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  • Trip Report Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

    So, my family just got back from a full week vacation to the happiest place on earth. Yes, we loved it just as much as we always do and had a great time. We even got to see Tom Hanks filiming his new movie there.

    It was interesting to spend some time in DL after having read a lot of critical commentary on these forums. I found myself both readily agreeing (and in some cases disagreeing) with a lot of past observations made on these forums. Let me state up front that I LOVE DL, but I too can understand people's passionate critiques as to how to make the happiest place on earth better. That said, here is my critical analysis based on my recent observations and experiences at DL.

    We will start with Tommorrowland.

    Part I: Tomorrowland:

    I start with tomorrowland based on the fact (and I think we can all agree) that it is in the most desperate need of TLC at the present time. Here are the top things I was able to observe.

    1. Captain EO is a Classic. To all of you who readily complain this attraction has run its course, I was shocked to discover that I readily disagree. I was a little surpirsed to re-experience this attraction and find how much my entire family enjoyed it. It is hands down a classic and I am now of the opinion it should never be removed. The theming of the attraction fits in perfectly with tomorrowland. It has great music, dancing, and adorable characters. It has space ships, fighting, and increadible nostalgia. Other than STII, it is hands down the best 3D/4D attraction I have seen in any theme park anywhere.

    2. Autopia Isn't As Bad as All That, But Desperately Needs Retheming. Again, I was quite surprised to discover how much my children loved the autopia. The fact remains that it is a VERY popular attraction. The main problem I had with the autopia, however, was the themeing -- it simply did not seem futuristic at all. I don't think the autopia should be removed, but rather given an entirely new overlay.

    First, the smelly gas powered cars have got to go. They are loud noisy and obnoxious and interfere greatly with the whole abience of tomorrowland -- not to mention that I noticed several of the go carts breaking down and in need of engine repair. I would think it would not be too difficult to make these cars electic.

    Second, the entire autopia needs to have a futuristic retheming. Personally, I could not help thinking of the movie, TRON. Instead of traveling down a dirty and broken down highway, guests should be driving their vechicles over an indoor and outdoor "grid". The vehicles themselves should be recast to look like light cycles or other vechilces from the TRON franchise.

    With a proper futuristic retheming, the autopia could be saved and remain one of the more popular attractions in the park long-term.

    3. Old People Mover Area and Track Really is an Eyesore. I am going to have to agree with a lot of people on this forum that they either need to rebuild the old people mover or remove the overhead track...ASAP! It just makes the whole area look old, broken down and tired.

    4. Jedi Training Academy is Worthy of a Better Venue. Let's be honest here, DL hit a home run with this show. What kid in their right mind would not want to train as a Jedi and fight Darth Vader? The problem??? The venue location is presently weak. Indeed, it looks like DL still thinks for some reason this is a temporary attraction. At this point, I think we can safely say that generations of guests will want to have their children train as Jedis. It is really time for a new venue with added features and special effects. Personally, i would consider getting rid of the old starcade and spend some money creating a Jedi temple attraction/stage show in its place. Add some interactive and virtual reality elements to the experience allowing people of all ages to train as Jedi and you would have an incredible attraction.

    Indeed, I fail to see what the reason for the starcade is at this point. The entire time I was there, I did not see a single person enter it, except when they had a wreck-it Ralph meet and greet. The whole starcade looks like it needs to be condemned.

    5. Nemo Submarines are Cute, But Entirely Out of Place. It was a great idea to bring back the old submarines. However, it was a REALLY bad idea to theme this ride to finding nemo. The entire attraction is out of place. Though popluar when it first opened, I noticed the line for this one just gets shorter and shorter. Personally, I blame the poor themeing.

    This ride should be given a new overlay and theme based on Jules Vern novels, either 20,000 leagues under the sea or Journey to the Center of the Earth.

    6. Innoventions has Entirely Run its Course. I did not see a single person enter this attraction the entire time I was there. It has been beyond outdated for 10 years. Here is to hoping that the new Iron Man rumors are true. However, I really hope they simply don't try to retheme this as the Stark Expo or something.

    7. Ghost Galaxy is Much Better than the Regular Space Mountain. We really can't add some special effects to the regular Space Mountain? I am not saying keep Ghost Galaxy up all year, but the regular space mountain needs to take a page out of Ghost Galaxy's book for some new special effects.

    8. Star Wars Needs a Much Greater Presence in Tomorrowland. I love Star Tours, but Star Wars is worthy of a greater presence in tomorrowland. The Jedi Temple idea (see 4) would be a good start. Can we get some meet and greets already with Star Wars Characters? At the very least, can we update the exterior of Star Tours so it doesn't look like I am just entering the local Walmart? Disneyworld gets an entire Ewok Village and At-AT waker in their line que, can we not at least get an x-wing fighter replica out front?

