Avatar on Hold? Tomorrowland Rising?


WDI model for Plectu’s Galactic Theater in the 2055 concept of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland

Of all the lands at Disneyland, Tomorrowland has always presented Imagineers the most trouble. Work began 6 months late, and it almost didn’t open with the rest of the park in 1955. What did open was mostly pre-fab buildings with corporate exhibits inside and a few walk-throughs (although I’m sad I missed the X-1 and 20,000 Leagues exhibits). The 1959 and 1967 revisions capitalized on America’s cold-war values and the economic engine of progress. But time, as they say, marches on and soon Disney found progress had passed them by making Tomorrowland out of date.

At Paris Disneyland they gave up on tomorrow all-together opting instead for a retro future Discoveryland theme. And, despite another valiant attempt at an update in 1998 (aka Montana Tomorrowland), the company hasn’t been able to escape the need to update Tomorrowland every few years just to keep up with the times. A faction of Walt Disney Imagineering has long lobbied to shift the theme of the difficult land from the future to the alien. That idea has seen some play, particularly in Walt Disney World where alien creatures (Stitch and Monster’s Inc) have set up shop. But a move by new Parks Chief Tom Staggs has given them new hope.

The DisneyGossip blog has a couple interesting rumors that might mean a seismic shift for the Magic Kingdom parks. First there is news that development for Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is on hold and the original plans for Australia might be back on. Then there is word that if New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom and Cars Land at DCA are successes, then there will be a greenlight to tackle Tomorrowland next.

I’m not sure what to make of either of those, but the logic does add up.

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15 Responses to Avatar on Hold? Tomorrowland Rising?

  1. Peter says:

    “Original plans for Australia” what is this?

  2. simmy25 says:

    This would be a dream come true

  3. James D. says:

    I still don’t think that Animal Kingdom is the right location for Avatar-land. Tomorrowland does seem like a better fit for it. It’ll be interesting to see how this all turns out.

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  6. Jimmy says:

    Avatar should stay on hold. Tomorrow land should be the next project to be updated and stych needs to be replaced also. Tomorrow land should just be that ahead of its time

  7. Mark Hickson says:

    I remember that model! It looked like a circus spaceship had landed. I really liked the concept. I think it was done after splash opened in 89′ The new tomorrowland concept was very organic, very different!

  8. Mark Hickson says:

    More on the model… that was also when Alien Encounter was first proposed for the mission to mars facility.

  9. Shelly Valladolid says:

    Iger today claimed that Avatar’s still happening and will be a big-ole success (you know, like The Chew and The Revolution on ABC Daytime) because there’s sequels coming! Ugh. It’s just so, so very boneheaded. Disney has so much they could already use as their “Potter killer” but instead they waste money and creativity with this crap.

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  14. j says:

    Avatar Land on hold!? Music to my ears! Bring on Australia!

  15. Me says:

    Avatar Land is not on hold. This is a rumor that someone just made up for publicity. Australia’s not happening. If you don’t like it, don’t visit it (but I’m guessing you will!) No company gets everything right, but few get as much right as Disney. Seriously, everyone has an opinion but none of you (or me) are Imagineers. They’ll get it right.

Comments are closed.