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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream- The Future that Never Was

No that I get into things that were closer towards the present. I know it was around this time I made the first pilgrimage to Disneyland when I was little. I even remember these changes happening.

Like in Tomorrowland. We've already established it's been a constant headache to the Disney Co. A few years the planned retheme of Tomorrowland to Tomorrowland 2055 fell through due to budgets, another idea was quickly concieved.

Things started moving very quickly for the retheme. Tomorrowland began to get a new color scheme, filled with rich bronze and gold colors along with some emerald and black hues. Most noticable was the change in color in Space Mountain from white to... well...this.

It was really based on Jules Verne's style of futurism, and was referred to as "The Future that Never Was". It's focus revolved around the fantasy of the future, and was not set to a specific date in time. The land also contained edible vegitation, symbolising that all landscaping in the future was going to be edible.

In 1995, the PeopleMover took it's last lap around the track above Tomorrowland. A little time would pass before a new attraction was to be put up there. Rocket Rods was a high speed ride that took people over the same track the PeopleMover went over and went through the same rides. The ill-fated ride travled very fast, then slow down to make tight turns that were hard to make due to the lack of banked turns. This caused many problems with the ride, especially it's control computer, causing many breakdowns. The fact that it traveled the 16 minute PeopleMover track in 3 minutes also were not good for the track. Rocket Rods was supposed to go down for a refurb, but never opened again. Since then the track as become cracked and overgrown, but repaintings restored fate that a new ride- either the PeopleMover or something else- would emerge. Those rumors still circulate today.

Then, in 1996, the Carousel Theater walls were torn down to make way for the new attraction, Innoventions. This attraction ties in with the idea of brining cutting edge technology to Tomorrowland showcasing the newest technologies in entertainment, living, and health.

Mission to Mars was replaced by Red Rockett's Pizza Port, a new restaurant. Outside, a new water fountain play area was built around a moving ball called Cosmic Waters. It was pretty cool and ingenious.

Rocket Jets were also replaced by Astro Orbitor. It was the same ride concept- you rode a rocketship around in the air. However, Astro Orbitor was moved down from the station above the late PeopleMover track to in front of the tracks at the enterance of Tomorrowland. The old Rocket Jets were remodeled into a new show piece called the Observatron, which would come alive in motion and music ever 15 minutes.

Captain EO was replaced with Honey I Shrunk the Audience, a 3D show that played and continued to play in Epcot.

Finally, Autopia was closed in 1998- both Fantasyland and Tomorrowland Autopia shut down to combine into 1 large Autopia. Why were ther more then 1? Well, for years there were different versions- some made for adults, some for kids, others for family. In this case, Fantasyland Autopia was a back-up in case the Tomorrowland Autopia was too crowded. In 2000, the ride reopened with 3 different types of cars, all futuristic looking.

This was the last complete overhall Tomorrowland has recieved to date. But slowly over time, the color scheme and theme of the area would begin to recede- and the classic white/blue/red colors would start to return.

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