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  • [Idea] Truly fix Tomorrowland

    Thinking back to my earliest visits to DLR when Tomorrowland was truly multi-level. I think to maximize the land and create theming of tomorrow, they need to go vertical. Back when Tomorrowland was multi-level, it was much more engaging. Every futuristic movie we see has things vertical. You had the People Mover and the Astro Orbiter way up high reaching towards the sky. Think about all the possibility if all of Tomorrowland was 2-3 levels. More attractions in the same footprint, a more engaging land with a bigger weenie to draw people in from the hub. A land which truly feels like the land of the future.





    It's all but beyond hope in its current decaying iteration.

    Ah things that should have never gone to Yesterland.

    Matt's 40th Birthday Disneyland Trip. Club 33, Napa Rose, and Adventureland Suite!!! ~~|~~ Katherine's 11th Birthday Dapper Day trip with Club 33 ~~|~~ Matt's Review of the Art of the Craft Tour at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel ~~|~~ My Spring, 2017 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My Fall, 2016 Dapper Day and Club33 Trip Report ~~|~~ My Summer, 2016 Walt's LA tour with Bob Gurr and Marty Skylar ~~|~~ My Summer, 2016 Family Firsts Trip Report ~~|~~ Matt's September, 2015 Solo after the Safari Sunrise Trip Report ~~|~~ World Famous Jungle Cruise Safari Sunrise Premium Experience Trip Report ~~|~~ My February, 2015 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My October, 2014 Family Vacation with Mickey's Halloween Party ~~|~~ My September, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My August, 2014 Solo Trip Report - 1901/C33 Jazz Club ~~|~~ My June, 2014 Solo Trip Report ~~|~~ My February, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My Epic May, 2013 Trip Report ~~|~~ My October, 2011 Trip Report ~~|~~ My October, 2010 Trip Report

  • #2
    I don’t think you’ll find any disagreement from anyone here on that idea.

    The old Rocket Jets were significantly more fun than the current Astro Orbiter because of the height. I think part of the attraction of the Peoplemover was being above everything as well.

    Whatever changes eventually come to Tomorrowland, having some attractions up a level or two would be great. 👍🏼
    Mike_M

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    • #3
      I don't foresee any updates to Disneyland anytime soon.

      The problem Disney has is that they are so diversified in all the worst hit industries; Parks, Film/Television, Hotels, and Cruise Lines that they are/will be so cash strapped.

      Add to that the hit that sports took. That only adds to that money pit, ESPN.

      Finally, I doubt they recouped from SWGE as well as the abysmal SW:RoS.
      We need another Walt...and fast!

      "It's always more difficult to recover than it is to do the right thing at the beginning" - Tony Baxter,
      The Imagineering Story, Episode 4 "Hit or Miss"

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      • #4
        The old Rocket Jets looked better too. Not that the Astro Orbitor looks bad per se, but the rust-colored "retro future" of Tomorrowland '98 was not what our park needed, and it's a throwback to that mistake. Our Tomorrowland should be white, with accents of blue, chrome, neon, and smoked glass (maybe not too much chrome though, because of the potential reflector oven effect), and it definitely needs to be built up. No other land demands verticality in the same way. Tomorrowland should evoke space travel and ultra-efficient cities--tall structures. It should be a place where we are no longer bound to the Earth.

        And I don't know how well this will go over here, but...we need to stop hoping for Tomorrowland to depict a wholly "realistic" future. Technology just moves too quickly these days. It should be a medium-hard science-fiction future, mixing realistic progress with whimsy. And that leaves some room for IP, but they should stick with franchises that actually involve advanced tech, futuristic societies, outer space, and science.
        Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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        • #5
          With the removal of the French fries and returning some mid century design elements to the entrance of TL, I have to wonder what other smaller improvements might have creeped into Tomorrowland this year had COVID not happened.

