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  1. #1

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    What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    I've read more than a few MiceChat threads where people have expressed enthusiasm for lands or rides dedicated to Disney villains. The thought just ocurred to me that what Tomorrowland needs is a large D-ticket ride surveying different dystopian concepts that people have had of the future. Innoventions would be a perfect place for such a ride.

    Let me explain.

    One perennial problem that imagineers have with TL (besides the continual need to revamp the place to keep it fresh) is that we are no longer as optimistic as we once were that technology is really going to make the future a better place for us. When Walt built Disneyland, folks had a lot to celebrate and marvel over in this respect. We were just entering the space age and were convinced that our burgeoning knowledge of chemistry and physics was going to usher us into a wonderful new atomic age. Today we are more cynical. Nuclear power is feared and our attempts to alter our environment have had dangerous repercussions.

    I am NOT saying that I think imagineers should abandon an optmistic vision of the future. I still believe that TL should be dedicated to this. In fact, this idea is even born out of optimism. Here's how: I was thinking that aside from the legitimate nostalgia that older TL attractions like the PeopleMover elicit, it's sad that so many people say they would like to see it return. I'm all for PM being revised and updated, but for it to come back basically as it was would be a sad capitulation to our current lack of ideas and lack of faith in the future. In the 50's and 60's, Disney was all about prototyping transportation systems of the future. Whatever became of that?

    The main reason we don't see this today is because Walt is not here to drive the vision, but I also think part of the answer lies in that we have never seen these ideas successfully implemented in the world outside the berm. PeopleMovers did not end up getting installed in urban centers, nor did monorails, by and large. Like the House of the Future, those predictions have been so out of touch that we no longer buy into them. They didn't end up being practical.

    But there's a reason why these concepts didn't get reproduced elsewhere. Real-world political and economic reasons, that it would be interesting to examine in a ride devoted to why so many great ideas don't get developed. That got me to thinking about the different kind of visions of the future that people have. Films like Blade Runner and Alien impress me because there is something gritty or real about them, even if they are a bit dark. I love watching Star Trek in its various forms, much like a person feels comfortable in their pajamas, but Star Trek is based on a utopian vision of the future in which the human race has "worked out" many of its problems. Fun to watch, but the surfaces are all a little too shiny. The suspension of disbelief required is very high.

    What I'm saying is that I don't think people today will buy the shiny vision if you don't present the other side as well and let people know you've considered it. Why not face it head-on? We don't need a "movie ride" in which the guest visits sets from V for Vendetta and Blade Runner, but I think people have a right to know why we don't have domes controlling the weather, and where is my rocket pack, anyway!!?? Obviously, I'm thinking of a ride similar to Horizons, but depending on the way it's done (heavy or light on the edutainment) it could have a dark element to it, so that it sort of functions like the Haunted Mansion for the east side of the park.

    "Dystopia" would actually be a cool name for the ride, but it sounds too much like Autopia, so that would never fly.

  2. #2

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    Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    An interesting and unique idea . And it actually has something to do with the "Future" theme!

    A lot of those dystopian films have very interesting art designs, too. And you could have fun with the idea, like with the Haunted Mansion.

    I don't know if they'd link it to a real non-G rated dystopian film, though (and is there such a thing as a G-rated dystopian film?), or if they'll build anything ever again that isn't linked to a recent Disney blockbuster.
    Last edited by animagusurreal; 03-23-2007 at 09:50 PM.

  3. #3

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    Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    An interesting idea, but I must respectfully disagree with it on a number of different points. First and foremost, I don't think people pay money to come to "The Happiest Place On Earth" to be shown how crappy things are and will be. A large component of the failure of TL98 was its dark uncertainty about our future.

    I have never bought into the idea that Tomorrowland is a huge problem for the imagineers because the future keeps catching up with them. They did change Mission To The Moon to Mission To Mars after we actually got to the moon. Now that we've made it to Mars, they could have probably changed it to Mission To Alpha Centauri and bought a few hundred more years. Unfortunately, the attraction had already changed to Mission To Mediocre Italian Food.

