New $400+ Million Space Mountain Coming to Tokyo Disneyland
Oriental Land Co. announced an all-new Space Mountain and reimagining of the surrounding area that’s essentially a “New Tomorrowland” at Tokyo Disneyland. This post shares details and concept art, plus a rundown of the unprecedented era of expansion in Japan’s Disney parks. (Updated May 16, 2023.)
This Tomorrowland reimagining project will follow an ambitious $3 billion expansion of Tokyo Disney Resort that has continued to plow forward in the last two years without delay or budget cuts. The blockbuster Fantasy Springs expansion that’ll bring big budget Frozen, Tangled, and Peter Pan attractions to Tokyo DisneySea has made tremendous progress as it prepares to open in Spring 2024, along with its park-adjacent luxury hotel.
Back in Tokyo Disneyland, the large scale expansion slated opened with minimal fanfare; it was scheduled to debut prior to the Olympics, and with both delayed, that was technically still true. Most of this expansion is New Fantasyland, and most of that is a Beauty and the Beast mini-land. It also includes redevelopment and additions to both Tomorrowland and Toontown.
Among other things, this Fantasyland expansion is home to The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast, a mega E-Ticket attraction. The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast is a trackless dark ride featuring magical cups that dance in rhythm to the animated film’s music as they take guests through scenes depicting the story of Belle and the Beast. Although totally different in nature, the budget for this E-Ticket family friendly dark ride is approximately on par with the new Space Mountain.
A lot of Tomorrowland was lost for the New Fantasyland additions. While this was mostly a “true” expansion of Tokyo Disneyland built on backstage facilities and a parking lot, to the extent any in-park facilities were lost, they were pretty much all in Tomorrowland. This is a topic we’ll circle back to, but we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves…
Turning back to the topic at hand, this all-new Space Mountain will also entail a reimagined plaza that will create a reimagined area of Tomorrowland. It is expected to open in 2027 and cost approximately 56 billion yen. Normally, that would be over $500 million USD; with the current strength of the dollar and weakness of the yen, it’s closed to $450 million.
According to OLC, the new Tomorrowland plaza will express the connection between Earth and the universe, representing an image of a future where humans are in harmony with nature. Guests will be able to enjoy moments of rest and relaxation in this plaza where various icons and other design elements create a sense of hope for the future.
The existing Space Mountain is an exhilarating, indoor roller coaster that takes guests on a high-speed joy ride through space, has been a favorite of guests since the Grand Opening of Tokyo Disneyland in 1983. The current ride is a clone of the California version of Space Mountain, with different aesthetics. The OG Space Mountain will close sometime in 2024.
Replacing this will be an entirely new Space Mountain that will maintain its original concept as an indoor roller coaster, but will have enhanced performance and immersive special effects that will give guests even more thrills on this exciting rocket ride. More on what that could mean in terms of the ride system below.
May 16, 2023 Update: Oriental Land Co. held the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Space Mountain attraction and its surrounding area in Tomorrowland today. This officially launches the renovation project, which will completely transform Space Mountain and its surrounding area according to OLC.
This newly developed plaza will create a reimagined area of Tomorrowland and is still expected to open in 2027. At the groundbreaking ceremony, construction for this project was officially set in motion by the President and COO of Oriental Land Co., Kenji Yoshida, and Chairman and CEO of OLC, Toshio Kagami.
The Space Mountain groundbreaking was held in the traditional Japanese style, with a ceremony, omiki and tamagushi offerings, and Shinto prayer for safe construction. This ceremony is known as jichinsai, and it’s performed to pay respect to the land and kami (gods), future prosperity, and purification to keep away evil spirits. Following this ritual, the actual groundbreaking is held with traditional wooden tools. (Similar elements of this can be experienced or observed at Shinto shrines throughout Japan.)
