Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tokyo - New Tomorrowland

Tokyo’s current Tomorrowland is architecturally reminiscent of MK’s original, pre-1994 land, but taller, wider and more spread out:
Pic 1
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Pic 4

As most here know, in the late 1990s the OLC came very close to greenlighting a massive make-over for Tomorrowland, known as Sci-Fi City:
Neverland Files

Like Sci-Fi City, my approach applies the ‘Atom Punk’ ‘Deco-Tech’ ‘Retro-Sci Fi’ fantasy aesthetic to the land, leaving no exterior unchanged.

This version of Tomorrowland is to be the “sister city” of the MK’s metropolis, and I imagine there could be subtle connections between the two lands and their attractions (similar to Mystic Manor reportedly having some connection to TDS’s S.E.A.).  The Tokyo version would be even more urban, featuring many spires and towers.  The intention is to create a somewhat busy, chaotic, Buck Rogersesque cityscape - the opposite of the current minimalist, monolithic approach.

The current land’s most redeeming architectural features (the two spires at the entrance) are re-purposed here to glowing light-beacons.

I removed the current escalators to Space Mountain in order to free up room for a central plaza to the land marked by a spherical water feature and a circle ancient alien rocks.  The former Skyway Station would be re-purposed to a more elaborate queue & pre-show for an upgraded Space Mountain (adorned with glass domes – a recurring feature of the land).

Star Tours and Pizza Planet facades are re-done to meld with the metal-glass dome-spire look of the rest of the land.  There is an Ion Cannon added to the Star Tours terminal.   The overpass bridge at the southern(?) end of the land would mark the border to Tomorrowland and beyond it would be a small land dedicated to Pixar (with Ride n Go Seek).

I imagine the Captain Eo 3-D Theater could be re-purposed for a original special FX theatrical presentation based on the mythos of the land. 

Where there is now a very wide, sterile, angular plaza in front of the Grand Prix, I’ve made a more organic and undulating space with alien plantings, rockwork & fountains.  In place of the Grand Prix itself is the MetroCity Police HQ where a major E-ticket awaits (original EMV shooter involving Alien crime boss).

StarJets become a new take on the Astro Orbitor and Tomorrowland Terrace becomes a new restaurant themed to a starship garage.

Finally, I added Jetsons-like skyline flats, similar to those in Anaheim Toontown, in order to simulate a much broader, deeper city (only visible from certain angles).


UPDATE: See below for an updated Potter illustration with a Triwizard Stadium as the new Dragon Challenge aueue.


Anonymous said...

Good ideas as always. My own preferred aesthetic for an ideal Tomorrowland...at Tokyo or elsewhere...would be one along the lines of the Mission: Space pavilion at Epcot. I kind of prefer the uncluttered approach...though the current buildings in Tokyo are really bland.

- Tasman

Felipe Zahtariam said...

Gread job! I like very much this retro sci-fi theme better than the other tomorrowland themes.

And your birdseye illustrations are getting better and better! Very happy with your reworks on the Tokyo Disneyland, though.

Anonymous said...

I just love every one of these that you do -- your work is gorgeous. Tomorrowland would ROCK if they did this. I am especially happy at how you get rid of those race cars that some people seem to think are sacred. At DLR, with Cars Land having race cars, Autopia needs to be removed for sure.

I don't see a way to email you an idea, but I wonder if you would consider designing a Maleficent Coaster for DLR that would replace part of the land that Autopia takes up.

My idea is for the Autopia land to be given 1/2 to Fantasyland and 1/2 to Tomorrowland at DLR.

The Fantasyland side will get a coaster similar to Seven Dwarves Mine Train at WDW but it will be Maleficent themed...the queue is a forest of thorns, the ride building is hidden under a mountain with Maleficient's castle at the top, and the ride vehicles are white and have horse heads at the front like Sampson. The story is that you are riding to help Prince Philip defeat the dragon Maleficient. And the coaster zigs and zags through castle ruins and thorns with the dragon popping up here and there belching fire at you.

