Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

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Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
TTAspeedway.jpg
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover above the Tomorrowland Speedway.
Magic Kingdom
Land Tomorrowland
Opening date July 1, 1975
Hosted by Mike Brassel
Vehicle type PeopleMover
Vehicle capacity 20
Cars per vehicle 5
Guests per car 4
Ride duration 10.06 minutes
Length 5280 ft (1609.3 m)
FastPass + No

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is an attraction located in Tomorrowland.

History

Original Concept

When Walt Disney and his Imagineers originally created the concept for the PeopleMover, they saw it as the transportation of the future. The concept called for a series of trains that guests would sit on, which would follow a guided track. When eventually put into practice, Disneyland’s PeopleMover also used Goodyear tires, with their own motors to propel the trains along the tracks. Walt thought that one day, PeopleMover would be the easiest and cleanest method of urban transportation [1]. If fact, traveling by PeopleMover was going to be one of the main modes of transportation in his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow [2].

Although the technology never became as widespread as Walt might have hoped, in 1967 the PeopleMover opened as an attraction in Disneyland. The attraction consisted of 62 trains which took guests on an elevated tour around Tomorrowland. Since the trains never stopped, guests stepped on a moving platform to align themselves with, and board the trains. Although the track was not covered, each of the individual cars were. Each of cars also had their own speakers, from which they could hear the rides narration. The attraction was often billed as the "Future of transportation, here today!" [3].

Creation in Walt Disney World

The WEDWay PeopleMover in 1975. Photo Credit: Disney.

Although the PeopleMover was not an opening day attraction, there were quickly plans to add the attraction to Disney World’s Tomorrowland. When the park opened in 1971, Tomorrowland was not yet complete, and as such there was a scarcity of attractions. To help finish the land, a version of the PeopleMover was constructed along with Space Mountain. The Disney World version of the attraction was named the WEDWay PeopleMover, and it opened on July 1, 1975.

Instead of using GM tires as the Disneyland attraction did, the Walt Disney World version used linear induction motors (which were magnetically powered, and thus pollution free). Because the attraction no longer used GM tires however, General Motors decided not to sponsor the Florida version of the attraction. The WEDWay PeopleMover was instead sponsored by the Edison Electric Institute [4]. Another difference between the two attractions was that while the Disneyland PeopleMover featured covered cars with and uncovered track, the Walt Disney World, WEDWay PeopleMover featured a covered track with uncovered cars.

The WEDWay PeopleMover, like its Disneyland counterpart, took guests on a tour around Tomorrowland. The original version of the attraction was narrated by Disney voice artist, Jack Wagner, who pointed out the various Tomorrowland attractions to guests. When it opened, the WEDWay PeopleMover originally passed through, or by: The Carousel of Progress, If You Had Winds, the Circle-Vision 360 Theater, Flight to the Moon, and Space Mountain. The attraction also drove over the Tomorrowland Speedway and under the Star Jets, where the loading and unloading station was located [5].

Changes Since 1975

Although the track layout and basic premise of the WEDWay PeopleMover have remained pretty much the same, the narration and the attraction name have changed quite frequently throughout its history. The original Jack Wagner narration was used from 1975 until 1985. During this time the only major change to the narration came when America the Beautiful closed, and Magic Carpet Around the World replaced it. In 1985, the rides narrator was changed to, ORAC-1 "The Commuter Computer". The new narration stuck mostly to the same script; however it was lighter in tone. While ORAC-1 was the narrator, Delta Dreamflight replaced If You Had Wings. Due to this change, the windows that once looked into If You Had Winds, no longer lined up with the attraction's scenes. Because of this, the first window was replaced with panels depicting the Delta Dreamflight's barnstormer scene. The second window which looked into Delta Dreamflight's Parisian Excursion scene, however the angle ruined the forced perspective that the attraction used. The third window (the left one) would have had guests looking directly into a bright light, so it was covered with black fabric which blocked guests view. The only other major change to happen during ORAC-1's narration was the removal of the Magic Carpet Around the World in the Circle-Vision 360 Theater, and the addition of its replacement American Journeys [6] .

