Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Tomorrowland Construction, 1966

Today I have two more neat photos showing the construction of Disneyland's "New Tomorrowland".

I wish I could get my bearings here; is it possible that the vertical rebar (for columns) is the location of the Rocket Jets and Peoplemover station? I can't think of what else it could be.  Notice the remnants of some old Tomorrowland fa├žades, those walls with the applied "bubbles" in the distance. I think that the large structure with the open side is the "Adventure Thru Inner Space" building, no? 

Panning a bit to the right, we see structures that would be on the opposite side of Tomorrowland's central "avenue" - maybe where Circlevision 360 was? Like the other photos in this batch, there are all kinds of little construction details that I can't decipher. Like the wood framed "ditch" to the right; is that just a place for pipes and other stuff?

And hey, what do you know, they stitched together pretty nicely! One sad detail: right between the buildings, in the extreme distance, you can see a flagpole with the flag at half staff. Walt Disney had passed away on Thursday, December 15th,  just two or three days before these pictures were taken.


Nanook said...


I think, once again, in the first image, in the foreground we're seeing the beginning phases of the Carousel of Progress building. And the building in the 2nd image gives every indication of housing the Circlevision Theater. And I'm thinking the "wood-framed 'ditch' to the right..." is the Tomorrowland Terrace Tunnel.

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, even though they published weeks apart, I'm sure I wrote today's post before the last "Tomorrowland Construction" post had published. And then I didn't check the text! So yes, I agree, we have pretty much established that the structure in the first photo is the Carousel of Progress.

K. Martinez said...

Some come this December 15th, Walt Disney will have been dead for exactly half a century. My how time flies.

It's too bad Tomorrowland didn't look like this today instead of Rivers of America. It'd mean we were getting a new Tomorrowland. I've written that off as not going to happen in my lifetime.

Great unusual set today. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Nanook, I was thinking the same thing about the "wood-framed ditch." I dug up a picture showing the rough layout of the Tomorrowland service tunnel, and it matches up with today's images. That big hole in front of us is probably the beginnings of the basement for the Tomorrowland Terrace.

Patrick Devlin said...

I do love me some construction photos. And I do miss doing construction. There's nothing like the feeling of things changing and getting bigger from day to day.

Anonymous said...

Hello Major, Photo 1 is the exact same vantage as the photos you posted earlier, the columns are those of the Carousel of Progress.

The building beyond is the future Adventure Through Inner Space (now Star Tours). Construction in between is the beginning of the Rocket Jets / People Mover tower.

Photo 2 is taken somewhat to the right and a few steps forward (approximately northwest), showing the open end of the Circarama, being remodeling into America The Beautiful, (now Buzz Lightyear/Store Command). Tomorrowland Terrace is being excavated in the foreground.

I agree with the speculation about the wood framed structure in the foreground, it is temporary formwork for a concrete retaining wall. Thanks to Chuck's map (too cool, many thanks), we know the route of the tunnel between the buildings, so this one appears to be the northerly wall of what will be a "cut-and-cover" tunnel. One wall will be formed and placed, then the other, then the roof. The resulting tunnel will be waterproofed and then buried with backfill. It's the easiest way to build a below-grade structure, but requires a lot of digging, which isn't always possible.

The elaborate framing to the right of the tunnel formwork is supporting the construction wall keeping out the public. The skyway station is above and behind our right shoulder. The panorama is really nice, what a great idea.

Too bad all the vehicles are too far away to figure out makes/models.

SO very sad that Disney didn't live to see all this finished, it really was the coolest Tomorrowland ever.

Thank you, Major for the pics.


Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I know, isn’t that weird to think about? And yes, I’m not holding my breath regarding a new Tomorrowland. Star Wars Land will be the first “E-Ticket” style attractions in over 20 years - will it be that long until the next one?

Chuck, I thought about that service tunnel, but it seemed like it was running in a direction that I did not expect.

Patrick Devlin, what about DEstruction? That’s the most fun!

JG, yes, see my comment to Nanook - I wrote this post long before the other one had published, and never went back to update it. As for the tunnel, clearly the cut and cover method was the way to go, with all of that chaos going on. We’ll have other posts with various trucks for all of you car-crazy folks to ID!

Melissa said...

There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow,
Spring from this pit dug in the dirt,
There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow,
Maybe it's a yurt!

Anonymous said...

Major, it's a fairly common practice in construction progress photos to take them from the same or similar vantages over time so the photos date the progress. Sometimes this is used to assist in substantiating payment to the builders, other times, just a diary for the Owner's future use.

These days, it's common to have a webcam with continuous recording. I have several projects right now doing this.


Mark H. Besotted said...

And, of course, they used that in 1955 too.


Anonymous said...

@Mark, that is wonderful! Thank You!