Friday, October 22, 2021

Adventure Thru Inner Space, August 1970

Both of today's photos are a bit dark, but I am always happy to be able to share any rare images that feature Adventure Thru Inner Space! Both of these photos were given to me (to keep!) by my friend, Mr. X, which is pretty darn nice.

So, here we are, in the winding queue (located where the queue for "Star Tours" is today). I always loved that lit graphic of the snowflake on that wall, indicating that our ultimate goal was to enter the inner space of a snowflake, and water molecules. You'll just have to imagine hearing some technical chatter and ominous music, which helped to build a bit of tension. And of course you have the endless line of blue Atomobiles entering the Mighty Microscope, where guests will be shrinkified!

You can see that the PeopleMover passed through this part of the ride, giving guests a sneak peek. Such a brilliant idea!

Come to think of it, you don't have to imagine what the attraction was like - years ago, an enterprising person (who's name I have unfortunately forgotten) did an amazing job of recreating ATIS using 3-D computer graphics. It's pretty incredible! I actually purchased a DVD from the creator, back before everything was readily available on YouTube. What great memories it evokes.

EXTRA! EXTRA! The Mysterious Benefactor sent me a flickr link to a contemporary photo that matches  the second photo from yesterday's post, maybe you'll want to check it out! Thanks, MB.


Nanook said...

All I have to say is MAGNIFICATION-!

Thanks to the MB.

"Lou and Sue" said...

WOW! Terrific pictures from Mr. X and MB!
Thank you!

Major, don’t you have one of those shrinkified Atomobiles? I’d love to own one of those and a PeopleMover. Maybe I’ll ask Santa...

JB said...

I think I remember the queue for this ride more than I remember the ride itself. The expansive, darkened room with the curvy ramp winding its way to the loading area. Seeing the shrinkified people going by in the Microscope tube, the quiet sci-fi music and control room voice-over. The PeopleMover trundling by overhead at regular intervals. It really created an exciting and suspenseful atmosphere.

One couldn't help but try to match-up the shrinkified guests in the tube with those that you saw boarding a few seconds earlier. And being a little bit apprehensive about being shrinkified yourself, when your time comes; irrational though that may be.

Thanks Major and Mr. X for jogging my memory of this unusual attraction.

- Jugular Bloodsucker

TokyoMagic! said...

Wow. Great it was yesterday. I like how we can even see the bands of light encircling the vehicles, just inside the entrance tunnel of the ride.

I bought that DVD, too! I thought it was pretty darn accurate, except for the red colors in one scene. It's the tunnel where "Electrons are dashing about me, like so many fiery comets....." I just don't remember seeing any "red" in that tunnel. Still, I could not have done any better and I was very glad to have the computer recreation.

Thank you, Major and Mr. X!

- Tokyo Mutant!


My earliest memories of Adventure Thru Inner Space was confusion And terror : one: I was afraid of being squeezed into the smaller clear tube and how that was going to be very painful ( I didn’t understand the processes of Miniaturization Control at that early age) .... also Being confused and wondering WHY I have no memory of looking out at the full-size guests in line below the MINIATURE us. Was the reduction tube too thick for us to see thru?? Maybe I closed my eyes longer than I thought. I also remember the sensation of leaving the dark entry and having my vision return and noticing we were now traveling BACKWARDS. And then seeing projections of what I thought at the time was Mr. Bubble : the same character all over the box of my bubble bath powder at home. Why was Mr. Bubble in here?? ...... and then the eye ....the GIANT EYE!!! It reminded me that we had been shrunken down!! We were STILL tiny! I can’t go to school like this!!! Why is this fun for people? Why is Disneyland doing this to people!? At the exit I was relieved seeing the vertical walnut wood panels and the low ply carpet .... it was like my grandparents living room and we are safe and full size people again.

Over time I loved Inner Space but as I was becoming enamored with the history of Disneyland I could tell Inner Space was tired and older now ... hardly any guests went in and people made jokes about it. I remember I was excited about the new Simulator Journey attraction that was going to go I to Tomorrowland..... but what I DIDN’T realize it was going to replaced Adventure Thru Inner Space !! On a visit seeing the construction barricades up over the Inner Space building with the signs announcing “Simulator Journey” ( it wasn’t called Star Tours yet!) and the Mary Blair mural being chipped away l!!! No!

