Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Random Pix, June 1974

Neither of today's photos are particularly amazing, but I had them, all scanned and ready to go... and had to use them eventually. Today's the day.

See? Not amazing. But unusual, at least, having been shot from inside a Mark III Monorail as it headed across Disneyland's sprawling parking lot toward the Disneyland Hotel. I can see my car from here!

This next one is  from the same lot, and looked pretty awful, as you can see...

... but a little Photoshoppin' helped. As I have pointed out ad nauseum, I love that the Disneyland Peoplemover was able to go up and down gradients that the WDW version apparently can't do (or else it was just cheaper to build a flat track I suppose). You went up, up, up, at some points, and then quite low to the ground too. We get bonus points for the Motor Boats and the Autopia.


Melissa said...

Wow, that’s some hifalutin photo correctification there! It’s like you washed a thick coating of mud off the picture!

Yeah, the Peoplemover propulsion is a whole different system in Florida. I don’t think the magnets could pull the cars up an incline. Magnetfication! MAGNETFICATION!


MAJOR: is your car the 1968 Mercury Cougar in Rally Green?

Even when Walt Disney World was still planning on a Goodyear PeopleMover with tire propulsion , the track layout was design FLAT. As I’ve mentioned the elevation changes on the Disneyland PeopleMover are problematic maintenance wise and makes its dangerous to operate in rain - and rain is almost everyday in Florida . The big problem is having to evacuate guests off of the attraction with rises and dips in the trackway. All the future peoplemover systems planned by Disney were to be entirely flat. A lesson was learned at Disneyland. When the WEDWAY linear induction motor was developed and debut in Florida it was perfect as the WDW layout was already completely flat. The Florida WEDWAY system is completely passive - there is no motor contact with the vehicle cars and the motors are not capable of heavy lifting, just simple magnetic pushing and pulling . This was why there was NEVER any proposal to put the WEDWAY linear induction motors in at Disneyland : they could not power vehicles on the steep up ramps.

Stu29573 said...

I like picture number...Two! Also, while the motors available at the time might not have been able to handle the ups and downs of life, new linear induction motors certainly can (exhibit one: Rockin' Roller Coaster). Still, hurling people around the Peoplemover Track at 60+ miles an hour probably isn't the experience they were going for (but don't give them any ideas, we don't want Rocket Rods, The Sequel at WDW). All in all, I'm just glad The Magic Kingdom still HAS a Peoplemover!

Andrew said...

As an aside, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster was the third roller coaster to use Linear Synchronous Motors (LSMs), which are what was originally tested for the Florida WEDway before settling on Linear Induction Motors (LIMs). (You can read about the difference if you want, but basically LSMs are more efficient than LIMs.)

DrGoat said...

Great parking lot pic. Five Volkswagens, with a possible sixth.
Best work on the correction, Major, and thanks people for the info on mechanical stuff. Not my end of it but I'll look up LSMs and LIMs.
By the way, I agree with Major and Melissa, that was a lovely Christmas story, Lou & Sue. Thank you.
Thanks Major.

K. Martinez said...

I LOVE the WEDway PeopleMover (TTA) at the Magic Kingdom. It's technically superior and a big improvement on the original in many ways.

As for Disneyland's PeopleMover, it was a more interesting scenic ride and the attraction vehicles themselves were of beautiful design and added a lot of color to Tomorrowland 1967.

I think both PeopleMovers were and are excellent in their own unique way. Besides, I'm a big fan of Disney doing things differently at each of their "Castle" parks instead of cloning attractions. It makes it more interesting. Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

The linear induction motor system that powers the Florida version of the PeopleMover requires that the track be level. There is actually another WED-built people mover at the Bush International Airport in Houston, which uses the same linear induction motor setup.

JC Shannon said...

Linear shminear, I just want the people mover back. I don't care if I have to do a Fred Flintstone to get it going. I am always in awe of Major's decrapitization skills with priceless vintage photos. Heck, I don't even know how the toaster works. I can just see him working feverishly in the wee hours, swilling Starbucks, and restoring memories for us all. Let's all raise a glass to the Mr Major!

Anonymous said...

Major, this is some rock star level photo restoration.

I vote you the Master of Linear Induction Restoration.

I want the PeopleMover so bad.


Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I dipped the slide in Visene. I think that strong magnets can do pretty amazing things, but… yeah, I’m not sure they could move a heavy train of people up and down inclines.

Mike Cozart, I WISH! Don’t they use similar linear induction motors to launch things such as “California Screaming” (or the “Incredicoaster” I guess it’s called now)? Those things have some oomph! But I’m sure that whatever they use on the long stretches of Peoplemover track are not that powerful. My assumption about Disneyland’s gradients is that Walt wanted it to be a sort of “proof of concept”, in case cities ever decided that a Peoplemover could be a viable method of transportation, since many cities have hills to one degree or another. It makes sense, cost-wise and maintenance-wise to make the track flat, of course.

