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  • [Chat] On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

    Count me as one who would be sad to see the Subs and the Carousel Building go. I'd love to see Innoventions leave, but I want a show in that building. Take it as a given that I want to see a Peoplemover operating again, and that I'd like to see the Rocket Jets back in their rightful home. Tomorrowland has lost its way, and not, as Imagineers love to lay the blame, because it's hard to keep up with the future, but because every shred of science and education has been removed. Whether it was shrinking to the smallness of an atom (and thereby learning that atoms are the building blocks of everything we see and touch), or flying to the moon (and learning about reduced gravity and the vacuum of space) (oh, and comets - COMETS!!!), Tomorrowland was the Great Hall of Science from the state fair, but on steroids. Now, it's "Spaceland," and suffers in comparison to its far more noble younger self. Give me back my Tomorrowland of Science, and "Optimistic Futurism". Don't get me wrong, I love Space Mountain and Star Tours (though Star Tours takes place A Long Time Ago, etc.), but would it kill the Imagineers to put some educational signage in the Nemo queue, telling us about the fish and the underwater geography we'll be seeing? Now that Chevron is out of the picture, how about ditching the gas engines and the speedway theming of Autopia, and putting some fun History of Transportation video on those ugly diamond-vision screens? You remember how to do it - how we got to here from there, and where we're going now? There is so much that could be done with the existing Tomorrowland, it's lazy to just give up and rip out some really valuable experiences because Imagineering has given up on trying to tell the story of a better tomorrow. I want a Better Tomorrow. Don't you?
    So full of Disney Magic, my eyes are blue.

  • #2
    Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

    Howdy Pard,

    Well said, and I totally agree!

    Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

    Wild Ol' Dan


    I can hear the bronco's neighin', I can hear the cowboys sing,
    I'd like to be in Texas for the Round-up in the Spring."
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    • #3
      Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

      Originally posted by Gn2Dlnd View Post
      Tomorrowland has lost its way, and not, as Imagineers love to lay the blame, because it's hard to keep up with the future, but because every shred of science and education has been removed.
      The event that precipitated this change was when Walt Disney passed away.

      Remember that Walt was interested in progress, and future technologies, this was why he built the monorail and was upset that they didn't become more popular, and why he wanted to build Epcot (the futuristic city). Epcot's Future World, albeit built after Walt passed away, was an homage to Walt's vision for Epcot, of evolving technology and futuritstic ideals. The company had already been bugged about when they were going to built the real Epcot, so they kind of morphed it into a theme park.

      The current suits in charge don't think they need to continue Walt's passion for innovation and futuristic technologies, heck, they haven't done so for decades and don't think about the parks the same way Walt did.

      Walt had creative control over Disneyland which allowed him to build relatively intellectual attractions like Journey Through Inner Space. Now the suits aren't responding to a vision, but to what the crowd wants, instead of building an attraction the public never knew they wanted. The whinny guests will complain if they don't get to see their favorite characters in the park.

      The grand idea of the Living Sea Pavillion became a Nemo ride in Epcot, and popular characters took up real estate in Tomorrowland like Buzz and Star Wars. While some here bemoan this, early guests to Disneyland complained that they didn't get to see Tinker Bell, and so a walk-around character was added to Disneyland fairly quickly.

      When Imagineers look at plans for Tomorrowland, they are looking at building a ride which garners a lot of good press for them and which will turn out to be popular. The simple formula would be to go with a proven property like Star Wars, or at least have a stunningly new ride mechanism which can be overlaid with Disney characters like the Incredibles.

      Innoventions was done in Disneyland because Epcot has similar cheap displays, and even though guests hate, it will probably be the last time that they build an attraction in Tomorrowland which tries to "educate" the public. Even rides like Journey Into Inner Space were more about imagination/fascination than about learning about atoms, which everybody learn about these days. Mission to the Moon was education-light and more about interest in the space race, at least as far as I can remember.

      I doubt that Disney would build an attraction with a little bit of education trying to spur people's imagination as we've got the internet and 3-D sci-fi films coming out all the time, it is hard to top that. What they can top is building a high-tech theme park ride.

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      • #4
        Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

        I personally would definitely enjoy seeing a return of more real science and futurism. But I know that is not going to happen, so I've already accepted it and moved on. The reality is that they are going to want to use popular brands. Since that's the case, I'm really hoping to see at least a stronger sense of place brought to the land as a whole.

