Way back in October of 1955, I first entered a place, a magical place where nothing was impossible. A place where anything you could imagine was built, a place where you actually felt that you could change the world. The place-Tomorrowland at Disneyland® in Anaheim California. Over the years, Tomorrowland has always been the land that we ran to, not walked to. It is the place where the outside world ceases to exist and suddenly you find yourself surrounded by all the possibilities. I was one of those lucky ones to first experience the magic that Disneyland® sprinkled on all of those that entered this most magical of places that becomes a part of your heart, soul, being and the legacy you leave to generations to come. My first visit to The Happiest Place on Earth was in October, 1955. I was 9 months old at the time and I haven’t missed a year since then.
Last week I was lucky enough to return to “my happy place” when we visited the Disneyland® Resort as part of our research during the #TomorrowlandEvent for Disney’s “Tomorrowland” which opens nationwide tomorrow. I know-it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.
One of the best parts of visiting The Happiest Place on Earth is that it truly doesn’t matter if it’s your first visit ever, or if you’ve been going for the last 60 years because every time you walk into the Park and stand under the train bridge, and read Walt’s words, every visit has new magic to discover. Our first stop was “it’s a small world” which plays a crucial role in the movie. So just how does the Happiest Cruise to Ever Sail the Seven Seas tie in to a film called “Tomorrowland”?
The idea behind the movie revolves around a mysterious box found in the morgue of the old Animation building at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. The morgue once housed boxes of project ideas, art from Disney artists and other priceless artifacts from the Disney studios. In the Summer of 2008, maintenance workers were tasked with cleaning out the area. They discovered a locked room which housed dozens of boxes that had remained untouched for decades. Many of the boxes contained film cels and were sent to Disney archives. There was a mysterious box labeled “1952” and it contained concept art, reference material, photos, memos, book, newspaper clippings, blueprints and comic books relating to space, technology, and exploration. One of the many mysterious items in the box contained blue prints for the popular “it’s a small world” attraction. The blue prints are pretty much to the specifications to the attraction we know today except for the addition of a lower level below the pavilion. Armed with our “Tomorrowland” pins 25 intrepid explorers happily set sail in search of the magic portal that would lead us to the future. Next up was a visit to the place the movie was named for itself. Walt Disney was known for his futurist views and, through his television programs, showed the American public how the world was moving into the future.
Tomorrowland was the realized culmination of his views. In his own words:
“Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Our scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future.”
Tomorrowland has changed over the last 60 years from the Monsanto House of the Future to the Rocket to the Moon becoming Rocket to Mars to now Space Mountain but the dream remained the same- Tomorrowland is truly the vista into the modern world of wondrous ideas, a step into the future. But why take a small step when you can take a giant leap? Always curious and thinking about progress, Walt Disney created Tomorrowland as a window to the future, a place to educate and inspire guests. Every evolving and changing, what can guest expect when the visit the Tomorrowland of today?
Space Mountain You’ll want to hold on to your space helmets on this thrilling, high-speed journey through outer space! Glide through the galaxy as your space craft dips and careens at supersonic speeds on one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland park.
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue Blast off to a galaxy far, far away on this 3-D motion simulated space flight based on the Star WarsTMfilms. With more than 50 different story combinations, there are many adventures to be had! You’ll want to experience this attraction again and again.
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters To Infinity and Beyond! The Evil Emperor Zurg is stealing batteries from helpless toys to power a new weapon of destruction and Buzz Lightyear needs your help! Embark on an interactive adventure to defeat Zurg in this shooting gallery attraction.
Tomorrowland Theater Located just next to Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Theater occasionally offers movie previews. Starting in mid-April, you can catch a sneak peek of “Tomorrowland” with special in-theater effects. You won’t want to miss this exclusive look at the film!
