Thursday, June 3, 2010


The Tomorrowland section at Disneyland was originally set in 1980 (the park opened in 1955). The whole thing is sort of a retro vision of the future, although of course Disneyland is continuously being revamped. Whenever we imagined the future, it involved huge advances in transportation methods and everyone wearing all silver and traveling in outer space for a weekend outing. We think this optimism almost funny now and wonder where our hover boards are, but our entertainment technology has exploded in a way no one anticipated. Personally, I'm very glad we still wear lots of color.

When creating Disneyland, Walt Disney wanted everything to be as accurate as possible. This might seem funny to us who think of it as a land of make believe and fantasy, and to our eyes the rides and audio anamatronics seem outdated and hardly realistic, but at the time even scientists were floored by the sophisticated techniques created by Disney. One of the original Tomorrowland rides was called Flight to the Moon (which later became Mission to Mars,) and the passengers experienced a simluation of what takeoff and space flight would be like. Disney was not content with generic space flight, but insisted that all the stars outside the windows be actual star charts. He consulted with leading scientists, including Wernher von Braun (the only name I recognized in the list, and only because they mention him in the movie October Sky).

Among some of the most popular attractions today are Star Tours and Space Mountain. Star Tours is hard to explain to someone who's never been on it-your seats move, but you don't actually move, but you feel like you're moving. One of the things I love about Disneyland is that the lines for many of the rides have so much atmosphere. The C3PO pictured above is talking to R2D2, which Disneyland guests can observe as they wait to go on the ride. (Apparantly my mom overheard a guest one year express surprise at the end of the Indiana Jones line because they thought the line itself was the ride.)Space Mountain is a great roller coaster. For those who haven't been back in several years, they've been redoing their old roller coasters to be more smooth and have music that goes along with the rides. I love these vintage posters for Disneyland rides and kind of want to wallpaper my room with them:According to Yesterland, some of the former Tomorrowland rides that did not survive (for obvious reasons) include the Hall of Chemistry, the Hall of Aluminum Fame, and the Bathroom of Tomorrow. One thing that lasted for all of a year but I would seriously love to have gone to was "Fashions and Fabrics Through the Ages."

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