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Autopia

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Autopia is a Disneyland attraction, in which patrons steer specially designed cars through an enclosed track. Versions of Autopia exist at Anaheim, California, Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée, France, and at Hong Kong Disneyland on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. Other versions of the attraction can be found at the Magic Kingdom as the Tomorrowland Speedway and at Tokyo Disneyland as the Grand Circuit Raceway.

The name Autopia is a portmanteau of the words "automobile utopia," which was popularized in academic circles by British architecture critic Reyner Banham to describe Los Angeles in his 1971 book "Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies."

Premise

  • Take the wheel of a gas-powered car and speed through a winding track to Victory Circle.
  • Stroll past classic racing marquees and make your way to the racing pit, home to growling, multi-colored speedsters. Designed to look like the famed Indiana Motor Speedway, the racetrack includes well-known backdrops of the motoring world, including the Scoring Pylon, Gasoline Alley and the Yard of Bricks.
  • At the pit, hop inside a streamlined race car—unique in color and design—and strap yourself in for an exciting and challenging drive. As the checkered flag is waved, you’re off!
  • Accelerate at 7 miles per hour around a scenic 0.4 mile-long racetrack. Careen around sharp bends, past lush foliage, and pick up the pace underneath a small bridge. Along the way, listen to an announcer call the race overhead, as you pass such iconic attractions as Space Mountain in the not-too-far-off distance.
  • Go for a personal best or race against a family member or friend. In the end, coast into Victory Circle, at the top of your game—champion of the track!

History

Disneyland

The Disneyland Autopia, in one form or another, is one of the few current attractions that opened with the park on July 17, 1955. When it opened, it represented the future of what would become America's multilane limited-access highways, which were still being developed. President Eisenhower had yet to sign the Interstate Highway legislation at the time Disneyland opened.

The miniature cars were designed by Imagineer Bob Gurr. Before the park opened, the cars were tested without the bumpers, and were almost completely destroyed by the test drivers. Bumpers were fitted around the vehicle, but there were still problems with collisions, as a guide rail had yet to be implemented on the ride. Eventually the vehicles were fitted with spring-loaded bumpers to discourage collisions. The first fleet of Autopia cars were dubbed "Mark I." Throughout Disneyland's first few years, Autopia went through a few fleets, as the cars took a hard beating. Though basically the same look, they went through Mark I, II, III, and IV by 1958. When the Monorail, Submarine Voyage, and Matterhorn debuted in 1959, so did a new fleet with an all-new look - the "Mark Vs." The next design, Mark VI, came in 1964. It was at this time the center guide rail was first installed. 1968 brought another new design, the Mark VIIs. They would remain in service through 1999, till a breed of Mark VIIIs would hit the Autopia roadway.

The Tomorrowland version was not the only form of Autopia to exist at Disneyland. Other versions, separate from the Tomorrowland version, included the Midget Autopia, Fantasyland Autopia (Rescue Rangers Raceway), and Junior Autopia. Of these, the Tomorrowland Autopia existed the longest.

The Midget Autopia opened in 1957. It was the smallest and was the third Autopia track, after the Tomorrowland Autopia (1955) and the Junior Autopia in Fantasyland (1956). It was located next to the Storybook Land Canal Boats and the Motor Boat Cruise at the very edge of Fantasyland. It was closed in 1966 and dismantled to make way for 'it's a small world'. The ride was donated to the city of Marceline, Missouri, where it operated for a few years.

The Fantasyland Autopia began originally as the Junior Autopia in 1956. It closed in 1958, and reopened in 1959 as the expanded Fantasyland Autopia. It was a duplicate version of the Tomorrowland Autopia and featured the same theme of the original until 1991, when part of the Disney's Afternoon Avenue makeover of Fantasyland, the ride was transformed into the Rescue Rangers Raceway. The theming was kept until 1992, when the promotion ended. The ride remained open on an interim basis until 1999, when both the Tomorrowland and Fantasyland Autopias were closed.
Autopia1-1-

