Is the Magic Kingdom Tomorrowland expansion more than just Tron?


Magic Kingdom looks to reimagine Tomorrowland. While Tron is coming, could there be more thrills expected in this part of the theme park?

Walking around Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom is a little nostalgic. The area meant to express a future world is a little dated, drab and a blah. While no one will ever skip over this area of the park, it doesn’t necessarily capture that futuristic quality that it might have previously. Could this area of the theme park be getting a big update that it deserves?

While any change to a Walt Disney World theme park takes tremendous time and planning, the precursors to these changes are popping up around the theme park. When anyone sees those fences popping up, they know that changes are coming. Still, those large construction projects may not be the only modifications to the iconic theme park.

Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, (Matt Stroshane, photographer) photo provided by Walt Disney World News

Disney has already confirmed that the TRON coaster will be coming to the Orlando theme park. Although that new ride won’t be completed to probably 2021, theme park guests might have some other improvements on the horizon. Could some favorite animated characters be taking over other areas of the theme park?

This summer, Disney has incorporated the Incredibles into its summer programming. Throughout Tomorrowland, guests can take pictures with Incredibles scenes. The characters are featured throughout the area. Plus, there is a live performance featuring the characters.

This Incredible summer feature breathes some new life into the somewhat dated theme park area. While fans will always go to Space Mountain for the thrills, the other attractions are a little boring. While parents might like this area because it brings back their childhood memories, guests want more thrills.

For example, the Speedway is great fun for younger guests. The idea of “driving” your own race car, and even getting an official Mickey driver’s license, is huge for little kids. For parents, the gas smells while waiting in those long lines can be a slow death. There is nothing worse on a hot, Florida day than being engulfed in those fumes. Hats off to the cast members who work that ride, though?

The Buzz Lightyear ride is entertaining, but Toy Story Land will be the place to go for everything Toy Story related. Yes, people enjoy trying to shoot the targets, but this ride is also a little mundane. While it was great fun when it launched years ago, it doesn’t really get your excitement level peaked.

One ride that everyone does is the People Mover. But, is there a real point to that ride? Sure, it’s a diversion or a quick way to sit for a while. Still, the ride doesn’t really have a point. There is no storyline to this ride, but everyone seems to ride it.

Thinking of Disney characters, the People Mover could easily incorporate favorite characters into new scenes. Since the Incredibles are resurging in popularity, those characters could easily work into this ride. Just think of Jack Jack’s laser eyes shining through the dark parts. Or, Wall-E themed scenes could work well too. Although didn’t Wall-E have a warning about our future selves sitting and not actually walking anywhere?

One ride is currently sitting empty. The Stitch’s Great Escape was often considered by many people as a bad ride. That very small space doesn’t allow a huge reimagined concept. Given the tiny footprint, it is unclear what could take over that space.

While Disney doesn’t focus on virtual reality rides, this space could be a good spot to for this style of ride. For example, a virtual reality world where guests could feel immersed in Jack Jack’s multiple superpowers could be extremely entertaining. What kid (or adult) wouldn’t want to see what it is like to shoot laser eyes, pop through dimensions, fly or one of the many other powers that he has?

Of course, Disney doesn’t want to lose the nostalgic feeling that Tomorrowland and Magic Kingdom evokes. This park of Walt Disney World is part of the timeless world that has created magical memories for decades. But, improvements and keeping up with technology are necessary.

Still, this Disney theme park is about sharing memories from parent to child or grandchild. It is about putting on your Mickey ears, eating Mickey ice cream and a remembering those moments when you first saw that gigantic castle for the first time. It is magical because there’s pixie dust all around; not because technology makes it so.

Sure, a Tomorrowland expansion is needed. Just like Future World at Epcot, the “former” future is the present and people need and want more. TRON will be a welcome addition to the area, but fans will have to wait years for this expansion. An update to the People Mover will be a nice change and could happen more quickly. Still, the changes need to be appropriate, not just change for change sake.

Next: Where's Disney's high adrenaline roller coaster?

What changes would you like to see in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom? As long as the lights don’t come on in Space Mountain while I’m riding it, I can deal with most changes.