|Tomorrowland entrance 1967 |
Tom Simpson/Flickr CC
|Tom Simpson/Flickr CC|
|Loren Javler/Flickr CC|
|Loren Javler/Flickr CC|
Space Mountain was awesome - and the first proper roller coaster I liked.
The Monorail was kind of cool, though I never really understood the grown-ups' enthusiasm for it.
The People Mover was fun, because it took you past (or through) all the other good stuff.
But my favourite ride in Tomorrowland was the Adventure Thru Inner Space.
I loved every minute of it - from sitting enveloped in the blue, egg-shaped chairs, to entering the dark tunnel and being "miniaturised", even the huge creepy eye "looking" at us through the telescope. For a kid steeped in afternoon reruns of The Twilight Zone, and who loved science and daydreaming, it was perfect.
I loved waiting in line and seeing the riders go into the telescope and then come out tiny at the other end:
Recently all this came back to me, suddenly, when I read an article about retrofuturism (you know the sort of thing: The Jetsons, houses under glass domes, meals in pill form, flying cars, etc). That shiny, happy, optimistic vision of the future reminded me of Tomorrowland.
My kids and I often talk about the future, as I started a kind of game with them about a year ago, where we imagine what cool things will exist in the future, and what their lives will be like. We talk about driver-less cars, working whatever hours you want, making meals at the touch of a button, flying to work with a jet-pack, things like that. It's a lot of fun, and I do think kids should always be excited and optimistic about the future. Kids these days can sometimes seem cynical and somewhat pessimistic, which may be a function of the times they're living through, or perhaps they always were. We do underestimate how canny kids are after all.
|"The Future" by A|
I showed the kids the Corning video A Day Made of Glass on YouTube and they (and I) were in awe. We talked about how their houses in future would be like this, or at least partly like this, and I made no mention of the fact they'd probably have to be rich to have it, or that they might not ever be able to buy a house at all, or that even at best this vision of the future, like all others have ever been, is likely completely wrong. We do also discuss whether some of these things - like flying cars - will ever really happen, or it they are too impractical, and to what degree we can or cannot imagine the future.
But mostly we just let our imaginations go and talk about what cool, awesome, labour saving inventions they will have when they are grown up.
Kids should see the future as a world of awesome and enriching possibility.