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  • #41
    Re: Tomorrowland: The Visual Evolution

    Originally posted by Datameister View Post
    I think the Skyway was not perfect. It was every bit as off-the-shelf as the worst parts of Paradise Pier, and it made little thematic sense in both lands it traversed. The only thing that was cool about it - and boy, was it cool! - was the fact that you got to see the park from the air, pass through the Matterhorn, and end up somewhere else without having to walk there.
    To be able to see DL from that vantage point was amazing! It was a thrill ride, not because of its speed, but because of it's height. And it added a great theme element to the matterhorn, and added an entirely new dimension to Tomorrowland!

    As for the different possibilities of TL, the Disney Gallery, at one point, had proposed looks for Tomorrowland, on display. It was one of the most intriguing displays they had!
    Critter Country's a mess ev'r since the Country Bears were kicked out. Ya can't cover pooh with honey and 'spect people ta like it.
    An Adventurers It's Time to Put the Spotlight Back on Bring Back the REAL Disney Gallery
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    • #42
      Re: Tomorrowland: The Visual Evolution

      Originally posted by Datameister View Post
      Thank you for responding in such detail, and with pictorial evidence to boot! I appreciate that. I still disagree with you, but I think it's largely a semantic disagreement over what retro-futuristic means. You're absolutely right that mythology, the old serials, and modern technology all informed and inspired Star Wars, but when you look at the actual design itself, there's nothing about it that I'd call retro-futuristic. To me, retro-futuristic suggests an approach that intentionally eschews what seems like realistic predictions now in favor of what seemed like realistic predictions in the past. I don't see that in Star Wars. I just see images from the past and present being expertly put to use in a futuristic context. Two different things, IMHO.
      I see what your saying and agree it was semantics. I was using "retro-futurism" to broadly encompass concepts of the future from eras before the present

      Now I realize that doesn't work, because there are visions of the future (particularly fantasy future) from today that are extremely similar to visions from the 1970s/80s.

      So futurism needs first to be identified not only by when the concept was produced (and the cultural factors that affected it) but also by its content and purpose.


      To illustrate what I mean, here is one category: I'll call it Present-day Short-term Non-fictional Future (today's vision of what technology and life actually bring us in the coming decades):


      Another category is Present-day Long-term Fictional Future (most often associated with visions from sci-fi films (like Star Wars prequels), tv shows or video games):


      Another category Yesteryear Long-term Fictional Future (scifi visions of far future technologies dreamed up in past decades, like the Star Wars and Battlestar art below).



      Going back to the 1970s/1980s Horizons-style present-futurism has now become Yesteryear Long-term Non-fictional Futurism:


      An assortment of yesteryear futurism, both short-term & long-term, ficitonal & non-fictional:



      To get back on topic, WDI must decide on what approach to the future they are going to take in tomorrowland and see if they can successfully meld the different categories.

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      • #43
        Re: Tomorrowland: The Visual Evolution

        ^ Thanks for the posts, Randy -- great stuff!

        Originally posted by RandySavage View Post
        ...WDI must decide on what approach to the future they are going to take in tomorrowland and see if they can successfully meld the different categories.
        With apologies for being a downer, the first thing WDI must solve are the problems of its own organization, vision and "house chops" (staffing).

        Like the rest of Disneyland in the WED era, TL'67 was the product of the creative vision of Disney management and the heavy duty creative chops of WED's design staff. The guy at the top giving thumbs up/thumbs down was Walt Disney. The staff, in-house or on call, included experienced film art directors with longtime DL experience (Ryman, Hench, Coats, et al), who had worked with each other for decades.

        Today's Disney Corporation has nothing like the WED-era management that would want to hire and fund that level of staff. Their vision for Disneyland is as a marketing channel for the branded character products of their other divisions, aimed at the teen and kiddie demographics.


        Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 09-26-2009, 06:48 AM.
        "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
        it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
        together with every variety of recreation and fun,
        designed to appeal to everyone."

