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  • 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

    Prompted by the MC thread regarding the 'cleaning up' of Tomorrowland, I was wondering how all felt towards an issue that has a bit more impact on Tomorrowland: the more recent tendency to avoid looking very far into the future (if at all) and a dependecy upon 'box-office momentum'.

    Used as comic device in "Meet The Robinsons", 'Todayland' is amusing. When faced with this being a conceivable reality, it loses its charm, IMO. It is certainly a high standard that was set for Tommorowland:



    "A vista into a world of wondrous ideas, signifying man's achievements.... A step into the future with predictions of constructive things to come. Tomorrow offers new frontiers in science, adventure, and ideals, the atomic age, the challenge of outer space and the hope for a peaceful and unified world."
    - Walt Disney's Tomorrowland Dedication Speech - July 17, 1955


    and this from an audio tour of Tomorrowland:



    Now it is time for a preview of the World of Tomorrow. We step into the future and find fantastic atomic-powered machines working for us. The world is unified and peaceful...outer space is the New Frontier. We walk for a time among the strange mechanical wonders of tomorrow, and then blast off on a Rocket To The Moon."
    - 1958 Audio Tour of Disneyland by Walt Disney


    Certainly there have always been TL attractions that have pointed more towards the 'Present' than the 'Future', but is Tomorrowland straying too far from its purpose? Are we seeing more 'present day fantasy' than we do 'wonders of tomorrow'?

    Many attractions past and present have been considered to hold a dubious place in the TL panthenon of attractions; to name a few:

    America Sings--showcasing a 'social ideal' for the Future of America--a small look at the evolving nature of America through song and verse. A thematic stretch, but to many, an enjoyable attraction.

    Autopia--a 'Highway of the Future' that requires no license, or particular driving skill. Not a quintessential 'futuristic' theme, but satisfactory to most.

    Submarine Voyage--showcasing the Atomic Age of transportation, and the 'future' of underwater exploration, affording Guests a look at a more 'near' future, but, to some, reflected more of a 'present day' feeling.

    BLAB--the adventures of a space-themed toy, set in present day. Not as much 'thematic latitude' has been given to BLAB; probably because of the main character's solid link to the present, and him being a 'toy'.

    Finding Nemo--really a sub refurb with the addition of another main character who is solidly linked to present day. Criticism also follows the 'Nemo' attraction for its close adherence to the movie's storyline, and its tenuous claim of employing 'futuristic technology'. Some see the attraction as a mere extension of the old subs, and therefore, at the very least, acceptable.

    Star Tours--some argue the "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away" disqualifies ST as a 'futuristic' attraction. To others, the presence of space travel, advanced technologies, robots, and other alien races makes ST a viable TL-themed attraction.

    What are your thoughts on the current direction of TL? Is it living up to the standards set before it in 1955? Does the rumor of a PeopleMover themed to another 'present day' animated feature, give you pause, or encouragement?

    I am particularly interested to know the thoughts of our younger MCers out there, as well as the 'old guard'.

  • #2
    Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

    Would this count?

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    • #3
      Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

      You're just getting started. You could add a great many more thematically awkward "Tomorrowland" attractions:

      America the Beautiful. A Circarama extravaganza, a virtual travelogue. Very popular. But futuristic? How?

      20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Yeah, I know, even Walt knew this was filler, but ironically, it caught on well enough to form the basis for the WDW subs.

      Flight Circle. Model planes, boats, and cars. I can close my eyes and still hear the buzzing noise. Nothing remotely futuristic.

      Bobsleds. We all know the story here.

      The Art of Animation. What the heck was this doing in Tomorrowland?

      So...TL has always been riddled with thematic misplacements. Here's an idea: GIVE UP. Call the land "Magic Highways," as per an early concept, and celebrate the technological miracles of various and wonderful modes of transportation into various frontiers, present and future (and past, too, if we want to pull in the 20K Leagues, Jules Verne, steam punk stuff). That theme nicely embraces the TL futurism within its sweep, plus almost all the thematic oddities (except America Sings), past and present. "A journey into X via the marvels of transportation vehicle Y" covers a lot of sins, and it is a coherent enough concept.
      Last edited by HBG2; 07-18-2007, 11:23 AM.
      "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

      The conversation continues at Long-Forgotten, the blog.



      ......... .....May April March!.....................

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      • #4
        Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

        Personally, I've always been intrigued with the DLP "Discoveryland," what the future looked like to folks like Verne. A full-size walk-through Nautilus? I'll take it!

        Now, I know that TL 98 attempted to replicate this, with horrendous results. The idea wasn't bad; it was just poorly and relatively cheaply executed. Still, I think the idea has merit, if it was done right. And by "right," that might mean a total demoliton of the area; a re-building nearly from the ground up.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

          The one concern i have about the future of TL is what seems to be a consistent trend towards "space" as the future. While i think there is definitely room for space themed attractions to comprise a vision of the future i feel like it is almost a cop out to rely solely on space themed attractions in order to avoid looking for more creative ways to create a vision of the future.

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          • #6
            Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

            Tomorrowland definately needs to focus more on the future. The original Submarine Voyage did this really well by showing people exotic sites in the deep ocean that could be found because of the advancing exploration of oceans. The new subs let us see a recap of the movie Finding Nemo.

            The People Mover should come back without a movie tie in. Tommorowland seems to be going in the wrong direction. I say redo the subs with a storyline similar to the original Submarine Voyage. Bring the People Mover back without a movie tie in. Stress the importance of public transportation in the future on the People Mover. Put an updated Carousel of Progress in the Carousel theater.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

              HISTA. Based on a present day (at the time) 80s movie that was about some guy tinkering in his attic. Shrinking is an idea that seems attainable to some in the near future or its just fantasy but it is based on an old out dated movie.

