Well, in a couple of days, we'll know for sure. As part of Disneyland's Twilight Zone Tower of Terror press event, the folks in Anaheim will supposedly finally reveal at least of that resort's plans for "Disney's Golden Celebration." Which (for those of you who don't know) will be the worldwide celebration of Disneyland's 50th anniversary.
Now I'm sure that -- sometimes after Wednesday or Thursday -- there'll be lots of details out there on the Web about what will be going on at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure next year. Lots of talk about that resort-wide fireworks display (Which -- sadly -- supposedly has been scaled back considerably. With the hope that that will keep Disneyland's neighbors from complaining too vociferously about this new nighttime show.
There'll also probably be a lot of talk about Disneyland's new daytime parade as well as the new history exhibit that will be built in the "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" post-show area.
But me? I can't help but think how much more fun it would have been if the folks at WDI had been able to stick to their guns a while longer. Had finally found some way to persuade Disneyland's management team to allow them to set up the Disneyland 50th anniversary history exhibit inside of Innoventions.
Why for? Because I've had a few friends who were privy to the design of that proposed exhibit tell me about this proposed 2005 attraction. And I have to tell you folks: It sounded pretty snazzy to me.
How so? Well, picture an entire room dedicated to the history of Disneyland's Frontierland. Filled floor to ceiling with props, posters, pictures and models of various attractions.
But (to put the perfect finishing touch on the whole shebang) who was to have been the host of the Frontierland exhibit? Big Al. Yep, the audio-animatronic figure from Disneyland's late, great "Country Bear Jamboree" show. Who would have strummed his guitar and sang a ballad about what it took to turn Anaheim's Orange Groves into authentic-looking pioneer country.
Meanwhile, over in the room where the Tomorrowland exhibit was being held, picture a very harried robot. Who -- as he describes the history of this part of the theme park -- is trying to be the air traffic controller for every single out-of-this-world vehicle that has ever flown, hovered or zoomed through this portion of the park.
Over in the Adventureland section of the revamped "Innoventions" exhibit, you'll find the "Enchanted Tiki Room"'s original barker bird chatting up a storm about how this part of Disneyland grew up to be the most adventurous area of all. (The Imagineers had hoped to recruit Wally Boag himself, the original voice of the "Tiki Room"'s barker bird, to come back in and record this new dialogue.)
You see what I'm saying here, folks? Each of the lower rooms of Innoventions -- as you entered them from the outside -- would have featured an appropriate audio-animatronic host. Who would have then gone on to describe the colorful history of the portion of Disneyland where they were from.
There would have been all this ... Plus original Disneyland concept art that had been dug up from the depths of WDI's archives. Plus models and macquettes. And hands-on exhibits that would have allowed theme park guests -- by punching a few keys -- to see rare behind-the-scenes footage of favorite old attractions that have been gone for decades ...
Disneyland's 50th anniversary history exhibit would have been so much fun in this format. With two whole floors to explore. With plenty of room for oversized display cases and enormous pieces of art.
But now ... Well, while I am sure that there will plenty of fun things to see in the post-show area of the "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" attraction, I can't help but feel cheated. We could have had a really great show in the old Tomorrowland theater-go-round building. Something that really paid tribute to what Disneyland was, is and always will be.
But -- because Disneyland's current management team isn't quite ready to throw in the towel on "Innoventions" yet -- the decision was made to radically downsize the DL historic exhibit. To try and shoehorn this ambitious attraction into a space that's just far too small to hold all the amazing ideas that the Imagineers have as to the proper way to pay tribute to Disneyland's Golden Anniversary.
As I said earlier, I'm sure that the exhibit that will go into the post-show area of the Main Street Opera House will be fine. And that it will feature lots of fun stuff that I'm sure will make Disneyana fans' hearts go pitter-pat. But -- at the same time -- I can't help but think that this show (and -- let's be honest here -- this entire anniversary celebration) would have been better served if they had just opted to go with WDI's first choice.
Which was to put the historical exhibit portion of Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration inside of "Innoventions." Where there would have been plenty of room for exhibits as well as the tens of thousands of people who will try each day to see these exhibits.