Friday, July 01, 2016

Peoplemover Instamatics

Here are two beauties from Mr. X's Kodak Instamatic photos from the 1960's, both featuring the Peoplemover.

Oh man, so nice; I loved just about everything about the New Tomorrowland, and the friendly little Peoplemover trains were right at the top of the list of favorites. It's hard to believe that the attraction has been gone for over 20 years! Last November two yellow Peoplemover vehicles sold at auction for  $471,500.00; I wonder if they are in this photo?

I love this unusual photo taken in the circular Peoplemover station - you just don't see this interior view very often. To the right is the control board, with buttons like, "Start", "Stop", and "Puree". There's plenty of empty vehicles, so there's no wait! Notice the blue Carousel of Progress building in the background.


Nanook said...


Both of these shots bring back so many memories. It certainly was a Tomorrowland that was hard to beat.

And, Major - you really do know your Peoplemover facts-! Very few folks are aware of the "Puree" setting on the control panel. When queried, most folks are only familiar with the "Whip" option.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I'm in 1967 Tomorrowland heaven right now! The door to the second level of the Carousel Theater is open in that second pic. I wonder if you zoomed WAY in on the doorway and lightened the pic a bit, if we would be able to see Progress City? Hey...I can dream, can't I?

It appears that the male cast member on the PeopleMover platform is wearing his "skinny jeans" Gee, that costume looks awfully tight!

Scott Lane said...

Polyester, the fabric of the future!

I think these two have have joined the ranks of my half-dozen-or-so all-time favorite photos on GDB.
(squints at picture #2 trying to see Progress City)

Scott Lane said...

Whoops! Forgot to say thanks major and thanks Mr X!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Nothing but net, 2 points. Drop the mike. Walk off home run and every other cliche. I can't say anything these pictures don't say for themselves! Mega holiday weekend friday post. Boo-ya! Thanks to Major and Mr X. (perfecto framing on #1!!!!)

MRaymond said...

And again I find myself looking for family in the crowds. Thanks again for the memory rush.

K. Martinez said...

It's a rubber ducky yellow PeopleMover! Yay! Thank you, Major and Mr. X.

DrGoat said...

Yeah, wonderful shots. Brings it all back. And wow, 471K for
the people movers. A Mr. Toad's Wild Ride car would be my dream
catch if I had that kind of cash to burn. Have a good 4th of July good and thanks again for these memory gems too.

Tom said...

In that first pic: where are all the strollers?

So clean. so crisp and uncomplicated. I could stare at that shot all day.

Thanks for these!

Patrick Devlin said...

Thanks to Mr. X and the Major, as ever.

Those shots are jaw-droppers, if only for their unique POVs. How did Mr. X get that first one? It appears it was taken from the far side of the tracks, hard against the safety railing! Good for him and good for us and thanks to the cast member that said, "OK, go ahead". And, in the distance, it looks like Columbia is just pulling away from the loading area with a nice amount of canvas aloft.

And that second shot's no slouch either. Who would ever have their camera at the ready at the top of the Stephens-Adamson Speedramp? You're rolling along, crossing the rotating platform and getting ready to go! Thanks again to the X-Man for pausing.

For TokyoMagic! and the open door: I saw this in a movie once - "Enhance...enhance...enhance..."

Anonymous said...

Wow, Major. No words will do.

Thanks to you and Mr. X.



Patrick Devlin:

Actually, the Monorail Speedramp was the only true STEPHENS-ADAMSON MFG. CO. SPEEDRAMP. Goodyear bought the SPEEDRAMP & SPEEDWALK syetsems of S-A and created it's GOODYEAR TRANSPORT SYSTEMS DIVISION around 1965. Goodyear actually had a similar system called The Goodyear RUBBER RAILROAD that dated to the 1940's but dropped the name by the mid 60's. Goodyear was also supplying the roller-tires the Stephens-Adamson company was using.

So the PeopleMover opened with an official GOODYEAR SPEEDRAMP in 1967.

