Wednesday, August 10, 2011


It seems when one reads the various blogs about Disney, there is a lot of commentary on two places: EPCOT and Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom or Disneyland. I would say this is probably because these are the areas that inspire - they are perhaps the best examples of the high-level imagineering that goes on when developing a theme park. When you talk to a Disney fan, it seems that often they came by their passion by visiting EPCOT as a child or a teen. Before that, it was probably one of the Tomorrowlands that inspired fans.

I've read a lot of "armchair imagineering" that reimagines the futuristic elements of Disney's park offerings, and it seems a common complaint is that they've become somewhat stale in their treatment of the futuristic themes. Or watered down, often, with attractions that are more for thrills or for character tie-ins than for any link to the future. I've done a bit of armchair imagineering myself back when I started this blog.

Anyway, it got me thinking. The future is about exploring new frontiers. Whether we humans are actually getting anywhere is debatable, but we certainly spend enough imagination thinking about the future. So what are those frontiers now?

Space, of course, remains a major frontier, one we've just barely touched on exploring. EPCOT touches on this frontier with the MISSION: SPACE attraction, and Tomorrowland is supposed to be all about a future where space travel is commonplace. It's a theme that is rich with possibilities. Science fiction writers still use human expansion into space as a major theme for their works.

Less popular, perhaps, but still a mystery to much of humanity, the oceans are another frontier. This environment offers challenges almost as harsh as exploration of space offers, and we know little about some parts of the deep oceans, including what sorts of creatures live there. When I think of the oceans, I always think of James Cameron's movie THE ABYSS. Other movies and books have dealt with the oceans as a frontier for our exploration also, but that's the one that jumps out at me.

A third frontier is the area under our feet. JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH is of course the book and movie that jumps out at me. The world of caves and subterranean environment is a fascinating milieu, and we humans have often looked downward in our expansion efforts. Subways, basements, defensive installations, cave exploration and catacombs and graves are all ways we expand and utilize the underground frontier.

Does anyone have any other frontiers?

Do any of these frontiers excite you more than another?


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