April 11, 2021

The Tomorrowland 2055 Post that Started Insights and Sounds and the Missing Dinosaur from Hong Kong Disneyland

What a title, huh? It's worth the story that follows! I remember it so well: The year was 1990, and I was strolling Disneyland one afternoon with my young family. It was another perfect Disney day in Southern California. We had walked into Tomorrowland to take in the Autopia and let the kiddos try their hands behind the wheel. But something stopped me in my tracks.

Next to the Carousel Theater, once home of the Carousel of Progress and America Sings, was a billboard for a new attraction called Plectu's Intergalactic Revue showing the piece above. For some strange reason, I snapped this photo of the concept art, never expecting it to be anything but a photo of what was coming... and I held on to it for many years.

When I began the Insights and Sounds blog, I knew local Disneyland fans would find this piece of unbuilt history of interest, but I didn't expect anyone else to. I was so wrong! Fans of Walt Disney World found it of interest as well! Within days of first posting it in March of 2008, my humble photograph showed on on blogs and websites all over the world. And it's still being  reposted to this day. Glad I took the photo!

(Much like the same thing that happened with the art I unearthed for Dubai Disneyland! Even my late friend Alain Littaye from the Disney and More blog was surprised I'd finally hunted it down. ) 

Hong Kong Disneyland's Missing Dinosaur

Then, there was this piece of dinosaur concept art that caused quite a stir! Long, long, ago, around 2009, I was "gifted" with this piece of concept art for an attraction at the then soon to open Hong Kong Disneyland. But with a smaller mindset of what the park should be, the ride never materialized. This was the case with major portions of the small little park, earning it the poor reputation it deserved at opening.

Looking at the art closely, this was clearly a coaster or troop transport type attraction. With that thought came the questions. What exactly it was for? Was it intended for a hybrid of a couple of attractions that never made it past the drawing boards of the Imagineers? To my eyes, it seemed to be Raging Spirits from Tokyo DisneySea - which in itself is a remix on the Indiana Jones coaster at Disneyland Paris - meets the infamous ferocious Carnatour from Countdown to Extinction/ Dinosaur from Disney's Animal Kingdom.  

More questions. Was the attraction scheduled to go into the lush, dense outdoor jungles of Adventureland or was it meant for an indoor weather-proofed warehouse a la Indiana Jones Adventure? Maybe a combination like what was originally proposed for the dinosaur area at Animal Kingdom? (Found in my "Disney's Animal Kingdom: A True Life Adventure" series. Eight parts and growing!)

Was it just too expensive to build? Was it too ambitious? But what was it?

Then sharp eyed reader Randy Savage had the definitive answer. The art for this dinosaur was part of the original plan for Hong Kong Disneyland in an Adventureland that contained an outdoor attraction with Audio-Animatronic beasts. The image was eventually found on the concept art map for the park in the book "More Making the Magic Real", published mid-year 2010. 

As you can tell, I've been blessed with a lot of interesting images and stories to go with them! More to come- and I can't wait to unearth anything else as folks keep sending me concept art.

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company. Top photo copyright Mark Taft.)

No comments: