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  1. #1

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    Re-imagineering of Autopia

    Certain themes pop up repeatedly here at MiceChat and make for interesting conversation. Two of them are:
    • Innovative DL vs. Museum DL: should old attractions make way for new?
    • Consistency of Theming (how important is it that a given ride fit the theme of the land it's in?)
    In the "Defending the Kingdom" thread, MasterGracey said:
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    In 1955, freeways were still a big deal, not yet a realized dream of American progress. Multi-lane highways, cloverleafs, and complex freeway systems were still years away. The Tomorrowland Autopia was completely appropriate in Tomorrowland, and fit the theme perfectly.

    You said, "And its been a long time, so shouldn't they be taken out if everything has to fit into the theme?" ...well, perhaps because Autopia was a major opening-day, Class of 1955, classic E-Ticket. The removal of Autopia would be a very controversial move for Disneyland.
    I believe that at DL especially, original attractions should not be removed unless absolutely necessary. And yet we can all agree that there's not much futuristic about Autopia. I think most of us would like for Tomorrowland to be about "tomorrow" again and I personally believe that Walt himself (finances permitting) would have altered it by now to keep it forward-looking.

    I've been vocal in saying that I think the existing PeopleMover track should not simply support "another ride" but that the concept displayed should be relevant and forward-looking. But maybe that's not feasible, at least not without tearing down the entire track and starting over, and that seems a shame.

    Then the thought occurred to me: why not upgrade Autopia? I don't know how many more decades or centuries the freeway system will remain in use, but it stands to reason that it will someday be replaced by something else. Why not take a stab at what that might be, and present that idea, using the same track layout as Autopia?

    How would you react if say, WDI announced a maglev redo of the Autopia attraction? Would you say that the class of '55 had been violated?

  2. #2

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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    If they make the cars big enough for me to fit in (I'm 6'4" and look like a clown in those cars, with my knees pointing WAY out of the car... yeah, not pleasant), then I'd LOVE that idea. Even if the cars stay small, that is a neat idea.

    I'm not quite sure how practical this would be, but it sure would be fun floating around the track. FLOATING!!
    ___________________________________
    [ot] I'm just waiting for the Monorail to go mag-lev. Now THAT would be cool.[/ot]

  3. #3

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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    Quote Originally Posted by RenMan View Post
    How would you react if say, WDI announced a maglev redo of the Autopia attraction? Would you say that the class of '55 had been violated?
    Not at all. The Autopia actually became dated by the time the 70s rolled around. They were maintained and given cosmetic changes because the attraction's been so popular over the years, but thematically, the idea of a miniature interstate highway system with noisy, gas-guzzling putt-putt cars is extremely passe and not futuristic at all. Even the 5 Freeway outside the berm is more futuristic than the Autopia these days.

    A maglev redo of the entire attraction - that'd be FUTURISTIC, and it would likely stay futuristic for a good long time (decades at least), because the likelihood that any of us will see a maglev interstate highway system is unlikely, so it's an idea that would no doubt remain in "Tomorrow" for at least a generation or two. Maglevving the Autopia (hey, there's a new term) would be one of the smartest business decisions that Disney could make, and more importantly, it would keep the attraction very much in the THEMATIC SPIRIT of the Tomorrowland of 1955. I think if they did that, Autopia would be more popular than it has ever been, and remain so, at least until the nation's interstate highway system is converted to maglev.

  4. #4

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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    Actually, I think you have a pretty good idea. Even back in 1955, we were dreaming about rocket cars, flying cars and cars that generally were able to leave the road and take to the air. I think it would be an entirely appropriate "upgrade" to Autopia to include this. Even it the technology isn't quite available... and after all, it wouldn't be "Tomorrowland" if the technology was available today would it? (See: Innoventions)

    Even if a well hidden track has to give the simulated impression of your Autopia car taking off and flying over traffic... how cool would that be?

    Yes. To keep Autopia relevant to "Tomorrow" I would welcome flying electric cars... with hot dog cookers.
    "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-


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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    Cool. The way I'd really like to see WDI handle it would be for them to try to forecast realistically, not just come up with something fun. I don't see our highway system being replaced anytime soon, but I do see it being replaced someday. The question is, will all the traffic stay in the same more-or-less 2-dimensional plane that we use today, or will it be something multilevel? Will it look like the cars they used in "Minority Report?"

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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Chaney View Post
    Even if a well hidden track has to give the simulated impression of your Autopia car taking off and flying over traffic... how cool would that be?
    Wasn't that the Skyway, Tom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Chaney View Post
    Yes. To keep Autopia relevant to "Tomorrow" I would welcome flying electric cars... with hot dog cookers.

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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    Quote Originally Posted by RenMan View Post
    The question is, will all the traffic stay in the same more-or-less 2-dimensional plane that we use today, or will it be something multilevel? Will it look like the cars they used in "Minority Report?"
    That would be amazing.

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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    There are two easy ways to overhaul the existing autopia. Re-do the cars to look like lunar rovers and have the concept be you are exploring alien worlds. Tear out the roads and have it all be that "off-roading" look. One area themed to volcanic activity with steam and lava, another area be an alien jungle, and the finale be you entering the city of the future on paved roads with activity all around.