        In some ways I'd like more of the classic TL aesthetics with the clean modernism, but maybe a bit updated with more polished silver metal and blues and some accent colors. But for the overall vision for the land, I think it would be more successful if it transported you more to a city of the future. I think a lot could be done with adding cool digital billboards and projections everywhere. Then they need to bring back at least one transportation ride and move the rockets to bring more kinetic motion and energy back into the land. I'd like to see some additional use of multiple levels as well to give it the feeling of a more futuristic urban atmosphere. Maybe add some interactive robots and screens in a few places that just have fun characters and stuff on them and information of the "City of Tomorrow". Then I'd add a lot more landscaping, we should at least have a vision of a city that's nice to live in.

        I definitely think they could have made a better updated Sub ride, but in many ways I think the ride system is problematic and I'd be fine if they got rid of them completely. I'd like to see some of the lake stay though, I think having water is important. It would be nice to have at least one water ride in TL. I also agree that the CoP building could be retrofitted to hold a show again. If they do end up removing the Subs and Autopia, then I'd bet the CoP building stays as they'll have plenty of space to work with for a new E-ticket and could put a show in the CoP and a small attraction in the old 3D theater. But who knows, if they do remove several attractions there are almost limitless directions they could go.

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        • #5
          Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

          Enough about the suits. What would want to see in the CoB building? Here's my idea. Go back to the CoP format but a different show. An Audio-Animatronic (AA) Walt Disney opens the show dressed as he was on DLs opening day and he reads the original dedication. The history of the park, it's innovations, technology and future would be showcased in the four revolving show scenes. Walt wouldn't have to age because the ride is his legacy. After the show take a trip upstairs to see a new large model of the park, fully animated. Side displays could show possible new rides and concepts. I think it would work but I'm optimistic. And since the PM goes through this area we wouldn't be burdened with the 'World of Tron' debacle.
          Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

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          • #6
            Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

            I love the idea of a Walt Disney Legacy Show, i dont think it will happen, but i love the idea!
            Enter into new Frontiers of Fantasy....... Today.......... Tomorrow.................Forever.........

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            • #7
              Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

              Originally posted by Gn2Dlnd View Post
              Give me back my Tomorrowland of Science, and "Optimistic Futurism".
              100% agreement! That was what was once so wonderful about Tomorrowland - you learned about something, but had fun while you learned. From its very beginnings, Tomorrowland was more about education and extolling the wonders of science than it was about entertainment. Edu-tainment is fine, but we're not seeing a pleasant blend of education & entertainment lately, we're seeing education being sacrificed for entertainment. That's wrong, and it needs to be changed. Bring education back to Tomorrowland. Let us learn something valuable while we're having fun - it won't kill us, and it won't ruin our fun.

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              • #8
                Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                I agree whole heartedly with all of this! Most of my armchair imagineering threads involves edutainment attractions because to me they are the most enjoyable! EPCOT is by far my favorite park in WDW because of the edutainment (even though most of that is dissapearing). I really feel like what makes most lands in Disney parks so enjoyable is that they evoke an untold edutainment at some level. Be it history (seeing what life was like in 1920's LA), travel (experiencing different culture like at WS or AK), or science (original Futureworld/ Tomorrowland). It's this unseen/ obscured edutainment that makes disney great! It's this same unseen edutainment that Tomorrowland is completely missing! It doesnts evoke history (except maybe history of closed Disneyland attractions), it doesn't showcase travel to any distant destination, it doesn't have a real science aspect left to it whatsoever.

                You want to fix tomorowland bring back similar elements that made it great! As hated as it was, Rocket Rods could have actually been the last attempt we have seen of edutainment. It was super cheaply done, lacked vision, and had major design flaws (obviously), but it tried to take guests on a high speed state of the art (well it claimed to be state of the art) transportation system. It was the last attraction that attempted to evoke the "thanks to advancements in technology and science" feel that Tomorrowland was founded on. Sadly the ride failed and went to Yesterland. It may be the last we see of science enhancing our lives that we see.

                What's ironic about this is that Tomorrowland struggles now (a time where more scientific discoveries and new technologies are discovered than any time in the history of the world). Computer circuits, quantum physics, bioengineering, space travel, ect continue to make advances everyday, but Tomorrowland is stuck in the world of movies and 1998.

