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Tomorrowland at Disneyland California
You'll love Space Mountain & Finding Nemo rides!
Star Tours 2.0 is Disneyland's new ride for 2011! If you remember the OLD Star Wars ride (described further down this page,) then you know that it was a "motion simulator" ride. While watching a Star Wars-themed movie, your seat would rock & rumble to the sounds and movements that you could see on the screen.
Star Wars 2.0 is also a motion simulator ride. But...don't expect a ho-hum remake of the first movie! A brand new movie now incorporates six different Star Wars movie locations...plus characters from the movies, as well. (All 6 movies from both trilogies were used in searching for the best sights and scenes for the new Disneyland Star Wars rides.)
Your ride won't be the same twice! Multiple scenarios were filmed, and will be swapped & interchanged each time the ride is run. With Star Wars 2.0, you'll have to ride quite a few times before you can possibly see all of them! Sounds fun, eh? Don't miss it on your next visit to Tomorrowland! End of News
Tomorrowland Attractions: Finding Nemo Subs
Tomorrowland's Finding Nemo Submarine Ride opened June 11, 2007, and Tomorrowland hasn't been the same ever since!
The Finding Nemo submarines captured the public's interest in a HUGE way...outpacing interest in all the other Tomorrowland attractions except the ever-popular Space Mountain. What's the theme of this crowd-drawing attraction? It showcases the characters of the Disney/Pixar "Finding Nemo" animated movie...and, in essence, gives submarine riders a journey through underwater vignettes highlighting major scenes from the film.
Guests start their submarine journey by taking (supposedly) an underwater guided tour. Riders get caught up in a storm and go off course. They end up in the depths of the sea...where they see the little clownfish Nemo getting lost. Riders also view Nemo's faithful father, Marlin, searching to find him...accompanied by his new friend, the forgetful Dory.
Great popularity means long lines! When you visit the Finding Nemo submarine attraction, be sure to head towards the ride early in the day before the line builds up too much; there's NO fast pass feature for the Finding Nemo submarine attraction!
Try visiting early or late: However, there's still one other ploy you may try if you find lines too long throughout the day. To make sure that everyone gets to ride who wants to (and some people have come from a very long way to see this attraction,) they're allowing the queueing line to build until the park's official closing time...and letting all who are in line stay until they get to ride!
Photo notes: The "Finding Nemo" pictures in the slide show above include exterior photos taken of the ride's yellow submarines and the Disneyland submarine lagoon; Matterhorn mountain (as seen from the submarine ride); and hungry seagulls looking for fish from a buoy. You'll also see Finding Nemo ride pictures showing the steep steps you must maneuver in order to enter the submarines, and the movie-viewing room that you may choose as an alternative if you can't descend the steps. (The alternative viewing room shows a film of the same things you'd see if you rode aboard the submarines.)
Some interior pictures of the Finding Nemo submarines show you the portholes through which you view the underwater action...plus pics of bubbles rising as you descend into the water's depths; and images of Crush (the sea turtle) & Austrailian ocean current which sweeps Crush and his friends along through the sea.
Buzz Lightyear Astro BlastersYou can always count on Tomorrowland at Disneyland California to keep changing and re-inventing itself...to always offer you, the visitor, something new and exciting.
Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters are still new: It was only in in March 2005, Tomorrowland's "Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters" ride was added...an attraction your kids won't want to miss.
Buzz Lightyear fans get a chance to fight along with their hero against "the bad guys." You'll do this by hitting targets with your laser ray guns...and racking up points in the process.
Team up with someone half a world away! This attraction offered something new to the theme park world at the time it was first added. The Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster ride had the capability of the "folks at home" playing along with riders at the park--in real time! Riders running the gauntlet of evil-doers could get an extra person working on their own home computers to team and shoot at the "bad guys." Quite the novel idea!
I tried joining in once from my home computer, but quickly learned I shouldn't attempt helping out. My score was so bad, I'm sure the people playing at Disneyland were wishing I hadn't "tagged along!"
