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  1. #1

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    Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    email to Merlin Jones from Dexter Reilly:

    "...if you could take Tomorrowland to any place you wanted, what would you do? Would you just bring back the old stuff (Rocket Jets, PeopleMover, Adventure Thru Inner Space, Carousel Theatre, Circle Vision, etc.) as they were, or would you bring them back repurposed, or would you go forward to completely new ideas (the way Walt would’ve, I think), or what --?"'

    Merlin's response is a new article at Re-Imagineering:

    ''It's a good question. To answer it, let's look at what Walt really did in 1967: He didn't actually scrap the place and go forward with all-new ideas or an all-new aesthetic or point-of-view as is often ascribed to him, he simply grew the idea from what was most successful and updated his message with the latest technology and modern design..."

    Much more at link:

    Re-Imagineering: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

  2. #2

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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    I think the biggest problem with the "new tomorrowland" was that they didn't do what Walt did in 1967, they just changed the appearance to beige and gold fantasy, to future fantasy. They didn't add new tech, they just painted it brown and moved it around.

    Good article merlin

  3. #3

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    Great article Merlin. I agree that Tomorrowland needs to return in full force to an optimistic, motion filled vision of the future. However, I fear that current management just does not get it. It would be wonderful to bring down some of the talented Pixar folks that designed the look of Wall-E and have them take a stab at Tomorrowland. No I'm not talking about another Pixar based attraction, or bringing more cartoons to Tomorrwland, that would be a mistake IMHO. I'm talking about infusing some new design blood into the creaky WDI machine. Disneyland was originally designed by filmakers and a little cross-pollination between Emeryville and Glendale could be a very good thing. I've come to believe that Marty Sklar and Tony Baxter might just be a little too close to the problem to see things objectively (see 'small world, it's a' for recent examples). Disney can be a very insular place when it comes to outside ideas. Pixar has proved again and again that they often understand Disney better than Disney understands Disney.

    Oh please JL, make it so.
    Last edited by BigThunder; 09-30-2008 at 08:29 AM.

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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    Quote Originally Posted by BigThunder View Post
    Great article Merlin. I agree that Tomorrowland needs to return in full force to an optimistic, motion filled vision of the future. However, I fear that current management just does not get it. It would be wonderful to bring down some of the talented Pixar folks that designed the look of Wall-E and have them take a stab at Tomorrowland. No I'm not talking about another Pixar based attraction, or bringing more cartoons to Tomorrwland, that would be a mistake IMHO. I'm talking about infusing some new design blood into the creeky WDI machine. Disneyland was originally designed by filmakers and a little cross-polination between Emeryville and Glendale could be a very good thing. I've come to believe that Marty Sklar and Tony Baxter might just be a little too close to the problem to see things objectively. Disney can a very insular place when it comes to new ideas. Pixar has proved again and again that they understand Disney better than Disney understands Disney.

    Oh please JL, make it so.
    I like the use of Pixar people/designers. I used them as an example in my Bringing LIFE to Tomorrowland thread.

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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    Excelent article MJ. I completely agree that that's the direction they should take for the new TL.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    Very good article. Thanks for posting that. I will say that I'm not in favor of a wholesale return to the look of Tomorrowland in the past - I think it had some very successful elements, but it wouldn't look right today. But the genuine sense of optimism about the future needs to come back. It's logical and effective counterpoint to the warm sentimentality present in the lands that focus on the past.


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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    Nicely said Merlin. I enjoyed your blog very much.
    Permanecer sentado por favor...

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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    Merlin Jones - you are totally awesome, as always thought. I love your piece that you have given a link too. Amazing....and forthright. I hope that someone @ "Disney" gives you the reigns for the 're-imagination' of Tomorrowland!

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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    At least the pre-1967 Tomorrowland had a much cleaner and more futuristice overall design, and there were always things moving on at least three levels. The current Tomorrowland - a place I mostly avoid.

