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What's your dream Tomorrowland attraction?

By Robert Niles
Published: October 27, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Let's talk about Tomorrowland, shall we?

Tomorrowland at Disneyland in California

One of the original lands in Walt Disney's original theme park, Disneyland, Tomorrowland has changed more than any other land in the park over its more than half a century. Tomorrows have their way of becoming yesterdays, and any land devoted to the future must change frequently to avoid becoming a relic of the past.

Disney ditched the land in Paris, crafting a "Discoveryland" based on the then-futuristic fiction of Frenchman Jules Verne instead. And today's Tomorrowlands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World increasingly are becoming "Science Fiction Cartoon" lands, with attractions such as the Buzz Lightyear shoot-'em-ups.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

Changes are coming to Tomorrowland. Walt Disney World's getting a refreshed Space Mountain and a new Star Tours is on its way to Disneyland.

R2D2 and C-3PO in Star Tours at Disneyland

But what would you like to see? What's your dream Tomorrowland attraction?

Don't forget that tomorrow-becomes-yesterday problem. Your dream for a $100 million extravaganza ain't gonna fly if it's gonna look out of date in a decade. Keep that in mind as you craft your idea.

Readers' Opinions

From Dan M on October 27, 2009 at 4:23 PM
Supposedly Tony Baxter, the head of Imagineering for Disneyland and the main visionary for some of Disneyland's best attractions has been working on an E-Ticket for the Innoventions building for years. The rumors that have come out so far point to a Time-Traveled themed dark ride, which sounds like a great idea to me. I really like Paris' Discoveryland retro-futuristic concept rather than the Tomorrowland of the other Magic Kingdoms. Not only is it more imaginative and need less updating, but it segues into Fantasyland much better than the jarring transition we experience now. The lands on the West Side transition beautifully, not so on the other side of the hub.
From Robert Niles on October 27, 2009 at 4:30 PM
That's a great issue: How do you transition Fantasyland into Tomorrowland? I think that the Paris Discoveryland concepts has come the closest to pulling it off.
From Nick Markham on October 27, 2009 at 5:28 PM
I do not have time to layout my masterplan for Tomorrowland at the moment (:D), but I would like to say I think it would be a very good idea for Disney to place a copy of Mission: SPACE where Innoventions sits in Disneyland Resort.
From James Rao on October 27, 2009 at 5:39 PM
Will have to do some more thinking about the attraction I would like to see, but I was prompted to research Disney Science Fiction films to find some material. Interestingly, the highest grossing sci-fi film for Disney is Pixar's WALL-E (unless you consider POTC or The Incredibles to be sci-fi, which I do not). While WALL-E would seem to be a vast playland for Tomorrowland expansion ideas, and as much as I LOVE everything Pixar does, I am not sure I want to see anymore attractions themed to Pixar movies at the Magic Kingdom....

...I do know that part of any Tomorrowland expansion (at WDW) should include the removal and replacement of both Stitch's Great Escape and the Tomorrowland Speedway. Not sure what would fit in Stitch's small footprint, but the Speedway has a huge footprint for a coaster, giant dark ride, or even a long sought-after (but never accomplished) Spider-Man killer. No matter what else happens, those two attractions MUST go.

But what attraction would I really like to see added to Tomorrowland? I need to do some more research....

From James Rao on October 27, 2009 at 8:17 PM
One thing I have always associated with futuristic cities is tube travel, you know like in Logan's Run and other old time sci-fi classics. Seems like Tomorrowland would be an excellent place to have a tube travel attraction where your "car" could zip (launch coaster-like) around various points in Tomorrowland. Additionally, as the car travels through the tubes it should stop at various junctions and become more of a simulator ride, stationary but with simulated movement like an upgraded Star Tours. The simulator could sometimes be thrilling, and other times more serene as the story of the ride unfolds. So really, the attraction would be a combination indoor/tube coaster, simulator, and dark-ride people mover.

The beauty of the attraction is that everything inside the tubes and the junctions would be projected, so as we as a society advance technologically, the overlays inside the ride could simply be updated to make the theming fresh. The ride system itself would never have to be changed, just the overlay projected throughout the totally immersive attraction.

As for the narrative, I envision it as the next step in the Carousel of Progress/Horizons mold, as it would tell the story of how we advance to this futuristic society where travel by tubes is a common, everyday occurrence, and showcase how the people of this possible future live and work in their day to day lives.

Hey, it may seem a bit hazy, but trust me, what I see in my head is amazing, I just seem to be lacking the writing skills necessary to convey the idea clearly in this post! But, you get the idea: Horizons meets Rock 'n' Roller Coaster meets Star Tours, or something like that! =)

Oh, yeah, and I would call the ride Progress City Adventure or something cliched like that!

From Anthony Murphy on October 27, 2009 at 8:27 PM
As a person who has been to Disneyland Paris, Discoveryland and Fantasyland have a very narrow change with a Lion King show in a Jules Verne esque stage. DLP's lands are very seperate from each other, but thats just my opinion.

As for the current Tomorrowland, I really do not see a problem with having Buzz there. He fits in perfectly and the ride seems widely popular with groups.

I wouldn't mind seeing the People Mover placed in DL. Its functional and oddly a fun ride at MK. Tomorrowland does have an Astro Orbitor and toSpace Mountain in each.

I would like to see Disney do more dark rides, but with aliens or something

From TH Creative on October 28, 2009 at 3:49 AM
R. Niles: That's a great issue: How do you transition Fantasyland into Tomorrowland?

