
  • Flying Saucer Snaks

Shopping

  • Space Traders
  • Star Command Suppliers

Former Attractions and Entertainment

  • Alien Invasion (2009 Halloween Evert)

Popular culture

The video game Disney Epic Mickey features a Tomorrowland-esque area named Tomorrow City.

References


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