A few years ago, a large joint groundbreaking ceremony was held by Oriental Land Company and the Walt Disney Company at the planned development site for Fantasy Springs. Then CEO Bob Iger was present and one of the key officials who participated in the groundbreaking (pictured below). To our knowledge, no one from Disney was present at the Space Mountain groundbreaking. (To their credit, both Iger and Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro were present last month for Tokyo Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary.)
Construction walls are already up behind Space Mountain, which are visible from the monorail en route from Tokyo Disneyland to Bayside Station. A huge chunk of land appears to be earmarked for the project, replacing much of the park’s bus parking lot. (A lot of parking was already “lost” back there for the other recent expansions.)
The rumor is that a ride system similar to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be used for the reimagined Space Mountain. That would explain both why so much bus parking is being dedicated to the project and also how the groundbreaking is occurring many months before Space Mountain is scheduled to permanently close in 2024–work will start first on the massive show building.
It would also explain the “reimagined” Space Mountain’s exorbitant price tag. For what it’s worth, we saw a larger-than-normal delegation from OLC and Walt Disney Attractions Japan touring EPCOT back when Cosmic Rewind opened. Don’t expect this to be a direct clone of that attraction, or even the underlying ride system. It seems more likely that Imagineering uses a similar Vekoma coaster for Space Mountain that doesn’t require the same footprint or as tall of a gravity building. Regardless, the “OmniCoaster” (as Imagineering has dubbed it) would be a great option for Space Mountain!
Another interesting tidbit is that on the same day as this groundbreaking ceremony, Universal Studios Japan announced that ‘The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man’ attraction will close in early 2024. The more conspiratorial minds might question whether USJ closing such a hugely popular attraction is no coincidence, and a sign that the two companies have reached an agreement and Universal is ceding its Marvel rights in Japan, paving the way for the reimagined Space Mountain to feature that franchise.
We highly doubt it. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is not particularly popular in Japan, and although it’s unprecedented to close an attraction like Spider-Man in its prime, the better explanations are limited land and the Pokémon partnership (or maybe Minions, which also is absurdly popular in Japan and only has a small area at USJ).
The Space Mountain and Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man closures are almost certainly coincidental–the chances of them being related are probably under 1%. (Also, it’s not like USJ would be forced to close Spider-Man if a rights deal had been worked out.) We just wanted to get ahead of that speculation before people started connecting dots that are not there.
OLC has not announced whether the current Space Mountain will be demolished. Our original expectation was that the building would remain, but the interior would be gutted and replaced and a new flyover walkway will replace the current speedramp into the building based on the concept art.
We’ve heard “rumors” since that call this into question, but it remains our (totally uninformed) belief that the existing building will remain. After all, even if the Cosmic Rewind ride system is used, there’s no reason why the queue, load, unload, and launch can’t utilize the existing Space Mountain building. That is literally what happened with Cosmic Rewind and the old Universe of Energy.
Moreover, the concept art very much looks like Space Mountain with ornamentation affixed to the exterior. It just looks like the exterior in the concept art is a modified version of the current building, rather than a fresh build or rebuilt version of the ride. Who knows, though–the rumors suggest we’re wrong!
My first thought is that this resembles TRON Lightcycle Power Run with its swooping design and biomimicry features. The organic style and conceit of humanity in harmony with nature also loosely mirrors that of Tomorrowland at Shanghai Disneyland.
From the concept art, it appears Space Mountain and the surrounding area will have a more fluid design, which is at least somewhat odds with the current mid-century modern and Googie architecture of Tomorrowland. That coupled with the astronomical budget for what essentially amounts to a roller coaster replacement suggests to me that Tomorrowland as a whole is going to get a new look.
This also fits with the OLC long-term goal for Tokyo Disneyland to receive “area-based development for each themed land, to take place in stages, intended to leave a lasting impact.”
