What’s going to happen tomorrow? Nobody really knows. This uncertainty about the way life would be in the future allowed Walt Disney to create Tomorrowland however he wanted. As Disneyland has evolved so has Tomorrowland always looking toward what might be… tomorrow.
How to Get to Tomorrowland
Except for Fantasyland, Tomorrowland may be the easiest of the Disneyland lands to see. When you walk into the park and down Main Street USA to stand by the statue of Walk and Mickey look to your right. Just to the right of the Matterhorn mountain you will see the iconic form of the Astro Orbiter. Rockets wiz around a planetary system rising to meet the California sky.
Walk past the Orbiter and you will be inside Tomorrowland. There is a lot to see here, and some of the attractions aren’t immediately visible. Pay attention to your map, and this blog post, to make sure you see everything.
I absolutely love the feeling of Tomorrowland. It just makes me feel like the future is going to be awesome and that we can do anything we can imagine.
What You Will See and Do in Tomorrowland
There is a lot to see in Tomorrowland. It should definitely be near the top of your list to visit early in the day. Some of the rides are extremely popular and can develop some of the longest waits in the park later in the day.
The rocket ships are the first attraction you will pass on your way in to Tomorrowland. This ride is visually designed very well. I really like to look at, but I have never ridden on it.
Functionally it is like a faster version of the classic Dumbo ride. You sit in a rocket ship car that flies in a circle around the central pillar. You can control the hight of your ship via a control lever inside.
Anyone except pregnant mothers can ride this, so long as spinning in a circle doesn’t bother you. While I really like the ambiance of the ride I have never felt the need to ride it. Lines don’t get super long here and look like they move pretty fast.
The original Star Wars ride that existed long before Disney even owned Lucas Film is found on your right as you head up the walkway towards Hyperspace Mountain. If you are a Star Wars fan you pretty much have to ride this at least once. This rides lines can get long, but fast passes are available. You get the fast passes at the Astro Blasters.
I think Star Tours is Disneyland’s only 3D ride. You enter a space transport and put on your “flight glasses”. The transport moves to give you then sensation of flying but the ride is mostly all about what happens on screen. You will travel through various parts of the Star Wars universe with an animatronic C3PO as your guide. The motion can be a little much for some people and the last time I road it left me feeling queazy. Pregnant mothers should not ride Star Tours.
One of the best aspects of this ride is the walk up to it. You go through a space terminal with advertisements playing about different planetary destinations, you pass through a droid customs check point, etc. It is a pretty fun experience for a Star Wars fan.
Just across from Star Tours is a ride that is also game. Astro Blasters is based around the fight between Buzz Lightyear and the Evil Emperor Zurg. It is a slow moving cart style ride.
In this case though your cart has laser guns mounted on the front. As you progress through the ride you should try to shoot as man of the Zurg “Zs” as you can. When you hit one your score will increase. At the end of the ride you can see how you ranked against others in your group.
This is a ride that will take your picture, and then digitally impose it on a background. Unlike some other rides you don’t have to pay for this picture, you can email it to yourself after the ride though. Sometimes the camera malfunctions though. That is what happened to us on our last trip.
Lines tend to get pretty long for Astro Blasters, so it will be to your advantage to get fast passes for it. These fast passes do not count against your fast pass time limit, so there really is no reason not to get them. This is a great ride for kids and is also safe for pregnant mothers.
The main walkway through Tomorrowland terminates at Hyperspace Mountain. Originally known as Space Mountain this ride has been redesigned with a Star Wars flair since Disney took over Lucas Film.
I had such a bad experience on the old Space Mountain ride that I did not ride it this time around. The old ride was rollercoaster ride through the darkness with lasers flashing around you. That gave me a huge headache. Meagan and our friend Travis both road Hyperspace Mountain this year though and assure me that it is now a much better experience.
The lines for Hyperspace Mountain are often among the longest in the entire park and certainly the longest in Tomorrowland. So if you want to ride this one be sure and get a fast pass, and probably get that pass pretty early in the day. Expectant mothers should not ride Hyperspace Mountain.
Star Wars Launch Bay
This is not a ride but it is located just across from Hyperspace Mountain where the road branches to go towards Autotopia. The Launch Bay is more or less a museum of Star Wars memorabilia. This is of course an awesome stop if you are a Star Wars fan like me, and a great place to get out of the sun and not stand in line for a little bit.
You will find that most of the film artifacts come from the most recent Star Wars films made under Disney control. I recently learned why that probably is. George Lucas maintained control of almost all the artifacts from the first two trilogies meaning that Disney mostly only has access to the materials from the films they produced.
You can also buy a lot of Star Wars merchandise at the Launch Bay, including a 3D printed phone case of your own design.
One of the old rides in Tomorrowland, Autotopia has this marvelous oxymoronically, retro-future feel to it. Follow the path up from the Star Wars Launch Bay to get there. This ride essentially consists of driving a car along a track. It’s pretty fun, especially for people who aren’t into crazy rides.
The cars can seat two people and are safe for all ages. One of the riders does have to drive however, because even though the car is on a track you still have to push the accelerator and steer. If you don’t steer you are in for a bumpy ride as your car continually hits against the track’s rail.
Finding Nemo Submarines
On your way out of Tommorowland, around the back of the Matterhorn mountain, you will see the opportunity to ride in a yellow submarine. We did not ride this one the last time we were there, but we did the time before when we visited.
You get into a submarine, which is not recommended if you are extremely claustrophobic. The submarine then goes around a pool showing you all kinds of underwater scenes. I think this ride is fun, but its not a must ride for most people. Depending on how long the line is will probably determine if you get on it or not.
I love being in Tomorrowland and I think you will too. There is nothing like being in the future to make you excited. Aside from the rides there is also a Jedi Training academy for kids, a place where you can build (and buy) your own lightsaber, and several good places to eat.
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