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  1. #1

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    Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    The thread on Tomorrowland's coming updates and the place of futurism got me thinking on a larger scale.

    Tomorrowland was founded more or less around a sense of optimistic futurism - that the world of tomorrow would be better than the world of today. I know I'm stripping out the Blade Runner-esque corporate presence (for the moment) with this. Bear with me.

    The world of today isn't as optimistic about our future. Look at our recent fictional "future" worlds. Literary disasters abound with "The Road", "World War Z" and a horde of others pushing a very dystopian view of the future (a tradition extending back to Orwell and Huxley at the very least). Movies released this year all present a picture of a world destroyed, either by us or by forces beyond us. Games... let's just say an already pessimistic world genre has been mining this particular vein for decades now.

    Where is the place for an optimistic future in this?

    How would you even portray it in a way that isn't viewed as hokey or overly corporate?

    When the park opened, even all the way up through the earlier stages of Innoventions, there was a message that seemed to be pretty accepted by the Average Park Going Tourist - that the world of Tomorrow would be better, frequently tied to the idea that Monsanto (or whichever sponsor you were riding with) would be there with you enabling that bright future. Nowadays I'm not sure the general public would buy off on that, and it's become a staple of rides to go the *opposite* way - that in the future corporations are definitely with you, but they intend on bringing back alien eggs to implant in you (to give one Disney theme park example from the relative recent past).

    So, where does that leave a coming expansion ideologically?

    Could there even BE a successful "Optimistic Future" depicted in any credible way? How?
    There's nothing like being in heavy rehearsal for a new season to remind you that this isn't just a hobby.

  2. #2

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    With attractions like the Laugh Floor supposedly going in, it doesn't look like it. Still, I have hope.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    Not to get too philosophical, but our pessimistic view of the future is related to the decline of modern, Enlightenment thinking and society's move into postmodern fatalism.

    It's sad, but in a lot of ways, it makes sense. In the past, science and technology gave us the impression that life was only going to get better. But we haven't seen the leaps we were promised. It's hard to be motivated by a future you don't believe in. Things like war, the environment, corporate greet, marketing, consumerism, and political corruption have jaded us to the point that we're losing hope that life for humans is improving.

    The future according to 1955 was going to be bright, computerized, aerodynamic, plastic, and "brought to you by Monsanto." All of that is turning out to be true, but it doesn't seem like such a good thing anymore.

  4. #4

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    The age of Disneyland/Tomorrowland preventing a 'benevolent corporate oversight making the future better!' experience is over, I think, pretty definitively. No one would take the 'Miracles from Molecules' type vibe seriously, unless it's an attraction sponsored by say a 'green' car company (Autopia, Test Track variant). Big business, chemical/manufacturing and etc are largely distrusted.

    The apex of that even for Disney was at Florida, creating a horror/sci-fi attraction that parodied deliberately the 'benevolent corporation with new technology' with Alien Encounter and XS Tech: the corporate head being greedy, profit-motivated and closed off to common sense spoken by the scientists/laboratory experts on staff, and the tech they were displaying error-ridden and malfunctioning were the basis for the alien creature being unleashed on guests. Seize the future with XS!

  5. #5

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    I'd rather just see them embrace a new Sci-Fi theme. I don't think it's impossible to do a new version of an optimistic future, but lets face it, Disney's not going to. Basically, most of what we have now could fit, so it's really just a remodeling project and a new attraction or two. Even the Monsters would fit a sci-fi theme vastly better, even though I don't think it's a good fit, especially for Anaheim at least it should fit the overall theme of the land better. So please just give us a cohesive theme, clever place-making and make the area appealing to spend some time in and I'll be satisfied.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I'd rather just see them embrace a new Sci-Fi theme. I don't think it's impossible to do a new version of an optimistic future, but lets face it, Disney's not going to. Basically, most of what we have now could fit, so it's really just a remodeling project and a new attraction or two. Even the Monsters would fit a sci-fi theme vastly better, even though I don't think it's a good fit, especially for Anaheim at least it should fit the overall theme of the land better. So please just give us a cohesive theme, clever place-making and make the area appealing to spend some time in and I'll be satisfied.
    I've pondered a lot of the same - there was an idea floated around (vaguely remember reading it off of DIG IIRC) of turning Tomorrowland into a spaceport where the basic theme would be "Aliens came to earth and built merchandising and ride outposts, OMG".

    I think a part of this is wondering if "Tomorrowland" as a name is no longer going to be workable in the future versions of the area.
    There's nothing like being in heavy rehearsal for a new season to remind you that this isn't just a hobby.

