Saturday, March 27, 2010


After the Mission To Mars attraction was shuttered to Disneyland guests, the show building was still used. For a short time the attractions' boarding concourse was used as a Magic Kingdom Club Member "gift Redemption Center". Later, Disneyland's entertainment division used the same area as storage and temporary offices as their former space above the Carousel Theatre was being gutted.

A horribly out-of-place musical stage show  "Toy Story Playhouse" was performed in front of the "Mars" facade. While the Plaza Inn on Main Street USA was being renovated the old prop rotisserie of chicken, turkeys and roasting meats in front of fiberglass glowing coals were stored on the attractions exit corridors.
While Imagineers came up with dozens and dozens of great ideas for possible replacements for the space once held by Mission To Mars, the bureaucratic management of Paul Pressler's regime was not about to release the purse strings to allow any such ideas to materialize in the 'New Tomorrowland" of 1998. Sadly because of this, the space intended for an attraction became a restaurant --the idea that now a direct revenue could be made from the space  made Presser and his cohorts happy. The Imagineers secret scheme was to make the restaurant part attraction as well. The working title for the project was called the "Tomorrowland Transportation Warehouse" a fictional "museum" and semi storage facility where all the elements for Tomorrowlands past would be on display. Guests could dine sitting in one of the two circular theaters and see portions of" Mission To Mars"," Flight To The Moon", and even "Rocket To The Moon"! The last piece of a surviving Mark III Monorail (Big Red) would have also been on view as well as be accessible to guests. Smaller "snack seating" would be available in old Autopia Cars, Skyway cabins, and PeopleMover cars. Here too guests would view old props, posters, signs and other artifacts celebrating all things Tomorrowland while listening to the sounds, music, and safety spiels of Tomorrowlands past.

As Mission To Mars and Tomorrowland demolition began, so did the demolition of the entire projects budget. Eventually the grand plans for the "Tomorrowland Museum Restaurant" became smaller and smaller.  Disneyland Restaurants  division felt the props and historical elements of the project were talking up too much "paying customers" seating space, and the cost to refurbish many of the vehicles for use was too expensive, so rather than a great big beautiful "WOW" experience for Disneyland guest,the project resulted in a College Commissary atmosphere under the name of Red Rockets Pizza Port. 
Looking out from the Mars passenger concourse
It didn't take long to "peel away" the future.
Think of all the passengers who passed through here between  1967 and the 1990's!!
below: "Mister Johnson........Mister Johnson...........??? Hello.............???

here you can see the multi-layered viewing ramps for guests while viewing "Mission Control".....beyond is one of the flight status screens inside you DC-88 SPACELINER

The remains of the left side exit corridor mural is visible in the back
be careful as you find your seat inside  the remains of a DC-88 SPACELINER cabin
.....use the handrail please.....
this damage was caused not by "meteoroids" but by Disneyland bean-counters!
The last of the seats removed, the skeletal remains of Mission To Mars. If you look closely you might be able to see the spirits of happy Disneyland guests on their "Mission To Mars".......
Mission To Mars March Month will be over, but yet another few posts will follow on the legacy of Mission To Mars.....including some relics and artifacts that have survived into the real 21st Century!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mega Post #3 in a series.

35 years ago today, Tomorrowland began its McDonnell Douglas DC-88 Super-Space liner Service to the "mysterious red-planet"; MARS. In this post (post #3 if you've been following......) we meet the crew from that serviced the Tomorrowland Spaceport for so many years.

The first people we meet are our Mission To Mars hosts / hostesses wearing a beautiful cosmic ensemble of blues, yellows,white....and a orange band along the waist!.

here we have a flight hostess checking to make sure that her pant cuffs are the correct 8" diameter flare!

here we see the final concept art of what our male flight hosts will wear on the journey into space. Lots of "Sears" styling going on here. See one of the previous Mission To Mars mega posts for images of the actual costume this represent.
the sponsor identification patch

Mission Control at Walt Disney World.....note Mr. Johnson is wearing a BLUE turtle neck rather than his traditional red one??

