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Vintage Walt Disney World: Head Back to 1975 Aboard the PeopleMover

Nate Rasmussen

by , Librarian, Walt Disney Archives

There is an attraction I must ride every single time I’m at Magic Kingdom Park, and tomorrow it will celebrate its 36th anniversary of moving people around Tomorrowland. I am speaking of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.

Vintage Walt Disney World: Head Back to 1975 Aboard the PeopleMover

Since July 1, 1975, guests have taken the 10-minute trip around Tomorrowland to catch glimpses of everything from an early model of Epcot, to the interior of Space Mountain. A great start to any Magic Kingdom Park morning, perfect mid-day break from the Florida heat, or a great ending to a day at the park, the PeopleMover is always a welcome suggestion in my book.

Vintage Walt Disney World: Head Back to 1975 Aboard the PeopleMover

There are so many fun facts about the PeopleMover that I don’t even know where to begin. Here are just a few: the weight of the trains is 4,100 lbs. empty; 850 speakers are installed along the .86-mile track; and the maximum speed of the PeopleMover is 6.84 mph. Below you can see an original sign from the PeopleMover back in 1975. Today, Alamo helps keep the PeopleMover moving as the attraction’s sponsor.

Vintage Walt Disney World: Head Back to 1975 Aboard the PeopleMover

No matter how many times I journey though “the land of tomorrow” aboard the PeopleMover, I always wonder whether “Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow” has contacted “Mr. Johnson in the control tower to confirm his flight to the moon.”

Comments

  • This is a great ride. Every time my wife and I visit, it always on our list of “must do” attractions. I do miss some of the old models though. I hope it stays forever.

  • My nine year old son loves riding the people mover or the blue train as he calls it. We have to ride it aleast twice everytime we are at Magic Kingdon.

    • Christine, isn’t that the best part about it? You can be 9 or 90 and it’s fun for everyone!

  • This is our do not miss attraction in the Magic Kingdom too! We love to ride after dark to enjoy the TommorowLand lighting and the great views of Cinderella Castle. 🙂

  • Best ride in the park!

  • There are a lot of us that truly miss the People Mover here at Disneyland in California. There’s even a Facebook page to bring it back.

  • We love it!

    It’s part of that “old” Disney that has charm.

    • Old? Nah, classic. (Old makes me feel old!) 🙂

  • When is the Peoplemover coming back to Disneyland USA?

  • Definitely in my must do list!!

  • One of my absolute favorites! It’s my favorite way to relax and cool off when it’s hot, and it’s so magical to sit and ride when the lights are on in the evening.

  • I wish they brought this back to Disneyland Park. The two times I’ve been able to go to WDW I make it a priority to ride the people mover for nostalgic reasons. It’s by far the most soothing way to experience Tomorrowland.

  • I really wish they would bring back the old sound track. Or put in a new one that includes “mr. tom morow and his party from venus” etc. I miss the old punny jokes and the TTA PM is my husband and I’s fave ride. We have been known to ask to stay on and ride again a few times in a row when the wait is short. And I love taking pics from the TTA looking out at the park.

  • Great article, I have a BA in History and have a Disneyland annual pass, I visit the park and take photos and emerse myself in the history and imagination that the park has to offer. I would love to have the opportunity to have the career that you have found for yourself!

    Keep writing!

    Thanks,
    Cristian

    • Thanks, Cristian. I’ve very fortunate to do what I do.

  • Quite possibly my most favorite ride…ever! It’s the best in summer…late in the evening with the soft humid air and the lights on the castle…so relaxing…I could ride it for hours if they would let me!

  • Love the Peoplemover!!! It’s a must do on my list when we go to Magic Kingdom.

  • My kids usually end up riding this a couple of times while we are there. There’s something about it they just love.

  • There is nothing like the PeopleMover at night- a great way to experience all the neon in Tomorrowland!

  • This is a great ride. I never miss it when we go to the Magic Kingdom. My husband and son grumble about having to do it, but my daughter is converted to a Wedway PeopleMover lover like I am. She and I will ride it at least twice every time we’re in the park

  • Definitely a must do every time I go to WDW. Many memories of seeing it during the day AND night. I also noticed in the 2nd pic, you can just see a couple of the gondolas from the extinct Skyway as well. Now how many remember THAT ride? *raises hand* 😀

  • I remember riding when it was the WEDway PeopleMover. It doesn’t seem that long ago. This definitely a must ride multiple times each vist.