In 1953 The Goodyear Company and the Stephens-Adamson Company developed a Peoplemover system called a BELT-WAY TRAIN which was a series of individual cabs pushed along by a bed of Goodyear tires - almost identical to the WEDWAY PEOPLEMOVER except the BELT-WAY TRAIN had a rubber pad between the wheels that the passenger cab sat on.

The GOODYEAR SPEEDRAMP's base operation speed was 120 Feet Per Minute, but could be speed up to a faster 140 F.P.M.

I don't think Goodyear manufactures any SPEEDRAMPS today. They were safer and faster than escalators but I think they may have been expensive to operate.

In 1994 just a year before it closed forever, The Disneyland PeopleMover got a new loading turntable deck and all new SPEEDRAMP treads....but the deck and the treads were DUNLOP and not Goodyear.


K. Martinez:

The "Rubber-Ducky Yellow" color of the PEOPLEMOVER was a special fiberglass paint color called "FIESTA YELLOW"


The 1967-1975 PEOPLEMOVER costume stretch pants (they have stirrups on the feet to keep them taught)and the matching coats have absolutely NO POLYESTER in them. They are a blend of 67% wool - 33% Nylon. The blue arm-zipper shirt however is 55% polyester and 35% cotton!

......ask the man who wears one!

K. Martinez said...

MIKE COZART, What!?! Not Rubber Ducky Yellow! Actually I knew that it was "Fiesta Yellow" because I remember you talking about it in an earlier comment years ago. This is what I remember you mentioning about the PeopleMover color scheme:

Sally Green (Originally Malibu Turqoise)
Fiesta Yellow
Imperial Blue
Bright Red
Cameo Coral (never used)

Is that correct? And thanks so much for all that detailed info. It's always great when you chime in with your knowledge.

Matthew said...

WOW! Wow to so many things in this post. WOW, to you Major and Mr. X. WOW, to you @Mike Cozart. I enjoyed reading your in depth knowledge of SAPEEDRAMPs and People Mover colors. Who knew? I also enjoyed the fact that you wore the costume and your photo is of a Tomorrowland costume (by the way, your blog is wonderful too! Learned a lot about my "East Side" neighbors across the Park).

I remember when working in Casting, that taller, thinner, employees were "cast" for Tomorrowland. Looking at the costume you can see why. It's a little different today isn't it. :/

What I loved about the PeopleMover is how when it came into the station, the doors and lid of the car would open and raise, giving you more clearance to get in and get out faster. Look at those roofs raised (whoop-whoop) and ready to receive passengers in the second photo. Great design WED (and Bob Gurr)!

Finally, I to thought it impressive to look out beyond our American flag and see the sails of the Columbia. To the left by the palm trees, is that top of the Pirates entrance? Hard to tell, but tree growth being low, it could be? Looks like a flag on top of that building.

Happy & safe Independence Day everyone! God bless America! And God bless all of you too! : )

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it’s just common sense; why wouldn’t you have a “puree” (or “whip”) button on your Peoplemover console? Buttons are cheap!

TokyoMagic!, if you are in 1967 Tomorrowland, can you please look for some extra cool souvenirs and bring them back for me? Your mention of Progress City makes me hope that the model will be restored sometime before I am sent to the underworld. And those costumes are not flattering, in my opinion.

Scott Lane, hooray, I’m glad today’s photos made the list! Hopefully Mr. X will see today’s post (I’ll call him later today).

Alonzo, have a happy 4th of July weekend!

MRaymond, if you ever find your family in the crowd, let us know.

K. Martinez, I like “rubber ducky yellow” better than “ballpark mustard yellow”, which is what I was thinking.

DrGoat, I’ve seen a few “Toad” vehicles come up for auction, but you could buy a nice REAL car for the amount they have sold for. I still think that if I could have a ride vehicle I might want an “Alice” caterpillar.

Tom, this is one of the reasons that the future will be so awesome - - no strollers!

