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Innoventions (Disneyland)

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Innoventions was an attraction in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. It opened on July 3, 1998 as part of the New Tomorrowland, focusing on near-futuristic technologies. The attraction operated for nearly 17 years, closing on March 31, 2015. From 2013 until its closure, its focus mainly shifted to character meet-and-greets featuring superheroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It occupied the Carousel Theater, a round two-story building in which the outer half of the first floor rotates. A similar attraction of the same name exists in Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort.

History

From 1967 to 1973, the building housed Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress. This attraction was moved from Disneyland to its current location in Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in 1973, at the request of its sponsor, General Electric. America Sings occupied the building from the following year until 1988. Audio-Animatronics from the show were used in Disneyland's Splash Mountain. The upper level of the building continued to house the Tron SuperSpeed Tunnel segment of the PeopleMover until that attraction eventually closed in 1995. The attraction closed March 31, 2015.[1]

The building was redesigned and reopened on November 16, 2015 as the Tomorrowland Expo Center.[2] The first floor of the building hosts Star Wars Launch Bay, a Star Wars exhibit featuring peeks behind the scenes and character meet and greets with Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Boba Fett, and Chewbacca, while the second floor hosts "Super Hero HQ", featuring meet and greets with Marvel characters Thor Odinson and Spider-Man and an exhibit featuring Iron Man's suits based on the film.[3]

Attraction

The first floor hosted the Dream Home in alliance with Microsoft, HP, and Taylor Morrison. Keeping with Walt Disney's vision of bringing cutting-edge, inspiring ideas to Tomorrowland, the Innoventions Dream Home introduces Disneyland guests to then-newly available technology from the participating companies that would enhance their lives, while providing them a glimpse of the emerging digital advances they may find in their homes in the future. The attraction provided guests with a "high-tech, high-touch" opportunity to experience technology in an entertaining, low-risk environment showing them how the power of technology could connect them to the people and things they care most about.

Guests who entered the Innoventions building were greeted by Tom Morrow, an Audio-Animatronic, who is the fictional mayor of Tomorrowland. He explained Innoventions in a comedic style and performs an updated version of the Sherman Brothers song "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" from the original Carousel of Progress. He was voiced by Nathan Lane. Beginning in 2012, the Tom Morrow Audio-Animatronics were removed from display and were no longer part of the attraction. The building used the same rotation mechanism built in 1967 for the Carousel of Progress. In the past, the outer portion of the first floor would stop rotating during the evening, but in later years, it stopped rotating altogether due to a change in operation, with guests entering on the second floor.

Once Innoventions (Disneyland) was refurbished and remodeled into both Super Hero HQ (upper level) and Star Wars Launch Bay (lower level), guests were given the opportunity to enter the worlds of the beloved characters from both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars universe in November 2015.

Former exhibits and sponsors

  • 1998–2000: Honeywell sponsored playground
  • 1998–2000: Silicon Graphics sponsored A Bug's Life Exhibit (designed and produced by Santeler Marketing Group)
  • 1998–2004: General Motors simulator attraction
  • 1998–2007: Hewlett Packard-sponsored (formerly Compaq) free computer game arcade
  • 2000–2007: AT&T–Hyperlink Hopscotch, previously an interactive cartoon show.
  • 2000–2007: Pioneer "Virtual Resort", guests experience a virtual reality vacation
  • 2000–2013: St. Joseph Hospital's Healthy University, where guests visit different stations themed as part of a school that promotes healthy living. Guests can calculate their BMI, learn about exercise on a stationary bike, play virtual sports games, and have a chance to see themselves 50 years in the future.
  • 2004–2005, 2007–2008: Segway track, where guests 16 and older could ride a Segway
  • 2005–2007: VMK Central (closed on June 3, 2007, scheduled to be a limited time only )
  • 2005–2009: Talk to Stitch, an interactive experience in which guests could talk to Stitch from the movie Lilo and Stitch using technology similar to that of Turtle Talk with Crush at Disney California Adventure
  • 2008–2011: The Neighborhood at Innoventions, where guests watch and sometimes participate in live shows about Taylor Morrison homes, Yamaha musical instruments, ABC multi-format programming (in the form of a trivia game show), Honda, or Southern California Edison, depending on which of the five zones into which they enter.
  • 2008–2015: Taylor Morrison / Microsoft Innoventions Dream Home (sponsored by HP, Microsoft, and Taylor Morrison), a house filled with the latest technology that is either on the market or soon to be available. The house is inhabited by the fictional Elias family, which is hosting an open house to show off their newly acquired technology. Gadgets include
    • Four Microsoft Surface tables which are connected in a single dining room table
    • A 100-inch, 1080p rear-projector screen
    • Control4 panels in every room connecting to photo frames, lights, window shades, and speakers (previously Life|ware)
    • A "Magic Mirror" that places virtual three-dimensional pieces of clothing on a body-mapped subject
    • A bedroom that comes to life with the story of Peter Pan
    • A kitchen featuring a countertop voice-activated cookbook, an internet-connected bulletin board, and Siemens appliances, including the Liftmatic Oven
    • Michael Jackson: The Experience and video games in the party tent
  • 2014–2015: Captain America: The Living Legend and Symbol of Courage, a promotional exhibit to commemorate the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.[4]
  • 2013–2016: Thor: Treasures of Asgard, a promotional exhibit to commemorate the release of Thor: The Dark World.[5]
  • 2013–2016: Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries, a promotional exhibit to commentate the release of Iron Man 3.[6] Paul Bettany provides the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S.[7]
  • 2005–2015: Honda ASIMO theater, a 15-minute presentation on the state-of-the-art ASIMO robot
  • 2007–2015: Siemens AG Project Tomorrow, featuring some of the same games as its counterpart at Spaceship Earth (Epcot). Currently, Project Tomorrow features:
    • Power City, a large digital "shuffleboard-style" game that has guests push "power pucks" into targets to provide energy to neighborhoods and create the largest city possible. The more neighborhoods that are powered, the higher the city's population becomes. The largest city attainable is Tokyo, which requires the population to reach 10 million.
    • Body Builder, a 3-D game allowing guests to build a digital human body. It features the voice of Wallace Shawn as "Dr. Bones."
    • Super Driver, a driving simulation video game featuring vehicle accident and avoidance systems.
    • A large glass globe with digitally projected images coming from within it. Below it are consoles that take photographs of guests, ask a series of questions about each guest, and superimpose the automatically cropped images of their faces onto an animated vision of the future. These consoles utilize the same system as the one used during the descent of Spaceship Earth.

References

  1. Pimentel, Joseph (March 7, 2015). "Disneyland's Innoventions set to close March 31; will 'Star Wars' go in?", p. Local 9. Retrieved on 6 March 2015. 
  2. Glover, Erin. "Star Wars Enhancements, New Experiences Coming Soon to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts".. The Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved on 16 August 2015.
  3. "Spider-Man to join fellow superheroes at Disneyland", Los Angeles Times (October 14, 2015). Retrieved on October 16, 2015. 
  4. Slater, Shawn. "Meet Captain America from ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ This Spring at Disneyland Park in Anaheim".. The Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved on 14 February 2014.
  5. Graser, Marc (August 20, 2013). Thor Is Headed to Disneyland. Retrieved on August 20, 2013.
  6. Glover, Erin (28 March 2013). "Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries Coming to Innoventions at Disneyland Park".. The Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved on 28 March 2013.
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named IGN


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