          I wonder if returning more of it to the TL ‘67 look and feel was in the works?
          Mike_M

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Karalora View Post
            And I don't know how well this will go over here, but...we need to stop hoping for Tomorrowland to depict a wholly "realistic" future. Technology just moves too quickly these days. It should be a medium-hard science-fiction future, mixing realistic progress with whimsy. And that leaves some room for IP, but they should stick with franchises that actually involve advanced tech, futuristic societies, outer space, and science.
            This has been my position as well.
            Mike_M

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            • #7
              Mid-Century is the hotness these days, and I LONG for my TWA moonliner back. Wish I was a model maker because I have the 40" TWA moonliner kit which I can't get anybody to build. I want world's fair Tomorrowland back. I know most people just want thrill ride attractions, but infotainment was always interesting to me and why I stop and read all the little details/informational installations Disney has in their parks. Honestly, they could put the Incredibles in Tomorrowland.
              Matt's 40th Birthday Disneyland Trip. Club 33, Napa Rose, and Adventureland Suite!!! ~~|~~ Katherine's 11th Birthday Dapper Day trip with Club 33 ~~|~~ Matt's Review of the Art of the Craft Tour at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel ~~|~~ My Spring, 2017 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My Fall, 2016 Dapper Day and Club33 Trip Report ~~|~~ My Summer, 2016 Walt's LA tour with Bob Gurr and Marty Skylar ~~|~~ My Summer, 2016 Family Firsts Trip Report ~~|~~ Matt's September, 2015 Solo after the Safari Sunrise Trip Report ~~|~~ World Famous Jungle Cruise Safari Sunrise Premium Experience Trip Report ~~|~~ My February, 2015 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My October, 2014 Family Vacation with Mickey's Halloween Party ~~|~~ My September, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My August, 2014 Solo Trip Report - 1901/C33 Jazz Club ~~|~~ My June, 2014 Solo Trip Report ~~|~~ My February, 2014 Dapper Day Trip Report ~~|~~ My Epic May, 2013 Trip Report ~~|~~ My October, 2011 Trip Report ~~|~~ My October, 2010 Trip Report

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Karalora View Post
                And I don't know how well this will go over here, but...we need to stop hoping for Tomorrowland to depict a wholly "realistic" future. Technology just moves too quickly these days. It should be a medium-hard science-fiction future, mixing realistic progress with whimsy. And that leaves some room for IP, but they should stick with franchises that actually involve advanced tech, futuristic societies, outer space, and science.
                I think that's why TL '67 and prior were so great. A mixture of what is in development and advanced future concepts mixed with entertainment.

                Sorry, but Buzz should be in Toontown.

                We need another Walt...and fast!

                "It's always more difficult to recover than it is to do the right thing at the beginning" - Tony Baxter,
                The Imagineering Story, Episode 4 "Hit or Miss"

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                • #9
                  We are sooooo far from this.....like Disney has Snow white Redo, DCA's Spiderman ride/new land isn't even done yet and was suppose to be open by now, Mickey's ride AND now Splash and rumors if the Jungle Cruise movies does well for that ride to be updated. It's going to be ten years at the earliest before we see a new Tomorrowland in park sadly
                  Happy Halloween!!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Laugh-O-Grams View Post
                    I think that's why TL '67 and prior were so great. A mixture of what is in development and advanced future concepts mixed with entertainment.
                    I think a big part of the success of TL ‘67 was that before he died, Walt was able to tap into exactly what excited us about space and technology in the 60’s. The Space Race was in full swing and everyone was looking at the stars as the next frontier. Part of what’s made TL’s theme fizzle in my opinion is that Space exploration has become pretty boring in reality (in the 60’s i’m sure they thought we’d have manned missions to Mars by now) and there is no real excitement around it.

                    For TL to thrive again, I think a big part will be finding what excites us about space today, and I think that the fiction of outer space is turning out to be more interesting than the reality of it.

                    I loved the mid century design of TL ‘67, what I think needs to be thought of differently are the themes TL focuses on.
                    Mike_M

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                    • #11
                      It wouldn't be too difficult/expensive to continue making slight aesthetic improvements -- which can go a long way toward improving the feel of the land.