Tomorrowland Attractions: Space Mountain
Everyone's favorite roller coaster ride through the dark!Unlike the Finding Nemo Submarines, Space Mountain isn't the new kid on the block in Tomorrowland...but it's STILL one of the most popular Tomorrowland rides, nevertheless!
Space Mountain, an indoor "dark" roller coaster, recently underwent a thorough renovation to get it ready for Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration. (It re-opened to the public in May 2005 after many months of work...just in time for the Disneyland 50th Anniversary's kickoff celebration.)
A new, state-of-the-art sound system was integrated into every newly-refurbished Space Mountain ride car. New props, scenes and paint colors were added to the entry areas.
The result? The always-popular Space Mountain is packing 'em in like never before! Talk about needing to hit an attraction early in the day---THIS is one ride that you'd better get to as soon as you can. And, if you don't wish to actually ride in the morning, at least drop by to get yourself a Fast Pass to use later...before they're all gone!
There is a 40" minimum height requirement for the Space Mountain roller coaster. Younger kids should ride with an adult. Guests in wheelchairs should talk to the ride attendent at the front of Space Mountain for entry instructions. A transfer into the ride vehicle is necessary on this attraction.
As you might guess from its title, the premise of the movie is that YOU---as an audience member---accidently get miniaturized!
Not only is this a very entertaining attraction, it's also one which really moves a crowd through it without much waiting time. Movies begin every 20 minutes all day long, and the theater is very large. The result? You'll rarely have to wait very long here! This is a great attraction to save for the busy afternoons of summer and holiday periods. Naturally, as in all Disneyland theaters, special space is provided for wheelchair seating. Note: "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" will not be playing while Michael Jackson's "Captain EO" 3D movie is running at this theater. "Captain EO" returned to Tomorrowland as a tribute after Michael Jackson's demise. It had not been shown in over a decade...so be sure to see it while you can!
The beautiful Astro OrbitorsOn your left and right, you're looking at pictures of the beautiful Astro Orbitor ride, which sits at the entry of Tomorrowland at Disneyland California. I always enjoy looking at this large "work of art." (I call it Tomorrowland's "eye candy.")
Alas, this attractive ride is more fun to look at than to ride...at least for teens and adults. This ride only thrills small-fry, as its action is merely to circle around a central hub, while you use a lever to make your individual space ship fly either high or low. It's more or less a larger version of the kiddie "Dumbo the Flying Elephant" ride in Fantasyland.
There is no minimum height requirement for the Astro Orbiters, but an adult must ride with young children age 7 and under. Guests in wheelchairs must make a transfer into the ride cars. Wheelchairs should enter via the exit ramp of the Astro Orbiters attraction.
Tomorrowland Attractions: Star Tours is out...and
Star Tours 2.0 is in!Star Tours 2.0 is a brand-new version of the popular Star Wars science fiction ride. Be sure to see the description of the ride's new features at the top of this page! Below is a description of the ride prior to its renovations.
Another always-popular attraction in Tomorrowland at Disneyland California is the Star Tours "magic motion" ride. You'll meet your old friends C3PO and R2D2 as you head on a journey amongst the stars and planets of a far-away galaxy.
Your seat will make specific movements IN SYNCHRONIZED TIME with the movie that you'll view while riding in this "space ship"---giving you the sensation that you're ACTUALLY on an outer-space voyage!
The Star Tour waiting line moves guests ahead somewhat quickly, making this another good attraction to board during more crowded times of the day.
There is a minimum height requirement of 40" tall for the Star Tours attraction in Tomorrowland. Younger kids should ride with a responsible adult. Wheelchairs should enter through via the regular line for the ride. A transfer into the motion ride vehicle will be necessary.
As you exit the Star Tours attraction, you'll be led through a Star Wars-themed gift shop. This is not a bad thing for Star Wars fans...who can happily be entertained just by browsing through all the wonderful movie-related items!
