Why PeopleMover Will Always be a Part of Disneyland Park

When you walk around Disneyland, you often find yourself surrounded by the park’s rich history. There are many opening day attractions that are still in operation. There are many nods to Walt Disney himself throughout the park, including his old apartment on Main Street.

Main Street Disneyland

In Tomorrowland, there is an iconic reminder of Disneyland’s past that remains visible to this day, despite its lack of utility. The infamo us PeopleMover tracks have not been used in nearly twenty years, and chances are, they’ll never be taken down. Why is that?

Let’s dive into some Tomorrowland history and find out!

Peoplemover Roots

PeopleMover first opened in 1967 as part of a “New Tomorrowland” expansion. It took guests on a sixteen-minute journey throughout Tomorrowland, passing by and pointing out the various attractions along the way. A very similar version of the ride exists today in Magic Kingdom.

Rocket Rods

PeopleMover closed in 1995, nearly thirty years after it first opened. Just three years later, it would be replaced by the short-lived Rocket Rods. Rocket Rods was an attempt at a new thrill-like attraction in Tomorrowland using the old PeopleMover tracks.

This created a bit of a problem, because the structural integrity of the tracks could not support the heavier and faster Rocket Rod vehicles. Likewise, the constant acceleration and deceleration of the vehicles added wear and tear on the tracks. Within a few years, noticeable weakening of the tracks had occurred. Rocket Rods ultimately announced its official closure in 2001, and the tracks have remained vacant ever since.

Welcome to Tomorrowland of the Future!

Track Troubles

So why not take the tracks down if they aren’t being used? The answer is complicated (and most likely expensive). Both PeopleMover and Rocket Rods brought guests above or through every single attraction in Tomorrowland. Portions of the track passed through Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, and Star Tours. The tracks also soared above Autopia and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.

Disneyland’s Tomorrowland

This means that in order to dismantle the tracks, Disneyland would be forced to close every single ride in Tomorrowland, either in phases or altogether. And this wouldn’t be a short-term closure like we often see for renovations and regular refurbishment. This would likely be a long, extensive closure since the PeopleMover tracks are actually inside many of these ride buildings.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Losing access to one of Disneyland’s themed lands would certainly cause issues in terms of crowds, especially if you account for a temporary closure of Space Mountain, one of the park’s most popular attractions. Plus, as far as we are aware, the tracks are not necessarily in anyone’s way. Sure, it’s an odd sight and a reminder of a bygone attraction, but Disney is no stranger to letting things sit broken and unused (we’re looking at you, Disco Yeti).

PeopleMover at Magic Kingdom

Does this mean we could see a return of a PeopleMover-like attraction in the future? Never say never, but we won’t get our hopes too high. If we ever feel the need to ride PeopleMover, at least we still have Disney World’s version as a leisurely way to rest our feet.

Did you get a chance to ride the original PeopleMover in Disneyland? Were you one of the lucky few who got to ride Rocket Rods? Let us know in the comments!

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2 Replies to “Why PeopleMover Will Always be a Part of Disneyland Park”

  1. I remember riding the People Mover a couple of times as a kid. An unforgettable part of it was the TRON superspeed tunnel. The laser like lights and projected images flashing by on dark wrap around screens made it seem as though the People Mover had suddenly become a thrill ride. I rode the Rocket Rods once right before they closed. The idea was cool, but this was one of the unfortunate times where Disney stepped up to the plate, swung for the bleachers and whiffed it.

  2. Yes I was able to do both. I always liked going over the model of th future. I rode people mover nearly every time at Disneyland 1960-to end. Rode rocket rods 3 times for same reason. The bursts of speed were just a tease which made it worse.