        - Walt Disney

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        - Michael Eisner

        "It's very symbiotic."
        - Bob Chapek

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        • #44
          Re: Tomorrowland: The Visual Evolution

          Originally posted by RandySavage View Post
          I agree with you in that it was TL at its most coherent: representing a non-fantastical future based on American pioneering and technology - still true to Walt's oft-quoted plaque. When Star Tours was introduced TL began to mix Sci-Fi mythology (flight to Endor) with grounded techno-futurism (flight to Mars). Those two ideas are like water and oil and so the whole thing land began to go to pot. Throw in Buzz Lightyear and Nemo and Innoventions showing Sony's newest TVs and you no longer have a themed environment with any immersion or story...

          Having thought about how TL could be fixed (using realistic budgets and scenarios) I'm on board with 1980s/1990s Imagineers who seemed to settle on the idea that Retro Future was the only way to have Tomorrowland not continuously look outdated (present day WDI thinking seems to be that TL is dumping place for Pixar and anything else).

          Retro-future can be done in very appealing ways - like the machine-age, steampunk vision of Paris's orignal Discoveryland or the Buck Rogers robot newsboy/mechanical palm trees of Florida's mostly incomplete makeover.
          Personally I agree with this as well. the idea of the white clean/sterile/etc future is quite frankly stale and outdated. Ever since I was little tomorrow land's architecture reminded me of giant kitchen appliances more than anything.
          The new astro orbiter and um...whatever that spinny thingy is are the first things to architecturally grab my interest there in a long while, and it would be nice to see the rest of the exteriors of the area match. and I think it would be possible without drastically changing the rides in the park themselves. Plus I it would be really fun to play on the past's ideas of what technology was going to be like in the future. But that's just me. (And I'm the one who thinks it would be fun to redesign toon town to being black/white and having the original disney character designs strolling around.)
          Last album uploads: pictures from the Alice in Wonderland exhibit, more still to be added
          2nd Club 33 visit- Febuary '10! Yay for my sister's birthday.
          Next Disneyland visit: ???
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          • #45
            Re: Tomorrowland: The Visual Evolution

            Randy, WONDERFUL stuff-
            This is the perfect completion article to my recent Space Mountain history post:
            Insights and Sounds: Space Mountain: Universal Thrills
            Mark

            Disney parks and art, movies, music, more... Over 1, 500 Posts!
            www.InsightsandSounds.blogspot.com

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            • #46
              Re: Tomorrowland: The Visual Evolution

              I'd love a perfect Tomorrowland. And I seem to have a pretty similar sense of nostalgia to Bob's...my absolute shiny best memories of DL are from that period when TL was the place to be at DL...with ATIS and Circlevision and the Carousel of Progress and Mission to the Moon and the PM and all the rest. But I guess I can't see the path to the future being to simply replicate all of that.

              And as much as I'd love to see loving attention to detailed and coherent theming, my opinion is that TL's problems have more to do with weak/dated attractions. Fixing the theme without the attractions would be a "fail', while fixing the attractions and sticking with a basic "Apollo 11 white and black" look would be a solid B+.

              I think we need to aim for something that's a pragmatic blend of (A) what we've got now + (B) cost management + (C) verve and vision + (D) marketability. I know for sure that approach will grate of the nerves of almost everyone here, but I think the question is one of getting the best "half a loaf" that we can - because barring the second coming of Walt, we aren't likely to get better.

              With that in mind, in order from easy to expensive/difficult:
              1) Leave Space Mountain and BLAB and the Astro Orbiter as is.
              2) Change the DL map, acknowledge that FNSV is now officially part of Fantasyland.
              3) Continue at full-speed on Star Tours 2.
              4) Put a new version of the Rocket Jets in the old high location.
              5) Tear down the Innoventions building, replace with a Mission Space clone.
              6) Gut HISTA and Starcade, replace with a D-ticket Wall-E dark ride.
              7) Put in a completely new version of the PeopleMover - updated to today's technology and looks - as modern now as the old PM was in 1967.
              8) (Ambitious and controversial) Remove the complete Autopia attraction, replace it with:
              a) Highly updated clones of Universe of Energy and Test Track from Epcot.
              or, better:
              b) 2 completely new attractions, each on the scale of an Epcot pavilion.
              9) (Requires a visionary and despotic artist) Give the entire land a compelling new and original look equal to the very highest level of set decoration from a major sci-fi opus.

