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What happened to Disneyland's Tomorrowland?

Over the years there have been changes to Tomorrowland.  From the early days and the Monsanto House of the Future, the very relaxing People Mover, and the much loved, but always breaking down Rocket Rods.

 

Tomorrowland seems to be the great waste of space at Disneyland.  The tracks from long ago still visible overhead, the total lack of themeing, and way to many walls and too few attractions.

 

One hidden treasure of Tomorrowland is Innoventions, yet it is hidden away in the old Circle Vision building.  Guests are so used to big cement walls that this one does not even register.

 

Space Mountain sits in a corner, as if being permanently punished.  Guests flock to this E ticket attraction.  Get a fastpass, then come back and ride.  What do they do in between?  Well since there is nothing to do in Tomorrowland they probably head to Adventureland or Fantasyland.

 

Yes, Tomorrowland has held a lot of promise over the years with various whole land refurbishments, but what has been gained?

 

Walt Disney's dream for Tomorrowland was that it would be a place of the future, a place to learn while having fun.  The early vision held the promise of things to come. 

 

On July 17, 1955, also known as Opening Day for Disneyland, Tomorrowland had Autopia (still there), Space Station X-1 (gone), Circarama, also known as Circle Vision (gone),  Rocket to the Moon (gone), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (an exhibit, also gone).

 

Just four years after Disneyland opened, there were major changes made to Tomorrowland.  The Matterhorn, Monorail and Submarine Voyage were all added.  This was a large Tomorrowland expansion that added depth, and just one futuristic attraction.  Yes, at the time, the Monorail was very futuristic.  In some ways the Matterhorn was also an attraction belonging in Tomorrowland.  It was Disney's first roller coaster.

 

In the early years there were many changes and additions to Autopia, with a Junior and Midget addition happening in the first few years Disneyland was open.  Obviously neither had a lasting effect, and both are now gone, leaving one Autopia for all to enjoy.

 

It was 1958 when the Grand Canyon Diorama was added to the Disneyland Railroad.  This can be seen after leaving the Tomorrowland stop.  Dinosaurs are not futuristic at all, but this beautiful attraction has remained since, and guests of all ages loves this addition to the railroad.

 

Flying Saucers, Carousel of Progress, People Mover and Rocket Jets were among later additions to Tomorrowland.  The first E ticket, as we know it today was in the form of Space Mountain in 1977.

 

With a few exceptions, Tomorrowland has gone downhill since that point.  Star Tours joined the futuristic land in 1987 and several years later the very debatable Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters came along.  Following the pattern of creating rides from movies qualifies here, but it is not a futuristic attraction.

 

More than fifty years since that opening day Tomorrowland is a place of wasted futuristic dreams.  Space Mountain, Autopia and Star Tours remain.  The Finding Nemo Submarines took the place of the old Submarine Voyage that had been empty and closed for years.

 

So just where has the Future gone, and when is Disneyland getting it back?  The change currently being made to Star Tours is great, but there is still the matter of the People Mover tracks visible overhead.  It seems those would be perfect to bring to Disneyland the Tomorrowland Transit Authority.  That attraction that has a window into Space Mountain and Innoventions.  Something children enjoy and adults take in to just relax.

 

Instead we are left with old parts from old attractions, and Astro Orbitor - simply a Dumbo ride for the bigger children.  No Rocket Rods or Carousel of Progress.

 

The Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom doesn't seem to have the wasted space issue.  With their version of the People Mover and Rocket Rods, Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear they have too additional attractions in Stitch's Great Escape and the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor.  Somehow, the Magic Kingdom got all of the futuristic attractions, while the original Disney Park has become the old step sister.  Except Disneyland's
Tomorrowland doesn't even get the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland hand me downs.

 

Walt Disney wanted a Tomorrowland that held the promise of the future.  It seems that when he died, he took Tomorrowland's future with him.

 

Just my opinion,

MFT

 


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