Autopia Car in Tomorrowland in Disneyland

In 2000, Disneyland replaced both existing Autopia tracks with a new, much larger Autopia sponsored by Chevron. The colorful Chevrolet Corvette Stingray-style cars were replaced by three different kinds of cars: Dusty, an off-road style car; Sparky, a sports car; and Suzy, a Volkswagen Beetle-style car. Each was designed to be tied into the Chevron line of animated 'Chevron Cars', and 4 versions of the Autopia cars were sold as toys during the 2000 summer season at Chevron stations nationwide. The voice of Dusty the Autopia car is voiced by Matthew Howard. He is said to be the youngest Disney ride announcer as of 2004. The ride safety spiel was rerecorded in 2004 to remind parents to watch their children due to several minor incidents. In earlier years, spiels with Sparky and Suzy (voice of Audrey Wasilewski) were also present, but these were removed at an indeterminate point in time, leaving Dusty's voice the only one still present.

The attraction briefly closed from January through April 2016 prepare for new sponsorship from Honda. The queue structure and signage were repainted in shades of blue and white to match the rest of the paint scheme Tomorrowland received in 2005. The existing cars, already powered by Honda engines, received Honda badging and were repainted in colors available on current Honda automobiles, such as Kona coffee metallic and white diamond pearl. Similar to the Circle-Vision 360° queue area from the short-lived Rocket Rods attraction, the loading area's Jumbotron-style video screen was updated to show clips from 1950s-era animated short films from the Walt Disney anthology series based around the future of transportation, such as 1958's Magic Highway, U.S.A.

Magic Kingdom

The second Disney theme park to open was the Magic Kingdom. An opening day attraction, the Grand Prix Raceway was based on an international car race rather than the futuristic roadways of Autopia. The original sponsor was Goodyear, as it supplied all of the tires on the Mark VII vehicles.

The ride was expanded in 1973 and remained unchanged until the 1994 remodel of Tomorrowland. Part of the track was also shortened to make room for Mickey's Birthdayland sometime between late 1987 to early 1988. The Grand Prix theme and name was dropped in favor of Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, but the track and vehicles remained the same, as new theming to coincide with the "New Tomorrowland" overlay was installed.

On December 20, 1999, the Walt Disney Company and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway partnered to change the theme of the track. The ride was changed to add items from the famous Speedway, such as the famous Yard of Bricks, the Scoring Pylon, Gasoline Alley and the wheel and wing logo. The loading area featured panels with the three Indy events: the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400 and the United States Grand Prix.

The name was changed in 2008 to Tomorrowland Speedway, resulting in the drop of the Indy portion of the title. The Gasoline Alley and Scoring Pylon features, though, were retained.

Tokyo Disneyland

At Tokyo Disneyland, the ride exists as Grand Circuit Raceway. This version of the ride has remained open since the park's opening in 1983 and has remained largely unchanged. The ride is sponsored by Bridgestone and features a grandstand for visitors to watch the "races" between drivers. The track is described as a "figure eight" shape, but is actually quite longer. A new ride, Aquatopia, opened at neighboring park Tokyo DisneySea in 2001, but other than the name similarity to the Disneyland car ride (it's an homage) Aquatopia is closer (as an attraction) to Disneyland's former Motor Boat Cruise.

In 2015, it was announced that the Grand Prix Raceway would be removed for an expansion of Fantasyland. The land is set to be occupied by a new Beauty and the Beast area.

Disneyland Paris

In Disneyland Park in Paris, the attraction, which opened with Euro Disneyland on April 12, 1992, uses the original Disneyland name of Autopia, but has a unique sense of style and theming. The cars are more rounded and feature a toy-like quality to go with a 1950's retro theme, which differs from the Discoveryland theme. The park has multiple cars that go around for approximately 7–9 minutes.

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland is the first Disneyland-type park to not open with a form. Opened in Summer 2006 as part of its Phase I Expansion, the Hong Kong version is different from all the other versions, as it features electric cars, with lighting effects on the cars, and a unique on-board audio-system. Theming includes a lush jungle and alien landscape. Honda Motors is the sponsor of the attraction and there are 3 lanes on this attraction.

