Monday, February 04, 2013

ROCKET JETS PART TWO The 1970's AND STAR JETS join the family


Well TOMORROWLOUNGE was in flight for several months, but now the ROCKET JETS POST TWO has landed in the 1970s!!

What better way to spend your ROCKET JETS 1970's visit, but to DRESS 1970's!
During the 1970's the Disneyland Rocket Jets remained virtually unchanged, but with the new SPACE MOUNTAIN coming almost ALL Tomorrowland attractions were giving a costume fashion update.
This jumper style costume was first debuted for the Walt Disney World Space Mountain in 1974. Created by designer Tom Pierce. The design proved very functional for attractions were cast members needed to moved about  equipment or climb stairs or around vehicle tracks. The style was also used for Mission To Mars, America Sings, WDW WEDWAY PeopleMover. The designs were used  into the 1990's

below shown in 1987 still in use

MALE Summer on the left and Winter on the right

Female Winter on the left and Summer on the right

Rockets Jets were still the central visual draw in 1977 when SPACE MOUNTAIN joined Tomorrowland

In 1974 Walt Disney World unveiled their version of the ROCKET JETS : The STAR JETS. From the earliest designs to even the construction signs Walt Disney World's Tomorrowland  phase Two was to include the same Rocket Jet vehicles as Disneyland's, but John Hench had seen early concept renders for the new NASA Space Shuttle while working on Space Mountain.

John Hench and Vic Greene working out the Rocket Jets and PeopleMover loading and launch platforms
in 1966

This rendering inspired the Walt Disney World STAR JETS
John Hench asked George McGinnis do design a new vehicle for Florida's New Tomorrowland 1975
A test model of the Space Shuttle looking very STAR JETS
Here you can clearly see the inspiration behind the imagination!

STAR JETS in the new Tomorrowland of Walt Disney World

This style remained in Florida from 1974 to 1994

TOKYO DISNEYLAND  continues to use these classic designed STAR JETS

Back at Disneyland the 1970's are slowly coming to a end

and Ladys and Gentlemen become just PASSENGERS in the 1980's

So join TOMORROWLOUNGE for ROCKETS JETS MEGA POST #3 and we'll take a quick fly-thru the Tomorrowland of the 1980's and into the future as Rocket Jets become GROUNDED

Friday, March 09, 2012


Rocket Jet -PeopleMover station concept c.1965
artist unknown

As WED Enterprises began to clear space to make way for the Carousel of Progress return to Disneyland from the New York World's Fair, it was clear that a whole new Tomorrowland was needed. Americans were becoming more sophisticated and NASA was developing REAL rocket ships destined for the Moon and beyond. Walt was excited about having his Imagineers create a whole second level adding addition space for 1967 "World ob the Move" Part of this revision included using the rotary-motor system from the former-ground based ASTRO JETS and elevating to a raised launch platform. This included an exciting Gantry Lift to give Tomorrowland guest all the excitement of a real rocket launch.

early 3-level concept designs  1965
Herbert Ryman
(note the "jets" are still envisioned as the bullet nose 1950's type)

John Hench's concept is one of the first to show a full gantry elevator.
Here, the snak-bar service  on the lower level is reduced to a small counter in the rear facing the elevators. This was to show GOODYEAR how their corporate image and story could be integrated into the loading building---but that's ANOTHER story!!!

George McGinnis 1966 concept showing the  SATURN V Rocket that inspired the look of the new Tomorrowland Rocket Pylon

The FINAL Rocket Tower! Isn't she a beauty!!

The predecessor to the 1967 Rocket Jets was the Astro Jets. This version loaded at ground level, and while they DID raise up into the air, they were no match for the "High Altitude" experience guests got in the NEW TOMORROWLAND's ROCKET JETS!!

The TWA Moonliner has always been a Tomorrowland (and Disneyland!!) icon. It's design was a beautiful  sleek rocket and very 1950's. While the Astro Jets had no rocket, the SATURN V (Saturn 5) rocket designs became the inspiration for the Rocket icon of the sophisticated 1960's.


Like the Disneyland 1967 Rocket Jet Tower, the real SATURN V Rockets began space service in 1967.
The last SATURN V launched in 1973

Visitors to FLIGHT TO THE MOON attraction, might remember MR. MORROW saying:
"The SATURN V ROCKETS are SO reliable, that we're STILL using them! In fact they've become the real workhorses in outer space!"

Here's a view of the Gantry Lift. Atop the elevator tower are show lights for the Tomorrowland Stage to the far left. 1967 blueprints however show there were plans for a series of antennas and radar dishes to sit atop the gantry tower.

Here is the costume patch for the 1967 Rocket Jets cast member costume. You'll notice the colors are the same used on the actual attraction tower, rocket, and jet vehicles--orange/red, black and white.
I have an original 1967 costume but I forgot to take it out to photograph it for this post, so you'll have to due with a patch. I'll show the costume another time.

Here's the John Hench designed attraction poster for Rocket Jets as once displayed inside the Main Street Penny Arcade from the 1960's through the early 1990's.

Some final views of the ROCKET JETS in the TOMORROWLAND of 1967


Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Disneyland 1967 -1997 ROCKET JETS MEGA POST

TOMORROWLOUNGE will take you from this................. this.....................

......................and finally here!!!

So come back for this multi-TOMORROWLOUNGE MEGA- POST on Disneyland's

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Nothing in Disneyland's New Tomorrowland of 1967 went without  the magic touch of WED! The PeopleMover's elevated beam-way is a fine example. In the earliest renderings, simple tubular support poles appear raising the PeopleMover's cars above the ground level  of this "World on the Move". Eventually WED designers  attention went to work. Thanks to Imagineers Victor Greene , John Wise , and John Hench, simple support posts became sweeping modern arches, buttresses and biomorphic "tree-branches" adding to the overall mood and feeling of this Future world.  A simple engineering function transformed as art.

As simple as this center-line entry support is, the mathematics involved to create it is boggling!

a  shady spot to enjoy a Space Mist Punch
(view: between PeopleMover Station SpeedRamps)

Gracefully MODERN!!!!

SpeedRamp down.............

I love this building!

Left flank entry arch
My PeopleMover car is one of these........but underneath reveals it's 1967 heritage:  I own train 12 (red), CAR B!

If guests could only enjoy views like this today.......

A 1977 addition over at the Space Place

More 1967 design (luckily) surviving into the REAL 21st Century!
Next time you're here, take closer look at these planter/benches: they are in the shape of the original Goodyear  logo shape!!