A Retro Version of the Future – Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland

My first visit to Disney and the Magic Kingdom, I have to admit Tomorrowland was probably my least favourite land. Something has happened in the meantime however and I left this time feeling it was one of my favourites. Disney originally designed this area to be a glimpse of the future. Obviously that quickly goes out of date so they reinvented the whole place to depict the future as viewed by science fiction from the 1920’s and 1930’s. The architecture is all neon, glass and metal.

10.21.014 - Tomorrow land

We especially loved the metal palm trees – they actually react to light. Like flowers they fold up at night and open during the day to collect solar energy.

10.21.0046 - Palm trees

Space Mountain is probably the most popular and well known attraction in this area, if not the whole park but we decided to give it a miss. Lines were long for a start, my wimp status when it comes to rollercoasters has increased dramatically and Husband prefers much more thrills and spills with his coasters, so no Space Mountain for us.

10.21.015 - Tomorrowland

We started off our visit at Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, an interactive comedy show, the jokes are a bit cheesy but the improvised sections of the whole thing are really good. Son was more than thrilled when a bright light picked out Husband in the audience and he was selected to be “That Guy.” Husband was not quite so ecstatic when he kept appearing on the large screen throughout the performance and was used as the punch line for most of the jokes. Needless to say Son and I found his humiliation utterly hilarious and loved the show probably mainly due to that. Husband did get a sticker at the end as a souvenir….

10.21.019 - Tomorrowland

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, an interactive ride set in the world of Toy Story with scenes scaled down to the size of toys saw us spin through trying to shoot lasers at various targets – we were literally in the middle of a giant arcade game. Son took control of the joystick and made it a nightmare to try and hit anything. He focused on spinning and discarded the shooting so we scored none too well. Husband on the other hand got his competitive head on and scored top marks with his lasers – we were trounced.

10.21.033 - Buzz Lightyear

I remember on my first ever visit to the Magic Kingdom being caught in a massive downpour, the rain pounded down and we had no coats. Husband and I hopped on board the People Mover and stayed on for about 40 minutes until the rain stopped. No weather problems this time but we still jumped on board this gentle and relaxing ride – a great place to get a bit of a rest and respite from the hot Florida sun. Definitely not thrilling but then that is the point, a chance to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds. It travels through the middle of Space Mountain and features a portion of a model for the original plan of EPCOT, takes 10 minutes and travels 1 mile.

10.21.0036 - People Mover

A stall selling Mickey pretzels could not be ignored….

10.21.0042 - Mickey Pretzel

The Tomorrowland Speedway is not my favourite thing – I like the theming and the Indy car racing track but find the cars a bit lame and difficult to steer. Son didn’t agree with this view – he loved it so we rode it twice. The top speed is 7 miles an hour but I don’t think you would ever reach that and the rail in the centre means you aren’t really driving. The roar of the sports cars and the smell of exhaust fumes does make it feel quite authentic.

10.21.0050 - Indy Speedway

A couple of the other rides got a bit of a thumbs down from us. Stich’s Great Escape – a show in the dark where Stitch escapes and you are in a harness was a bit claustrophobic and not much fun (for me especially). We rode the Astro Orbiter – a 2 person rocket-like spaceship  which is 50 feet in the air and has some great views. After a couple of spins I forgot about the views – those rockets made me (and Husband) so incredibly queasy as they spun around.  Son was fine. We just experienced utter relief disembarking.

10.21.0047 - Tomorrow land

My favourite part of this whole area though and the thing we left until last was the Carousel of Progress. I’d never noticed it in previous Disney visits, no idea how I could have missed this gem. We all loved it. A stage show it debuted in New York in the 1964 World Fair and follows an animatronic family from the early 1900’s to the turn of the 21st century. It focuses on technological innovations and how we live our lives. Apparently this was Walt Disney’s favourite attraction – amazing to think it is 50 years old. The figures are extremely lifelike and the whole concept where the audience revolves around a circle of 6 theatres connected by divider walls is so clever and different. Add to that classic Sherman Brothers music and it is just magical. I found the whole thing uplifting, optimistic and just really special. No way to top this so it was home with Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow still playing in our heads.

10.21.0039 - Tomorrowland

20 thoughts on “A Retro Version of the Future – Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland

  1. Your poor husband! I would want to curl up and die if that happened to me. If there’s ever a tiny hint of potential audience participation I to to find an inconspicuous seat. But maybe they look for that…..

    • Me too Anabel – not my thing at all!! Not his either to be honest but he did choose the seats at this show so I put the blame firmly in his lap. I think maybe they can also smell fear and reluctance…..

  2. Hahah, so funny what happened to your husband – and I can’t imagine he was pleased with that sticker. I have never liked pretzels but a Mickey one looks fun 🙂

    • The pretzels seem to be our son’s staple lunch dish when we’re in Orlando – this one was an extra hit because of the Mickey shape!! We are still chuckling about that show and his sticker!!

    • That was my lasting memory but it changed this time. I think the Carousel of Progress which I really liked and the utter humiliation of my husband in that show probably raised it all a notch or two for me!!

  3. Carousel of Progress is one of my all time favorites. A little dated now but still so nostalgic and optimistic 🙂 I also love Space Mountain though- we do it at least twice on each trip!

    • I’d seen Carousel of Progress before on all my other times here and was just charmed by it. I have done Space Mountain in the past but seem to have just turned into a complete and utter wimp where coasters are concerned, maybe I need to give it another go next time!!

  4. I can just imagine how funny it was to watch you husband on the big screen the whole time! The only thing I can remember from this land was Space Mountain – I loved it! But think my son would love the Monster Inc laughing floor – he’s a big fan!

  5. It must have been so entertaining to see your husband on the big screen Joy! Just hearing about the Astro Orbiter is enough to make me feel queasy let alone ride on it!! Your son must have been in seventh heaven though! Hope you escaped Storm Henry and have a great weekend 🙂

    • That ride was just the most awful thing Rosemary. My husband (but not me!!) rides the biggest baddest rollercoasters no problem but this tipped him right over the edge!! We loved that he got picked on in the show – so funny. Henry seems to have passed through with no major problems but just waiting for baited breath for the next one….. seems like this grey, wet and windy weather will never cease. Hopefully it will be long gone by the time you travel back!!

      • It makes me feel a bit queasy just thinking about it Joy (I don’t do well on rides!). Yes really hope these storms stop coming across the Atlantic – sounds like you’re getting a terrible battering this winter! Only another couple of months before we’re over again. You can never tell with April though as it can be so changeable – always a dilemma when packing but I know I’ll feel the cold so will bring plenty of layers! Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

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