Friday, December 17, 2010

The Tomorrowland of...Tomorrow - Part 1

As most of us know, Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom is undergoing a major facelift and expansion.  New attractions, new restaurants, and in some cases some new theming and story.  However, if I had my way I would like to see some of that attention given to it's neighbor...Tomorrowland.

Tomorrowland has always been a challenge to the Imagineering team.  Technology is growing in leaps and bounds in this current Information Age.  Any Tomorrowland that is based on future technology is destined to become outdated before the paint is dry.  These days, Tomorrowland has slowly become a cross of Pixar Place - Part Deux and the Great Stitch Homage.  I don't have the level of opposition to the incorporation of Pixar characters in the parks as some do.  However, I think it should only be done when and where it makes sense.  As for Stitch, to so heavily include such a polarizing character seems risky at best.  I don't hate Stitich...but at the same time I feel he is WAY overdone in Tomorrowland.

So...what would I do with Tomorrowland?  This has been something I've long pondered.  This post will kick off a series of proposals for Tomorrowland and it's attractions.  We'll take a look at what will stay...what will receive some minor "tweaking"...and what will be scrapped and replaced all together.  As always, you are encouraged to join in by throwing out your own proposals!!!

OK...where to start?!?!  Today...let's talk about the things I would leave either untouched...or do some "minor" modifications to.  Let's start with the general theme of the land.  Personally I love the current theme.  Sort of a Jetsons style vision of the future and of community.  Tomorrowland, to me, is sort of a sci-fi spaceport...where travelers from all galaxies cross paths.  Sort of (WARNING:  Star Wars Nerd Alert) Mos Eisley ... without the scum and villiany.  I LOVE the signs referring to the Sleepless Knights of the Milky Way...and the Tomorrowland Chamber of Commerece.  I would absolutely insist that the references stay..and, if anything, they are expanded on.

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is also a keeper.  In fact..I'd expand it.  I would keep the current "Blue Line" as is (maybe update or revert the narration so it "sells" the theme).  It would more or less serve as the scenic route around Tomorrowland.  I would then tap into the previous narration that referred to other lines to create an additonal line that would serve as a mode of transportation through Tomorrowland.  Let's go with the "Red Line".  The Red Line would have have 3 near the entrance to Tomorrowland near the hub.  One at Rockettower Plaza, where riders could transfer to the Blue Line.  And a third near Fantasyland...just past the Tomorrowland Speedway.  Much like the Walt Disney Railroad, riders could hop on at any station and either use it to get to another station...or just ride it roundtrip.

Moving on to the big daddy of Tomorrowland....Space Mountain.  Obviously...Space Mountain is a keeper.  However, I'd like to see the changes done that everyone was hoping for during the last referb.  More or less to see it brought up to the level of it's counterpart in Disneyland.  I'm all for sister attractions in different Disney Parks having the differences that make it its own.  However, with Space Mountain the Disneyland version is so much better than it's WDW counterpart that it's almost embarrassing.  It's time to bridge that difference, while maybe leaving enough uniqueness to offer guests who visit both a slightly different experience.

Another Tomorrowland icon, Astro Orbiter, would also stay relatively as is.  Athough, I wouldn't mind upping the thrill level a tad...maybe have it go higher or slightly faster....but for the most part, it should remain unchanged.

One of the toughest decisions I was faced with was what to do with the Tomorrowland Speedway.  Honestly...I was seriously tempted to scrap it.  If this is some sort of spaceport city...or some futuristic version of a metropolitan area...would we really still be riding around in automobiles?  Doubtful.  But this attraction is a classic that dates back to the opening of Disneyland in 1955.  Because of that, I have a hard time doing away with it.  Maybe if we can change the vehicles up to give them some sort of futuristic feel.  I'd say something like a Tron lightcycle, but considering these vehicles go about 2 MPH, that might not quite work the way it should.

Finally...Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress  This is another classic attraction that I would live in place...however with an update.  I could ramble on about what I'd do with it, but you're better off checking out the Betamouse Podcast ... Episode #14.  The whole episode focuses on how Team Betamouse would update the final scene of the attraction.  If you haven't heard it...go check it out!!!

In separate future posts we'll discuss the fates of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and Stitch's Great Escape.  Stay tuned for that.  But for now, weigh in with your proposals by leaving your comments.  Thanks again for stopping by!!!!!

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