Sometime in the early 80’s while riding the PeopleMover - we entered the Inner Space building .... Adventure Thru Inner Space was closed for refurbishment and we could see the workers inside ... on scaffolding along the Mighty Microscope was a open cardboard box filled with miniature ATOMOBILE props each wrapped with clear plastic !!!!! A total treasure chest filled with miniaturized ATOMOBILES.... and people!

In the mid 1990’s I bought an actual miniature ATOMOBILE from an imagineer who had about 10 of them. The whole meeting and deal was arranged thru a friend of mute ...... I got to pick from about 5. It was one of those things where the best condition Atomobile had the odd people or damaged people in it or the best Atomobile with good condition passengers were missing the safety bar .... kinda thing. At the time
it was the most expensive Disneyland thing I had bought ..... but a bargain by today’s prices. I should have bought two!!

Great pictures and memories today!

Bu said...

I loved this ride. It was always easy to get on. A nominal C ticket. And always a good show...who knows what the show was, but I enjoyed it all the same. Dark and air conditioned. As a little kid I did think we were shrinking, and tried to figure it all out. After my employment began this ride became the beat all, end all ride that guests were "naughty" on. Little did they know that there were flashlight bearing employees inside that could see you. Since the guests eyes were adjusting it was hard, if impossible to see the employee standing a few feet away. There were many shenanigans on this ride. For the employees too. There was one who decided he would fling spoons of soup on unsuspecting guests instead of controlling the hooliganism. The Inn-Between (employee cafeteria) was directly behind Inner Space so soup was easily obtained. That was the end of that employees career. What was he thinking? The best part of the ride was re-entering the atmosphere where that rain fountain was. I LOVED that thing. The better one was "exit through the gift shop" where you were dumped into the Character Shop. That was awesome! It was nice that they used a lot of the building to house Star Tours and basically kept the pre-show area architecturally similar. Even though this was a cost saving measure, it was nice to preserve at least something. MC: I also had access to the Atomobiles, and other things I wasn't remotely interested in. My work buddy was dating the project manager from WED..maybe this is the same person (?) I had stopped collecting random things at that time...there was too retrospect I don't regret it at all. I'm glad that people who actually will enjoy it got all that stuff. All of mine were in boxes on top of boxes on top of boxes...mostly sold later in life. Thanks for posting the pics, links and the video! The video is really well done. That took a lot of work! God bless those people for I absolutely don't have that patience nor the skill!

Andrew said...

My fourth grade teacher told us about the eye looking through the microscope... I guess that must have really stuck with everyone who rode this attraction.

Chuck said...

I remember the queue for this ride more than I remember the ride itself, too, JB, but that’s because that’s all I ever experienced. My parents rode it first, decided that six-year-old me - who was terrified to ride Pirates after that awful storm we were trapped in with skeletons when I was two - would probably react like young Mike did. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t take another swipe at it after I conquered Pirates and the HM when I was seven; I think a basic explanation of what the ride was about probably would have set me up just fine, but I guess my mom’s apparent over-reaction in jump-scare surprise to the giant eye sealed the deal. The only way I have ever experienced the entrails of ATIS is via this video. I am very grateful to its creator for putting it together. It’s too bad we have no way of ever knowing his name.

And…thanks to the MB for that contemporary shot of yesterday’s subject!

Nanook said...

Make that thanks to Mr. X.

Also... a shout-out to Miracles from Molecules.

JC Shannon said...

By the time I rode ATIS, I was too old to appreciate it. I never got naughty on it though. The simulation was pretty spot on, as I remember it. Funny, in aviation, ATIS stands for automated terminal information service. It's where we get destination airfield conditions. I will now always think of Disneyland every time I tune in. Thanks to Major and the MB.

JG said...

I just flat-out loved this ride, everything about it; the queue, the glass tube of little people, wondering if I could spot people who had gone before, the little dioramas along the line, the blinking ring of light around the tunnel (Tokyo!), the mad show, the Nucleus, the Eye, the oil fountain! Just crammed with 70’s goodness.