Stu29573, are you telling me that you don’t like looking at a parking lot? ARE YOU? Yes, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, and other “launch” coasters, use systems like that, but I’m sure those launch systems are hella expensive, and are only necessary at the beginning of the ride.

Andrew, you know what would really work well? Internal combustion engines!

DrGoat, are you a fan of Volkswagens? I watch videos on YouTube of folks who love to repair old rusty Volkswagens, there’s obviously a whole community out there, fans of air-cooled engines.

K. Martinez, I know that the Magic Kingdom Peoplemover is technologically superior, but I did love our less-technical version. I really did love the ups and downs, clearly! But I’ve never been on the Florida version so I don’t have anything to compare it to.

Anonymous, I knew about the Peoplemover at the airport in Houston, in fact I have some old photos of it somewhere in my collection. I guess I need to dig those out. Thanks for the info!

Jonathan, I didn’t want to do it, but I have finally officially given up on the Peoplemover coming back to Disneyland. They’ve made it pretty clear that it’s not going to happen. I’d say we’d be more likely to get something along the lines of the Skyliner-type system that they introduced at WDW a year or two ago, which would be fun, but… not the same.

JG, thanks! I will accept my medal and my check for one million dollars, day after tomorrow!

DrGoat said...

Major, Had a VW bug for a while in the 60s. Seems everyone my age had one either briefly or otherwise. It got us around town and was occasionally fun to drive. I was more a Dodge person. Had a beautiful 1966 Dodge Coronet for a long time. Fire engine red with a white top. Really moved out if you wanted it to. I sure wish I still had that one.
Also a 66 Dart which was quite the car too.

Anonymous said...

I think the big coaster in California Adventure has some kind of magnetic motor for the launch.

Not sure, but that thing really moves out. I let my kids inveigle me into riding it with them on our last trip and it was amazing. Like a rocket launch!

Major, the check is in the mail.



The fact that Walt Disney World’s PeopleMover is completely level is no speculation but well documented in the development of Florida’s Magic Kingdom : it’s level for ease and safety of guest evacuation and maintenance. It’s design and layout all predates the Disney use and development of the Linear Induction Motor. Florida was going to original use the Disneyland PeopleMover body design (sans the top canopy) when it was still going to use the tire and platen system. When the Linear Induction Motors we’re tested they took four full Disneyland PeopleMover trains and used them . In fact the WEDWAY PEOPLEMOVER system first shown and test ridden by the public was in 1972 at the TRANSPO ‘72 in Texas. But the test track at MAPO’s Tuhunga shops proved early on a newer lighter weight body would be needed ( also many of the mechanical space required for the raising and lower of the Disneyland canopy tops was not needed) Bob Gurr says he is unsure why he was not asked to design it and the project was given to George McGinnis as early as 1969. George McGinnis has a industrial design background as compared to a automotive design background that Gurr has. Gurr after seeing the all blue and silver final PeopleMover designs nick-named it “trash dumpster” However, almost 50 years later, it’s design still looks contemporary.

The WEDWAY PEOPLEMOVERS that Disney planned for EPCOT CENTER and LAKE BUENA VISTA and the HOUSTON INTERCONTINENTAL AIRPORT ( opened in 1971) all used a all level design. 11 other systems outside Disney properties were designed/ proposed by Disney’s COMMUNITY TRANSPORTATION SERVICES division to various cities - including LAX but in 1984 Michael Eisner closed the Disney PeopleMover / Monorail division saying “Disney is in the entertainment industry NOT the transportation business” Disney sold the licensing rights to WEDWAY system to BOMBARDIER in 1984/85 and there were no more Disney WEDWAY systems built.

The high powered induction motors you all mention for roller coasters built in the late 90’s and later did not exist in 1969 when Disney was adapting them for the WEDWAY ..... and their fiction would not really be appropriate for a intermediate speed transport system required.

Omnispace said...

I didn't take too many rides on the Monorail, but I distinctly remember making this approach to the hotel, and wondering about those who disembarked, or boarded at the platform there. Did they stay at the hotel, or just go there to eat? Was there a swimming pool? ...all very important questions in a kid's mind.

I wish I could be riding in that blue PeopleMover train. It looks like an amazing day to enjoy such an excursion. I've been on both systems and agree with KM that the Disneyland version was definitely more scenic. And in this section over the Autopias it was really cruising along at a good speed! The grade changes certainly added to the experience.

Andrew said...

This video has some recent coverage of the Houston Peoplemover chugging along.

Major Pepperidge said...

