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Discoveryland

For other uses, see Tomorrowland (disambiguation).

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Tomorrowland is one of the many theme lands at the five Disney theme parks around the world owned or licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Each version of the land is different and features numerous attractions that depict views of the future. Disneyland Park (Paris) includes a similar area called Discoveryland, which shares some elements with other Tomorrowlands but emphasizes Jules Verne-inspired visions of a future that never came to fruition.

Walt Disney was known for his futurist views and, through his television programs, showed the American public how the world was moving into the future. Tomorrowland was the realized culmination of his views. In his own words: "Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Our scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future."

It is this movement into the future that has, on occasion, left Tomorrowland mired in the past. Disneyland's Tomorrowland is now in its third generation, and the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland is in its second. The Walt Disney Company has mentioned that it wanted to keep Tomorrowland from becoming "Yesterdayland". As a self-referential joke along this line, Disney's 2007 film Meet the Robinsons (which is set mainly in the year 2037) features an amusement park called Todayland, which has rides that look remarkably like Space Mountain and Disneyland's original Rocket Jets.

Disneyland (California)


Dedication

A vista into a world of wondrous ideas, signifying Man's achievement. A step into the future, with predictions of constructed 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, unified world.
Walter E. Disney, July 17, 1955

Tomorrowland 1955–1966: The original Tomorrowland

The first Tomorrowland opened at Disneyland on July 17, 1955, with only several of its planned attractions open, due to budget cuts. The construction of the park was rushed, so Tomorrowland was the last land to be finished. It became something of a corporate showcase, despite Walt Disney's reluctance. Monsanto Company, American Motors, Richfield Oil, and Dutch Boy Paint were some of the many companies to open showcases in Tomorrowland in the first few years.

Since the park was on a strict budget, one cost-cutting idea was to reuse the sets of the Nautilus from Disney's 1954 movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as a walkthrough attraction. This remained open until 1966. For the first four years, most of Tomorrowland was generally open space and considered to be very corporate-fueled. However, the area gained more attractions as time passed, many of which have since been removed.

When Disneyland opened, Tomorrowland represented the future in the year 1986.[1]

Tomorrowland opening day

Tomorrowland's showpiece was the TWA Moonliner, derived from Disney's "Man In Space" television episodes developed in the 1950s. The Moonliner was the tallest structure in the park at the time, even taller than the park icon Sleeping Beauty Castle. The Moonliner hosted Rocket To The Moon which was a ride to the moon. The entrance showpiece was the clock of the world showing the time anywhere on earth. The north show building hosted Circarama U.S.A. which showed movies on nine screens, and space station X-1 which showed a satellite view of America. The south show building showed the Monsanto Hall of Chemistry, which was a walk-through tour about chemistry. Autopia, an opening-day attraction, gave visitors a view of the National Interstate System that was to be built in the future. The attraction still remains open today, though it has been modified and rebuilt several times. This is the only attraction in Tomorrowland that has been open since opening day.

Following years

Several new attractions opened in 1955. Among them were Tomorrowland Boats, The World Beneath Us, which showed the Earth's geology, and the Aluminum Hall of Fame, sponsored by Kaiser Aluminum. The final Tomorrowland attraction to open in 1955 was The Flight Circle which demonstrated gasoline powered vehicles.

In 1956, Tomorrowland Boats were renamed Phantom Boats, and were closed later in the year. Dutch Boy Color Gallery opened in 1956, and sponsored Dutch Boy Paint. Two major attractions opened in 1956: the Astro Jets, where guests were able to fly their own rockets, and Skyway to Fantasyland, where guests rode "Buckets" over to Fantasyland.

In 1957, the Monsanto House of the Future, a plastic house with four wings cantilevered from a central plinth, was built. This was similar to precursors at previous World's Fairs, though those were simply homes furnished with modern conveniences and aimed at housewives. Disneyland's attraction displayed conveniences such as picture phones and television remote controls, and it introduced many people to their first microwave oven. The Viewliner also opened where guests could ride in "the fastest miniature train in the world." It closed the next year making it the shortest lived Disney attraction ever.

In 1959, three major attractions, the park's first billed E-ticket attractions, opened at Tomorrowland. These were the Disneyland Monorail, Submarine Voyage, and the Matterhorn (which later became part of Fantasyland). These additions were collectively so large in scope that they were televised as the second opening of Disneyland. New attractions came and some went as Walt Disney focused his efforts on the 1964–65 New York World's Fair. After the Fair closed, he turned his attention to a new Tomorrowland and the Florida Project, which would later become Walt Disney World.

