), was a transport attraction in Tomorrowland
in Anaheim, California
. Guests boarded small trains that ran on elevated tracks for a "grand circle tour" above Tomorrowland. A similar attraction remains open at the Magic Kingdom
in Lake Buena Vista, Florida
as Tomorrowland Transit Authority
The term "people mover," now in wider use to describe many forms of normally automated public transport, was first coined as the name for this attraction. PeopleMover was originally only a working title but became attached to the project over time. Originally the attraction was seen as a serious prototype for inter-city public transport.
The attraction's vehicles were always in motion, and were boarded and alighted by a large speed-matched rotating platform inside the station. The trains were not powered by motors within themselves, but rather by being pushed by rotating tires each with its own electric motor, embedded in the track every nine feet.
Each car included its own sound system which broadcast a continuous audio commentary and soundtrack, relative to the train's location. The commentary pointed out Disneyland's attractions along the way as well as announcing promotional items.
The tour continued from the center of Tomorrowland through a few of Tomorrowland's buildings, for a look inside, and over Disneyland's Submarine Lagoon and Autopia areas, before returning to Tomorrowland.
The attraction used an updated WEDway
system based on the WEDway used for the Ford Magic Skyway
at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair
. When Disney asked Ford Motor Company
to continue sponsorship by sponsoring Disneyland's new PeopleMover, they declined, because Ford were reluctant to support technology that appeared to replace the automobile
. Goodyear was then approached to sponsor it, and accepted. The wheels used in the WEDway system were replaced by Goodyear's tires
. The PeopleMover's logo was then fashioned after Goodyear's logo, sharing a similar type face. Goodyear sponsored the attraction for more than 28 years, which was one of the longest-lasting sponsorships in Disneyland's history.
The PeopleMover opened as part of New Tomorrowland in 1967. Originally, each four-car train was colored either red, blue, yellow, or green with white roofs. They were repainted all white with colored stripes in 1987.
In 1977, the SuperSpeed Tunnel was added to the PeopleMover. It was located in the upper level of the Carousel Building, which then housed America Sings
. Race cars were projected on the walls of the tunnel all around the trains. In 1982, the projections were changed to scenes from the movie Tron
and the tunnel was announced as the Game Grid of Tron
by the on-board audio guide.
During the attraction's 28-year run, two separate incidents of guests trying to jump between the moving vehicles led to their deaths.
The PeopleMover closed in August 1995, and was replaced by Rocket Rods
A few of the retired PeopleMover cars were used in other parts of the resort after its closing. Three cars from train #45 used to sit outside the Team Disney Anaheim building, but they were removed in 2007. One of the cars from train #45 is now in display at the cast members cafe called the Eat Ticket. Another car from train #45 is now in the hands of a local resident. Two cars were repainted with a blue and orange grid to resemble a blueprint (along with Rocket Jets vehicles and the front of a Mark III Disneyland-ALWEG monorail train) and placed in the queue display for Rocket Rods. These were later sold on Disney Auctions after Rocket Rods closed. Further modified PeopleMover cars are used as checkout counters at the Little Green Men Store Command in Tomorrowland, which also has former Rocket Jets vehicles retrofitted as merchandise shelves and also had Skyway buckets hanging from the ceiling when the store was the Premiere Shop.
A grass roots movement has existed ever since calling for the attraction's return. Most likely it would entail an all new design.
Pop culture references
- An homage to the PeopleMover appears in the 2008 Disney/Pixar film, WALL•E, depicting a transportation system with the name "PEOPLE MOVER" and the ride's circular boarding station.