There are so many ideas floating around that detail what could be done to improve specific attractions and locations in Tomorrowland. But what of the overall land? What improvements to Tomorrowland could be done in order to improve upon and create your ideal vision of Disneyland's lands? Practically everything in Tomorrowland could be made better. Let's suppose a major overhaul of the area opens in 2014.
Tomorrowland - The World of Tomorrow
In order for it to live up to its Tomorrowland title, this land needs some serious TLC. It is obvious that the land has become a mish-mash of different ideas and attractions without a single, unifying theme to tie it all together. Popular attractions inhabit Tomorrowland at every side of the land. Space Mountain, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, as well as old favorites such as Star Tours and Autopia, find their mark in the casual visitor to the park.
What I envision for Tomorrowland is a land with an organized layout that depicts an overall comprehensive direction to which mankind may likely be headed. Granted, predicting where the world will be in fifty years can prove to be a daunting task. We make predictions, but no one really knows. Therefore, only through our knowledge of where we've been, where we are, and an analyzation of where our technologies may lead us can a good assumption be made of the future. And that's all Tomorrowland can ever truly be about. It is clear that Science Fiction has its impact on Tomorrowland. It is also clear that Pixar has a strong influence in the land. And these occurences may understandably be to the liking or disliking of Disneyland fans. Has Pixar encroached too far into Tomorrowland? Perhaps. But there are some options that I will get into shortly.
First of all, before we attempt to organize Tomorrowland properly, we must declare an appropriate theme. And that's very simple... The World of Tomorrow. That was the original intention, and that's what it should be now and always. A glimpse at what the future might be like through various attractions. I'm not talking about strictly roller coasters and laser games, but a harmonic balance of all things within the land. Eductaion officials exclaim that Americans are lacking in the subjects of math and science. Well, without making a museum out of Tomorrowland, let's add some interaction into Disneyland that emphasizes those two subjects. In my ideal vision, Tomorrowland would be organized into two split halves roughly bordering each other by the PeopleMover tracks. On the right is are the space-leaning attractions, while on the left are the more Earth-bound science and technological attractions.
On the right side, Tomorrowland begins with Star Tours. Not the current Star Tours, but the reincarnation slated to be coming in the near future. The building features an all-new and fresh looking facade. The queue is updated with elements that relate back to all six Star Wars films and feels new and refreshed. The ride now features various destinations that play at random which project on the HD screens at random. The exit area features a new paint scheme with all-new destination posters utilizing 3D technology. All of these destinations are actual places you can visit on the new Star Tours.
Following that, the Star Trader. I don't feel that Star Trader needs to be heavily changed, but it should be made somewhat smaller with a slight retheme to coincide with this refreshed Tomorrowland. The former Starcade would be relieved of it's out of place and forgotten aracade status and replaced with "Tomorrow and You," a walkthrough of various displays highlighting the most recent breakthrough and forcasted technological advances that would improve the life of humankind on the Earth. New walls would go into the both the lower and upper floors to separate the various exhibits. Some exhibits would include short films that would be looped. Others would be hands-on. All would show how such technological advances would benefit human life.
Next up, the former Honey I Shrunk The Audience building would be gutted from the inside and re-christened as "Adventures Thru Inner Space." This would not be the old ATIS from long ago, but a total reimagining of the original attraction. Passengers in their Atommobiles would still shrink, but they would be taken through a new adventure. No snowflakes here. This time we'd go into a human cell and then through an actual atom. Twenty-seven years after the original attraction, we should finally be able to break that barrier, right?
After ATIS, we have tried and true Space Mountain. The ride would remain essentially unchanged, but the queue and boarding area would be newly themed and redecorated. As we walk through the queue, we are briefed on the situation that is causing us to board our ship and are given a backstory as we move through different areas of the queue. We learn that we are cadets who are about to undergo our first true mission... a race against time at the speed of light. The old spaceship inside the boarding area would be done away with and replaced with an all new spaceship. As we are about to board, a robot takes the place of a Cast Member and asks us how many are in our group, and tells us where we are to board. A Cast Member in a different location would operate this robot and be capable of calling on specific passengers by name. A Cast Member would still be there to guide passengers, but it would be a secondary role to the robot. As everyone is seated, the robot gives a final "Good luck on your mission." In between, the robot jokes around with various passengers waiting to board. His jokes are actually funny, unlike Mr. Potato Head over at the park next door. The ride would be essentially the same with the exception of some new technology that would be able to make the ride more immersive. We'd see other objects along the way such as comets and planets. Obviously we wouldn't be able to muse at them, as we'd be zipping by at the speed of light. A new musical rendition of the Space Mountain theme would play as we went on our journey across the stars.
Following Space Mountain, Redd Rockett's Pizza Port would remain, but it would receive a heavily updated retheme. The aqua green and red of the interior would be done away with and replaced with maroon, baby blue, and silver. The cafeteria style of the eatery could remain, but the entrees would lose their space references and take on names that paid homage to earlier Tomorrowland attractions (Captain Eo's Spagetti and Meatballs, Carousel of Pepperoni Pizza, Flying Saucer Sausage Pizza, Caesar Rocket Salad, etc.). The building would maintain its vintage posters of old attractions, but new ones would be added of past attractions that don't yet have their own poster in the facility. Overall, the eatery would be a modern looking restaurant that reflects on attrations in Tomorrowland's past.
