Friday, October 04, 2013


It is not often that I am able to post anything to do with one of my favorite attractions - Adventure Thru Inner Space! Like so many rides, this one was dark - even the queue was dimly-lit, which made picture-taking a bit of a crap shoot. Most people didn't bother. 

Say, lookit that microscope. It sure is mighty! This one is different from most microscopes... instead of making small things appear large, it shrinks people down (smaller and smaller!) until even sub-atomic particles are visible. Like most kids, I was so fascinated by the sight of the full-sized Atomobiles going in one end of the Mighty Microscope, only to appear further along the track, already reduced to only a foot tall. Did the process hurt? What if we stayed tiny??

I've lightened up the picture a bit (even though it is terribly grainy) so that you can clearly see the Peoplemover vehicles as they passed above the microscope. Not only did they provide additional kinetic movement, lucky Peoplemover riders got a cool preview of the attraction.

Here's a neat view as seen from inside an Atomobile as it heads toward the microscope. The lighting, music, and sound effects all helped to make this one of the strangest and coolest attractions ever. 


Nanook said...

MAG- NI-FI-CA-TION Yes, I can remember many a child wondering, aloud, if once shrunken, upon the ride's completion, they would be returned to their original "full" size.

It truly was " of the strangest and coolest attractions ever.

Miracles From Molecules
Around Us Everywhere
There Are Miracles From Molecules
In The Earth, The Sea, The Air
Now Men With Dreams Are Furthering
What Nature First Began
Making Modern Miracles
From Molecules, For Man...

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

The Adventure Thru Inner Space soundtrack is my favorite of all the Disneyland attraction soundtracks. From the Paul Frees narration and ride-through to the Miracle of Molecules song, it's pure magic.

As for the attraction itself, I remember it as a strange and unusual experience of sight and sound, not ever sure what to truly make of it. The pulsating red nucleus. And that eye! Who could forget that eye.

It was a great example of what made Tomorrowland '67 a cut above all the other Tomorrowlands.

I also feel very fortunate that I was able experience its sister attraction "If You Had Wings" in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland. That ride was kind of strange too. Both are gone now.

Another nice post today. Thanks!

TokyoMagic! said...

ATIS pics.....YAY! And we even get to see one of those miniature Atomobiles in the first pic! I miss this attraction so much! Imagine if they took the original soundtrack and recreated this attraction with modern effects. Of course the "powers that be" would never authorize an attraction like that today without inserting Princesses, Pirates or Pixar characters into it. Sad. But hey, I'm not bitter!


WOW! On behalf of TOMORROWLOUNGE : T H A N K Y O U ! ! I have never seen a shot like that looking up INTO the entry of the Mighty Microscope! Imagine what the first guest's impressions were of this attraction!

It's interesting that the Adventure Thru Inner Space sister attraction, IF YOU HAD WINGS was proposed to come to Disneyland in a West Coast version in the late 70's- to be sponsored by PSA --it was planned for the Circle-Vison building. It would have seemed strange to have both those OMNI-MOVER attractions operating in Tomorrowland and the same time. But I would have LOVED it!!

K. Martinez said...

Mike Cozart -

I had no idea a west coast version of "If You Had Wings" with a PSA sponsorship was planned. The locales portrayed would've been cool to see.

I would've loved having two Omni-mover attractions in Tomorrowland too! Ironically we now have an omni-mover style attraction in the Circle-Vision building where you mentioned the attraction was proposed to be installed.

DKoren said...

Of all the rides that are gone, I think I miss this one the most. I have such fond memories of watching that microscope and the cars shrinking. Great pics!

MRaymond said...

One of my favorite rides as a kid. My grandfather used to scare the crap out of me when it would go pitch black. And the damn eye still comes into my dreams occasionally (I was 6 when TL67 came around).
A second ATIS memory is Grad Night 79. I got a flashlight in my face (enough said).

Tom said...

Great pics! It was cool how the peoplemover went through the ride queue area and gave people the preview.

I rode this in 1983 on my second visit to the park and I'm glad I did; had no idea it would be shuttered. I'd love to see put in another ride like this but more up to date, perhaps delving into the microscopic world of high-technology or nanobots or something. There's a ton of possibilities.

Great job, as always!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I agree with Nanook.

