And yes, this was an old entry for a competition on the board, so my apologies if reposting it is some kind of bad/unallowed thing...just went back and looked through it after I had forgotten about it for a while, and figured there was no harm in resurrecting the concept
Taking up the current location of the Innoventions building, and it’s support facility behind. The current structures would be demolished, and additional digging done, 10-15 feet under the current footprint of the building. New foundation would be set for a roughly circular ride building, comparable in height to Space Mountain. However, it would be partially sunk below ground level, and hidden behind the exterior, a 1950's style “college hall” style building, bearing a slightly rusted metal plaque for the “TOMORROWLAND EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCE CENTER.”
Aerial view showing the layout for the demolition and new construction.
Red is for the facade in front, blue the show building. The green box on the right is the ride entry, with overflow queue and a Cast Member break area behind it. The blue tunnel and yellow box on the left are the exit for the attraction.
Atop the building, clearly a recent addition, would be a frosted glass dome, new metal clamps extending downwards onto the rooftop of the “original” building. During the day, walkways would be visible inside the dome, with shadows of people projected walking by now and again, for attentive guests to notice. At night, the dome would be lit from within with changing lights, purple to blue, yellow to green, and etc, via new LED programmed theatrical lights pointed upwards and outwards from inside the structure.
Out front of the building would be a small patch of landscaping, grass lawns with winding paths, and in the center, a smooth metal fountain in the shape of an atom, water pulsing and traveling over the sculpture from a forced feed pipe in the top of the structure. Guests would enter the queue for the attraction off to the far left, through a smaller “annex” building with sliding pnuematic doors, and head downwards slightly to walk through the laboratory hallways making up the waiting area. Halls would be slightly narrow, 6 feet across at most, and lined with doors leading to offices of employees at the Science Center. Other portions would resemble temporarily empty lab space, chairs pushed in to desks, equipment and computer monitors left on. Total length of the indoor queue would be roughly 3/4 of a mile, twisting around on the exterior of the ride building, invisible to guests from the exterior. Wheelchair access would be through the main queue so as not to requite a special entrance or break parties up, merely requiring guests to transfer to ride vehicles at the loading area while cast members kept track of any wheelchairs/ECV’s and have them delivered to the “unload” area.
Art for the proposed waiting area for Alien Encounter in Florida, similar in style to portions of the queue for the Science Center (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_OO7WbmARD08/Ri5hvSF655I/AAAAAAAAAjM/43gExgyQX1A/s400/alien%2B5.jpg)
Additional queue would be outside, via a indoor “greenhouse” for the science center. Switchbacks would loop around strategically placed tables with odd plants growing, and more hanging overhead, misters installed for warm Anaheim days, and heaters for cold weather. This structure would take the place of the “Mad Hatter” store and former Skyway station/landscaped area off to the side and slightly behind current Innoventions building. The exit would be behind the current “Coke rocket” structure, via a short hallway that would lead guests to a new path, around the rocket and back into Tomorrowland near the entrance to Space Mountain/large granite ball central.
The ride system for this attraction would be an Omnimover system, as currently in use at Haunted Mansion and Buzz Lightyear, and formally of Adventure Through Inner Space. This system would allow for consistent guest access, and increase capacity and decrease wait times. Guests would be pulsed into the actual loading area after a 2-minute preshow, actually a little less in duration than the HM intro/stretching room with waiting for the foyer to be loaded and Ghost Host dialogue to begin. The ride portion itself would last 10-12 minutes, moving at a speed comparable to that of Haunted Mansion.
Inside the queue itself, the look would be very reminiscent of a 1950's-60's college campus wing, tiled floor, wood-framed doors with frosted glass and names of the researchers on them. From within doors, muted dialogue or sounds of electrical discharge would be heard, as if various experiments or conversations were underway. The main track would be a music loop featuring some “generic” upbeat science-on-the-move type songs, and new arrangements of classic Tomorrowland tunes, such as instrumental renditions of Miracles from Molecules, and Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow from the Carousel of Progress. The overall musical vibe would be that sort of fifties-optimism in tone, bouncy.
In addition, several announcements for various departments/individuals within the Science Center would play on a rotation, many of them in-jokes or references to former and current Tomorrowland attractions, to give the land a more cohesive feel, as if the TESC was related to a lot of the technology, experiences, and former attractions in the land.
Sample announcements that would be heard:
“Dr. Morrow, teleportation experiment underway in lab X1, please report immediately.”
“Professor Toombs, representatives from X-S Tech are waiting in the fusion lab.”
“Professor Coates, we are receiving transmissions from Space Station 77: Calibrating magnifcation limits.”
After passing through the main waiting area, guests would be funneled into a smaller room (holding about 20 guests), for an introduction by GRC0, a robot, at the front of the room (behind a metal bar), with a flatscreen projection television behind him. His voice would be more humanoid than robotic, but smooth in diction and rather emotionless, with a few odd pauses here and there by the performer. The design would be a new, sleek, black model with a few touches of the 1950's robot Garco, as seen in one of the classic Disneyland TV episodes.