    Just be warned. If it’s a little nippy on a winter morning, you will get quite a chill riding. 6.84 miles per hour doesn’t seem that fast unless it’s cold out!

    • I know what you mean. I have to bring my winter set of mouse ears for those journeys.

  • I loved the People Mover at Disneyland. It was taken out a long time ago and was at one time replaced by a race-car ride. I liked both, but I wish something would go in again. Tomorrowland at Disneyland is a bit dull without it and has been for the last decade or so.

  • Love riding this ride during the fireworks displays! Wish they would go back to the old soundtrack, I don’t like the current soundtrack nearly as well.

  • Wow! I had no idea I am older than the PeopleMover (only by a year, though). I too love riding it in the summer. It is, by far, the best ride in Tomorrowland now that “If You Had Wings” is gone. 🙁

  • My wife and I love Disney World, especially Epcot. I always take loads of pictures when we go. We have a annual season pass. I created a special website called Tour of Epcot that has all of our photos on it. There is also videos and music as well. For a complete tour of Epcot with videos photographs and music visit our website at tour-of-epcot. You can take a virtual tour of the Epcot site. This is a really fun site that I am sure you will enjoy. You
    can explore the entire park and learn your way around. Its almost as good as being there.

  • I love the People Mover! I was sad when they took it out of Disneyland when I was a kid. Everytime we visit Disney World we ride the People Mover serval times. I laugh every time I hear them paging “Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow.” I love it!

  • i really dont know why you took it out at disneyland cali…

    it was a great ride and was way better then that fast car ride that didnt even last… you still got the track up…lets bring it back…it was the one out of two bad moves you did to disneyland beside’s captain e.o. and now thats back so all we need is the people mover and we are good to go…. we can see the new startours from the top and you can fix the tron cycle show with the new tron move and we can look from above down into the little nemo ride…

    i hope you really think about this and hope to hear if there are any idea’s in the works about bringing back the peoplemover……..

  • My family of 5 plus grandma spent New Year’s Eve 2000 riding the people mover. WDW had given top hats and noisemakers to all in the park. What a blast!! We are sure to go on it each time we are in the Magic Kingdom and reminisce about that wonderful night.
    Sometimes I tell my kids about riding the people mover when I was a kid.

  • I always loved the People Mover….a great ride to relax and take in the Disney atmosphere. I wish they would bring it back to Disneyland. Something to think about :))

  • First Dreamflight, and now the Peoplemover–I’m getting sentimental for the old “When it was Epcot” 70’s Tomorrowland!
    First trip was back a month before Space Mountain opened, so I’d forgotten that the old “peek” inside the Mountain was meant as promotion for a ride we couldn’t go on yet.

    And I’ll second the vote to bring it back to Disneyland–
    They had to take it out for Rocket Rods, but now that we have the Cars ride at DCA (as our official West coast bit of Test Track), looks like we won’t be needing that anymore; how about restoring a “classic favorite”?

  • I will never forget the first time I road the PeopleMover with my parents the year it opened. I wish I had a camera to capture the look on my Dad’s face when the PeopleMover headed into Space Mountain. He thought the only way out would be to ride Space Mountain & he’s always been terrified of roller coasters.

    When my boys were too small to ride any of the larger attractions, we would pretend the PeopleMover was our “roller coaster” and hold our hands up and laugh as we went around the turns.

    Great times! 🙂

  • My four year old grandson rode the People Mover for the first time in February 2011 (his 10th visit). Thrill seeker child that he is (he cannot wait until he’s tall enough for Everest), he LOVES the People Mover!

  • We were just there in May and I was sad to see that the people-mover is lit up now. It used to be dark when you travel through other attractions. Why did they do that??

  • I started riding it in 2010 and I want to ride it everytime I go. It’s good to sit and relax and take a load off one’s feet after a long day of walking MK, to just sit for a bit.

    • I totally agree, Michele.

  • @Kimberly, I was there in May also, the 14th to be exact, and was also disappointed by it being lit up. Not only did it, in my opinion, ruin that section of the ride, it was enough ambient light that I felt ruined riding Space Mountain.

    When I went back a few days later on the 17th, the lights were off though, and everything was great, as it should have been!

  • IT IS THE BEST RIDE TO JUST GET OFF OF YOUR FEET FOR A COOL RELAXING RIDE. Never miss it.