In 1995, in order to correspond with the opening of the New Tomorrowland, the WEDWay PeopleMover went under a significant refurbishment. The original track which was white and very smooth looking was replaced with a darker, metallic looking track. A new narration was also added to the attraction, this time done by Pete Renaday. The new narration focused on Tomorrowland's new backstory, and made references to the fact that Tomorrowland was an intergalactic meeting place. Additions and changes during Pete Renaday's time as the narrator include:

  • The Carousel of Progress being renamed Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress.


  • The addition of the Timekeeper narration in 1994. This narration was subsequently removed when the Timekeeper closed in 2006.
A model of Walt Disney's EPCOT can be seen on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. Photo credit: Disney
  • A change in the narration so that the ride vehicle was referred to as the TTA Metroliner.


  • A change in the narration when Delta Dreamflight became Take Flight! in 1996.


  • The addition of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. With this addition, the window that once looked into Delta Dreamflight was covered with a diorama of an intergalactic hair salon.


  • The addition of a diorama depicting the fiction Tomorrowland Transit Authority Red and Green lines. This diorama is located across from Progress City.


  • A change in the narration so that Federal Express was removed as the sponsor of Space Mountain in 2004.


In 2009 in conjunction with the Space Mountain refurbishment, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority was once again closed for refurbishment. Disney said that it was necessary to close the attraction, so that maintenance workers could work on Space Mountain. At this time, the attraction also received a new narration [7]. The narration eliminated the New Tomorrowland backstory, and many of the in-jokes and references that came with it. New attractions such as Stitch's Great Escape! and the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor were added to the narration, which was now done by Mike Brassell, who narrates the attraction in a much quieter and emotionless way. During the time that Mike Brassell has narrated the attraction; the only major change has been the re-addition of the famous Tom Morrow line, now located in Space Mountain. In the new narration the ride vehicle is referred to as Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover instead of a TTA Metroliner [8].

In August 2010 the Tomorrowland Tranist Authority was renamed the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover [9].

In 2014, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover was given a new red and orange paint scheme at Rockettower Plaza. [10]

Attraction Plot

The plot of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority revolves around guests taking a tour of Tomorrowland. Originally, this involved pointing out the various attractions located within the land. With the creation of New Tomorrowland in 1994, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority also told the land's new backstory and the narration became more creative. Since the 2009 refurbishment the attraction has gone back to being a simple tour of Tomorrowland.

WEDWay PeopleMover Plot (1975-1994)

The original WEDWay PeopleMover poster.

On the WEDWay PeopleMover, guests would board their trains from the moving platform. The narrator would then welcome guests on behalf of the Edison Electric Institute. After leaving the loading area, the PeopleMover would head towards Mission to Mars. The narrator would point out the attraction, and also mention that across the way, guests could see America the Beautiful. This part of the attraction was changed when America the Beautiful became Magic Carpet Around the World and then again when American Journey's replaced that. After passing Mission to Mars, the trains would enter a tunnel, where guests could see the model for Progress City. The narrator would tell guests that this was a preview of the future in the City of Tomorrow. After exiting the tunnel, the PeopleMover passed over the Grand Prix Raceway. After pointing the attraction out, the narrator would also tell guests that Space Mountain was ahead. After the train went into Space Mountain, the narrator drew guest’s attention to RCA's Home of Future Living, which was located in the post-show, as PeopleMover riders could get an excellent view of some of Space Mountain’s post-show scenes. The narrator would also remind guests that they did not have to ride Space Mountain to see the Home of Future Living.

