Well, I’ve been on MiceChat for almost a year now, so I thought I’d share my ideas for how Disneyland’s Tomorrowland could be refurbished. This proposed renovation, probably set a few years down the road, would be the largest change the land has seen in decades, but at the same time, I tried to keep it relatively feasible. Sorry in advance about the length, but much of it is images that describe my idea, and this project has developed so much since I started that it was tough to take things out. Also about the pictures, I’ve been collecting them for about six months now, so I’ve forgotten exactly where I’ve gotten them – so if one of them belongs to you, thank you!
This new Tomorrowland would have the theme of being a utopian city of the future, although more vaguely themed like, say, Adventureland, rather than being as specifically defining as Main Street. The focus would once again be much more optimistic, wishful, and sincere, like the Tomorrowlands of yesteryear. The new Tomorrowland would focus much more on real-world issues, like EPCOT Center did, such as transportation, the seas, space exploration, and the environment, bringing the focus much closer to earth, although being so far-out and fantastical that it would not be quickly dated.
The design style would be much more cohesive, and sort of a compromise between the two trains of thought that have previously defined Tomorrowland - those being a sterile, ultra-modernist TL of 1967, and the Retro-Future like Paris’ Discoveryland and TL 1998. The new Tomorrowland would be very much modern, particularly inspired by the works of Santiago Calatrava and Apple, but also reminiscent of the style of the 1960s, like the designs of Eero Saarinen, the Jetsons, and the Googie artistic movement. This way, if the modern ever became outdated, it would retain a 1960s look. The design would be very sleek and clean, with lots of grand curves and inspired forms. Tomorrowland would also become much more multi-leveled, with many facilities receiving second (and in one case even third) stories, thereby adding both density and visual excitement. I’ll explain this in a minute.
Some pics of the design style I’m talking about:
Other visual inspirations:
Many of the facades and structures would be stripped down to their original structures or rebuilt to accommodate this new design, but it would be worth it in the long run. The color scheme would be dominantly blue and white, but supported by bright yellow and shades of green. The pavement would be blue, with most of the buildings white and silver, with lots of glass and steel. Plants would play a much larger role in this Tomorrowland, with all of the crops giving way to lush tropical vegetation, like palms, ferns, and flowers. The music would be grand, orchestral, and upbeat, but with a digital-sounding twist.
Landscaping in 1967
In addition to the redesigned buildings, many fixtures would be added to the rooftops to add to the feeling of being a working city. Some of these would be wind turbines and solar panels, explaining how we can get our energy in the future, while also adding visual kinetics, which TL is desperately lacking. It would be cool if these could actually help power Tomorrowland to an extent, but not necessary. Other fixtures would be further back, and reminiscent of far-off skyscrapers, suggesting a utopian skyline.
Finally, new to the outdoor Tomorrowland scene would be a significant lighting upgrade. LEDs and fiber-optic effects would bring the buildings, pavement and plants to life, perhaps appearing as if outdoor features were sending information to each other, with lights bouncing from tree to tree, sweeping down buildings, and glittering on the pavement. At night, every fifteen minutes or so, a short, synchronized light and music show would light up the structures, fountains and trees of Tomorrowland in multi-colored spotlights, taking place throughout the whole land, sort of like the lighting effects used on the outside of Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy.
And now, the attractions:
ENTRANCE (okay, not an attraction)
The Astro Orbiter would be removed, and would be replaced with an elaborate dancing fountain, tentatively called the Fountain of the Five Oceans. The fountain would feature several moving parts and kinetic features to act as a nice visual draw into the land, and would be synchronized to music. Suspended above the fountain, in the joint of the PeopleMover tracks would be a large, futuristic “Tomorrowland” sign. To either side of the walkway would be flowerbeds, like those used in 1967, and some smaller jumping fountains.
Here’s a concept I made of what the entrance might look like*:
* (the PeopleMover pod concepts are a little dated developmentally)
The attraction would be changed to Star Tours II, as is currently planned, so there’s really not that much I can do with this one. The queue would be themed to a transportation station on Coruscant, tying the queue back into the urban theme of Tomorrowland. The ride itself would feature a composite of clips, one from each of a collection of beginnings, a collection of middle segments, and a collection of ends. When combined in such a way, the ride would provide a different experience each time someone rides it, with countless combinations and possibilities.
