More on the Future (or Tomorrowland)

Posted by jwsadmin on May 10, 2015

This came from a FB discussion about what Disney attractions should be removed (being either stale, unpopular, or annoying - lots of calls for Dinorama, of course. I hold little interest in Avatarland and continue to think Disney would be better off promoting conservation by using their North and South American properties (Bambi, Brother Bear, and Up - imagine perhaps a coaster or dark ride based on escaping from the Forest Fire?). In any case, the constant call for removing the modern EPCOT FutureWorld attractions came up, often with the idea of restoring their 1982 originals in the nostalgic (but perhaps not accurate) memory that they were just better back then.
 
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hmm. aside from Disneyland's seasonal switches (small world and haunted mansion holiday, and their version of country bear jamboree 'til Pooh came along), I can only think of one time where a replacement attraction was closed down and the original one put in its place: the Enchanted Tiki Room recovering from having been under new management.
 
so not much of a precedent for that sort of thing. as much as the replacements for future world aren't so great (excepting a few: I happen to think Nemo works as a theme, though I would rather The Land get a little more respect than just as Soarin's waiting room), the originals were, while quaint and optimistic, still extremely dated. Just like with any of the tomorrowlands, the ability to stay ahead and not fall behind the technology curves is almost impossible. (the fact that most corporations won't even hint at what long term ideas they have for fear of them getting stolen, quite the contrast to the idealism of the worlds fair openness that inspired EPCOT in the first place)
 
...though i'll stress *almost*.
 
3-D CGI technology is clearly at a point (see the new Star Tours: not a model or real world background is in any of them, unlike the original) where the EPCOT attractions can be reconsidered as a more dynamic landscape. Combine that with the huge screens involved now in DCA for their animation room and world of color, then add in a little animatronic narration (a-la the single animatronic like Tough to be a Bug) and you can create a space that is capable of getting a new story every 6 months: always changing, always adapting. You couldn't do that in 1984 - film editing took too much work, as did reprogramming an AA. You couldn't even really do that in 2004: CGI, while very good, was still too expensive.
 
Today, it is possible. Today, World of Motion could have been done but with a unique experience every time.
 
So yeah, time to do what the Imagination replacements never did: redesign the attraction as one that can be dynamically changed every few months, always optimistic, always idealistic, always looking ahead...and never falling behind because it was just too expensive to change it after the future became the past (or the never happening) in 6 months time.
 
I say again: software is the key to the future, and yet software is (outside of Disneyland's Starcade), under-represented in any Futureworld or Tomorrowland. Just like the idea of TRON being a key symbol of Tomorrowland, what TRON represents as the real source of progress today, software, should be the key to keeping Futureworld in the future, and not the dated past.
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