    -- Barry

    Add: This is just my usual reaction to the TL question. I will have time to read Merlin's blog a bit later. What I've stated is just what I've felt ever since 1998.
    Last edited by Radiobarry; 09-30-2008 at 11:42 AM. Reason: additional comment
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  10. #10

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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    Merlin, you did a great job of detailing what needs to be done with Tomorrowland. I agree almost completely, but I do disagree in one respect. I believe that it is OK to have an element of fantasy in Tomorrowland. The Adventure Into Inner Space, was partly fantasy, while also very scientific. I believe that Tomorrowland can have an element of Sci Fi, like Aliens and Robots. After all, to envision the future, it takes imagination.

    But while I like and element of fantasy, like the sea serpent in the Submarines ride, I also believe that grounding Tomorrowland in a vision of the future that IS possible is so important. Buzz needs to go as well as Nemo.

    Exploration of space, the oceans, or the atom is still cool with young people today. We need to center the theme of Tomorrowland with that and I think all generations will be pleased.
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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    Great article. I just want them to build some brand new attractions in Tomorrowland. If they take out Autopia they will have plenty of room to build at least 2 new rides. They also need to retire HISTA and put a new and improved show.
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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    Quote Originally Posted by Radiobarry View Post
    At least the pre-1967 Tomorrowland had a much cleaner and more futuristice overall design, and there were always things moving on at least three levels. The current Tomorrowland - a place I mostly avoid.
    Don't you mean the post-1967, pre-1998 Tomorrowland? It was not a particularly impressive place before 1967, IMO. 1967 brought the PeopleMover, the elevated Rocket Jets, and so forth.

    Tomorrowland is an interesting and peculiar area because it's changed a lot and, if you ask me, there has never been one era in which it was undebatably better than all the others. Obviously, the land was in better thematic shape up until 1998, and the PM/RR track was still in use till '95, but it was also looking somewhat dated, and it lacked the amazing current version of Space Mountain...but even Space Mountain once had a better exterior. The issue is just so complex, with each era having its own problems.


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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    Great article on the Re-Imagineering blog, Merlin!

    Although personally, after experiencing John's vision in the Nemo submarines, and seeing his shilling for the Tinker Bell Movie, I doubt Emeryville has the answer for what's troubling Tomorrowland.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    So let's get started on Tomorrowland, shall we?

    How 'bout the Autopia. That's as good of a place to start as any. The contract with Chevron runs out soon and this would be a golden opportunity to re-imagineer something really special. Here's a thought:

    Hovertopia
    Imagine the thrill as kids climb behind the wheel of their own futuristic 'hovercar'. Departing the station, they find their car zipping along several feet above the Highway of Tomorrow while intricate looking heads-up computer displays alert them to upcoming "hazards' on the hoverway ahead. Playing with the steering wheel they find that they can control the hover-height, pitch and angle of their car as they float along. They fly through a detailed future city-scape and even get caught up in an exiting hover police chase before returning to the station.

    Retrofit the existing Autopia track with a below ground-level track system where the driving unit of each hovercar is hidden. The specially built cars use hydrolic lifts to float anywhere from 6" to 3' above the road surface with a limited amount of the motion being controllable by the guest. Speed and actual steering are fully controlled by track and computer while guests get the illusion of flying themselves (similar to Rocket Jets). Cars raise and lower automatically while approaching and departing the station. Spacing of cars, lighting effects, scenery etc. could be used to effectively 'hide the trick' from guests.

    Now who wouldn't want to ride that?

    Okay, what's next?
    Last edited by BigThunder; 09-30-2008 at 02:25 PM.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow(land)

    Nice sketch, I like it. Much better than regular cars and the style would look pretty good with the new Monorails. Maybe they could have a spray of mist under them to hide the hydraulics and really make it look like it was hovering. Maybe with lighting too so this mist would glow the same color as the vehicle at night? That could look really cool.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
    -Walt Disney

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