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Disneyland Article
Todays Future
Cal Jones
During the rush of getting the Park constructed, "Tomorrowland" was the last land finished. Budget cuts didn't allow all of its attractions to be opened that first day. One of those cuts was to use the "Nautilus" sets from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" as a walk-through. When it closed in 1966, the organ belonging to Captain Nemo was moved to the ballroom of the "Haunted Mansion." For the first four years, "The Land" was mostly open space and used for corporations as a showcase, which Walt didn't particularly care for.

"The Land" was supposed to represent what the future would look like in 1986. The showpiece was the "TWA Moonliner." It was eight feet taller than "Sleeping Beauty Castle," at 76 feet tall. "The Moonliner" was the show building for "Rocket to the Moon," and riders entered under the "Clock of the World." Other attractions included "Circarama," showing movies on nine screens; "Space Station X-1," which showed a satellite view of America; and the "Monsanto Hall of Chemistry," a walk through. "Autopia" has been open for as long as the park has and has been modified and rebuilt several times. It was a preview of the National Interstate System that would be built soon enough.

In 1956, "Skyway to Fantasyland" and "AstroJets" opened. Those two rides required a D- and C-ticket coupon. Up until 1982, most attractions needed a coupon with a designated letter. A-ticket attractions were small or unpopular, such as the "Omnibus" on "Main Street" or the "King Arthur Carousel." B-ticket attractions were popular or exciting like the "Casey Jr. Circus Train" and "Alice in Wonderland". C-tickets were most popular, like "Mad Tea Party" and "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride." When the D-ticket was introduced in 1956, most of the Cs got upgraded to D, including "Jungle Cruise".

June, 1959 saw the park's first major expansion. Rides like the "Submarine Voyage" and, one of my personal favorites, "Matterhorn Bobsleds" were E-ticket. "E-ticket ride" has entered the vernacular of many to refer to something exciting, like a space shuttle launch, as described by astronaut Sally Ride. "Adventure Thru Inner Space" and "Carousel of Progress" were free. The coupons were phased out completely in 1982 because Six Flags allowed unlimited attractions for the additional fee.

In the 1960s, Imagineers decided to rebuild "Tomorrowland" from scratch, billing it as "Tomorrowland on the Move." "Carousel of Progress," "Adventure Thru Inner Space," and the "PeopleMover" helped with the theme. In 1973, the "Carousel of Progress" was moved to Florida and the vacant theater became home to "America Sings" for the American Bicentennial.

1975 was the start of construction of a "Space Port" attraction. It would open as "Space Mountain" in 1977. The "SuperSpeed Tunnel" was added to the "PeopleMover" as the trains were exiting the theater.

Two more attractions were added in 1986: "Star Tours" and "Captain EO," a motion simulator and a 3-D show. It would remain mostly as-is for the next decade, apart from the "Skyway" closing in 1994.

The incarnation of "New Tomorrowland" opened in 1998 based on Discoveryland in the Paris Park. The "Land" was painted bronze, gold, dark brown, and green for the retro-futurist concept in Paris. "Rocket Rods" used the "PeopleMover" track. It was a fast paced ride on a slow paced track. The amount of slowing down for the unbanked turns and speeding up the straightaways did a number on the computer systems, so it just about spent more time down than up. It closed about three years later. When the thing worked, it was good fun. "Captain EO" became "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" and "Mission to Mars" (which had replaced "Rocket to the Moon") became "Redd Rocket's Pizza Port." "Rocket Jets" was redressed as the "Observatron," a moving sculpture. The "Astro Orbitor" is similar to the "Jets" and is placed at the "Land's" entrance.

In 2003, the new president of the Disneyland Resort decided to make some changes to the cost cutting trends. "Space Mountain" was closed for two years to completely replace the track and paint the outside of the building white.

For the Park's "Happiest Homecoming on Earth," "Tomorrowland's" paint scheme went back to what it was in 1967: blue, white and silver with some gold and bronze remaining, mostly on the "Astro Orbitor" until 2009.

"Captain EO" was revived the year following Michael Jackson's 2009 death and stayed until 2014. Now, the "Magic Eye Theatre" is used for previews of films. When I went there for the Diamond Celebration, it was for the movie "Tomorrowland".

"Tomorrowland" is currently in the "Season of the Force" for the new Star Wars film. There's an exhibition of artwork and other materials, an update of the "Jedi Training Academy," the 2011 update of "Star Tours -- the Adventures Continue," and "Hyperspace Mountain."

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