Personally, the prospect of that has me torn. I love the idea of Tokyo Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, in particular the main entry corridor that leads to Space Mountain. I suspect that many Walt Disney World and Disneyland fans of a certain age feel a similar fondness and nostalgia for this area of Tokyo Disneyland.
The core of this is the spires at the entrance to Tokyo Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, which were the focal point for the U.S. versions of Tomorrowland prior to their 90s redos.
These twin towering monoliths are sleek and bright, with greener than green grass and beautifully-maintained tile at the bottom of the waterway under the bridge to Tomorrowland. The entrance to Tomorrowland at Tokyo Disneyland simply oozes optimism. It’s still stunning.
The crisp, clean aesthetics of the bygone Tomorrowlands represent a better version of what now seems like a perpetually-dated and thematically-lacking corner of Magic Kingdom and Disneyland. I love the atmosphere in this area of Tokyo Disneyland, and have spent hours (literally) sitting on the benches in the image below, watching the lights dance on Space Mountain, listening to the waterfalls and background music.
To me, this successful sense of optimism is the linchpin of success for any Tomorrowland. It’s not so much the precise substance of its attractions and whether those remain relevant visions of the future, but it is in a land that evokes a romanticized sense of progress and optimism. For this, architecture that simply looks futuristic or innovative is necessary. Tomorrowland’s entrance passes that test with flying colors.
Certain styles of architecture embody themes of futurism and progress, regardless of their age. Despite being over 60 years old, I’d still describe both the Stahl House and Kauffman Desert House as looking sleek and modern. By contrast, more recent designs from the 1980s and 1990s look like time capsules of those decades, which are (part of) the problems these Tomorrowlands face.
It’s this wistfulness for that lost Tomorrowland that makes fans like me fond of Tokyo Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. It represents that superior design we’ve lost in Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Of course, you can’t go home again.
That’s not the only problem. It’s one thing to look at photos of Tokyo Disneyland’s Tomorrowland in isolation and yearn for its “superior” style. That falls apart once you visit in person and see that Japan’s Tomorrowland has exactly the same problems as its U.S. relatives. It’s a design hodgepodge, featuring a variety of ill-fitting attractions and clashing styles.
After you leave Space Mountain is where things start to fall apart in Tokyo Disneyland’s Tomorrowland.
First, we’ll head to the right. Housed in a giant hangar (…of the future?), Star Tours looks cold and industrial. It was built after the park opened and it doesn’t match the clean lines and modern aesthetic found in much of the rest of Tomorrowland. There’s nothing especially wrong with its style, it just doesn’t match the rest of the land.
Across from that is my beloved Pan Galactic Pizza Port, among other things. This is all part of an area called “AstroZone,” which was built as a placemaking project alongside the original Star Tours to alleviate congestion. The official backstory is that aliens crashed and constructed a base from parts of their damaged spaceship to communicate with their home planet. This means a lot of satellites and other (at the time) futuristic space junk.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m an avid Solaronian (Tony Solaroni is a Sonny Eclipse-like character who toils over a pizza machine all-day in a delightfully bizarre show with some interesting undertones), but the restaurant and its surrounding area has a decidedly 1990s-kitsch feel to it. Although this is “just a pizza place,” we will be devastated when it goes. We’ve made many great memories watching Tony Solaroni.
Continuing this way is Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek. This is another newer addition to Tomorrowland, replacing Meet the World (also intended for EPCOT Center’s Japan pavilion). It makes virtually no thematic sense. Like Star Tours, it looks cool, but in this case, it’s as defeat was conceded in attempting any sort of visual semblance in Tokyo’s Tomorrowland and they just built something to house the monsters (…of the future?) that is straight out of Monstropolis.
In terms of accuracy to the film, it looks good, but it would be a huge stretch to try to explain its visual continuity with the rest of Tomorrowland. There is next to no chance of Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek seeing an aesthetic overhaul, but at least it’s far enough from the rest of Tomorrowland–and closer to World Bazaar, that it doesn’t stand out so much.