My concept image of GRC0 and the pre-show area.
His introduction would follow as such: “Welcome, visitors, to the Tomorrowland Experimental Science Center! In just a moment, our head scientist, Professor Zylork, will be with you to explain what you will be seeing on your tour today. The Institute was founded nearly 700 quantiles ago, or 45 years, to use your Earth standard measurement. At that time, I was here as well, though in a different form than you see me today...(GRC0 gestures at the video screen, which displays a still of the classic Garco robot standing with Walt Disney). Here I am with our founder. Today, the leading minds of hundreds of planets have collaborated on this project, to advance technology for all the universe. Ah...here is the Professor now, via video from the zoological preserve here at the center. Hello, Professor Zylork.”
At this point, the flatscreen would slowly fade on, static at first, and then showing a slightly aquatic-looking alien (large black eyes, discrete gills, blueish skin), wearing a lab coat. He is standing in what appears to be a lush forest, with a very odd, alien insect perched on one shoulder, buzzing softly.
When he speaks, Zylork will prove to have the voice of Corey Burton, doing a Paul Frees soundalike performance, this time closer to his narration for the classic “Adventure Through Inner Space”.
“Greetings, guests, and welcome! I am honored you could join us today for a tour and open house. My staff is busy working in our various labs, but you will have free access to visit all public areas of my facility. Myself, and my little friend here (he would pause to lightly stroke the alien insect’s head) might just see you later on in your tour. I will chime in now and again via personal broadcast system during your tour. Now, in the next room, you and 1 or 2 members of your party will be boarding a safe, efficient and power-saving transportation system. Please be ready to step onto our moving platform and board your vehicles.”
At this prompt, the video link would die out into static, and GRC0 would gesture guests through a sliding electronic door to the load area. Two cast members in lab coats would be waiting to assist guests in boarding the sleek, silvery pod-like omnimover cars, and begin the attraction.
The pods would first turn inwards slightly, gliding away from the loading area, and to the first scene/lab: The time travel/teleportation lab. Zylork’s voice would come over the pod audio system: “Here, our time-space experts are working on two areas of enormous benefit: teleportation, and time travel. As you can see, the work here at the Science Center is ongoing, as we look for new ways to connect distant planets, as well as learn more about the past in order to forge a better future.”
In the lab, propped against a back wall, would be a large triangular metal frame. Odd, swirling patterns would flow across it, changing the scenes from a prehistoric landscape, to the deck of a ship at sea, and similar views clearly representing periods in Earth’s history. In the center of the room would be a tall, cylindrical chamber, identical to the XS Tech teleporter from the Alien Encounter attraction. Two scientists would be standing before it, taking notes, and every so often, the tube would fill with smoke, then slide open, allowing it to dissipate, and reveal a third AA inside. This figure would alternate via a system of chambers that rotate under the floor. Depending on when guests passed by, they might see a human female lab tech, a insect-like alien in lab coat, or a stern looking bearded scientist taking notes. The figure would call out a greeting to the two AA’s on the floor, then say, “Ready to go again!” or, “Initiate next jump!”, and the tube would slide up, re-fill with smoke, and the figure would slide back down out of sight within the tube. This way, repeat riders would see either the arrival or departure of different figures likely every ride.
Next up would be the Space/Rocket program lab. Zylork would once again address guests as they moved by: “Here, you can view our top talent in the propulsion tech fields monitoring various projects we have going, both on and off planet.” This would be a very familiar set to some visitors, being a modified and tweaked version of Mission Control from the former Mission to Mars/The Moon attractions. 2 long sets of counters with seated technicians (alien, robot, and human) watching view screens or taking notes would face a high-tech video wall, with Mr. Johnson from the old attractions standing at the front. Newly created graphics would show views of various planets from space, along with some vintage shots of earth-based rockets taking off, and occasionally, even the “Intrusion alarm!” seagull footage would play out on one of the screens.
For the next segment, there would be no introduction by the Professor through the pod speakers. Vehicles would slowly swivel to look at a dimly lit lab, blue, shifting light being the main source, and very quiet. As eyes adjusted, guests would see three lab-coated workers, one looking in a microscope at a desk, two others peering into glass aquariums at the rear of the lab. Inside the back wall of aquariums would be strange, slowly moving deep sea plants and fish life, some glowing with bioluminescence. These would be very lifelike and sophisticated projection effects displayed in real water, allowing for the display of typical deep sea creatures, and would also vary in a 5-8 minute loop between rides, to showcase different sorts of animal life.
As the vehicles left the lab behind, guests would gradually become aware the wall they are passing by is in fact another, very large glass window into an aquarium. Peering out, once past the large tentacles, would be the dinner-plate sized eye of a giant squid. At this point, Professor Zylork would once again come over the speakers: “Oh, there you are...I see you are traveling past our giant squid habitat. There is no need for alarm, I assure you. Professor Mason makes sure Gertrude there gets plenty of krill and fresh sardines every day, she just wants to give you a quick hello before you head on to our next section: the agriculture development lab.”
