Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ford Pavilion, New York World's Fair

Today, let's visit the Ford Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. We are standing outside of the much talked about "Magic Skyway", created by Walt Disney and his Imagineers. The ride system was a precursor to what became the Peoplemover at Disneyland, except that you got to ride in brand new Ford automobiles, while Walt narrated your experience through the car's sound system.

Partially visible beneath the Ford logo is a red Mustang. According to Wikipedia, the Mustang "was introduced to the public at the New York World's Fair on April 17, 1964, and via all three American television networks on April 19. It was one of the most successful product launches in automotive history."


Visitors were carried along a track on the rotunda's exterior for a sweeping view of the Fair, then on to the spectacular scenes in the main exhibit hall. The dawn of life on earth showed huge dinosaurs battling while primeval birds soared above. Life-sized cavemen appeared "in a spectacular display of electronic animation" (in fact, the animation was very crude, one reason the cavemen were left out when Primeval World was moved to Disneyland). In the Space Age the viewer glided on a superskyway over a City of Tomorrow complete with soaring spires and bubble-dome buildings.

7 comments:

Rae! said...

That's very cool.I own a Mustang!!!

Davelandweb said...

That second shot is amazing...really gives you a sense of being there!

Tangaroa said...

Wow! That second shot is amaaaazing! Thanks!

Tannerman said...

These are great photos. Really appreciate you posting them.

sundaynight said...

Would love to see more of these tourist shots of the inside of the Ford pavilion. Outstanding.
In the Wonderful World of Color program: Disneyland Goes to the World’s Fair (64) Walt is shown with many of the audio-animatronic figures.
Makes me think of the 1939 New York World’s Fair where General Motors also had a miniature futuristic city, inside the “Futurama”.

Major Pepperidge said...

I do happen to have photos of the interior of the Ford pavilion, to be posted at some future date. The preview areas and some of the ride scenes will be shown.

Jon said...

The narration for the ride came through the car radio. You could change the language by pressing the radio buttons. I remember French, Spanish, German and Italian as the choices in addition to English.