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Even Walt Disney, who was known to be a futurist inspired by the works of Jules Verne, might be surprised at how Disneyland (and other theme parks) have evolved since July 1955 when the original Disneyland in Southern California opened.
In fact, when Disneyland opened, Tomorrowland, the park’s portal to the future, only represented the future in the year 1986.
In 1955, Tomorrowland’s main attraction was the TWA Moonliner (based on Disney’s 1950’s Man in Space TV episodes). The Moonliner was the tallest structure in the park and featured a ride to the moon known as Rocket To The Moon. There was also an attraction called Circarama USA that featured movies on nine screens, space station X-1 with a satellite view of America, and the Autopia autoway which reflected America’s vital expansion of its interstate road network.
Today, one of the most popular attractions at the Disneyland Resort is the newer Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! which opened in 2017. That ride, like some others around the world, is using VFX, AR and VR toolboxes to take patrons to heretofore impossible places.
VFX is the new Tomorrowland.