“Please contact Mr. Johnson in the control tower to confirm your flight to the moon!” If you haven’t guessed, I’ll be talking about one of Magic Kingdom’s most iconic attractions, The People Mover. Some of you may be reading this with confusion. “How could The People Mover be one of them most iconic attractions?!” Well , allow me to explain.
The original version of the People Mover opened on July 2, 1967 in Disneyland. Guests would board a train of carts with a roof and be given an elevated tour of Tomorrowland. It traveled a little over 1 mile per hour and was a 16-minute journey. The People Mover took guests through the attractions in Tomorrowland and a voice narrated along the way. The attraction delighted and entertained an enormous number of guests throughout it’s run. Unfortunately, the beloved attraction closed in 1995 due to the fact that the ride fell behind the times. The ride reopened in 1998, but as a completely different attraction called “Rocket Rods.” Due to many complications with the track and “rods” the attraction closed permanently in 2000. Now the unused, deserted People Mover tracks remain in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. It doesn’t seem likely they will reopen, but there is always a glimmer of hope that it is possible. Now, Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland has their own version of the People Mover. This version opened on July 1, 1975. The design of the trains were more futuristic and did not have a individual roof over them. Instead, imagineers installed the elevated track with a cement ceiling. This track was only a 10-minute journey through Tomorrowland, but the trains traveled quicker. This People Mover also takes guests around and inside of Tomorrowland’s attractions. Thankfully, this attraction is still up and running.
The Ride Itself
This delightful attraction is both relaxing and entertaining. It gives guests 10-minutes to rest their feet and dive into the wonder that is Tomorrowland. I will admit, I do miss the old narration on this attraction, but I still adore it as a whole. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover takes guests through and around the Tomorrowland attractions: Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger’s Spin, Stitch’s Great Escape (or Character Greet, not sure what they’re calling it these days), Tomorrowland Speedway, Space Mountain, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Mickey’s Star Trades, and the Astro Orbiter. While on board you hear some fun facts about the various attractions and silly commentary. One of the most enticing moments of the attraction is when guests enter a tunnel and are shown a portion Walt Disney’s original model of “Progress City.” The train slows down a bit when passing through so guests can really take in this little piece of Disney history. Another remarkable element of the ride is getting to go inside of Space Mountain. Guests get to see the “stars shooting through space” and hear fellow guests enjoying their “flight through the cosmos.” It’s an incredible experience.
My Personal Connection
I have a passion for everything that is Disney, but there a certain aspects of the incredible company that I have a connection with. One of those is the The Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover. For as long as I can remember I have adored this attraction. Every time I visited the park I always wanted to ride it. I remember being a young girl extremely excited to take a tour on the “highway in the sky.” There was never a time I walked past and didn’t pull my parents over to the line. When I was younger I always enjoyed the futuristic aspect of it and how transported I felt. Going through the different attractions and hearing Buzz Lightyear say, “Calling all space rangers, this is Buzz Lightyear,” would get me infused with excitement for my time in Tomorrowland. It really felt as if guests were touring the galaxy. Today, I still enjoy this attraction, but in a different sense. I appreciate every little detail that imagineering has put into that attraction. Every piece of narration, every attraction, and everything in the tunnels. It still all captivates me to this day. Goosebumps strike every time I see the “Progress City” model. I’m disappointed I never got to experience the People Mover in Disneyland, but I am happy we still have ours in Walt Disney World. Next time you’re on this astounding attraction, take the time to really appreciate it.
I’ll see you at the People Mover.
Disneyland People Mover, 1980s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGIHVfLi0gI&t=143s
TTA People Mover, WDW, 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1iQeCRwjWg