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PeopleMover

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This article is about the Disneyland attraction. For the similarly-named Magic Kingdom attraction, see Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.

The PeopleMover was an attraction in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

The PeopleMover opened as part of New Tomorrowland on July 2, 1967. The attraction's vehicles were always in constant motion, and were accessible by a large turntable inside the station. The PeopleMover was presented by Goodyear. The trains were not powered by motors within themselves, but rather by rotating Goodyear tires embedded in the track, which the trains would pass over every nine feet. The cars were all red, blue, yellow, and green with white roofs until they were repainted all white with colored stripes in the 1980s. The PeopleMover closed in August 1995 as part of Michael Eisner's program to save money by shutting down expensive and classic attractions and was replaced by Rocket Rods in 1998.

The PeopleMover was sponsored by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company from its opening in 1967 until December 31, 1981, and was colloquially referred to at times as the Goodyear PeopleMover.

Among those who provided the PeopleMover's onboard narrations were Jack Wagner and B.J. Ward.

SuperSpeed Tunnel

In 1977, the SuperSpeed Tunnel was added to the PeopleMover. It was located on the second story of the Carousel Theater, in a space that previously showcased a model of Progress City, which could be viewed by PeopleMover passengers and guests exiting the Carousel of Progress. This model not only served as the final act of the Carousel of Progress show, but also served as a scale model of Walt Disney's plans for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT, a master-planned community of the future that was to be built near Orlando, Florida. The EPCOT project was shelved after Disney's death in 1966, and the site became Walt Disney World in 1971. After the Carousel of Progress' closure in 1973, both it and the Progress City model were moved to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, where both reside today. In 1977, the space previously occupied by Progress City was converted into the PeopleMover's SuperSpeed Tunnel sequence. Race cars were projected on the walls all around the trains. In 1982, the projections were changed to feature the digitization and light cycle sequences from the recently-released film, TRON. To reflect this change, the attraction's full name was updated to PeopleMover Thru the World of TRON.

Incidents

The slow-moving PeopleMover was the subject of several notable incidents resulting in injury or death due to guest negligence. In August 1967, only a month after the attraction's debut, 17-year-old Ricky Lee Yama and two friends were jumping from car-to-car in one of the attraction's many tunnels. At one point, Yama fell, was caught in-between two ride vehicles, and was crushed to death. In 1973, a guest was injured after exiting her vehicle mid-ride to retrieve an item and fell 30 feet after running out of the exit of a tunnel. On June 7, 1980, 18-year-old Gerardo Gonzales was jumping from car-to-car, and fell in-between two ride vehicles, in a near-identical fashion to Yama thirteen years earlier, and was killed.

Closure

The PeopleMover closed in August 1995 and was replaced by the short-lived Rocket Rods in 1998.

A few of the retired PeopleMover cars were used in other parts of the resort after its closing. Three cars from train #45 used to sit outside the Team Disney Anaheim building, but they were removed in 2007. One of the cars from train #45 is now on display in the cast member cafeteria The Eat Ticket. Another car from train #45 is now in the hands of a local resident.

Two cars were repainted with a blue and orange grid to resemble a blueprint (along with Rocket Jets vehicles and the front of a Mark III Disneyland-ALWEG Monorail train) and placed in the Rocket Rods queue area These were later sold on Disney Auctions after Rocket Rods closed.

The check-out counters at Little Green Men Store Command resemble PeopleMover cars and the store has former Rocket Jets vehicles retrofitted as merchandise shelves. The store also had Skyway buckets hanging from the ceiling when it was the Premiere Shop.

In 2000, almost five years after the attraction's closure, an updated version of the Autopia attraction opened. The old on-board audio music from the PeopleMover now serves as the background area music in Autopia's queue.</p>

Future

For a short period of time after the ride closed, the small exterior section that ran out of the Magic Eye Theater made home to various Toy Story characters to help draw attention to the Toy Story Funhouse. These and its respective attraction were removed rather quickly as the Funhouse was only a temporary attraction created to promote the then-new Toy Story film.

After the PeopleMover's ill-fated successor Rocket Rods closed in 2000, the PeopleMover/Rocket Rods tracks remained untouched until 2005, when the tracks were re-painted blue and silver for Tomorrowland's new paint scheme. This raised much hope from Disneyland fans to know that Disneyland was still maintaining the tracks. Although many trees have taken over the tracks in the Autopia area, some have been recently cut away from the tracks.

The ride track infrastructure still stands unused. In September 2010, then-Disneyland Resort president George Kalogridis stated that while there may be plans to bring the PeopleMover back, the park would not be able to return the attraction to its original form due to stricter regulations. His exact words to an audience at a D23 Expo were "But don't worry. Everyone understands the passion everyone has for it. Hang in there."

As of October 2016, no visible progress has been made to revitalize or dismantle what remains of the attraction.

See also

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Main Street, U.S.A.
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Tomorrowland
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Former Attractions and Entertainment
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