As the trains left Space Mountain, the narrator pointed out the Skyway which hung above guests. He also informed them that there were "no moving parts in (the PeopleMover's) clean, quiet motor". The narrator also told guests that across the way, they could see the Contemporary Resort, and the monorail that ran through it. After seeing the hotel, riders would move past the Carousel of Progress. As they did, the narrator would inform them about some of the history behind the attraction, including its introduction at the 1964 World's Fair. As the PeopleMover continued on, it would enter a tunnel which ran alongside If You Had Wings. Originally, when passing through this tunnel guests could look down into the attraction, through three windows. The first window showed the Trinidad scene, the second window the Jamaica scene, and the third window the Mexico scene. As the PeopleMover went through the tunnel, the If You Had Wings theme song would play. After If You Had Wings was replaced by Delta Dreamflight, the left window was covered, leaving only the two right windows.

After exiting the tunnel, the narrator would tell guests that in the distance, they could see Cinderella Castle. He would also mention that they could dine at King Stefan's Banquet Hall, which was located inside the castle. After this, the PeopleMover would arrive back at the loading station and the narrator would then thank guests saying:

“Now as we approach the PeopleMover station, our Grand Circle tour of Tomorrowland is coming to an end, but not to a stop, aboard this transportation system that never stops. On behalf of the Edison Electric Institute for your electric company, we hope you've enjoyed your trip aboard this electric transportation system of tomorrow, here today."

If you want to read the script for the WEDWay PeopleMover check out: http://waltdatedworld.com/id219.htm

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority (1994-2009)

A glimpse of the Red Line can be seen inside the Interplanetary Convention Center.

The WEDWay PeopleMover was refurbished in 1994, as part of the New Tomorrowland. When the attraction re-opened it was renamed the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, and Pete Renaday took over as the narrator. The attraction now focused on the New Tomorrowland backstory, and included a much more creative narration.

Beginning in 1994, The Tomorrowland Transit Authorities’ vehicles were called Metroliners, and the attraction was narrated by an announcer in TTA Central. In conjunction with the New Tomorrowland backstory, the Metroliners were referred to as one of the many possible methods of transportation in Tomorrowland. According to the backstory there were also three different "lines" that the TTA offered, which were:

  • The Blue Line, which was what guests were currently riding on. The line was an elevated train system that ran throughout Tomorrowland.
  • The Red Line, which was the transportation system that would take riders "off planet". This was the line that Tomorrowland residents could take to anywhere in the galaxy.
  • The Green Line, which was a line that would take guests to the "Hover-Burbs", Tomorrowland's suburbs.

Although the Red and Green Lines were referenced, guests could only catch a glimpse of the Red Line. Inside the Interplanetary Convention Center, the two lines would intersect and guests could see stationary dioramas of a robot waiting for his rocket to launch on the Red Line.

Although the Blue Line narration referenced many stations, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority consisted of a round-trip ride to Rockettower Plaza. Guests boarded the attraction underneath the Astro Orbiter, and the TTA announcer welcomed them to the TTA Blue Line. He then explained to guests that they were about to take a round-trip tour from Rockettower Plaza, aboard "Tomorrowland's Super Skyway!".

The first sight that the Metroliner passed was the Interplanetary Convention Center. On their left, guests could see the model of Progress City. The narrator informed guest's that the model was sponsored by the Tomorrowland Metro Retro Historical Society. On the rider’s right, they could see a scene that depicted the Red Line. As the Metroliner continued on, it would pass through a tunnel which overlooked Mickey's Star Traders. Here the narration told guests that "For your convenience, the ground crew will be glad to rocket 'ship' you to any planet in the galaxy". After emerging from the tunnel, guests would pass over the Tomorrowland Speedway. Here Mr. Johnson gave the Tomorrowland traffic report. He would always remark that, "As usual the traffic was always perfect on Tomorrowland super-highways".