DrGoat, we had a VW bug too, it was an oldie, early ‘60s I believe - it was stolen many many years ago! The police basically told us to not expect it to be recovered, and it wasn’t. Your Dodge Coronet sounds pretty sweet!

JG, yes, the Incredicoaster does use linear induction for the launch. It’s impressive when you go from zero to 55 in a matter of seconds!

Mike Cozart, I wasn’t questioning your facts, I completely believe that the Florida PM was always intended to be flat. TRANSPO ’72, I’m going to have to look that up, I’ve never heard of it before! I agree that it is weird that they didn’t ask Bob Gurr to work on the Magic Kingdom PM vehicles, though it seems that around that time the company seemed to have a weird bias against some of the old-timers (I think of how Ward Kimball became kind of a pariah, one of their most brilliant artists). I’m sure Bob would have loved to have made the Florida vehicles a little sexier, even though McGinnis’ designs have served well for so long. I wonder who will be designing the Peoplemover that will be installed at LAX? And I do understand that the launch motors would not be appropriate for a Peoplemover, though they demonstrate that the PM motors could be designed with more power if it was deemed necessary.

Omnispace, the only time I ever entered the park from the Disneyland Hotel Monorail platform was when we were instructed to park in one of the more-distant parking lots. It made me a little mad, I asked, “Why can’t we park in the Mickey and Friends structure (where we would have shade)?” and we were told that they expected that day to be especially crowded. So make the LATE people park far away, was my thinking! It was weird to NOT enter the park and walk up Main Street.

Warren Nielsen said...


I too had a 66 Dodge Coronet 500, red, white vinyl top, white interior, 361. And I wish it was still here, traded it in on a 74 Dart Sport, 318 4 speed. Brand new. Lemon. Not the color. The quality, or lack of. (Heavy sigh)

Major, your Photoshop-fu is exemplary.



MAJOR , I had clarified because I’m my first response it sounds like I was speculating reg the “single level “ WDW WEDWAY. The TRANSPO ‘72 was the first transportation expo and was suppose to have been held again but I don’t think it was. It was held in Washington DC - I think I said Texas before ( I was thinking of the Houston WEDWAY) transportation authorities , government agencies and manufactures participated in TRANSPO ‘72. Disney has a large display featuring the MONORAIL and the new WEDWAY. Point to point rides were given on a WEDWAY test train. There were about 12 OTHER PEOPLEMOVERS by other companies displayed. I have tons of paper and brochures from this event including a special postal cover envelope featuring the WDW 1961 Monorail attraction poster! A brochure says Disney gave out Monorail posters to visitors ( I’m assuming a reproduction!!!!!) Disney also sent the test ride WEDWAY PeopleMover to several State Fairs ..... I have two different State Fair tickets saying “TEST RIDE THE WEDWAY!!!”

It’s interesting because Disney’s early EPCOT CENTER layout calls the WORLD OF MOTION pavilion “TRANSPO” .... obviously a lift from the TRANSPO ‘72!!

Major Pepperidge said...

Andrew, thank you for the link to the video!

Warren Nielsen, Ha ha, “Lemon. Not the color”. You got me!

Mike Cozart, I am fascinated by expos, particularly the expos of the 70s, which seemed to have been sort of the last gasp for the U.S. I know we had them after that, but they kept getting smaller and less spectacular. 12 other Peoplemovers by other companies, who knew! I guess even then city planners hoped that there would be some way to reduce automobile traffic, maybe in areas where shopping and dining were very concentrated. Sounds like you have some neat items - can you imagine if Disney gave out AUTHENTIC silkscreened Monorail posters?! Yikes. One just sold for over $7,000. Thank you (as usual) for all of the fascinating information!


Correction:The Transpo’72 MONORAIL poster on the commemorative envelope ( and I assume the giveaway poster ) was the WDW 1971 Monorail poster not a 1961.

I can’t imagine real screen-printed attraction posters being given out , but then I wonder , what if !??!. Screen printing was a very common printing method back then and maybe Disney really wanted to make an impression to potential buyers ??? But most likely they were copies - where are they now???

Also the Transpo72 seems to have been open to the public on the later half of the last day.

Anonymous said...

While I wasn't there during the design phase of either PeopleMover system, I find it hard to believe that the reason for choosing a flat track was because of rider evacuation safety. In the first place, the changes in path angle in the original PeopleMover track at Disneyland were not extreme - anyone who was capable of getting on the ride could easily walk along the evacuation route. In the second place, how then would you explain the evacuation routes for Space Mountain or Splash Mountain, which DO involve some difficult path angles for evacuees. [For that matter, how do you explain ANY of Tom Sawyer Island, if safety is Priority One?]
It seems obvious that the reason for the flat track was technological, not safety-related. LI-type motors such as those used for the PeopleMover system require a level track bed.