Walt Disney’s New Tomorrowland 67′

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. Walt once stated: “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.” Continue after the page break for a look back at the most exciting celebration since Disneyland’s opening day July 17, 1955…Walt Disney’s New Tomorrowland 67’….

New Tomorrowland Concept Art
As the present began to catch up to the future, Tomorrowland became mired in the past. It was time for Walt to get his beloved Tomorrowland back up to par. It began to be referred to as the “New Tomorrowland” and was a long time in the making. The original Tomorrowland offerings of 1955 were extremely sparse and outdated. The Autopia became everyone’s favorite attraction in Tomorrowland and for years Walt Disney felt the under-funded land was not quite complete. Walt and his creative people had in mind a much more elaborate and futuristic land.
Pre-1967 Tomorrowland

Several new attractions opened in 1955. Among them were Tomorrowland Boats, The World Beneath Us, which showed the Earth’s geology, and the Aluminum Hall of Fame, sponsored by Kaiser Aluminum. The final Tomorrowland attraction to open in 1955 was The Flight Circle which demonstrated gasoline powered vehicles.

Tomorrowland 1950’s

In 1956, Tomorrowland Boats were renamed Phantom Boats, and were closed later in the year. Dutch Boy Color Gallery opened in 1956, and sponsored Dutch Boy Paint. Two major attractions opened in 1956: the Astro Jets, where guests were able to fly their own rockets, and Skyway to Fantasyland, where guests rode “Buckets” over to Fantasyland.

Tomorrowland 56′ feat. Skyway and Astro Jets

In 1957, the Monsanto House of the Future, a plastic house with four wings cantilevered from a central plinth, was built. This was similar to precursors at previous World’s Fairs, though those were simply homes furnished with modern conveniences and aimed at housewives. Disneyland’s attraction displayed conveniences such as picture phones and television remote controls, and it introduced many people to their first microwave oven. The Viewliner also opened where guests could ride in “the fastest miniature train in the world.” It closed the next year making it the shortest lived Disney attraction ever.

Monsanto House of the Future

The Matterhorn Bobsleds, the Disneyland Monorail System, and Submarine Voyage Thru Liquid Space were all added to the land in 1959 and was the greatest expansion Disneyland had seen up until that point. There was only one problem, the bulk of Tomorrowland remained the same. By the mid-60s Walt was ready to move on to more long lasting, exciting things. His fascination with transportation and a need for more rides led to the clean and uniform new design of a Tomorrowland that explored science and the universe of the future. It was given a theme nicknamed called “World on the Move”.

Transportation in America during the 1960’s was an important issue. Cities were growing more populated and more people were moving to the suburbs. Freeways were being introduced throughout the country and air travel was becoming more common. The first jumbo jet, the Boeing 747, was soon to take flight and the first manned trip to the moon was just around the corner. Walt Disney had commuted from his home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Holmby Hills to both Disneyland in Anaheim and to The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. He was working with the Ford Motor Company to build a pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. He had flown all over the world for both business and for leisure. Keep in kind he was also secretly flying to and from Florida in preparation for the Florida Project so transportation was on his mind as it was a big part of his daily life.

Walt Disney’s biggest ambition at the time was to build his prototype community called E.P.C.O.T. (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) on his newly-acquired property in Florida. Transportation was a major focus of E.P.C.O.T.  and it was only logical to test new transportation systems at Disneyland prior to building them in the city. Smaller-scale systems began to double as theme park attractions at the park…what better place is there?

Walt test riding a early version of the PeopleMover

The mid-60s were by far the most exciting times for Walt Disney and his entertainment projects. This had to be an amazing time for Walt. I could only imagine the euphoric feeling he must have experienced each day upon waking up knowing all the wonderful projects that needed his attention. Although several of his dreams had, Walt wouldn’t simply let his imagination rest. There were so many amazing things in the works and I like to think of this time as being Walt’s and his company’s Golden Years. Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion attractions were in development, the still-secret Florida plans were becoming ever more complex, the four World’s Fair attractions required tremendous time and resources. Plans for the New Tomorrowland required an almost unattainable amount of advanced technology, mainly the computer technology needed for Space Port later named Space Mountain.

Then came late 1966, the saddest day in the companies history, at the helm of all these enormous endeavors, Walt dies at age 65. Walt had lived to experience the World’s Fair attractions he created, but Pirates, Mansion, and the New Tomorrowland had all opened after his death. His marvelous and ambitious E.P.C.O.T. sadly never came to be, however, despite Walt’s passing, construction on the New Tomorrowland continued to move forward.
New Tomorowland Construction

