Friday, November 18, 2011

Walking Tour of Tomorrowland: 1955

One of my readers expressed his love for 1950's Tomorrowland, so I figured I'd attempt to piece together a walking tour circa 1955. As you originally stepped from Central Plaza to Tomorrowland, you'd see the Clock of the World (also referred to as the World Time Clock). Designed by the Disney Studios and sponsored by Timex, this clock told the time of day anywhere in the world at a moment's glance.

To the right, you'd be able to enjoy the Monsanto Hall of Chemistry. This exhibit featured The Chemitron, which were huge test tubes of the eight basic materials found in nature which helped to produce the 500 different Monasanto chemicals and plastics.

On the left-hand side of the Clock, you'd encounter Circarama, presented by American Motors. Circarama used eleven 16mm projectors mounted on the roof of an American Motors car (thus the red color for the letters "car" on the marquee) to create a completely circular picture on a 360-degree screen. The original films were shot by Paul Mantz and Frank Tallman, of TallMantz Aviation. Guests stood in the center of the screen and were able to look out in every direction and observe views of the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Las Vegas, Balboa Bay, and the streets of Los Angeles.

Venturing further into Tomorrowland, the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit was next door to the Hall of Chemistry. Disney re-used the sets from the 1954 movie and installed them in Tomorrowland as a walk-through exhibit.

What else was in Tomorrowland? A veritable buffet of exhibits such as The Kaiser Aluminum Exhibit:

The Crane Bathroom of Tomorrow:

Richfield Oil’s “Years Ahead” Exhibit with "The World Beneath Us" CinemaScope film:

Towards the back of Tomorrowland, you could see the Avenue of Flags. Each of the U.S. Flags was arranged in the order of their admittance to the Union. On each flag pole was the name of the state, the date it was admitted to the union, and its motto.

To the right of the Flags was the iconic Moonliner and Rocket to the Moon attraction:

At 80' it was the tallest structure in the park—8' taller than Sleeping Beauty Castle. Adjoining the rocket was the “Rocket to the Moon” exhibit/show. 100 guests at a time would enter either the Luna or the Diana for a 10 minute trip to the Moon and back.

Hungry? You could stop by the Space Bar and get a tasty snack:

Once you refueled at The Space Bar, you could zoom around the Autopia:

Last, and according to some, least...the Tomorrowland boats:

I hope you enjoyed this brief retro tour of Tomorrowland!

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stu29573 said...

You know, I've never actually seen a picture of the Phantom boats MOVING! LOL.

Anonymous said...

The original Circarama film, especially the aerial sequence, was a great "ride". Wonder where that film is today.

CoxPilot said...

Paul Mantz was the stunt pilot that did the famous "flying through the billboard" stunt in the movie "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World." He was later killed doing the flying of the plane in the original "Flight of the Phoenix."
Those were only two of his many accomplishments.
I actually had a chance to climb in the camera plane (a B-25 Mitchell) when I was young and pocking around the Orange County Airport.

Connie Moreno said...

That was awesome!!!

TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks for the Tomorrowland tour, Dave! I would love to see the Circarama film as well as the 1967 version of America The Beautiful. They should bring those back and put them in the Carthay Circle Theater! Even if it IS going to be a restaurant, it would be a great tribute to Walt Disney. After all, the Sci-Fi Drive-in at Walt Disney World is a restaurant that runs movie clips while you're dining and it's very popular. And wasn't the interior of the REAL Carthay Circle Theater round? It's a perfect fit! That's my idea anyway, but it would probably make too much sense for them to do something like that.