This is a great place to buy hard-to-find Star Wars merchandise (and souvenirs of your vacation for your Star Wars-loving friends and family members.)
Kids LOVE the Tomorrowland Autopia!Except for the smallest tots, the whole family can enjoy the Tomorrowland Autopia. Hop in and go for a ride!
This Chevron-sponsored attraction was completely re-furbished just a few years back. The Autopia's waiting queue area will give you a good view of the other riders ahead of you as they board their vehicles. You'll enjoy viewing a lighted signboard which flashes whimsical quips as you wait. However, if you don't feel like standing in line, this ride is another one which features a Fast Pass option.
After boarding your car, you'll take a pleasant drive through a lushly tree-lined "freeway." How fast will you go? Hmmm...let's put it this way---you might actually move along faster than if you were on a REAL Los Angeles freeway during rush hour times!
The minimum height required to ride alone on the Tomorrowland Autopia is 52" tall. There is no minimum height to ride in the car with a responsible adult, except for the fact that babies should be over the age of 1 year old (to avoid head-shaking injuries.)
Wheelchairs should enter at the "regular" main entrance until reaching the elevators (where an employee will be waiting to assist.) A transfer into the ride vehicles is required.
Innoventions...for the inquisitiveTo your left, you see a picture of the robot "Asimo" from a show within the Innoventions building in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Anaheim. Old timers may remember that this building once housed 2 different Disneyland Park attractions---the "Carousel of Progress" and "America Sings."
These days, the Innoventions building hosts an indoor, walk-through attraction which may remind you of your local Science Museum...complete with interactive exhibits.
You'll enter the building along with a tour group. Tours enter every few minutes throughout the day, and you'll NEVER find the line very long here. (Hint: save viewing this attraction until the crowded afternoon period.)
Once you're inside the Innoventions building, you will probably want to stay with your tour group as your tour guide explains inventions of the future in various areas of life---the home, automotive, etc. After the guide's presentation, you'll be invited to explore the building's exhibits.
On the other hand, if you've already taken the tour, you may "skip out" on the lecture portion, and head right into the exhibit hall...where you'll find 2 stories full of interactive displays and exhibits just waiting for you to explore them.
There is no minimum height requirement fot the Innoventions attraction. Wheelchairs should enter through the main line. There is an elevator between the two floors of exhibits at Innoventions for guests unable to climb the stairs.
The Innoventions robot show is actually more awesome than it sounds...and it's no Disney animatronic stunt. The Asimo robot show here in Innoventions features a $1 million dollar Honda robot that can recognize faces, balance on one leg, dance, and climb stairs! Oh...and he talks, too! It's truly a show that's not to be missed! (It's Asimo the Robot that you see in the photos to your left and right.) The Innoventions Robot show is held in a theater on the second floor. Since it's only given at certain times of the day...whereas, most displays within Innoventions run coninuously...it would be best if you found out the next showtime BEFORE you enjoy the other exhibits. That way, you won't find that you missed the show while you were enjoying an attraction that you could have done later on.
Tomorrowland Attractions: The MonorailWhat is the Monorail? The quick explanation is that it's a Disneyland transportation system with stations both at Downtown Disney and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park. Yes, the Monorail does indeed get you where you want to go...BUT, it's more than a mere means of transport. It's a fun ride in its own right...and a great way to get a Disneyland Resort overview.
These days, most of us are used to the whole "monorail" concept. That wasn't the case, though, back in 1959 when the Monorail ride was unveiled at Disneyland. Back then, great lines used to form from visitors wishing to experience this "unusual" attraction! Fortunately, these days, riders usually need to wait to board only until the next Monorail train completes its course and arrives in the station. (Unless you're trying to leave the park right after the evening parade or fireworks show, that is!)
