Autopia

July 1955 – present

LOCATION

Tomorrowland – When entering from Main Street USA, follow the main path all the way to the Innoventions building, and then turn left. You’ll see Autopia on your right, just before the entrance to the Submarine Voyage.

BACKGROUND

When Disneyland first opened, massive interstate highway travel was a phenomenon of the future. Autopia riders had a unique opportunity to drive through a futuristic highway environment, from the seat of a stylish corvette. At first, Autopia had the look and feel of a genuine roadway, without bumpers on the cars or protective railings. But test runs nearly destroyed the ride’s first fleet, so Imagineers added protective bumpers to protect the vehicles from damage.

Over the years, the ride expanded and even crossed lands in the park. Fantasyland had a kids-only version, called “Midget Autopia” (1957-1966), and then a Fantasyland Autopia, which opened in 1959. The Fantasyland Autopia became the Rescue Rangers Raceway in 1991, before permanently closing in 1999. But Autopia’s presence in the park was not diminished when its Fantasyland counterparts closed; the Tomorrowland Autopia underwent a massive expansion in 2000, as part of a sponsorship by Chevron. Today, Autopia dominates the rear of Tomorrowland, and remains a popular Tomorrowland ride for guests of all ages.

EXPERIENCE

Details:

  • Single Rider Line – yes
  • Fast Pass – yes
  • Height Requirement – 32″ (82 cm) with a rider 54″ (137 cm) or taller, 54″ (137 cm) alone
  • Duration – 5:10

Autopia riders load into two-person cars and take off on a ride around the Tomorrowland highway. Along the way, drivers take on a number of turns, dips, and pass the Monorail before returning to the loading station. Riders travel on one of two tracks; both have roughly the same number of turns and take approximately five minutes to complete the circuit. After drivers finish their trip on the super highway, they offload at the Autopia building and can purchase an official Autopia drivers license.

MY RATING: ★☆☆☆☆

Autopia is, without question, my least favorite ride in the Disneyland Resort. I honestly find the ride more frustrating than fun, and with Cars Land now in California Adventure, I just don’t think Disneyland needs it anymore. I completely appreciate how innovative this ride was, not to mention its historical significance in the park, but I think Cars Land more effectively celebrates the nostalgia of automobiles without sacrificing state-of-the-art technology. While most people I know don’t share my feelings about this Opening Day original, I’ve never been a fan of this ride.

VISITING TIPS

Like most rides in Disneyland, Autopia’s crowd levels depend entirely on the general activity in the park. On crowded days, grab a fast pass when you’re in Tomorrowland to avoid the massive lines. On less crowded days, or if you don’t want to use fast pass, visit before lunch or after dark. Tomorrowland generally has its largest crowds throughout the afternoon, and they tend to die down as the night goes on.

TRIVIA

Employees that work in Autopia are paid $0.20 more per hour than other employees in the park, because the engine exhaust classifies the attraction as a “hazardous environment”.

Autopia is the only original opening day ride still operating in Tomorrowland.

Autopia

2 comments on Autopia

  1. Arnie
    February 28, 2017 at 11:38 pm (10 months ago)

    Can’t say I agree with your rating on this one. My kids are obsessed with Autopia! They like that they can actually “drive” which they can’t do in Cars Land.

    Reply
    • Duchess of Disneyland
      March 1, 2017 at 10:33 am (10 months ago)

      That’s a very good point, Arnie. I am definitely coming at this from a slightly unusual perspective, since I never travel to the park with little kids. But I can absolutely see how unique of an experience it is to “drive” when you’re little. Will have to rethink my opinion, haha. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply

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