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  1. #1

    • Herr Ducktor!
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    Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    I'm extremely torn. Tomorrowland was by far my favorite land as a kid, but in retrospect I think it's always been the redheaded stepchild of Disneyland. Walt himself didn't get a clean sheet of paper on that one. Financial limitations compelled him to let it be dominated by improvised attractions (20,000 Leagues) and corporate showcases (Bathroom of The Future, anyone?). While it came into focus for a little while (say, 1967-74), it's never had the unity of conception that New Orleans Square or Main Street USA had, to name two examples.

    My solution? (Work with me here)

    Who's the biggest individual stockholder in Disney? Steve Jobs. I suggest we convince him to let his greatest visionaries, at Apple and Pixar, go wild. No, Tomorrowland doesn't have to become a showcase for Apple technology (although that would be an improvement on the tired Microsoft displays in Innoventions)--if anything, it would be a canvas for those insights that don't fit into the consumer product category.

    It's a unique opportunity. Tomorrowland is the ONE land, in all that parks, that everyone, even rabid fans, want to see change, and big time. The future is waiting to be claimed.

  2. #2

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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    At the risk of sounding "Universal Studios" I'd say turn it over to the various magicians in Hollywood's FX elite. What the place needs is more smoke and mirrors and less "technology you will see in the next 5 years". Apple as a company has some amazing stuff but I doubt they have a food replicator from Star Trek or a giant walking robo-suit from Aliens.

    Several times Disneyland has hosted dignitaries and astronauts. They had a man fly in Tomorrowland. If you are looking for your best shot then public competitions would be it. Let private special effects industries that specialize in that genre compete with their respective visions of future products 100 years from now. Forget the Space Shuttle... that was 30 years ago... Forget Flying Cars, that was so 1980's... how about a vacation resort on Mars or astroid climbing on the rings of Saturn. My point is that Apple, while interesting, lacks the longrange visions found in various Sci-Fi flicks.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    (off topic) Whats with the spike in recent Tomorrowland threads? I made one, someone else made one, Princess Victoria made one, a new member made one, and now you made this one. Is October talk about Tomorrowland month?



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  4. #4

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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainEO,ATIS View Post
    (off topic) Whats with the spike in recent Tomorrowland threads? I made one, someone else made one, Princess Victoria made one, a new member made one, and now you made this one. Is October talk about Tomorrowland month?
    Things go in a cycle... at some point we should see either another smoking or stroller thread pop up I guess...
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  5. #5

    • Herr Ducktor!
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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    My point is that Apple, while interesting, lacks the longrange visions found in various Sci-Fi flicks.
    I'm sorry. I thought I was sufficiently explicit in saying that I didn't want an Apple showcase. Only for Jobs to use his incredible clout, in high tech and entertainment industries, to make Tomorrowland into a vision of "what the future could be" again.

    There is a big dichotomy between a Tomorrowland being "futuristic" only in the sense of it being "science fiction", and it being "visionary". If the former, then yes: a showcase of special effects would do just fine. But personally, I was more excited by the visionary aspects of Tomorrowland when I was a kid. Nobody would make a movie about Peoplemovers--they were visionary-futuristic, not special-effect-futuristic. Same with House of the Future. The moon rocket experience was not spiced up with attacks by moon-men; the exciting part was that it was supposed to be a PASSENGER rocket.

    I came away from the old Tomorrowland, as a kid, excited about the world I was going to grow up in. Some of the predictions were wrong, but that doesn't matter; what matters is that the future was going to be strange in interesting ways.

    I'd love for my kids to emerge from TL with a similar sense of excitement. It is, after all, called Tomorrowland, not SciFiLand.

  6. #6

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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    That would be cool i guess Apple could invent new things to showcase in Tmrw land and Microsoft could be put in their too cause its not gonna be fair but they would have to step up their tech. After all the future is Computers, Touch Screens, Eco, etc just imagine what the place would look like terrible or great look? in my mind it would look cool

  7. #7

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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    Quote Originally Posted by von Drake View Post
    I'm sorry. I thought I was sufficiently explicit in saying that I didn't want an Apple showcase. Only for Jobs to use his incredible clout, in high tech and entertainment industries, to make Tomorrowland into a vision of "what the future could be" again.
    Oh I got the direction you were headed. I simply doubt that Apple, and Jobs specifically, would be the best fit for it. Jobs is an amazing showman of today, but if you ask him about where things will be 100 years from now he will steer you back to the next 10, 20 at most. If you ask the same question of various special effects houses they will tell you... why... because their business is based on a believable distant future, not what will be here in 10-20 years.

