Saturday, October 11, 2014

Is Tomorrowland Dead?

With the swirling rumors over the last couple months of Disneyland's Tomorrowland becoming home to a sort of Star Wars Land instead, it got me thinking: Would this really be so bad? And I don't mean in terms of content and attractions. Hell, that could be a whole other blog post altogether. What I mean is the idea of Tomorrowland. The vision. The heart and soul and various other ways to show emphasis in typed-word. Let's dive into this, head first.

A vista into a world of wondrous ideas, signifying Man's achievement. A step into the future, with predictions of constructed things to come. Tomorrow offers new frontiers in science, adventure and ideals. The Atomic Age, the challenge of Outer Space and the hope for a peaceful, unified world. - Walt Disney

Above is the dedication of Tomorrowland from Disneyland's opening day. That was back when you could find attractions in Tomorrowland such as Monsanto's Hall of Chemistry, The World Beneath Us, the World Clock, and other exhilarating thrill rides. Sarcasm aside, the original Tomorrowland did indeed hold true to Walt's words. 
Ah, the Hall of Chemistry... Why doesn't Monsanto sponsor
more attractions? They seem like a respectable company...

But now look what we have. Autopia is still there. Space Mountain, Star Tours, Captain EO, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, and the best pizza restaurant in all of Tomorrowland! But wait. These are all science fiction! The attractions with a foot somewhat in reality is Autopia (trust me, internal combustion engines will be all the rage one day, just give them time) and Space Mountain with its generic view of space travel, albeit to a kick ass soundtrack! There's also Innoventions, but hold that thought. We'll get to that in a bit.

So what the hell? Where's my science in Tomorrowland? Where's my predictions and achievements? Why the hell is there an attraction from 1955 in TOMORROWland? Well, I hate to be the one to break the bad news to you, but it isn't there.
This just isn't the future anymore. 

The thing is, we now live in a world of corporate ideas and the rampant speed of technology. First, the tech companies don't want to show off their ground breaking tech anymore, probably for fear of someone else seeing it and deciding there's a way to make it cheaper and faster and serve cake on the side. They keep that shit under wraps until it's almost ready to be sold. 

Second of all, with the speed of technology nowadays, no matter what a company put in Tomorrowland to be showcased, it would be obsolete very quickly. Maybe even before the exhibit opened. I remember walking into Innoventions (a mistake on my part) and seeing a bay of the original Xbox set up to play. Which was weird because I had an Xbox 360 at home. That was when Tomorrowland died a little in my heart.

I'm pretty sure even Disney knows it can't keep up with Tomorrow. Innoventions is slowly turning into a Marvel meet n' greet, Honey I Shrunk the Audience got reverted back to a movie from the 1980's (going backwards is actually the exact opposite of stepping towards tomorrow) and the Astro Orbitor got docked on the ground instead of up in the sky where it belongs.
Grounded rockets. That makes sense.

Do I hate Tomorrowland? No, I love it. Star Tours and Space Mountain remain some of my all-time favorite rides. I'm just ready to let go of the idea of "Tomorrow," especially since we haven't had it for over a decade or more. If Tomorrowland ever became Star Wars Land or even just Space Port Land (they'll have to work on that title) I wouldn't complain, as long as it all meshed together in an awesome cohesive theme. 

Of course, now that there is a Tomorrowland movie coming out, I'm going to do a Babe-Ruth-Pointing-to-Left-Field moment: Disney is sitting on Tomorrowland to see if the movie is a hit. If it is, the land will be remade after the movie while Star Wars and Marvel will be saved for Disneyland's third park. If the movie is a hit. Fortunately, no one really knows what the movie is even about yet, so... Tune in next May!

Coming up next, Josh takes the stand with a counter-argument,

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