futurism

Bring to Walt Disney World: The Hyperloop

wdw-hyperloop-pods

This week crazy-like-a-fox billionaire businessman Elon Musk introduced his latest revolutionary concept, the Hyperloop, and then gave it away to the masses as an open source project. Musk’s previous successes include Paypal (without which much online transactions wouldn’t happen), Tesla (an electric car company that’s profitable for a change), SpaceX (a private company that is helping NASA get payloads into space with an eventual goal of Mars(!)), and SolarCity (affordable solar panels for home and business; It remains to be seen if this will fall into the success category, but it seems likely with a net positive in the profit column last quarter).

Hollywood director Jon Favreau has said he modeled his version of Tony Stark, aka Marvel’s Iron Man, at least in part after Musk. But I think Tony Stark is the wrong model. Musk reminds me more of late period Walt Disney, when Walt had his eye on the future, not just of entertainment and the Disney Company, but of the planet as a whole and improving the lives of those who live on it. His gained steam with Monorails (mass transit), moved onto PeopleMovers (person rapid transit (PRT)), and dabbled in energy efficiency and recycling. Then Walt united all his theories and took on the mother of all urban planning projects – EPCOT, the experimental prototype community of tomorrow. With EPCOT, Walt wanted to build a working community where he could partner with industrial explorers with a similar vision for the future.

That is essentially the same vision as Elon Musk; which is why I think there is a natural partnership between Musk, his companies, and The Walt Disney Company. To get started, create the partnership for the purposes of building a working prototype of the Hyperloop at Walt Disney World. Musk, or his team, would be involved enough to oversee things, but most of the R&D would be left to Walt Disney Imagineering. The resulting prototype would be a great first step to making a full scale Hyperloop a feasible project to get past local and state governments.

Disney’s Imagineers already have much of the expertise needed to build such a system. They have experience with air-bearings (from the Flying Saucers ride in 60s to the revisited version at DCA), mass transit systems (Monorail, PeopleMover, etc.) and for years they used a garbage disposal system at the Magic Kingdom that magically whisked away trash right from the curb side down an air pressure driven pipe. They also have good contacts in the coaster and mass transit construction industries, so finding suppliers would not be difficult. Read More »Bring to Walt Disney World: The Hyperloop

Why do you love EPCOT Center?

Over the last few years The Daily City has grown into one of Orlando’s real treasures. It’s as close to a hyper-local news blog as we’ve got in the town and it continues to deliver great content on a daily basis (not to mention its… Read More »Why do you love EPCOT Center?

Damon Lindelof Dishes on Tomorrowland, Next Film from Brad Bird

Brad Bird’s next film has been announced as “Tomorrowland,” but there’s a shroud of mystery surrounding the films plot and the ideas behind it. The film;s writer Damon Lindelof just gave a long interview to Grantland in which he talks about the multitude of projects… Read More »Damon Lindelof Dishes on Tomorrowland, Next Film from Brad Bird

Brad Bird’s movie now titled Tomorrowland

Brad Bird’s live action film gets a name change to something with a theme park tie-in. This according to a brief press release from Disney: The Walt Disney Studios has announced that its live-action release previously known as 1952 will be titled Tomorrowland. The film… Read More »Brad Bird’s movie now titled Tomorrowland

EPCOT Update and a Wish

The other day as I strolled around EPCOT, I wondered why is ‘Future World’ stuck in the past. Of all the attractions only Mission: Space could be said to be forward looking. Spaceship Earth tacks a little choose your own adventure video on the end with a look forward, but the bulk of the ride is about the past. The rest of the ‘future attractions’ are really now ‘present day’ attractions. Why hasn’t Disney kept up with some of the latest technologies of the future?

Where are the ec0-friendly buildings, how about podcars (or other rapid transit innovations (Google Self Driving car anyone?)), and a view of what work will be like in the future. Recreate a portion of Masdar City, the first city designed to be energy neutral. Inspire guests with a vision of the future where technology is there to enable us to achieve even more as a planet.

Anyway, enough of that rant. There is change at the center, and I took a few pictures on my stroll. Here are some of the new things I saw in the park:


The cast member greeting position for the Seas with Finding Nemo pavilion has a new shade structure. It looks nice, but unfortunately they didn’t see fit to install a solar power fan for the cast member stationed there.


A close look at the floor reveals this is a future site of Fastpass Plus.

Read More »EPCOT Update and a Wish

Electric Car Recharging Stations Added to SeaWorld San Diego

Congratulations are due to SeaWorld San Diego for opening a terrific eco-friendly enhancement. If you have an electric car and are helping reduce green house gases in the environment, you can now “top off you batteries” while visiting Shamu and his friends. As part of… Read More »Electric Car Recharging Stations Added to SeaWorld San Diego

TRON costume concept art by Syd Mead

I’ve been a long admirer of the futuristic design and concept art from Syd Mead. Here are a couple costume pieces he designed for the original TRON: Both are from this gallery of Tron concept art. (H/T SuperPunch) Previously: Tron Legacy Animated Series coming to… Read More »TRON costume concept art by Syd Mead