    Nobody would make a movie about Peoplemovers--they were visionary-futuristic, not special-effect-futuristic. Same with House of the Future. The moon rocket experience was not spiced up with attacks by moon-men; the exciting part was that it was supposed to be a PASSENGER rocket.
    Actually many were, and still are, interested in futuristic transportation, as I said Steve wouldn't be the right fit. He'd have you in a bullet train of 5 years from now... not a rocket propelled space jumper a hundred years in the future with the ability to jump both dimensions and time... Walt loved showing off the House of the Future. If you don't believe in Sci-Fi... then how's that nuclear dishwasher working out for ya? My point is Walt made it believable. It was smoke in mirrors, but we didn't choke on the smoke or glare at the mirrors because it was believable.

    I came away from the old Tomorrowland, as a kid, excited about the world I was going to grow up in. Some of the predictions were wrong, but that doesn't matter; what matters is that the future was going to be strange in interesting ways.

    I'd love for my kids to emerge from TL with a similar sense of excitement. It is, after all, called Tomorrowland, not SciFiLand.
    Actually I think a Sci-Fi based version of Tomorrowland is exactly what we need. Space Exploration, Science, Robotics... show us where we might end up, not the toys Steve Jobs makes to get us there. I want to see sub sea aliens in the sub lagoon, or land based ones in Autopia as I try out the latest planetary rovers. I want to learn about how molecular restructuring helped advance everything from food replicators to personal transporters (que ATIS fans who want a demonstration). Who cares about just traveling in the latest space flights... I want to talk to Mars, and even do subspace communications over hyper light transmitters capable of surpassing the speed of light by bending it thereby reaching distant planets in a fraction of the time. We haven't developed multi-light speeds but it is advancing in that direction.

    Jobs won't do that. He'll go 10 years down the road... but not 100... Sci-Fi guys will because that is what they do for a living.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    Quote Originally Posted by von Drake View Post
    I'm extremely torn. Tomorrowland was by far my favorite land as a kid, but in retrospect I think it's always been the redheaded stepchild of Disneyland. Walt himself didn't get a clean sheet of paper on that one. Financial limitations compelled him to let it be dominated by improvised attractions (20,000 Leagues) and corporate showcases (Bathroom of The Future, anyone?). While it came into focus for a little while (say, 1967-74), it's never had the unity of conception that New Orleans Square or Main Street USA had, to name two examples.

    My solution? (Work with me here)

    Who's the biggest individual stockholder in Disney? Steve Jobs. I suggest we convince him to let his greatest visionaries, at Apple and Pixar, go wild. No, Tomorrowland doesn't have to become a showcase for Apple technology (although that would be an improvement on the tired Microsoft displays in Innoventions)--if anything, it would be a canvas for those insights that don't fit into the consumer product category.

    It's a unique opportunity. Tomorrowland is the ONE land, in all that parks, that everyone, even rabid fans, want to see change, and big time. The future is waiting to be claimed.
    Innoventions is already a show case for HP products I dont see why not put apple there instead they look a lot more futuristic anyway.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    There's only one problem with that, Skip. The "sci-fi guys" you're talking about aren't on the board of Disney.

    Jobs is. And extrapolating what he would or wouldn't do based on his consumer products company would be like dismissing an animator who wanted to build a theme park. The man also let Pixar grow by finding some incredibly talented people and letting their imaginations roam free. Jeez, he's the biggest individual shareholder precisely BECAUSE he pushed the envelope on animation--who's to say he couldn't facilitate similar innovations where Disney needs it the most?

    Yes, he's busy. But does anyone expect him to just sit back at board meetings and rubber-stamp corporate compromises and mediocrity? Not his style. Doesn't need to be ours either.

  10. #10

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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    What if after they remove Cpt EO again, they put in a Journey Into Imagination show in 4D? Figment said he wanted to be an astronaut, so if they make it revolve around that and the science theme, I think it would fit pretty well in TL.

    I know people will hate that idea though...

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  11. #11

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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    The problem with Tomorrowland is that you can never really keep up with "Tomorrow", it always catches up with you and you quickly become yesterdayland.

    Space Mountain and Star Tours work because they aren't about technology, they are about general themes and fantasy ideas. Innoventions doesn't work because very little in the building is exciting or interesting. And little of it is future tech anyway.

    Tron, John Carter of Mars, Meet The Robinsons, Treasure Planet, Star Wars, even Stitch all have a certain timeless quality to them which would suit a new Tomorrowland well. If they just give up the "What sort of world will we be living in tomorrow" for exciting space and technology fantasy they won't have such a hard time keeping Tomorrowland vital.

    While Apple makes neat products (which I adore), I don't think we need a Tomorrowland based upon Apple's version of what products we might buy from them next year.
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  12. #12

    • Herr Ducktor!
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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    The problem with Tomorrowland is that you can never really keep up with "Tomorrow", it always catches up with you and you quickly become yesterdayland.
    Well, yes: that's the challenge. And it's one that Walt clearly intended to take up, considering how specific he was about the original TL being a vision of the year 1987.

