1986: the year of tomorrow
I was just reading this awesome article on izismile.com Silly Things You Wouldn’t Know about Disney Theme Parks which is awesome and you must check it out- when I notice that #42 says that the Tomorrowland park was originally built to show what the world of the future was going to be like in 1986. 1986! Let’s dig into that a little more…
The first Tomorrowland was part of the original Disney theme park Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. There are Tomorrowlands also in the Magic Kingdom (Disney World), Disneyland Park (EuroDisney / Paris), Hong Kong Disneyland, and currently slated to open in Shanghai Disneyland Park. The original opened in 1955 when 1986 must have seemed like, oh, 31 years away and oh so futuristic. I find that ironic as there was a such a resurgence of 50s nostalgia in the 80s…but back to my story.
Budget problems during the park’s opening year led to Tomorrowland being that last of Disneyland’s parks to be finished and several attractions didn’t make it to the finished product. Not just showcasing the Disney team’s vision of the distant-but-not-really future, Tomorrowland also showcased corporate America with exhibits from American Motors, Dutch Boy Paint, Kaiser Aluminum and several others. The park was overhauled and reopened as a second version in 1967, several months after Walt Disney’s death.
Another renovation to the park occurred in 1998 renamed as New Tomorrowland and is the current version at Disneyland today though it was repainted for the park’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2005. And while things are always changing in Tomorrowland, rides have come and gone, things have been repainted and phased out and moved and changed to keep up with that distant ‘tomorrow’, to this 80s kid 1986 was the perfect year to visualise as the glorious future.
Tomorrowland walkthrough 1967 courtesy VAULTDISNEYreturns