Friday, December 29, 2017

More Beautiful Tomorrowland

Hooray for Mr. X, who has been so generous to me (and, by proxy, generous to you!) over the years. I'm sharing more photos, taken by him back in July, 1970, and featuring Tomorrowland. 

One of my most favorite features of the "New Tomorrowland" was this wonderful station that combined a restaurant on the lower level, the ingenious Peoplemover station on the second level (with that rotating load platform), and the just-plain-cool Rocket Jets on the top level (which was reached by that gantry/elevator). SO GREAT. 

The multihued Peoplemover trains make for a cheerful scene; barely visible below are some of the lozenge-shaped signs that held little dioramas advertising Goodyear products in the most charming way possible. Does anybody remember if those dioramas had movement?

Meanwhile, above the Submarine Lagoon, a green, five-car Mark III Monorail hummed along, with more Peoplemover  goodness nearby.

I sure do love these pictures!


Patrick Devlin said...

Oh yeah! Always my favorite: Monorail Green, in that lovely Pullman Green livery. It was a secret thrill when I might see her rolling out across the parking lot while we looked for a parking space. Thanks for the Happy prelude to the weekend.

Nanook said...


Each image is just picture-perfect. And those mini-dioramas most-assuredly had movement.

Thanks, Major.

Scott Lane said...

Perfect shots! And, yes, in a World on the Move even the signs had to have motion.

Chuck said...

That first one has so much to love - PeopleMovers, Goodyear dioramas, Rocket Jets, the Skyway (which was apparently only operating between the Matterhorn and Tomorrowland station that day), and a Mary Blair mural, with the Matterhorn trying to hide behind the foreground structures and some stripey sails crouching behind the CircleVision building under a cerulean blue sky. About the only thing missing is Vesey Walker.

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

And don't forget the Strong (either Super Trouper or Gladiator) follow spots, sitting atop the 'roof' of the gantry.

Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, I like the comparison to old-timey Pullman cars! While the green Monorail seemed to be a scarcer sighting, I think that the yellow one (or maybe the red) was my favorite, to be honest.

Nanook, did the dioramas have actual miniaturized people in them, harvested from “Adventure Through Inner Space”?

Scott Lane, it’s too bad Tomorrowland doesn’t have a cool theme like “A World on the Move” anymore.

Chuck, I was surprised to learn that Vesey Walker continued to work all the way up to sometime in 1970! I had no idea that he was there until that late. Anyway, it is very possible that he was still in the park when this photo was taken!

Nanook, I have always wondered why those lights were there. Presumably they provided light for nighttime parades. Or did they shine on Tinker Bell as she descended from the top of the Matterhorn?

Anonymous said...

Major, these are the best! Green Monorail and the Tomorrowland central tower, splendid Friday fare. All the favorites are here, thank you!

Major, those follow-spots (under the gray tarps on the Rocket Jet tower) were used to spotlight entertainers on the Tomorrowland Stage (which is behind or under the photo vantage and later replaced by Space Mountain).

At the time of this photo, we had a dark green metallic 1967 Ford Thunderbird, matching the green monorail. We felt right in tune with New Tomorrowland. I would love to have that car today, c'est la vie.

Anonymous said...

Oh gawrsh, I forgot to sign my post above.


The Disney Dudebro said...

I really do love photos of Tomorrowland like these. They really show how the land once lived up to its nickname as the "land on the move" with all its intersecting rides like the monorail, peoplemover, rocket jets, and skyway.

Incidentally enough, I'm actually working on two essays concerning both the monorail and the Peoplemover, both of which I'll be publishing on my blog later next month. Let's just say that they help answer the question of why we don't see such modes of transport outside of the Disney Parks.

Anonymous said...

The green monorail was a rare sight for me too. And I was working there during those years. It seemed to me that the green model was used mostly on very busy days. Was there ever a time that 3 monorails could be in operation? For some reason I have this impression that it might have been so. What say the others?? KS

Nanook said...

Oh, Major - you’re really making me use my brain today. I can’t quite remember what was going on in those little dioramas, but I do indeed believe they contained “miniaturized people”, just not the ‘actual’ kind.

And JG was kind-enough to answer the question regarding those follow spots. They seem to come up in conversation here quite often.


