Officially, the final design for Shanghaî Disneyland Tomorrowland is the one you see above, a land that will include the Jet Packs ride, Stitch Encounter, Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, and of course the awaited TRON Lightcycles Power Run ride. But, as usual when WDI Imagineers design a new theme park, the design of SDL Tomorrowland has changed a lot since the "Blue Sky" period. This always happen for various reasons whether it is feasibility or budget reasons. So we'll have a look today at the Shanghaî Disneyland Tomorowland "that never was"- although it sounds bit odd to say this about a theme park not open yet, so let's say "that never will be", to be more accurate.
The Jet Packs ride which will be located at the entrance of the land will be unique to SDL Tomorrowland but in fact it's been a while that WDI Imagineers were turning around the idea to create a ride in which the guests will be "attached" to jet packs. So we'll start this pictorial evolution of SDL Tomorrowland with these renderings which were probably not done for SDL but could have been done for DL Tomorrowland. We can see an Orbitron with Jet Packs instead of the usual rockets but also a ride using robotic arms - like the Kuka robot arms used in the Harry Potter ride at Universal - which would move on the track where once was the People Mover...
On this next artwork we see not only Space Mountain but the Jet Packs are also there, this time with a different tech including fountains and water effects.
Another rendering also done probably for Disneyland Tomorrowland - see on the left and right the Submarine and Autopia cars - with the first appearance of a TRON motorbike coaster, and always the Jet Packs in the background.
The five next renderings typical "blue sky" artworks but some elements that will be in the final design starts to appear like these curved lines and on the one below we can even guess an outdoor TRON Lightcycles outdoor ride. These artworks below were most probably done with the design of Shanghaî Disneyland Tomorrowland in mind. As you'll see most of them were done by artist Scot Drake, a great artist specialized in digital paintings.
The next one below is interesting, specially when we remember that the land where Shanghaî Disneyland is currently built was rice fields before.
Another "blue sky" rendering - and by the way, for those of you who wouldn't know what "blue sky" means, it is the period during which WDI Imagineers can design anything they wish without thinking about the feasibility. Afterwards elements of these concepts are kept, others not, and are include in the final "feasible" concept.
This next artwork is another different concept, but keep in mind the element on the left looking like a concert arena as we'll see it again later. The curved lines are always there too.
Another great "blue sky" artwork on which you'll note the elevated walkways, something which will stay in the final design.
A perfect Tomorrowland vision in this artwork most probably done for Shanghaî Disneyland Tomorrowland , and on which we see the TRON ride and the Jet Packs at its center. Look great but a vision probably very expensive to realize in real...
Now we're getting closer to the final design. Almost everything that will be in the final concept is here. The jet Packs, the elevated walkways, the curved dome structure, etc...
We're almost to the final design with this next artwork. Note that the Jet Packs ride is no longer in the center but placed at the entrance of the land. The curved "TRON cover" is there but the water element with the Jet Packs apparently shouldn't be kept in SDL Tomorrowland final concept.
Again, here is the final design of SDL Tomorrowland, the result of the evolution that you've seen on the artworks above. Looks disappointing in comparison of the others artworks? Of course it does, because of the scope of the others one. But the others concepts were not realistically feasible. They were probably technically feasible but the costs was too high.
That said, if everything works fine we should find most of the original spirit in the final result, whether it is the elevated walkways or the curved dome of TRON...
And remember this element on one of the artworks above that i told you to keep in mind. Well, you'll find it in the final concept as it will be the Tomorrowland Arena Stage!
Artworks: copyright Disney - Shendi