(NOTE: This is actually last week’s Three Favorites. I’m a little behind. A new one for this week will arrive later today.)
Brad Bird’s new film Tomorrowland was released this weekend. I can’t wait to see it, which means my wife and I won’t see it until it’s on Netflix. It looks like I’ll really enjoy it: retro future, tons of Disney history references, and the director of The Iron Giant and The Incredibles. And it’s named after one of the original lands of Disneyland — and that I do know something about. So here’s my three favorite Tomorrowland attractions.
The Carousel of Progress
My kids think this show is kind of neat, but they don’t get why Daddy goes so crazy for it. Let’s see: it was one of the attractions Walt made for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, its themes of technical innovation and human progress are huge components of the spirit of Walt Disney, and it’s a show performed entirely by Audio-Animatronic figures in a spinning theater-in-the-round! Oh, and it has a great Sherman Brothers earworm theme song. What’s not to love?
This one really doesn’t need any explanation, does it? People often call this a “roller coaster in the dark” but that’s not entirely accurate — at least not when talking about Disneyland’s far superior (compared to Walt Disney World) version. It is a roller coaster through outer space, with a great on-board soundtrack. My three oldest children are all tall enough to ride and they’ve all conquered this one with me. By far, it’s the most exciting ride in all of Disneyland.
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
The final spot on the list was a tough one for me, because I love, love, love Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, and so do my three oldest children. But everyone in my family, including the short young kids, can ride Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, and they all love it. Plus, this attraction is the perfect “one last ride before we leave” ride since it usually doesn’t have a very long line late at night and it’s just a stone’s throw from Main Street, USA. And it’s fun to walk past the talking Buzz Lightyear figure in the queue and shout at him, “You are a toy! You’re a child’s plaything!”
Honorable mentions: Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, the Peoplemover, and cheeseburgers from Tomorrowland Terrace.