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Vintage Video: Flying Saucers at Disneyland

Valarie Sukovaty

by , Disneyland Resort

Before Space Mountain opened in 1977, that site was the location of some exciting UFO sightings. Okay, not really, but close. Guests were spotted tipping their UFOs from side to side on the Flying Saucers attraction that opened 49 years ago on August 6, 1961. These saucers were the “bumper cars of the future,” only instead of cars, guests “flew” flying saucers on a blast of air. The goal was to bump into as many saucers as possible before time was up. It closed five years later on August 5, 1966. For those who loved the Flying Saucers you’re in for a nostalgic treat. Luigi’s Flying Tires is a similar attraction that will open in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park in 2012. I hope you enjoy this vintage video of the Flying Saucers from opening day in 1961.

Comments

  • Let’s just hope they have perfected the ride system. From video interviews of some Disneyland “old timers”, it took many people to start it up in the morning, and it was the attraction in all of Disneyland’s history that had the “highest maintainence” in daily operations.

  • Wow! How cool is that?! I would love to take my family on that type of attraction. Since I wasn’t born yet and haven’t been to that coast, I had no idea that this ride ever existed. Now I’m hoping we see a rebirth of it in a Cars remake or any other type of remake.

  • OMG thank you. I tell everyone about this ride and no one remembers. It’s my favorite ride. I own a poster, but to actually be able to show ppl this is incrediable.

  • OMG….I remember it like it was yesterday. And I miss it too. So retro! Luigi’s Tires will be a great throwback! Can’t wait!

  • The Flying Saucers ride was located were the Magic Eye Theater (Captain EO) is today.

    I love the shot of the guy smoking a cigar on the ride. Notice how everyone is dressed up a bit? Very different times, indeed.

  • I rode those as a kid. It helped to be a little older then I was at the time because you needed some weight to move them around; make them lean in order for them to move. I was also disappointed when they went away. I also miss the Cox Thimble Drome where they use the fly the gas powered planes. Pretty amazing they would have a display like that but a little boys dream.

  • It was almost exactly where Space Mountain is today. Older Disneyland maps show it there.

  • ^& ^^

    Wow, Read the first sentence in the post folks. It was located where Space Mountain is today.

  • It was in the vicinity of where the Peoplemover/Rocket Rod station is today.

  • Can someone please identify where exactly in Disneyland this attraction was located? I see Matterhorn in the background as well as the rocketship…..but I can’t seem to get my bearings straight.

  • I missed the saucers but they look like they were a blast. I’m looking forward to the Luigi ride in Carsland, big Cars fan.

  • I love the shot of the guy with the cigar… just playin’ in the park on the saucers while smoking a big ol’ cigar…. wow times have changed! Love these retro videos! Thanks for sharing : )

  • Born in late 1956, I BARELY remember my dad taking me on them, sometime in the early ’60s. I remember loving them — I miss them to this day.

  • I remember those saucers! What fun! Can’t wait till Luigi’s opens and I can experience that ride again. Thanks for bringing them back!

  • Will Luigi’s have any beach balls or fun things to toss at other people? That looked like the best part of that attraction!

  • now that I saw the video..I remember riding these. Why did they close em down? walt would have wanted em to stay..I was like 11 yrs old..bring em back

  • Dad was a camera buff, so we have our priceless memories of Beloved Disneyland captured on 8mm film. In the 80’s, I converted them to VHS. Recently I had the old tapes transferred to DVD. It is so warming to see those grainy shots of me and my Brother with crew cuts, and our Sister in her Beehive Hair-do, bobbing around on those awkward Flying Saucers in Tomorrowland (circa 1965).
    Those Unidentified Flying Objects are such a cherished memory, that I have a poster of the attraction in my office, and a pin of the Flying Saucers in my trading pin collection.
    It will be so nostalgic and comforting to experience the new version coming to DCA. I love it when the Imagineers give a wink to the past.

  • I rode those saucers when I was a child, probably in 1961. I remember them well. I think our family has pictures! I was so disappointed when I found out they had been closed. It will be fun to see what the new ride is like! Thanks for sharing the vintage video. Great memory!

  • I loved the flying saucers. I tell people about them and they don’t believe me. So glad something similar is coming for my grandkids now to experience. Wish I could go back to the 60’s and ride a saucer just one more time!

  • I just wonder why Flying Saucers was only open for 5 years…. Yay for new rides at Disney!

  • I hope that Luigi’s Tires are as fun as I remember the Flying Saucers being. I only got to ride them twice in 1965 and 1966 (too short before that) and they were a blast for a kid. I’d love to have them to play on again as an adult.

  • I was 13 when this opened so was the perfect age to enjoy them. I rode them every time we went to the Park and was so sad when they closed. Notice the feather hats on some of the girls? I had one of those. Also got a kick of the man smoking a cigar on the ride! Great video – brings back lots of memories :) I may be 61 now but I’ll be riding Luigi’s Tires.

  • I actually rode these a couple of times. Those were the days when we got to Disneyland once a year.

  • What fun they were and what a headache when the shadows fell across the pad and caused a loss in air pressure.

  • The Flying Saucers were my ride of choice whenever I went to the park as a girl. The idea that you could hover above the ground on a cushion of air was miraculous to me. I distincly remember the “clicking” sounds as I glided over the circular valves in the floor and the disappointment I felt when my saucer settled into place at the end of the ride. But the disappointment didn’t last long because I knew another E ticket from the book was all I needed to take flight again. Thank you for bringing these wonderful memories to life!

  • The Flying Saucers had to be my favorite ride back in the day. I was so bummed when they took them out. Wouldn’t it be nice if they brought them back before I’m too old to have fun on them??? Love ya Disney!!!!

  • I was too young to ride these. My older brother got to ride them. I was so jealous!

  • awww… i just had to be an 80’s baby! lol…i wish i would have got to experience that..but im def. looking forward to all the good things comming to disney :)

  • I, too, am old enough to have ridden the Flying Saucers. (Disneyland & I are the same age — you do the math!) They were absolutely my favorite ride. I hope Luigi’s Flying Tires travel on air like these did. That was what made them so fun. Disneyland is absolutely the Happiest Place on Earth!

  • I also remember when the Flying Saucers first opened and got to ride on them many times. It really was a fun ride.

  • One of the few things good about being this dang old is I got to ride the Flying Saucers in 1962. It’s the one ride I really remember, other than having my eyes closed most of the ride on the Matterhorn. FS was awesome!

  • haha an old man smoking a cigar on the ride, how times have changed

  • Great video! I hope they do the balloon drop thing at the grand opening of Luigi’s Flying Tires in 2012!

    But maybe keep the beach balls out of the mix at Luigi’s. Is it me, or were some of those 1960’s girls a little brutal with their beach ball battle on the old Flying Saucers?! HA!

    Thanks again for the video! It’s stuff like this that always make the Disneyland posts here on the blog more entertaining and fun than the other topics covered. Disneyland USA will always be the hippest and swingin’est Disney property, and the blog posts here are no different.

  • That looks like a throughly fun time, can’t wait for Lugi’s flying tires!

  • Fantastic! I am very glad you’re brining something like this back. The saucers were before my time, but as soon as I heard about them I wished I could have tried them.

  • Whoa that ride looks really cool!!! Bring it back please :)

  • Cool video.
    I’m really excited about Luigi’s Flying Tires.

  • LOVE this video! How cute! Can’t wait for Luigi’s at Carsland!

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