Bu, we had a long thread some years back about the oil fountains, there was one in a mall in Sherman Oaks, another in Bakersfield. Definitely a 70’s thing. I’m surprised they haven’t been revived.

Monsanto was not a dirty word then, they were a familiar name to us since many farm items we used were made by them. It’s a shame how their reputation went downhill, but seems self-inflicted. As the show conclusion implied, there was less concern then about artificial ingredients and “plastic” was not yet an insult.

I always wondered why Star Tours didn’t replace Mission to Mars, as it seemed like the next logical step. I wonder if Lucas didn’t demand space “up-front” though.

Major, big thanks to you, the MB and Mr. X for a banner week in Tomorrowland!


Stu29573 said...

I can barely remember going on it, but I do remember that my nine year old self was perfectly fine with being a human Shrinky-Dink. At that age I knew, of course, that we weren't REALLY shrinking...maybe...
These are the rides that really entertained folks. Star Tours is fine, but do people talk about it like ATIS? Not in my experience.
Oh well. Disney is doing their best to price out the typical middle class family anyway, so I guess it really doesn't matter what quality their current "entertainment" is. Let the rich folks be underwhelmed. We don't care.
Did that sound bitter? Good!

Stu-pid Disney Ruins Everything

K. Martinez said...

I was just thinking with all the new projection mapping and technology today, a NEW Adventure Thru Inner Space could be amazing. I guess there'd have to be an IP tied to it. Maybe have it tied into "Frozen" so they could still have the snowflake theme. They could have Olaf sing "Do you wanna go inside a snowflake?" ;-)

Lots of great memories of this ride and I do remember it all very well. "Adventure Thru Inner Space" like "If You Had Wings" enthralled me to no end. I rode both over and over so I remember both in detail. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

% JG-
I'm not familiar with a (glycerin) Fountain being in Sherman Oaks, but [I think] the first one to make an appearance in the greater LA area was at Topanga Plaza, in Canoga Park, opening in February, 1964. They referred to it as a Rain Fountain.

Designed by Victor Gruen - famous for designing well over 25 shopping malls - he is also responsible for Southdale Center, in Edina, Minnesota. Opening in October, 1956, it is considered the first, fully-enclosed, climate-controlled shopping mall in the U.S. Southdale Center certainly had fountains, I have no idea if they [eventually] were the proud owners of a Rain Fountain.

Nanook said...

@ Ken-
I was thinking more along the lines of Do you wanna go inside a molecule-?

Nanook said...

@ Ken-
Or perhaps Let It Bond-!

Nanook said...

@ Ken-
Let It Shrink-??

"Lou and Sue" said...

Let it snow!

Chuck said...

Guys - let it go.

Stu29573 said...

"For The First Time In A Molecule"

Anonymous said...

@Nanook, that was the place, Topanga Plaza, Canoga Park.

Dad's cousins lived near there for a while and we would visit after the Disneyland day.

I'm very familiar with Victor Gruen, he also designed the Fresno Downtown Mall, which was brand new at the time, and mostly dismantled now, pretty much a failure.

In my defense, it was over 50 years ago, things get fuzzy, like those molecules.


K. Martinez said...

Nanook, I can see it now. Adventures Thru Chemical Compounds.

Sue, only if Dean Martin narrates and sings throughout the attraction.

Chuck, HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

Jay Nartubez is amused by the reader feedback today.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, you sure have a deep, resonant voice!

Lou and Sue, yes I do have one of the mini-Atomobiles, someday I’ll have to share photos of it.

JB, the queue for this ride was neat for its day, with the darkened room and “tech speak” chatter going on, that was always slightly scary, at least to a little kid. It kind of reminds me of the stuff you hear in the Space Mountain queue, now that I think about it. I loved everything about ATIS, maybe it was a factor of my age at the time. Like you, I always tried to see a guest who’d just entered the Mighty Microscope in their shrunken state inside the clear tube, but I could never quite see them. Hmmm!