Heading the other direction from Space Mountain, a lot has already been addressed as part of the recent large scale expansion. Personally, I like the idea of updating this area and shrinking the size of Tomorrowland a bit for more Fantasyland.
The only losses on this side of Tomorrowland were Grand Circuit Raceway and Star Jets, and the woefully dated speedway wasn’t actually much of a loss. Tomorrowland was way too sprawling and disconnected before, and this helped tighten it up a bit. Tomorrowland Terrace is still long overdue for a visual overhaul, which will likely happen as part of this project. Hopefully it’s something akin to Plazma Ray’s Diner, a restaurant reimagining that happened a few years ago, on the other side of the land.
Ultimately, Tokyo Disneyland’s Tomorrowland is a visual hodgepodge that falls apart after the monoliths and main entrance corridor. In terms of attractions, it might be the best land in Tokyo Disneyland. In terms of aesthetics, it’s disjointed and dated. Rather than feeling futuristic, it very much comes across as a series of disconnected areas that were very obviously built in different eras.
My hope is that this ‘New Tomorrowland’ maintains the current entrance, which is timeless, and transitions from the clean mid-century modern lines into a more organic design by Space Mountain. My expectation is that it’ll be more of a wholesale overhaul, with the entire land given a fresh style that matches the biomimicry of the all-new Space Mountain and its surrounding plaza.
Honestly, if that’s what happens, we won’t complain. Sure, we’ll be saddened by the loss of the monoliths and Tony Solaroni, if either occur. However, we recognize that a distinct visual identity is important, and will be happy Tokyo Disneyland is getting something unique and custom-designed for that particular park.
Visiting a “Bizarro Magic Kingdom” offering a pristine time capsule of cloned elements from the U.S. parks is neat. But investments such as this, recent placemaking projects, and the large scale expansion help to give Tokyo Disneyland its own distinct identity. That should further solidify its position as the second-best Disney theme park on the planet, right behind its next-door neighbor, Tokyo DisneySea.
Planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort? For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea Trip Planning Guide! For more specifics, our TDR Hotel Rankings & Reviews page covers accommodations. Our Restaurant Reviews detail where to dine & snack. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money post. Our What to Pack for Disney post takes a unique look at clever items to take. Venturing elsewhere in Japan? Consult our Ultimate Guide to Kyoto, Japan and City Guide to Tokyo, Japan.
What do you think of this all-new Space Mountain and Tomorrowland reimagining plan? Disappointed this isn’t happening at Disneyland or Walt Disney World, or are you pleased with the stateside Tomorrowland styles? If you’ve been to Tokyo Disneyland, did you notice similarities to past versions of Tomorrowland from Florida and California? What about differences? Have you found yourself doing a double-take based on similarities or differences between other Disney theme parks? Any questions? Share your thoughts in the comments!
This makes a ton of sense. Hope to ride it someday!
Shortly after Cosmic Rewind opened I remember reading a comment somewhere that WDW should have replaced Space Mountain with Cosmic Rewind. At the time that seemed like blasphemy! Space Mountain is one of my very favorite rides in all of Disney World and a true classic. But now, having ridden Cosmic Rewind, I can’t help but agree. It’s just so much fun and why have two indoor space-themed roller coasters?
Keep the original building? Interesting. My previous notion of a teardown and bigger build on the current footprint in WDW (and other resorts) gets intriguingly tweaked. Just using WDW as an example, You can look overhead from various sites to see how small Space Mountain’s footprint truly is. The teardown of an iconic building would have been controversial, of course, and World Drive would have required rerouting or being tunneled. There is a large parcel of land across World Drive behind Space Mountain and the Ton Coaster, nest of the Contemporary Resort//Bay Lake Tower complex. Repurposing the Original Space Mountain Building as a launch building, with elevated bridges over World Drive to a new building suddenly becomes more likely, IMHO. The question, of course, is whether the land between World Drive and Bay Lake is viable for supporting such a structure. I’ve already stated my issues with a ride I find underwhelming, before even factoring in the wait time. With the original building as the launh/return building, there are all manner of possibilities of additional functions to put into the original building, such as adding additional mini-attractions, dining, etc., or just simply having it be an extended launch building. Disneyland in California would be MUCH more difficult to achieve, as it would require significant teardowns of existing structures. But this is a doable project at WDW, provided the land can support the structure.