The Goodyear animated pods were designed by Disney animator/Imagineer T. Hee. All the pod vignettes actually featured animated comic scenes to popular Goodyear advertising slogans of the day line " WINNERS GO GO GOODYEAR!!" ( featuring the race car") " Neolight Souls for happy Souls" ( the family that popped up from behind all their shoes with the souls of the shoes facing the Speedramp passengers ) There was the gold cart bouncing back and forth on the putting green, the Goodyear Blimp with the birds sitting on top while the stars passed by in the background , the moving truck with the entire family's belongings on the flat bed - including the grandma in her model T! There was the giant earthmoving dump truck with a little boy proudly pulling a wagon of dirt behind his tri-cycle .... the woody station wagon at the beach , with the slogan "Swingers ....." then surf boards popped up reading "Go Go Goodyear"...there was the airliner with passengers in the windows .. as it's landing gear lowering , simulanteously a pelican lowered its legs in the same motion as the plane , there was the scene with all the kings belongings including a gold egg laying goose and a jack and the bean stalk giant " goodyear moving belts move everything : even giants". There was a sexist one too with a woman who's car has a flat tire ..... the scene showed a muscle man about to repair the tire , then the man disappears and reveals the Goodyear double tread tire " when there's no man around " it's a tire within a tire"
I'm traveling and I may have missed a vignette , but off hand there were 10 Go Go Goodyear animated pods 5 up - 5 down . One was a "Goodyear Welcomes you" ( the blimp scene) and one was a "Goodyear thanks you" butcsnnot recall the scene -

"PeopleMover Cars Ride on Goodyear too!!"


Gold Cart should be GOLF CART

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, thanks for the explanation about the spotlights; I am not surprised if the subject has come up before - I’m also not surprised that I forgot the answer! My family had a Buick Estate Wagon that was a metallic green - very 70’s.

The Disney Dudebro, I think one of the most appealing things about the 1967 “New Tomorrowland” is the feeling of movement, and that famous optimism that shines through. I am looking forward to checking out your essays!

KS, I was going to ask you if you knew why the green Monorail seemed to be use less than the others, but it sounds like it’s as much of a mystery to you as it is to me. I should ask Mr. X if he knows whether all three Monorail trains were ever in use at the same time.

Nanook, I will only be happy if the dioramas contained tiny, actual people, reduced by the Mighty Microscope!

Mike Cozart, as always, you are a font of amazing information. T. Hee, wow, what a long career he had! Thank you for the descriptions of all of the animated scenes. I can almost imagine them, though what I would really love is some nice photos (or video!) of each one. Again, thanks!


The monorails at the time had basically a shared cycle of time - three could operate if needed while the fourth was resting and it scheduled maintainence . I just thing the Green Monorail seems more elusive as guests and professional photographers for Disney publications probably waited for a brighter Monorail RED or YELLOW.
The chassis of the MARK III were reconditioned and used on the MARK Vs . 1969 MONORAIL GREEN became 1987 MONORAIL PURPLE.

Monorail GREEN does appear on several postcards , the 1970's souvenir guidebooks and even on the cover of a VACATIONLAND magazine.

Nanook said...

@ Mike Cozart-

Yes, thanks for the thorough run-through off all the ‘tableaux’-! I had a feeling if anyone would remember (off the top of his head, no less-!) it would be you. I’ll need to print-out this list so I can refer to it in the future.


I've always been a big fan of the MARK II MONORAILS ..... but as time marches in I'm finding I really do love the 1969 MARK III's with their "muscle car like styling" , panoramic view windows , oyster interiors and those great bucket seats!!! Those monorails were like WED at the time ; they were getting the job done and they were not ****ing around!!

Melissa said...

Those animated Goodyear scenes remind me of the ones that Marc Davis would later design for EPCOT's World of Motion.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mike for that confirmation of my memories. I haven't lost it all yet! I can recall that when 3 were running, they seemed to run a bit slower and occasionally need to stop before the station ahead was cleared. I can picture that in the Parking Lot while one was waiting for the hotel station to clear. KS


Yes, that happened very often then - the "middle" Monorail train would have to stop in the parking lot midway enroute to the hotel to wait for the monorail trail to depart and clear the monorail station - the same thing often happened enroute to Tomorrowland - the monorail would pause near the Matterhorn approach - stopping right abouve the Motorboat Cruise and wait for the monorail ahead to clear the Tomorrowland ststion.

The pre-reordered narration even featured a faux response from the Disneyland Hotel : "Attention Monorail Red , this is Hotel control : you are clear for approach!"

Anonymous said...

I remember those announcements. Still using them today I wonder? KS

JG said...

@Major, those lights always seem to provoke questions since they are wrapped up so tightly and suspiciously.

@Mike Cozart and KS, thank you for the info on the monorail scheduling. Now that you remind me, I do recall those brief stops and the narration reference. Little "tossed-off" bits of verisimilitude that make the experience.

A wonderful post and comments.