              IMO, doing 1-7 would basically give TL its old mojo back. Adding part 8 would put us over the top, trading what has become a dated and real estate-extravagant kiddie ride for 2 mega e-tickets. Adding part 9 is almost too much to wish for, although if Steve Jobs manages to get his health back I sometimes wonder what might happen if he were to assert an Apple-like culture of aesthetics and design on Disney.

              FWIW.

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              • #47
                Re: Tomorrowland: The Visual Evolution

                ^ I can see that working out well. However, I would make a few of changes. Here is how I would present the list:

                1 - 3: Agree completely
                4: Kinda' agree. However, Rocket Jets/Astro Orbiter/Whatever it's called this year is basically just a carousel, but instead of riding on some kind of animal, you're riding siting inside diminutive rocket. I agree that moving up higher would put it in a better state, but if it's going to be kept, I'd propose changing out the rockets for some futuristic vehicle that fits whichever theme that is applied to TL in large. It that case, it may be so non-trivial to change to new vehicles, that the ride would need to be completely re-built, which would be fine with me.
                5: I'm not familiar with Mission: Space, but from the mixed reviews I've heard about it, I'd vote for an entirely new, unique attraction. (*See my idea for this attraction, after the rest of the list.)
                6 - 7: Agree
                8) Agreed, except that putting Test Track into TL would seem redundant once RSR is already in DCA.
                9: Agreed 120%

                I do think that it would be nice if TL could, once again, get a cool, really forward-thinking and futuristic show that would let people sit down and cool their heels for around 15 minutes. I just don't know what it would be or where to put it.

                *If I had free license to armchair-imagineer said attraction, I would make it a truly next-generation roller-coaster merged with a space-flight simulator. Imagine a roller-coaster on a wide track, that would seat four people per 'vehicle', with several vehicles joined in series, like a normal roller-coaster. However, but when everybody was seated, a canopy on the vehicles would close, fully enclosing them.

                What would make this ride so cool and (as far as I know) unique is that, as the vehicles were traveling along the track, super-realistic simulations of a fantastic ride through space would be displayed on the inside of the canopy and would be accompanied by a really cool soundtrack. Going for pie-in-the-sky here, I could also see that the ride vehicles having the ability to have motion independent from the track (ala Indy) to enhance the simulation. Finally, borrowing an idea from STII, there could be a variety of simulations and soundtracks, and each vehicle could use a different selection for each trip.

                Hmmm... Actually, since this ride would effectively make the current Space Mountain obsolete (IMNSHO), I'd see it as a sequel (if you will) to Space Mountain, and maybe naming it... I dunno'. Something with 'Space Mountain' in it, but more, too. Maybe 'Space Mountain and Beyond!' or 'Space Mountain Bobsleds'? (See, I'm not so good at the naming thing...)

                Now, since this ride would be replacing the existing Space Mountain, it would actually be queued from, and use, the existing Space Mountain building, but a pair of long tunnels would connect the old Space Mountain building to a new building where the current Innoventions building is, giving the ride a longer-than-average ride time. I could see the tunnels running overhead, with portions of it being transparent (or open-air), so that guests could see the futuristic ride vehicles zooming by as they go between the two buildings.

                Obviously, there are logistical and technological challenges involved in making this ride, but I think it would fit well with a futuristic theme without needing to be tied to any marketing scheme.
                Last edited by BiggestDisneyFan; 09-26-2009, 09:43 PM.
                Dead Mice Tell No Tails!

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                • #48
                  Re: Tomorrowland: Tomorrow?

                  Originally posted by MrLiver View Post
                  I suggest tearing out the PM tracks and putting in more trees and shade.

                  Putting the PeopleMover and Skyway back is moving backwards. That's not very futuristic at all.
                  Bringing back the Skyway would definitely be a step backward, but I still see the PeopleMover as a very futuristic (but simple) concept. It just needs a re-design and maybe an actual destination. I agree with you on the trees as well, as long as it doesn't distract from the somewhat sterile look Tomorrowland aught to move towards.