    A simplier version would just be the futuristic city idea. Have a crashed UFO with an alien outside hitchhiking, droids doing road construction around the tunnel, drive through a neighborhood where one of the houses is the house of the future. Just immaginitive scenery with a touch of whimsy. Too much whismy and we are dangerously close to the corny gags that occur in the current attraction.

  9. #9

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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    Quote Originally Posted by TiaDalmaFan View Post
    Wasn't that the Skyway, Tom?

    Sorta. I'd like to see that come back too. But, a flying-cars Autopia would be a lot of fun.

    And... regarding the hot-dog cookers: that's still in the future of automobiles as far as I'm concerned. Also, a mustard dispenser in the instrument panel. And chopped onions in the console. And napkins. That's the car I want. That's the future!

    "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.


  10. #10

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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    Quote Originally Posted by Professortango View Post
    There are two easy ways to overhaul the existing autopia. Re-do the cars to look like lunar rovers and have the concept be you are exploring alien worlds. Tear out the roads and have it all be that "off-roading" look. One area themed to volcanic activity with steam and lava, another area be an alien jungle, and the finale be you entering the city of the future on paved roads with activity all around.

    A simplier version would just be the futuristic city idea. Have a crashed UFO with an alien outside hitchhiking, droids doing road construction around the tunnel, drive through a neighborhood where one of the houses is the house of the future. Just immaginitive scenery with a touch of whimsy. Too much whismy and we are dangerously close to the corny gags that occur in the current attraction.
    Those are good ideas, but they're heavy on the fantasy element, and I'd like for at least one or two TL rides to be realistic, generating excitement about the future that you might encounter outside the berm someday. How about some authentic optimism about our future? Any of that left?

    I just thought about a possible difficulty with my idea: corporate sponsorship. I don't know how crucial that is to the continuance of Autopia, but current car manufacturers and oil companies are not probably gonna come on board for this idea. Not sure who would, or how necessary that is.

  11. #11

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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    You could switch the load area to the old Fantasyland Autopia side and build the Pixar Cars town facade and just have Autopia be a Cars ride - - then use the load area in Tomorrowland to bring back Flying Saucers.

  12. #12

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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    I subscribe too the school of thought that Autopia should be removed. Why? Simple. We can put an entire LAND in the space Autopia uses! That one ride uses more space then ANY OTHER RIDE IN DISNEYLAND! Well besides the Mark Twain/Pirate Ship. Its even bigger then the JC! And for its size, what do we get? A concrete track, and lots of plants. No animatronics, not even any figures or miniatures or scenes. Nothing. Just a 2 stroke smelly car that makes a lot of noise, goes very slow, and most adults cant fit in the cars. Its not a "family" ride since only the kids can fit, or at most, 1 kid and 1 adult. In the space of Autopia, you can fit an entire LAND, full of new rides, shops, food places, and so on. You can double the size of TomorrowLand, or invent a new land all together! Autopia is bigger then all of FantasyLand, and look how many rides they put in there!

    I think its a smelly and loud waist of space that can be better utilized. Not too mention its out of theme.

  13. #13

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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    Quote Originally Posted by gibbage View Post
    I subscribe too the school of thought that Autopia should be removed. Why? Simple. We can put an entire LAND in the space Autopia uses! That one ride uses more space then ANY OTHER RIDE IN DISNEYLAND! Well besides the Mark Twain/Pirate Ship. Its even bigger then the JC! And for its size, what do we get? A concrete track, and lots of plants. No animatronics, not even any figures or miniatures or scenes. Nothing. Just a 2 stroke smelly car that makes a lot of noise, goes very slow, and most adults cant fit in the cars. Its not a "family" ride since only the kids can fit, or at most, 1 kid and 1 adult. In the space of Autopia, you can fit an entire LAND, full of new rides, shops, food places, and so on. You can double the size of TomorrowLand, or invent a new land all together! Autopia is bigger then all of FantasyLand, and look how many rides they put in there!

    I think its a smelly and loud waist of space that can be better utilized. Not too mention its out of theme.
    Never going to happen. Any new HUGE additions would most likley require both tearing down the monorail AND the submarine voyage or heavily altering them.


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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Chaney View Post
    And... regarding the hot-dog cookers: that's still in the future of automobiles as far as I'm concerned. Also, a mustard dispenser in the instrument panel. And chopped onions in the console. And napkins. That's the car I want. That's the future!



    If they can do that, why not a hot coffee dispenser, with coffee going through a built-in tube system directly into your included-with-purchase insulated coffee mug that fits perfectly in your built-in cup holder? You could spur a wave of Jiffy Lube/Starbucks/Hoffy combo shops nationwide, so every time you go in for an oil change, you can get a coffee system cleaning and replenish your supplies of coffee, hot dogs, buns, and condiments at the same time.

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    Re: Re-imagineering of Autopia

    If they expand Tomorrowland, they can incorperate the PM and monorail tracks into the the new buildings and area's. I do agree with you that it would be a MONUMENTAL undertaking to do something like this, but that what Disney once did best, and I would like to think they could do it again. Its been well proven with both the "New Tomorrowland" and DCA that going the cheap and easy way does not work.

    A guy can have his dreams, cant he?

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