Friday, July 27, 2018

Tomorrowland, April 1969

I'm always happy to spend a few moments in "New Tomorrowland" (post 1967). So let's start by checking out this photo of one of the cooler structures that included the Space Bar on the bottom level, the Peoplemover station & loading platform, and on top of it all, the soaring Rocket Jets attraction. Soak it all in!

Here's a slight zoom to allow a better look at the lower level. You can barely see one or two of the lozenge-shaped Goodyear displays. Love the '67 fashions! And you can see the roofs of the Peoplemover cars automatically lifting as they entered the station - so ingenious and cool!

This next one is an odd angle, but we get a bit of the yellow Monorail, the Skyway, "Flight to the Moon", the Submarines, and the Rocket Jets again - this time with the rockets in flight. 

In the distance sharp eyes can discern the very peak of the Anaheim Convention Center (just to the right of the Rocket Jets), as well as the top of Main Street Station.


Nanook said...


It's true - Tomorrowland IS a world on the move. There appears to be NO line for the Peoplemover. So how come none of us are heading in that direction right now-? And once again in the last image we can see the two, Strong follow spots, clad in their silver covers, sitting atop the elevator gantry tower for the Rocket Jets. These are used for the Tomorrowland stage.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I remember being fascinated (not morbidly!) with the scenes in those "lozenge-shaped" Goodyear display pods. I hope some day we get to see close-up shots of them.

The ticket taker at the entrance to the PeopleMover is leaning! I'm sure that was a big no-no. And it appears they are only letting guests enter the queue through the turnstile on the right. The left one has a sign placed in front of it. At first I thought that was the exit turnstile and was wondering how anyone was going to be able to leave, but I think the exit path made a sharp right turn at the bottom of the Speedramp, and dumped people out into the walkway next to Tomorrowland Terrace.

stu29573 said...

One of the things I like best about the WDW Tomorrowland is that they still have their Peoplemover. Granted, it's not the same technology, nor is it as cool a ride (no real hills) but something beats the heck out of nothing in my book any day!


The PEOPLEMOVER roof lowering/raising mechanism is also connected to the door opening / closing mechanism. My PEOPLEMOVER was lucky enough to have that mechanism intact. To open the doors to get in, I have to lift the roof. Over 50 years old and it still works very smoothly!
The mechanism also works by pushing up a push plate underneath ( that’s how it worked while entering the station. The doors would lock once the roof was lowered and in motion. If the PEOPLE MOVER stoped working and guests had to be walked off, the castmember would need to reach down to where the coupler was and pull on a handle attached to a release cord - unlocking the door and roof mechanism. That way there was no way a guest to open the doors or raise the roof of each PEOPLEMOVER car.
Just looking at a slide of that Tomorrowland puts me in a good mood!

Alonzo P Hawk said...


If I could have one wish for this Friday it would be for all GDBr's to ride that empty PeopleMover. We would be marching up the ramp in a line with Patrick Devlin leading the way like a mother duck.

Thanks for posting Major.

DrGoat said...

I'll take you up on that Alonzo. I'll even wear a blue turtleneck and a Donald Duck hat. Great wish.

Clyde Hughes said...

What wonderful slides today! Yes, the colors and the cleanliness of the park always make me smile, as well. The clothing styles are great, and I do wonder if the two gentlemen in the foreground of the first 2 shots are working for some detective firm...maybe Mannix? I can envision a chase across the park... jumping in the Peoplemovers, for a 'train-style' shootout, etc. But no, maybe they're looking for Hidden Mickeys...
I have a question about the second image..can someone help out? On the 'gantry' of the Rocket Jets (the elevator), there are two objects. I did a bit of research, and I found them in some photos, while they are absent in others.

Were they just extra rocket cars, covered with tarps, up on stands?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, one of the beauties of the Peoplemover is that it could carry so many guests - I’m sure there are numbers out there as to the ride’s capacity - it had to be thousands of people per hour. I do wonder if the speed could have been significantly ramped up for real world applications?