It truly was " of the strangest and coolest attractions ever.

Claude Cotes was a master of shoehorning in a lot of ride in a very small space. The dim lighting helped cover up the fact the effects were pretty cheesy.

I agree, all us older fans miss it but times and tastes change. I use "Miracles from Molecules" streamed to the car radio as punishment for my sometimes unruly kids.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook,of course the possibility of something going terribly wrong is something that the Imagineers played on many times. And I love "Miracles From Molecules"!

K. Martinez, I totally agree about the soundtrack. If you have heard the isolated tracks from that ride, they are pretty awesome too. Somebody online once told me that his ex father-in-law (who was an Imagineer I believe) had the eyeball in storage somewhere in Tujunga.

TokyoMagic!, yes, those mini-Atomobiles ("large Atomobliles" sounds like a contradiction). I have dreamed that a ride like this would come back with cutting edge effects and technology, but it's never gonna happen.

Mike Cozart, you're welcome! I was very happy to get these great photos (courtesy of "Mr. X"). The blinking light around the edge of the Atomobile was a great touch. Thanks for the info about "If You Had Wings", I never knew that a West Coast version was planned.

K. Martinez, I guess the Buzz Lightyear ride vehicles are Omnimovers, though I never thought of them that way. Bob Gurr made a point that a number of rides ("The Little Mermaid") refer to their vehicles as Omnimovers when they aren't.

DKoren, I loved everything about this ride.

MRaymond, I wonder why the park would care if kids were making out. Nobody could see them. Maybe things went beyond making out!

Tom, hearing that this ride was closed was a real arrow through the heart. I like Star Tours a lot, but wish we could have BOTH rides.

Alonzo, Nanook was quoting me! Any attraction that Claude Coats was involved with seemed to have the best, most vivid environments. I wish I could have met him… I had a teacher who worked under Claude when he first started at Disney, what a lucky guy.

Anonymous said...

I used to watch the people in front of me to see if I could recognize them in the tube of shrunken people on their way to the snowflake containment. Never saw anyone that looked familiar.

I also noticed that there was no corresponding view back into the ride queue once the ride began, they sort of skipped that part, hoping you wouldn't notice.

Great pics, especially #2.


Melissa said...

ATIS is one of my top destinations once I get that Disney time machine built. Of course, due to the vagaries of time travel, if I do ever build the thing I'll probably never know it.

Strange = good!

I don't know about the West Coast version of Buzz Lightyear, but the East Coast one is definitely an Omnimover. It was converted from If You Had Wings, and they left the same track and (recdecorated) cars in place.

K. Martinez said...

Major -

Yes, I have ATIS isolated tracks, boarding tracks, instrumentals, etc.

What is your definition of an Omnimover and why don't you consider the little Mermaid attractions to be of the Omnimover type?

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I did the very same thing! And until you mentioned the back view just now, I never DID notice. Funny!

Melissa, I'm sure nostalgia has a lot to do with my love for the attraction, but even just hearing the audio makes me happy. I'm going to have to investigate "If You Had Wings", since I know almost nothing about it... it's just a name that I've heard.

K. Martinez, it was Bob Gurr who said the Little Mermaid vehicles weren't Omnimovers... I haven't been on the ride yet! Do the clamshell vehicles spin on an axis like Doombuggies?

K. Martinez said...

Major -

My apology for misunderstanding your comment.

Yes, the clam-mobile vehicles spin on an axis like the Doombuggies and Atomobiles. It is my understanding that there are several variants on the Ommnimover systems.

The Buzz Lightyear Astro-Blaster vehicles spin on an axis as well, but it's user controlled so riders can shoot at the various targets along the track. The vehicles on the Omnimover system in EPCOT's Horizons didn't rotate, but traveled sideways throughout the entire ride.

All the Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear ,Little Mermaid rides and several EPCOT attractions used some form the Omnimover system.

I'd be curious to know why Bob Gurr made that statement.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I am almost positive that Bob said that on a podcast, but it is possible (probable?) that I have somehow remembered it wrong. I looked up "Omnimover" on Wikipedia and it says that both the Anaheim and Florida versions of the Mermaid ride use that ride system.

Nancy said...

Such a cool ride....wish I had had the chance to take the voyage :)