TokyoMagic!, it must be frustrating for Steve Wesson to have done all that great work only to have the video on YouTube for free. He really did a remarkable job. I don’t remember any red in that one scene either, and since so much of the video seems accurate, is it possible that at some point it really did look like that?

Mike Cozart, I figured that by the time we got to that clear tube, we would only be six inches tall anyway, so I don’t remember being scared of that particular thing. I DID worry that we would shrink and they wouldn’t be able to bring us back to normal size. Somehow I never considered why we weren’t in a clear tube looking out at the people in line, I wonder if they would include a scene like that today. That giant eye… I’ve related this before, but I used to be in contact with a fellow who claimed that his former father in-law had the eye in storage in Tujunga (because he was a former Imagineer). I wonder if that was true?? Gosh, what a story, getting to choose from five different Atomobiles! I know somebody who literally pulled one from a dumpster when he worked at the park, it’s on display in his home and looks beautiful.

Bu, I sure knew what the show was. Everything about it fascinated me, including the low-tech, theatrical special effects that were… well… effective. Sound was a huge part of this ride’s experience, without question. And the music is brilliant as well. The employee flinging spoonfuls of soup onto guests is pretty awful, what a jerk. Maybe he wanted to get fired? I can’t imagine why anybody would think that was a good idea. Let people get frisky, who cares. As long as the other guests don’t see! I also loved the rain fountain, and used to see smaller versions at stores back in the day, I always wanted one, as kitschy as they were. I remember older teens banging on the giant foam snowflakes as they passed, it always shocked me to see people being so “bad”. Nowadays they wouldn’t place them so close to the vehicles of course.

Andrew, it made so much of an impact that, as kids, my siblings and I referred to ATIS as “The Eye Ride”!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, oh man, I’m sorry you never got to ride ATIS! The scariness was part of the appeal, because of course you always returned to safety. Which made a kid feel extra brave afterwards. I don’t ever remember the eye being scary to me, maybe because by then I’d been lulled into a state of bedazzlement. Or something. This was such a creative, abstract attraction, it was really something special.

Nanook, yes, I love that song!

Jonathan, I’m sure that part of my love of ATIS is that I was just the right age. If I’d been in my 20s, perhaps it would have left me feeling very “meh”, though it’s hard for me to conceive of not loving it now.

JG, I feel as if this was the result of Imagineering at its peak, truly combining music, narration, state of the art ride vehicles, and trippy visuals, all adding up to one of my two or three “most missed” extinct attractions. They did have those oil fountain things at the Topanga Mall I believe, in fact many years ago I scanned some commercial slides that showed the fountains. They’d been removed by the time I went to the mall, I wonder if the oil gets dusty? Maybe they are hard to maintain. Yes, I had the warm fuzzies for Monsanto for years, until I became aware of their brutal business practices. My guess is that the ATIS ride had been slated for removal - Bu is right, there were often short lines, or NO lines. As hard as that is to believe for me.

Stu29573, while I have forgotten MANY things from my childhood visits to Disneyland, ATIS is something that I remember fairly vividly. I like Star Tours, but simulator rides have become so commonplace that it’s hard to get that excited about Star Tours, even though they did a great job with the updates years ago.

K. Martinez, I’ve always thought that a new ATIS could be incredible, but I’m not holding my breath. The idea of it being tied to “Frozen” does not inspire me much! I need to do some research on “If You Had Wings”, I really don’t know very much about that ride.

Nanook, yes, it was the Topanga Plaza (though Sherman Oaks isn’t too far away). The “rain fountain” in Topanga had to have been one of the largest, being two stories tall. Impressive!

Nanook, even though you and Ken are joking, it makes me sad that we’ll never get another non-IP ride like ATIS again. I feel like the refusal to do something unique and “standalone” shows a lack of creativity or confidence. IP can fall out of favor within a decade or two, making a ride seem dated very quickly.

Chuck, it had to be said.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, oops, sorry, did not mean to skip you. Am I the only person who did not love “Frozen”? I especially dislike the song “Let it Go”.

Stu29573, I dunno, all kinds of stuff goes on in molecules, I’d hate to lie.

JG, my grandma liked to take her grandkids clothes shopping at the Topanga Mall, it seemed pretty wonderful at the time. I still remember a sales clerk looking at her driver’s license and being impressed that her birth year was 1905!

