On my last trip to Disneyland, I stopped for a moment to think about Tomorrowland; I realized it has the fewest hidden gems of any land in Disneyland. And then it hit me: of course it does. Tomorrowland is constantly changing, to stay updated futuristic, and somewhat imaginary. With so much growth and change, not much stays embedded in the background for very long.
This is especially true for the largest hidden gem that ever graced the land. I say “hidden” only because most people didn’t think much about it. In fact, this hidden gem covered the giant curved walls of both of the front buildings in Tomorrowland, flanking the entrance on either end.
Welcome to the Corridor of Murals, also known as “The Spirit of Creative Energies Among Children”. The textured tile murals measured 54 feet long apiece, and were designed by the legendary Mary Blair.
The south-facing mural (on what is now the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters building) portrayed global communication and connectivity, with satellites sharing messages from children around the world. The north-facing mural (on what is now the Star Tours building) portrayed all kinds of renewable energy.
The corridor of murals had an unusually long life for Tomorrowland. The murals first appeared in as part of the 1967 overhaul, and both lasted over a decade. The north-facing mural survived until the 80s, when it was sadly pretty much destroyed for the Star Tours façade. The south-facing mural survived until the 90s, when it was replaced by a new transportation-themed mural. The north-facing mural may not be in much better shape, but it was at least covered for the new façade rather than dismantled.
Mary Blair’s colorful murals may not fit with today’s sleek Tomorrowland styling, but they are a stunning piece of Tomorrowland’s past. Who knows – maybe one day, new tile murals will adorn those huge walls once again!