Friday, June 21, 2019

Rocket Jets and Peoplemover, June 1968

Oh boy, Tomorrowland circa 1968! A World on the Move, and they weren't kiddin'. Rockets move - just look at them go. You can see a small group of guests near the gantry, waiting for their turn. A CM in a red jumpsuit looks up to make sure all is well with the happy folks. Were you a "move my rocket up and down" person, or a "fly my rocket as high as it will go and stay there the entire ride" person? Due to gravitational anomalies, Skyway gondolas appeared green that day.

Awww yeeeeaaaahhh! The Peoplemover moves along the winding track - just seeing that ride makes me smile. Even the General Electric logo atop the Carousel of Progress building is great. It's a bit strange to think that everything is these photos is gone, with the exception of the empty Peoplemover track.


"Lou and Sue" said...

Even the little red people movers are sneaking into the 2nd picture. Another FUN day in Tomorrowland!


K. Martinez said...

Oh my goodness! I think I've died and gone to Disneyland heaven.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yep, the best Tomorrowland E-V-E-R-! I'm not a photography expert, but I'm guessing that both photos were taken with a zoom lens of some type. I'm just trying to figure out where the photographer was, when he/she took that first shot.

Andrew said...

Woo-hoo, just two days off from a post full of PeopleMover goodness!

I'm definitely a "keep your rocket (or elephant) up in the air" kind of guy.

stu29573 said...

On my latest WDW trip, I rode their version of the rockets. You still go up a gantry there and they still spin like crazy. Thoughts: 1. They are more fun at night. 2. The Florida rain and sun must have shrunk them in recent years, it was a little hard to get in and out!
All in all, I think the WDW Tomorrowland kicks the DL version's just being close to what the DL version used to be!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

If and when they ever decided to renovate the existing Tomorrowland at DL they should put a giant cone of shame around instead of plywood construction walls.

Very nice pics today. I like how the beehive haired lady in the yellow dress color coordinated right into a yellow PM car. That's fashion commitment.

JG said...

What Ken Said. If Heaven is to be heaven, then it must be like Tomorrowland 67.

I would run the rocket up to the top limit, but then I would take it down again so I could run it up again.

This is just a simple carnival ride, not that different from Dumbo or the rides at the County Fair, but the theming and the surrounding future world made it so exciting. That and being almost 5 stories above the ground at full extension.

I'm guessing photo 1 is taken from the second floor deck of the Carousel of Progress, except the Skyway would be behind us from there? The far left bucket looks like it could use a wash, the bottom appears grimy.

Anyone have any ideas about how often and how these vehicles were washed? I suppose there was a Skyway garage and shop behind the COP but have never heard this confirmed. Some aerial photos show the PM cars queued in the yard behind the stage so there must have been a siding in the Character Shop or thereabouts.

The second one really has me stumped. The vantage is looking right down the Peoplemover at the entrance from the Hub, but how did they gain the elevation? A lucky shot from the upper deck of the Omnibus? Looks like someone's head in the lower right corner? I don't care, I'm too busy enjoying it.

Thank you, Major!


Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, yep, the red guys snuck in there!

K. Martinez, I know what you mean! I should have pointed out that the New Tomorrowland really was new in ’68.

TokyoMagic!, I think you’re right - I don’t know how else they would have gotten pictures like that. I sure wish I had a bunch more from this person.

Penna. Andrew, I’m with you, there is no such thing as “too much Peoplemover”.

stu29573, somehow I thought that the Star Jets (or whatever they are called) had been removed from WDW! If they are still there, it is one more reason (like their Swiss Family Treehouse) to be jealous.

Alonzo, I guess it’s hard to come up with stuff for Tomorrowland, especially when it has to be tied to some intellectual property. Why not a fanciful trip to an asteroid, which is full of weird sights and maybe a scary creature or two?

JG, I also like taking my rocket up, and then down again (repeat as long as possible); somehow it feels even more like flying. The old Astro Jets were literally an off-the-shelf ride, and I have at least one photo of a nearly-identical version at an ocean side amusement park. So the genius idea of placing the Rocket Jets up on top of that third level really made the difference! That Skyway gondola was muddy because of all the off-roading it had been doing. Hopefully Mike Cozart can answer your question about how often the vehicles were washed - Disneyland sure got a lot of press about how often they changed lightbulbs and washed the streets, but the vehicles? Who knows. I was going to suggest that the photographer might have been on the top level of the Omnibus!

Anonymous said...

That first shot is interesting. If it had been taken from COP, the Coca Cola sign should be on the right side of the image. Was the image reversed? KS

JG said...

@KS, I have been looking at the aerial view on Google, my best guess now is photo one is taken with a long lens from either the People Mover or the Monorail, since that is the only way to get the Skyway between the elevated photo vantage and the RJ gantry with the Coke sign, which is "right-read" in the photo, not reversed.

This photographer was either very careful, or very lucky. And we are the benefactors.

Major, I want to go off-roading in the Skyway, that sounds amazing.


Melissa said...

The rounded yellow Peoplemover cars make me think of happy little bumblebees. Even the cheerful red Coca-Cola logo looks extra happy in this picture.

Jason Schultz said...

I'm pretty sure the first photo was taken on the pathway between the Matterhorn and the Submarine Lagoon. It was taken with a zoom lens and you can see the top of the PeopleMover cars at the bottom, which would rule out the PeopleMover and Monorail. You can also see the telltale light fixture from that pathway, as seen here:

Major Pepperidge said...

KS, you can read the Coca-Cola sign, so no, it is not backwards!

JG, I am not even going to attempt to guess at where the photographer was standing in the first photo - your guess is as good as any. Wait until you see a great photo of the Tomorrowland entrance from Mr. X, it is spectacular.

Melissa, everybody loves bumblebees! They’re so cute and fuzzy. It’s funny about the old corporate sponsors, and the way I like seeing them, but the new ones bug me!

Jason, thanks for the link, that person was standing further away than I imagined. Those darn cypresses (or whatever they are!), ruining my good time. They look like they are straight out of a Van Gogh painting.

JG said...

I can't get Jason's link to work, but looking at the photo again, I agree, I didn't notice the light pole at first. I thought the PM car roofs were under the edge of the load platform, but instead, they are in the foreground on the track on the way to go inside America the Beautiful.

Thank you, Jason, this is a fun game.

Major, My helmet is getting foggy awaiting that entry view.


Mike said...

Had to respond to your question about moving the rockets up and down vs. keeping them up all the way.

My first visit to a Disney park was Walt Disney WORLD's Magic Kingdom in 1976. I had actually ridden Dumbo for the first time earlier in the day before getting to Star Jets (which I believe is what they called the Rocket Jets equivalent then).

On Dumbo I had really enjoyed moving the elephant up and down with the controls and was looking forward to doing the same with the Star Jets. However, I wound up disappointed!!!

You see, in Florida's Magic Kingdom, moving the Star Jets "up" was a one-way proposition. You could voluntarily raise it to whatever level you wanted from none to all the way...but however high you raised it, you couldn't get it back down below that point until the end of the ride, when of course all the rockets would lower to permit unloading. I never cared for that; consequently, the Star Jets attraction was a once-and-done for me. I never rode it again.