Walt Disney’s focus on the future is quite evident throughout Tomorrowland—one of seven themed areas in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park. In some ways, Tomorrowland reflects a previous generation’s vision of the future; the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA) and the Carousel of Progress were both planned and developed by Walt Disney for other locations before his death in 1966. Interestingly enough, Tomorrowland is adjacent to Main Street USA, which recreates Disney’s boyhood hometown during the early 1900’s.
Tomorrowland – Overview:
One of the many things that Disney does so well at all of its theme parks is to keep the majority of rides current and relevant for today’s technologically savvy customers, while maintaining the key elements of the classic attractions that many adult visitors remember from their childhood vacations to the Magic Kingdom. Tomorrowland is a great example of how Disney succeeds in doing this, with a ride based on the popular Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear just a short walk from the refurbished 1970s era Space Mountain indoor roller coaster.
If you find yourself in Tomorrowland during your next visit to Magic Kingdom, here are the main shopping, dining and ride attractions to look for:
- Dining: There is no Disney character dining in Tomorrowland, but Buzz Lightyear can frequently be found doing a character meet and greet between the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin ride and Space Mountain. The fast-paced world of Tomorrowland serves up quick cuisine—most burgers, hot dogs and chips—at several locations: Cool Ship, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, and the centrally located Lunching Pad, which features the famous Walt Disney World smoked turkey leg. These turkey legs (which taste more like a tender smoked ham) can easily feed two hungry people. For dessert, visit Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies for soft serve ice cream or a sundae.
- Shopping: While there are smaller Buzz Lightyear themed stands and gift shops located next to the Lunching Pad and at the end of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin ride (it wouldn’t be Walt Disney World if the big rides didn’t empty guests directly into a gift shop) the best shopping in Tomorrowland can be found at Mickey’s Star Traders and the Merchant of Venus. There are plenty of futuristic, space-themed toys at these stores, and also a few product tie-ins to the Stitch’s Great Escape ride at Tomorrowland.
- Attractions: Space Mountain reopened in November of 2009 after several months of refurbishment. With a counterpart at Disneyland in California, Space Mountain is an indoor roller coaster where riders find themselves hurtling through the darkness. Using Disney’s Fast Pass is highly recommended for Space Mountain to avoid lengthy lines during peak periods, and the Fast Pass also comes in handy for the equally popular Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, where riders rack up points in a moving arcade game battling against Buzz’s arch nemesis the evil Zurg. Other attractions at Tomorrowland include the Astro Orbiter ride, the special effects-laden Stitch’s Great Escape; the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor show; and the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway.
With discount Disney World tickets and Disney World vacation packages, a trip to the Magic Kingdom is more affordable than ever. With the recent reopening of Space Mountain and the upcoming buzz about the spring 2010 release of Toy Story 3, there is no better time to be in Tomorrowland during your next trip to Walt Disney World.
The Lands of Magic Kingdom: