Last week, Disney announced that Innoventions will close permanently at the end of March since its opening in 1998 as a part of Disneyland’s “New Tomorrowland.” Of course, much has changed since the late 90s and with Innoventions housed in the Carousel Theater, the former home of the Carousel of Progress and America Sings attraction, it occupies a good chunk of real estate, wedged between Autopia and Space Mountain.
The attraction itself was a two-level exhibit that showcases the most cutting-edge technology and advances in fields such as entertainment and health. There were five different entry points to the attraction through a moving platform that featured demonstrations of Entertainment, Home, Sports and Recreation, Transportation, or Workplace with state-of-the-art technology. The audio-animatronic Tom Morrow is your guide throughout these demonstrations before your opportunity to venture off to other exhibits, which included video game consoles, Honda’s ASIMO Theater, Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) and St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Most recently, the Marvel characters Thor and Captain America have made a home in Innoventions for meet and greets.
Although Tom Morrow’s rendition of “It’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” was enough to draw me into the air-conditioned attraction on a warm summer day, the closure does not come with much surprise. Although it has struggled to maintain relevance over the years with the addition of Marvel and the Dream Home, the space has become outdated. On my most recent visit, the entire lower level had been closed and only the Marvel exhibits were primarily featured. Innoventions was on its last leg.
Resisting from the discussion of future plans, officials stated, “we regularly make modifications and enhancements throughout the resort.” Although there was no announcement indicating what new magic the space would bring, that doesn’t dispel rumors from curious fans.
Disney’s purchases of Marvel and Lucasfilm have long been creating buzz on when Disney will implement them into the parks. Marvel’s impact has been subtle, with their characters popping up in Innoventions, but Star Wars of Lucasfilm already has its own ride, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, in Tomorrowland. Will Disneyland give Marvel a permanent home or give Star Wars even greater influence?
Those aren’t the only rumors flying around. With Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary quickly approaching, fans seem to think Innoventions will turn into an exhibit dedicated to the park’s history. This seems like a quick fix and would be similar to “Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years” that was located in the Opera House on Main Street during the 50th Anniversary. The difference is, Innoventions is much larger and after the 60th Anniversary, what will become of it? Also, amidst all of the 60th announcements we have received lately, why wouldn’t an exhibit dedicated to the park’s history be announced as well?
There will be plenty of speculation before Disney decides to tell the public anything, but until then, we can just hope for something big.