by, 12-28-2009 at 01:27 AM
In my opinion, Tomorrowland is an underdeveloped and underutilized area of Disneyland with huge potential. The whole land would benefit greatly if re-themed as a city of the future just as Main Street USA and New Orleans Square are representations of other cities (albeit from the past and present). A futuristic Main Street of it's time. Tomorrowland should have several things that any future city would have including labs and a spaceport as well as more common buildings such as housing, stores and civil services. Because space travel and technology are the current focuses of earth's future, I think the area would best be themed as a scientific space outpost. How cool would it be if landing in Tomorrowland meant visiting a far off outpost where all kinds of amazing technological studies were underway.
The buildings would all be changed to sleek silver metal and glass exteriors with dark and brushed blues and reds as accents (more blue, less red). Greenery too would be incorporated to avoid a parkade feel while providing some hope of a future with plant life in it.
The entrance to Tomorrowland would be modified in order to block direct sight lines down the main corridor of Tomorrowland from the plaza, just like the entrances to each of the other current lands. This means that the astro-orbiter would disappear, this time, forever... Possibly reskinned and placed in Fantasyland as a faster, larger duelling dumbo.
The Main Corridor
Down the corridor between Star Tours and BLAB, the look would be modified quite substantially. Most notably, the pathways for the old people mover would be changed. Instead of travelling straight down the middle of the corridor and arcing back, it would cross over and back a few times from building to building appearing to actually provide some sort of transportation for the settlement.
The facades would be redone as mentioned above, made to appear as though they are the things they house. The larger buildings might benefit by having their facades broken up appearing to be several smaller buildings just as Main Street does. In this way, some of the features that a scientific settlement would have could be represented by a facade without having to actually build an interior representation.
Former BLAB Structure
*On the other side, BLAB would disappear and I would put in a circle-vision planetarium like movie. On the outside, this building would be a large dome on a round building flanked by East and West wings marked as a scientific research station. The wings of the lab could be filled with innoventions style exhibits serving as the queue and exit areas for the show. Also possible is adding a real telescope to the building offering real views of planets and space objects. This pavilion as a whole could bring back the awe, inspiration and education that once filled Tomorrowland in a Futureworld-esque way.
Centre of the Land
In place of the old Rocket jets on the platform it once occupied, I suggest the idea of installing a modified Hrubrtz Hurricane or Dartron Downdraft ride replacing the common spinner which can already be found in Fantasyland anyway. The Downdraft in particular loads much faster, provides much more of a thrill, and is simply one of my favourite rides. They would have to move the air compressors though to alleviate the loud sound associated with the carnival version of the ride, and it would need to be modified for both capacity, and also to fit the environment of the new Tomorrowland.
(Original Picture Credit: Yesterland.com. A special thanks to all 142 members of my graphics team for your months hard work in completing these flawless, inspirational computer renders.)
To the right, Space Mountain would remain of course, but the starcade and star traders would be redone to make the area seem more like a futuristic shopping/trading outpost. You know, the place you would go to replace your warp drive thrusters if your exhast manifold overheated, or possibly to buy those spiny glowy characters on a stick. Whatever you like..
It has always seemed awkward to me how Space Mt.'s queue goes in past HISTA then up and around and down. The top of the theatre is a strange location and quite unsightly. Instead I would install (bring back, sort of) twin speed-ramps to take guests up to the upper landing of the Space Mt. queue. The two ramps would be farther apart at the base, with their tops closer together creating a sort of V underneath of which the entrance of The Magic Eye Theatre would be nicely framed. The Fastpass Dispensers would be located under one of the ramps.
If one ascended the speed ramps (one FP, one standby) you would be lead up to what currently is the open "deck." This area however would be closed in by blue tinted glass and air conditioned. Stand by guests would wait in this area overlooking Tomorrowland while the Fastpassers would merge where they currently do.
