Friday, February 17, 2012

Tomorrowland, June 1968

Oh yeah, it's the New Tomorrowland in all its glory!

There's the Carousel Theater, still showing the "Carousel of Progress". It seems strange to me that the COP was only at Disneyland for about 6 years before being moved to Florida. Anyway, I still think that the concept of the Carousel Theater, in which the audience revolved around a central stage, is especially brilliant. Notice all of the folks heading down from the 2nd level, where they just got a gander at the giant model of Progress City, which should be fully restored and displayed somewhere in Disneyland's Tomorrowland! That's right, I'm controversial and don't care who knows it.

Here's a shot taken from that second level, looking down upon the Autopia, while a bright yellow Skyway bucket has just been launched from its station. The Peoplemover track curves across the frame, but no vehicles are to be seen. Boooo! Love that sign - "Richfield Imperial BORON!". And let us not ignore humble Tomorrowland Station, the little station that could.


TokyoMagic! said...

Such a beautiful building...too bad they bastardized it in the 1998 Tomorrowland remodel.


Man I would love to go back and visit this place and time........if even for just a few hours........(..with a digital camera too!!!!)

Melissa said...

I remember when we rose up to overthrow the Boron Emperor. There was dancing in the streets!

SundayNight said...

I love these pictures. I’m with you Major. Restore Progress City now! With all the lighting effects and the original music and narration! Remember the jet that flew across the sky (done with just a little light projection)? COP was a great attraction and I miss it. I like all the Disneyland train stations but the Tomorrowland station seemed always less crowded and was one of my favorites. I think it was sort of hard to find unless you were looking for it. Standing at that station I always felt at one of the farthermost edges of Disneyland.

JG said...

Beautiful pictures of the future of my past...thank you Major.

The Tomorrowland station is one of my favorites too. I enjoy the '50's style metal framing that has survived, reminiscent of the old DL Hotel, now demolished.

I remember being kind of tired of the COP and not missing it until years later. Sorry, but Innoventions is really weak. I guess we are now so hardened to technology promises that never come to pass that the notion just doesn't sparkle anymore.

But I could have stared at that model city for hours. That and many other aspects of Disneyland were instrumental in my choice of career. It's not Disney's fault that it became a stupid choice.

I still love architecture, but the world no longer does. it only loves strip malls and Disney Stores.


walterworld said...

Gorgeous shots both!

Agree with the others on the Tomorrowland Railroad Station. At night you can see light leaking in from Harbor Blvd, so it does feel like you're on the 'outskirts'.

Always loved those original exposed steel I-beams with the holes cut out. So modern. Let's hope they never replace it.

David said...

While I kind of like today's look to the place (maybe a bit garish), the one in the past is just plain old bland. Of course, I would have been only five when these pics were taken, and can't appreciate the simplicity of it, I guess.

But seeing the people mover once again reminded me of what I lost by not growing up in SoCal.

Still, making up for it these days!

Major Pepperidge said...

TM!, the funny thing is, folks in Florida who have never known anything else prefer their show over the original. Just goes to show you....

Mike, ME TOO!

Melissa, yes, that was one of those moments, like Woodstock or the moon landing!

SundayNight, I didn't know about the little jet, but MAN, I would love to see that model; really, it was a representation of Walt's EPCOT dream, and needs to come back.

JG, I fear that if the original COP came back, it would be like Captain EO. Popular for a few months, and then the crowds would wane. It's a relic of a different time, and as much as I love it, I am not sure that today's audiences would give a hoot.

Walterworld, I can't remember the last time I rode the train at night, so i was not aware that light from Harbor Blvd. came in to Tomorrowland Station. It wouldn't bother me a bit.

David, believe me, if you could have seen the old Tomorrowland with the Rocket Jets spinning up on their elevated platform, the Peoplemover constantly moving, the Skyway gliding overhead, along with the Monorail, Subs, and Autopia, you would not have thought it to be bland. It really was "a world on the move".

Connie Moreno said...

*heavy sigh*

Why, why, why can't we time travel yet?

By the way, am I the only one that HATES the new 2 word security system?

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I forgot to mention that Florida does have part of the Progress City model, but it can only be seen while riding their PeopleMover. Unfortunately, it's just a section of it....I'm guessing they scrapped the rest of the model when they moved it there. And even that portion that still exists seems kind of sparse, like they took out some of the buildings and landscaping. It's sad, I tell ya!

Nancy said...

gorgeous yellow Skyway car...YAY!!

and I am in complete agreement with everyone, why cant they leave GREAT enough alone!!! who do they poll to find out what changes to make, b/c I think its definitely the wrong people!?!

Major Pepperidge said...

Connie, how do you know that they HAVEN'T perfected time travel??!?!?!?!

TM!, I know that there is a segment of the old Progress City model; there was a blog or web page in which an imagineer said that he was hired to restore the model and then they canceled the project. It really does deserve restoration, and it NEEDS to be at Disneyland.

Nancy, I sometimes wonder if people are just more critical than they used to be, or are today's designers just unable to make satisfying attractions.

Omnispace said...

Major, I thought it would be interesting to restore the Progress City model and have it as the finale of a show at Epcot, in a newly revamped Communicore. After all, it's very close to where EPCOT the city was to be built.

That being said, I would give anything to ride the Speedramp up to the second level of the carousel theater and to once more see the model in it's original location. Seeing that model and then stepping out onto the balcony to see a functioning futuristic Tomorrowland made one believe that almost anything was possible.

Anonymous said...

At least I can close my eyes and listen to the audio from COP and recall the video from memory.