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Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow(land) Part 7

Note: This post will look at Disneyland’s Tomorrowland as it was during the years 2004-2015. For glimpses of the area in past decades and opening day, be sure to look at Parts 1,2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

With the remodel of Tomorrowland complete in the late 1990’s, there have not been many additions to the area in the past eleven years. However, the first came in time for the celebration of Disneyland’s Golden Anniversary. Toy Story made its permanent return to Tomorrowland on March 17, 2005 with Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. Running in the previous home of CircleVision 360 and American Space Experience, this omni-mover interactive attraction allows guests to compete in a laser tag game. Different shaped targets are set through the attraction, which guests shoot at with laser guns attached to the omni-mover; a steering mechanism enables guests to turn their omni-mover in a complete circle to help aim at the targets they desired. Score is kept, and after the attraction is over guests are able to stop at a kiosk and send a their photo and game score to their personal email address, before entering a gift shop. The attraction still runs today.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

The gift shop guest enter from Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters is the Little Green Men Command Store, which opened at the same time as the Astro Blasters. As expected, Toy Story themed merchandise is available in this store, along with collectible pins and standard park merchandise. What makes this shop, formerly the Premier Shop, unique was incorporation of former Tomorrowland attractions in its decor. Plush toys are merchandised on a Rocket Jet, while the cashier’s counter is a former PeopleMover car. Like the Astro Blasters, this link to Tomorrowland’s past is still operational.

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PeopleMover as a checkstand counter

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Rocket Jet as a display shelf

More merchandise appeared in 2006, as Tomorrowlanding opened in place of the Radio Disney Broadcast Booth underneath the PeopleMover loading platform. With this not being a large retail space, most merchandise here relates to Star Tours, hats, and eventually merchandise relating to the attraction on our tour…

2007 saw one of the first “returning” attractions in Disneyland history, as the Submarine Voyage, closed since 1998, opened to the public again on June 11, 2007 as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. The now electric subs took guests on a tour of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef, searching again for Nemo through video projections under the water. In 2014 the subs went down for refurbishment, and despite rumors stating otherwise, is still in operation today.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Fantasyland continued its invasion into Tomorrowland in 2008 as King Triton Gardens was replaced by Tinkerbell and her friends from Pixie Hollow. Giant everyday objects (teapots, flowers, etc) greeted the public as they were “shrunk down” to the size of a pixie for a meet and greet opportunity with Tinkerbell and her friends from the direct to video movies she has appeared in since 2008. The pixies are still regularly meeting park guest.

Pixie Hollow Meet and Greet

Pixie Hollow Meet and Greet

With a new meet and greet area, along with a new video, it was natural for merchandise to be available at the exit of Pixie Hollow. The Pixie Hollow Gift Cart operated from 2008 until 2011, offering Tinkerbell inspired merchandise such as wings, wands and dolls.

In 2010 another “returning” attraction entered Tomorrowland, as Captain EO Tribute re-entered in to the Magic Eye Theater, replacing Honey I Shrunk the Audience in a “limited engagement.” A tribute to the late Michael Jackson, the limited engagement would last through 2014, when the attraction would close for a special preview of the Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy and Big Hero 6. The theater is currently hosting an 18 minute preview of Tomorrowland. There has been no permanent replacement for Captain EO Tribute to enter into the Magic Eye Theater.

Captain EO Tribute sign at Magic Eye Theater

Captain EO Tribute sign at Magic Eye Theater

This completes our full circle six decade tour of Tomorrowland as is stands in the park. As Walt Disney himself said in his dedication speech, Disneyland will never be completed, and this is true for Tomorrowland. Change will again to Tomorrowland, here is looking forward to the future. I thank you for taking the time to read this today. I ask you would please leave comments.  You may contact me directly on Twitter @Quest4VaultDisn, and you may also subscribe to be alerted by email when new postings are published. Quest for Vault Disney is now on Facebook. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/questforvaultdisney. Have a great rest of your day. See ya real soon…

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