PeopleMover

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PeopleMover
PeoplemoverPoster.jpg
The PeopleMover Poster
Disneyland
Area Tomorrowland
Coordinates 33°48′44″N 117°55′03″W / 33.81222°N 117.91750°W / 33.81222; -117.91750Coordinates: 33°48′44″N 117°55′03″W / 33.81222°N 117.91750°W / 33.81222; -117.91750
Status SBNO
Opening date July 2, 1967
Closing date August 21, 1995
Replaced by Rocket Rods
Magic Kingdom
Area Tomorrowland
Status Operating
Opening date July 1, 1975
General statistics
Attraction type Transportation
Manufacturer Walt Disney Imagineering
Designer Walt Disney Imagineering
Speed 7 mph (11 km/h)
Vehicle type Propulsion
Vehicles 62
Riders per vehicle 16
Rows 2 (Per Car)
Riders per row 2
Duration Approx 16:00
Propulsion Motorized wheels embedded in track
Host

Jack Wagner (1977-1982)

B.J. Ward (safety voice) (1982-1995)
Sponsor Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (1967-1981)

The PeopleMover, sometimes referred to as the WEDWay PeopleMover, was a transport attraction that operated from July 2, 1967 to August 21, 1995 in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Guests boarded small trains that ran on elevated tracks for a "grand circle tour" above Tomorrowland. The ride's station and track infrastructure remain standing but not operating. A second PeopleMover, known as the WEDway PeopleMover, of a somewhat different design, opened at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida in 1975, and operated from 1994 to 2009 as the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. The name was changed to "Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover" on August 5, 2010, but it is still operating.[1]

The term "people mover", now in wider use to describe many forms of normally automated public transport, was first coined as the name for this attraction. PeopleMover was originally only a working title but became attached to the project over time. Originally the attraction was seen as a serious prototype for intra-city public transport.[2]

Operation[edit]

The attraction's vehicles were always moving. Passengers boarded and alighted by a large speed-matched rotating platform inside the station. The trains were not powered by motors within themselves, but rather by being pushed by rotating tires each with its own electric motor, embedded in the track once every nine feet.[2]

Each car included its own sound system which broadcast a continuous audio commentary and soundtrack, relative to the train's location. The commentary pointed out Disneyland's attractions along the way as well as announcing promotional items.[3]

The tour continued from the center of Tomorrowland through a few of Tomorrowland's buildings, for a look inside, and over Disneyland's Submarine Lagoon and Autopia areas, before returning to Tomorrowland.

Sponsorship[edit]

The attraction used an updated WEDway system based on the WEDway used for the Ford Magic Skyway at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.[2] When Disney asked Ford Motor Company to continue sponsorship by sponsoring Disneyland's new PeopleMover, they declined, because Ford was reluctant to support technology that appeared to replace the automobile.[citation needed] Goodyear was then approached to sponsor it, and accepted. The wheels used in the WEDway system were replaced by Goodyear's tires. The PeopleMover's logo was then fashioned after Goodyear's logo, sharing a similar type face. Goodyear sponsored the PeopleMover from its opening until December 31, 1981.[4]

History[edit]

The PeopleMover opened as part of New Tomorrowland in 1967. Originally, each four-car train was colored either red, blue, yellow or green with white roofs. They were repainted all white with colored stripes in 1987. In 1968, each of the 62 trains were retrofitted with safety rails for each car, to deter guests from climbing out. They 'semi' wrapped around each car. In 1985, these safety rails were modified to completely wrap around each car, making it even more difficult for possible accidents to occur.

SuperSpeed Tunnel[edit]

In 1977, the SuperSpeed Tunnel was added to the PeopleMover. It was located in the upper level of the Carousel Building, which then housed America Sings. Race cars were projected on the walls of the tunnel all around the trains. In 1982, the projections were changed to scenes from the film Tron and the tunnel was announced as the Game Grid of Tron by the on-board audio guide. After this addition, the attraction was advertised as the "PeopleMover Thru the World of Tron."

Deaths[edit]

During the attraction's 28-year run, two separate incidents of guests trying to jump between the moving vehicles led to their deaths.

Closure[edit]

The PeopleMover closed in August 1995, and was replaced by the short-lived Rocket Rods in 1998.[5]

A few of the retired PeopleMover cars were used in other parts of the resort after its closing. Three cars from train #45 used to sit outside the Team Disney Anaheim building, but they were removed in 2007. One of the cars from train #45 is now in display at the cast members cafe called the Eat Ticket.[citation needed] Another car from train #45 is now in the hands of a local resident. Two cars were repainted with a blue and orange grid to resemble a blueprint (along with Rocket Jets vehicles and the front of a Mark III Disneyland-ALWEG monorail train) and placed in the queue display for Rocket Rods, which would later close in 2000. These were later sold on Disney Auctions after Rocket Rods closed.

The checkout counters at the Little Green Men Store Command in Tomorrowland resemble PeopleMover cars and the store has former Rocket Jets vehicles retrofitted as merchandise shelves. The store also had Skyway buckets hanging from the ceiling when it was the Premiere Shop.

In 2000, almost five years after the attraction's closure, an updated version of the Autopia attraction opened. The old on-board audio music from the PeopleMover now serves as the background area music in Autopia's queue.

The ride track infrastructure which served both the PeopleMover and Rocket Rods still stands unused in Tomorrowland. In September 2010, George Kalogridis stated that while there may be plans to bring back the ride, the park would not be able to return the attraction to its original form due to stricter regulations. His exact words to an audience at a Disney D23 Expo, “But don’t worry. Everyone understands the passion everyone has for it.” Kalogridis also stated, “Hang in there.” [6]

Popular culture references[edit]

  • A homage to the PeopleMover appears in the 2008 Disney·Pixar film WALL•E, depicting a transportation system with the name "PEOPLEMOVER" and the ride's signature circular boarding station.[7]
  • The box and poster art for Mega64's Version 3 DVD parodies the poster designs of the PeopleMover and Matterhorn Bobsleds, as well as Walt Disney's Disneyland opening day speech.
  • In the 2010 video game Disney Epic Mickey, the PeopleMover is featured in Tomorrow City, a dystopian version of Tomorrowland.

See also[edit]

References[edit]