The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (also called the Blue Line, TTA, and Tomorrowland's Super-Skyway) is a peoplemover system in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World. Themed as an urban mass transit system of the future, riders are taken on a train ride around the second floor of many attractions in Tomorrowland. It has one station, in the center of Rockettower Plaza, located beneath the landmark Astro Orbiter. The TTA's leisurely pace and lack of long queue lines, along with the sneak previews of other more extreme Tomorrowland attractions it offers, make it a favorite attraction among repeat visitors.
History and Layout
The WEDway PeopleMover opened on July 1, 1975, based on the PeopleMover at Disneyland in California. Because it did not utilize the propulsion system of rotating Goodyear tires used in the original, (instead using linear synchronous motors), Goodyear opted not to sponsor the east coast version. The Edison Electric Institute was the original sponsor of the ride. The original narration track was provided by longtime Disney voice Jack Wagner. In June of 1985, his narration was replaced by the voice of ORAC One - "The Commuter Computer".
In the spring of 1994, Tomorrowland underwent a massive refurbishment to re-theme the area as a working city of the future. The WEDway PeopleMover received new physical theming as the track was updated from smooth Googie-esque white forms to boldly colored metallic structures. It was during this refurbishment that the attraction's name changed to Tomorrowland Transit Authority. The current spiel (with only minor alteration since) was also added at this time, your tour now lead by Pete Renaday broadcasting from TTA Central.
The line is a one-way loop, with a brief stretch at the entrance to Space Mountain operating with two-way traffic. At this point, the trains pass so close to one another that it is possible to reach out and touch hands with people in the oncoming train, though a tongue-in-cheek safety spiel warns guests (specifically those from Galaxy M-31) from doing so. The only switches are at Space Mountain, where the main track passes through the attraction and storage tracks run around the perimeter. The design of the station platform has guests boarding and disembarking the cars onto a moving walkway. This allows the vehicles to remain in motion at all times.
Blue, Red, and Green Lines
The TTA's backstory makes reference to the Transit Authority's three different "lines": the Blue Line, the Red Line, and the Green Line. The Blue Line, which constitutes the actual ride, is Tomorrowland's intra-city elevated train system. The Red Line takes riders "off-planet" to other destinations in the galaxy, while the Green Line provides local transportation to Tomorrowland's "Hover-Burbs". There is a diorama of a hub station where all three lines intersect located on the second floor of the Convention Center. Other services provided by the Transit Authority (interstate highway maintenance and long distance space travel) are alluded to in the ride's narration.
Blue Line Stations
Though only one actually exists, other destinations are announced while riding:
- Rockettower Plaza (the only real station)
- Tomorrowland Interplanetary Convention Center
- Mickey's Star Traders & Red Line/Green Line Transfer Station
- Space Mountain
- Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress
- Star Command Headquarters
- Metropolis Science Centre
Other locations mentioned in passing, but not as stations on the line include:
- The Metro-Retro Historical Society Display
- The Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
- The League of Planets Astro Orbiter
- The Interstellar Hair Salon
The Convention Center
After entering the Convention Center building, the Metroliners pass a large diorama containing a portion of the original architectural model of Epcot as originally envisioned by Walt Disney. Originally intended to be a working city instead of a theme park, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow never came to fruition. The model in its complete form was created by WED Enterprises as the city was being planned and displayed on the second floor of the Carousel of Progress when it was in Disneyland. Both the Carousel and the model moved to Walt Disney World in 1975. According to the ride narration, the display is sponsored by the Tomorrowland Metro-Retro Historical Society. When the new narration debuted in 2010, Nation on Wheels, the original 1967 theme for Disneyland's PeopleMover, was added.
Since the roller coaster's addition in 1975, the TTA track has offered riders a restricted look down into the two largest of Space Mountain's post-show dioramas. Currently these feature the vignettes of an alien dig site and radio beaming of packages back to the "home planet". Also, guests are treated to a limited view of the actual track and the sounds of screaming guests taking a ride on "Tommorowland's Gateway to the Galaxy". The TTA is also the best way to view Space Mountain during a breakdown, since the rides are on a different system, and a breakdown on Space Mountain will not affect the TTA. This allows passing TTA passengers to view the twisted metal cage that is the track of Space Mountain.
CircleVision Building Windows
Originally the tunnel through the south show building (now home to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin) had three windows; one and two on the trains' right, three to the trains' left. This building first housed If You Had Wings, and the windows were carefully placed to look down into the Mexico, Jamaica, and Trinidad show scenes in such a way as to hide all projectors, lights, and other show support equipment.
When If You Had Wings (renamed If You Could Fly) was closed in January 1989 and remodeled into Delta Dreamflight, the windows no longer lined up correctly with the show scenes. The first window was replaced with backlit panels depicting the ride's barnstormer scene. Window two looked into the Parisian Excursion scene, from a viewpoint which heavily distorted the tableau's forced perspective. The third window would have had riders looking directly into an extremely bright light and so was completely obscured with plywood and black fabric.
When the ride transitioned yet again into Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin in 1998, the first window was fitted with the diorama of the hair salon, and the second left open to look into the new attraction, though concern was expressed over the fact that this view allows TTA riders to look directly into banks of high-powered blacklights.
- Rockettower Plaza Station
- Rockettower Plaza
- Avenue of the Planets
- EPCOT model
- Transfer Station/Star Traders
- Indy Speedway Overpass
- Space Mountain
- Around the Arcade
- Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress
- Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
- Interstellar Salon
- Avenue of the Planets (again)
- Return to Rockettower Plaza