Trivia

  • Autopia was featured in a 1987 special in which Ernest P. Worrell recounts his childhood when he visited Disneyland. In it, the young Ernest goes with his father, in which the dad drives the wrong way and crashes into a wall. They are ejected from Autopia by a Disneyland employee dressed as a motorcycle policeman, who gives them a "ticket" which bars them from returning to Autopia for the rest of the day.
  • In Disney INFINITY, a blue Autopia car appears as a vehicle, while a red one is also added in the second game.
  • Autotopia from Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is based on this attraction.

References


v - e - d
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Main Street, U.S.A.

Disneyland Railroad | Main Street Cinema | The Disney Gallery | Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln | Dapper Dans | Main Street Vehicles

Fantasyland

Sleeping Beauty Castle | Alice in Wonderland | Casey Jr. Circus Train | Dumbo the Flying Elephant | It's a Small World | King Arthur Carrousel | Mad Tea Party | Matterhorn Bobsleds | Mr. Toad's Wild Ride | Peter Pan's Flight | Pinocchio's Daring Journey | Snow White's Scary Adventures | Storybook Land Canal Boats | Pixie Hollow | Sword in the Stone

Adventureland

Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room | Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye | Jungle Cruise | Tarzan's Treehouse

Tomorrowland

Astro Orbitor | Autopia | Space Mountain | Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters | Disneyland Monorail | Captain EO | Innoventions | Starcade | Star Tours: The Adventures Continue | Push the Talking Trash Can

Mickey's Toontown

Chip 'n' Dale's Treehouse | Donald's Boat | Gadget's Go Coaster | Goofy's Playhouse | Mickey's House and Meet Mickey | Minnie's House | Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin

Frontierland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad | Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island | Mark Twain Riverboat | Sailing Ship Columbia | Big Thunder Ranch | Golden Horseshoe Saloon | Fantasmic!

Critter Country

Splash Mountain | Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

New Orleans Square

The Haunted Mansion | Pirates of the Caribbean

Resorts

Disneyland Hotel

Former Attractions

Country Bear Jamboree | Star Tours | Honey, I Shrunk the Audience | Ariel's Grotto | PeopleMover | Skyway | Carousel of Progress | Submarine Voyage | Mike Fink Keel Boats | Swiss Family Treehouse | Adventure Thru Inner Space | Home of the Future | Magic Journeys | Rocket Jets | Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland | Midget Autopia | The Party Gras Parade | Space Station X-1 | Flying Saucers | Aladdin's Royal Caravan | One Man's Dream | Mickey Mouse Club Theater | Fantasy Waters | Fantasyland Autopia | Rocket Rods | Snow White: An Enchanting Musical | The Lion King Celebration | America Sings | The Walt Disney Story | Country Bear Vacation Hoedown | Fantasy in the Sky

Other

List of Disneyland attractions


v - e - d
Magic Kingdom-logo
Main Street, U.S.A.

Walt Disney World Railroad | Main Street Vehicles | Dapper Dans | Disney's Electrical Parade | Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire | Night of Joy | Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party

Fantasyland

Cinderella Castle | It's a Small World | Peter Pan's Flight | Mickey's PhilharMagic | Dream Along With Mickey | Prince Charming Regal Carrousel | Dumbo the Flying Elephant | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh | Mad Tea Party | The Great Goofini | Cinderella's Royal Table | Pinocchio Village Haus | Sword in the Stone | Seven Dwarfs Mine Train | Ariel's Grotto | Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid | Be Our Guest Restaurant | Enchanted Tales with Belle | Princess Fairytale Hall | Pete's Silly Sideshow | The Barnstormer | Casey Jr. Splash and Soak Station

Adventureland

Swiss Family Treehouse | The Magic Carpets of Aladdin | Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room | Jungle Cruise | Pirates of the Caribbean | Pirates League

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland Speedway | Space Mountain | Astro Orbiter | Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover | Carousel of Progress | Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin | Stitch's Great Escape! | Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor | Push the Talking Trash Can

