Tomorrowland 2: January 15th 1975
On this date, 40 years ago, Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland finally opened it’s long awaited and much needed expansion that added highly valued and exemplary attractions to the Magic Kingdom’s roster.
Adding Space Mountain, the Carousel of Progress, the Star Jets, and a few months later, the WEDWay PeopleMover, Tomorrowland was elevated from being a paltry afterthought, to a showplace for space age optimism, ideas, and fantastic aesthetics. In 1971, Tomorrowland opened only with Mission to the Moon, CircleVision 360, and later, added If You Had Wings in 1972. 1975 would see Tomorrowland brought up to speed and standard in the Vacation Kingdom.
Space Mountain, a Walt Disney World original, would go on to be cloned around the world in all of Disney’s Magic Kingdoms.
The Carousel of Progress, originally a mainstay of the 1964 World’s Fair, came home to Disneyland once the fair packed up, and then, was shipped off to Florida, where it has played to more audiences than any other stage show, as often boasted by Disney public relations.
The WEDWay, of course, is a Disneyland original, but the Florida version utilized new technology, which, at one point was sold and brokered for actual industrial use. This attraction opened in July of 1975.
The Star Jets, although simple, remain a staple in Magic Kingdoms around the world.
A few years ago, Walt Disney World opened up a new section of Fantasyland, and hailed that as the largest expansion in the park’s history. In terms of acreage, this might be true. But in the terms of capacity, attractions, and experience added to the park, Tomorrowland, in 1975, holds the lion’s share of “expansion” titles.
Happy 40th, Tomorrowland! Here’s to the future and you and 40 more years of Great Big Beautiful Tomorrows!