I assume you’re just doing an academic exercise thinking about whether this is theoretically possible? That’s fine, but there’s no way this is coming to the US parks.
Even making the best possible assumptions about CapEx at WDW and Disneyland in the next decade, there’s next to no chance they’re throwing ~$400 million at an existing (and popular) ride that doesn’t have an IP tie-in.
I’m very bullish about investments in the parks once streaming is sorted out, but I don’t think there’s any chance this is on the table.
We would like to know if their Space Mountain will still be open when Fantasy Springs opens? They have said it will close sometime in 2024, but the exact closing date has not been announced and that refurbishment is the last tid bit of information we need before we book our trip to Japan. If anyone knows the details concerning this, please inform us. Thank you!
Late to the party, but the question I have is: Will this portend mean Space Mountain re-builds and redesigns in other Disney Parks?
I’ve always loved the atmosphere the pre-ride projects, but the ride itself has always been: Meh, IMHO. Sure, there are thrills, but the ride is herky-jerky, and pales compared to so many modern coasters that have come along since the 1970s a teardown and rebuild might take more precedence as part of a slow motion WDW response to Universal’s new park.
This would be years out, perhaps not until the 60th Anniversary, as they’d wait until Tokyo’s new mountain is up and running to iron out any details for a copy and/or improvement for any mountain they might want to replace.
But with each passing day, the limitations and aging of the SM ride only get worse. So few people who can ride at any one time, and the ride itself is underwhelming.
We still don’t know the details of the new Tokyo ride, but any change needs to add riders. I believe that the ride seating limitations actually discourages people from going on SM, causing overflow into the parks. 6 riders at a time?? Bumping around in the dark? I’d rather queue again for Big Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain (and likely the Tron Coaster) than a bumpy ride in the dark that always makes me feel I’m on a carnival ride where I’m never sure if I stick up my hands if a support strut isn’t going to get hit.by me.
They can tear it down and rebuild or gut it and put in 1 track with 24+ riders a train. But I think SM turns off a lot of people, and that its legendary lines are deceptive; that this ride is not occupying crowds the way it should. A recuild could change that, with a new, improved SM regaining its place as a premier crowd sponge.
Cool, but I don’t think I could do a flight to Japan
Just gotta watch for the deals! Check out Tom’s Japan posts on his other blog, some great tips.
If Liberty Square has taught me anything, it’s that open space can ease the transition between somewhat different theming styles in the same land. The walkway to Fantasyland in the MK is wide enough to separate the mid-Atlantic colonial buildings from the upstate New York Haunted Mansion. Now, it might be that the back side of the Tomorrowland entrance buildings in Tokyo will have to be redone to match Space Mountain, but in the concept art it looks like there’s a lot of … open area between the attraction and those buildings that may provide a transition area. I agree with Tom that it looks like TDL is working down the “back wall” of Tomorrowland, with the architecture of the Baymax ride and the Big Pop very much in line with the new look Space Mountain. It’s likely that they’ll tackle the Star Tours Multiplex and random Monsters Inc. building (after deciding what to do with Tomorrowland Hall and Showplace, of course.) It will be a while before we know for sure.
Does the back side of the World Bazaar work well enough with Tomorrowland? If the pathways are wide enough to help transitions, I could certainly see the “Hub side” of Tomorrowland remaining the same. While the architecture certainly induces nostalgia, it is also quite beautiful and tranquil, working well the natural elements in those above photos.