                Subs and autopia are probably doomed (I say good riddance since neither evokes edutainment at this point). If Disneyland really gets a "New Tomorrowland", I say make it science based. Add Wall-e to where ever you want (the only character that fits Tomorrowland but somehow isn't in Tomorrowland?). Other than that make it 100% edutainment! A new time travel attraction that explores how quantum physics makes it possible to travel back in time. An e-ticket adventures through inner space which takes guests into a particle accelerator to find antimatter. A store that lets guests bioengineer their very own pet/ design their own robot. A new history of technology type attraction. That's what I would do, but I'm not in charge. We'll probably get wall-e super fun laser blast and stitch's space invaders... It's a shame no one has any imagination in Disney anymore...
                Check out my Disney inspired creations.

                https://picasaweb.google.com/110319393135337100862

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                • #9
                  Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                  Originally posted by MRaymond View Post
                  Enough about the suits. What would want to see in the CoB building? Here's my idea. Go back to the CoP format but a different show. An Audio-Animatronic (AA) Walt Disney opens the show dressed as he was on DLs opening day and he reads the original dedication. The history of the park, it's innovations, technology and future would be showcased in the four revolving show scenes. Walt wouldn't have to age because the ride is his legacy. After the show take a trip upstairs to see a new large model of the park, fully animated. Side displays could show possible new rides and concepts. I think it would work but I'm optimistic. And since the PM goes through this area we wouldn't be burdened with the 'World of Tron' debacle.
                  MRaymond, get out of my head!

                  This idea is very close to the Carousel of Progress show I've been mulling for years!

                  (My version of) The show opens in Walt's "office" that used to be in the Opera House. A highbacked swivel chair turns around to reveal Walt Disney (which will never happen as long as there are family and employees who knew him when he was alive) at his desk. Walt says, "On July 17th, 1955, Disneyland opened to the world. But it was only a year and a day before Disneyland opened that we broke ground in an Anaheim Orange Grove. This is what we showed the folks at home." He picks up the remote control from his desk, turns on the RCA television in the corner and up comes the opening of the Disneyland television show. The lights dim and we see a montage of the year and a day of construction, culminating in Black Sunday. Dun-dun-dun! But, out of seeming disaster, comes success! The carousel begins to turn, and with each turn of the carousel, the song "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" moves us into the next scene.

                  The 2nd scene is Disneyland Past, all those attractions and shows that have moved on to Yesterland. Mine Trains, Golden Horseshoe Revue, Skyway. At one point, the theatre becomes a mini Circle-Vision, twisting and turning us down Lombard Street. At another, we're inside an Electrical Parade float, looking out at the curbside audience. In still another, we're in the Rocket to the Moon, complete with inflating seats. And, of course, we'd visit the House of the Future and have an encounter with the Mighty Microscope.

                  The 3rd scene is the Disneyland that never was. Edison Street! Discovery Bay, and, um, Discovery Bay...and stuff...

                  4th scene is the Disneyland Yet to Be. Total Blue Sky room. Rockets that really do go to the moon, the Peoplemover and Monorail systems that service all 5 Disneyland Resort theme parks (!), holographic and binaural broadcasts of the weekly Disneyland Show, etc.

                  The 5th scene is the Legacy room, how Disneyland has influenced culture around the world, and spawned 5 sister Magic Kingdom parks. And, yes, the escalator upstairs to see the giant opening day model of Disneyland, that transforms into the current, and then the blue sky versions of the park.

                  This use of the Carousel building came to me just before the re-do of Tomorrowland. Circle-Vision, which had been pretty empty for years, replaced its then current film with the classic 1960's version of the show. Suddenly the theatre was full again! It occurred to me that the nostalgia we have for the Disneyland of the past had taken the place of the nostalgia our grandparents had for turn-of-the-century Main Street, and their parents for the American Frontier. So it fits Disneyland's "mission statement" of age reliving fond memories of the past, and allowing youth to savor the challenge and promise of the future.

                  I believe it was Corey Burton who did Walt's voice on the Bambi DVD commentary track, I would have him provide the voice of Walt throughout the show. In my perfect world version, Animatronic Walt would only appear in the opening scene and narrate the rest of the show. In a realistic version of the show, Walt would only appear as a voice-over, and an attractions host or hostess would do remote control duty.

                  I have to say, the 50th anniversary displays in the Opera House, the Steve Martin film, and the model of opening day Disneyland went a long way towards satisfying the nostalgia geeks among us. A more permanent exhibit, in the CoP building (perhaps sponsored by the Walt Disney Family Museum?) would not only pay tribute to the past, but always look optimistically forward to Disneyland's tomorrow.

                  MRaymond isn't the only person aside from myself who's had the same idea. I had a chat with an Imagineer who wanted to do the same thing (and admitted the AA Walt could never happen), but, instead of a history of Disneyland, he wanted to see a history of Walt Disney himself. It makes me wonder if many others have had a similar idea.
                  So full of Disney Magic, my eyes are blue.

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                  • #10
                    Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                    With the recent discoveries in particle physics, it would be a good time to revisit Innerspace. They could make it so you can now shrink down smaller than atoms and learn about quarks. The ride could culminate in finding the elusive Higgs Boson.
                    "Greetings, Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada."