                      The planned / in-progress entrance improvements are a good step. Here are four other simple ones:

                      (1) First, the "movie preview theater" has to go. If they really care about the aesthetic and thematic experience of the land (as indicated by their improving the entrance), don't put giant signs advertising unrelated movies in the middle of the land! How about something like EPCOT's Awesome Planet, which fits beautifully, especially with its discussion of new technology.

                      (2) Second, of course they need to finally to remove the Astro Orbiter from the Hub. So here's a thought: What if they just removed the arms/vehicles, but kept the "kinetic sculpture" that's in the center? This would (a) reduce the bottleneck with minimal expense [since they're unwilling to spend a lot of money right now], and (b) remove the awful statement of having a carnival-style ride in the middle of Disneyland.

                      (3) Third, it's time to remove Launch Bay, and thus the incongruent "Star Wars" signage. Sadly, this probably won't happen anytime soon. Too bad, because this space has the potential to be turned into something truly interesting/inspiring/futuristic with relative ease, such as a Tesla/SpaceX exhibit.

                      (4) Fourth, and the most minor... I think the neon astronaut Mickey decals on Star Traders have overstayed their welcome. Removing them would make things a little bit less tacky.

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                      • #12
                        At this point, I vote, at least at Disneyland, to retheme Tomorrowland, because no matter how many times they redo this land, it constantly feels out of date, and since Disneyland has Galaxies Edge in it, no real need for two futuristic style lands. So for me, I'd vote to either have it be steam punk themed and have it focus around Jules Verne or have it be rethemed as Villains Land. This in turn would allow for the land to be given new life, allow for imagineers to really go all out with doing a reskin on the older rides while also implementing new ones, and can make the land look better overall.

                        If they did villain's land, they could have Space Mountain become Maleficent's Dragon Flight, retheme Astro Blasters as something around Nightmare Before Christmas (and this is coming from someone who doesn't like Nightmare Before Christmas) where instead of being a space ranger, you're going through Halloween town in your coffin or whatever and your "gun" is now a pumpkin seed shooter that shoots at the things terrorizing Halloween town, all while leading up to a final confrontation with Oogie Boogie. Star Tours can be rethemed something focusing around you and a large group being sucked into the realm of fantasy that's now being taken over by the villains, and you now have to not only escape, but fend them off. The subs can be redone to be the Frozen ride (I personally think Frozen's overdone, but this could be a way to deal with that ride that's been difficult to maintain). Autopia can become the Beauty and the Beast ride (since that, the Matterhorn, and the Frozen ride could connect Fantasyland and Villain's Land together), and finally the old show building that's been in dire need of an attraction to regain people's interest, maybe make it a theater for villains or a dark ride. Then Pizza Port can become Villains Tavern.

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                        • #13
                          I don't think Tomorrowland is redundant to Galaxy's Edge at all. Being an expression of a specific IP, GE has a very defined, branded aesthetic. There are spaceships and laser swords and robots (futuristic), but the setting of the land is a wilderness area with lots of rockwork, whereas TL has always been hyper-urban and artificial. Plus, the SW franchise is as much pure fantasy as it is science-fiction--that's one of the reasons it's always been a weird fit in TL to begin with.