BUZZ LIGHTYEAR’S MICRO-BLASTERS
Buzz Lightyear would be heavily rethemed and renovated to make this new ride, sort of a fusion of the old Buzz Lightyear and Adventures thru Inner Space. In this attraction, Buzz Lightyear and the Space Rangers (you) have the mission of saving an antimatter research facility from destruction. To put it briefly, antimatter is a substance which is considered the opposite of normal matter, and when the two different forms of matter come in contact, both are annihilated. Antimatter and its potential uses in energy is currently a very hot topic in science. So in the laboratories that are the setting of Buzz Lightyear’s Micro Blasters, the antimatter that was contained in storage has been released, and has the potential to destroy the world. For this reason, Buzz Lightyear is asking you to shrink to the size of an atom and destroy the individual antimatter atoms by shooting them with normal matter electrons (the lasers). The first part of the ride consists of riding into the Mighty Microscope, as you witness molecules and then atoms becoming larger and larger, with Buzz Lightyear narrating along the way. Once you reach a certain “size”, you would be able to shoot the individual antimatter particles with electrons triggering a small light effect and earning you points. Of course, you manage to save the laboratories from destruction, and slowly return to normal size to the tune of “Miracles from Molecules,” with the classic giant eye watching you through the microscope, as Buzz Lightyear thanks you. The ride would be a little trippy, but good-humored, and would combine the educational and classic elements of Inner Space with the fun and interactive elements of Buzz.
The classic Tomorrowland spinner ride would be restored to the top of the Tomorrowland hub structure, but newly enhanced. The item of orbit would be, not a rocketship or a bizarre stack of planets, but an abstract sculpture called the Clock of the World. This sculpture, sort of a modern take on the World Clock, would feature a large globe oribiting beneath a clock which would tell the time in each time zone, and would be capped by an astract form spiraling and pointing to the sky. It would probably look something like this:
The rockets themselves would be enhanced to not only go up and down, but also to lean left and right, and would also transition and lean forward or back between going up and down. The queue would feature a pre-flight video and the interactive games from WDW’s Space Mountain, and when it was time to board, guests would reach the platform by boarding a sleek, round glass elevator.
The PeopleMover would return to its rightful place to atop its tracks, now themed to the mode of transportation of Tomorrowland, providing a tour along the way. On their tour of Tomorrowland, guests would see the inside of rides and scenes of a fanciful futuristic lifestyle, such as a family living in their Jetsonesque home or a model a glistening skyline.
The new pods would be sleek and round, and partially enclosed, but open enough to allow natural ventilation. To prevent arm-breaking lawsuits, guests would be strapped in, but the pods would be able to swivel and rotate a la Doom Buggy so as to provide the best views of the scenery. Guests would load the Peoplemover just like they used to, on a speedramp up to the hub platform.
(NEW) CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS
The rotating building would return to its original use, to play the popular world’s fair attraction about an American family and innovation through the ages, and that captures the spirit of Tomorrowland and Walt Disney himself (and would unite all of the 1964 World’s Fair attractions into one park for the first time in decades). However, the scenes would be spaced farther apart chronologically, now featuring scenes from the turn-of-the-century, mid-century (1940s/1950s), the 1990s, and a far-out future, respectively, thus eliminating the huge historical gap that’s so noticeable at WDW. The AAs would be upgraded to the state-art-of-the-art, realistic kind used for Mr. Lincoln, and Spaceship Earth at Epcot. The catchy song would remain, though, with a different musical style for each of the eras.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJajMFP1tRc"]YouTube- Carousel of Progress There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow[/ame]
After the future scene, the theater would turn one last time, as a curtain opens to reveal a speedramp and a voice inviting you to “explore the home of the future for yourself.” Guests can then go up the speedramp and visit…
THE HOME OF THE FUTURE
The new Home of the Future, now on the second floor of the Carousel Theater, would feature many of the best elements of the current Dream Home, but would boast many new gadgets and rooms as well. The original House of the Future used a lot of special effects to demonstrate technologies that were a long way from reality, and the new Home would be much the same way. Such new additions might include a holographic “video phone,” a window where you could change the view to different scenes, a security system with hi-def “video feed” of all the “outdoors” of the home, and the many games and features borrowed from the Project Tomorrow room of Epcot’s Spaceship Earth. The décor would also be much more sleek, futuristic, and open, with a splash of the Jetsons. Several new rooms would be added around the central rooms, including a futuristic lounge with huge adjustable-tinting windows looking out over Tomorrowland, and the completely automated “Bathrooms of the Future.”
Imagine this lounge with a view of Tomorrowland
TERRA GARDENS BISTRO
This new restaurant would occupy the third floor of the Carousel Theater. That’s right, the third floor. At the 1960s World’s Fair, the Carousel building looked much as it does today, except that it was capped by a large dome:
A similar dome would be built atop the current theater, except it would be made of glass, and would feature a restaurant inside, themed to the land and all of the advances made in agriculture. Many of the edible plant species that currently landscape Tomorrowland would instead decorate this new high-end restaurant, many displayed using advanced agricultural techniques such as aeroponics. With its glass walls, glass domed ceiling, and lush vegetation, the restaurant would feel somewhat like a greenhouse.
