‘Tomorrowland’ Comes To Fantasyland

Scenes from Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland are scheduled to film at it’s a small world in Disneyland this week, recreating the ride in it’s 1964 New York World Fair incarnation.

We previously reported the Vancouver filming of  Tomorrowland and the recreation of the 1964 New York World’s Fair at the University of British Columbia and H.R. MacMillan Space Centre.  With the latter, photos (including the one below) show a recreation of exteriors from Walt Disney’s it’s a small world pavilion during the 1964 World’s Fair with giant blue screens on set (to digitally recreate the New York World’s Fair atmosphere).

While it’s a small world remained shut down in Disneyland this past weekend to remove the holiday overlay, blue screens were set up, unusual blue and yellow ride canopies have been erected and filming equipment was moved in.


Since the 1964 World’s Fair version of it’s a small world had a very generic exterior and did not have the iconic spires and clock of the Disneyland version, it will be interesting  to see what portions of the Disneyland ride will be used for the Tomorrowland film.


The above photo from the 1964 World’s Fair details a set of yellow canopies directly under the “it’s a small world” sign.  In the photo below, also from 1964, blue canopies are visible above the ride vehicles.


At the Disneyland set, a similar set of yellow and blue ride canopies are visible in the ride loading area.


The animal topiary garden and portions of the it’s a small world facade are both covered by blue screens.  From these visuals, the 1964 New York World’s Fair recreation of it’s a small world may consist of a digital hybrid of the Vancouver set and the portions of the Disneyland it’s a small world set.  It is also possible that portions of the Disneyland it’s a small world facade will be included in the recreation to make it more recognizable and visually appealing in the film, despite being historically inaccurate.


Due to the filming, scheduled to take place February 4-5, portions of Disneyland, including the area around it’s a small world will be closed to guests.  MousePlanet has detailed what they have learned regarding the filming and closures including:

  • The Disneyland Railroad will not operate on February 4.  This is not surprising as the train passes right through it’s a small world and would disrupt filming, not to mention allowing prying eyes to view the set.
  • Mickey and the Magical Map will be dark February 4 and 5, likely to prevent excess noise that would result from the performances.
  • Small World Mall (the parade route between it’s a small world and the Matterhorn) will be closed February 4 and 5.

This is not the first time that Tomorrowland has filmed at a Disney Park.  Last November, Inside the Magic reported the filming of Tomorrowland at the Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando.  The Carousel of Progress was also one of the attractions that debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

Little remains known about Tomorrowland, which is now scheduled to premiere May 22, 2015, except for the the official synopsis:

Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as Tomorrowland.