                          Anyway, I think Disneyland needs TL to balance out the other areas. It arguably wouldn't be Disneyland without it. I'd much rather figure out how to sidestep the problem of becoming outdated, than give up on it altogether.
                          Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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                          • #14
                            Due to Covid, change is likely super far off. This whole land definitely needs an overhaul. i think a big part of TL is the kenetic energy of the land. Peoplemover, Autopia, Orbiters, Submarine, Saucers- something about seeing all the different forms of transportation makes it feel more and more futuristic. TL, ironically, shows it's age in this regard, since most of that energy has slowed with age or gone away. I think, when an overhaul eventually comes, it needs to be large enough to make it a semi-permanent change. I really like the 55 idea, where it's an alien Space Port, but that's kind of GE's jam. I agree with the post above where I think GE and TL can coexist, since GE is very forest-y and less future world. I just hope the land can survive without a complete retheme (a la, Discovery Land) since it is one of the classic lands.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jish5555 View Post
                              At this point, I vote, at least at Disneyland, to retheme Tomorrowland, because no matter how many times they redo this land, it constantly feels out of date, and since Disneyland has Galaxies Edge in it, no real need for two futuristic style lands. So for me, I'd vote to either have it be steam punk themed and have it focus around Jules Verne or have it be rethemed as Villains Land. This in turn would allow for the land to be given new life, allow for imagineers to really go all out with doing a reskin on the older rides while also implementing new ones, and can make the land look better overall.

                              If they did villain's land, they could have Space Mountain become Maleficent's Dragon Flight, retheme Astro Blasters as something around Nightmare Before Christmas (and this is coming from someone who doesn't like Nightmare Before Christmas) where instead of being a space ranger, you're going through Halloween town in your coffin or whatever and your "gun" is now a pumpkin seed shooter that shoots at the things terrorizing Halloween town, all while leading up to a final confrontation with Oogie Boogie. Star Tours can be rethemed something focusing around you and a large group being sucked into the realm of fantasy that's now being taken over by the villains, and you now have to not only escape, but fend them off. The subs can be redone to be the Frozen ride (I personally think Frozen's overdone, but this could be a way to deal with that ride that's been difficult to maintain). Autopia can become the Beauty and the Beast ride (since that, the Matterhorn, and the Frozen ride could connect Fantasyland and Villain's Land together), and finally the old show building that's been in dire need of an attraction to regain people's interest, maybe make it a theater for villains or a dark ride. Then Pizza Port can become Villains Tavern.
                              If Disney has lost their talent and would rather take the less difficult, cheap way out. Then your proposal makes sense.

                              I however believe if Disney and WDI have half the talent of the '55ers and '67ers, then they can continue to follow the ideals of what TL should be.

                              “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.”
                              We need another Walt...and fast!

                              "It's always more difficult to recover than it is to do the right thing at the beginning" - Tony Baxter,
                              The Imagineering Story, Episode 4 "Hit or Miss"

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Laugh-O-Grams View Post

                                If Disney has lost their talent and would rather take the less difficult, cheap way out. Then your proposal makes sense.

                                I however believe if Disney and WDI have half the talent of the '55ers and '67ers, then they can continue to follow the ideals of what TL should be.

                                “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.”
                                How exactly is it less difficult and cheap? Changing Tomorrowland to something new and never before implemented is a far more difficult feat then just re skinning it like they've been doing for over 45 years, and the fact Tomorrowland always feels dated and dull after about a year or 2 after the new skin, it means that the land itself really either needs a skin that'll stick, so why not go with something that'll have better staying power, offer more for the fans, and do something not done anywhere else?

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                                • #17
                                  Shortend version to my old rant:

                                  My concept is not to replace Tomorrowland, just refit it. Some of my ideas could be started now. Unlike some, I’m not proposing that the buildings be demolished just heavily retrofitted. I'll look at this idea attraction by attraction, some of these ideas will work but only with an overhaul of the show buildings.

                                  1. Astro Orbiter - It's time for the AO, in its current location, to go away. There was no reason to remove it from its TL67 position unless the pedestal had structural issues. Do some aesthetic updates to lose the “steam punk” look, and put it back on the pedestal. If the base structure needs to be torn down and rebuilt, like the PM tracks do, then do it. Upgrade the ride vehicles so they don’t look like ‘tubes with headlights”.

                                  2. Star Tours - This is my favorite ride in Tomorrowland, and I think the additional destinations only improved it. Now that Galaxy’s Edge is open, ST is done. To save time, use the motion simulators for a new "Mission to the Planets" attraction. This space flight is a hybrid of the old “Mission to Mars/Flight to the Moon/Star Tours” attraction except the flight takes you to a few, random, outer planets or moons. This may sound boring but you can spice up this classic Edutainment with a unplanned meteor shower, volcanic eruption (which you are too close to), or a large comet (Comets !!!) . Mars, Saturn and Jupiter offer plenty of variety and scenic beauty.

