From "HISTA" to Mission 2 and Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, it's fair to say Discoveryland has lost its way a little in recent years. Are two new "retro-future" burger topping bars a glimmer of hope for the real future?,
Installed just last week at Café Hyperion in Discoveryland’s Videopolis entertainment centre, these two new “Electro-Matic” vehicles are part turn-of-the-century Main Street vehicle, part Jules Verne invention. Their simple function? Toppings bars for the fast food restaurant’s burgers.
When the “toppings bar” idea was first introduced (or re-introduced, if long-time fans are correct) to Café Hyperion, the ingredients were laid out on simple tables decorated only with fabric tablecloths. The idea was obviously a hit, but Disneyland would never settle for something as simple as a table…
The two new vehicles, custom-built to hold everything from tomato ketchup to salad, each feature their own unique design. One, with red wheel covers, holds luggage in a tall storage compartment — perhaps for a flight on the Hyperion airship above. The other, with yellow wheel guards, has a giant petrol tank of some sort atop its body — refuelling the dirigible, perhaps?
Both are decorated with authentic wood panelling, bronze fronts and golden edges, with perfect “Videopolis teal” colours to fit seamlessly into the environment. Café Hyperion logos and symbols in various forms are even emblazoned across both, along with lightning symbols between the wheels on each side.
The dashboards feature lightning balls connected together by metallic pipes, every detail a refreshing throwback to the kind of retro-futuristic props previously seen in the pre-show room of Le Visionarium.
After years of changes to land which apparently sought to make it more “relevant” and up-to-date, rather than a convincing, largely period-specific themed land, these two new restaurant props/service vehicles are a very welcome addition, but their quality is not all that surprising.
After all, recent restaurant Imagineering projects brought us the beautifully-themed L’Arbre Enchanté food kiosk, the well-placed Coolpost in Adventureland and — most closely related to this — the Coca-Cola Delivery Truck, one of the first completely new Main Street vehicles introduced anywhere in the world for years.
Did they simply surface through some kind of hole in the space-time continuum, or are the Electro-Matics signalling a new, more precise (retro-)future for Discoveryland?
[All photos by Joel’s Photo Hunt]