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Steampunk through a Disney lens...
I'm not an expert on steampunk - it was probably only about a year ago that I even heard the term for the first time. But I understood the idea right away because of the feeling I get in the Disneyland Futureworld area. Something about the shapes and colors made me happily nostalgic about a future that never will be. Does that make any sense? It's the same feeling I had when watching the movie "The Rocketeers". I've read that some Steampunk aficionados fear that a marketing machine like Disney will be the death of steampunk but I would respectfully suggest that there is much about the spirit of Disney that lines up with the spirit of steampunk. Both embrace the innovation with hopefulness and a touch of whimsy. Is it possible that the Disney marketing machine is made with gears and is run by steam? Take a look and see....
Steampunk style in the Disney Theme Park Rides and Attractions
The Future that Never Was...
"For years, the Tomorrowlands of Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom, and Tokyo Disneyland, were constantly becoming "Todayland." The future was always catching up with the present, making once innovative architecture look out-of-date. To combat this, the Imagineers built "Discoveryland" not "Tomorrowland" when building Disneyland Paris. Instead of trying to predict an uncertain future, they created a land that reflected the visions of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. This architecture would never go out of date.
With this in mind, a redesign of the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland began in 1993. The theme "The Future that Never Was" would reflect a Buck Rogers approach to Tomorrowland and it would be transformed into a galactic spaceport." --- Jack Spence
Source: The "World" According to Jack.. http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/
The Golden Zephyr at Disney's California Adventure theme park has a steampunk aesthetic
The Timekeeper attraction is now gone but it once had a great steampunk feel.
The 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Submarine Voyage was a Disney World Magic Kingdom attraction from 1971 - 1994.
Les MystÃ¨res du Nautilus (French for "The Mysteries of the Nautilus") and Space Mountain at Disneyland Paris in France.
CafÃ¨ Hyperion & Vidopolis Theatre at Disneyland Paris. The entrance is beautifully themed with a big Jules Verne style zeppelin
The entrance to Vulcania Restaurant at Tokyo DisneySea
Do you see a little steampunk in the Epcot's Tapestry of Dreams / Nations Parades
Epcot had an incredible, wonderful, and amazing parade that debuted in October 1999 as the Tapestry of Nations Parade. September 2001, it was then re-worked a little and the name was changed to "Tapestry of Dreams" until it was discontinued in March 2003. I had certainly never heard the term "steampunk" back then but this parade was so inspiring and the floats were so unique. When I look at they youtube videos today, I certainly see a strong steampunk connection both in the design and in the optimistic spirit of the parade.
Check out the center of the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride at Disneyland's Fantasyland.
The Adventurer's Club (1989 - 2008) at Disney World's Downtown Disney is now closed but it certainly captured the fun spirit of
Steampunk influences in Disney movies
Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
The Island at the Top of the World (1974)
Around the World in 80 Days
The Great Mouse Detective (Mystery in the Mist Edition) (1986)
The Great Mouse Detective has this really cool scene from a clock tower. Does this work for steampunk fans?
Some really great articles about Disney & Steampunk
- Steampunk Scholar: Disney and Steampunk
James Blaylock blogs about the Steampunk aspects of certain Disney films.
- Voyages Extraordinaires: Tokyo Disneysea's Journey to the Center of the Earth
Great photos and description of the Journey to Center of the Earth attraction at Tokyo Disneyseas
- Voyages Extraordinaires: Tokyo Disneysea's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Attraction
More great photos and article about another great Disney attraction inspired by the writings of Jules Verne.
- Voyages Extraordinaires: The Mechanical Kingdom
Another great blog celebrating Disney's steampunk history.
- DisneyParks Blog: The Mechanical Kingdom
Blog about steampunk inspired Disney merchandise.
Disney - Mechanical Kingdom - Collectors Pin Set. Limited edition set features the Disney characters in a "steampunk" style fro
Disney Steampunk Vinylmation - created by Disney Design Group Artist Mike Sullivan. This set contained six figures and was released in early 2011.Click thumbnail to view full-size
More on Disney Steampunk...
Steampunk vinylmation and Disney pins on Amazon
You can try checking eBay or some of the Disney pin trader websites to see if you can get a better deal.
Are you, first and foremost, a Disney fan or a steampunk fan? Do you think that the two are a match made in heaven or completely incompatible? Here's your chance to let your voice be heard....