Tuesday, June 18, 2019

On the Peoplemover, November 1976

I was delighted to find a batch of slides from 1976 - over 30 of them, and every single one was taken in Tomorrowland. That's super unusual! A lot were taken while the guest was aboard the Peoplemover, for better or worse. Let's all imagine that we are riding it!

It looks like we've just left the Peoplemover load area (with its always-rotating platform) for our journey above Tomorrowland; I like that we can clearly see the rubber wheels embedded in the track - the secret to our show, gliding movement. It almost seems like magic. Hello, Mary Blair murals. Down below, the crowds are light, but a steely-eyed security guard is still making sure that there's no funny business.

"Adventure Thru Inner Space" was one of my favorite attractions, and the Peoplemover gave guests a sneak peek into the queue area, where they could see the endless train of Atomobiles entering the Mighty Microscope - and then seeing them partially shrunk to the size of grapefruits as they moved through a clear tube. It was fantastic!

Stay tuned for many more photos from this batch; some are better than others, but I'm mighty glad to have them.


Nanook said...


It's hard to resist any shot taken from the point of view near the locomotion of, in this case, the Peoplemover. There's a feeling of motion without actual movement. "Go, go, go, go Goodyear".

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I LOVE these pictures! . . . especially the first one - viewing the murals on both sides, and the castle peeking over. ATIS was a favorite of mine, too! Thanks, Major!


TokyoMagic! said...

Two days of PeopleMover pics on GDB! Wheeeeeee! And just look how empty Tomorrowland is....and the Plaza, too! It would have been a good day to be at the park.

K. Martinez said...

When I see pics like these, there's no doubt in my mind that this Tomorrowland was the best.

What's interesting is that you say these slides are from 1976 and the article is titled "On the PeopleMover, November 1976" when in actuality the PeopleMover was closed from January 5, 1976 to May 26, 1977 during the construction of Space Mountain.

Thanks, Major.


MAJOR: these images are GLORIOUS!!
TOKYOMAGIC: “As we exit the Circle-Vision Theater you can see the heart of Disneyland : it’s the Plaza; gateway to theme lands of The Magic Kingdom....”

Andrew said...

I feel like I've seen the reverse of Pic #2 tons of times, showing the entrance of the land with trains flanking it. It's weird to see the two trains from behind in a photo taken from another train on the ride.

I must say, the PeopleMover sure is popular!

stu29573 said...

I wonder how often they had to change the tires on the track? It looks like you can see a little "tire gunk" on these. Also,I had always thought the tires were in the guide groove, but I guess not!

Anonymous said...

Mike, I always loved the People Mover soundtrack!


Stefano said...

stu29573, I also wondered about tire replacement after always noticing the gunk. At this early point in the ride, the narrator would say "Many of your favorite Disneyland attractions run on Goodyear tires".

On YouTube the original 1967 loading area music can be heard, it is groovy. A single theme is repeated in different styles: Futuristic march, Miami Lounge, Bossa Nova, Space-age Cha-Cha, and more, all so cool.

JC Shannon said...

I say let's ride! So many extinct attractions and so little time. Like the yutz who cancelled Star Trek, you gotta wonder who looked at all of this goodness and said "It all has to go." Thanks Major.

JG said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

Major, this is wonderful. In fact, it's hard to imagine anything more wonderful than a Peoplemover ride in the '70's.

Before the future was destroyed.

Thank you for these photos!

Also, What Jonathan Said. That yutz has to go.


zach said...

Look at the convenient seating down there! When I get off the PM I'm going to sit down and admire the Murals before my ride on ATIS. OH! Wait. All gone. I didn't do any of that. It was in a dream, I guess.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it has always seemed a little funny that the futuristic Peoplemover was still reliant on Goodyear’s rubber tires. I’d love to know how long a single tire could last.

Lou and Sue, not all of the photos in this batch are great, but when you see them all together (like I can), they add up to something pretty wonderful.

