Friday, October 03, 2014

Astro Jets and Autopia, April 1967

I sure do love this first picture of a brother and sister aboard the "Antares", one of the wonderful Astro Jets in Tomorrowland. The ride was an "off the shelf" thing, you could see examples just like it elsewhere. But I don't hold that against it - the early Disneyland gets special dispensation. (By the way, this slide is date-stamped "April 1967", but is clearly from before that date. The Astro Jets closed on September 5, 1966; I should change the date in the title, but it's way over there and I'm so sleepy).

I'm sure the headlight was the kind found on many automobiles. Which makes me think, if only I could find a photo of this attraction at night, with the headlights lit! I'm not holding my breath.  

Over at the Autopia, the brother has just finished his exciting 5 mph ride on Tomorrowland's miniature freeway.


Nanook said...


Astro Jets, (although, most-likely Tomorrowland Jets- re-named on Aug 7th, 1964), firmly planted directly on terra firma, just as God intended. Nothing like those new-fangled Rocket Jets about to make the scene on July 2, 1967 - waaaaay up in the air.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

If they'd left the Jets on the ground, they could have gone straight to building the Observatron and an empty raised trackway snaking throughout Tomorrowland as they'd always intended without having to go through the motions of disguising them as awesome attractions for 31 years.

Love the colors on the first photo. Have we seen Sis before?

Anonymous said...

Disney spoiled the kid in the Autopia car with a 5mph run on the miniature freeway...that's 4mph faster than traffic moves on any SoCal freeway today.

Although the Autopia is wayyyy more fun!!

Bill in Denver

K. Martinez said...

I'd love it if Disney installed a repro of the original Astro Jets in Tomorrowland. They're so retro cool and colorful. If they brought back the Moonliner, they could certainly bring back the Astro Jets. Thanks, Major.

Tom said...

If you change the date on these slides, you'll probably need to change the date on the other ones below - sister is the same one riding with mom in Dumbo from your September 24th post. So: yes, Chuck, we have.

Melissa said...

Meet me in the crowd, brother, sister,
Fly up to the clouds, pictures, pictures.
Drive that car around, happy, happy,
Hope it don't break down so the wheels won't go,
Blue and silver shine.

Stripey happy people riding rides,
Stripey happy people side by side,
Stripey happy people smiling...

Melissa said...

Pretty soon they started naming the Astro Jets after more appropriate celestial bodies.

JG said...

@Melissa, sounds like the aircraft NASA used for Zero-G practice in the early days of the space program, nicknamed by the astronaut candidates as the "Vomit Comet".

I love how bright and brand new these things look. The auto headlight was carried forward into the Saturn 5 design of the Rocket Jets, although behind an amber nose cone. I remember flying these at night when they were lit up, a very cool experience.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I'm sorry, but it will always be "Astro Jets" to me! Facts be damned.

Chuck, it's true, why didn't they just do that? In fact, they should tear down the Peoplemover track, rebuild it, and still not use it. Makes sense to me. And yes, we saw sis and her mom on Dumbo recently.

Bill in Denver, even as a kid I would stomp on the gas pedal and wonder why the darn Autopia car wasn't going any faster! My brother had a cool electric toy car that you could actually ride, and it seemed to go about as fast.

K. Martinez, if they do bring them back, I hope they put them up high; then I would ride them again.

Tom, it seemed pointless to retroactively change the old blog post, plus I knew that if I didn't say something, the experts who read this blog would notice the error!

Melissa, Michael Stipe thanks you!

Melissa again, are you one of those people who can't deal with spinning rides? I'm so glad that I don't get motion sickness on those, but I know some people who get seriously ill.

JG, didn't they continue to use the "Vomit Comet" even in the Space Shuttle days? I'd forgotten thet the Rocket Jets had headlights, maybe I can find a picture of those at night!

David said...

Am I the only one who thinks the lady just said some snarky thing to the cast member and is turning her head in triumph, while the cast member throws darts with his eyes?