Before we continue our Armchair re-Imagineering of Walt Disney World’s current Tomorrowland, here’s an old photo of the pre-1994 entrance as seen from the hub. Please note the complete and utter absence of any signage painfully pointing out what is clearly understood by everyone: “You are about to enter the section of the park we call TOMORROWLAND (bring your wallet)”.
Also, just so we’re all on the same page, this is the exact area I was talking about in my last blog entry. A quick search using Bing’s maps produces this great aerial shot with the castle moat drained.
All of the cement makes it a lot easier to visualize a replacement structure. Even retaining a portion of the island as a green space between the moat and future structure… there is a lot of open real estate! Certainly plenty of room for the observatory I described.
Moving beyond the observatory we come face-to-face with one of the most visible problems with Tomorrowland’s current state: the overabundance of… well, EVERYTHING! There’s not a clean line to be found. Apparently, Disney’s vision of the future is clutter.
Let me illustrate what I mean. Below are two pictures of the same building. One is obviously from the late 70s while the other is much more recent; identical spot but taken from opposite angles. You tell me which one presents a more idealistic version of “tomorrow”.
So, the next thing Disney should improve is the overall colors, theming and transitions in and out of this area of the Magic Kingdom. I propose dark blues, grays, and bronze. Return to a sense of order – clean lines and less hodgepodge.
Less “frantic kinetic energy” and more sense of purpose. The minimalist movement is pretty huge thanks in no small part to Disney’s business partner and friend, Apple. In fact, I’d say the most forward thinking and “futuristic” thing right now is probably Apple’s new spaceship campus. It’s sleek, sustainable, clean, and absolutely brilliant.
Plus, there are trees (real trees) everywhere!
Who at Disney decided the future needed to look like a giant expanse of concrete and sheet metal?!
Tomorrowland itself could be split into two subtle areas in progressive timeline; with the area between the Astro Obriter and Space Mountain acting as the central area of the most futuristic theme (makes sense – rocket travel). From there the theme should slowly transition toward turn of the century or fantasy, depending on which direction you are headed. In other words, as you make your way back toward the park’s main hub the themeing should make it feel as though you are traveling back in time. As you head toward Fantasyland you should begin to see more characters (Buzz, Stitch, Etc).
I understand Disney’s desire to fill their lands with all manner of relevant material. I don’t completely agree with it… but I understand the general idea behind putting Woody the Cowboy in Frontierland and Stich in Tomorrowland. If you ask me, animated character’s should be only found in Fantasyland… but that’s a topic for another blog. But if Disney must – and it appears they do – then let’s limit those areas of interaction.
For instance, why was my child able to meet Stitch outside the Carousel of Progress? If there’s a connection between the two, it’s lost on me.
And speaking of the Carousel… come back next time to read my grand schemes for that piece of history.