  7. #7

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    I still prefer the retro-futuristic theme of Paris Disneyland. They tried to incorporate that a little bit into the new Tomorrowland 1998 (painting the Space Mountain dome "poop brown"), but it didn't work because it was half-hearted. It needs to be all or nothing.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    I like to look forward to the future and hope that new and wonderful things are yet to come. But there is also that stringent belief that something can go wrong.

    One of the attractions in Tomorrowland I feel got that right was Adventure Thru Inner Space, it gave us a view of what scientists could possibly do one day with advances in technology. Yet it also made aware the dangers that this new technology possessed, and how we must proceed with caution when being presented with such new powers.


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  9. #9

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    Optimistic ideas are out there for the taking:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=futu...w=1366&bih=636
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  10. #10

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    Oh I could make this a really long post ... but here's my quickest response possible:

    Doesn't anyone watch all the science shows on the Discovery and Learning Channels? There's a ton of positive things one could watch ... that is plenty food for thought .. for Walt Disney Imagineering.

    Lets remember why so many Hollywood Films paint a nasty picture for the future: It takes an ANTAGONIST element ... to DRIVE a movie forward. Without a plot of "something going wrong, that needs fixing" .. you don't have a film.

    We now have 30 to 40 years of nothing but "Something Goes Wrong in the Future" films. That will be enough to brainwash current generations!

    Disney was once a leader, and provided a unique futuristic environment when no one else would. Now, Disney is just "reactionary" to the latest trends ... rather than create one themselves!

    They could create a Tomorrowland with a positive message. It's called using the imagination .. and not let current trends guide and rule them!

    Do I need to point out 2 examples where they are not held back by the current cataclysmic trends:

    BREMEN SPACE CENTER - GERMANY:






    And then there's FUTUROSCOPE in FRANCE:






    So while we, in the USA, are so caught up in cataclymistics views of the future .... there are actually other countries with parks where they are capable of creating visions not so dark!

    Europe moves forward ....
    While the USA falls behind!
    Last edited by Tomorrowland_1967; 07-12-2013 at 06:52 PM.
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    Dear Peoplemover Fans, If you want to see a new attraction that at least mimics the 1967 Peoplemover in a future Tomorrowland remodel, you need to write to the powers-that-be, and let them know. If you don't - Then the next time Tomorrowland is remodeled, you will see a land barren of any "Peoplemover" type attraction.

  11. #11

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    Maybe they could make a ride inspired by Adventures Through Innerspace, but base it on the Large Hadron Collider. It could be a thrill ride

  12. #12

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    I think they need to change the name of the land.

  13. #13

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    Could there even BE a successful "Optimistic Future" depicted in any credible way? How?
    The only way to depict an optimistic future is to substantially change people - ourselves and others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomorrowland_1967 View Post
    Europe moves forward ....
    While the USA falls behind!
    We continue to elect people to represent us in government who believe that Europe is Evil and Socialist/Communist, and we should do everything possible to not be even in the remotest way like them.

    The problem is obvious...








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  14. #14

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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    Heck yeah! That's one of the things I liked about the 50's, how people thought the future would be swell! That's what I liked about Meet the Robinsons, that movie portrayed the future in an optimistic light, as I would like to say, "Better living through progress". . . That's what Tomorrowland needs to be, as part of Disneyland, it needs to be an escape from the real world, and it's vision of the future as a post apocalyptic(be it natural, man-made, or, as is popular at the moment, zombie) dystopia. . . When one visits Disneyland, Tomorrowland should reassure them that yes, "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day, there's a great big beautiful tomorrow, and tomorrow's just a dream away. . . "
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    Re: Does Optimistic Futurism still have a place in Tomorrowland?

    Quote Originally Posted by PinkiePieFan View Post
    Heck yeah! That's one of the things I liked about the 50's, how people thought the future would be swell! That's what I liked about Meet the Robinsons, that movie portrayed the future in an optimistic light, as I would like to say, "Better living through progress". . . That's what Tomorrowland needs to be, as part of Disneyland, it needs to be an escape from the real world, and it's vision of the future as a post apocalyptic(be it natural, man-made, or, as is popular at the moment, zombie) dystopia. . . When one visits Disneyland, Tomorrowland should reassure them that yes, "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day, there's a great big beautiful tomorrow, and tomorrow's just a dream away. . . "
    I wouldn't be happy with any zombies in DLR.

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