Frontierland

Splash Mountain | Big Thunder Mountain Railroad | Tom Sawyer Island | Country Bear Jamboree | Frontierland Shootin' Arcade

Liberty Square

The Hall of Presidents | Liberty Square Riverboat | The Haunted Mansion | Memento Mori | The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History

Resorts

Disney's Contemporary Resort | Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa | Disney's Polynesian Resort | Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Former Attractions

The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management) | Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes | Mike Fink Keel Boats | Mickey Mouse Revue | Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party | Mr. Toad's Wild Ride | Skyway | Snow White's Scary Adventures | 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea | If You Had Wings | Delta Dreamflight | The Timekeeper | Magic Journeys | The Legend of the Lion King | Mission to Mars | ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter | The Walt Disney Story | Mickey's Birthdayland | Mickey's Starland | Mickey's Toontown Fair | Flight to the Moon | Donald's Boat | Mickey's House and Meet Mickey | Minnie's House | Pixie Hollow | Toon Park | Country Bear Vacation Hoedown | Fantasy in the Sky | Plaza Swan Boats | Dream Along with Mickey | Penny Arcade | Tropical Serenade | Shrunken Ned's Junior Jungle Boats | Diamond Horseshoe Revue | America the Beautiful | American Journeys | Magic Carpet Round the World

Others

List of Magic Kingdom attractions | Virtual Magic Kingdom


v - e - d
Tokyo Disneyland logo
World Bazaar

The Disney Gallery | Omnibus

Fantasyland

Cinderella Castle | Snow White's Adventures | Snow White Grotto | Pinocchio's Daring Journey | Dumbo the Flying Elephant | Cinderella's Fairy Tale Hall | Castle Carrousel | Alice's Tea Party | Peter Pan's Flight | Pooh's Hunny Hunt | It's a Small World | Mickey's PhilharMagic | The Haunted Mansion

Adventureland

Swiss Family Treehouse | Western River Railroad | Jungle Cruise | Pirates of the Caribbean | The Enchanted Tiki Room: Stitch Presents Aloha e Komo Mai!

Tomorrowland

Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek | Space Mountain | Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters | Star Jets | Grand Circuit Raceway | Stitch Encounter | Star Tours: The Adventures Continue | Push the Talking Trash Can

Toontown

Mickey's House & Movie Barn | Minnie's House | Goofy's Bounce House | Donald's Boat | Chip 'n' Dale's Treehouse | Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin | Gadget's Go Coaster | Toon Park

Westernland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad | Mark Twain Riverboat | Country Bear Theater | Tom Sawyer Island | Westernland Shooting Gallery

Critter Country

Splash Mountain | Beaver Brothers Explorer Canoes | Country Bear Vacation Hoedown

Resorts

Tokyo Disneyland Hotel | Disney's Ambassador Hotel

Former Attractions

Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour | Mickey Mouse Revue | Honey, I Shrunk the Audience | Skyway | Magic Journeys | Disney's Party Express | One Man's Dream | Star Tours | The Party Gras Parade | Fantasy in the Sky


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Main Street, U.S.A.

Disneyland Railroad | Liberty Arcade | Discovery Arcade | Main Street Vehicles

Fantasyland

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant | Le Carrousel de Lancelot | Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains | Les Voyages de Pinocchio | Peter Pan's Flight | Alice's Curious Labyrinth | Dumbo the Flying Elephant | It's a Small World | Mad Hatter Tea Party | Le Pays de Contes de Fées | Casey Jr. - Le Petit Train du Cirque | Sword in the Stone

Adventureland

Le Passage Enchanté d'Aladdin | Adventure Isle | La Cabane des Robinson | Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril | Pirates of the Caribbean

Discoveryland

Autopia | Space Mountain: Mission 2 | Orbitron, Machines Volantes | Les Mystères du Nautilus | Buzz Lightyear Laser Blasts | Star Tours | Discoveryland Theatre

Frontierland

Legends of the Wild West | Big Thunder Mountain Railroad | Phantom Manor | River Rogue Keel Boats | Rustler Roundup Shooting Gallery | Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing

Current Entertainment

Disney Magic on Parade | Disney Dreams!