    9. The Rocket Jets on the Ground is Beyond Lame. I am going to have to agree that they either need to place these back in the center of tomorrowland up high, or need to remove them entirely. The Golden Zephyr in DCA was ten times better. At the very least, add a new interactive element, like lazer guns.

    10. Above All, Tomorrowland needs a new asthetic!!! Tomorrowland is starting to look like a leftover stew: nothing seems to match. Buzz lightyear's exterior clashes horribly with the mosaic on its very same building. Nemo likewise clashes horribly with everyting in tomorrowland. Autopia and innoventions clash horribly with Space Mountain and the pizza place right next to them. The starcade is starting to look like it needs to be condemned. The area under the old people mover is looking like a flea market in Cabo San Lucas and not at all futuristic. Is the future a mismatched dump with a beat up churro stand in the middle??

    Really, it is just sad to walk through carsland and its immersive asthetic, and then hop on over to tomorrowland. The interactive and life-like cars characters are incredible. Can we not get something similar for tomorrowland with Wall-E, Eve, C3P-O or jedi walking through the park? Can we at least keep the merchandising in the stores without turning the dead center of tomorrowland into tiajuanna mexico?

    Just my thoughts.

  • #2
    Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

    good ideas
    cant wait to see more
    Take a look at some of my models I make at kolbykonnection.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

      Totally agree. Tomorrowland used to be so cool. Now, I just feel sad there. CarsLand shows what can be done to create a unified, immersive and true "Disney" quality show. Sure hope to see some love poured out on Tomorrowland like that!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

        I agree with everything except Ghost Galaxy being better. We just skipped it last time, but the regular Space Mountain would be cool with some added effects.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

          You're spot on. Tomorrowland for myself consists of heading straight to Star Tours then B-lining it to Space Mountain and never stepping foot back in Tomorrowland the rest of the day. Such a shame the way it's been neglected for the past two decades.
          ...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

            I wish there were some way to get passes to participate in Jedi Training (ala World of Color for example). My kids never get picked and it is such a disappointment for them and we have wasted all that time waiting for it to begin only to be turned away.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

              Well said. It would be interesting to incorporate the Jedi Trading Academy with the Star Tours ride especially now with the Vader scenes. The Starcade is a complete waste of space. Perhaps that could be a venue for the Jedi Training Academy. It's not too far from the exit and gift shop.

              I like the flea market reference.
              I would like to see Astro Orbiter back up on a building but I don't know if that's structurally sound anymore.
              With kind regards,
              The Tony

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

                Lots of agreement here. Except I prefer regular Space Mountain.
                http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ip-report.html
                http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...something.html

                No matter where you go, there you are.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

                  Totally agree!
                  For the love of Disney....:yea:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

                    I like that you suggest something to replace what you don't like; a lot of people on here are so quick to judge, but then can't think of something better.
                    Fear of the unknown.

                    They are afraid of new ideas.


                    You know, to me, the most beautiful things in all the universe, are the most mysterious.










                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

                      Originally posted by SteedLaw View Post

                      1. Captain EO is a Classic. It has space ships, fighting, and increadible nostalgia. Other than STII, it is hands down the best 3D/4D attraction I have seen in any theme park anywhere.
                      I respectfully disagree. In fact, I believe nostalgia is one of the factors that will keep Tomorrowland from being revamped as it should. Tomorrowland should be looking forward, not backward for the sake of nostalgia...that's what the other lands are for.

                      2. Autopia Isn't As Bad as All That, But Desperately Needs Retheming Personally, I could not help thinking of the movie, TRON. Instead of traveling down a dirty and broken down highway, guests should be driving their vechicles over an indoor and outdoor "grid". The vehicles themselves should be recast to look like light cycles or other vechilces from the TRON franchise.
                      I can go along with a new Autopia, but I don't think Tron is the right idea. A Tron ride would need to be a dark ride...driving around outdoors would be a theming disaster. Just give us electric cars and some nice, "real-world" futuristic theming.


                      3. Old People Mover Area and Track Really is an Eyesore I am going to have to agree with a lot of people on this forum that they either need to rebuild the old people mover or remove the overhead track...ASAP! It just makes the whole area look old, broken down and tired.
                      Agree 100%. I'd even like to see a separate PeopleMover replace the trams that take people to and from Mickey & Friends.

                      4. Jedi Training Academy is Worthy of a Better Venue. Personally, i would consider getting rid of the old starcade and spend some money creating a Jedi temple attraction/stage show in its place. Add some interactive and virtual reality elements to the experience allowing people of all ages to train as Jedi and you would have an incredible attraction.

                      Indeed, I fail to see what the reason for the starcade is at this point. The entire time I was there, I did not see a single person enter it, except when they had a wreck-it Ralph meet and greet. The whole starcade looks like it needs to be condemned.
                      Agree 100%.

                      5. Nemo Submarines are Cute, But Entirely Out of Place It was a great idea to bring back the old submarines. However, it was a REALLY bad idea to theme this ride to finding nemo. The entire attraction is out of place. Though popluar when it first opened, I noticed the line for this one just gets shorter and shorter. Personally, I blame the poor themeing.

