Disney World History – Tomorrowland

Let’s take a little walk through Disney World History of Dad’s favorite Land – Tomorrowland.

The Beginning

In the beginning Walt created a futuristic Land he called Tomorrowland. And the land was shaped out of the dust of the ground and Walt saw that it was good. (Sorry, I don’t mean to be sacrilegious, just funny.)

When the Magic Kingdom opened, space suited, and polyester clad cast members greeted the curious guests.

Digging through Disney World History, Dad found the original rides were –

  • If You had Wings – A look at traveling by an airplane. It was sponsored originally by Eastern Airlines, later to be replaced by Dream Flight – sponsored by Delta Airlines (who for years was the official airline of Walt Disney World). This area now houses Buzz Lightyear Ranger Spin. The tunnel right before the end of the ride used to have a spinning “Twilight Zone” like pattern. (Made Dad sick one time when he got stuck there.)
  • Mission to Mars – This attraction was copied from the popular Mission to the Moon from Disneyland. Remember this is just 2 years after John F. Kennedy issued his challenge to put a man on the moon, and 7 years before it actually happened.
  • Skyway to Fantasyland – closed in 1999, the Skyway to Fantasyland was a great way to get a unique look at the parks. Too unique for Disney. It allowed guests to see the tops of buildings which were not well decorated.
  • Grand Prix Raceway – was modeled on European car races. The raceway was sponsored by Goodyear who provided the tires for all the cars. The name was changed in 1999 to Tomorrowland Speedway.

The Big Change

After Walt died, Tomorrowland was the area that missed Walt the most. Uncle Walt was the driving force behind Disney’s new technologies. The imagineers were pretty good, but no one really had Uncle Walt’s imagination or vision. Tomorrowland quickly became yesterday land. Many of the attractions had become old and dated.


So one day, some Science Fiction buff (probably Goofy, but certainly not Donald) at Disney Imagineering came up with a brilliant idea. Why not make Tomorrowland into a Science Fiction version of the future. New Tomorrowland was born.


The future that never was.

Link to Disney World History.