Friday, January 04, 2019

Nice Tomorrowland

One of my favorite features of old Tomorrowland is the super-oddball "Clock of the World", planted right smack-dab in the center of the walkway as you entered the land. Nobody could miss it! I remember the first time I saw a photo of the clock (in "Disneyland: The First Quarter Century"); My monocle fell out! "This was at Disneyland??".

Dennis the Menace is obviously taken with the Clock too, and who can blame him. In the background is the CIRCARAMA show, sponsored by American Motors. I sure wish we could somehow see the earlier films from the Circarama/Circlevision attraction - especially the earliest, "A Tour of the West" - imagine how awesome it would be to see the West in glorious color from nearly 60 years ago. Even if they just shared the most forward-facing view. Hopefully it exists in the archives somewhere.

Now we've traveled through time to 1964, and forward in space a few hundred feet, turning to look back; the Clock would be just out of frame to our left. Now the Circlevision attraction is sponsored by Bell Telephone Systems (love that logo). Posters for the Flying Saucers and "Art of Animation" can be seen too.


Nanook said...


We can also spy posters for the Autopia, 20,000 Leagues, the Enchanted Tiki Room, and perhaps that tiny sliver on the far left is of Storybook Land. Gotta love those undisturbed, unprotected planter islands-!

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I love the big jigger clock! Somebody mix me a giant martini!

Clear, bright blue skies, fun architecture, adorable happy kids. What's not to love?


Tomorrowland is pretty bland for 1964 standards - and it isn’t gonna make the cut by the time people see ( or see images) of the fantastical architecture of the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair - even standard city architecture is far more bold than that Tomorrowland ; 1964 didn’t just “catch up” with Tomorrowland ..... its shot right past it! But Walt and WED are already working on it as 1964 guest explore the “current” Tomorrowland.

K. Martinez said...

Whenever I see a pic of the "Clock of the World" I'm reminded of the old Proctor & Gamble logo.

I always liked that Bell System logo too and remember seeing that from my early Disneyland visits. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

That giant eye graphic at the entrance to Circarama was foreshadowing the three dimensional version that would turn up across the way in Adventure Thru Inner Space.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, oh believe me, I saw those posters too! It bums me out that something like a nice planter of flowers can’t exist in a park so darn crowded.

Melissa, there’s something so wonderfully kooky about that Clock of the World, even though it really worked. I just love its mid-century aesthetic. And yes, that bright sunny day with the deep blue sky is the best.

Mike Cozart, I know that the old Tomorrow really was bland compared to the 1967 version, and yet I love it so much. I suppose it is a case of looking at it through the haze of nostalgia, but what I wouldn’t give to walk through it - with a good camera and tons of slide film!

K. Martinez, I never thought of it before, but yes, that “man in the moon” definitely resembles the Proctor & Gamble logo. I have a beautiful vintage enamel employee badge from P&G - complete with 13 “satanic” stars!

TokyoMagic!, whenever I see that eye in photos, I associated it with Adventure Thru Inner Space. There’s just something about a giant eyeball!

JG said...

I also always thought the World Clock looked like a cocktail shaker. It certainly isn't an "obvious" design for a clock.

The original Tomorrowland is austere by comparison to what was going on outside and to what came later, reminding me of architect Mies Van Der Rohe adage; "I don't want to be interesting, I want to be good."

Undoubtedly, these designs were affected by the budget shortfall as well as the construction schedule of the original project. To my eye, much of this looks like it was done to get maximum impact from the smallest sums of money and erected in a hurry. Sometimes, constraints can have a positive impact, since we have seen what havoc an (apparently) unlimited budget can wreak in less capable hands (looking at you, Wookie World).

Thanks Major.


JC Shannon said...

The world clock didn't last long, for that matter neither did American Motors. After all they did give the world the Pacer and the Gremlin. So the first pic could be called doomed attractions. In the second scan, I think what jumps out is the lack of guests. The only thing missing is me! I could pull a Bert, and jump into the picture and get a last look at the Moonliner. Then I could try and talk Walt out of a couple of old attraction posters. Wait, did I say all that out loud? Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, there’s something about the shape of the clock that reminds me of those “bowtie” patches in wood tables, or of mid-century houses with “butterfly” roofs. Both are cool things. And yes, the old Tomorrowland was severely hampered by a lack of money, which is why I am willing to cut it some slack. We can see the metal industrial sheds that were the basis of the buildings. Look at what Walt planned when he finally could do Tomorrowland right for 1967! Sadly he didn’t live to see it.

Jonathan, ah, the humble Gremlin. I have a pinback button for the Gremlin that I particularly love. And I’ve often said how much I would love to be able to step into a photo, just like Mary Poppins stepping into a chalk painting. It seems like the Disney folks didn’t put much of a value on those posters at the time - they could have never imagined individual examples fetching $30,000 - and UP.

Nancy said...

It's a sunshine daaaay!! :D