Sort of a fusion of décor between this, and this:
The restaurant would be tiered, stepping up toward the center, and would slowly rotate, so that everyone in the restaurant would at some point have a view of Tomorrowland. The Bistro would be very airy (and yet, earthy), with sophisticated décor, and would feature a trendy menu consisting of organically-grown vegetables and meats coming from free-range farms. The restaurant would be accessed by another sleek glass elevator from ground level.
Let’s face it… 3D movies arent’t really the future anymore. Just about every town has a theater that plays 3D movies in it, and even 3D television is on the horizon. Therefore, the Magic Eye theater would be replaced with an all-new concept in cinema – GloveVision. This is a sort of CircleVision combined with a planetarium, or a cinematic experience that circles above and around the head, encompassing the entire field of vision in a dome with projections. The theater would also feature SurroundSound speakers and the rumbling floor to ensure the most realistic environment in cinema. The first film run here would be about the Earth’s natural wonders, such as the Grand Canyon, the Amazon Rainforest, Mount Everest, and the Great Barrier Reef, and the importance of their conservation. If a movie tie-in was necessary, it could be hosted by the Captain of the Axiom, along with Wall-E and Eve.
Pizza Port would be packed up and shipped to the other side of Space Mountain, where Starcade is now. The popular menu of Pizza Port would be combined with some of the best games in Starcade (and also WDW’s DisneyQuest), creating this new restaurant, Pizza Planet. The name would resemble the Toy Story restaurant in name and concept alone, as the décor would be much more sophisticated, although a little Googie/retro. The restaurant would encompass both floors of the facility: Parents would order their food on the first floor on a touch-screen, with kids playing games as they wait, and then guests would take a speedramp to the second floor to eat. To add more seating, the restaurant would even expand into the boxy structure above Star Traders to create covered outdoor seating with a view of Tomorrowland. A separate room would contain a Mission Control game similar to that at the end of Epcot’s Mission:Space, where kids can play at rows of screens as they pretend to launch a spaceship (this is important later).
This structure above Star Trader would be hollowed out to become covered outdoor seating:
After WDI has perfected the technology for Luigi’s Roamin’ Tires, the (rebuilt) rooftop of GlobeVision would become the new home of the Flying Saucers. In this old favorite, guests can zoom around in their hovering vehicles in a sort of on-air bumper cars ride. But this version of the ride would sit at the feet of the monument to Space itself…
After the successful 2005 renovation, the ride itself would be mostly immune to big changes. The biggest change would be an elaborate new queue. In front of GlobeVison would be two matching speedramps, which would slant out and meet at a joint in the middle on top. The ramp on the right would take you to the Flying Saucers, and the ramp on the left would take you to Space Mountain.
Once you ascended the left ramp, you would turn left for a brief view of the Flying Saucers before entering the new queue building. Once inside, guests would find themselves in a highly advanced spaceport preparing for your launch. You would enter in the “Spaceport Gallery,” with displays explaining the history of space travel, and artifacts such as moon rocks and spacesuits, which guests can examine as they wait. After this is a much larger room, themed to the main hall of the spaceport. An AA astronomer is looking out a window at the night sky with a huge telescope, while others perform maintenance suspended from the ceiling. Visible through a glass wall is the Mission Control game in Pizza Planet, accompanied by narration that the spaceflight is handled by “the most experienced team in aeronautic history”, most likely a couple of preteens playing games (see how it’s all coming together? ). Finally, guests would turn into the existing, launching room in the queue.
The Tomorrowland Terrace dining facility would be rebuilt to be 2 stories. The tables would be removed from the hub, and would be relocated to the new roof of the first floor, accessed by speedramp, which would offer views around Tomorrowland. The second floor would also feature a bar that would serve nostalgic treats like chocolate malts and milkshakes, and some tiered seating with a view of the stage below. Finally, the restaurant would receive a couple of new inexpensive meals, such as wraps, noodles and stir fry.
The popular stage would be kept, of course.
The train station would be rethemed to be a “historic” (yet still futuristic) transportation station, with LED travel posters highlighting the various transportation options (rides) throughout Tomorrowland. The classic Mary Blair murals above Buzz and Star Tours would be restored and relocated here, on the wall guests face waiting for the train. Also, the Grand Canyon diorama would be relocated to Frontierland to make room for an exciting new E-ticket, and the Primeval World would be massively updated (more on both in a minute).
The only big change I would make to the monorails would be the addition of a fourth, green train. The queue would also be restyled to match the Googie/modern aesthetic throughout Tomorrowland, and would complement the nearby Autopia queue building.
Nemo would be evicted from the waters of Tomorrowland, to make way for this exciting new take on an old classic. In this ride, sort of a Captain Nemo-meets-Living Seas, guests explore the ocean with the pretense of exploring and discovering undersea life for an underwater research facility, Seabase Beta. This ride would be a little more thrilling than previous incarnations, with more variations in speed, turbulence and shaking around. Guests would wait in the newly-expanded, maybe even underground, indoor queue, themed to the halls of Seabase Beta, with informative notes and data covering the walls, and large glass windows showing tanks of real fish and AA divers collecting information.