Out-Of-This-World Eats—Hungry after all that galactic travel? Enjoy a meal at Tomorrowland Terrace—try the Chicken Sandwich with Avocado Salsa, Grilled Chicken Chop Salad or one of the classic burgers. For the ever-popular pizza, pasta and salad, try Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port just next to Space Mountain.
Did You Know?
- Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port, one of the most popular eateries at Disneyland park, used to be a classic 1955 attraction? Rocket to the Moon took guests to on a flight around the moon. Once man went to the moon, Rocket to the Moon was updated to become Mission to Mars.
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue has two Hidden Mickeys when traveling to Corsucant. The first is on the flashing lights at the spaceport and the second is in the back window, which guests see as they are returning home.
- At Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, guests waiting to board the interactive attraction see clues about scoring points. Items in the queue show that diamond- and triangle-shaped targets are worth the most points.
Don’t forget that Disneyland is about to celebrate 60 years of magic and the celebration kicks off tomorrow! Prepare to be dazzled as #Disneyland60 begins the party with the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, where Guests of every age can salute 60 years of Disney magic with dazzling entertainment and sparkling surprises, including 3 new nighttime spectaculars making their in-park debuts!
No trip to the Disneyland® Resort is complete without visiting Disney’s California Adventure Park.
To strolling down Buena Vista Street and Hollywood Boulevard
The curtains came down on our magical day with World of Color is an outdoor, 28-minute nighttime spectacular show. This show features projected film clips on an immense water screen in Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure Park.
If you thought the popular nighttime spectacular was amazing before, just wait until you experience the sights and sounds of World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney, debuting on May 22, 2015 in Disney California Adventure Park during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration! Filled with never-before-seen surprises and dazzling special effects, and hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and the one-and-only Mickey Mouse, it’s an unforgettable opportunity to follow along on Walt’s incredible journey of imagination—from his earliest creations, to his very first visions for The Happiest Place on Earth, to today’s Disney magic… and beyond!
“To all who come to this happy place – welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America… with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. Thank you.”
Walt also said
“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
Disneyland always has been, and always will be the place where all my dreams can and do come true. No matter how old I become, or the number of visits I make to the Happiest Place on Earth, I still get that heart-racing excitement from the moment I walk into the Park, pause under the railroad bridge and stop to read Walt’s immortal words. It is the one place where I can live in the moment and allow myself to feel the child within. It’s my connection between the generations, between parent and child, and is the legacy and memories I give to my children, and for them in turn to pass on to their own children for many generations to come.
Now get ready to take off into the future because on May 22, from Disney comes two-time Oscar winner Brad Bird’s riveting mystery adventure “Tomorrowland,” starring Academy Award winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.
Missed my interview with the one and only George Clooney, who plays jaded scientist, but one time dreamer Frank Walker-just click here to read all about this genuine, funny, humble and all around good guy.
Read all about Britt Robertson, who stars opposite Clooney as the optimistic and hero of “Tomorrowland” Casey here.
See how Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof came together to dare everyone to change the future in our exclusive interview with them on bringing “Tomorrowland” from a mystery box labeled 1952 found in the basement of the Walt Disney Archives to life.
Get ready to be dazzled-The Disneyland ® Resort, home to the original Tomorrowland is turning 60 and their Diamond Celebration starts this week. Learn more about the Disneyland Diamond Celebration and their special movie sneak peek and “Tomorrowland” movie exhibit here
Check out our exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Walt Disney Archives here
Want to learn more about Tomorrowland?
Visit the interactive Take Me To Tomorrowland Site
Like TOMORROWLAND Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyTomorrowland
Follow Disney Pictures on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures
Visit the official TOMORROWLAND website: www.Disney.com/Tomorrowland
Don’t forget to follow #TomorrowlandEvent to stay find out all the latest
“What if there was a place, a secret place where nothing was impossible? A miraculous place where you could actually change the world- wanna go?”
“Tomorrowland” opens Tomorrow!
I have been invited by Disney to cover the Tomorrowland Event. All expenses have been paid for by Disney but all opinions my own.