Source: Walt Disney
April 1956 – August 1960
Tomorrowland – Guests could find the Bathroom of Tomorrow (sometimes called the Bathroom of the Future) at the front of Tomorrowland. This attraction shared a building with the Hall of Chemistry, where Star Tours stands today.
In the early years of Tomorrowland, most attractions were sponsored by outside companies in partnership with Disney. Companies like Monsanto focused on chemical technology, while others like Kaiser hoped to create attractions focusing on aluminum and other metals. Crane Plumbing Company hoped to join the ranks of the Tomorrowland elite, sponsoring an attraction focused on home plumbing and bathroom technology. Crane designed the Bathroom of Tomorrow, a walkthrough attraction showcasing the possibilities of home technology and plumbing. The attraction opened a year into the park’s operation, and became part of the early lineup of technology showcases in Tomorrowland.
This model bathroom was not actually a functional space; it was instead like the House of the Future, showing guests how bathrooms would evolve alongside technology. The bathroom itself was gold-plated, with every fixture displayed in bright yellow. This air-conditioned space included a state-of-the-art bathtub, a toilet, a bidet, a wrapping vanity with built-in sinks, and a huge glass shower. The bathroom also had some unusual features, like built-in dumbbells, ceramic figurines, and its own connected telephone. At the end of the exhibit, guests could interact with a series of faucets and valves. The Bathroom of Tomorrow gave guests a glimpse into the future, but its exaggerated features and décor weren’t so much practical as they were mere fantasy.
The Bathroom of Tomorrow was never a popular attraction, particularly among younger audiences. With the much more exciting Hall of Chemistry right next door, the Bathroom of Tomorrow struggled to draw much of an audience, even in the beginning. After just four years of operation, the Bathroom of Tomorrow closed its doors, dashing Crane’s hopes of a lasting partnership with Disney.
Instead of a traditional ribbon cutting, the park had a “valve turning” ceremony. Walt Disney, Crane Company president Frank Elliot, and attraction designer Henry Dreyfuss each turned a massive ceremonial valve to mark the walkthrough’s opening.
The Bathroom of Tomorrow boasted both air conditioning and a hot water boiler system, assuring guests they could “forget about the weather” and always stay comfortable.