My thoughts: One of the most under appreciated Disney properties (franchises) has been Irish author's book series 'Artemis Fow' (look it up). An attraction based upon this franchise would be a perfect fit (transition) between Fantasyland and Tomrorowland.

From Rob P on October 28, 2009 at 4:00 AM
I'd like to see something that adapts and changes as the years go by so that it is always ahead of it's time and future-proof.
Maybe an interactive gadgets pavilion with continually updated material. I remember watching things like "Tomorrow's World" on TV. It predicted how we might be living in the future by demonstrating prototypes like microwave ovens, fax machines and Personal Computers etc which were all realised.
But it was also quite humourous in forecasting that by the year 2000 we'd all be wearing aluminium foil suits , riding personalised hovercrafts and leaving all the work to robots leaving us with 24/7 leisure time. So far as I know these haven't come true yet.

It might also have a feature where people can devise their own products of the future.

From Scott B on October 28, 2009 at 5:12 AM
If you asked me this question 20 years ago, I would have yelled "TRON"!! But nowadays, man, I think I would still say TRON.
From 166.77.6.4 on October 28, 2009 at 6:26 AM
What do I want to see in Tomorrowland? It's simple. Bring the People Mover back to DL.
From Robert Niles on October 28, 2009 at 8:55 AM
I want my jetpack.
From Rod Whitenack on October 28, 2009 at 9:02 AM
I second the request for a TRON attraction/ride.
From Joshua Counsil on October 28, 2009 at 11:14 AM
I don't want more franchise-inspired attractions, but I like the idea that, if I'm not mistaken, Robert came up with a while ago. Lasseter's creative team should just be given complete creative control for a redo of the land. The attractions are fine, but the theming ain't much.
From Barry Wallace on October 28, 2009 at 11:45 AM
While no means a real classic, The Black Hole was, for its time, a nice piece of sci-fi adventure that would lend itself nicely to a dark ride experience. I don't think a ride should mirror any of the plot or characters from the movie, except possibly Maximillian and B.O.B., but taking an excursion to the Cyngus and into and beyond the Black Hole could be a thrilling ride...
From James Koehl on October 28, 2009 at 6:26 PM
Disney seems so focused on basing its attractions on its films (animated, live-action and combination of the two), and adding film influences to pre-existing attractions, that I cannot imagine it adding an E-attraction that did not have a Disney-cinema foundation. If you want a futuristic/fantasy attraction, regardless of it being based on an obscure Disney flop, that could have some incredible special effects, how about one based on "Treasure Planet" (I think that was the name of that famous 7-day-running animated feature).
From 76.175.187.70 on October 28, 2009 at 7:43 PM
Rao says: "I am not sure I want to see anymore attractions themed to Pixar movies at the Magic Kingdom...."

What is your problem with Pixar movies and characters at the Disney parks?

Pixar is now part of Disney. John L. has Disney in his blood.

I see these kinds of comments from people on several blogs and it feels like some kind of puritanical streak.

From James Rao on October 29, 2009 at 6:55 PM
Anonymous Poster, as I wrote, I have nothing against Pixar or Pixar-based rides, I just think the Magic Kingdom has enough of them right now. Surely the creative folks at Disney can come up with something that isn't based on a Pixar film can't they?

Let the Imagineers do what they do best: imagine.

From 65.12.173.131 on October 30, 2009 at 6:36 AM
for magic kingdom, the carousel of progress needs a renovation, the speedway could be replaced with a high speed futuristic autopia (there's plenty of room outside of the railroad tracks for it so the current speedway could be used for something like a house of the future or house on the moon) , scratch stitch and bring back a renovated alien encounter, and maybe make buzz longer(teardown the galaxy theater).

TH: blue sky disney reports that disney bought the rights to make a movie out of Airman, by Eoin Colfer(like artemis fowl)

From Bryan Fear on October 30, 2009 at 8:08 AM
Although I like Barry's idea for a Black Hole ride I'd agree that any new ride needs to be tied into the contemporary. For that reason I'd agree with all who've recommended the TRON ride. There's a new movie on the way and even without that, I always felt there should have been a ride. ( The People-Mover's Tron makeover notwithstanding )


The ride could best be accomplished by using the People-Mover track and an Indiana Jones style car. The ride car could look like Tron lightcycles and seat about 4 ( 2 rows of 2 ). It would be self-contained with no windows and each car would contain a monitor that shows what path the lightcycle is taking in "virtual world" while the real world is just the way they deliver the motion of the ride. As the lightcycle negotiates a turn in reality, the hydraulic system of the car would make it tip over while onscreen the bike would be taking a huge turn at high speed. ...or if you want to say that lightcycles were never capable of such turns, then let the hydraulic system snap the bike into a sharp turn as onscreen we see the bike make a sharp 90-degree turn.

It's a contemporary license thanks to the new movie.

It uses an existing track.

It uses existing Indiana Jones ride technology.


I have to wonder why they've never done this yet, even before the Tron movie sequel was announced. Now that it has been made public, let's hope it makes this ride all the more a possibility.

R. Niles: That's a great issue: How do you transition Fantasyland into Tomorrowland?

Simple. Toy Story. Buzz Lightyear + talking toys. Technically this has already been done, just not at the most like place between the two lands. Until then, the Sub ride is a pretty good transition. :-)

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