I’ve heard that the new space mountain will be built behind the current one.
Wow, that’s…a LOT! I was working at MK when Splash was being completed and rode it 48 times during cast preview testing. That attraction was $36M in 1992.
Projects tend to be more expensive in Japan due to earthquake code, labor costs, and (presumably) WDI/Disney padding the budget a bit.
Still, I do not see any way this approaches $400+ million unless there’s something else that hasn’t been announced yet. It cannot be a simple redo of Space Mountain–not even a total demolition and rebuild.
I agree. I am a structural engineer even though I mostly do project and engineering program management these days, and have worked on construction projects from $2500 to $3B. Right now we are adding as much as 40% escalation costs on estimates simply due to unknowns with materials, lead times, and labor shortages on top of the difficulties of working in an active hospital. That number is astronomical (okay pun intended) to say the least. I’ve never been to Japan, but it’s definitely on my list. Especially after your glowing reviews and photography of the parks there. But I also want to see the koi farms, bonsai, cherry blossoms, castles, and yes, the giant-sized Gundam robot. The Godzilla Museum, okay.
BTW- back to back post on Disneyland Paris and then Tokyo Disney. It’s nice to see international content on here! I was just looking at ticket prices over the weekend, and even with more expensive flights a 2-4 day trip to DLP or TDL is cheaper than a trip to WDW right now. (Obviously, depends on what flight prices you can find or if you can drive to WDW easily. But for us and typical flight prices to Florida, Tokyo, Paris, and even LA, WDW comes out as the most expensive park to visit.)
Slightly tangential, but this article was making the rounds on travel Twitter in the last two days: https://www.wsj.com/articles/who-can-afford-napa-valley-11650647489
That’s really just the jumping off point for a larger conversation about the soaring costs of domestic travel–pretty much the same one we’ve been having on this blog. General consensus is that Europe and Asia are going to become increasingly popular for those on the coasts if this persists (a big if). Personally, I’m salivating at the prospect of getting back to Japan. The divergent policies between the more hawkish Fed and dovish BoJ means that the already weak yen will likely get weaker. It was already cheaper to visit TDR and Japan–that gap should grow wider with comparatively lower inflation and exchange rates at a 20-year high.
Ha! I’m negotiating rates for several projects with the government right now, and airfare is ridiculous. Rental cars are hit or miss. Every time they come back with comments on a cost proposal, I go back and re-check travel costs, and they are going up, up, up. It’s heading back to being like the 60s and 70s when only wealthy folks could fly anywhere…
I’m curious to see how the new Space Mountain will turn out (and if the OLC maintain standards, it’ll be excellent) but I must confess that I’m disappointed there doesn’t seem to be any substantive addition to the land. I dare say they’re constrained by the lack of space, but it would’ve been nice to see something to provide kinetic energy to the land following the loss of the Star Jets and Raceway. Is there any chance that the considerable budget might go towards another attraction besides Space Mountain 2.0?
“Is there any chance that the considerable budget might go towards another attraction besides Space Mountain 2.0?”
It’s possible this includes a renovation of the Showbase amphitheater (which is in the concept art on the far right) and maybe a new production for that. Stage shows are incredibly popular at TDR, so it wouldn’t surprise me if another is added even with the new one in Fantasyland.
To me, this looks amazing! Space Mountain in particular reminds me of the original concept art, with some style refreshments to fit a more modern age. I think it’s brilliant.
Your point on what’s being lost is fair, but I’m okay seeing Tokyo move this land out of the 70s/early 80s and into something totally new.
“Your point on what’s being lost is fair, but I’m okay seeing Tokyo move this land out of the 70s/early 80s and into something totally new.”
Just to be clear, so am I.
It’s easy to view things with the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia and be sad on the basis of beloved things (potentially) leaving, but change is inevitable. In this case, it’s also long overdue for TDL’s Tomorrowland.