Patrick Devlin, I can’t imagine that Mr. X did anything funny to get his photos, he was a teenager at the time. I’ll ask him and see if he remembers, but it was almost 50 years ago. Meanwhile, I went to the park with a girlfriend who’d worked on decorating New Orleans Square for Christmas, and she wanted to take photos for her portfolio. I was so surprised when the DLRR cast member cheerfully let us cross the tracks so that we could snap some pictures. Wonder if that would happen these days?

Mike Cozart, thanks for all of that great info about the speedramps. “The Goodyear Rubber Railroad”, I love it. While we still see many speedramp-type conveyor belt walkways in places like airports, which transport thousands of people every day, it seems like some of the ones at Disney parks crapped out after a few years. Or maybe, as you suggested, they were just expensive to operate. I hate hearing that they installed a new loading turntable and speedramp treads, only to close the Peoplemover for stupid reasons a year later.

Mike Cozart again, was Fiesta Yellow also used on the Skyway buckets?

Mike Cozart III, now I want to wear stretch pants with stirrups for my every-day wardrobe. I’m surprised that the different pieces of a costume were actually made from different fabrics or blends - a detail that I doubt would be attended to today.

K. Martinez, replacing Malibu Turquoise with “Sally Green” was the beginning of the end, I say! Cameo Coral, sounds like a lipstick.

Matthew, interesting that they cast taller thinner cast members in Tomorrowland. I would have had a shot in my younger days! I agree with you, the way the Peoplemover’s roofs automatically lifted and doors opened was very very cool. And yes, I believe that that IS the Pirates building. Happy 4th of July to you!

Nanook said...

@ Mike Cozart-

Thanks for bestowing more of your vast Peoplemover knowledge upon us. The devil is always in the details - but OH what details-!

Had they kept the 'Malibu Turquiose' color, the Peoplemover could've always become the "Malibu Barbie" something-or-another. (On second thought...)

Patrick Devlin said...

Thank you much, Mike C. I truly appreciate all that extra info because I'm just that geeky.

outsidetheberm said...

Nice post, Major!

And thank you Mike Cozart for all the extra information, too.

While the 'puree' mode was scary as hell, it was the 'pulse' mode that was hard on the back.


Yes that's true --The NEW TOMORROWLAND cast members (in the early years anyway) were selected on their good looks and the costumes came in 2 sizes : IF YOU DON'T FIT THE COSTUME: YOU DON'T WORK IN TOMORROWLAND and BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE ONLY. and i'm NOT really exaggerating.

The costume sketch in my picture is a c. 1973 concept for the 1974-75 replacement PEOPLEMOVER costumes. The second generation's basic look lasted until about 1986/87 with only some minor alterations over time.

The 1967 Costume's shirts were made by Disneyland Costuming - but the coats and jump suits are "off the rack" ski wear just in colors special done for Disneyland. That is why there is a big difference in the material make-up of the clothes - they were intended for different climates and functions.

The unused PeopleMover color "CAMEO CORAL" was a orange color.

The reasons there was some color changes so early in the PeopleMover's history was that the opening year PeopleMover car body pieces were made from a very (at the time) futuristic ABS plastic that had the color "infused" on it's shell rather than just painted. Within a year the hot California sun melted and warped all the PeopleMover's exterior body panels. So when you read about the PeopleMover being closed for such a long time in 1968 "for improvements" it was to replace the warped ABS body panels with traditional fiberglass. So technically no PeopleMovers exists with 1967 body panels --they are all from 1968. 1968 also saw the first of the safety bars to be added to the PeopleMover cars over several years.

K. Martinez said...

MIKE COZART, What great detailed information about the ABS body panels and the infused colors and warping of the body panels. I never knew about that. That's the kind of stuff I love reading about. Thanks again for sharing more history about the PeopleMover.

Chuck said...

This post is just wonderful. Thanks to everyone.

Matthew said...

Agreed! This is a wonderful post. Any Imagineers out there reading this one? Please note the interest in the PeopleMover (come on Chris... we're counting on you)! Thank you Mike too for adding even more "color" to this post.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

PS You know our pals at Imagineering are reading your Blog (along with Dave's and Patrick's)... why do you think they are bringing waterfalls back to the Rivers of America? ;-) Keep up the great work in Glendale!