The narrator would then announce that the Metroliner was approaching Space Mountain. As the Metroliner entered the building, the narrator informed them that Space Mountain was Tomorrowland's gateway to the galaxy (from 1994-2004, he would also mention that it was sponsored by Federal Express). Inside Space Mountain, guests could look down into the pre and post show scenes. It was also possible to see the Space Mountain trains fly by in the dark. A dispatcher from Space Mountain would announce:

"Greetings from Space Mountain dispatch. High-speed rockets are now boarding to blast off to all intergalactic destinations. Departures out of space every few seconds from all launch areas"

After exiting Space Mountain the narrator would say, "As you can see, Space Mountain makes ordinary space travel an adventure. Another fine service provided by the Tomorrowland Transit Authority." Just outside of Space Mountain, riders would often pass other Metroliners going into the attraction. The trains would run within an arm's length of each other. A female would then begin talking, saying "All visitors from Galaxy M31, please keep forward facing tentacles clear of oncoming Metroliner vehicles (a tongue-in-cheek safety announcement).

As the TTA moved forward, guests could see the Astro Orbiter in the distance. The Narrator would then inform guests that:

"The center of piece of Rockettower Plaza is the League of Planets Astro Orbiter. This symbol of universal harmony and inter-planetary fellowship provides all beings with an exhilarating spin around the planets."

The female voice then told guests that the "TTA services all of Tomorrowland's outlying areas, including the personal rocket ship docking lot, and of course Perfect Park Acres, the latest in Hover-Burb Communities". She would then utter the attractions signature line:

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority logo from 1994-2009.
"Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow, your party from Saturn has arrived.

At this point, the Metroliner reached the Carousel of Progress, which the narrator pointed out to guests. After passing the Carousel, the TTA drove through a tunnel which was located next to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Here, the narrator told guests that they could join Buzz and help stop the Evil Emperor Zurg. If guests looked to their right, they would see two windows. The first showed a diorama of the Inter Stellar Hair Salon. The second window allowed guests to look down into the Robot Attack scene of the attraction.

From 1994 until 2005, when the TTA came out of the tunnel the narrator would announce that the TTA was" Now Approaching Metropolis Science Center". He would then continue:

"Be here today at Metropolis Science Center is the greatest invention of all time. A Time Machine! Be sure and stop by to meet the inventor, the Timekeeper. He'd Love to take the time, to take you through time!"

This announcement was a reference to the Timekeeper attraction, which operated in Tomorrowland from 1994 until 2004. Following this announcement The Metroliner would then come back around to Rockettower Plaza, where the narrator would give one final line:

"Welcome back to Rockettower Plaza at the heart of Tomorrowland. Come now, re-join us, and believe in the promise of tomorrow!"

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (2009-Present)

In 2009, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority was closed for renovations. Originally, it was stated that the ride was closing to facilitate the 2009 Space Mountain rehab. To the surprise of many however, when the TTA re-opened it had a brand new narration. This time the narrator was Mike Brassell, who delivered the narration in a much quieter and emotionless tone. The new narration eliminated all of the references to New Tomorrowland and its backstory. Instead of having a plot, the attraction once again served as a simple tour around Tomorrowland, referencing all of the land's attractions as guests passed by.

Attractions such as the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor and Stitch's Great Escape which had not previously been mention on the TTA, were now included in the narration. Another new feature of the narration was the addition of characters. Buzz Lightyear, Stitch, Mickey, and Roz (from Monsters Inc.) now have speaking lines within the narration. During the renovation, the ride vehicle’s names were once gain changed and are now referred to as the PeopleMover (again) as opposed to the Metroliners. When the attraction re-opened, it was also renamed the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.

The TTA entrance sign (left) and the new Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover sign (right)

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover begins with the narrator telling guests to sit back and relax. He tells them that they will see many of the attractions that they may want to visit later in the day. He also explains that the PeopleMover is the perfect vehicle to people watch from. After leaving the station, the train rolls above Stitch's Great Escape. Here, the narrator tells guests that they can report for duty for the Galactic Federation, to try to keep Stitch under control. Guests then here Stitch taunting them saying, "I don't think so!"