  • HOW COOL IS THAT POSTER IN THE TOP PHOTO?
    I hope they re-release a print of it! It would also make a really cool t-shirt or hoodie.

    • Aydin, I know – isn’t it cool? I thought the same thing when I came across it in the archives.

  • I whole heartedly agree! This is a MUST for my family when we visit. Plus it’s a great way to relax after a lot of walking and gear up for more of that WDW magic!

  • Never miss the ride! I, personally, love the original name. When we are hot and tired, we love to hop it, and breeze through for a really relaxing ride! No matter how hot it is, this ride is always cool. What’s really fun is when you reach the Space Mountain inside, and sometimes, rarely, the entire place is lit up so you can see the inside of it. Now, THAT is really interesting!

  • I am so ready for it to come back to Disneyland. The failer of the Rocket Rods should not leave a scare throughout Tomorrowland. Either take out the track or do something with it.

  • As a kid, I remember it being Walt’s real-life idea for the official public-transit system of Epcot City, so maybe, like the monorail, it might show up in real cities by the time we grew up!

    (Realistically, I don’t think it was feasible to have replaced NYC or Vancouver’s subways, but it’s still a good city-transit concept for a centralized downtown.)

  • This is a must do every time we go. It is my daughters favorite ride! Last time we were there we went on the TTA 12 times…and yes, we still prefer the old sound track with all the puns. But thankfully we’ve been on it so often she recites the old jokes to us, “Paging Mr Morrow, Mr Tom Morrow. Your party from Saturn has arrived. Please give them a ring!”

  • I remember riding the WEDway People Mover as a child in the early ’70s. Still today when we head to WDW the WEDway People Mover (I still can’t call it by another name) is a welcome break in the afternoon, or evening after a long day in the park. The soundtrack is still entertaining, and the sights you get to see, especially at night are really fun.

  • We absolutely love the TTA/Peoplemover and have to ride it at least once if not more during our annual trip to WDW 🙂 I love that the old name came back too (well, minus the WEDway, but I guess TTA WEDway Peoplemover would have been a mouthful! LOL).

    Now if we could only get the old narration – we miss that so much 🙁 It really added ambience to this fantastic attraction. Pretty please? 🙂

  • I still call it the Wedway PeopleMover, as does the rest of my family (including my five year old!)

  • I LOVE this ride !! We ride it every time we are there. Something about the way it moves, just feels great after walking all day. At night is the best because you get a beautiful view of the castle all lit up. Once when we were kids Space Mountain was closed for repairs it was all lit up inside, how neat it was to see the track! I hope Disney never gets rid of that ride,because my 2 boys would be mad along with me !! Thanks for posting the rides that make Disney what it is. And yes I remeber going on the Skyway too ! What a rush you had riding on those too!!

  • Of course everyone knows who Tom Morrow is… right? 🙂 The extinct attraction, Flight to the Moon, in the preshow, The AA figure was called Tom Morrow, he was your flight director. That building now houses Stitch’s Great Escape. Like Disney Imagineers love to do, place some info about a attraction that was removed and place a rememberence elsewhere. The most famous being a statue of Mr Toad in the Haunted Mansion’s pet cemetary 🙂

  • one of my all time favorites. and it quickly became one of my 2 yr old’s favorites too! can’t wait til #2 arrives in august and get back down to bring her on. such a relaxing part of my day!

  • In seeing your article on the WEDWAY and all the “Great” photos, it brings back memories and the visions of Walt Disney and John Hench. They really should restore the original vehicles and track system as a commeorative to it’s creators. Maybe Rocket Rods can be used on anouther future track in the park that better suits their needs. I’d love to take one for a drive at radiator Springs.

  • Definitely the best ride in the park. Although I really love the ride as it is, would like to see the line expanded and used for the utilitarian purposes that it was initially designed for – perhaps adding a hub in the old Tomorrowland Skyway station? And like many others have said, please bring this back to Disneyland, where it all started. C’mon Alamo!

  • On a recent trip to Disneyland my husband saw the tracks for the people mover and thought they we’re adding a ride. I had to explain the people mover to him, and i showed where the space rockets used to be. Please bring home the Electrical Parade and reopen our people mover.

  • I love me some people mover. However, I fear that some day, it will make its exit from the park. I can’t remember the last time I waited in a line for that one and I fear that it will be deemed not exciting enough to keep. That will be a sad, sad day.

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