New Tomorrowland Complete
Visible from Disneyland’s central hub were Tomorrowland’s two shiny silver spires which drew your eye from the horizon up to outer space and back down to earth again. A similar effect happened with the main Flight to the Moon sign further west. Below your feet the sidewalks were a beautiful blue. Above you, PeopleMover vehicles traveled smoothly and quietly along a long slender track held up by modern-looking support beams. The PeopleMovers weaved in and out of every Tomorrowland building. A 90-foot rocket atop the PeopleMover station with 12 tiny rockets revolving around it grabbed your attention and drew you further into the land (Walt’s idea). Two deep black cube-like structures turned 45° with raised silver lettering invited you into the new Adventure Thru Inner Space and the CircleVision attractions. Mary Blair’s masterpiece murals added a warm color palette and a charming human touch to both sides of the the main walkways into the land. Soon you would come upon on the many organized and futuristic “levels” made up of the PeopleMover track, Rocket Jets, Skyway buckets, and the 1959 attractions, Matterhorn, Monorail, Submarines. Two entertainment stages offered a variety of musical performances. One of the covered stages slowly and dramatically rose up from out of the ground. The entire first floor of the new round Carousel of Progress building rotated. And at night the charm was even greater. Wonderful lighting set a mood like no other part of Disneyland.

Tomorrowland became the most popular land at Disneyland and a decade later its popularity exploded once again with the opening of Space Mountain and the elaborate complex that surrounded it. A wide variety of themes were presented such as inner space, outer space, liquid space, progression of electricity, transportation, etc. yet everything was presented in a non-conflicting way. The “story” of each attraction was presented little-by-little as you approached each non-tacky, non-cluttered entrance. Upon entering, the “theme” was added upon in subtle yet effective ways. Once further inside, you were entirely immersed n the experience. The same experience happened in reverse as you made your way out the exit. Walt got his Tomorrowland and in time got his space-travel version of his beloved Matterhorn.
Tomorrowland 1967 Broadcast:

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Making of: Rock’n’Roller Coaster

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is an enclosed steel roller coaster ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort and at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris. The Florida attraction opened on July 29, 1999 and is located at the end of Sunset Boulevard, next to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is the ride that finally shunned the princess loving meet and greet goers and allowed the adrenaline junkies to put the “petal to the metal” quite literally. Continue after the page break for the Making of: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

The coaster accelerates from 0 to 57 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds (making this the second-fastest attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort, behind only Test Track and the fastest ride at Disneyland Paris). The riders experience 4.5g as they enter the first inversion, more than an astronaut does on a space shuttle launch. Both versions of the attraction feature five trains, although only four can run at one time. The remaining train is kept in backup while being serviced (each train is rotated out periodically for safety reasons).



After winding through a shaded outdoor queue, guests enter the offices and recording studios of record label G-Force Records whose lobby is decorated with posters of real acts signed to labels owned by The Walt Disney Company. Next, guests are led into a room looking into the recording studio, where the five members of Aerosmith are shown finishing a recording session. The group’s manager, portrayed by Illeana Douglas, enters and informs them that they’re late for a concert. Lead singer Steven Tyler expresses regret at being forced to leave the band’s fans and requests backstage passes for the entire group. The band then departs by limousine to “the Forum” (a reference to a famous Los Angeles concert venue). The harried manager summons a “super stretch” limo, to carry guests to the concert and directs them outside. The pacing of the film is such that there is brief pause between the time that the band mentions to their manager that they should do something for their fans and Steven Tyler agreeing. The interval of time is just long enough that the line “How about some backstage passes” can be shouted from the audience (often by the cast member who is acting as the tour’s “host”), making it appear that the band takes the suggestion, which is also echoed by a band mate. Steven Tyler’s next line is “Wait a minute, I love that idea. How about some backstage passes?” Guests exit the recording studio and pass through an alley into a parking garage, owned by “Lock ‘n’ Roll Parking Systems”. In here, guests waiting in line can see the ride’s launch and sharp-eyed guests can spot the curtains in above ‘apartment windows’, sway from the ‘force’, caused by the launch. Guests then board a waiting 24 seat stretch limo for the trip across town to the concert.


After loading passengers, the “limo” stops at the entrance to a tunnel. Music is playing and an overhead variable message sign displays a series of several different messages until a countdown. After the countdown, the car is then shot into the tunnel at 57 miles per hour and the souvenir photo is taken. The roller coaster goes through two inversions, one of which are roll-overs and one of which is a corkscrew on a winding track, intended to represent various Los Angeles Area Freeways, including Interstate 5, Interstate 10 and U.S. Route 101, as evident by the street signs that periodically appear on the side of the coaster. The attraction ends when the limo arrives at Aerosmith’s concert backstage, letting guests off onto a red carpet. While considered “extreme”, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has been described by roller coaster enthusiasts as being smoother, less jerky and less uncomfortable than some similar extreme roller coasters.

Contruction photos (the track was built before the building that surrounds it today):


Cast member previews for the ride were initially held the last week of June, 1999. On 29 July 1999, the ride officially opened with a special, invitation-only party, with Aerosmith as the guests of honor. Winners rode to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in stretch limousines and were treated to an all-you-can-eat buffet and bar. After a special performance by painter Denny Dent, winners got the chance to ride the roller coaster with one of the Aerosmith band members. At the exit of the ride, outside of the gift shop, there hangs a picture from the special event. The paintings Denny Dent made of the five band members hang in various employee office locations on Walt Disney World property. The pre-show has changed from when the attraction first opened. Currently, band member Joe Perry would ask “Chris” to “grab my black Les Paul.” A Disney cast member in the pre-show area would then pick up and remove a black guitar signed by Joe Perry from the set. The script uses the unisex name “Chris” so either a male or female could play the part. Although not used as often as when the ride first opened, the position is still used from time to time (generally, if the attraction is overstaffed). The film also includes a roadie saying “Hey Joe, I’ll get it for ya” as a backup, in the event that a cast member is not available for the part. In 2007, the queue was modified to accommodate single riders in addition to FASTPASS.


