17 October 2013

Star Wars Taking Over Tomorrowland? Definitely an Improvement

Tomorrowland may turn into Star Wars-land?
Being a regular visitor to Disneyland, we frequently ride in on the Monorail and stop off in Tomorrowland, visiting Buzz Lightyear's AstroBlasters, which is really fun.  Then we leave Tomorrowland, since there's nothing else that we enjoy in Tomorrowland (although I like going on Star Tours, because I am Star Wars fan, but it's not anything I can ride with my children (so I only ride it when I go to Disneyland for a midday break from work)).  One of the major disappointments with Tomorrowland is that it has the potential for so much great energy.  When you first come in from the circle (with the Partner's Statue), you've got AstroBlasters to your left and Star Tours to the right, and then you pass by the shutdown WED People Mover (and the rockets ride that's ride in the middle that congests foot traffic, you have to go off to the right for a couple hundred yards before coming to the next set of attractions.  Sure, Captain Eo is fun to watch the first time or two, but does anyone go back?  Also, Innoventions could be neat, but we never go. 

Lastly, Autopia is HORRIBLY outdated, not to mention really smelly.  Although we try avoiding passing by it, given the choice, but when we ride in on (or headed out on) the monorail, we have to pass it and the fumes, which are always an unpleasant piece of the Disneyland experience.  If it's REALLY about tomorrow, then make the cars run on batteries or something that does not pollute our environment and our olfactory senses.  What needs to happen is get rid of Autopia.  

Although I know there are other rides in Tomorrowland, we rarely ride them (e.g. Nemo has long lines and we don't ride Space Mountain).  So, when I read reports that came out last week that there are serious Disney considerations for the Imagineers to removing some of the rides and installing Star Wars rides, I was/am super excited!  Yes, yes, I know: it won't be completed for a few years and, in the interim, there will be annoying construction going on, but even the construction will be an improvement! 

As MiceAge reported last week, the "aesthetic of most of the land will change to take on the appearance of the Star Wars universe, particularly in the back eastern half of the land."  Not only am I excited that the the Imagineers are going to be improving Tomorrowland, which is a good thing in and of itself, they are going to be doing so with Star Wars attractions!!!  I am so excited!!  Having written nearly a year-and-a-half ago on the great desire (on behalf of not just me, but many thousands of fans) for an entire theme park for Star Wars, this is certainly a happy move in that direction.  While I (and others) might be upset that Disney is not just setting aside space for a separate theme park dedicated to Star Wars, this is certainly a very welcome move!   

MiceAge further writes that 
Disneyland fans will cheer when they learn that the Astro Orbiter will be torn out and removed from its current location at the front of the land, which only served to make that area of the park feel more congested and claustrophobic instead of kinetic and full of energy. The re-Imagineered Rocket Jets spinner is currently planned to land up on top of the Space Mountain Concourse, tying in with a repurposed Starcade upper level next door.
Uh, YES, please!!! As a Disneyland fan, this is a great move! MiceAge goes on:
And the old Rocket Jets spinner and PeopleMover platform gets an extreme makeover, as a landing pad in the Star Wars spaceport that forms the loose theme for the new land. And what’s a landing pad without a spaceship, right? The craft that will have landed there won’t be any old spaceship however, but will be the famous Millennium Falcon that will act as an elaborate walk-through attraction and meet ‘n greet location for your favorite Wookie co-pilot.
Ooooh - nice! Lastly,
The back of the land is where the big new headliner attraction sits, in the place of the existing Innoventions and Autopia. After abandoning previous attempts to utilize the existing PeopleMover track and loading area, the Innoventions building gets gutted and in its place is the pre-show and boarding area for the new Speeder Bike thrill ride. The majority of the track heads outdoors and to the north, demolishing the Autopia freeways and taking over most of that area for the new ride. The outdoor Speeder Bike course is set on the forest moon of Endor where the Ewoks live, and an Ewok village and walk-through attraction will house dining and shops as the Speeder Bike ride zooms nearby.
Soooo smart and sooo looking forward to all of this! All brilliant moves!! Upon the changes taking place, Eric Goldman wrote [a week ago] on IGN that
Tomorrowland is already home to Star Tours and also to the Jedi Academy experience for kids, so with these additions, this would be turning a notable portion of the park into a Star Wars area. In fact, so much of Tomorrowland would now be Star Wars related, with the exceptions of rides like Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters and Space Mountain, it does the raise the question of whether they would even keep the name Tomorrowland (technically, Star Wars takes place in the past after all!).
Of course, this was made possible by Disney's acquisition of Star Wars to install a bunch of Star Wars attractions, but perhaps Disney will see that the demand is so huge for just Star Wars rides/attractions, that they will see this mini-Star Wars Land as a trial project to develop an entirely separate theme park (but I know this is merely a dream that is not likely in the next decade or so).  In the meantime, us Star Wars fans can be happy with a few rides.

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