Mr. Johnson (who replaced Mr. Morrow of the Flight to the Moon), was very modern in his silvery lab coat and futuristic 1975 turtle neck sweater! This is one of Mr. Johnson's actual work uniforms.....he always had two on hand--just-in-case he should spill some Sanka or Nescafe on himself!!

Mr. Johnson's head set.
and so no other mission control staff members accidentally took his coat, Mr. Johnson had his CLREARLY labeled!
Mr. Johnson was voiced by character actor GEORGE WALSH


"BILL" (MMF-8)

"HAL" (MMF-7)
(is he named after a certain robot from the film 2001...??)
"KEN" (MMF-6)

"ART" (MMF-5)
this figure was altered to become the first African-American AA staff member at Mission To Mars. He was named "ART" in honor of famed tennis star Arthur Ashe......who won Wimbledon in 1975.
"FRED" (MMF-4)
Fred is the only staff member NOT wearing a headphone!
"JIM" (MMF-3)
Jim appears to be napping here, but he is really eavesdropping on Fred's phone call!! Looks like Fred's gotta a date to go to BeniHana's after the day's last mission!

"MARY" (MMF-2)
Of course between 1967 and 1975 there was a great deal of social change in our American Society. 1975 brought  with it female staff members to Mission To Mars. Mary was named after Mary Tyler Moore who's TV show of the same name was a top Emmy award winner during this time. Ironically she looks more like Phyllis Lindstrom than Mary Richards......

Staff coat patch
cast members pose for a Tomorrowland cast photo on December 2, 1992 for a final "farewell" to MISSION TO MARS on it's very last day of operation.


Join Tomorrowlounge for a few more MEGA posts as we celebrate MISSION TO MARS MARCH MONTH!!!

next post.....unbuilt plans for MISSIOIN TO MARS and the attraction's final sunset.............

Saturday, March 06, 2010

.........The MOON is OUT and MARS is in!!

this is the color artwork by Jim Michaelson (creator of the Disneyland Railroad 1977 attraction poster) and Rudy Lord. Below are the plans to make this sign, should you feel one might be needed at the entry of your home!

It seems that the standard 4'x8' board was common for "coming soon" attraction signs......AMERICA SINGS '74 used this same plan.

this TITAN III interplanetary Maned Mars explorer concept of the late 1960's seems to have been the inspiration for the DC-88 depicted on the "coming soon" sign, but has little resemblance to the final DC-88 SPACELINER shown in the attraction's launch screens, and as you rounded the boarding concourse. For a short time, a display of McDonnell-Douglas aircraft was shown in the loading que for "Mars".....from the earliest bi-plane to DC-10s...........and the final case was a model of the "current" DC-88 SPACELINER........a preview of the very one you would be riding to Mars in. I was unable to located the images of this model for this I'll show it  another time. For now, it was very similar to this 1950's Moon rocket concept.

This concept is a beautiful......and very stylized rendering by famed designer John deCuir Sr. for the interior's color and arrangement of the passenger hold. Note that there is a pilot or captain visible inside the cabin with the passengers.....I wonder if there was consideration of another AA figure to be added of "3rd Officer Collins".......???

below is a concept also by John deCuir Sr. , not for Mission To Mars , but for Walt Disney World's Polynesian Village Resort.......done if a" Future-Tiki" design........tropical, yet very TOMORROWLOUNGE. I ran across it while looking for pieces to use for this post.

some graphic blueprints to label the sides of the DC-88. Did you know that those ships are Hydrogen powered??

Above you can see the passenger cabin flight status control panel. A neat detail.

In this inner cabin shot, you can see a sliver of the unique exit murals thru the unclosed "air-lock doors"

here's a rare view of one of those murals.......Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World featured these .

this detail of Tomorrowland 1977 by Clem Hall shows where Mission To Mars "fit's" in.

Here's the "blade" sign for Walt Disney World's Mission To Mars.........also turning 35 this year!

interesting to see the backside of the "departure" that Latin??

well, it looks like this MEGA post is going to be 4-5 next time we will talk about "what to wear" to Mars...........and we will meet the entire staff of the Mission Control team!