Real fire won't be used, but there will be flame-like effects using lighting...and some animatronic dragon heads in the ride.

The ride ends with guests deposited outside with a peaceful view of Sleeping Beauty castle, just like in the movie where after Maleficient is defeated peace and beauty return to the land.

Sorry if this was the wrong place to post this idea but I did not see a way to email it.

SWW said...

Felipe, if done well (like MK's AstroOrbitor & Avenue of Planets) I too am a fan of this retro style. It has the economic benefit of being timeless and can be stretched in a several thematic directions.

Tasman, the retro-scifi vs. minimalist TL seems to be pretty polarizing. I've read people who vehemently oppose this kind of redressing to Tomorrowland. My thoughts: I'm fine with the original MK Tomorrowland style: clean, Sarinnen & minimalist as long as it reflects the attractions therein and the tropes of the land, but I think WDI did the right thing at the time in re-doing it back in 94. Partly due to the attractions, TL was feeling somewhat stale and dated (like it was still celebrating NASA's heyday).

Mission Space does have a unique looks that appears to be futuristic & timeless, but it's still relatively new, so we'll see how that goes.

Tokyo Tomorrowland is another story. While it mimics MK's original Tomorrowland, it so wide and open (and lacking a peoplemover connecting it) that it lacks a lot the beauty & feel of the original MK TL. Then you have the Star Tours/Pizza Planet section which is a plastic 1980s future with radar dishes. These two styles together compound Tokyo's problem. The waterfall pylons at the entrance still look great in their original style, but what I was going for here was a sci-fi version of Anaheim's Adventureland, Main St., Fantasyland, Frontierland, etc. - intimate environments with diverse, unusual buildings clustered on top of each other.


I like that Maleficent coaster idea (I bet Disney does, too, since they just announced the film). My email is in the About Me section at left, but you're welcome to post anything you want in the comments section also. I will keep it mind when I eventually get to drawing Disneyland again. BTW, why no real fire... seems to me that would be a really cool effect.

Anonymous said...

No real fire because I wanted to limit the risks to guests and also to be lower maintenance costs.

Look at the Indiana Jones ride at DLR to see how Disney has a tendency to let cool effects break and never be replaced (like the ice machines that used to rain down bits of ice on guests to simulate the ceiling falling in on them...and the machines have been broken for 10 years and there's no maintenance budget to fix them).

A fire effect would break down in a year or two and never be replaced.

But simulated fire through cool painting and lighting techniques would be something that would last the lifetime of the ride.

I also like the idea of playing off Sleeping Beauty Castle but having Maleficent's Castle too...only it's small and far away in a forest of thorns the way Beast's Castle looks in the new WDW expansion.

Would be kind of neat to have this villain's lair in the distance.

Would love to see this designed someday so it exists somewhere other than my imagination.

Anonymous said...

instead of flats, the buildings should be miniatures, like the new Beast's castle in WDW

Anonymous said...

Interesting concept and great presentation. One question though, where did your original SHDL post go?

SWW said...

^^ I agree about the miniatures being preferable to flats.

^ Good memory about the first SHDL. I took that one down because the SHDL II plan (with all the empty expansion pads) is a more up-to-date guess at what is going on over there.

Anonymous said...

Just to add a little to my previous comments...

I had forgotten, that I really like the theming of the Star Tours area at TDL. It has the kind of detail and color that strikes me as absent from the rest of Tomorrowland. I think, even more than the Mission Space-esque aesthetic I was pondering earlier, that I would like to see the Star Tours style theming extended to the rest of the land. The look I have in mind is something akin to Lego Futuron and Blacktron sets of the 1980s. I guess I do skew more towards the uncluttered approach, but either way works if executed with due diligence.

- Tasman

Anonymous said...

TDL's new Tomorrowland is fantastic! I can't believe you are smarter to make this land!
Can you do next theme park like
Disney-WB Studios?