Archive for the 'Tomorrowland' Category
DASA stands for Disney Aeronautics and Space Administration. As I’ve said elsewhere, Space Mountain (Disneyland) opened two days after Star Wars premiered.
Imagine this. It’s Friday morning, May 27, 1977. You wake up and go to school, but it’s not really school anymore: finals are over and graduation is next week. It’s just a party at this point. After classes, you and your friends go straight to the local theater to catch a little movie called Star Wars that opened two days earlier. It looks pretty cool.
Two hours later, your mind forever altered, you go home to change and grab something to eat. You go back to school, get on a bus with your friends, and head to Disneyland, talking about Jedi Knights and summer and college and the wide open future. The park has been taken over by high school seniors: no kids, and only a smattering of chaperones. You’ve got it all to yourself.
There’s a new ride called Space Mountain. It just opened today. You can’t wait.
(Images via Vintage Disneyland Tickets)
I just love the detail on the Space Mountain advertisement. The rocket is going fast enough to get the kids excited, but not fast enough so that the men can’t put their arms around their wives. And space looks like the ocean.
One more ‘coming soon’ ad, this one from the inside cover of the official Disneyland 1976-1977 guidebook. What about that righteous title font? Where has all the style gone?
The culmination of Space Mountain did not commence with the opening ceremonies in 1977…
nor with the first planning meeting of Walt’s in 1964…
nor with the lift-off of the Von Braun/Disney Rocket to the Moon in 1955…
No, the dream of exploring the Universe began centuries ago… with that first human glance up at the stars.
We at Disneyland have attempted to capture that eternal dream. And we hope that you, as our representatives, appreciate and understand that attempt.
When Disneyland was more than an amusement park.
I wish I could find more shots of the mural. There was a beauty in the Starcade as well.
Before it was Mission to Mars it was Flight to the Moon. Before that it was Rocket to the Moon. Now it’s Redd Rockett’s Pizza Court. Today’s Tomorrowland does not make me excited about the future, although it’s still lots of fun. I went a couple of weeks ago and got to ride the refurbished Star Tours. It makes good use of 3D, and there are a number of different flight scenarios you can end up with (I got Hoth!).
Can I do a whole week of outer space-themed posts? We’ll see.
(Images via ATIS547/Flickr)
From Michael at Progress City, U.S.A., who got it from a presentation by Disney Imagineer Dave Fisher in 2010:
Expecting the movie to become a big hit, WED [Walt Disney Imagineering] designed this ride-through shooting gallery based on the robots from the film. When The Black Hole flopped, the idea was adapted for another upcoming sci-fi film, TRON. When that didn’t become a hit either, the concept lay dormant until it was revived as Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.
I guess WED didn’t have any art to refer to, because the robots don’t look anything like the robots in the movie. It doesn’t matter. I’ll still be twice as upset every time I get on the crappy Buzz Lightyear ride that my wife always beats me at. Tron did get a piece of a ride that I loved, the PeopleMover, in 1982. The PeopleMover closed in 1995 and was eventually replaced by the short-lived Rocket Rods.
Check out Michael’s full post for many more ride concepts, including a Uranium mine attraction, with visitors using Geiger counters to locate the radioactive stuff.
(All images vie Progress City, U.S.A.)
Speaking of utopias, Walt Disney managed to build a little one for those who can afford it. In my opinion, it’s being slowly stripped of its initial mission and magic (been on the Submarines lately?), as is the corporation that owns and runs it. Millions disagree with me, as usual.
Most of second-phase Tomorrowland was still intact in 1983. Space Mountain opened on May 27, 1977, two days after Star Wars premiered. What a summer.
See the whole book at Wishbook’s Flickr.
According to the source, AdamConlea, this was taken from “an old video tape of 1977 prime-time TV (KNXT in Los Angeles).” It’s pretty sweet how the passengers get on the rocket car and plunge screaming into space until they’re swallowed by a nebula and disappear forever.
Best ride ever.
Walt Disney, on the 1967 redesign of Tomorrowland, via Paleofuture:
Now, when we opened Disneyland, outer space was Buck Rogers. I did put in a trip to the moon, and I got Wernher von Braun to help me plan the thing. And, of course, we were going up to the moon long before Sputnik. And since then has come Sputnik and then has come our great program in outer space. So I had to tear down my Tomorrowland that I built eleven years ago and rebuild it to keep pace.
The new attractions included the Carousel of Progress, Adventure Thru Inner Space, Flight to the Moon (the name changed to Mission to Mars in the ’70s), and the PeopleMover—all of them gone today.