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This classic Disney ride plays a pivotal role in Brad Bird's Tomorrowland

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This past weekend saw a celebration of sorts for all things Disney at the D23: Destination D event. For those unfamiliar, D23 is the official fanclub for The Walt Disney Company. The name is a reference to the year 1923 in which Walt Disney founded the company. As for the D, well, you can probably guess what that stands for (Disney). For fans who did attend the event, some where treated to footage from Brad Bird's upcoming Disney flick, TOMORROWLAND. While the footage revealed thus far has seemingly taken place in the "modern age", the new clips shown at Destination D went back in time to 1964 to show George Clooney's character as a young boy at the New York World's Fair. You can read a comprehensive write-up here, but I've included an excerpt that features a ride that we knew would make an appearance, but is used a little more extensively than you might expect from a film entitled TOMORROWLAND.

Here's what guest Nick Tierce had to say:

Frank hops the It's A Small World attraction queue and sneaks onto an empty boat with his bag. He floats through the ride we all know and love ... until he reaches the France segment. From the tip of the Eiffel Tower, a laser scans Frank's pin. His boat is isolated on its path, and the entire track DROPS into a ramp, sending him BENEATH the ride.

His boat approaches an isolated station in a black void. A faint blue fog represents the horizon. Lines of light encircling the station flicker on. Frank enters a retro-styled aluminum enclosure -- an elevator -- in which signs indicate directions for "WORLD'S FAIR" and "TOMORROW."

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I'm really digging the clash of retro and futuristic technology described in the footage. While prospects of what technology can be in the future are exciting, nothing quite beats the 1960's version of the future. Brad Bird seems like the kind of stand-up guy who wouldn't walk away from a project, even for Star Wars, but I'd like to think that him and Damon Lindelof have something truly unique on their hands. Folks scoffed at turning Pirates of the Caribbean into a movie, and that initial film delivered the kind of fun, popcorn experience fans of the ride were looking for. I hope TOMORROWLAND delivers the excitement and thrills of a theme park ride except in a cinematic form. If anyone can pull it off, it's Brad Bird.

TOMORROWLAND arrives in theaters on May 22, 2015.

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