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                    • #11
                      Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                      Originally posted by calsig31 View Post
                      With the recent discoveries in particle physics, it would be a good time to revisit Innerspace. They could make it so you can now shrink down smaller than atoms and learn about quarks. The ride could culminate in finding the elusive Higgs Boson.
                      I think Buzz needs to go on vacation. a revised ATIS would fit nicely in that building.
                      Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

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                      • #12
                        Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                        Originally posted by Gn2Dlnd View Post
                        because every shred of science and education has been removed. Whether it was shrinking to the smallness of an atom (and thereby learning that atoms are the building blocks of everything we see and touch), or flying to the moon (and learning about reduced gravity and the vacuum of space) (oh, and comets - COMETS!!!), Tomorrowland was the Great Hall of Science from the state fair, but on steroids.
                        Completely agree with your entire post. Tomorrowland needs a serious revamp. People seem to care far more about Sci-Fi than they do about actual Science. I still believe that we do need some "out of this world" attractions (like space mountain) in tomorrowland, but it should also provide guests with actual predictions of possible future technologies.

                        People aren't interested in science anymore because there have been only a few recent incredible human achievements. Landing on the moon, for example, was a spectacular, perspective altering event for many people. Since then, it seems as though people care less and less about the human progression.

                        Most of the more recent discoveries (such as the Higgs Boson and dark matter) are invisible to the eye and far too complicated for the common man to comprehend. People can hear and see Neil Armstrong land on the moon, nobody really cares why the universe is Expanding, or how matter obtains its Mass. Science used to be something people could touch; now many of the newest achievements are advanced theories and discoveries that often fail to inspire our world.

                        I like the idea of changing Innoventions into a Higgs Boson type Innerspace attraction; the guests could be nearly crushed by the weight of the Boson and make a daring escape back into reality.

                        Get rid of Autopia! Or at the very very very least, make the cars electric. How in the world is that ride futuristic in the slightest? So much space, and yet completely wasted by an outdated attraction that only survived because it draws people in! :rant:
                        We've past the Endor moon...

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                        • #13
                          Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                          Originally posted by C3PO View Post
                          Completely agree with your entire post. Tomorrowland needs a serious revamp. People seem to care far more about Sci-Fi than they do about actual Science. I still believe that we do need some "out of this world" attractions (like space mountain) in tomorrowland, but it should also provide guests with actual predictions of possible future technologies.

                          People aren't interested in science anymore because there have been only a few recent incredible human achievements. Landing on the moon, for example, was a spectacular, perspective altering event for many people. Since then, it seems as though people care less and less about the human progression.

                          Most of the more recent discoveries (such as the Higgs Boson and dark matter) are invisible to the eye and far too complicated for the common man to comprehend. People can hear and see Neil Armstrong land on the moon, nobody really cares why the universe is Expanding, or how matter obtains its Mass. Science used to be something people could touch; now many of the newest achievements are advanced theories and discoveries that often fail to inspire our world.

                          I like the idea of changing Innoventions into a Higgs Boson type Innerspace attraction; the guests could be nearly crushed by the weight of the Boson and make a daring escape back into reality.

                          Get rid of Autopia! Or at the very very very least, make the cars electric. How in the world is that ride futuristic in the slightest? So much space, and yet completely wasted by an outdated attraction that only survived because it draws people in! :rant:
                          Again, the problem with building a land around science and technology is those fields move at warp speeds. Any attempt by Disney to stay current and on the cutting edge would be futile given the enormous expense of constructing rides and attractions. They are in a no win situation. The Jules Verne concept of Tomorrowland was probably a good idea but extremely poorly executed.
                          Writing about all things Disney, a couple of paragraphs at a time

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                          • #14
                            Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                            I vote for a re-imagined Adventure Thru Inner Space!!

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                            • #15
                              Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                              While I agree on some levels, if you consider how many young children go to Disneyland, they wouldn't really pay attention to such things, so why go through the trouble if most of your guests would just bypass it? Although I'd like to see the things you mentioned once more too, especially a People Mover! I've only been to WDW a few times, and I LOVE the People Mover. But I've been to Disney Land over twenty-five times... And I now feel like there is something missing in Tomorrowland. By the way I love what you named this! "A Better Tomorrowland" Creative! Lol. I think that WDW could do without Autotopia (Excuse me, "Tommorowland Speedway") or at least improve it... But I like Disneyland's Autotopia. It's a nice cruise. And I remember when I was younger, I loved how I got to get a taste of driving, no matter how unrealistic to real world driving. I loved it. I'd wait however long required in that line! I think Autotopia just loses its charm to true drivers.

