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10 Totally Cool Things About The Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover

This ride loads quickly-it is constantly moving with riders boarding and unboarding at the same time via a moving path. Even the queue is on a moving ramp. Guests do have to be ambulatory to ride. There is no FastPass+ needed for this and you will rarely find a line for it although in recent days I have seen an uptick in the queue length requiring a Cast Member to stand at the end of the line identifying where to enter the line.

You will find the ride entrance at the base of Rockettower Plaza. Notice the robot holding the newspapers of the day in any extended form of the queue. It has an old typewriter letter bank as it advertises news printed when you request it as a precursor to the internet where we can today get news as it is happening. When Tomorrowland received its last makeover it was to tell the story of a metropolis in the future but from the perspective of visionaries who lived in the 1900’s.

You are given a view of the layout of the land- similar to riding the Monorail into Epcot gives you. This highway in the sky takes you on a journey around and over Tomorrowland and even through some of the attractions. When riding this comfortable second-story mode of transportation you also get to face each other, which is an unusual benefit for taking photos of your party while on an attraction at Walt Disney World. You get a chance to witness the response to seeing the attractions on each other’s faces.

The cars pass each other close enough to reach out and give each other a high five, but that is not recommended. You quietly travel along through this futuristic city from a point in the past. You will see how much motion there is in Tomorrowland. Astro Orbiters circling rockets, race cars on the Tomorrowland Speedway, Carousel of Progress’ rotating theater, Space Mountains roller coaster rockets you can just make out in the dark, the crowds below and cars and targets within Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin.

You get a comfortable ride with a breeze, and sometimes air conditioning. PeopleMover moves quickly enough to produce a nice breeze in this covered, and therefore often shady, track. When entering an attraction or moving through a building you will feel the air conditioning which is a welcome experience during hot summer days. You will also be able to spot several ice cream or cold beverage locations you can visit once you are off the ride.

Enjoy the quietness of this magnetic technology. Originally dubbed WEDway People Mover after Walter Elias Disney the ride got its start at the World’s Fair when it was sponsored by Ford Motor Company and used new Ford convertible cars as the ride vehicles. When the ride was packed up and shipped back to Disneyland the sponsorship switched to Goodyear and the Ford convertible cars were changed to covered train cars that had no onboard motor but were moved along by Goodyear tires that came into contact with the cars pushing them forward. When the ride opened in 1975 in Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom in Florida the technology had changed again.

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Then, and still today, the cars are moved along the 4574-feet of track with electromagnetic technology. The closer the magnets, the faster the cars move, the farther apart they are the slower they move. It is a very quiet mode of transportation making it a great way to experience Tomorrowland from up in the sky. You can see and hear the excitement of young drivers below as you pass over the Tomorrowland Speedway, the screams within the walls of Space Mountain and the moving targets inside Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. This truly spans all of Tomorrowland from Tomorrowland Terrace restaurant, passing Cinderella Castle, through two attractions, around every Tomorrowland attraction and even the character meet and greets.

Get a look at Walt Disney’s City of the Future model. While moving through some of the buildings you glimpse views of other attractions but this is the only ride you will get a look at this model of Walt Disney’s City of the Future that the creation of Epcot was based on. It was Walt’s idea to have a futuristic actual city of Tomorrow with the PeopleMover being the ideal mode of transportation within the city. The ride vehicle slows down a bit for riders to get a better glimpse of the model. Walt Disney wanted to have an ecologically friendly mode of transportation in his city to get away from pollution and traffic problems that were already a problem in larger cities, such as Los Angeles where Walt lived and worked. He believed in this mode of transportation and tried selling the technology to large U.S. cities, only Houston, Texas taking the contract. Houston is still using the system today.

Yes, you do get a great overview of Tomorrowland, but something else you get is a wonderful view of Cinderella Castle and the Hub area from the PeopleMover. I think it is one of the best views of the Castle so have your camera’s ready! You will have to try and snap that shot between the ride structures.

Attraction timeline:

Concept in 1964 World’s Fair as Ford Magic Skyway using Ford convertible cars

Opens in Disneyland July 2, 1967 – (new sponsor Goodyear) now called PeopleMover with covered train cars

Debuted in Walt Disney World July 1, 1975.

1985-audio changes made

1994-metallic look change to go along with Tomorrowland renovations to make it more city-like and a name change to Tomorrowland Transit Authority

September 2009-audio changed again, more of a sight-seeing script

August 2010-audio changed again as well as name change to current name

1995 PeopleMover in Disneyland closed (reused the track from 1998-2001 as Rocket Rods)

Top speed achieved-7mph

Ride length: 10 minutes

Cars easily hold four adults

Nearest restrooms are to the left of Carousel of Progress entry, adjacent to Space Mountain. There are also restrooms located across from the entrance of the Tomorrowland Speedway, adjacent to Mickey’s Star Traders shop.

Restaurants nearby include quick service The Lunching Pad, at the base of Rockettower Plaza, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, Tomorrowland Terrace which is open seasonally with a changing menu. Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies has very good soft serve ice cream as well as breakfast items early in the day. The closest Table Service restaurant is The Plaza restaurant.

 

 

About Cassie

Cassie L. I am a lifelong Disney fan. I attended Walt Disney World in 1971, and was there during the opening week of EPCOT, and have visited the Disney Parks for than 30 times. I have had the privilege of visiting Disneyland as a child, and then again with my children. My family recently moved from the northeastern United States to the Walt Disney World area. I now have cast members in my family and enjoy hearing the magical stories at the end of a shift. I love visiting all of the parks and getting to try more Disney food and being able to share it with you to help you plan your own magical day at Disney.