K. Martinez, I would be OK with a ride with Dean Martin narrating and singing! But… he’s in heaven now.

Bu said...

"If you had wings..had wings...had wings...." It was a catchy tune. Also, like Inner Space...never a low/no was perfectly dull and I enjoyed it immensely . Much better than a "Stimulator"...I mean...Simulator..any day.(we called them stimulators back then...however unstimulating).

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, you aren’t the only one who did not like Frozen. And, though the characters are cute, I am tired of seeing them EVERYWHERE.

Chuck said...

I hadn't watched the ATIS simulator in probably five years. Thanks for linking it.

As I was watching, it occurred to me that this attraction required a high degree of imagineering magic, with a fair amount of "how the heck do we do this effect?" experimentation in Glendale, and yet it doesn't have near the amount of exhaustive documentation or fan obsession like the contemporary PotC or HM. Did it just not catch audience imagination in the same way? Was it not timeless enough? Is it because it's gone? Am I talking to an empty room? Why is my voice echoing? Did I remember to wear pants to work today?

I also noticed today that the pulsing nucleus sound effect is the same sound as the ghostly bride's beating heart in the pre-Constance HM attic scene.

Chuck said...

I had also forgotten the glimpse of the Mary Blair mural visible out the exit to the attraction.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, I see that I put words in your mouth, I apologize. You didn’t say you “did not like Frozen,” you said you “did not love Frozen.”
I, personally, did not like it - the plot got too goofy, as is the case with a lot of the more-recent animated Disney movies, IMO.

Major Pepperidge said...

Bu, I wonder if we’ll ever get another Omnimover attraction? I guess these days they love the trackless vehicles. I like simulators rides up to a point, but too many of them (like at Universal Studios) gets mind-numbing.

Lou and Sue, I liked parts of “Frozen”, and liked a few of the characters, but overall I liked “Tangled” WAY more.

Chuck, you pose some good questions (especially about wearing pants), ones that I don’t have answers for. I was always intrigued by the attraction, but the fact that so much of it was in the dark made it hard to take photos. Until I saw an article in The E-Ticket Magazine, I’d never seen much about the “magic” of the ride. Now I want to dig up that issue and read it again! Good call on the heartbeat/nucleus sound effect!

Chuck, I didn’t remember that you could see outside that well, so I wasn’t sure if that was just a guess on Steve Wesson’s part, or if it was really like that.

Lou and Sue, I think it’s not a leap to say that I did not like “Frozen”… I tried to watch it again now that I have Disney+, and bailed after about 15 minutes. I’m curious if you have seen “Tangled”!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Yes, Major, I did see “Tangled” and I did like it. I especially liked Pascal.

Anonymous said...

I just watched the simulation video for the first time, Thank You Major for linking to it!

I had heard about it several years ago, but it wasn't finished.

It is a fabulous piece of work, and the author deserves mostly endless praise. The view of the Mary Blair murals at the end is the crowning touch, I can't recall if these were visible like that or not, but they are perfect to see anyway.

A couple of minor things I noticed (and these are NOT criticisms at all).

In real life, the little figures in the glass tube were larger and easier to see than in the videos, where only the Atomobiles are very visible. This can be seen in the various real-life queue videos.

Like others, I don't recall any red color in the ride at all, except the nucleus. I could be wrong, it's an old memory.

The scene of the nucleus is brilliant, and the only issue with the video version is that it cannot transmit the feeling of "space" in the nucleus scene. The red-glowing nucleus prop was about the size of a basketball, and the background soundtrack was muted after entering through the frenzied electron cloud, so there was a real sense of quiet and vastness in the scene.

Overall (not pants) it is an amazing achievement. Chuck, identifying the beating heart sound effect duplication is an amazing feat of combined memory, you have a gift.

Major, I'm glad you remember the Topanga Mall, I was realy amazed by it. I think I still have a bookmark from Pickwick Bookstore there. Pretty great story about the driver's license. I don't know if I ever saw my grandparent's driver license. I know we went to that mall several times in a few years, but the memory blurs with the big Valley Plaza mall in Bakersfield where we also stopped occasionally, since it was about half-way.


