Ask anyone who knows me which attractions are must-dos for me in the Magic Kingdom and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover will be in the top three for everyone. I’ve made it well-known that this is one of my favorite attractions and if the day ever comes that Disney tries to remove it from the park I may have to organize a protest. While it is not the flashiest attraction, it is one that I love, and here are 8 things I think you will find totally cool about it:
8. No Wait
Well, usually. If there is a technical difficulty or it is a holiday week, all bets are off . . . but it will still be a shorter wait than the headliner attractions. Under normal circumstances the PeopleMover is a “walk on” which means it is a nice filler attraction while you are in Tomorrowland if you are waiting between FastPasses . . .but to me it is so much more than “filler.” The little to no wait just makes it convenient to experience again & again! It is also a nice option for smaller children to enjoy with one parent while older kids ride Space Mountain due to the short waits.
7. Magnetic Propulsion
I’m about to get all Billy Nye the Science Guy on you. But science is totally cool! The PeopleMover moves by using electromagnetic linear synchronous motors. This system works with electro-magnets in the track. In sequence the magnets are switched off and on triggered by an approaching vehicle. As the magnet turns on the opposing magnetic field pushes the car forward. This eliminates many moving parts, but does limit the track to being level with no inclines. It is a pretty cool lesson for future engineers. If you want to learn more about electromagnetic linear synchronous motors just do a little Google search.
6. Castle Views & Birds Eye Views
My favorite thing about the PeopleMover is the view. It changes as you zoom through Tomorrowland. Imagineers designed the attraction go give guests a Birds Eye View of the Tomorrowland section of the park—sort of a preview of all there is to see and enjoy. You definitely get some great views of Space Mountain and all of the Tomorrowland details. You also get some pretty neat angles of Cinderella Castle as well. I recommend riding the PeopleMover at different times of day. You can see a lot more during daylight, but the lighting of Tomorrowland, Main Street USA and the Castle during the night hours is something you don’t want to miss from this unique vantage point. And if you time it just right you might see some fireworks!
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5. The History
The PeopleMover was originally created for the 1964 World’s Fair. Its genesis was Walt Disney’s involvement in Ford Motor Company’s Magic SkyWay attraction for the fair. The system at the World’s Fair allowed guests to get behind the wheel of a Ford vehicle. Walt then adapted the technology to be installed at Disneyland as the WEDway PeopleMover. It debuted in Disneyland’s New Tomorrowland in 1967 and closed in 1995. The Walt Disney World PeopleMover had several modifications with the idea in mind that it could be used for an EPCOT community . . .the new magnetic propulsion system (see #7) and the track itself was covered rather than individual cars at Disneyland. The attraction opened in 1975 in Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland and has undergone a few name changes: (WEDway PeopleMover until 1994; Tomorrowland Transit Authority 1994-2010; and now the combination Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover).
4. Feet Up, Cool Breeze
I love to ride the PeopleMover when I need to relax. I may be hot, my feet may be tired, but a quick hop on the attraction and all of that is forgotten. As you zip around Tomorrowland you get a cool breeze in your face, and as long as your ride vehicle isn’t too full you can put your feet up on the opposing seat. You will find me on this attraction more than once on my Magic Kingdom visits . . . the perfect way to relax and refuel in the middle of your touring.
3. The Narrator
While the script has undergone a few changes over the years, the narration of the PeopleMover is fun. Listen closely to catch all of the subtle references. And who doesn’t say “Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow. Your party from Saturn has arrived. Please give them a ring.” ???
2. Space Mountain Tour
While it is cool on any day to get to see inside Space Mountain without riding it . . . it is dark. You don’t get to see much. But, occasionally Space Mountain will be down due to technical difficulties, and you may ride through on the PeopleMover with the lights on! There is no way to predict being able to do this or timing it right, but it is really neat to see the track when normally it is pitch black and you have no idea which way you are turning when you are on the actual Space Mountain attraction. It is kind of a surprise behind the scenes look at a Disney attraction.
1. The Epcot Model
To me the absolute coolest thing about the PeopleMover is the look you get to take at the model for Progress City, a forerunner to Epcot. Not Epcot Center the theme park, but the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow that Walt Disney dreamed of and planned to be an example of what city planning and careful consideration of factors could create in a future city. This is a portion of the model that was used in Disneyland’s Carousel of Progress. I love looking at all of the details & imagining the lives of the people living in that planned community.
Do you love the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover? What do you think is the coolest part?