Yesterland Monsanto House of the Future
Monsanto House of the Future at Disneyland
“The floors on which you are walking, the gently sloping walls
around you, and even the ceilings are made of plastics.”



 

Welcome to the walk-through attraction that provides a glimpse of how you’ll be living in future. You won’t find traditional furniture styles or natural materials in the House of the Future. Everything is ultra-modern and almost entirely synthetic. It’s a demonstration of style and technology.

Photo of House of the Future entrance
Monsanto Chemical Co. invites you to walk up the stairs to the entrance.
  • Step up to the Monsanto House of the Future, with its four equal wings “floating” above the beautifully landscaped grounds and waterfalls.
  • Enter the dining and family room, a comfortable place where the family of the future will play, rest, and dine on stylish plastic furniture.
  • Look into the “Atoms for Living Kitchen” with its revolutionary microwave oven.
  • Pass the two kid’s bedrooms—one for the boy of the future and one for the girl of the future—and the shared kids’ bathroom.
  • Next, see the master bedroom and the main bathroom.
  • Conclude your tour in the sleek living room, with its giant, non-operational, wall-mounted television screen.
Photo of House of the Future with dark blue sky
It’s stylish.
 
WIndows on Monsanto House of the Future
Peek into one of the big picture windows.
 
Photo of dome in the garden adjacent to House of the Future
The Matterhorn is an impressive background for the House of the Future.
 
Photo of dome in the garden adjacent to House of the Future
Adjacent to the House of the Future, there’s a dome for your outdoor living.
 

Harbor Boulevard in the Disneyland Resort Plan of 1991
Can you imagine living in a house like this, located in a neighborhood of plastic houses?
 

At Disneyland, the House of the Future opened in 1957 on a prime site just off the Hub, adjacent to the Circarama theater. The House of the Future was one of two free attractions sponsored by Monsanto. The other was the Hall of Chemistry, which closed in 1966. After Monsanto’s Adventure Thru Inner Space opened in 1967, the House of the Future was doomed.

Disneyland publicity photo of the House of the Future
Disneyland publicity photo of the House of the Future

Legend has it that the planned one-day demolition of the House of Future ended up taking two weeks as the wrecking ball just bounced off the exterior. Workers painstakingly cut the house into pieces with hacksaws.

After the House of the Future was removed, the house’s landscaping, waterfalls, and walkways remained. The area, named “Alpine Gardens,” became home to a souvenir stand. In 1996, Disneyland turned the area into Triton’s Garden, with a sculpture of King Triton and delightful jumping fountains. In 2008, Pixie Hollow moved in.

The House of the Future hasn’t been forgotten. In fact, for an attraction that’s been gone since 1967 because it was outdated, it’s amazing that there continues to be homage to the House of the Future at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Photo of House of Innoventions at Epcot
The House of Innoventions at Epcot.

The House of Innoventions at Epcot is in some ways similar to the House of the Future. It’s an opportunity to see innovative new products for the home, some of which are already available, and some of which are prototypes for future products. It’s not as visionary as the House of the Future, and the “house” itself is just a simple box-like structure within the one of the Innoventions halls. But it’s fun; it’s updated every year; and the guides do a good job. It’s one of Epcot’s best hidden attractions.

On February 13, 2008, the Disneyland Resort announced that a new House of the Future—to be called the Innoventions Dream Home. (Is anyone else getting tired of Disney’s overuse of the words dream and dreams?)

Photo of construction wall in Innoventions at Disneyland
The front entrance of the Innoventions Dream Home at Disneyland (2008 photo)

The Innoventions Dream Home opened in May 2008. It wasn’t a return of the 1957 plastic marvel with visionary predictions of how we might live decades from now. The future now looked like the past, but with a lot modern technology.

As described by an Associated Press article at the time of the announcement, “The 5,000-square-foot home, scheduled to open in May, will look like a suburban tract home outside. But inside it will feature hardware, software and touch-screen systems that could simplify everyday living.”

Just as at Epcot, the new display home is inside the Innoventions attraction. The round Innoventions pavilion at Disneyland was originally the Carousel Theater, home of the General Electric Carousel of Progress (1967-1973) and America Sings (1974-1988).

Photo of construction wall in Innoventions at Disneyland
The Magic Mirror at the Innoventions Dream Home (2008 photo)

The Innoventions Dream Home is sponsored by Microsoft, HP, Life|ware and homebuilder Taylor Morrison to showcase the sponsors’ products. Guests discover how the home’s residents, the fictional Elias family, enjoy the latest in mobile phones, PCs, digital music and gaming, as they prepare for a trip to the World Soccer Championships in China. Guests interact with family members, who, unlike the Carousel of Progress family, are real people. The family’s name is a nod to Walter Elias Disney. I don’t know about you, but if I were preparing for a trip to China, I wouldn’t have time to interact with thousands of people visiting my home.

Unlike the old House of the Future, the Innoventions Dream Home probably won’t be fondly remembered a half century later. But it’s better than some of the other exhibits in Disneyland’s Innoventions.

Photo of Innoventions at Disneyland
Innoventions at Disneyland.

Yesterland has three other House of the Future articles. Please take a look.

“The Future Won’t Wait” from Monsanto Magazine in 1960
 
Homage to the House of the Future
 
The Dymaxion House: a “house of the future” that you can visit today

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© 1996-2012 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated April 27, 2012.

Photograph of House of the Future: 1958 by Merrill A. Garner.
Photograph of House of the Future entrance: by Charles R. Lympany, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photograph of House of the Future with dark blue sky: by Charles R. Lympany, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photograph of House of the Future (detail from top photo): 1958 by Merrill A. Garner.
Photo of House of the Future with Matterhorn: 1959 by Roger J. Runck, courtesy of Robin Runck.
Photo of outdoor living dome at House of the Future: 1961 by Roger J. Runck, courtesy of Robin Runck.
Photo of House of the Future (wide): 1961 by Roger J. Runck, courtesy of Robin Runck.
Photo of House of the Future at night: Publicity photo from Walt Disney Productions, copyright The Walt Disney Company.
Photograph of House of Innoventions at Epcot: 2006 by Werner Weiss.
Photograph of Innoventions Dream Home entrance at Disneyland: 2008 by Allen Huffman.
Photograph of Innoventions Dream Home Magic Mirror at Disneyland: 2008 by Allen Huffman.
Photograph of Innoventions at Disneyland: 2007 by Allen Huffman.