Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Tomorrowland Part 1: A Brave "New" World

I've heard rumors that Tomorrowland may be revamped in the next few years. To which I say great!! There are some large issues as to the basic idea of Tomorrowland to be addressed first, specific ideas will be covered later.

It's obvious that Tomorrowland it isn't so Tomorrow-ish anymore. But that's only part of the issue if you ask me. When Tomorrowland was re-done a few years back, it was changed with a style that wasn't aimed at being futuristic. It was modified with what, to me, is an antiquated view of the future. Sort of what the 1800's thought the future would be like. A weird mix of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and a Steampunk type wanna-be future. This new antiquated industrial style seems to have been integrated into the Tomorrowland of Florida even more than in California. I actually like this style and think it has huge potential in the Disney parks- just not as "Tomorrowland."

I don't know why this has happened exactly. Maybe it was easier to make it feel older and logistically more beneficial requiring little or no updating over time. The theming of the parks is usually based off of a historical period or fantasy with a specific geographical flavor. Maybe the rut of that mindset crept in some how. But I don't think that was what Tomorrowland was originally intended to be like. So if it is to be redone to any extent let's get "back to the future."

The first step: change the overall feel of the land. At present it is a jumble of buildings and styles that have no harmony, visually or practically. Tomorrowland needs to have a presence so that it's not just "the land that has SpaceMountian in it," but a place that offers an exciting vision of the future. Besides the updating of the buildings a simplification to the layout of the whole land is drastically needed.

It should be redesigned to have a main thoroughfare with a clear line of site leading to a center of interest, similar to MainStreet with the castle at the end. This "main drag" leading to the focal point can house existing attractions, with new exteriors, and use them to support the focus into the land. The focal point at the end could be a futuristic "Times Square-ish" hub that houses a new Innoventions and various restaurants, shops and new attractions that would need a new home. In addition to those large scale ideas here is a short, and hopefully obvious, laundry list of things that would make Tomorrowland better:

-Rockets/PeopleMover "hub thing": Remove it. Apart from the shade it provides, all it's doing is hogging up vital space with no return.

-StarTours & Innoventions: New buildings and a total redo of attractions. For Star Tours new ride technology and new theme based on the more recent films.

-Starcade: A sleek new building and update it with games from the 21st century. A StarWars shooting gallery would be nice too?

-Don't Add Test Track! I know it's tempting but don't do it. Besides the fact that it's starting to look dated already, most people only go on it for the big outdoor G-pulling turns. There are better ways of doing a car based thrill ride in Tomorrowland.

-Wall E: Don't wait to see what it does at the box office, just let the guys at Pixar make a cool ride and put it in!

All the lands of Disneyland transport us into the past to some degree, but Tomorrowland was specifically meant to inspire us to look forward "savoring the challenge and promise of the future." If changes are in store for Tomorrowland I hope the mind set of it being truly futuristic and optimistic change as well.

No comments: