The Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort is home to differently themed lands that are completely immersive and transport Guests to different locations both in reality and imagination. Tomorrowland is one of the most popular areas of the Magic Kingdom thanks to several popular attractions and experiences as well as a futuristic, yet classic, theming that whisks Guests to another world.
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In addition to the amazing attractions and experiences, part of what makes Tomorrowland such an incredible place is the immense attention to detail that can be found in literally every corner. Small details and subtle theming created by the Imagineers led to the beloved and popular version that Guests enjoy today, yet many of these details often go overlooked as Guests rush from one location to another, so let’s slow down and check some of them out.
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Last majorly updated in 1994, Tomorrowland is designed to feel like the future that never was by utilizing architecture and details that are seamlessly futuristic as well as nostalgic. In addition to the architecture, Tomorrowland is also home to constant kinetic movement which helps to bring the area to life and Guests can regularly spot the rockets on the Astro Orbiter blasting off, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress rotating, and cars zooming around on the Tomorrowland Speedway.
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One of the most popular attractions in Tomorrowland is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover which can constantly be seen high in the sky whisking Guests on a grand tour of the area. While many Guests regularly enjoy a ride on this attraction, they might not realize that it is entirely powered by magnets that are embedded into the ride track which push and pull each vehicle throughout the experience.
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The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is also home to a small portion of the original Progress City model which previously was on display on the second floor of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at the 1964 New York World’s Fair as well as at Disneyland from 1967 through 1973. The model showcases Walt Disney’s original concept for a working utopian city that ultimately evolved into the EPCOT that Guests know and love today.
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About halfway through the experience on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover Guests are actually whisked inside of Space Mountain where they can enjoy a preview of the thrilling attraction as well as one quote that pays homage to several Tomorrowland attractions that no longer exist. Just after moving through the area of Space Mountain where two astronauts can be seen out on a spacewalk, Guests should be sure to listen for brief announcements over the speakers.
“Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow. Please contact Mr. Johnson in the control tower to confirm your flight to the moon.” This simple page references Tom Morrow 2.0 who was the mascot of Innoventions in EPCOT until 2007 as well as the host of Imagineer That! on the Disney Channel, Mr. Johnson who was the flight director of Mission to Mars which closed in 1993, and former attraction Flight to the Moon which closed in 1975.
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover offers a small glimpse of Space Mountain, but there is nothing like enjoying the thrilling experience firsthand as well as checking out a ton of amazing details along the way beginning on the exterior. The interesting architectural choice of using the beams on the exterior of the building was the genius work of John Hench who realized that they gave a futuristic look and forced perspective to make the attraction look taller as well as a seamless interior that would allow for clear projections of space.
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Right after entering Space Mountain, Guests can spot a massive sign welcoming them to Starport 75 which is the fictional intergalactic travel hub that they will soon be rocketing off from that also pays homage to the year 1975 when Space Mountain first opened. Just to the right of this illuminated sign is a second smaller sign that lists Active Lunar Stations and Active Earth Stations, many of which reference other familiar attractions and dates.
Guests who look closely at the sign will recognize that “Tomorrowland Station MK-1” references Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, “TL Space Station 77” references Disneyland’s Space Mountain which is in Tomorrowland and opened in 1977, “Discovery Landing Station Paris” references the Disneyland Paris version, “Ashita Base Tokyo” references Tokyo Disneyland’s Space Mountain, and finally “H Spaceport E-TKT” references Hong Kong Disneyland’s Space Mountain as well as now defunct E Tickets.
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After moving past the main entrance into Space Mountain, Guests move into the star tunnels where soothing music can be heard as they walk past windows looking out at the inky blackness and twinkling stars in space. A series of illuminated signs on the left hand side of the pathway showcase the various travel destinations that Guests can visit including Disney’s Hyperion Resort which pays homage to the Hyperion Studio where Walt and Roy Disney moved The Walt Disney Studio to in 1926.
While enjoying the exit sequence of Space Mountain, Guests can also spot a subtle tribute to a beloved attraction from EPCOT that closed in 1999. Horizons used to bring Guests on a journey into the potential of the future before letting them choose their own ending to further explore in one of three locations. Near the beginning of the moving walkway on Space Mountain, Guests can spot a pile of luggage with a small sticker advertising Mesa Verde which was one of the three locations and further along the path can spot a robot butler who looks very similar to one previously found on Horizons.
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After enjoying a high speed adventure on Space Mountain, Guests can continue through Tomorrowland and check out other amazing attractions and experiences including Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin where they are asked to join Star Command to help defeat the Evil Emperor Zurg. In one scene of the attraction, Guests can spot a trio of chickens who were originally in the attraction If You Had Wings which used to occupy the space before closing in 1989.
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Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom is home to so many amazing details for Guests who take the time to explore and truly absorb the ambiance and beautiful design. These details only scratch the surface of wonderful things to notice, and Guests should absolutely spend lots of time trying to take in as much as possible on any visit to the Magic Kingdom!