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The future that never was . . . is here! A new Tomorrowland has taken shape on the Magic Kingdom horizon, giving the land the look of a city like those imagined by sci-fi writers and movie-makers of the 1920s and 1930s -- complete with attractions exploring space and time.

Instead of the "serious" look at the "real" future of the original Tomorrowland which opened in 1971, the newer version creates a "fantasy" world where shiny robots do the work, planet-hopping rocket ships battle space aliens and time-machine travel becomes a thrilling "reality" along the Avenue of Planets.

It’s a Flash Gordon-ish, Buck Rogers-like neighborhood of sky-piercing beacons and glistening metal illuminated by a celestial spectrum of neon colors; of whisper-quiet conveyances gliding along an elevated highway and rockets circling among spinning planets.

The overall effect created for Walt Disney World guests is a friendly future-town neighborhood atmosphere like other lands in the Magic Kingdom.

And it’s home to some of the Magic Kingdom’s newest attractions -- The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, The Timekeeper and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin -- plus revised versions of several favorite Tomorrowland attractions.

Tomorrowland highlights:

  • Stitch's Great Escape -- Guests find themselves caught in an experiment gone awry during the most frightening thriller of all Magic Kingdom attractions, developed in collaboration with George Lucas.

    Just beyond the entryway of this "future city," guests enter the city’s Convention Center for a demonstration of a new teleportation system from an alien corporation called XS-Tech. Company representatives have come from their planet to market this new "product" and are eager to demonstrate it. But an attempt to transport the XS-Tech chief executive from their planet to Earth fails, and the catastrophic results are a close encounter with a frightening alien creature.

    The show, which replaces Mission to Mars, breaks new ground with special effects, playing on the audience’s own fears and imaginations to create a chaotic, emotional experience.

  • Laugh Floor -- Because time-travel was such a prominent part of early science-fiction writers’ visions, Disney Imagineers have combined Circle-Vision 360 technology with Audio-Animatronics® figures and special in-theater effects to create an adventure to centuries past and those yet to come -- all within an auditorium that literally surrounds guests with sights and sounds. During their journey, today’s travelers meet famous inventors and visionaries of the machine-age.
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin -- Armed with infrared lasers, Magic Kingdom guests join forces with Buzz Lightyear to defend Earth’s supply of batteries from the evil Emperor Zurg in Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, a spinning, brought-to-life Tomorrowland spin-off of the hit movie "Toy Story." The shoot-'em-up fun triggers sight and sound gags, while a lighted display inside toy-spaceship vehicles allows guests to keep score.
  • Astro Orbiter -- At the center of the new city, a tower glowing with rings of flashing, changing colors serves as a beacon to guests, who can board machine-age rockets and take a spin on the Astro Orbiter. Looking more like a Buck Rogers toy than a 1990s Space Shuttle, the attraction surrounds passengers with whirling planets during a swing through space in the center of Tomorrowland.
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress -- One of the most popular attractions in Tomorrowland since 1974, Carousel of Progress has a new look -- both inside and out.

    The musical comedy show has been seen by more guests than any other theatrical presentation in the history of American Theater since its debut at the 1964 World’s Fair.

    The show traces the impact of technological progress on Americans’ daily living from the start of the 20th century into the near future with a cast of family characters brought to life through Disney’s Audio-Animatronics effects.

    Through an added pre-show, guests discover more about the original Carousel show designed by Walt Disney, and hear the return of the original theme song, "There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow." With an updated script and new cast of voices, guests get a glimpse of innovations like virtual-reality, voice-activation and high-definition television.

Visitors to the new Tomorrowland also will find a super-arcade of video-games amid giant "generators" in the Tomorrowland Light and Power Station plus familiar favorites like Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Indy Speedway and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority -- formerly WEDway PeopleMover -- a part of this futuristic city.