    The rest of the land? Are we whizzing around in personal rocket ships? When was the last time you took a pleasure cruise in a submarine? People Movers and Monorails did not generally get installed outside the berm? That, to me, means they're still in the future. (Although Las Vegas is catching up!) The old People Mover is a little stoogy by today's aesthetics, but a simple, cheap and clean means of urban transportation is still to be found.

    Frankly, I agree that a lot of people are cynical about our future. I would much rather that Disneyland's Tomorrowland present them with ways to be optimistic.
    "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
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  4. #4

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    Sad Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    Quote Originally Posted by RenMan View Post
    I've read more than a few MiceChat threads where people have expressed enthusiasm for lands or rides dedicated to Disney villains. The thought just ocurred to me that what Tomorrowland needs is a large D-ticket ride surveying different dystopian concepts that people have had of the future. Innoventions would be a perfect place for such a ride.

    Let me explain.

    ....

    "Dystopia" would actually be a cool name for the ride, but it sounds too much like Autopia, so that would never fly.
    Global Warming land

    You progress from the planet as it is to one with extremes of climate with flooded coasts and expanded deserts.

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    Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    I really like the fact how a lot of people realize Tomorrowland's main purpose is to instill hope and optimism in all of us.

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    Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYardDog View Post
    Global Warming land

    You progress from the planet as it is to one with extremes of climate with flooded coasts and expanded deserts.
    Perfect! We can put this where HISTA is now. We can put an AA Al Gore in there and have him give a speech like with Lincoln!

  7. #7

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    Wink Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    Perfect! We can put this where HISTA is now. We can put an AA Al Gore in there and have him give a speech like with Lincoln!
    I thought Al Gore is an AA

  8. #8

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    Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYardDog View Post
    I thought Al Gore is an AA
    Must you spoil the magic?


    "Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary... Impossible is nothing."
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    Quote Originally Posted by KISSman View Post
    In the grand scope of life, there's nothing actually cool about being knowledgeable about an amusement park.

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    Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    When I read the OP, I was picturing the more "fun" dystopia ideas, like androids go crazy and take over, or Twilight Zone future-type stuff, more than the environmental concerns in the news.

    I'm all for optimism in Tommorowland, but this could be an interesting "exception to the rule".

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    Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Chaney View Post
    I have never bought into the idea that Tomorrowland is a huge problem for the imagineers because the future keeps catching up with them.
    Art Design for the "future" (whatever our concept happens to be at any given time) changes, so the land has to be constantly overhauled not to look dated. At the very least, that's expensive, even if it's not conceptually challenging. I agree, though, that it's not WDI's main difficulty in deciding what to do with TL.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Chaney View Post
    Frankly, I agree that a lot of people are cynical about our future. I would much rather that Disneyland's Tomorrowland present them with ways to be optimistic.
    I would rather be optimistic too - I think every other ride in TL should be brightly optimistic. And of course, everyone who responds to my ride idea with "don't be ridiculous" is correct. No one enters the berm to face gritty reality. That's the main flaw with the idea. Otherwise, what I mean to communicate is a kind of "informed optimism" that I think people might really buy into, rather than leaving TL thinking "I just enjoyed some fun, but otherwise irrelevant, Disney entertainment."

    You see, I'm one of those who thinks that DL (and Epcot) should be places that city planners have in the back of their minds when they make decisions that impact urban development. If PeopleMovers and Monorails don't inspire them, DL should be the first place they see the next-generation PeopleMover, one they could actually consider implementing because it's fiscally feasible!!!

  11. #11

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    Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    Quote Originally Posted by RenMan View Post
    Otherwise, what I mean to communicate is a kind of "informed optimism" that I think people might really buy into, rather than leaving TL thinking "I just enjoyed some fun, but otherwise irrelevant, Disney entertainment."