With the new aim to both educate and entertain guests in Tomorrowland, Innoventions is packed up and moved out of Tomorrowland, never to be seen again. The building becomes a planetarium, similar to, but exceeding the planetarium at the Griffith Observatory in Hollywood. The building's exterior would be entirely repainted and decorated to give off the appearance of an observatory. The murals at the bottom portion of the building would be gone and be replaced with new murals that are themed to space (outlines of children gazing through telescopes, planets, various spaceships, etc.). The outside queue would remain as it is now. Every twenty minutes, visitors would be able to enter the lower area of the building and tour the various displays that depict the history of space exploration and where humankind is headed in the infinite quest of space exploration. There would be learning modules for younger guests to interact with. The atmosphere would be very intricate and have a very space-ish to it. Toward the inner portion of the room and up the stairway would be the queue to get into the planetarium. Every twenty minutes, a fifteen minute show would begin that brings to life the history of the universe and mankind's role in exploring it. The roof of the building would have to be removed to make way for a large dome to be constructed for the the planetarium show. The show would be an extremely immersive and state of the art planetarium like no other. The technology utilized would not only project images on the ceiling and walls, but new technology would allow for 3D images to appear. 3D glasses would not be needed. After an audience would move out of the planetarium from the second level to the outside as is done now, the next group in the lower level queue would move into the planetarium for their show. And right after that, guests in the outside queue would move into the lower level of the building to check out the displays and get in line for their showing.
Beyond the Disneyland Planetarium would lie Autopia. The ride would remain outdoors as it is now but receive a total retheme and new, modern looking electric vehicles that look nothing like today's cars. The theme would be driving through various locations around the world. We would go through places such Times Square in New York, downtown Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, etc. 3D displays that would give the illusion of being in these locations would line the track. Although we would recognize them, they would be very futuristic looking as the entire attraction would be set fifty years in the future.
After the new Autopia, we would find ourselves at the Disneyland Railroad Tomorrowland Station. The station is relatively the same except for some new paint. However, along the way to Main Street, the Grand Canyon and Dinosaur displays receive all-new animatronics and improved scenery. Tyrannosaurus is now standing accurately with his tail being horizontal with his head. His head no longer looks goofy and he has a more modern interpretation of what the dinosaur may have looked like. He's also no longer fighting Stegosaurus, but instead is fighting Triceratops since Triceratops actually lived during his time in the Cretaceous period. Stegosaurus replaces the Triceratops scene which is now the Jurassic period that he belongs in.
After the Railroad station is the Monorail Station. The three new monorails are in full swing and working properly. Each has windows that ventilate well and function as necessary.
Not far away is the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. It has been ceded to Fantasyland. Perhaps one day, when the Nemo theme runs its course, a fresh theme would find its way into the attraction that would allow it to make a return to Tomorrowland.
We then stop at the old Tomorrowland Terrace. The Jedi Training Academy still occurs from time to time, but the storyline is now different. Depending on what time you go, you can either participate in adventure that takes place during the Clone Wars or during the original Star Wars trilogy, the latter of which is similar to the current show. Burgers and fries are still served, although now they're supplied through In-N-Out due to Disneyland's new partnership with the popular restaurant chain. Burgers at Tomorrowland Terrace (and Disneyland in general) never tasted better. Shows still occur from time to time on different evenings, although the bands are better. Some nights you get cover bands, others you get original local bands with their own material. The stage is given a new look that accomodates the improved entertainment.
We then take an elevator ride up to the Astro Orbitor. Only, it's not the Astro Orbitor that we know today, it's an all new structure that sits high atop the Tomorrowland Transit Tour. The attraction's look is a blend between the old Rocket Jets and the more recent Astro Orbitor. It's somewhat shorter than the original Astro Orbitor, yet it incorporates similar rotating planets on a smaller scale than the old AO did. The white and rockets contrast nicely from the blue center portion of the ride and the brightly colored planets.
The next stop is the Tomorrowland Transit Tour. To access the Tour, we must go to the entrance of the queue building of the former Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. The building now sports a very modernized facade. The setup is very similar as it was before Rocket Rods closed. However, the queue would be made to be educational. As you walk through it, a voice speaks trivia about mathematics and chemistry. You are quizzed on various mathematical questions that are made to be more entertaining than the typical "What is ten plus ten times one hundred?" The queue is also adorned with various references and displays that relate to math and science. Then you ultimately board your Tour vehicle, which is a modern take on the PeopleMover vehicle. Each vehicle is a different color that fits the overall color scheme of the land, which I forgot to mention, is deep crimson, silver, and white. The vehicles come not only in those colors, but also a deep shade of blue, a light baby blue, and a deep shade of purple; all of which complement Tomorrowland's color scheme.
As we exit Tomorrowland, we admire the new murals of both Star Tours and the Tomorrowland Transit Tour buildings. The Star Tours mural incorporates elements from current attractions on the south side of Tomorrowland, including Star Tours, Space Mountain, and the Astro Orbitor along with original elements. The northern side's mural features mathematical and scientific elements that incorporate the Tomorrowland Transit Tour queue and Adventures Through Inner Space depictions. It blends into a well-rounded mixture of original artwork for the mural. Both murals complement each other nicely and are essentially inverted colors of each other.
We then exit Tomorrowland in a wide-open space free of giant rocks that allows us more room to move around a breath. Tomorrowland, finally unified under a single theme and with updated and new attractions, has never been better.