                      This ride should be given a new overlay and theme based on Jules Vern novels, either 20,000 leagues under the sea or Journey to the Center of the Earth.
                      Agree 100%.

                      6. Innoventions has Entirely Run its Course I did not see a single person enter this attraction the entire time I was there. It has been beyond outdated for 10 years. Here is to hoping that the new Iron Man rumors are true. However, I really hope they simply don't try to retheme this as the Stark Expo or something.
                      I don't think anyone likes Innoventions! I'm a comic guy, so I'd like to see a Stark Expo queue leading to an Iron Man ride, but almost anything would be better than what they have.

                      7. Ghost Galaxy is Much Better than the Regular Space Mountain We really can't add some special effects to the regular Space Mountain? I am not saying keep Ghost Galaxy up all year, but the regular space mountain needs to take a page out of Ghost Galaxy's book for some new special effects.
                      I've never been to DL when they are running Ghost Galaxy, so I can't say one way or the other.

                      8. Star Wars Needs a Much Greater Presence in Tomorrowland. I love Star Tours, but Star Wars is worthy of a greater presence in tomorrowland. The Jedi Temple idea (see 4) would be a good start. Can we get some meet and greets already with Star Wars Characters? At the very least, can we update the exterior of Star Tours so it doesn't look like I am just entering the local Walmart? Disneyworld gets an entire Ewok Village and At-AT waker in their line que, can we not at least get an x-wing fighter replica out front?
                      I have mixed feelings about this, mainly due to the fact that Star Wars supposedly takes place "a long time ago". I like the Star Wars universe though.

                      9. The Rocket Jets on the Ground is Beyond Lame.
                      This ride is lame regardless of where it is. Dumbo is pretty much the same ride...

                      10. Above All, Tomorrowland needs a new asthetic!!! Tomorrowland is starting to look like a leftover stew: nothing seems to match.
                      Hear! Hear!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

                        I enjoyed reading your critiques and agree with you whole heatedly - cannot wait to read part 2
                        ___________________________________________


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                        • #13
                          Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

                          Originally posted by Chesire View Post
                          ...a lot of people on here are so quick to judge, but then can't think of something better.
                          It's not up to Disney's customers to "think of something better," any more than its up to moviegoers to create better movies or music lovers to cut better tracks. This commonly heard defense of Disney has the cause-and-effect arrow pointed backwards: the reality is that the Disney Corporation is solely responsible for the pathetic joke that is today's Tomorrowland, and is solely responsible for fixing it. It's not up to the Disney customer or the Disney critic to "think of something better," it's up to Disney -- a multi-billion-dollar corporation that charges its customers ever-increasing prices -- to get off its collective butt and live up to its heritage of excellence.
                          "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

                          "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                          - Michael Eisner

                          "It's very symbiotic."
                          - Bob Chapek

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

                            Originally posted by SteedLaw View Post
                            The area under the old people mover is looking like a flea market in Cabo San Lucas and not at all futuristic. Is the future a mismatched dump with a beat up churro stand in the middle??
                            That was the funniest description ever for tomorrowland. And I would be mad at that future if I didn't like Churros so much! lol

                            I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of the Autopia. I always thought the Autopia would be a perfect place to tie in Wall-E. We could be on the Axiom spaceship driving electric transports through the different portions of the ship when all the robots get loose. We could go through the different levels of the ship from cafeterias, to drive in movie theaters, a trip around the pools and even a portion where we leave the ship accidentally. It would be a crazy revamp of the attraction, but a lot of fun. And should be entirely "Kid controlled" just as the autopia is now.

                            I know it would never happen....but in my dreams it already has...and it's awesome!

                            Thanks for your assessment and keep 'em coming!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

                              Can the old astro orbiter tower/people mover loading tower still hold the weight of the Orbiters, or does it have to be completly rebuit to hold the weight of that attraction?

                              Your observations are spot on though OP, Tomorrowland is in a pretty sad state.
                              There is no right or wrong in this debate. It is simply a matter of perspective.
                              -Dr. Strange

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Critical Analysis of Disneyland and California Adventure: Part I -- Tomorrowland

                                Have to disagree about Captain EO. It has always been one my least favorite Disney attractions and definitely my least favourite 3D attraction, barely beating out Surely 4D. They need to create new attraction s that blow us away, not bring back out-of-date ones with no enhancements.

                                This is also my beef with Autopia. They "upgraded" it, but they just changed the landscaping and combined the tracks to make the journey a little too long. All too often I see parents having to push the gas because the kid's leg gets tired after awhile.

                                TL needs fresh new ideas, and the ideas or franchises they choose need to be molded so they fit the land. If Buzz was a Space Ranger mission or training facility instead of toys, it could be better incorporated. So if they use From or Marvel, incorporate them so they make sense in their surroundings.
                                Women, they make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.

                                Comment

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