Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

‘PeopleMover’ is Coming Back at Walt Disney World

posted on August 5th, 2010 by Dave Herbst, Print Managing Editor, Disney Destinations


Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

Not sure whether it’s a case of back to the future or forward to the past or the past meets the present, but: a long-running Tomorrowland attraction is getting a new (well, sort of new) name …

As of today, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, the “super skyway” that allows guests a glimpse of a variety of attractions in Tomorrowland of Magic Kingdom, will be renamed Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.

The ride opened in 1975 as the WEDway PeopleMover. It has been called Tomorrowland Transit Authority since 1994.

The ride technology, which uses pollution-free linear induction motors, was developed by WED Enterprises (that’s what Disney Imagineering was called back in the day) and was introduced at Disneyland in California in 1967. While the attraction at Disneyland has long been closed, there is a place other than Walt Disney World Resort where guests can experience an application of the WED technology. Any guesses as to where?

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118 Comments 13 Replies

1

Katie on August 5th, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Hmmm…Would it be California Screamin’ in Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort?

 

Dave Herbst on August 5th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Thanks for the guess, Katie, but Christopher from NY and Scott from TX came up with the correct answer: George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. Note that Scott remembers riding it when he was a kid!

2

Christopher from NY on August 5th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

George Bush Intercontinental Airport, in Houston!

 

Dave Herbst on August 5th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Christopher, you are correct — right down to the current name of the airport! The system went into service in 1981, and the folks at the airport shared with me that they had a 25th anniversary celebration of their “PeopleMover” in 2006.

3

Scott from TX on August 5th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

George Bush Intercontinental Airport is correct. I even found a reference to the ‘WedWay PeopleMover’ on the airport’s website.

I remember riding this as a kid. It was always great fun.

 

Dave Herbst on August 5th, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Thanks for the research and the memory, Scott. We hopped aboard our TTA PeopleMover here in Florida just a few weeks ago — a nice, quiet, relaxing break during a Magic Kingdom visit.

4

Brenden on August 5th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Bring the PeopleMover back to Disneyland!

5

Kevin on August 5th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I’m excited to see the PeopleMover name come back; I’ve never really called it anything but. :) Now can we bring it back to Disneyland?

6

Greg on August 5th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Yay! The Peoplemover is back. I have still called it that for years as that is what I knew it as when I was a kid. Now I wonder when the old speal will come back. I miss that. “Paging Mr Morrow.. Mr Tom Morrow”

7

Laura on August 5th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Love all things retro at Disneyworld! It brings back that connection I had when I was seeing these amazing futuristic rides thru my childish eyes. You’re never too old to be young again, especially at Disney! Thank you to Disney for your commitment to the amazing heritage you have that all began with a mouse!

8

Elizabeth from FL on August 5th, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Yea! I always still called it the PeopleMover anyway. One of my favorite rides of all time, so relaxing and enjoyable on a warm summer evening in Florida. Now if only they still had “If You Had Wings”!

 

Dave Herbst on August 5th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I’m hearing an echo in my mind, Elizabeth: “… had wings, had wings.” Of course, I think you’d admit that Buzz Lightyear is quite fun for a spin, too!

9

Delma on August 5th, 2010 at 4:20 pm

WHY TO FREAKIN’ GO! This is simply awesome and you have one made me a happy individual!

 

Dave Herbst on August 5th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Delighted that we could make your day, Delma.

10

Jessica on August 5th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

FANTASTIC! I have always called it the “PeopleMover”. That’s what it was called when I was six and I refused to call it anything else. Awesome. Glad to see Disney bringing some retro back to the World. Any chance we may ever see the TWA ride again? (I think it was TWA… or maybe Eastern?) LOL! Sadly, I know that’s gone for good but I loved it when I was 6. Let’s see… what else can you bring back? Maybe an updated version of 20,000 leagues? That would really be awesome. And maybe someday, we’ll see those skycabs again? Does anyone else remember those??? Please tell me I’m not that old!

11

Darren from CT on August 5th, 2010 at 4:25 pm

I just rode it this morning and noticed that its called the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover in the narration too.

12

Elizabeth from FL on August 5th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Jessica…I miss the skyride as well…and I mentioned the same ride sponsored by Eastern Airlines…too funny! Wasn’t that the one with the Bahamian or Caribbean police office directing the flamingo traffic? Such great memories…and of course we remember these rides because they were free rides back in the days of the lettered tickets!

13

Alonso on August 5th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Great.

Now bring back the PeopleMover at Disneyland please! The tracks are already there.

14

William on August 5th, 2010 at 4:38 pm

While your changing things, change that terrible new audio!