              Innoventions. Its a giant infomercial, nothing actually futuristic about it, its just high tech state of the art stuff that no one can afford. Its futuristic cuz you have to wait for the prices to go down.

              Now I present you with a different query. Once the world of tomorrow was a World in Motion, this theme within a theme lent its self to many ideas and was a catalyst to some of the best things to come out of WED(at the time, none to you younger folks as WDI). It certainly was a look into the future and was avision of what the entire future of man would be. Now the best we hope for is a good ride that can stand alone (even if it doesnt necessarily hold up thematiclly), but that is the problem. What Tomorrowland lacks and is sorely in need of is a theme that consistently flows through out the land. We had it up until the 98 refurb. At that point Tomorrowland lost a cognitive direction. Tomorrowland needs a direction, any direction, it doesnt have to be motion, it does have to be futuristic.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

                Interesting thread. Tomorrowland has always been something of a thematic problem, hasn't it?

                To play devil's advocate here for a couple attractions though....
                Originally posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
                Autopia--a 'Highway of the Future' that requires no license, or particular driving skill. Not a quintessential 'futuristic' theme, but satisfactory to most.
                Autopia was originally a trip along the highways of the future - a look into the future of California's and America's highway systems, which in the '50s, were still under construction and development. At the time, Autopia was very appropriate in Tomorrowland. Unfortunately, now, the attraction is old and outdated. But it doesn't have to be. Electric cars, while not new technology, is still something America needs to convert to - Disneyland should champion this technology and promote it in the parks. Not only would it seem "futuristic" but I'm sure it wouldn't help scoring some "green" points.

                Originally posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
                Submarine Voyage--showcasing the Atomic Age of transportation, and the 'future' of underwater exploration, affording Guests a look at a more 'near' future, but, to some, reflected more of a 'present day' feeling.

                Finding Nemo--really a sub refurb with the addition of another main character who is solidly linked to present day. Criticism also follows the 'Nemo' attraction for its close adherence to the movie's storyline, and its tenuous claim of employing 'futuristic technology'. Some see the attraction as a mere extension of the old subs, and therefore, at the very least, acceptable.
                The Subs have always been a "present day" attraction. There was nothing futuristic about them when they opened, and the be fair, they've always had a fantasy element (mermaids, sea serpents, etc). The Tomorrowland draw is that they're vessels normal people don't have the opportunity to commonly ride on.

                Nemo really isn't much different. Still today-based, and offers fantasy elements. Meh.





                ...The practical thing for the Company would be to change the theme of the land. But at the risk of causing heavy criticism for ditching one of Walt's original concepts?





                Great thread.
                Last edited by IndianaJenn; 07-18-2007, 01:06 PM. Reason: Discussion of reputation is not permitted. Thanks.

                Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!

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                • #9
                  Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

                  Originally posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
                  Personally, I've always been intrigued with the DLP "Discoveryland," what the future looked like to folks like Verne. A full-size walk-through Nautilus? I'll take it!

                  Now, I know that TL 98 attempted to replicate this, with horrendous results. The idea wasn't bad; it was just poorly and relatively cheaply executed. Still, I think the idea has merit, if it was done right. And by "right," that might mean a total demoliton of the area; a re-building nearly from the ground up.
                  That idea does not have merit, that idea is one of the huge reasons that TL98 failed. A look at the future from the eyes of a man who lived over a hundered years ago, thats not futuristic, thats a step in the wrong direction. Most of his ideas are already reality or defunct. The Nautilus, thats not futuristic at least Nemo has a futuristic twist. How about a helicopter and a drill to the center of the earth. They need to stop reusing old ideas and actually create something new and imaginative.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

                    I have no problem with Tommorrowland being "Spaceland" but many of the attractions like Innoventions, Star Tours and HISTA seem very dated.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

                      LOL or to enforce their no bumping rule, use Hydrogen fuel cells. "Please do not bump the car ahead of you. You will blow up!"
                      Peace. Love. Unity. Respect. Responsibility.

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                      • #12
                        Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

                        Its hard to do a land on the future because one generations' future is anothers past. The only way to keep Tomorrowland fresh is to either make it into a giant money sink or every 20 years or so tear it down and rebuild it for the next generation.
                        There is no right or wrong in this debate. It is simply a matter of perspective.
                        -Dr. Strange

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                        • #13
                          Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

                          Well Tomorrowland is in the faroff future of 1986.

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                          • #14
                            Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

                            Originally posted by 1disneynut2another View Post
                            Now the best we hope for is a good ride that can stand alone (even if it doesnt necessarily hold up thematiclly), but that is the problem. What Tomorrowland lacks and is sorely in need of is a theme that consistently flows through out the land.
                            Tomorrowland needs a direction, any direction, it doesnt have to be motion, it does have to be futuristic.
                            A good point is raised here regarding the departure from the kinetic feel of earlier Tomorrowlands. The insistence and slavish devotion to what I refer to as 'box office momentum' has turned many Lands into warehouses for attractions, not homes. Interesting points, DNut!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 'Tomorrowland' is the Past; 'Todayland' is the Present and Future

                              Originally posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
                              The insistence and slavish devotion to what I refer to as 'box office momentum' has turned many Lands into warehouses for attractions, not homes.
                              I cant agree more, it was never more apparent then when they brought Buzz over for the 50th, it was like hey this fits here.

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