Tomorrowland 1967–1998: The Tomorrowland on the move

The Disney crew was tired of Tomorrowland. Most of its attractions were only there to sponsor companies such as Monsanto, and not even the 1959 expansion helped very much. Instead of having another expansion, the crew decided to start from scratch, and made the new Tomorrowland. Walt Disney died in December 1966, almost seven months before the new Tomorrowland would open. In 1967, the area was completely rebuilt with new attractions and scenery. The original layout was demolished, and a new set of buildings were erected. The addition of the Carousel of Progress, Adventure Thru Inner Space, an improved and larger Circle-Vision auditorium, Flight to the Moon, and the PeopleMover helped give Tomorrowland its "World on the Move" theme. In 1973, "The World On The Move" began to change.

General Electric decided to close Carousel of Progress, which would later reopen at a new home in Walt Disney World in 1975 as part of its expansion. In 1974, with the American Bicentennial approaching, Disney designers seized the opportunity of the vacant carousel theater to present a large musical extravaganza called America Sings, which featured 114 Audio Animatronics. The following year, Flight to the Moon was updated into Mission to Mars, as actual flights to the moon had become a reality since the former's construction.

Then, in 1975, construction began on Walt Disney's proposed 1965 "Space Port." In May 1977, this project opened to the public as Space Mountain. The same year, the Super Speed Tunnel was added as part of the Peoplemover experience, as the Epcot model that was formerly in the building moved to Florida. In 1984 Circle-Vision 360 received a brand new travelogue of the United States, to replace the aging "America The Beautiful" film – American Journeys. Two years later, two new attractions found homes in Tomorrowland: Star Tours and Captain EO. Captain EO replaced the Space Stage in September 1986, and Star Tours replaced Adventure Thru Inner Space in January 1987. Aside from the Skyway closing in 1994,[2] Tomorrowland remained largely unchanged for much of the following decade until it was again redesigned in 1998.

During the mid-to-late 1990s Tomorrowland Terrace (TLT)-Tomorrowland's most popular outdoor restaurant-became a fashionable spot for many local Southern California teenagers. Discounted annual passports for Southern California residents, and the remarkable success of No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom" album which made several references to the Disneyland Park as a whole, caused Orange County locals to pour into Tomorrowland every Friday and Saturday night. Unfortunately for Disneyland, this caused an increase in harassment of tourists and petty crimes which forced them to increase security, culminating in 1996 with several separate gangs of Disneyland locals, led by a “goth” style gang known as the “Disneyland Arcane Crew (D.A.C.)”, and locals numbers in excess of several hundred packed into Tomorrowland's space. This trend however, died out around 1998 when Tomorrowland was closed for a major renovation.

Tomorrowland 1993

In 1993, The Walt Disney Company planned a major refurbishment, Tomorrowland 2055. This Tomorrowland was planned to have more of an extraterrestrial theme, and was going to replace Mission to Mars with ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. But later, in 1994, this plan was scrapped.

Tomorrowland 1998


Tomorrowland reopened in 1998, loosely based on the retro-futurist concepts that Disneyland Paris's Discoveryland featured. The entire land was painted in bronzes, golds, and dark browns, with occasional green highlights. New landscaping featured apparent vegetable plots and made reference to "neo-agrarian" concepts. The flagship attraction of the makeover was the Rocket Rods, which attempted to run a fast-paced ride on the former slow-paced PeopleMover track; the ride would close three years later due to intractable mechanical problems.

Many of the attractions remained fundamentally the same, but Circle-Vision, Captain EO, and Mission to Mars were all removed. The space formerly occupied by Circle-Vision was partly used for the queue of the Rocket Rods, while Captain EO was replaced by Honey, I Shrunk the Audience and Mission To Mars was replaced by a restaurant called Red Rockett's Pizza Port. The Rocket Jets attraction was redressed as a moving sculpture called the Observatron, while a similar attraction called the Astro Orbitor was placed at ground level in the entrance of Tomorrowland. The former America Sings theater became Innoventions, a technology showcase based on the Walt Disney World: EPCOT original.

Following the opening of the New Tomorrowland for the summer of 1998, the Submarine Voyage was closed in September.

Today

In late 2003, Matt Ouimet became president of the Disneyland Resort and sought to change some of the cost-cutting trends that had become the status quo there. Space Mountain was closed for two full years as the ride was refurbished and the track was completely replaced by a new track with the same track plan. The former Rocket Rods queue building was converted into Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters for a 2005 opening.