Melissa said...

Sometimes a dark picture gives you a better “you are there” effect.

I never got to see ATIS, but all the pictures and videos do remind me of my beloved If You Had Wings. Nowadays they don’t want it if you can’t 3D project it or shake your guts out on it.

Omnispace said...

It's not hard to guess this was one of my favorite attractions at Disneyland. Everything about ATIS fascinated me: the "floating" feel of the very unique Atomobiles, entering the microscope forward only to find oneself moving backwards through the first scene, "MAG-NI-Fi-ca-tion...", the giant snowflake props, penetrating the field of electrons, the giant eye, and at the end of the ride the very confident "This Is Monsanto..".

It was a very noisy ride: a cacophony of sound effects reverberating through the scenes, trying to drown out the rumble of the Omninover and the occasional squeal of it's wheels. Sometimes it was difficult to hear the dialogue in the Atomobiles. Bad people would scream in the nucleus room.

The last time I rode it was very sad. The snowflake sets had been damaged, the crystalline structure scene was completely darkened, (I think there might have been a fire in there?), and the dialogue very weak.

The ATIS simulation is excellent quality. I remember offering my comments when it was being created - I think I suggested the "flyover" of the scenes. Of course I bought one of the DVD's. ;)

Thanks Major!

Melissa said...

”Why was Mr. Bubble in here??”

I think the neighbors heard me laughing there.

Chuck said...

Melissa, that’s saying something, considering where the Great House is situated on your 14-acre estate. Or are you spending the weekend in your Central Park West townhouse? I have a hard time keeping track of you, what with your disguises and shell companies and and burn phones and VPN and all.

Melissa said...

It was a fourteen-acre laugh!

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, was Pascal the chameleon? I liked him too.

JG, one funny thing about the video is that there are some notable long stretches of blackness that seem to go on, but I assume that the creator wanted us to appreciate some of the audio that might have been cut off otherwise. I’ll have to compare the little figures in the video to some real filmed footage on YouTube. I remember seeing the nucleus room toward the end of ATIS’s run, and there was stuff splattered on the wall, most likely something thrown by rude teens. Darn teenagers! Get off my lawn! And why don’t they get haircuts! Yes, Chuck gets an “A” for noticing the heartbeat sound, which somehow never occurred to me. The main reason I remember that my grandmother was born in 1905 is due to that sales clerk’s reaction!

Melissa, I think you’re right about the dark picture theory… I’ve seen other photos that have the ATIS queue area much brighter than I recall. Of course it might have changed over the years.

Omnispace, I particularly loved the strange soundscape that we experienced in the ride… it was spooky, but interesting and yes, “trippy” (what did I know about anything trippy when I was 10!?). I really think they outdid themselves with that one, and have to wonder how much of its spaciness has to do with the fact that this was made during the psychedelic era. Wow, I never heard of a fire happening inside ATIS, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. Scary. I had some communications with the man who made that video, and even shared some of my (few) photos with him at the time, but he never did anything with them.

Melissa, Mr. Bubble is omniscient and omnipresent. And probably a few other “omnis” too.

Chuck, I want one of those estates that has a driveway that takes 15 minutes to drive to get to the house. How can I make that happen?

Melissa, :^)

JG said...

Major, I noticed those lengthy blackouts. I don’t recall such long intervals in the ride, but there were probably some of the “cinematic transitions” we have commented before.

I’m glad my last visit was still more or less in the prime of the attraction and never saw any of the bad show you describe.

Between the post, the video, and several others on video, and todays comments, this was a great wrap to a hard week. Thank you.


MRaymond said...

I'm late to the party and most of what's already been said lines up with my thoughts. I was scared to death of that attraction in the late 60's but it became a "must ride" attraction later on. My Grad Night date said we MUST ride it.

Short story; we didn't do anything 'naughty' on the ride but there was some good smooching going on. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a light, so we stopped and we both saw it. In one of the corners of the ride was a CM illuminating naughty teenagers. Since we were good, Catholic, schoolchildren we assumed a near-angelic pose when the light hit us. You could almost see the little halos.