TokyoMagic!, I would like to believe that the archives has photos of things like the Goodyear displays. Or maybe the Goodyear company does! Like you, I’d love to see some good images of all of them. It’s funny, I actually noticed the very casual posture of that ticket taker. In the future, people will lean on things!

stu29573, I agree, a perfectly-flat Peoplemover is better than no Peoplemover at all. I wonder if the “linear synchronous motors” would not allow for any changes in elevation?

Alonzo, that’s a pretty great wish!

DrGoat, I’ll wear black knee-high socks and loafers, with Bermuda shorts! Greatest. Look. Ever.

Clyde Hughes, those men are narcs! It’s funny, seeing men in sports coats at Disneyland is unusual enough that we instantly think there is something suspicious about them. I like the idea of a chase across the park (not a goofy one like in “40 Pounds of Trouble”), culminating with one of the cops hanging on to the hood of an Autopia car for dear life (at 7 mph). As for those object, please read Nanook’s comment, where he mentions exactly what they are (spotlights for the Tomorrowland Stage)!

Melissa said...

it may be odd that nobody's headed toward the PeopleMover (Maybe another attraction just let out?), but the stream of people moving toward the camera in the first shot is a great compositional element that really adds to the sense of motion of Tomorrowland '67.

The prize for 1960s fashion has to go to the girl in the orange plaid pantsuit at far left. The boy in the foreground is doing his best David Collins from Dark Shadows impression. He's headed straight for the Haunted Mansion.

Chuck said...

Sharp eyes can also discern (Ken are you paying attention?) POWER LINES!!!

I'm right there with you, Alonzo.

JG said...

@Chuck, I'm getting a charge out of that comment, simply shocking that I didn't notice the wires right away. Also monorail Yellow in the station, Nautilus and Skate in the dock.

Also, what Mike Cozart said. I remember watching the "cam action" of the roof/door driven by a little bump in the platform as the cars rolled over, the doors and roof would pop up. So simple, and so elegant, no messy hydraulics or solenoids.

@Alonzo, exactly right. I would love nothing better than to visit 67 Tomorrowland with the GDB crew, with Patrick and the Major in the lead. I will wear my gray t-shirt with Mickey Mouse on the front. Truly a Tir na nO'g moment.

Thank you Major, the general good mood produced by these pictures is contagious. I was not looking forward to work today, but seeing the pics and reading these comments make it a good day after all.

Best to all.


JC Shannon said...

Like most who experienced the Peoplemover, I miss it very much. It was forward thinking, and elegantly designed. The whole new Tomorrowland was a work of art. Alonzo, you can count me in as well! I will wear my black Mickey shirt and a coonskin cap. Thanks to Major for the awesome scans.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, whoops, I somehow skipped replying to your comment. Sorry! So you actually have a Peoplemover car?! Wow! Amazing. That would have to be up there among the ultimate Disneyland collectibles! Was the push plate lifted by a bump in the track? Or by some mechanism on the ground?

Alonzo, Melissa, I agree, that plaid pantsuit is pretty awesome. I wouldn’t mind having a men’s suit that was made of the same material (kind of like THIS PHOTO.).

Chuck, only a true fan can be excited by the sight of power lines!

JG, aha, I see that you mention a bump in the platform, one of my theories! So ingenious. It sounds like you and I had similar Mickey Mouse t-shirts, although mine was beige rather than gray (I might have had a gray one too, now that I think about it).

Jonathan, as many people have pointed out, the 1967 Tomorrowland was full of that optimism for the future that Walt genuinely felt. Somehow, with all of the problems in the world, he thought that there was no issue that couldn’t be solved if we worked together and used the best minds and technology.

zach said...

I still remember my first ride on the PeopleMover after they added the Super Speed Tunnel and wondered 'What's this Tron thing'? I had not yet reached true Disney geekness. But, I've earned my card since then.

