Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tomorrowland Entrance, August 1967

Here are two scans showing the brand new "New Tomorrowland", which officially debuted on July 18th, 1967, although various attractions opened a few weeks before that date (akin to a "soft opening" I suppose). If I had to put money on it, I'd bet that today's photos were taken in June. Date-stamp be damned!

There it is, the gleaming, bright and shiny update of Tomorrowland! What a place. I love those metallic "portals" flanking the entrance (one with the Bell Systems logo, the other with the Monsanto logo). Rolly Crump designed the swirling flower beds. The Peoplemover appears to be non-operational at this point (there are no passengers, at any rate - maybe they were cycling the vehicles through), and it's opening date was July 2nd. There's no line outside of "Adventure Thru Inner Space" - that one didn't open until August 5th.

Hello, Fun Mom! She's sporting the flowered kupe'e on her wrist, given to her over at the Tahitian Terrace (thanks to "anon" for that info). Blue Peoplemover trains have been replaced with red ones, so I guess they were moving, in spite of the fact that they were empty. I wish I could experience that Tomorrowland just as it was in the summer of '67.


Melissa said...

The best of the old future. Look at those clean lines and all that movement; it's hard not to imagine a great big, beautiful tomorrow in that setting.

I would totally wear that yellow print dress and hat right now. Cool and sunny.

Fun Mom's looking a bit tired; I wonder if this is the afternoon of a full day? Somebody get her a cold Dole Whip and a seat in the shade, stat!

Nanook said...

What's not to like about this setting-? If it ain't broke...

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Beautiful! And then they went and ruined it all....or the majority of it, anyway. I hope fun mom and her family were able to experience the Carousel of Progress that day! Best. Attraction. Ever.

Nancy said...

Sunny and bright!!!! Three Peoplemover trains AND I believe a monorail possibly hiding there behind the Peoplemover track near the rocket. I am so in luv with this picture.....I'll be smiling all day!

A vintage stroller is always fun to see. Mom looks ready for a fun visit to the future!

So many thanks for today's views!! :D

K. Martinez said...

I wonder who thought removing those beautiful swirling flower beds was an improvement? It never ceases to amaze me that the company that bears the Disney name could be responsible for the ruination of this wonderfully fantastic creation known as Tomorrowland. Walt Disney's optimistic vision of the future has certainly been abandoned over time.

Nice sunshiny pics today. Thanks, Major.

JC Shannon said...

Major, I too would like a "Wayback Machine" to see the last great renovation of Tomorrowland. Walt's dream of the future was indeed optimistic and forward thinking. Ironic that the best post- Walt imagineers could come up with was retro steampunk ugly. I instantly knew it was gonna be a good day when I saw Fun Mom. These photos are great. Thank you Major.

Stefano said...

Is that Fun Mom's silhouette on the extreme right of the first picture? If Fun Family rode the Horse-drawn Steetcar to the Hub, there is no question which land they would hasten to first. Thank you, Major, looking at these I can still hear that announcer --"Go, Go, Goodyear!"--and the future seems hopeful again.

zach said...

I loved that Tomorrowland. A veritable WAVE of nostalgia just rolled over me! Great scans! 'Gleaming, bright and shiny' for sure. Good people watching, too. If flower print lady fell in the planters she might be lost for hours.

Good find, Major,


Tom said...

Beautiful! That entrance just *looks* like tomorrow. That design was the kind of weenie that Disney would endorse, something that beckons the user to walk in and behold. Color, lines, movement... it's all there. Glorious!

Stefano said...

JC Shannon, I just saw your comment from yesterday's post: I'm one of those film buffs who only go to theatrical screenings, and I have yet to see "South Pacific". In the LA area, there have been screenings recently of gorgeous nitrate Technicolor prints of "Black Narcissus" and "Leave Her to Heaven". I agree with you on the Major's restoration skills, he's right up there with the UCLA Film Archive in that respect.

Just thought of another movie in good Metrocolor, the 1961 Bob Hope vehicle "Bachelor in Paradise", in which Hope describes a house in a new suburb as being decorated in "early Disneyland".

Matthew said...

Couldn't agree more with everyone's comments. The only addition I will make is to call out our American Flag that stands at the entrance to Tomorrowland. I truly like seeing it there. They took it down as part of the Star Tours grand opening... never to replace it. "To all who come tho this happy place... and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and hard facts that have created America..."

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Patrick Devlin said...

Lovely pics of a lovely time. There are some pangs of nostalgia but I do love seeing views of this era.

Nanook said...

@ Stefano-

I can still remember seeing South Pacific at the Egyptian Theatre in 1958, and also remember a set-up of a home stereo system in the lobby - as stereo records were less than a year old at that time.

