July 1967 – August 1995
When Tomorrowland was reintroduced as “New Tomorrowland” in 1967, the PeopleMover arrived as one of the brand new headliner rides. The ride, which transported guests around upper Tomorrowland, became a park icon within its first few years of operation. Although the ride underwent a few changes, from different color schemes to theme rooms – like the Super Speed Tunnel, which showcased the 1982 film Tron – the PeopleMover towered above the park in its same familiar style for 28 years.
Guests loaded into the cars from central Tomorrowland. The PeopleMover train carried guests above the sights of Tomorrowland, passing around the Astro Orbitor, the Rocketship, the lagoon, and the stage. During its long run, the ride offered guests a panoramic view of Tomorrowland, and provided a unique vantage point of many of the park’s most beloved rides and attractions. And at just over 15 minutes, the PeopleMover was one of the longest rides in the park.
Although the PeopleMover was a popular and iconic ride in Tomorrowland, it was somewhat unsafe and no longer met stricter safety regulations. In two separate incidents, guests trying to jump from one car to another fell to their deaths, prompting the park to add enhanced railings to prevent guests from attempting mid-route exits. By the 90’s, the PeopleMover was also one of the park’s most expensive attractions. Then CEO Michael Eisner began a program to remove expensive classic attractions in order to revamp the resort and cut costs, and by 1995, Tomorrowland’s transportation system shut down.
Goodyear Tire sponsored the attraction for its entire 28-year run.
When it was first installed in Disneyland, the PeopleMover was considered a prototype for future inner-city transportation systems.
Much of the infrastructure still stands, leaving the possibility for a much-desired return in the future.
Did you notice the reference to the PeopleMover in Wall-E? The public transporation system briefly shown in the film shares its name, and has the same circular boarding platform.