TokyoMagic! I wish every day was PeopleMover Day on GDB, but… it was not meant to be. I look at the wide, uncrowded corridor below and wish I was standing there!

K. Martinez, well, you caught me, I must have been hitting the sauce that day. I went back to check, and the slides are date stamped “November 1975”. Did I read it wrong, or type it wrong? Or both? Oh well, thanks for pointing out the error, I can go back and fix all of the other posts that I’ve written!

Mike Cozart, it’s kind of a shame that they had to add the “safety cage” around the vehicles, but clearly certain people saw this slow ride as an opportunity to climb out - to unfortunate consequences.

Penna. Andrew, I didn’t think about it, but you’re right, the reverse view (from the ground) is much more common!

stu29573, all things considered, I might expect even more tire gunk - the track is still pretty clean. But you can definitely see a sooty smudge around each tire.

TokyoMagic!, I think I first heard the music on somebody’s home-made “Music for Shopping” compilation.

Stefano, so I wonder if the Main Street Vehicles used Goodyear tires? Also, the Subs and Monorail used rubber tires (in completely different ways), and even Mr. Toad, and of course the Autopia. That’s a lot of tires!

Jonathan, fine, I’ll admit it, it was MY idea to cancel Star Trek, AND my idea to redo Tomorrowland. My biggest talent is to stop making things!

JG, as you’ll see, some of the photos in this batch are a bit underwhelming. Believe it or not. But I still love them for giving us all a vicarious peek at what was an under-appreciated ride.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

What Tokyo Magic said. This is two days of multi-color, lift top, Goodyear propulsion magic! All I can say about pic #1 is "desktop background". Major, you deserve another stripe for these.

Anonymous said...

Ah...and early morning start of the day prior to the Thanksgiving season crowds. Yes, the Park used to be like this bwetween the end of Summer and Thanksgiving (mid-week probably). KS

Major Pepperidge said...

dzacher, if you’re sitting, you’re not spending!!

Alonzo, then you’ll be happy to see the remaining 30-ish photos from this batch. Usually I feel lucky if the photographer takes four pictures in Tomorrowland.

KS, that was my favorite time to go to Disneyland!

MRaymond said...

I couldn't resist looking for myself in those photo's, and not finding myself, I imagined myself in them. I was 15 when these were taken. Nice memories to be sure. I can't wait to see more.

Tom said...

Awesome! Bring 'em on! Good crisp POV photos of a Peoplemover ride is just what the doctor ordered. I have a great doctor.

Melissa said...

Hell's bells, jumping Jehoshaphat, and great Caesar's ghost!! What a visual treat - talk about "You Are There!" I feel like I have a whole new perspective on Best Tomorrowland.

Dean Finder said...

After seeing other examples of 60s era Imagineering, I'd guess that Gurr and the boys came up with a system that used solid rubber tires and a spring mechanism that adjusted for even pressure on the bottoms of the vehicles even if part of a tire was worn. I did read that the Magic Skyway used solid urethane (bowling ball material) wheels.

I never noticed that they were that far apart. From other vantage points, they appeared to be much closer together.

Major Pepperidge said...

MRaymond, maybe you were wearing a disguise? That could be you in the security uniform.

Tom, It’s going to take a while, but you will definitely see all of the slides.

Melissa, why is Jehoshapahat always jumping? Does he have ants in his pants? Glad you enjoyed these!

Dean Finder, interesting that they used urethane for the Magic Skyway, especially since that became the material for skateboard wheels. They were ahead of their time. Now that I think about it, I wonder if Goodyear makes skateboard wheels?

Melissa said...

He has ants in his pants, bats in his belfry, and a flivver in his liver.

Jason Schultz said...

Bob Gurr chimes in: "The propulsion wheels on the Peoplemover were a type of neoprene as I remember, which were very durable. I never heard of any unusual wear issues over the years." (This is very much in contrast to the Rocket Rods. One of my New Tomorrowland souvenirs is a bag of Rocket Rods tire particles collected for me by an Imagineer.)