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                  • #49
                    Re: Tomorrowland: The Visual Evolution

                    Originally posted by BiggestDisneyFan View Post
                    ^
                    4: Kinda' agree. However, Rocket Jets/Astro Orbiter/Whatever it's called this year is basically just a carousel, but instead of riding on some kind of animal, you're riding siting inside diminutive rocket. I agree that moving up higher would put it in a better state, but if it's going to be kept, I'd propose changing out the rockets for some futuristic vehicle that fits whichever theme that is applied to TL in large. It that case, it may be so non-trivial to change to new vehicles, that the ride would need to be completely re-built, which would be fine with me.
                    Just to clarify, my proposal was to KEEP the current Astro Orbiter as is, AND add the Rocket Jets in the old high-up location. Although these rides are indeed pretty lame dumbo-type rides, my daughter loves them, and so do lots of other kids, as seen with the perenially long lines. Keeping both simply means more capacity, at the cost of the (moderate IMO) traffic and theming difficulty caused by the current AO location.
                    I'd of course be totally good with the new Rocket Jets having a cool new design, although I personally really liked the look of the old RJ's.

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                    • #50
                      Re: Tomorrowland: The Visual Evolution

                      Originally posted by skimouse View Post
                      Although these rides are indeed pretty lame dumbo-type rides, my daughter loves them, and so do lots of other kids, as seen with the perenially long lines.
                      Thank you for making a point that I think many TL 'purists' often miss, when they emphatically insist that one or more rides 'don't belong' in TL. Just like any other land in any Disney park, the fact that an attraction is really enjoyable to masses of people is of top priority. Of course it is also important for an attraction to fit the overall theme of the land it is in, but whether it loosely or strictly follows that theme is a distant second place priority.

                      Point in case: Some people (you know who you are) think that Star Tours and, even more so, BLAB somehow 'ruined' TL, because they don't perfectly fit the original 'vision of the future' theme. I think it's ironic that those same people have no problem accepting ATIS and Space Mountain as part of TL, even though both of those are/were based on pure fantasy and really don't fit the 'vision of the future' theme, either.

                      That all being said, I do agree that it would be nice if TL had a more consistent theme. However, if getting some enjoyable rides into TL requires bending the theme a bit, then so be it.
                      Dead Mice Tell No Tails!

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                      • #51
                        Re: Tomorrowland: The Visual Evolution

                        Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                        ... the first thing WDI must solve are the problems of its own organization, vision, and "house chops" (staffing)...

                        Today's Disney Corporation has nothing like the WED-era management... Their vision for Disneyland is as a marketing channel for the branded character products..
                        This is something I was thinking about the other night. TL is disjointed but still manages to receive constant upgrades. Whether it be the restoration of Tomorrowland Terrace, Alternate versions of Space Mountain, inoventions's dream home, or Nemo, TL has been continually updated since 2005. Management seems more than content and perhaps determined to dilute "the promise of the future" and re brand Tomorrowland as a generic Sci fi adventure.

                        This mentality has been a part of the company so long I wonder if it's possible for some one like Ed Greir to re-imagine TL (as well as other parts of the resort) without upsetting the Status quo and ruining creative ties.

                        How would Disney tell their merchandising devision that they plan on only building non character based rides? what would the marketing devision do during the development process? surely not thinking of sure fire ways of selling plush.

                        How would Disney tell John Lasseter (who seemed vary enthusiastic about Pixar's relationship with WDI at D23) that Disney no longer plans on building Pixar based rides in the parks without putting a dent in his ego.

                        The damage has been done and TL is too far gone. I'm not sure management could revert to a WED era mentality without major fall out; even if some one as big as Greir wanted to.


                        ::Wow I sound like a total Debbie Downer. I really didn't mean it honest.::

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                        • #52
                          Re: Tomorrowland: The Visual Evolution

                          Why on earth are you giving so much credit to Greir? He's small potatoes to WDI, a yes man to Rasulo. For WDI to get back on track they need to focus on their own internal problems, figure out if Lasseter is interested in more than just Pixar or character based projects (I want to believe he is, and the recent surge of Pixar in the parks isn't coming directly from him, but from Imagineers wanting to suck up to him, even if he is supportive of the projects), and replace Rasulo with someone who actually "gets" the parks and their unique identities (I realize that's not in WDI's power, but it still needs to happen if we are to move forward).
                          Formerly kaliwolf.

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                          • #53
                            Re: Tomorrowland: The Visual Evolution

                            Originally posted by Sir.Mouse View Post
                            How would Disney tell their merchandising devision that they plan on only building non character based rides?
                            It would start with a simple and clear "You're FIRED!"





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