The queue would be given a new story. As you entered the building, you would be getting onto a space elevator that ascends to Space Station 77. Faux windows would be added to the outer edge of the corridors to aid the feeling of ascending. The airlock that currently leads into the load area would be redone to look as though it is the temporary connection to the space station. You would exit the elevator into the loading area which is a shuttle bay for the station. The rest would be just as it is now with the idea that you have ascended to the station and blast out from it into space.
While the blue represents the newly covered blue glass queue for Space Mt. The yellow shows the expanded front of the Magic Eye below. Of course, the green boxes are speed ramps. Note that the extended Magic Eye building would centralize the entrance of it between the ramps.
This would also help clarify the beginning of the attraction. Currently, you trickle out into space, float around a bit, and then "launch" rather unconvincingly from the middle of space. In my version, you would leave the station, float out into space, and then prepare to "jump to warp" which makes much more sense given the layout of the track. Of course, I will always dream of a boost on that last lift..
In the Magic Eye theatre, the entrance and bullpen would be centred below the space queue . The theatre would stay much the same as it is now, but I have no idea what should be shown there. Also in this area, the ramp and FP area that currently serve Space Mt. would disappear.
Ex-Innoventions - New Darkride
Inoventions' best displays could be moved to the wings of the old BLAB building for its research station makeover, so here I would add a ride similar to Spaceship Earth either on that same topic, or a similar ride on the topic of transportation. All of the methods which people have and will use to move around could be displayed starting with walking on foot and the invention of the wheel, culminating in a scene featuring teleportation.
To make more room, the dioramas that the trains pass could be relocated to between the rivers of America and the Toontown station and enclosed in the show building so that the train could have glimpses into this new attraction, while also being featured in it! Who said that Trains have no spot in Tomorrowland? Someone once said that the future is nothing without the past.
Interplanetary Travel Centre Featuring The Train, The New Peoplemover and the Monorail
In this area, a new structure would be built to house the queues for all of the mentioned attractions. It would be themed as a regional transportation hub serving as a connector between local and long distance transit. All of the queues would receive specific touches such as ticket booths, fake security, baggage checks etc.
The monorail station would remain largely as it is hopefully serving a larger area though. It would stay upstairs while all of the other queues would be below.
Autopia in its current form is rather outdated and needs to be replaced. One way to reclaim all of the land occupied by the Autopia while still having an attraction that you can drive yourself with great views would be to extend the people mover tracks throughout Tomorrowland and have futuristic self driven Autopia cars drive along them.
What would be cooler then driving a futuristic electric car through the city of Tomorrow on elevated platforms? Forget the highway, driving futuristic vehicles over elevated pathways between destinations is so the future. Plus with all the old Autopia track out of the way, you could put in a show building for a new ride of some sort over the sub's show building.
Locking seat belts, glass half walls on the edges of the raised platforms, pressure mats and a central gps tracking system are technologies that might be needed to make this work. Being able to track the movements, seatbelt status, or any weight changes (aka passengers getting out) of the new electric cars as they travel along the path would be much needed safety precautions.
I stand by this idea because the lightweight nature of the Autopia cars and fact that this idea means the track needs no propulsion mechanisms on it, or any heavy duty track for that matter means it is just as, or more feasible than any peoplemover reincarnations.
This is the rough, approximate, idealized, symbolic, layout of some of the new features of Tomorrowland. Red is the new Peoplemover route, loading at the large orange box which would be the hub of all transportation. A path would run from the orange box to the train station shown in blue, and inside the structure represented, paths would serve as queues for the Monorail and Subs as well.
Keeping in theme with the scientific research station, the subs could be converted into some sort of exploring/scientific trip where everything goes badly on the ocean floor. The projections provide endless (3D?) opportunity. Who doesn't like a story based on an experiment gone wrong?
With some updating, landscaping and otherwise, I'd say that that pretty much sums up the ideas I have for Tomorrowland.