15

Brian from MN on August 5th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

The Peoplemover technology is employed for the launch on Rock n Roller Coaster.

16

William on August 5th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I’m glad they didn’t get rid of Tomorrowland Transit Authority in the title. Its a nice marriage of the two names. I love the TTA, its such perfect futuristic theming.

17

Jeanine from CA on August 5th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I initially misread this as “Coming Back at Disneyland,” and almost needed Oxygen and Defibrillator Paddles.

18

Mike on August 5th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

in the lower level of IAH. It is run by Johnson controls.

 

Dave Herbst on August 5th, 2010 at 5:04 pm

You’re correct, Mike. Thanks so much for checking in.

19

Steven from CA on August 5th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Bring it back to Disneyland, it’s WAYYY overdue Disney.

20

Wendy from SC on August 5th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

So excited that you’ve changed the name since I have continued to call it the People Mover. Now, can you go back to the original soundtrack? With the new rides mentioned, too, of course. I rode it this summer and didn’t enjoy the ride at all. Too much blackness through Space Mountain. Can something be done about that? I know you want Space Mountain to be as dark as possible, but surely you could install something through that area on the People Mover? Oh, and I miss “if you had wings” too! My sister and I sing that a lot and while I love Buzz, I miss the old ride, too. :)

21

joel on August 5th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

“now approaching Mickey’s Star Traders”

22

Paul on August 5th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

My parents took our family to Walt Disney World in 1975. I still remember this attraction being called the PeopleMover. It seemed so futuristic. And for a kid of 10 yrs old at the time, it was so cool! I still think it’s cool at 45 yrs old and I look forward to riding it in September when I’m there.
Didn’t it used to have some kind of roof or covering over the cars?

23

Christa from GA on August 5th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Bring back the old soundtrack, too. I know they added in “Paging Mr. Morrow” as you head into Space Mountain on the PeopleMover, but it’s just not the same.

24

Kelly from NY on August 5th, 2010 at 5:09 pm

What about the “Paging Mr Morrow” part?

25

Martin on August 5th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Someone posted about how they have always called it PeopleMover and I have to say I am the same. I don’t deal with change well LOL. I STILL refer to the studio as MGM. It’s one thing when I am with my family that knew it as MGM, whole new ballgame when I went to Disney and asked a cast member what time MGM was open till and she looked at me like I was crazy. I WILL prevail, maybe they will rename the studios back to MGM :-P

26

Paul on August 5th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Cool news, Dave. But you might want to inform your fellow online Cast Members. That link to the attraction’s page still lists the old (er, most recent old) name. :-)

 

Dave Herbst on August 5th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Thanks for the heads-up, Paul!

27

Gary on August 5th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

The PeopleMover is one of my favorite rides at WDW. Sometime in the past couple of years, the audio has changed. I like the old one better, bu that’s just me. I am also happy to see everyone that remembers the Eastern Airlines ride, If you had wings. I LOVED that ride. I have the best memories of that ride. I would love to have the soundtrack.

28

Tiffany from FL on August 5th, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I never stopped calling it peoplemover. I love it!

29

Andreas on August 5th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Good news. I still called it Peoplemover and just ignored the name change :)

30

Jeffrey from CA on August 5th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

PLEEEEEEEASE bring PeopleMover back to DISNEYLAND!!!! Who do we need to talk to?

31

autumn from VA on August 5th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

I was so sad when they took out the “punny” jokes during the Space Mountain Refurb. Please tell me “mr. tom morrow and his party from saturn” are returning to the soung track?

32

Fred from CA on August 5th, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I agree; The PeopleMover REALLY needs to come back to Disneyland ASAP!

33

Meg on August 5th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Now if Disney would please also reinstate the original soundtrack to that ride, it would be perfect. Tom Morrow? Paging Mr. Tom Morrow?

34

Brian on August 5th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

This is great! Can you also bring back the old sound track or create something new that is closer to the old sound track. The new sound track is awful. I am already at the Magic KIngdom in Tomorrowland with a map. I don’t need to be advertised at again about what there is to do. I would suspect that the vast majority of riders already know all about the attractions.

The new sound track also ruins the audio ambiance of Tomorrowland instead of hearing “Paging Mr Morrow Mr. Tom Morrow” the guest hears some pitch of Buzzlight year or Laugh Floor.

The old sound track added so much background to the land. Even if it wasn’t notice in the foreground it did create a backdrop that helped create the environment.

So please either bring back the old sound track or replace the new one.

35

Kristi on August 5th, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I have been there several times since the name change, but always called it the People Mover. I also have fond memories of riding If You Had Wings. Those were the two rides you could get on to cool off when everything else had a long line. :) And the song would stay with you for weeks LOL!