                                  3. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters - Time for Buzz to move out and go to DCA with the rest of the PIXAR rides. BLAB gets an ATIS makeover using trackless tech. This is a 3D glasses attraction. You pass through the Mighty Microscope and randomly move around while shrinking. The Paul Frees narration is modified (if necessary) but now we go beyond the Nucleus of the Atom. If you want to make this more adventurous, add a shooter option. As you are shrinking, you find NanoMachines are mixed into the atomic structure of the snowflake. You have uncovered a dastardly plot to create poisonous snow that will pollute the environment. Gotta shoot ‘em all.

                                  4. Star Trader - Offer more land specific merchandise that isn't just IP’s like Star Wars and Marvel.

                                  5. Buzz Lightyear store - Do we really need a second Star Trader? Tack the space on to the rehab of the BLAB space.

                                  6. PeopleMover - Return the People Mover to Tomorrowland except with a sleeker, modern design and slightly faster speed than the original. The track will need to be upgraded or completely replaced, and the buildings will need to have the entry ways widened unless the PM cars are enclosed. To ease pedestrian congestion in Tomorrowland, remove the track section that runs down the center of the TL entrance. Instead, the ride heads straight over to the upper level of the Carousel Theater after loading. The existing track section that exits BLAB will, instead, arch across to the Star Tours building. This arch will be the new gateway to TL. To plus the PM, give it a small show building of its own to showcase its usage as a transportation system. The new PM can run as individual cars or small trains. For ADA compliance there can be several cars on the track that can handle a power chair or scooter or every fourth car in a train is set for Special needs. My plan shortens the route over Autopia to free up space for a Fantasyland expansion.

                                  7. Tomorrowland Terrace - This is the fast food center of TL. Put back live entertainment on the elevated.

                                  8. Tomorrowland Theater (Captain EO) – Completely gutted and becomes part of the updated Space Mountain. See #10

                                  9. Starcade - The upper level goes to the new Astro Orbiter as a queue. There will be ramps that go from here to the upper level of the AO platform. By using ramps the old gantry elevator won’t be needed and it will be ADA compliant.

                                  10. Space Mountain - An entirely new Space Mountain contained in an expanded building. In the expansion we also lose the Capt. EO Theater. Gut the mountain as it is now. The track, lift hill, flying cookies, everything. The mountain is an empty shell. Cap EO gets the same treatment and leave the building shell. The new Space Mountain will LAUNCH you into space from the old EO area similar to the Rockin Roller Coaster. We get loops, twists, and gut wrenching, multiple G-force turns and it’s all contained in the mountain. The indoor queue needs to be reworked for these changes.
                                  11. Pizza Port - There isn’t a lot of room here but it can be a trackless robotic factory or some simple dark ride experience with a futuristic bend.
                                  Here’s a thought, make this the entry area for the updated Space Mountain referencing the old Mission to Mars and its control center.

                                  12. Autopia - Electric, Electric, Electric. Going to electric cars should have been done long ago. Without the problem of exhaust fumes, part of the track could go indoors to a themed section. My plan requires the footprint of the ride to be shortened so the old motorboat cruise area can become a TL or FL expansion. The Submarine Voyage’s show building wasn’t under the Motorboat Cruise.

                                  13. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage - Get rid of the Nemo theme and replace it with something closer to the original; exploring the dark depths of the ocean, hydroponic farming or exploring a sunken ship that looks realistic (think Titanic imagery). The tech that was created for Nemo would make the new format look as realistic as possible or add some comic relief (like the sea monster used to). How about a redesign of the sub itself? Imagine if a bus could be underwater with forward facing seats and large windows on both sides. There wouldn’t be a need to duplicate the views on each side of the sub because people on the right could see out the left side.