    You see, I'm one of those who thinks that DL (and Epcot) should be places that city planners have in the back of their minds when they make decisions that impact urban development. If PeopleMovers and Monorails don't inspire them, DL should be the first place they see the next-generation PeopleMover, one they could actually consider implementing because it's fiscally feasible!!!
    With this, you and I are in total agreement. I won't speak for Walt Disney, but I'm under the impression that he would agree also. His vision of an Experimental Prototype Community Of Tommorow speaks to that.

    A lot of Tomorrowland is, and has always been, fun but otherwise irrelevant entertainment. It's an amusement park, after all. BUT... Uncle Walt also loved to mix in a lot of educated speculation relevant to real-world future. In the 60's, the People Mover fit the bill. Today, the original is a little dated... but the idea of an updated version could re-inspire. Monorails never quite caught on around the world... and yet everyone still seems to like the concept. The city planners in Las Vegas certainly did.

    ...and beyond:

    The original Imagineers for Tomorrowland started with a blank slate and came up with some pretty good ideas for the future as seen from the 60's. (I'm not counting the 50's since TL was a little undercooked in that era.) I will admit that I cling to many of these attractions as Disneyland Classics and would hate to see them go... but I wonder if they were to start with a blank slate again if they would come up with a different but just as compelling roster of attractions.

    TL98 doesn't count for a myriad of reasons.
    "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
    -Art Linkletter July 17, 2005-


    When you wish upon a star your dreams come true.


  12. #12

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    Talking Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    It is not unrealistic to be optimistic about the future.

    Outside America, many countries of the world have embraced new technologies, because they have governments that choose to actively embrace new technologies. Countries like China, Japan, and India all use public transportation systems like automated light rail systems, and automated monorail systems, which are essentially peoplemovers. Because they have embraced that technology, they function more efficiently as a nation than we do, with our love of cars, traffic, and pollution.

    We as a nation, (for the most part) do not view the future as optimistic because our government refuses to embrace new technology as other countries have. How politics change in the future will help determine our views of the future.

    Nevertheless, there should always be optimism from Disneyland’s Tommorrowland, as it is (somewhat) a national symbol of our country and future, just as Disneyland is a symbol of our country. At Disneyland, people can see a fairly accurate slice of all American cultures in one place at one time. In Tommorrowland, people can see how our American politics and Companies are preparing for the future, or, if they aren’t preparing for the future.

    Right now, the only attraction in Tommorrowland that vaguely follow’s Tommorrowland’s original mission is Innoventions, which many park guests and people on these boards find boring. Why is it boring? Because Innoventions sponsored by HP, and is essentially a showcase of video game technology that has been around since the 1980’s. Unfortunately, Innoventions is to be sponsored by Microsoft in the near future. I predict this sponsorship will just become a giant advertisement for their new theme, Vista. And will, once again, give park guests an opportunity to play video games they could also play at local Best Buy’s, only without having to pay for an admission ticket to Disneyland. Thus, the attraction will seem boring again, until it gets a new sponsor, and a new advertising campaign.

    This is not the future! How are we going to showcase the future with Microsoft technology? For their entire existence, Microsoft has done nothing but steal or copy other companies ideas, and incorporating them into their “new” operating systems like Vista, which through Billions of dollars in advertising, they convince people is something “new”, when all it really is, is a theme. Its slogan shouldn’t be “Wow” it should be “What? Isn’t this essentially XP with Black or Transparent Windows?!” This is not a representation of the future! Innovations and Tommorrowland should be SPONSORING small, innovative companies with new ideas, rather than looking for sponsors to showcase their own old ideas.