    Space Mountain and Star Tours work because they aren't about technology, they are about general themes and fantasy ideas.
    They "work" because they are fast-paced and exciting. BLAB is also "about general themes and fantasy ideas", but isn't in their league.

    Innoventions doesn't work because very little in the building is exciting or interesting. And little of it is future tech anyway.
    Couldn't agree with you more!

    Tron, John Carter of Mars, Meet The Robinsons, Treasure Planet, Star Wars, even Stitch all have a certain timeless quality to them which would suit a new Tomorrowland well. If they just give up the "What sort of world will we be living in tomorrow" for exciting space and technology fantasy they won't have such a hard time keeping Tomorrowland vital.
    Sounds like you're in the "Tomorrowland = SciFiLand" camp. I'm not. Walt was serious about showcasing viable concepts of the future. His conceptions of EPCOT were as visionary as anything by R. Buckminster Fuller.

    While Apple makes neat products (which I adore), I don't think we need a Tomorrowland based upon Apple's version of what products we might buy from them next year.
    Sort of an oversimplification, don't you think? With all due respect, let me restate again that that is not what I'm proposing. That would probably be a conflict of interest, and anyway Apple is noted for its secrecy.

    What I propose is that we prevail upon Steve Jobs--not Apple Computer--to marshall his clout, and his background in both technology and entertainment, and "adopt" TL as a revitalization project outside the standard corporate parameters. This actually might dovetail nicely with what Techskip is proposing--maybe he'd hire SFX specialists as well as tech visionaries, and maybe the results would be weighted more toward SciFi than serious futurism.

    I wouldn't mind that. Whatever it takes to shake TL out of the sad rut it's in. My point is that a.) Jobs hasn't used his clout yet, and b.) he's not unsympathetic to creating a sense of wonder about the future. It would be nice to see those factors converge.

    The standard corporate approach has given us gold paint and a Pizza Port. I don't see it doing much more--which is why I'm advocating for a new, out-of-the-box approach to the problem.

  13. #13

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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    Several things found the world of Sci-Fi are dreams and adventures of what the future will be. So why not showcase Sci-fi. Space Travel for humans to other planets is still a good premise for Tomorrowland attractions. As are so many of the Sci-fi gadgets that are found in those movies and and tv shows.

    Innoventions just cannot keep up with the technology, but the Sci Fi world still has gadgets and inventions that the real world aspires to have. And the Sci Fi of the 1950's and 60's has inspired the imagination to create many of things we have today. Sci Fi is important in "Tomorrowland" and is deserving of it's place in DL's Tomorrowland. Some of the dreams of the 50's and 60's are still to be realized and even more fantastical sci fi inventions have been dreamed up since, and still only exist in the Sci Fi world. Sci Fi if where today's tomorrowland exists.

    You also say that TL has never been as united in concept as Main Street or New Orleans Square, as if that were a bad thing. Why? Main Street does a nice job at setting a certain time period, but that limits certain things that can be done in that land. New Orleans Square is also somewhat limited, but really, how unified can a land called New Orleans Square really be, when one of the two main attractions is really an attraction based on Pirates in the Caribbean, not in New Orleans.

    It's much better that Tomorrowland not be limited to such as one particular city in the Gulf Coast. Nor have it limited to small town USA. Tomorrowland has to dream out far into the future, not just the limited 1 to 3 years that current short term and short sighted Disney Executives are continually stuck in.

    As for Apple, etc, those companies are only going to showcase what they are willing to let the public know about, and thus it is not a look into the future, but a look at the present, and the past, by the time it's on display.

    Back in the 60's and 70's Star Trek inspired several things for the future. And there is still a LOT of stuff from the Jetsons (yeah, the HB cartoon) that I would still like to see in future. And there are many things from Back to the Future year 2015 that I would like to see, too, and will still be futuristic 5 years from now. Sci Fi IS where pieces of the real future can be found.
    Last edited by Aladdin; 10-19-2010 at 04:58 PM.

  14. #14

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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    While Apple makes neat products (which I adore), I don't think we need a Tomorrowland based upon Apple's version of what products we might buy from them next year.
    I like the ideas behind Innoventions. The implementation sucks. I'd like to see what essentially would be a Comdex/CES/E3 type of show that never closes. One that is constantly upgraded with the latest gadgets on the horizon. Innoventions doesn't do this and probably never will.

  15. #15

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    Re: Our best shot at revitalizing Tomorrowland?

    In my opinion, having Apple get overly involved would just be more of the same problems Tomorrowland always has, its more of a Todayland or at best In-a-couple-of-hours-land. Parts of it are even Yesterland. What is Tomorrow about Subs? Or Star Wars, as I recall those events took place "A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away"

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