I don't know what nitrate prints of both of those titles are still around, but in both cases I had the pleasure of projecting them on more than one occasion back in the 80's & 90's. What a thrill.

(Thank you, Marvin Davis, for 'cleaning house' at Fox by destroying so many original elements of so many great films - including Leave Her to Heaven - often considered Fox's crowning achievement in the use of Technicolor).

Anonymous said...

The best T-land of them all. If I could only crawl into the first picture and spend the day. It's a testament of Walt's vision for the future as he had oversight of the design before he left us in Dec 1966. KS

K. Martinez said...

@Nanook, "Leave Her to Heaven" is one of my favorite Gene Tierney films and is incredible looking in Technicolor. Really Great film!

This comment has been removed by the author.

Disneyland had two major Tomorrowland redos put on the back-burner before they finally went thru with the Tomorrowland ‘98 “crap sandwich”
The first was nick-named “Epcot Tomorrowland” by WED since it would have featured some variations of Epcot’s Future World attractions. Imagineer San McKim did concepts for this project. Small elements of this did come to Tomorrowland - the multi-film World Premiere Circle-Vision , and 3-D MAGIC JOURNEYS . This Tomorrowland overhaul set to be completed in 1987/88 was divirted by Capt’n’ EO and Star Tours. Much of this styling would have continued the Star Tours exterior finishing/and Magic Eye theater murals . Eisner killed that Tomorrowland and wanted something with more “fantasy” opposed to the more realistic Epcot style Future World type attractions. the Temple attraction was being designed with a small Adventureland overhaul to accomadate guests while the New Tomorrowland was to be constructed.

The halted “EPCOT Tomorrowland” was re-evaluated and went in a Space Fantasy direction becoming the TOMORROWLAND 1955 -Spaceport Disneyland. This project design was so far along that even the steel was cut for the secondary “skywalks” creating a complete secondary Tomorrowland. Up untill about a decade ago this Tomorrowland 2055 steel was laying in piles in a Irvine company’s lot. Eisner Again was not impressed with Tomorrowland 2055 idea .....
By then a good deal of Tomorrowland 2055 budget had been used up on Fantasmic and TOONTOWN projects .Tomorrowland continued to decayed untill TACOBELL TOMORROWLAND of 1998. Even a decayed 1960’s-1970’s Tomorrowland was better than the Tomorrowland 1998.

Imagineer John Hench was disgusted with the placement of the Astro-Orbiter jammed in the entrance of the “land” as well as the horrible guest flow for the clunky rocket Rods - he said it was like walking guests thru the middle of a movie theater then taking them into the basement for a tour of the sewer then making them crawl out of a hole to board the Rocket Rods.

Despite that Tomorrowland 1967 was for Disneyland , it was designed like a real architectural project- the art, murals , landscaping guest flow and with such a high quality that 50 years later guests still rave about it.

Stefano said...

It seems appropriate that Tomorrowland '67 debuted during the Summer of Love --- over half a century later we're all still feeling that emotion for it.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Ditto to just about every comment here. I wish they would hurry up and make that virtual reality ride with 67' Tomorrowland programmed in it. Then they can see how popular it wasn't (ha ha) when the line is a mile long.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, it really was the best! I miss it so much. Judging by the deep blue sky, I’ll bet it was a very warm day, which will take the starch out of just about anybody.

Nanook, Amen!

TokyoMagic!, is “Carousel of Progress” your favorite attraction? You probably said so before, but somehow I didn’t know.

Nancy, I don’t think we can see the Monorail from this angle, but we know it’s back there somewhere. I think that the stroller with the blue top is one of the park rentals.

K. Martinez, those flowers didn’t increase revenues or bring people to the park. Get rid of them! If only they could have put in stores that sell plush dolls right there.

Jonathan, maybe I’m mistaken, but it seems like there should have been a way to do a Jules Verne-inspired Tomorrowland redo without it becoming too brown and ugly. Perhaps they should have done something a little more contemporary, such as the sci-fi look from the 30’s and 40’s.

Stafano, yes, that’s her on the Streetcar! I would have gone to Tomorrowland first as well.

David Zacher, I think one of the things that makes the ’67 Tomorrowland seem timeless is that it didn’t have lots of rides that were tied in to movie properties. Those days are gone, I guess.

Tom, yep, the Imagineers of those days sure knew what they were doing. The vehicles running on elevated tracks (Monorail, Peoplemover) really added to the feeling that this was not like our current world.

Stafano… ha ha, I have nothing to add, because this is a subject I know nothing about.

Matthew, jeez, I never realized that they removed the flag from Tomorrowland’s entrance! Shows how much attention I am paying. I wonder what the rationale was? Did they feel like it didn’t fit in with the “future” theme? If so, that would be ironic, considering how the themes are being watered down more and more every day.