Two of my kids share my Disney DNA. Spouses and boy/girl friends all just have to put up with Disney related conversations at family dinners and gatherings.

I'm late today but I see all of you up ahead on the ramp. I'll catch up...


Melissa said...

I'll be there in my best babushka.

Major Pepperidge said...

Arg, I am messing up all over the place today! The link to the crazy orange plaid suit I was referring to is here (no fancy attempt at a real link):

David Zacher, my friend Mr. X HATES the Super Speed Tunnel! I didn't mind it, but I guess it does kind of ruin that peaceful, gentle ride. No more naps on the Peoplemover, I guess. I don't think he liked the Tron thing, either. You are lucky that two of your kids appreciate Disney - nobody in my family is interested in any way!

Melissa, wear your finest silk babushka!

Nanook said...

@ Clyde Hughes-

It seems whenever images of the Rocket Jets appear, revealing the top of the gantry elevator and those "silver, jelly bean-shaped blobs" sitting on top of it, there's always a question as to what they are. The 'soft-edged' look is due to the large - custom? - covers surrounding the objects, within.

As I mentioned, they are [or were] carbon arc follow spots, made by Strong International. The only question I have is to the model - which was either a 'Super Trouper' or the very-powerful 'Gladiator'. Whoever operated them would certainly know, as the Gladiator can be a beast to move, at times. Although, from that distance, I'm betting there weren't a lot of radical moves from that lighting platform - but you never know...

Graffer said...

Last Pic:
Is that the normal separation for Skyway cars?
It looks extra wide to me.

Budblade said...

I so want my own peoplemover car. That would be awesome. I rode the one at WDW once,but I’ve never been to Disneyland. The one at WDW isn’t running all the time either. I think they just run it when they a pretty busy.
I had to lookup what the superspeed tunnel was. I don’t remember that at WDW.

Clyde Hughes said...

@Nanook - Thanks for the info. If only I had looked more closely at your prev posting...
gosh, there wasn't a freight elevator on the gantry was there? And I thought a Hammond organ was a beast to move.. ;-)

Nanook said...

@ Clyde Hughes-

I'm certain a CM would know if there was a 3rd "freight" elevator somewhere in that structure; but it seems doubtful.

By "move", I meant moving the follow spot in its normal course of operation - not physically 'muscling-it' into place - which is undoubtedly a joy and a half. (Hence many Stagehands - if'n you're lucky). The follow spots do "come-apart" to some extent. I presume a small crane lifted those babies up to that platform level-? The weight of the current versions of the follow spots (less power supply) is 279# for the Super Trouper, and 310# for the Gladiator. And it seems likely back in the "good old days" - which also meant more cast parts and a carbon arc lamp source, rather than a Xenon one - the weight for each model was most-likely heavier.

And as for Hammond Organs - have you ever moved the Model 'D' or 'E'-? Those are lots of fun.


Yes I have a actual Disneyland used PeopleMover car.... it’s in the 80’s light grey with white stripe scheme .... but underneath all the 1960’s panels are numbered ( for assembly) TRAIN #12 CAR B (red) it sits on a industrial furniture rolling cart so the PeopleMover car can easily be moved around. In most cases she is washed and polished and once a month - time permitting.
Yes the station track featured a raised bar in the loading section - as the cars entered , the lowered mechanism would slowly lift up as it followed the sloping bar in the it leveled the roof remained in the up position.... as it exited the station , the bar slopes down and lowers the roof ( and closes the doors) they then are in a locked position as the PeopleMover train is despatched on its tour.

dean finder said...

Thanks, Nanook for explaining what's under those silver covers. They looked a bit like microwave communication relays and I wasn't sure they had an actual purpose or were just decorative.

If we can't all jump in the photo for a ride on the PeopleMover (with or without orange pantsuits and/or blue turtlenecks), can we all head over to Mike's house to pile into his PeopleMover car?

K. Martinez said...

Late for the party today. Great pics! Loved reading all the comments too. Thanks, Major.