There are five speakers per seat, a total of 120 per limo. Aerosmith worked with Disney Imagineers to produce a special soundtrack for the roller coaster. Each coaster train features different Aerosmith songs.

  • The songs heard to each ride contain some new lyrics written specifically for the attraction. (Love in an Elevator is sung as “Love in a roller coaster,” for example.)
  • Songs heard on each car -Note: Updated Jan 2008 after 2007 refurbishment (Car license plate)
    • 1QKLIMO: “Nine Lives”
    • UGOBABE: “Love in an Elevator” & “Walk This Way” (Formally UGOGIRL Pre-2004 Refurbishment)
    • BUHBYE: “Young Lust”, “F.I.N.E.*” & “Love in an Elevator”
    • H8TRFFC: “Back in the Saddle” & “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)”
    • 2FAST4U: “Sweet Emotion”(live)

There is a 6th Limo in the fleet of ride vehicles of Rock’n’Roller Coaster. This vehicle is without a license plate, and is always “in refurbishment.” The vehicles are rotated in and out of use after a period of many thousands of laps around the track. However, the maintenance teams will switch out the plate and add the proper song to the new vehicle every time a rotation is made.
The ride formerly featured Uncle Joe Benson, a well-known Los Angeles, CA rock radio DJ, as the station’s DJ. Currently, Bill Hart (known as Bill St. James), the host of ABC Radio’s “Flashback”, provides the voice for the DJ of “LA’s Classic Rock Station”.

Disneyland Paris Entrance

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster also exists in Disneyland Paris’ Walt Disney Studios Park, named “Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster avec Aerosmith”. Although the track layout is identical to its Orlando counterpart, the theme of the ride differs—instead of guests being taken on the Los Angeles freeways, the Paris version is based around an Aerosmith music video. Lighting rigs, projectors, strobes, and smoke effects are used in place of the road signs that exist in the U.S. version. The name of the record company is Tour de Force (instead of “G-Force”) Records, and the vehicles in Paris are called “Soundtrackers” instead of limousines. The story of the Paris version is that Aerosmith, working with engineers, have created a revolutionary new music experience at the Tour De Force Records studios. After watching the pre-show which features Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler hyping up the ride, guests are lured into the testing area where they board the prototype vehicle for the new experience, the Soundtracker. A unique aspect of the Walt Disney Studios version is that each Soundtracker has its own theme. There are five different lightshows and five different soundtracks, one for each Soundtracker. The themes are as follows:

  • Soundtracker 1: green/yellow lightshow theme; plays “Back In The Saddle” and “Dude Looks Like A Lady”.
  • Soundtracker 2: pink lightshow theme; plays “Young Lust”, “F.I.N.E.” and “Love In An Elevator”.
  • Soundtracker 3: multicolour lightshow theme; plays “Love In An Elevator” and “Walk This Way”.
  • Soundtracker 4: red/yellow lightshow theme; plays “Nine Lives”.
  • Soundtracker 5: blue lightshow theme; plays “Sweet Emotion (live)”.

Hidden Mickeys:

  • One in the pre-show (found on a small chalkboard in the bottom right corner of the sound room (this one was made by a cast member and changes at times)
  • One in the pre-show (found on the ground, formed by three coils of wire).
  • One in place of each “Expiration Date” for the license plates on the limos.
  • Many on the floor in Studio C, hidden in the carpet pattern.
  • Two on the ride track itself (one found on a yellow sign behind a red limo, one on the ground in a cityscape area).
  • Two in the tile mosaic in the rotunda before the recording studio near the marble doors.
  • One in the post show area to the right as one enters this area.
  • Many on Steven Tyler’s shirt on the poster outside.
  • One on Joe Perry’s medallion on the outside poster.

Disneyland Paris’ Making of the attraction video:


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Bells Will Be Ringing!!!


First, I would like to apologize for not having posted anything in awhile; I started a new job recently and have been extremely busy. I have gotten settled in and will be back to my normal 3 posts a week schedule so thanks for checking in from time to time! Its true folks, my fiancé and I have finally set a date to tie the knot! Guess where our honeymoon will be…Disney World of course. We are getting married this October and I have been trying to arrange something unique and special for us while on our honeymoon in the kingdom. I would love some feedback from you guys on ideas. Have you honeymooned at Disney World and, if so, what was special about your trip? Did Disney do anything out of the ordinary for you? Did you spend an evening at a fancy restaurant or location? I would love any and all feedback, stories, and ideas so please leave comments below! Only 2 more months to go…we can’t wait!! New posts will continue on schedule tomorrow…Thanks and I look forward to your comments!!