                                  14. Monorail - Perfect as it is. I like the current Mark VII model. I still think monorails are futuristic but cities don’t want to invest in them. I would remove the figure-8 over the Autopia and shorten the track so the Monorail wouldn’t be visible from Fantasyland and it frees up space for expansion.

                                  15. Innoventions - I like the Carousel Building. It’s time for a new revolving show. I've always envisioned a "Carousel of Disney". The show highlights cutting edge technology of the past, the present, then the future using Disneyland as its example. Ride tech, AA advancement, originality and future rides. It would also showcase how it all comes together. The host can be T. Morrow, Mr. Johnson (in NASA lab coat) or a new AA personality. Keep it fast paced and it stays interesting. Make the scenes modular and they could be updated as needed with minimal downtime. Put the speedramp back in after the last scene and take the audience upstairs. The upper floor would have a model of Disneyland (with moving parts and articulation) and an AA narrator pointing out how the park has changed over time. The PeopleMover would have a peek into the show building at this level (like it did when the EPCOT model was there.

                                  16. Skyway – This one is a long shot. The Tomorrowland Skyway station would be rebuilt but the alignment would change. The new path is over the Sub Lagoon, past the Matterhorn (not through), over Casey Junior, over the Fantasyland Theater (or whatever replaces it), then drop down into the back corner of Galaxy’s Edge or Toon Town. It is a straight shot. (If it did go into Galaxies edge don’t have the Skyway pass over the land, just drop in on the border and hide the cable by trees.)

                                  Overall Tomorrowland - Improve the aesthetics of the land by painting pretty much everything blue, white, silver, and gray with chrome accents. Add color back to the land by making the PM cars vibrant colors, lots of trim color on the buildings. The architecture could be unified throughout and it needs lots of lighting at night. The TL67 googie architecture is still cool but can be updated with architecture from the TL movie. Remember, you don’t have to demolish a building just give it a completely new facade. Imagine the architecture of the Disney Theater, in downtown LA, brought to the TL facades.

                                  Since the PM track was removed down the main entrance way (see #6), replace the murals on ST and BLAB with video walls and/or projection mapping. Returning the Mary Blair murals would be a nice touch but if they are not restorable put a representation into the video wall show. Also, remove the floating ball near Space Mountain and move it to the area the Astro Orbiter occupies now. It’s a nice centerpiece for the Tomorrowland entrance.

                                  Keep the land clean, free of trash and chipped paint. Use landscaping and planters to add color. Tomorrowland is not dead, the people in charge just aren’t using their collective brains.
                                  Last edited by MRaymond; 07-26-2020, 10:12 AM. Reason: readability and spelling
                                  Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

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                                  • #18
                                    I can hardly think of a bigger betrayal of Uncle Walt than to have re-themed Tomorrowland as a quaint "future past." This jaded navel-gazing take on the land that was probably most significant to its creator has been a blight on the park for far too long. My first visit to Tomorrowland was in the late 1960s when it had been fleshed out as a gleaming city of the future. It gave us all something to wonder at, not to laugh at.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I’m going to sound ignorant here, but what exactly is wrong with the People Mover track? I understand that for two decades the common message is that it’s beyond repair, but why? I have a hard time believing that the whole thing is unusable, and/or Disney cannot just tear it down and build a new one. Was there a damage assessment two decades ago that was completely pessimistic and the interested public just repeated it even though there may be room to wiggle?

                                      I know some of you guys and gals know the inter-workings of ALL the rides in every parks, down to the bolt grade and torque pressure on every single fastener, which is awesome 😎 So how about it....is there anyone that has some positive insight on the PM track in any way?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The support surface of the People Mover was altered so drastically for Rocket Rods that it would cost about the same to tear it down and rebuild as it would to repair it. Spend a few minutes searching here and you can read all the gory details. Disney Inc. has no taste for that expenditure because only a few old biddies are clamoring for a return of those Goodyear slow pokes.

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