Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Views From a Peoplemover, November 1975

We're getting down to the last few slides from a batch taken mostly aboard the Peoplemover in 1975! All good things must end, but it's been fun. 

First up, a view that is not that different from others that we've seen; Tomorrowland is leaking out into the Plaza, with Rolly Crump's swirling gold and purple flower beds to dazzle us. Look at how uncrowded it is!

Oy boy, this is one of my favorites, a real "you are there" shot as our train returns to the always-revolving load platform. We can see some of the wheels that were embedded in the track, such a simple idea that obviously worked (though it apparently went through tires like a mutha). It would have been exciting to get closer and closer to the Rocket Jets from this height! Hello, Mary Blair murals.

And another one of my favorites, as we pass an outgoing train. What a wonderful ride; I think that these days people just think of it as a slow attraction, but that was not a bad thing by any means!

I think there are only two more pictures from this series. Stay tuned.


Melissa said...

Oh, wow, that second shot is so cool! I love the way the lines of the track and the murals draw your eye straight to the Rocket Jets. They really knew how to put a view together, those early Imagineers.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I absolutely LOVE the flowers (and flowering kale?) in the first picture! Beautiful!

We don't always get to see both of the mural "walls" in the same shot, so the second picture is extra special.

"...it went through tired like a mutha." Major, even after I googled that "phrase," I'm still not sure what you're saying. Please explain.

After looking at the third picture, I have one question:
Mike Cozart, do you ever just sit in your Peoplemover and eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and drink a glass of milk, or something? If I owned one, I'd have to use it - somehow!

Major, thank you for the beautiful day at Disneyland!


"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, I just re-read what you typed and I figured out you probably meant "it went through TIRES like a mutha." So, never mind.


Beautiful images. There were many attractions for guests to enjoy in Tomorrowland, but the heart of the land was the PEOPLEMOVER. It was Tomorrowland’s “circulatory system”. It gave so much of the kinetic energy that contributed to The World on the Move. On days that the PeopleMover wasn’t operating ..... you really felt that energy missing. And that is one of the biggest failures of WDI and Tomorrowland ... it is missing all its kinetic energy and excitement.

I think when Disneyland’s Tomorrowland 1998 debut, it became clear that the imagineers and its management were not always going to top themselves like the original Imagineers had continually done. Seeing tomorrowland 1998 opened was the first time I ever said “Man they really blew it” in regards to a WDI project. I remember being in a walk thru with Imagineer Bruce Gordon about 7 months before opening and he said in regards to Inoventions “ we really have no idea what the hell we are gonna put in here” “ we have no money and we can’t even get sponsors because we can’t afford to impress them with anything “

Seeing today’s images Is bittersweet because it’s never gonna be That Great Big Beautiful Tomorrowland again.



I have never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and milk , in my PEOPLEMOVER , but I’ve had wine, gin and bourbon...... in in. LOTS of bourbon ( diet ginger ale and Bullet bourbon over ice and a lemon slice!) my PeopleMover is kept in San Diego and because of the virus I have not been down there. It’s way overdue for its cleaning and polishing that it normally gets once a month. The car rests on a platform with swivel wheels so it’s easy to move around - when my nieces were little they would come over and sit in the PeopleMover and id pull them around the back patio in it. Now they are in college and high school and don’t have such an interest anymore- ha!
My PeopleMover car is RED train #12 , car B - but I cannot see the numbers on the cars in today’s pictures.

TokyoMagic! said...

Awww, these are all such good Tomorrowland photos. The Disneyland Hotel's Marina Tower is playing peek-a-boo with us, in that first pic.

Sue, I think Major had several typos in that sentence. I believe he meant to say, ".....it apparently went through tires like Mothra."

stu29573 said...

One of my favorite attractions at WDW is the Peoplemover. I know it's different technology, and it doesn't change elevations, but it's still there, quietly zipping around, in and out of the Tomorrowland attractions. I have a video of myself, my wife, my daughter, son in law, and grandkids riding it at night around Christmas and shouting "Merry Christmas!" To trains going the opposite direction. Very fun memories!

stu29573 said...

...and Mothra only eats very large wool sweaters...Or so I hear.

K. Martinez said...

I sure wish I could escape to this Tomorrowland, the land of optimistic futurism. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Ken said it best. This is the stuff of dreams.

Look at all of that open, enclosed space in front of the Plaza Inn. Maybe the outdoor tables were all undergoing their annual rehab.

