Monday, April 11, 2011

AMERICA SINGS MEGA POST FINAL #6 --America Sings replacements that never were!!

AMERICA SINGS MEGA POST FINAL #6 --America Sings replacements that never were!!

Once AMERICA SINGS had been shuttered, Walt Disney Imagineering really did intend to install a replacement show very soon.....however corporate management and Disneyland management butted heads with WDI's creativity.

The Carousel Theater with a biomorphic shell-roof & buttresses of the unrealized

 Ideas for a new Disneyland Carousel Theater show date back to the early 80's when the Oriental Land Company was offered AMERICA SINGS in it's early attraction package proposal.  When EPCOT CENTER opened, WED/WDI planed on bringing many EPCOT shows to Disneyland--and many did in the form of a revised 1984 GREAT MOMENTS WITH MR. LINCOLN, MAGIC JOURNEYS at the SPACE STAGE, and WONDERS OF CHINA in Circle Vision. When HORIZONS was being developed, there was a proposal to use duplicated show-set pieces from the 'Looking Back At Tomorrow" sequence ---these "retro futures" would fill each theater/Acts ......a Victorian -Jules Verne ACT 1, a 20's 30's-Art Deco Future view ACT 2, a 50's 60's future ACT 3, culminating in a Carousel of Progress family future with major elements from "Tomorrows Windows" sections of  HORIZONS main show.  The host on this Disneyland -simplified Horizons show was........Jules Verne (using existing DREAM FINDER AA tooling from Journey into Imagination)

Disneyland's Carousel Theater as

Other plans included the Great Animation Machine! Here the Carousel Theater would celebrate Classic Disney animated films of the past -and arriving to a final theater to preview guests the newest Disney film of the day. The upstairs was used to show the process on animation and display artwork and equipment used in developing the animated films of Disney. This like AMERICA SINGS seemed out-of-place in TOMORROWLAND.

Note in the rendering above how the exterior facade has elements of a film reel can. And take a closer look at the entrance marquee----------looks like the EYE OF MARA symbol!!

When HORIZONS opened at EPCOT CENTER in 1983, General Electric felt the Carousel of Progress was not a big enough "toy" for them and lost interest in the original Carousel of Progress attraction. Incidentally, HORIZONS "Tomorrows Windows" was designed as a continuation of The Carousel of Progress --even the AA figure of the man in the future apartment of Mesa Verde is the same mold as the Carousel of Progress Father!!!


With HORIZONS operating in Florida, WED/WDI planned replacements for the Walt Disney World Carousel Theater, with the intention of bringing the Carousel of Progress "home" to Disneyland!! In 1984, WED proposed to the EDISON ELECTRIC Institute -who sponsored Florida's WEDWAY PeopleMover, to bring sponsorship to the West Coast in the form of a revised and updated COP, to be called ,

Here are segments of the script---------and the lyrics to the 3rd generation song., "HERE COMES TOMORROW"

I wonder what the music was like??

In some future post on TOMORROWLOUNGE I'll display the entire script

Walt Disney World wanted to keep their version of the show and by the early 1990's a revised version of the Carousel of Progress opened. Disneyland theater remained vacant, but by this time, a WHOLE new TOMORROWLAND was under development----------a major redo  to rival the Tomorrowland 1967 with all new attractions and an entire  sky walk system creating a whole connecting second level to the land.

PLECTU'S GALACTIC REVUE "lands" in Tomorrowland

During this time WDI was developing a show using a combination of Industrial Robots and AA show-bots who had  a striking resemblance to some famous EARTHLING music performers!


This show seems to smell of FOOD ROCKS

For Florida's WDI was proposing NEW TOMORROWLAND - GALACTIC EXPO 2071 (this eventually became the 20's-30's Deco-Tech Future theme that opened in 1994.

For Disneyland, WDI was planning NEW TOMORROWLAND -SPACE PORT EARTH 2055!!
This became just TOMORROWLAND 2055

Plectu's Robots were soon replaced with music Aliens!!