Current Seasonal Attractions and Entertainment

Chantons La Reine des Neiges | Frozen Summer Fun! | La Forêt de l’Enchantement: Une aventure musicale Disney

Former Attractions and Entertainment

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage | Captain Eo | Circle-Vision 360° | Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes | Dapper Dans | Disney's Fantillusion | Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade | Disney Toon Circus | Fantasy in the Sky | Honey, I Shrunk the Audience | Main Street Electrical Parade | Mulan, La Légende | Tarzan: The Encounter | The Legend of the Lion King | The Timekeeper | Winnie the Pooh and Friends, too! | Woody's Roundup Village

Former Seasonal Attractions and Entertainment

Disney's Maleficious Halloween Party | Disney's Showtime Spectacular | Dr. Facilier's Carnival-Loween | Following the Leader with Peter Pan | Le Voeu de Noël de la Princesse Aurore | Mickey's Magical Celebration | Mickey's Winter Wonderland | Mickey and his Magic Halloween Night

Resorts

Disneyland Hotel | Hotel New York | Disney's Sequoia Lodge | Newport Bay Club Hotel | Disney's Hotel Cheyenne | Disney's Hotel Santa Fe


v - e - d
Hong Kong Disneyland logo
Main Street, U.S.A.

Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad | Hong Kong Disneyland Band | Main Street Vehicles | Animation Academy | Ragtime Piano | Art of Animation

Fantasyland

Cinderella Carrousel | Dumbo the Flying Elephant | Fairy Tale Forest | Fantasy Gardens | Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad | It's a Small World | Mad Hatter Tea Cups | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh | Mickey's PhilharMagic | Mickey and the Wondrous Book | Pixie Hollow | Sleeping Beauty Castle | Snow White Grotto | Sword in the Stone

Adventureland

Festival of the Lion King | Jungle Drumming | Jungle River Cruise | Liki Tikis | Tarzan's Treehouse

Tomorrowland

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters | Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple | Orbitron | Push the Talking Trash Can | Space Mountain | Star Wars: Command Post

Toy Story Land

Barrel of Fun | Cubot | RC Racer | Slinky Dog Spin | Toy Soldier Boot Camp | Toy Soldier Parachute Drop

Grizzly Gulch

Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars | Geyser Gulch | Welcome Wagon Show

Mystic Point

Mystic Manor | Garden of Wonders | Freight Depot

Anniversary Celebration

5th Anniversary | 10th Anniversary

Current Entertainment

Disney in the Stars | Flights of Fantasy Parade | Mickey's Rainy Day Express | Paint the Night Parade

Current Seasonal Attractions and Entertainment

Hyperspace Mountain | Star Wars: Tomorrowland Takeover | The Nightmare Experiment | The Pavilion | Villains Night Out!

Former Attractions and Entertainment

Autopia | Dapper Dans | Disney on Parade | High School Musical: LIVE! | Jungle Puppet Carnival | Lucky the Dinosaur | Muppet Mobile Lab | Stitch Encounter | The Disneyland Story presenting How Mickey Mouse Came to Hong Kong | The Golden Mickeys | Tinker Bell Castle Illumination | UFO Zone

Former Seasonal Attractions and Entertainment

Adventureland Oasis Party | Alien Invasion | Demon Jungle | Festival of Family & Friends | “Frozen” Festival Show | “Frozen” Village | Glow in the Park Halloween Parade | Graves Academy | Horrors of the Amazon | Inferno Dance Party | It's a Small World Holiday | 'Let It Snow' Christmas Parade | Lightning McQueen "LIVE"! | Main Street Haunted Hotel | Mickey's House | Mickey's WaterWorks | Nightmare in the Sky | Pirate Takeover | Royal Christmas Ball | Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy | Stitch's Summer Dance Bash | Stitch and Friends Summer Surprise | The Revenge of the Headless Horseman | Tomorrowland Party Zone | Turtle Talk with Crush

Upcoming

Iron Man Experience

Resorts

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel | Disney's Hollywood Hotel | Disney's Explorers Lodge

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