In February 2005, Walt Disney Imagineering approved a repaint of Tomorrowland for the "Happiest Homecoming on Earth" fiftieth anniversary celebration. This new paint scheme resembled the 1967 Tomorrowland with predominantly white, blue, and silver, although some of the former gold and bronze colors were kept. The largest remainder from the 1998 color scheme was the Astro Orbitor until mid-2009, when it was repainted to match the rest of the land and mechanisms that once caused its top to rotate properly were repaired. In 2007, as part of the Year of a Million Dreams, the Submarine Voyage reopened as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, with the submarines fully refurbished with Nemo and friends in a new adventure.

In 2007, the Disneyland Monorail began phasing out its Mark V fleet of monorails in order to reverse engineer and upgrade the Mark V's to the new Mark VII models. The new Mark VII's were phased in one at a time, beginning with Red and Blue in 2008 and Orange in 2009. These new monorails pay homage to the original Mark I, II, and III monorails while retaining a modern, futuristic look. The previous Mark V monorail class of trains bore more of a resemblance to the Mark IV and Mark VI monorail classes of trains used on the Walt Disney World Monorail System.

In January 2010, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience closed to make way for the Captain EO, which "re-opened" due the large public backing the 3D film received upon Michael Jackson's death in June 2009. It is a limited engagement, although no set date has been announced for its closing.

In July 2010, Disneyland's Star Wars-themed motion simulator attraction Star Tours was closed to make room for its sequel, Star Tours—The Adventures Continue. The new ride, which features other Star Wars destinations in 3-D, opened on June 3, 2011.

Attractions and entertainment

Former attractions and entertainment

Restaurants

Shops

  • Little Green Men Store Command
  • Merchant of Venus
  • Mickey's Star Trader
  • Tomorrowlanding

Magic Kingdom (Florida)

1971-1993 Original Tomorrowland

The second Tomorrowland opened on October 1, 1971 at the Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort, Florida, and, like at Disneyland, was opened unfinished. But by 1975, the entire land was completed, and much more closely resembled Walt Disney's vision for Tomorrowland. Some of the most popular Disney park attractions premiered here, such as Space Mountain, which opened in 1975 and is now part of every Tomorrowland around the world. This Tomorrowland was very much in the Googie style, and somewhat resembled Disneyland's Tomorrowland at this time. Large waterfalls greeted the guests as they entered this land. Tokyo Disneyland's Tomorrowland entrance looks like a stripped down version of how the entrance used to be.

1994-Present New Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland went through a drastic change starting in 1994. It now resembles Discoveryland (Disneyland Paris) slightly, but with more color. Many of the attractions changed. Some classic Tomorrowland attractions that have closed in Disneyland still live on at the Magic Kingdom Park include the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and the Carousel of Progress, which was moved from Disneyland to Walt Disney World in 1975. Walt Disney's model display of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, the first incarnation of what would become Epcot, is also used as a display visible only from the Tomorrowland Transit Authority.

For most of its history, Tomorrowland's color scheme was predominantly white with soft blues, creating a retro-modernist landscape. Huge monolithic towers, spires, and clean lines completed the futuristic look. In 1994, using inspiration from Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris, Tomorrowland was completely re-built and altered to resemble a galactic spaceport as it would have been envisioned by the science-fiction comic strips of the early 20th century, like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. Tomorrowland has since been given a much more metallic look, along with new darker blues and purples, especially along its main concourse leading from the central hub.

Attractions and entertainment

Former attractions and entertainment

Restaurants

  • Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies
  • Cool Ship
  • Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café (home to Sonny Eclipse a audio-animatronic stage show hosted near the front of the restaurant between Mad Tea Party and Storybook Circus)
  • The Lunching Pad at Rockettower Plaza
  • Tomorrowland Terrace Cafe
  • Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station

Shops

  • Buzz Lightyear Shop
  • Buzz's Star Command
  • Merchant of Venus
  • Star Trader
  • Space Mountain Shop

Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland's Tomorrowland was designed as a loose copy of Disney World's original Tomorrowland, particularly the main entryway which features nearly identical waterfalls and blue spires flanking the walkway. As is the case with other areas of Tokyo Disneyland, Tomorrowland has fewer attractions and more open spaces than its American counterparts, a move designed to facilitate a larger number of park guests. Notably missing is a PeopleMover-type attraction, whose tracks and ride vehicles have been conspicuous features of other Tomorrowland landscapes.

Although Walt Disney intended the original Tomorrowland in California to be a "living blueprint" of the future, Tokyo Disneyland's Tomorrowland never directly showcased future technology, instead opting for more of a science fiction theme. Prominent attractions supporting this theme include Space Mountain and Star Jets, as well as the Pan Galactic Pizza Port, a restaurant that features a large audio-animatronic pizza-making machine operated by a whimsical alien creature named Tony Solaroni. In recent years, older attractions have been replaced with newer ones that feature movie tie-ins: Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters and Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek are two examples.