 

Dave Herbst on August 6th, 2010 at 10:29 am

Kristi, I was talking with one of my fellow Cast Members, and she commented that you can hear the melody from “If You Had Wings” in the current Tomorrowland background music loop. Something to check out the next time you (or I) visit the Magic Kingdom!

36

Lori from NH on August 5th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Yeah! We always refer to it as the Wedway PeopleMover. It is our favorite ride in MK.

37

Phillip on August 5th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

While you guys are changing stuff back to way it used to be, can we get the Tiki Room back to the original show as well? I miss that!

38

Melissa on August 5th, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I have to echo the sentiments of others here. I would be even more delighted by this wonderful news if the PeopleMover came back to Disneyland, and if the existing Magic Kingdom version got its old audio back (or new audio with a few references in the personality and spirit of the original).

39

Michelle on August 5th, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I knew if I kept calling it that long enough, they would change the name back…. :) So happy!

40

Bonnie from FL on August 5th, 2010 at 5:42 pm

I have always called it The Peoplemover also. I vote for bringing back the old audio, and how about a retro Peoplemover T-shirt or hat for sale? I would buy one, would YOU?

41

Emily on August 5th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

add me to those who miss the old audio. the new “tom morrow” page isn’t funny or corny. and i’m missing the “forward-facing tentacles” announcement. and i agree that the area through space mountain is just a lot of dark nothingness. i’m glad they’re marrying the old name with the newer name. but i’d wish they’d make it quirky and fun again. we normally ride it over and over. on our june trip, we rode once. :(

42

Jason on August 5th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

The name never changed for me in all these years. Great to see WDW “renaming” this great attraction…now if we could just get HORIZONS back at EPCOT :)

43

theresa from NC on August 5th, 2010 at 5:49 pm

PEOPLE MOVER makes life so much easier. now can we have it from ride to ride or to every other ride :)

44

Michelle on August 5th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

I was so excited that I forgot to say we need the old audio back too. And, yes, I am for a t-shirt! :)

45

Elisabeth from GA on August 5th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Love the nostalgic name coming back! I’d like to agree with the others that we need the old soundtrack back. It’s just not the same without Mr. Morrow’s party from Saturn giving him a ring!

46

Michael on August 5th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

When I was younger, I was afraid of roller coasters. So dad would take my sister on Space Mountain, and mom and I would sit on a planter underneath the WEDway Peoplemover tracks, just outside the Speedway (this was in August, and we’d grab whatever small bit of shade we could find). So for the hour that they’d be on the line, we would hear the same spiel for the speedway coming from the Peoplemover above… over and over and over again. I can remember the voice and a sound he made at the end, but for the life of me, the script escapes me.

47

AJ from TX on August 5th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Dave, this is great news! Thanks for sharing it with us long-time Disney fans who still refer to the ride as the WEDway and PeopleMover ;-)

48

Edward from TX on August 5th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

It’s funny hearing everyone talk about the previous “old” audio. I still think of it as sort of “new” audio. Now if someone wanted to bring back Borak 1 (not sure how it was spelled) the “Commuter Computer” audio…THATS what I think of when you say old audio!

Incidently, the article makes it sound like the Disneyland and Magic Kingdom Peoplemover attractions used the same technology, which is really not the case. The Disneyland system was adapted from the Ford Magic Skyway at the 1964 World’s Fair and involved lots of little tires along the track pushing you forward. (Extra points for anyone remembers how BUMPY it got going down the hill leaving the speed tunnel and heading toward It’s A Small World over Autopia!)

Can’t wait to see it name the Peoplemover on my next trip!

49

Philip on August 5th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Elisabeth, the previous narration was not the “old” narration. The narration for the ride has changed MANY times since its 1975 opening.

The current narration is basically a return to the original ORAC-1 narration of the 70′s and 80′s. And they did put in a new reference to Tom Morrow in the narration when you pass through Space Mountain.

Anywho, I like the new sign too–it looks quite retro and mixes the past and the present. Good idea to have the word “Peoplemover” be very prominently-featured in the attraction’s name again.

Another piece that makes me agree that the Magic Kingdom is trying to get back to its more nostalgic, classic roots in a number of respects.

One thing they REALLY need to do now to keep that whole “return to classic nostalgia” thing going, in my opinion, is to bring the Vacation Hoedown and Christmas Special overlays back to the Country Bear Jamboree and resume rotating all 3 versions of that show annually, just like they do at Tokyo Disneyland.

50

Erin from NY on August 5th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

“Please keep all forward facing tentacles inside the vehicle…” That is absolutely one of my favorite rides at WDW.

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