About a month ago, I was at the parks winding around Tomorrowland at night. As often is the case when I'm in TL, I couldn't help but remember the old Tomorrowland and all the magic it provided. I don't believe any other land in the park has lost as much wonder as TL has in the last couple decades. I've thought about the attractions there from time to time and what they could do to replace some of them or simply improve them. This time though what struck me was the lack of a cohesive theme throughout the land. It's something I've noticed before but have had a bit of a hard time figuring a way that they could correct it. That got me thinking about a little concept that I think would both accomplish this and pay tribute to Disneyland's inception.
For this new concept, the plan is to create a single, unified theme that would carry itself throughout the land. This concept wouldn't have any direct affect on the existing attractions; only on how certain elements of them are presented. Basically, this new theme would be a modern take on the future with a 1950s flare. We would essentially be looking at a marriage of our present look at the distant future with some of the popular aspects of TL '67 and 1950s culture. I will outline specifically how this would work.
Up until TL '98, Tomorrowland was about looking to the future with a sense of inspiration and promise. I believe that now, more than ever, it is important that we retain that glimmer of hope we once had. To once again accomplish this, we must look not five or ten years down the road, but at least fifty or more years ahead. We should get a glimpse at what wonderous things might bring about unity and world peace among mankind. The details could be worked out at a later time, but with a little imagination and creativity, it's not that hard to do.
Some elements of TL '67 have retained their rightful place in the hearts of many as the best representation of Tomorrowland yet. While the goal of this unifying theme is not to bring back TL '67, there are some parts of it that were simple and most effective. In my mind, the look of TL '67 is still an ideal representation of future society. The bright whites, touches of modern design, and hints at the future prominence of NASA are classic and everlasting. Under this concept, the white and blue paint scheme of TL '67 would be brought back. We would touch on that with shades of grey and silver in the appropriate places. The Innoventions building would regain it's 1967 look. The murals on both Star Tours and Astro Blasters would be replaced (as well as their respective facades). But most importantly, gone would be the dark and gritty look of TL over the last decade in place of a shining, promising, and beckoning place in the future.
We would unify the new Tomorrowland with the times in which Disneyland was founded: the 1950s. This would both pay homage to the inception of Walt's park and hint at the early days of Tomorrowland. The advertisements and signage in TL would suggest that we are looking at the future from a '50s standpoint. Ads similar to these genuine '50s ads would be posted around TL. However, these ones would depict attractions and things to come in the promising future.
Imagine an ad like this advertising Coke at Pizza Port or offerings at Tomorrowland Terrace.
Or a sign like this advertising the goods that can be found inside The Star Trader.
Or even something like this showcasing attractions in TL.
To add upon the '50s feel of the new TL, we would also see newly created, old-fashioned commercials playing at various places in TL. They wouldn't be the comical type seen in Space Mountain in the '90s, but more realistic ones describing things in the future. We'd see things in the spirit of the following '50s commercials of people talking about how great the future really is. These commercials could also showcase ads by sponsors of attractions or just advertise any given food or product offering in TL.
To touch up on this, CMs walking around TL or at food or merchandise locations could be given a '50s look with retro-futuristic costumes and retro hair and makeup. The whole land can also be conjoined by having '50s instrumental jazz music playing throughout. Disney classics such as "Miracles From Molecules" and "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" could play around different portions of the land. Of course, several things would need to be corrected such as the removal of the Orbitron and the replacement of the Astro Orbiter on the PM tracks. I'm sure many of us hope for a new PeopleMover-type attraction to take back residence on those empty tracks. Perhaps the much less invasive Clock of the World could make a return to where the Astro Orbiter now stands. Again, these details are apart from the new theme and could be worked out later.
The goal with this new common Tomorrowland theme would be to evoke the overall positive feeling of the '50s whilst at the same time presenting the good technologies and things to come way into the future. This would not only allude to hope for humanity and eventual world peace, but also display Tomorrowland at its brightest and most alluring while paying homage to the times in which Disneyland was created.