Once guests board their subs, the expedition would begin with some scientists examining aquatic animal AAs such as turtles and dolphins, underwater farms, and futuristic submersibles and some continued use of screen projections of fish, with the captain explaining how such animals live and survive underwater, and how humans have learned from them to adapt in the seas, harvesting underwater farms and living in undersea colonies. It’d be cool if, as the subs “descended,” the outside environment would actually "rise" (like the old Hydrolators at Epcot) the and the seats would inflate slightly, to make it feel more like you were actually diving. After touring various ocean biomes, the subs would eventually reach the deepest part of the ocean, and in the underwater darkness, the power would fail and the subs would stop. When the team manages to bring the lights back up, guests would find themselves making eye contact with a giant squid, which would ferociously begin to attack them. The attack would be very suggestive (rather than explicitly visible), with the lights flashing so you can only catch glimpses at what was going on, seeing a tentacle on your window here, a giant eye there, with the subs trembling and the squid roaring the whole time. Finally, the subs would put on a burst of speed and escape into the safety of an underwater volcano, where the captain would express his relief and explain underwater seismic activity. Eventually, the subs would return to the open sea and Seabase Beta, where the captain would offer some final information about the undersea world, and then would wish you farewell and allow you to exit.
The subs would be painted blue and white, like this:
This classic ride would be upgraded to the 23rd century, themed to a drive to a utopian city. The queue would be completely rebuilt to match the new Tomorrowland, and to respond to the redesigned monorail queue next door. The new vehicles would be electric, very quiet, and maybe even guided invisibly, so the track could be removed. The cars would also feature radio, which delivers the safety instructions and would play vintage Tomorrowland music.
The ride would now feature outdoor scenes which suggest a theme of futuristic transportation, such as “far-away” skylines, holographic signs telling distances, or LCD screens showing “you are here” on an LCD map of an intercontinental highway. The overhead monorails and PeopleMovers would further accentuate this theme. The track would also feature different exotic landscapes, such as waterfalls, deserts, caves, jungles, plexiglass tunnels, and otherworldly rockwork, suggesting travel over great distances. Near the end of the ride, guests would pass through a high-speed projection tunnel (like from the PeopleMover’s old Tron tunnel). Guests would then emerge in an indoor scene of a lively utopian street, with glistening skyscrapers on either side of the scene, various light-rail trains passing adjacent to the Autopia cars, ceiling projections of aircraft and spaceships taking off, and the real-life monorails and PeopleMovers whirring overhead. Now that they have arrived at their utopian destination, guests would leave the showbuilding and be allowed to exit.
THE TIME MACHINE
Finally, this new E-ticket dark ride would occupy the space formerly occupied by Pizza Port, as well as much of backstage. The indoor queue would be themed to a research laboratory in a utopia, where a young scientist would invite you test his “Experimental Prototype Vehicle,” the Time Machine. The vehicle would sort of like a white, sleek, Journey to the Center of the Earth-type car, with a gentle, smooth ride system for most of the ride. The tour begins, logically, with the dinosaurs, and would be an updated version of the Primeval World dioramas, with larger and more lifelike dino AAs and more chronological accuracy. Other scenes include might Ancient Rome, the Age of Exploration, the American Revolution, the Western gold expeditions, and 20th century science labs, each separated by a tunnel with lighting effects. In each scene, the inventor would explain how people’s pursuit of a better future have changed history and benefited mankind - the theme of this attraction.
But after attempting to bring you back to his time, you find yourself instead in a terribly dystopian future, full of pollution, alien creatures and scary machinery. The inventor realizes the machine has inadvertently accessed the wrong future, and tries to fix it, as the ride takes on a more rugged, brisk, Mr. Toad-type feel. This part of the ride would be the most thrilling, but the thrill would be more psychological than physical, so children could still ride. Finally, the inventor claims he has fixed the programming and will attempt to send you into a better reality, but asks you to help create it by imagining an ideal future. The vehicles then climb upward through one last speed tunnel with cool lighting effects, representing the formation of the new reality. Finally, the narration happily explains you have returned to your utopian future, as your vehicle rides outside on the roof of the queue building, and you see the outdoors of the new Tomorrowland, which would be described in the narration as “your utopia”. The Time Machines then go back inside, where AA people in a utopian street scene welcome you back to the future, and you see scenes such as a futuristic urban lifestyle, with people using imaginary inventions in their home, students in a classroom watching a hologram, and the real-life PeopleMovers in the background. Then you take a turn back into the laboratory and exit this new E-Ticket back into the new Tomorrowland.
Well, it took us a while to get here, but that’s about it. So what do you think?