A journey through Buzz Lightyear’s hyper-imagination awaits Magic Kingdom guests as the computer-animated world of Disney’s "Toy Story" magically transforms into reality at the Tomorrowland attraction, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

Guests are enlisted as junior space rangers to join Buzz on an interactive adventure to defend the universe’s crystollic fusion cell supply -- better known as batteries -- from the sinister alien Emperor Zurg. Zurg’s been plotting to steal all the toys’ batteries and use them to fuel his "ultimate weapon of destruction."

Guests jump right into the playful fantasy aboard XP-37 space cruisers and embark on a whimsical voyage to the Gamma Quadrant. The adventure features 10 interactive scenes. To capture Zurg, space rangers must battle gigantic robots, explore strange planets and hijack a flying saucer. During the spectacular final battle, laser beams scream across the sky and Buzz himself joins the action. Zurg’s secret weapon is blown apart by Buzz’s laser, and squeaky toy Martians collect its shattered remains.

Each space cruiser is themed as a vibrantly colored wind-up toy. It comes fully equipped with turbo-charged twin laser cannons and a joystick capable of spinning the craft 360 degrees. To save the universe and collect points, guests are instructed to blast the orange-colored Emperor Zurg insignias scattered throughout the attraction. More complex targets score more points. Each space ranger’s score is tallied electronically and displayed via an LED screen on the cruiser’s dashboard. As cruisers complete the mission, guests compare their score with the mission profile chart to determine their space ranger rank.

When the space cruiser’s laser zaps a target, it triggers space-aged animation, sound and light effects. Sharp-shooting space rangers cause aliens to spring from hiding, volcanoes to erupt, winged creatures to take flight and other zany audio and visual effects.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin also features a high-fidelity, high-efficiency projection system for displaying the computer-generated face and head of Buzz Lightyear in the attraction’s pre-show. Walt Disney Imagineers worked with Pixar Productions and several Disney divisions to coordinate the animation of Buzz Lightyear.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, presented by Mattel, opened in October 1998, replacing the Take Flight attraction.

There are no height restrictions for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. The space cruisers move at a slow forward speed, and young children will be as fascinated by their ability to make the vehicle spin around as they will be by shooting at targets.

Since its opening in 1975, Space Mountain has thrilled millions of Magic Kingdom guests on a twisting and plunging "space journey." The popular Walt Disney World Attraction, presented by Federal Express, provides guests with high excitement and delights them with imaginative scenery from the world of space.

 Entering Space Mountain, windows appear to look out into the universe, providing a sensation of walking through space and the anticipation of a spine-tingling adventure -- a dark ride through space.

 Guests board six-passenger trains that rocket through tunnels of flickering neon lights, then begin a rapid descent along an intricate and dark track. The spatial-effects lighting, sprinkling the inner-heavens with galaxies of stars, darting meteors and glowing space vehicles, sets the stage for an adventure as close to a cosmic voyage as most people will ever experience.

 Space Mountain originated in the early 1960's when Walt Disney conceived the idea of a high-speed thrill attraction based on the imaginative thrust and excitement of the Space Age.

 Rising to a sloping, cone-shaped peak 183 feet above ground level, Space Mountain contains 4,508,500 cubic feet -- capable of holding a small skyscraper in its interior. The adventure has a base diameter of 300 feet and took two years to build. In basic structure, the mountain is composed of great ribbed slopes -- 72 massive pre-stressed concrete beams forming a gigantic sealed cone. Each of the 74-ton concrete beams was cast near the Space Mountain site and then hoisted into place by mammoth cranes to complete the cone. Each beam is 117 feet long and is 13 feet wide at the bottom and 4 feet wide at the top. Guests are amazed that the maximum speed is 28 mph, because the attraction delivers high-speed thrills.

 
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Stitch's Great Escape See where Stitch's Great Escape is on a Map
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin See where Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is on a Map
Astro Orbiter See where Astro Orbiter is on a Map
Laugh Floor See where Laugh Floor is on a Map
Space Mountain See where Space Mountain is on a Map
Tomorrowland Transit Authority See where Tomorrowland Transit Authority is on a Map
Tomorrowland Indy Speedway See where Tomorrowland Indy Speedway is on a Map
Carousel of Progress  See where Carousel of Progress  is on a Map

 

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