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Rocket to the Moon

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Rocket to the Moon
Disneyland
Land Tomorrowland
Designer WED Enterprises
Attraction type Theater-in-the-round
Theme Spaceflight
Opening date July 22, 1955
Closing date 1966
Sponsored by Trans World Airlines (1955-1961)
Douglas Aircraft Company (1962-1966)
McDonell Douglas (1967-1975)
Replaced by Flight to the Moon

Rocket to the Moon (known as Flight to the Moon after 1967) was an attraction in Tomorrowland at Disneyland that opened on July 22, 1955[1]. Rocket to the Moon, as its name implies, simulated a trip to the Moon.

Show

Guests were seated around a circular screen on the floor in the center of the theater, with a circular screen directly above it, on the ceiling. The bottom screen showed where guests had been, while the top screen showed guests their destination: the Moon. As riders ascended toward the moon on the top screen, the bottom screen depicted the launchpad fading away, then Anaheim, Southern California, the United States, and eventually Earth itself. This process worked in reverse as the rocket headed back toward Earth. As the rocket flew around the backside of the Moon, a film played, teaching facts about the Moon.[2]

History

In 1967, with the Apollo program underway, astronauts traveling to the Moon was likely to happen soon. The attraction received a name change to Flight to the Moon when the new Tomorrowland opened that same year. Also that year, sponsor Douglas Aircraft merged with McDonnell Aircraft to form McDonnell Douglas. The attraction's exterior was drastically changed as part of the New Tomorrowland. The landmark Moonliner rocket was replaced with a large, swooping sign reminiscent of McDonnell Douglas' new logo, with the new PeopleMover gliding overhead. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon as part of Apollo 11, the first manned mission to the moon, which had begun four days earlier. The attraction began to show its age, and six years later, Flight to the Moon closed.

On March 21, 1975, Mission to Mars opened in its place, offering trips to red planet. McDonnell-Douglas continued its sponsorship for that attraction. On November 2, 1992, Mission to Mars closed. On May 22, 1998, Redd Rockett's Pizza Port, a restaurant, opened in its place. A scaled down replica of the Moonliner was also placed next to the building, in tribute to the history of the location.

References

  1. http://waltsmagickingdom.com/
  2. http://www.yesterland.com/moonrocket.html

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