Yesterland
PeopleMover
Presented by Goodyear
Travel throughout Tomorrowland and get an “inside” glimpse of each attraction. “D” Ticket
PeopleMover at Disneyland

Brightly colored PeopleMover trains welcome you to Tomorrowland.


How about a leisurely, elevated 16-minute ride through Tomorrowland? Head over to the PeopleMover station on the second level of the landmark Rocket Jets tower in the heart of Tomorrowland.

Unlike the free attractions sponsored by Monsanto, General Electric, and the Bell System, this Goodyear-sponsored attraction requires a “D” coupon. Sorry.

PeopleMover at Disneyland

Enter the PeopleMover loading area from the ground level.

Take the moving ramp up to the PeopleMover loading area. Step onto the rotating loading platform. A friendly Cast Member directs you and up to three others in your party to an empty car in one of the 62 four-car trains.

Take a seat quickly. The PeopleMover trains never stop. The doors close automatically.

You’re on your way. Take a good look the tile murals by artist Mary Blair on either side of your train. You get a perfect view from up here.

PeopleMover at Disneyland

The PeopleMover loads on the second level of the Rocket Jets structure.

Your PeopleMover train doesn’t have a motor—the motors are on the track. This may sound like a joke, but it’s true. Every nine feet or so, you’ll pass over an electric motor turning a genuine Goodyear tire. The tires turn against the bottom of your vehicle, propelling you forward.

There are 517 of these motor-driven units on the 3/4-mile elevated “glideway.” They range from 1/3 to 3 horsepower each because the “glideway” sometimes goes uphill or downhill. Your speed ranges from 1 1/2 to 7 m.p.h.

PeopleMover at Disneyland

The PeopleMover loading area provides shade for The Lunching Pad.

The first building the you enter houses Adventure Thru Inner Space, Presented by Monsanto. There’s a great view of the queue and the Mighty Microscope, which initiates the shrinking process. Before you know it, you’re looking down into the Character Shop. When you exit the building, look to your right for a view of the Tomorrowland Stage and to your left for a view of the Rocket Jets.

You enter another pavilion. It’s the General Electric Carousel of Progress, where you have a great view of “Progress City.”

The ride speeds up as you travel over the Tomorrowland Autopia and the Submarine Voyage.

PeopleMover at Disneyland

The PeopleMover track goes over the Skyway!

PeopleMover at Disneyland

The PeopleMover goes faster above the Tomorrowland Autopia.

PeopleMover at Disneyland

You get a great view of the Submarine Voyage lagoon.

The last pavilion you enter is America the Beautiful, Presented by the Bell System. You can’t see into the CircleVision theater, but you get a good view of the colorful waiting room.

PeopleMover at Disneyland

The track goes right by the Monorail station.

The PeopleMover is a high-capacity attraction. The hourly capacity is up to 4,885 guests!

PeopleMover at Disneyland

Finally, you head back into the PeopleMover Station.

The next time you’re at Yesterland, ride the PeopleMover again. As Tomorrowland changes, so does this ride.


The PeopleMover, Presented by Goodyear, opened on July 2, 1967 as part of the New Tomorrowland at Disneyland.

PeopleMover at Disneyland

Entrance to Tomorrowland circa 1995

It was a bit surprising that a major tire company would sponsor an attraction that encouraged public transportation. On June 29, 1967—just a few days before the PeopleMover opened—Bob Thomas, Auto Editor of the Los Angeles Times, wrote about the seeming conflict:

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. demonstrated Wednesday that it may be working at cross-purposes with itself—that is, infringing on the market for its primary product, the automobile tire—with a new transportation concept.

And it happened in the fantasy atmosphere of Disneyland.

Nevertheless, the nation’s No. 1 tire producer Wednesday previewed a new and very tangible automated transportation system, the PeopleMover that offers potential for relieving traffic congestion in major cities... at the expense of the automobile.

At least that was the opinion expressed by Russell DeYoung, chairman and chief executive officer of the company, who also admitted a possible conflict of marketing interests.

“It presumes some curtailment of the use of automobiles--and autos use tires!” he said about the PeopleMover. “You may ask, isn’t your business really tires? The answer is simply that Goodyear is basically in the transportation business.”

Tires represent, he further explained, 55% of the company’s total business.

Although many guests called it the Goodyear PeopleMover until the very end, Goodyear’s sponsorship only lasted until December 31, 1981—roughly half of the attraction’s 28-year life. In 1982, the PeopleMover, Presented by Goodyear became simply the PeopleMover. No other sponsor replaced Goodyear.

When the Carousel of Progress show closed in 1973, guests on the PeopleMover could still see “Progress City” on the upper floor of the building—even after America Sings opened below it.

The PeopleMover closed for a lengthy upgrade on January 5, 1976. When it reopened on May 27, 1977, the ride went into the brand new thrill ride, Space Mountain. And on the upper level of the Carousel Theater, “Progress City” was gone. Instead of hugging the inside edge of the building, the track took a new route through the Superspeed Tunnel—wrap-around movie screens on which high-speed footage of race cars gave the illusion of speed.

The World of TRON, replaced the Superspeed Tunnel film on July 2, 1982. This time the illusion of speed came from a projected light cycle race.

The PeopleMover closed permanently on August 21, 1995.

In March 1996, Disneyland announced that the slow PeopleMover would be replaced by a new, fast attraction, Rocket Rods, as part of a complete renovation of Tomorrowland. (The Rocket Rods attraction didn’t last long.)

PeopleMover (Tomorrowland Transt Authority) at Walt Disney World

Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover at Magic Kingdom park in Florida.

If you still want to take a ride on the PeopleMover, you might consider a trip to Walt Disney World. Although the vehicles and the means of propulsion are different, the California and Florida attractions shared the same name and provided a similar experience. In 1994, the PeopleMover in Florida was renamed to Tomorrowland Transit Authority. In August 2010, new signage included the Tomorrowland Transit Authority and PeopleMover, with PeopleMover as the primary name.

Instead of using Goodyear tires embedded in the track to propel the trains, the Florida ride uses linear induction. The cars don’t have roofs. Instead, the entire track is roofed over. The track in Florida is entirely flat—not unlike the state itself.

PeopleMover at Disneyland

The PeopleMover / Rocket Rods track still winds through Tomorrowland.

Will it ever be possible to ride the PeopleMover again at Disneyland? The track is still there. And Disneyland could use another high-capacity attraction, especially one that can be enjoyed over and over. Maybe the fact that the track was never removed means the door is open to a return of the PeopleMover some day.

Okay, it’s unlikely—but at least it’s more likely than the return of the Rocket Rods.


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© 2010 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated December 14, 2010.

Photo of Tomorrowland entrance: 1974 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of PeopleMover at night: 1995 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of PeopleMover in Tomorrowland: circa 1995 by Chris Bales.
Photo of The Lunching Pad below PeopleMover platform: 1993 by Chris Bales.
Photo of PeopleMover track over Skyway: 1968 by Roger J. Runck, courtesy of Robin Runck.
Photo of PeopleMover train over Autopia: circa 1995 by Chris Bales.
Photo of PeopleMover train over Submarine Voyage lagoon: 1969 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of PeopleMover near Submarine Voyage queue: circa 1995 by Chris Bales.
Photo of PeopleMover returning to station: circa 1995 by Chris Bales.
Photo of Tomorrowland entrance: circa 1995 by Chris Bales.
Photo of Tomorrowland Transit Authority at Walt Disney World: 2007 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of unused PeopleMover track: 2009 by Werner Weiss.