Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tokyo Tomorrowland

Once again, it's back to my favorite land.....Tomorrowland, but not Anaheim's this time. The shot above is of Tokyo Disneyland's Tomorrowland entrance. The spires resemble Walt Disney World's original Tomorrowland entrance before it was destroyed in a bad remodel job in the 90's.

Below is a shot of Tokyo Disneyland's Star Jets. They still have the "Apollo Rocket" motif complete with the "gantry lift" elevators. I love the design of the platform and supporting structure. It is very reminiscent of Anaheim's Rocket Jet platform (before it was bastardized). There is even a snack bar at it's base. Anaheim used to have the Space Bar below theirs (later named The Lunching Pad, then it was Radio Disney's Headquarters and now it's the TomorrowLanding Shop).

Long live these classic Tomorrowland structures!!! I hope they never try to "improve" upon them.

Tokyo Dumbo

Tokyo's Dumbo attraction has almost the same design as Disneyland's first Dumbo ride. It is the last park to still have this version. There is no water below. There is no "kinetic" structure at it's center. Timothy Mouse still stands proud on a mirrored ball, smiling with glee as he leans forward to "whip" the team of flying elephants below him. How un-PC is that? I'm hoping that Tokyo never updates this attraction! Okay, they can take away Timothy's whip and give him the more politically correct "magic crow's feather", but please don't take away his disco ball!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tomorrowland 1970 - A World Still On The Move (Not Static Yet)


Today, it's back to my favorite version of my favorite land......the original "New" Tomorrowland. This shot was taken by my dad in Spring of 1970. I wish he had taken more pictures of Tomorrowland, but I am glad to have the shots that he did take. I love this one because it shows the water fountains at the entrance. Unfortunately, I don't remember those amoeboid bowls ever operating as fountains. I only remember them after they were converted into planters. I also love how the silver panels at the entrance shine in this photo as if they were brand new (they were 3 years old). While I'm glad those panels were retained in the 1998 redo, I have hated their newer colors (copper in 1998, replaced later by the dull gray/silver of today).

If you look closely in this pic, you can see the Carousel of Progress (my favorite attraction) in the distance. And if you look even closer, you can also see the diamond shaped display boxes on poles located on either side of the People Mover Speedramp. Does anyone else remember these? They were advertisements for Goodyear products. I would love to see close up shots of them sometime. Someone out there must have photographs of them. I can't remember too many specifics, I just remember that they contained simple animated cutouts of people using different Goodyear products. I have seen photos of similar Monsanto displays that were at the unloading area of Adventure Thru Inner Space in it's earlier years of operation.

Okay Disney, enough is enough! Bring back the Tomorrowland facades of 1967! I have absolutely no faith that you could ever improve upon such a classic design. You tried once, and failed miserably. Even your attempts to "paint out" your mistakes have failed....although I must admit that it is no longer quite as painful on the eyes. But why did you stop? There are still areas in Tomorrowland that are painted brown, gold and copper and they stick out like a sore thumb. Bring back/uncover/restore or recreate Mary Blair's wonderful murals! What took their place isn't art, it's the equivalent of a freeway billboard. Bring back the People Mover! How many times does it have to be said? And stop taking out classic Disneyland attractions! It has been proven over and over that you can't replace them with anything better..... Electrical Parade/Light Magic.....People Mover/Rocket Rods.....Country Bear Jamboree/Winnie the Pooh......Carousel Theater/Innoventions.....Rocket Jets/Astro Orbitor.....Enchanted Tiki Room/Tiki Room - Under New Management. Do I need to list more? I've got more! Okay, I'll stop now.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Burn baby, burn!

Okay, I'm not a pyromaniac, but I am a big Tokyo Disneyland fan. The shot above is of Tokyo Disneyland's burning cabin and yes, their cabin still burns! It can be seen while riding on the Mark Twain Riverboat, the Beaver Brothers Explorer Canoes and the Western River Railroad attractions. This photo was taken while riding the Western River Railroad.

Why doesn't Anaheim's cabin have some sort of "burning" effect? Would it be that difficult to recreate one? Would it cost THAT much? And yes, Disneyland should be a museum!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tomorrowland '67 - "A World On The Move"

That was the catchphrase for the "new" Tomorrowland of 1967 (my favorite "land" for many years). The current Tommorrowland's catchphrase when it opened in 1998 was, "Imagination And Beyond!" Personally, I would add "Lack Of " to that phrase. Not much moves in the heart of Tomorowland today. There is nothing moving on the old People Mover track. Nothing exciting moves on a regular basis on top of the former Rocket Jet platform. The Carousel Theater building has been turning for the past 10 years (after remaining static for 10 years before that), but it's movement is nothing but a very cruel tease since there is no longer a revolving theater show or any type of real attraction inside.....only exhibits to try to get you to purchase one of it's sponsor's products. Are you looking for the Skyway gondolas that used to cross overhead? Sorry, those were removed 4 years prior to the reopening of this exciting new Tomorrowland. Oh wait, look....there's something moving over there on the ground. What is it? It''s...a giant wet marble!!!! As Mickey says at the end of Fantasmic, "Some imagination, huh?"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow....

This is my favorite scene from my favorite Disneyland attraction. Unfortunately, this scene was not recreated when the Carousel of Progress was packed up and moved to Walt Disney World in the mid-seventies. Note the Siamese cat on the pillow next to "Mother" (also the nose of the dog which is cut out of the picture on the far left.) Outside the window is Progress City or EPCOT (yes, EPCOT was originally supposed to be a real city with real people living in it).
This shot is from a slide and it didn't turn out exactly as I was hoping it would. It's original color had turned quite a bit over the years and I am still figuring out the best way to scan slides and restore their color. I welcome any expert advice. Thanks!