My concept for the deep-sea study lab large aquarium scene.
This next section would prove to be a more open space, with large pots both on desks and plants hanging from the ceiling. One scientist would be in the process of picking odd, spiked, green fruit from a hanging vine, another slicing open some specimens of vegetables, a third in the process of unpacking a crate marked “SHIPMENT FROM MARS”, containing odd looking plant specimens. “As you can see, we are dedicated to being on the forefront of food development, and making sure all species get the nutrients and variety of diet they need for a healthy universe.”, Zylork would add as vehicles passed by.
Traveling past more closed doors, vehicles would then turn slightly and spin to face a wide-open room, decorated like a surgical suite. Soft beeping and electronic noises would be heard. Two green-smocked figures would be viewed standing over a patient draped in white, face/head not visible, the doctors looking up at a large rear-projection map against the back wall. Intricate yellow pathways would twine through the outline of human body, with a small grey object moving along with purpose clearly visible on the large-format display of the patient. In one corner, a full-sized Atom-Mobile vehicle, painted it’s trademark blue, would be standing, and taking up one wall would be the infamous “Mighty Microscope”. Professor Zylork would chime in: “This is what we call the ATIS project. Originally started in the late sixties, it uses the latest technology and techniques to fight disease from within the afflicted person. Truly, the world inside the body’s inner space is the next frontier in medicine.”
At this point, the transport pods would enter the final scene of the tour. Passing through open glass doors marked ZOOLOGICAL STUDY AREA, guests would find themselves in the same lush jungle environment glimpsed on the introduction video, behind the Professor. The temperature would be slightly noticeably warmer, and sounds of animals moving about very apparent. Strange, larger than Earth-sized insects would be perched in trees, wings flapping slowly. The track would rise slightly, as guests passed by a large, furred creature on the right, head poking out of a group of bushes, insectile fly like eyes and a curving pair of tusks adorning it’s face. As the pods went by, the head and shoulders would move slightly forward, head tilting, as if curious about the guests and vehicles.
Next, a small pond would be passed, with vaguely-froglike, winged creatures poking their heads out of it, squeaking in unison to form a odd soundscape, sort of like music. As guests headed into a slightly cavelike formation of rock, an announcement would come over the pod speakers suddenly, spoken in a businesslike female voice: “Attention all Tomorrowland facility staff and guests: we are currently experiencing a minor issue in the Zoological Lab. A recent arrival, a rare predatory reptilliod from Sector 8 of Andromeda, has seemingly gotten free of it’s enclosure. Do not panic, trained animal-handling staff is en route now, and there is no need for alarm. The Tomorrowland Center is officially now on Alert Level Beta-Proxy-Six.” At these words, a low, gentle buzzing alarm would be heard, repeating at 3 second intervals, as the pod went deeper into the rock structure before emerging next to a waterfall pouring from overhead and circulating back up from a clearly artificial pump-enclosure below.
As the vehicles moved past more foliage, slightly upwards, a low growl would be heard: slowly gaining in volume, and the sound of heavy footsteps and something like a tail swishing through undergrowth, nearing the pod. Just as guests would tense up, expecting the imminent arrival of some horrible alien predator, the bushes would instead part to reveal....Professor Zylork, and with him, a slightly catlike creature with six legs and scales, slitted eyes half-closed as the Professor stroked it under the chin. “Ah, my esteemed guests!”, he would say, as the cars moved past, the speakers picking up his words as they went. “Nothing to worry about...our friend from Sector 8, here, is perfectly harmless. I am having them end the alarms now. Now, the female of the species...she is something to be worried about”, he would chuckle. “Come to think of it, if the enclosure door was open...hmmm....maybe better not cancel that alarm after all. Oh well, thank you for visiting...that ends our tour, I fear. But come back again soon....I’ll see you, in the future!”. As this last message would come through, guests would move silently in the pods out of the jungle area and back through a set of doors, to a hallway of the institute, heading for the unload area.
Observant guests at this point might notice, slightly to the side, down the end of a darkened lab office hallway, a pair of glowing, yellow catlike eyes slowly blinking at them, directly before the unload area was reached. Cast Members would be waiting to help guests disembark as a instrumental version of Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow played once more, and then it would just be a short walk back to the main hub of Tomorrowland for the happy visitors, already doubtless talking about their next visit to the Science Center.
Well, that about wraps it up...I feel this would be a very interesting and unique family attraction, delivering a experience that adds to the theme of Tomorrowland as a spaceport and hub for technology from across the universe, as well as paying respectful homage to several dearly departed attractions from this area of the park in an appropriate and interesting way. Thank you all very much for reading, I very much hope you enjoyed, and remember...there's a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day...