    If Tommorrowland is to be an optimistic representation of the future, Disney must seek out, or invent new technologies themselves, to showcase in Tommorrowland. As we have seen in some of the newer rides and upgrades to old rides, Disney has some amazing technologies at their disposal, but it is seldom seen in Tommorrowland! Hopefully, we will get to see new technologies as they continually reinvent older rides with new technologies, and hopefully the company will take the initiative to try to do something with meaning and value, rather than just look for more ways to make money.

    And we shouldn’t just build a ride or attraction that showcases a future city or Utopia, we should BUILD THE UTOPIA. We should build EPCOT as it was originally planned! Yes, it may cost money to do, but it has the potential to make us more money in the future as we begin to develop it’s technologies and control future businesses and industries.


    * I apologize in advance if I offend anyone by having a contradictory opinion about America, the Government, Microsoft, The Walt Disney Company etc.

  13. #13

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    Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    thanks but no thanks

    "You're not thinking fourth dimensionally!" -Back to the Future

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    Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    Part of the confusion about my idea is that it's only half-baked. There are really two completely different concepts that I had in mind, and I should bother to separate them.
    • One is the idea of surveying prior ideas about the future and analyzing them and then giving our best (optimistic, but informed) guess as to what it will really be. This is the Horizons-style ride, and it could conceivably have a "scary" room in it where the dystopian ideas are addressed. This would not be out of line with Disney's storytelling and entertainment style, and it obviously should not end on a gloomy note but rather show how we respond to such opression by breaking free of it.
    • The second idea is more "Haunted Mansion-esque". This would be more like a Blade Runner ride where you visit a world covered by a post-apocalyptic shroud and see how humanity adapts. I would thoroughly enjoy such a ride, but it probably wouldn't ever get greenlit and it is awfully dark for Disney. Plus, they don't need any more movie tie-ins, especially with non-Disney films!
    Regarding Innoventions, I too would prefer to see it really be the showcase that it could be, but if they're not gonna do that, this is another idea for the building that's more in line with its Carousel of Progress roots. Tomorrowland as a whole is really very far off-track in terms of what it could be and should be. For example, there needs to be a serious ride devoted to the possibility or impossibility of faster-than-light space travel. It could be one of the most awesome rides in the park, as well as entirely educational, delving into relativistic mechanics and theories of different propulsion systems. Why on earth there is no such ride in TL, I cannot guess. HISTA needs to go as well (as far as its not fitting in with the TL theme) so I think such a ride should go there!

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    Re: What to do with Innoventions? Dystopia!

    Quote Originally Posted by RenMan View Post
    Part of the confusion about my idea is that it's only half-baked. There are really two completely different concepts that I had in mind, and I should bother to separate them.
    • One is the idea of surveying prior ideas about the future and analyzing them and then giving our best (optimistic, but informed) guess as to what it will really be. This is the Horizons-style ride, and it could conceivably have a "scary" room in it where the dystopian ideas are addressed. This would not be out of line with Disney's storytelling and entertainment style, and it obviously should not end on a gloomy note but rather show how we respond to such opression by breaking free of it.
    • The second idea is more "Haunted Mansion-esque". This would be more like a Blade Runner ride where you visit a world covered by a post-apocalyptic shroud and see how humanity adapts. I would thoroughly enjoy such a ride, but it probably wouldn't ever get greenlit and it is awfully dark for Disney. Plus, they don't need any more movie tie-ins, especially with non-Disney films!
    Regarding Innoventions, I too would prefer to see it really be the showcase that it could be, but if they're not gonna do that, this is another idea for the building that's more in line with its Carousel of Progress roots. Tomorrowland as a whole is really very far off-track in terms of what it could be and should be. For example, there needs to be a serious ride devoted to the possibility or impossibility of faster-than-light space travel. It could be one of the most awesome rides in the park, as well as entirely educational, delving into relativistic mechanics and theories of different propulsion systems. Why on earth there is no such ride in TL, I cannot guess. HISTA needs to go as well (as far as its not fitting in with the TL theme) so I think such a ride should go there!
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