Even if it means losing a few things I love about the land, I’m totally on board with this.
I like the concept art of how Space Mountain will look…even if the construction of it most likely means the end of my holiday music reign.
I hope you’re wrong about that.
Regardless, that brilliant BGM will live on in our house during the holiday season for many years to come. (Seriously, it’s one of our most-played loops!)
Aw, thanks Tom! I am very happy to hear that.
Tom, this “Bizarro Magic Kingdom” approach is exactly why I love this for TDL. Having its own unique take on a classic attraction is a great way for the park to stand out. FWIW, I think the spires will stay, and this will be a demo/new build a bit further back than the current structure. At the bottom of the concept art you can see the existing entry plaza, making me think that part will remain!
I noticed that, and want to believe you’re right.
I also think there’s not really much that can be done with the corridor; it’s relatively clean/fluid and won’t necessarily clash with the organic design. That’s also true of the monoliths, but if OLC wants to ‘signal’ that this is a New Tomorrowland, replacing the entrance would make sense.
I guess we’ll see. Either way, I think there’s more to this project than what the concept art depicts. OLC has been stressing its desire to add more place-making to TDL for the last 5+ years.
They can’t even finish the very simple redesign of the Tomorrowland entrance in Disneyland that’s been behind walls since before the pandemic. The new entrance concept looks like simply but nice, doubling down on the OG Space Mountain aesthetic, which I think is the best fit for the OG Disneyland. I hope they can finish it soon and move on to the rest of the land.
This new concept looks beautiful, though, and I’d love for each TL to have a distinct aesthetic. OG mid-century for Disneyland, this contemporary nature mimicry in Tokyo, and the industrial look in MK. Just make each one distinct but internally cohesive.
It’s downright embarrassing that Disneyland still hasn’t addressed that. The concept art is still up on a small construction wall (and has been since like November 2019, IIRC) but nothing is happening.
I’d really love to see a larger scale overhaul of Tomorrowland at Disneyland, but it seems low-priority to the company, for some reason.
Other sites and news pages posted this update. No one else is able to provide the commentary and perspective you shared to really tell the story of what this announcement means. Thank you for the fantastic work you do.
Thanks for the kind words.
It’s probably fair to say that every fan has topics that are of greater personal interest to them. It’s probably clear what those are for me based on what gets more thorough or (hopefully) interesting coverage.
“Have you found yourself doing a double-take based on similarities or differences between other Disney theme parks?” I’ve watched several of the Disney+ “Behind the Attraction” shows where they talk about attraction design (Space Mountain is one of them) and they talk about the different versions around the world and how they were developed/changed. It’s an interesting show and a fun glimpse into the foreign parks and the history of some well-known attractions.
They will need to update the Space Mountain episode in a few years, but this sounds like a nice update to Tomorrowland. (They talk some about the “tomorrowland” problem and why they opted for Discoveryland in DLP instead). I hope this retheme works and perhaps could be used in the US parks. DL in particular feels like there is almost no theme to the tomorrowland portion of the park.
I haven’t watched “Behind the Attraction” but since I know sometimes officially-sanctioned Disney productions offer a bit of revisionist or embellished history to fit the corporate narrative, here’s what actually happened…
During development of Tokyo Disneyland, executives from OLC visited Magic Kingdom and Disneyland and cherry-picked the elements from each to be cloned–literally checklist style. Minimal risk was taken; they wanted to go with what they already knew worked. A lot has changed over time as attractions and lands have been updated over the years, but TDL still feels like a “Bizarro Magic Kingdom” in a number of ways.
It’s an interesting show (certainly not the depth of Martin’s vids), but I enjoy it. I’m sure there is some revisionist history, and at the very least they don’t say: “we just cloned this because it was a cheap way to save R&D/design costs”. But they do mention the copying of some attractions (particularly the interesting castle design they could do for Japan… and they just wanted Florida’s castle).