Mike, such a sad story about your pre-opening walkthrough. The post-EuroDisney budgets and wariness to try much of anything new in that era really hurt the Stateside Parks, and I think Disneyland got the worst end of the deal.

Stu, it's my understanding that Goodyear developed an experimental, long-wearing woolen tire especially for use on the PeopleMover, so Mike's reading is probably correct.

Andrew said...

Yes, the low amount of crowds in the first picture makes you realize how much space there is to walk around. I guess that these were the days where they didn't have to constantly shave away planters and benches just to maximize every square foot of room. Well, maybe the Imagineers never would've had that problem if they had just left the Rocket Jets alone... I also see what looks like some work going on at the Plaza Inn patio. Anyone know what that is?

Your point of the cars going through tires is a good one, Major. I wonder if a PM car ever stalled because a few wore out unnoticed, maybe in an inclining area. Maybe maintenance had a chart of when each tire was installed, just as I think I heard they do for the lightbulbs on Main Street? Anyway, thanks for the great pics today!

DrGoat said...

Well, I will just echo what's been said. Great pics. The kind you want to jump right into. The Mary Blair murals were always a favorite with us back then. Uncle Charlie admired them as a peer in the business.
Mike, then I'm sure you've probably taken a nap in your Peoplemover you lucky devil.
K. Martinez (and Mike), I think it will be more like "A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies! A chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!"
Thanks Major. These be gems.

MRaymond said...

Fantastic memories were recalled by the pictures. I would have been about 14 when they were taken. I had to scan the crowds for family, I didn't find any.

JG said...

If all good things have to end, then at least we are ending here on a high note.

I was puzzled by the blue area at the left of photo 1 before figuring out that was the Plaza Inn outdoor patio without the tables. It does look like it's shut down for something. There are some kind of materials piled up on dunnage, but not enough detail to see what it is.

I see two CM's in what might be Rocket Jet or maybe Autopia uniforms heading to work. Did we see them in an earlier picture also? And the swirly flowers that Mom loved so much.

Photo 2 is the culmination of the trip, we have been waiting for this view for a long time. Just doesn't get better than this. I took a comparison shot in the SFO airport peoplemover and it looks very drab by comparison. Dr. Goat's quote from Bladerunner would be right at home there.

Photo 3 has no one I know, but I'm glad to see them heading out into the World of the Tomorrow We Were Promised.

@Lou and Sue (and anyone else interested), you asked for some stories about the mermaids on a recent post. I left a story in those comments if you want to go back to it.

Thanks Major, this is what I needed today.


"Lou and Sue" said...

JG, I did read it - thank you! I usually keep an eye on the older posts for a few days, since readers do make more comments for a couple days. Keep sharing your stories!

Major Pepperidge said...

Once again, Blogger has demanded that I split my giant response into two smaller chunks.

Melissa, there is something about that second shot that makes me think of Syd Mead’s illustrations! Only his weren’t slightly askew.

Lou and Sue, IS it flowering kale? I have no idea! And you make a good point, I didn’t even notice that we could see both tile murals. I read your sentence about “tired like a mutha” and didn’t know what you meant… until I went back and read what I typed. It was a mistake! Which I went back and fixed at 3:15 in the morning (because I always wake up super early in the morning). Many years ago I got to have a meeting at Imagineering in Glendale, and a lunch area had old Peoplemover cars and Skyway gondolas to sit in if you wanted to.

Lou and Sue, yep, it was supposed to be “tires”. D’oh.

Mike Cozart, “circulatory system” is a good way to describe the Peoplemover. Maybe the Skyway was the lungs of the park? ;-) I’ve seen comments on forums from folks who never saw the Peoplemover, they wonder why a “slow, boring ride” is so missed and beloved, but obviously they don’t GET IT. The story of Bruce Gordon admitting that they had no idea what they were going to do with Innovations speaks volumes. “We’re going to do it, even though we have no ideas”. Incredible. Can you imagine Walt doing that?

Mike Cozart, I think you’ve told us before, but is your Peoplemover car red, or was it repainted white? Either way it’s one of the coolest Disneyland artifacts ever, and now we’ve learned that they’re incredibly valuable too. It’s a bummer that we can’t see the car’s numbers, but I’ve found that very few photos show those for some reason.

TokyoMagic!, yep, there’s the Hotel! It was surprisingly good at “peek-a-boo”! We all know Mothra’s penchant for drag racing, she really did use a lot of tires.

stu29573, I would be thrilled to ride the Peoplemover at WDW, even with the differences. I still wonder if the dead-flat track is because the linear sychronous motors aren’t strong enough to move a heavy train full of people up and down gradients, or if it was just a lot cheaper to build a flat track. Very fun that your grandkids were wishing fellow riders a Merry Christmas!