Patrick Devlin, I have a few other Tomorrowland beauties for you coming up!

Nanook, KS, K, Martinez, ack, more film stuff I can’t comment on.

Mike Cozart, hm, I’m not sure I ever heard about the “Epcot Tomorrowland”. Or if I have, I’ve forgotten about it! I have read some stuff about “Tomorrowland 2055”, though I don’t recall much of it getting me very excited. Maybe I needed to learn more about it. I love John Hench’s comment on the Astro Orbiter (which I don’t hate that much, but it isn’t a patch on the old Rocket Jets).

Stefano, Disneyland was in such a “bubble” that you don’t sense much of the hippie movement going on elsewhere, except for the bright colors and patterns on women’s clothing, perhaps.

Alonzo, I’m sure that there will be a day when a VR 1967 Tomorrowland will be possible. Imagine “walking” around, turning to look in any direction, stepping into the entry to “Adventure Thru Inner Space”, etc. It would be incredible!

Dean Finder said...

I've only been on WDW's Peoplemover, which has no elevation changes. For a brief second looking at the first picture, I thought, "I'd like to ride up and down the hills if I ever make it out to Disneyland" and then I remembered that they killed this ride.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, yes, the Carousel of Progress was my favorite attraction as a child and it still is today....but the 1967 Disneyland version of it.....not any of the WDW versions because when they moved it to WDW, they ruined both COP and Progress City.

I imagine if those planters had managed to survive the 1998 redo, then they would just now be ripping them out, along with all the other planters in the park that they have recently been removing.

I just saw the current issue of "The Disneyland Line" (a cast member magazine) today. It has an article commemorating the 20th anniversary of Tomorrowland '98. They talk about it like it was the most wonderful thing in the world. They even mention the Rocket Rods.....a ride that only lasted 28 months. Sad. Disney just loves to toot their own horn, but this is something that they should instead be ashamed of.


Major: “ Epcot” Tomorrowland wasn’t an official name like TOMORROWLAND 2055 was. Imagineers refered to the project as “Epcot Tomorrowland” because of the amount of Epcot’s Future World design elements that were going to be included. One was the giant crystalline towers that were abonded for Epcot’s THE LAND PAVILION - Disneyland’s glass towers would have encased the Rocket Jets ( at one point this glass tower was even proposed for a later version of Discovery Bay. I believe the E TICKET MAGAZINE issue that covered Sam McKim shows his pencil layout for his concept painting for this project ( I think the painting was titlled TOMORROWLAND VENTURE PORT. Disneyland’s Carousel theater was planed to become a theater version of HORIZONS - all the theaters being variations on the “Looking Back at Tomorrow” segment of Horizons then a scaled down second half featuring “Tomorrow’s Windows” other elements included new WEDWAY PEOPLEMOVER designs - a “undersea visitors center” guests would exit the submarine voyage and ascend back to the surface in Hydrolators ala THE LIVING SEAS. The upper level of the Carousel of progress was proposed to become THE OBSERVATORY - a rotating restaurant just like The Good Turn Restaurant at EPCOT’s THE LAND PAVILION . What was cool about this is guests would get a rotating panoramic view of all the Tomorrowland activity - except when the view was of backstage -a this point guests would see a Future City done with models and projects using almost adentical show elements from the future city finale of Epcot’s WORLD OF MOTION. The giant rotating-changing Square preshow mural system used inside THE UNIVERSE IF ENERGY was to be used at Disneyland and even IMAGINATIONS “leap frog fountains” were to be added to Tomorrowland . A simulator attraction was being developed for this Tomorrowland as well - this was themed as a future vacation center where you could sample different areas of the world that included skiing , a speedboat - ( this became Star Tours) Wonders of China and Magic Journeys were the only EPCOT attractions to actually ever make an appearance in Tomirrowland. It’s interesting that even a updated 1980’s version of IF YOU HAD WINGS was proposed for PSA airlines with a sister version to be built for Tokyo Disneyland! I don’t know where the Disneyland version was proposed to go, but the Tokyo version was planned for Japan Airlines locates between MEET THE WORLD and a massive arcade/amphitheater . This is what “Epcot” Tomorrowland was.

Anonymous said...

Epic photos. Like so many other commenters, I want to just walk into this first picture.

No question that the 1998 re-do was a colossal mistake in almost every way. I can't think of a single thing that was improved by it, and almost everything was somehow damaged or made worse. That's a pretty impressive track record for a remodeling.

The future is a hard thing to envision, but changing stuff just for the sake of changing it is not a sensible way to proceed.

I miss this so much.

Thanks Major, and the comment community.