                              ---------- Post added 07-31-2012 at 07:50 PM ----------

                              Oh, and to add to that, Spaceship Earth at Epcot does a lot of talking about the future... So I think they should move Spaceship Earth, or something similar, to Tommorowland! So futuristic, and awe-some at the same time, and I don't just mean "awesome" but I mean, "AWEsome", as in full of awe. Awesome has lost its true meaning, huh?

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                              • #16
                                Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                                Tomorrow needs to be three things:

                                1. Great
                                2. Big, and
                                3. Beautiful

                                I think Tomorrowland should be overhauled every decade or so. Not completely razed and rebuilt, but changed enough so that it still feels new and exciting.

                                If it's done right,kids will be interested. You hear so many stories of people who went into the sciences because of things like Star Trek, that made the future look exciting, fun, and worthwhile. Disney's Tomorrowland has been, and can be again, the same sort of thing.

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                                • #17
                                  Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                                  There has to be another Ward Kimbell somewhere working for Disney. His segment on the Disneyland television show was great. Science has so many topics in which to at least create ideas: investigate what a wormhole may offer, take a trip through inner space beyond the nucleus of an atom, travel at light speed, what would a volcano look like during an eruption from its inside, get on an actual time traveling machine, and so on.
                                  I am old. But still love Disneyland.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                                    Tomorrowland has really lost its way and veered from its goals listed in its dedication speech

                                    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 challenges of outer space...and the hope for a peaceful and unified world.
                                    Unfortunately times have changed and along with the interest of the crowds and the company it seems they no longer support the idea of an "edutainment" attraction. I would at least give them credit for creating innoventions. This ride retains the purpose for Tommorowland even if its only a little bit. Yet crowds don't even enjoy the pavilion. Even the most serious fans of Disney harbor some resentment for the attraction. I myself have gone with the crowd and have some of my own negative opinions about the attraction, but thinking about it now it really is the only modern attraction in Tomorrowland that holds a certain amount of "edutainment" value.

                                    People back in the 50s were interested in the atomic age, and The Space Race they believed that was our future and what they would see in the coming years. Today's crowds have more interest in the advances of electronics and computer technology and I think Innovention caters to that interest. The new house of tomorrow has feasible future technologies, some that could already be found in most households like the picture frame screen. sure there are some unnecessary things in there like the video games.

                                    Its sad to see the last edutainment attraction found in tomorrowland if they really go through with replacing it with a new E-Ticket ride.


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                                    • #19
                                      Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                                      Originally posted by animark View Post
                                      I would at least give them credit for creating innoventions. This ride retains the purpose for Tommorowland even if its only a little bit.
                                      That is very true. Innoventions, on paper anyway, is really an attraction that was built in the same spirit as early Tomorrowland attractions that served as a preview of Man's advances in the years to come.

                                      Unfortunately, as the gadgets of tomorrow became the Best Buy products of today Disney never updated the attraction. Perhaps if they had signed a big corporate sponser like Apple or Microsoft they would have had someone with the funds and the tech to make this attraction one that people would want to visit when they came to the park each time.

                                      Sadly, the way that Disney maintained Innoventions it became nothing more than an air conditioned arcade with a few products that one can find at any consumer electronics store.
                                      "Greetings, Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada."

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: On the subject of a Better Tomorrowland

                                        I first visited Disneyland in 1958 on a vacation from Wichita, Kansas. At that time, we, like the vast majority of Americans had access to only three black and white TV channels. The episodes of the Disneyland TV show offered the only real science education I can remember from those tender years of my life.

                                        In the park, about all I can remember of the Tomorrowland of that era was the 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea exhibit, and some large colorful test tubes in the chemistry exhibit. Also there was a circular fenced area where model airplanes were flown.
                                        I don't remember if the Monsanto House of the Future had been added at that point or not, but the only thing really futuristic I remember about that is the bathroom had electric tooth brushes.

                                        Now we have dozens of HD color TV channels with hundreds of hours of excellent scientific programming. Science and technology are advancing at exponential speeds.

                                        My point is that I don't believe Tomorrowland can anymore serve as a display case for cutting-edge technological evolution. I last visited the park ten years ago, and the most remarkable thing I remember from Innoventions was a high definition television half the size of the one I have now. I believe the emphasis needs to shift (as it already has) to science fiction and entertainment. Give us more thrill rides with scifi themes. Give us an updated Carousel of Progress that ends with flying cars or whatever they can dream up for us to dream about.
                                        Last edited by Jerrbear; 08-01-2012, 07:28 PM. Reason: formatting
                                        Disney Fan in the Great White North

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