Major Pepperidge said...

stu19573, that’s when she’s in her larval form, but when she becomes a full-fledged moth, she prefers Goodyear tires. They’re al dente!

K. Martinez, you make a good point, there really was a general feeling of optimism in that Tomorrowland - it’s basically gone now. But we really believed in a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.

Chuck, gosh, you’d think I would have noticed that large area with the turquoise cement, but I didn’t really pay attention to it. You’re right, they must have been doing some kind of maintenance, not one yellow umbrella to be seen. I’ve said it before, but I used to read about all the things that other parks were doing, and felt like Disneyland was being left in the dust for the most part. I know it wasn’t strictly true, but it seems crazy to decide to create an attraction like “Innoventions” and have no ideas mere months before it opened. “Woolen tires”, eh? Let’s get those Pendleton folks involved!

Andrew, they definitely had their very crowded days, I was just looking at some scans that you will see, and this same area is jam-packed. But there were many times of the year when you could find the park much more comfortable. I still don’t fully understand why they felt the need to move the Rocket Jets, since it was accessible to those in wheelchairs (via the elevator) and had worked great for 30 years. Good question about whether they had any tire issues while the ride was going! I’ve never heard about any, but it must have happened at sometime. Maybe the ride could function just fine even if one or two tires were in trouble.

DrGoat, now that I have seen some of your Uncle Charlie’s wonderful architectural work, I can believe that he would appreciate the playful Mary Blair murals! Maybe Mike can line his Peoplemover with plastic and turn it into a temporary pool? I can imagine sitting in one with one of those “little umbrella drinks” and having a fine time. I hope I can pass the Voight Kampff test.

MRaymond, your whole family is standing exactly behind those palm trees!

JG, there is still one more post with photos from this batch, though today is definitely the high point. The last few are nice, but not as nice as these. The piles of materials outside the Plaza Inn makes it look like they are doing some pretty serious construction inside, I wonder what it could be? I’m not sure what ride those CMs would work at. I would guess Peoplemover, but could easily be wrong. You can’t expect an airport peoplemover to compare to Disneyland’s! Airports are generally pretty drab. LAX is supposedly going to put in a peoplemover, but it will take years. Thanks for the heads up on your mermaid comment, because I missed it too!

Lou and Sue, I'll go read it as soon as I finish writing this sentence.

Nanook said...

I actually perused these images just after midnight, but figured everyone else would provide more interesting commentary than mine. These definitely capture the greatness that was the REAL New Tomorrowland - with the second image providing that wonderfully-expansive view of it.

Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

Those CMs should be working Autopia Major. KS

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Pandemic, riots, massive brush fires, hurricanes. We need relief!

This is the world we live in and these are the hands we're given.
Use them and let's start trying, to make a Tommorrowland worth living in.

These photos are like a calming wave of awesome sauce. Thanks for posting.

Chuck said...

Thanks, Alonzo - now I can't get the mental picture of the Spitting Image puppets running amok in Disneyland out of my head. No, really - thanks!

Can't believe I missed an opportunity to work Pendleton into my earlier comment. I feel kinda sheepish...

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I know that you are generally looking at the posts not long after 12:01 AM! Don’t you know that the most important thing in the world is to be “first”??

KS, thank you… I thought it could be for the Skyway too, although they do kind of look like the sort of jumpsuits worn by race crews.

Alonzo, pandemic? Riots? I guess I should look at the news once in a while. President Nixon will take care of things!

Chuck, I’ve never seen Spitting Image, but photos of those grotesque puppets used to be all over the place. “Sheepish”, OUCH.

Melissa said...

Today *I* am tired like Mothra.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike and Major, thanks for sharing your Peoplemover stories! Mike, you must also be in the “favorite uncle” category, no doubt.

Mothra...haha! Thanks for the laughs and fun today, folks!

Omnispace said...

Looks like a wonderful day to ride the Peoplemover!

P.I. said...

Some things are better left as is. Such as the peoplemover.

It was one of my favorite rides at Disneyland. It was also a great vantage point for photos.

The peoplemover was such a simple idea, and that's what made it so great.

I get a much needed dose of tranquility by visiting this blog... it's like getting a shot of medicine - but, without the pain, or the bill... ha-ha-ha.