In 1991 this revised version of the Plectu's show was described in a Disney Company Forum booklet :
"an outer space musical-variety revue, starring a troupe of itinerant alien musicians and featuring the latest advances in theater effects and "Audio-Animatronics" technology"
Danny Elfman developed the score for the musical numbers

P.T. QUANTUM's Showboat -Spaceship in Tomorrowland

these are looking too cute for Tomorrowland 2055................

Michael Eisner thought these were too cutesy as well.........and said the show seemed like something you'd see at any Chuck E. Cheese restaurants around the country. This along with some problems in fitting Alien Encounter into the Mission To Mars building-------and a few other things  killed TOMORROWLAND 2055...............

A billboard concept for future acts.........(this is NO joke!!)

The NEW TOMORROWLAND 2055 project was put on hold, and it's budget was given to the creation of TOONTOWN and FANTASMIC!!

Once attention was placed back on TOMORROWLAND, Disneyland wanted the Carousel Theater removed completely-------the first plans were for a "lake" with rock structures surrounding it in a stone henge fashion-in the middle a rock-island with the ASTRO ORBITOR at it's center.
Some TRUE Imagineers were determined to NOT let the old Carousel Theater get demolished and vowed to get the theater rotating once again. The challenge: there was almost NO budget in the Paul Pressler regime.......but WDI was gonna find a way.

For those of us who do not care for Disneyland's INOVENTIONS, here is something we must understand: without it-----there would no longer be a Carousel Theater at Disneyland. WDI spent money to KEEP the theater and get it to rotate again. Now, with a saved show building--there was NO money for a show inside. WDI reluctantly had to search for sponsors-lots of them to help provide much needed money to fill the void within.

No single BIG sponsor could be hooked, but smaller sponsors were interested. The Result: An attraction that had to showcase sponsor's products -----creating the INOVANTIONS format like EPCOT CENTER.

Bruce Gorden --a art director for the NEW TOMORROWLAND of 1998 said a year before opening........."We have NO idea want the HELL we are gonna put in here!.........."

an early mock-up test to give potential sponsors an idea of what could be done.......
note the HORIZONS Butler Robot in the distance?

this is less than a year to opening..........

The carousel Theater awaits sponsors and a decision on which mural will be used!

A beautiful new mural was designed by master futurist Syd Mead (of Short Circuit and Bladerunner films) but Imagineering couldn't use it as it didn't fit the loosely tied together theme of the growing number of sponsors.........

COMING SOON TO TOMORROWLOUNGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Progressland said...

I have some pictures just like that in Innoventions! Thank goodness for Cast Members who didn't mind sneaking around construction sites for me.

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, thank you again for this SUPER series. I think Innoventions is just dreadful, but when you say that it was either that or not having a theater...then I'm glad the theater was saved.

Please tell me....are there any immediate plans for this space? I keep hearing that the theater will be torn down for a Tron attraction. Any truth behind that?

I hope they keep the theater around in the next TL redo. I think they should bring back the Carousel of Progress, but the World's Fair or Disneyland version and then have guests exit through the second level. They could condense all the Innoventions garbage up there on the second floor and still have multiple sponsors. That way the fourth act could be what it was originally and it would never have to be updated. The upstairs exhibit area could then represent the "present" or the "future."

Davelandweb said...

Mike - agree with Chris. Putting everything into perspective, I can almost stomach Innoventions now!

Hoot Gibson said...

SWEET! This is amazing bews for any Horizons fan! Well done, Mike!

Hoot Gibson said...

not "bews" but "News". damn it!

Mark Taft said...

So glad I took that photo of Plectu's exterior. Seems everyone loves it- and I am glad to contribute!



Thanks Mark--I used that picture as a place holder at the time and forgot to upload my full version of the painting--, however the edit will not let me remove and replace the old image with the new one, so I will need to do a whole new post of the Plectu painting!