Can you enter Disney's California Adventure Park via the Monorail? No, because there is currently no Monorail station at Disney's California Adventure. Nevertheless, taking a Monorail ride is a great way to get an aerial view of both Disneyland AND it's sister park, "DCA." As you can see in the picture of the new red monorail below, this ride passes across the Golden Gate Bridge replica which adorns the entrance to Disney's California Adventure Park. (And to your right, you see the new Monorail Red as it curves over the Submarine Lagoon and passes by Matterhorn Mountain.)
A great time to take a Monorail ride is at dusk, just as all the lights are turned on in Downtown Disney and the theme parks. The colorful lights make the scenes you pass look so beautiful!
There is no minimum height requirement for the Monorail transportation system. Wheelchairs should enter the main line until reaching the elevator (where an employee will assist.)
Tomorrowland Attractions: Jedi Training AcademyDo you have children in your group? If so, you won't want to miss the Star Wars-themed live interactive show called "The Jedi Training Academy." Kids from the audience get a chance to hone their light saber skills...because, who knows?, Darth Vader might make an appearance to menace the galaxy!
To your left, you see a picture of two storm troopers keeping the show's participants under guard with the help of their laser blasters. And, to your right, you see a picture of Darth Vader himself...angry because the Disneyland guests taking part in the show won't "turn to the Dark Side!"
If you'd like to learn more about this fun Disneyland entertainment offering, please visit the Jedi Training Academy Pictures page of this website.
Tomorrowland Terrace is also home to one of the park's fast food restaurants. (You'll order & pick up you meal yourself at the service windows; only outdoor seating is available.) You can get burgers and sandwiches here at moderate prices---in the $6-8 range. Cute kid's meals can be purchased for about $6, and include a choice of main dish, side dish, and a drink. The souvenir box in which the children's meal is served will make a cute pencil case or crayon holder when your child gets home!
Note: The counter-service restaurant can get very crowded at lunchtime during the busy summer months, so you may wish to dine here at "odd" hours to keep your waiting time to a minimum.
Tomorrowland Dining: Redd Rockett's Pizza PortMy personal favorite choice for dining in Tomorrowland at Disneyland California is Redd Rocket's Pizza Port, shown in the photos to your left and your right. In addition to the outdoor dining area, this restaurant has a moderate-sized indoor dining area that features cute "retro" decor. I particularly like the numerous posters on display...artwork advertising rides from the Disneyland days of yore.
You'll find both tables with chairs and comfortable booth seating inside Redd Rocket's Pizza Port. OF COURSE the Pizza Port restaurant is air conditioned...an extra incentive for dining inside during the warm summer months!
The children's meal is a bargain here. For about $6, your child will get spaghetti and one giant meatball, a refillable drink, and a souvenir plastic keepsake box. (It's not posted that the drinks here are refillable, but it has always been their policy to allow 1 free soda refill per customer. If you're in doubt, double check with the cashier.)
Tomorrowland Attractions -- MemoriesTo your left is a picture of Crush the sea turtle who appears in the "Finding Nemo" submarine ride.
A funny thing is that the new "Finding Nemo" ride isn't the first time that a "Nemo" theme has been used on a Disney park attraction.
Captain Nemo was the main character Disney's live-action movie "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," (which was based on Jules Verne's classic novel of the same name.) And it was Captain Nemo...and not Nemo the clownfish...who was once the star of a submarine ride at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. (The Magic Kingdom's 20,000 Leagues Submarine Ride has since closed, however. Thanks are extended to reader David Bliss for providing these details.)
What's NOT similar at all is the brand new technology being used to create the ocean ambiance of little Nemo's world. The clownfish and his friends appear to be following alongside the submarine as it moves ahead on its course. The fish appear to be 3D and very true-to life. The "fish" will perform antics using strictly cutting-edge technology, and this will make each visitor feel really, truly immersed in Nemo's ocean world.
P.S. Notice anything different about the submarine lagoon photo to your right? I took this picture back in 1982---when the sky ride was still running! If you look closely, you can see one of the ride cars approaching the Matterhorn mountain, through which this ride used to pass. AND, the subs were grey back then!
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