After passing Stitch's Great Escape, guests enter the tunnel where Progress City is held. The narrator tells them that the model was inspired by Walt's ideas for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. To their right, guests can still see the intersection of the Red and Blue Lines (from the old TTA backstory). This seems to simply be a remnant of the old TTA, as the lines are never mentioned in the new narration. After going past Progress City, the PeopleMover rolls through another tunnel, past Mickey's Star Traders. The narrator then tells guests that Mickey's Star Traders has the greatest goods in the galaxy. Mickey then agrees saying, "That's right it's out of this world!" As guests emerge from the tunnel, they can see the Tomorrowland Speedway below. The narrator invites guests to try the attraction and "race to the checkered flag".

After passing the Speedway, the PeopleMover enters Space Mountain. Here, the narrator then tells guests:

"We're now entering one of the real wonders of our world: Space Mountain. Blast off on a high speed rocket adventure and convene to the cosmos."

Inside Space Mountain guests hear a slightly altered version of the famous Tom Morrow line. A female voice now is heard saying,

"Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow, please contact Mr. Johnson in the control tower to confirm your Flight to the Moon.

Both Tom Morrow and Mr. Johnson are references to the defunct Tomorrowland attraction Flight to the Moon and its predecessor Mission to Mars. While inside Space Mountain, guests are also able to hear the attraction's new soundtrack and see part of the new postshow. As they are exiting the tunnel, the narrator reminds them to, "Be sure to visit Space Mountain for an adventure that's out of this world!”

Continuing on, the PeopleMover once again travels over the Tomorrowland Speedway and guests are able to see the Astro Orbiter in the distance. The narrator informs them that, "For a different high-flying adventure take a spin around the Astro Orbiter".

After passing the Astro Orbiter, the train runs alongside Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress. As the train moves by, the narrator explains the basic premise, and the history of the attraction. He tells guests that the show celebrates progress, and encourages guests to remember that there is always a "Great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day." After leaving the Carousel, the PeopleMover arrives at Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Once again, guests can look through the right windows to see both the Inter Stellar Hair Salon, and the attraction itself. As guests are looking down into the attraction, Buzz Lightyear can be heard over the speakers, inviting them to report to their Space Cruiser, and help him stop the evil Emperor Zurg. The trains then pass by the final Tomorrowland attraction, the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. Here Roz tells them to "keep it moving.” The PeopleMover then arrives back at Rockettower Plaza where the narrator tells them that although this is then end of their tour, the PeopleMover itself never stops.

See the Attraction!

If you want to see the current version of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover check out:

Cast

Narrator (1975-1985)- Jack Wagner

Narrator (1985-1994)- ORAC-1 "The Commuter Computer"

Narrator (1994-2009)- Pete Renaday

Narrator (2009-Present)- Mike Brassell

Fun Facts and Trivia

  • 20% of the magnets on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover can fail, and the attraction will still run properly[11].
  • The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover travels at a speed of about 10 feet per second.
  • In the loading and unloading area however the trains travel at 2.7 feet per second.
  • On the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, guests can hear the current voice of Mickey Mouse, Bret Iwan [12].

References

  1. http://www.themeparkinsider.com/reviews/walt_disney_world's_magic_kingdom/tomorrowland_transit_authority_peoplemover
  2. https://sites.google.com/site/theoriginalepcot/the-florida-project
  3. http://www.yesterland.com/peoplemover.html
  4. http://waltdatedworld.com/id219.htm
  5. http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2009/10/tta_tomorrowland_transit_autho.html
  6. http://waltdatedworld.com/id219.htm
  7. http://attractionsmagazine.com/video-ride-the-updated-tomorrowland-transit-authority-tta-at-the-magic-kingdom/
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6EnR8fxcs4
  9. http://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/tomorrowland-transit-authority/news/05aug2010-tomorrowland-transit-authority-renamed-to-the-'tomorrowland-transit-authority-peoplemover'.htm
  10. http://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/tomorrowland-transit-authority/news/06aug2014-photos---tomorrowland-transit-authority-peoplemover-reopens-with-new-color-scheme.htm
  11. http://www.hiddenmickeys.org/wdw/magickingdom/secrets/tl/TTA.html
  12. https://www.amourdart.com/biography-iwan-bret.html