Attractions & Entertainment

Former attractions and entertainment

Restaurants

  • Lite Bite Satellite
  • Pan Galactic Pizza Port
  • Plaza Restaurant
  • Soft Landing
  • Space Place FoodPort
  • The Popping Pod
  • Tomorrowland Terrace

Shops

  • Planet M
  • Monsters, Inc. Company Store
  • Cosmic Encounter
  • ImageWorks
  • Solar Ray's Light Supplies
  • Stellar Sweets

Disneyland Park (Paris)

Disneyland Park in Paris has a Tomorrowland with an entirely new concept, Discoveryland. European culture was used distinctively in the park and Discoveryland uses the ideas of famed European thinkers and explorers such as Leonardo da Vinci or HG Wells, with Jules Verne featured most prominently. This land was heavily inspired by the abandoned Disneyland concept Discovery Bay, which would have sat at the north end of the park's Rivers of America.

Architecturally designed using Jules Verne's vision of the future as inspiration, the land is laid out very differently from its predecessors. Many Tomorrowland classics exist here, such as Autopia, Orbitron and Star Tours, some in an altered way, but Space Mountain is significantly changed. Its theme is Steampunk/Clockpunk

Originally conceived as Discovery Mountain, it was originally proposed to hold more than one attraction, including an improved version of Horizons from Epcot, a larger Nautilus walk-through complete with a restaurant and a free-fall ride based on Journey to the Center of the Earth. But due to budget cuts (like ones in Battle for Dream Island), it opened in 1995 as Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune (From the Earth to the Moon). Beside the Space Mountain show building is the Nautilus Lagoon, with a walk-through recreation of the Nautilus submarine from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The showcase attraction on opening day was a Circle-Vision 360 film, titled Le Visionarium. The attraction featured an eccentric time-traveling robot and his robotic assistant, who take Jules Verne into the world of today, which is pictured as the future he dreamed of. The attraction would later be exported to both the Magic Kingdom and to Tokyo Disneyland. The Magic Kingdom version was the last of the three versions of the show, commonly known as The Timekeeper, to close.

Space Mountain was completely refurbished in 2005 for the Happiest Celebration on Earth, with a new soundtrack and special effects. Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast opened April 8, 2006, in the former building of Le Visionarium, which closed in September 2004.

Attractions and entertainment

Former attractions and entertainment

Restaurants

  • Cool Station
  • Café Hyperion
  • Rocket Café
  • Buzz Lightyear's Pizza Planet

Shops

  • Constellations
  • Light Speed Photography
  • Star Traders

Hong Kong Disneyland

The newest Tomorrowland opened on September 12, 2005, at Hong Kong Disneyland. Like the newer generations of the American Tomorrowlands, Hong Kong's version features an emphasis on metallic trim, with lots of blue and purple hues.

In Summer 2006, three new attractions Autopia, UFO Zone, and Stitch Encounter opened.

The outer edge of The land will under construction, adjacent to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. A structure for Iron Man Experience, the first Disney attraction to be based on a Marvel property, featuring Tony Stark recruiting guests to fend off extraterrestrial beings from attacking Hong Kong.[3]

Attractions and entertainment

Future Attractions & Entertainment

  • Iron Man Experience (opening in Fall 2016)

Former Attractions & Entertainment

Restaurants

  • Comet Café
  • Flying Saucer Snacks
  • Popcorn, Cotton Candy, Frozen Lollipops Cart
  • Starliner Diner

Shops

  • Merchandise Carts
  • Space Traders
  • Star Command Suppliers

Shanghai Disneyland Park

Shanghai Disneyland Park will feature a traditional Tomorrowland.

Film

Main article: Tomorrowland (film)

In 2008, Walt Disney Pictures was developing a feature film called Tomorrowland with screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore to star Dwayne Johnson. The film was supposedly not based on the actual Tomorrowland attractions but an original story which borrowed the title.[4]

In 2013, Walt Disney Pictures announced that a secret project (originally titled as 1952) led by director Brad Bird and screenwriter Damon Lindelof was re-titled Tomorrowland. It is unknown if Bird and Lindelof are working off of Lucas and Moore's previous drafts or if it is an original idea based on the Tomorrowland attractions.[5] The film is scheduled for release on December 19, 2014.[6]George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, and Britt Robertson will star in this film.

Popular culture

References

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